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All right, Grandpa!

Interesting to see that four of the five commercial deals announced this week by football clubs are with gambling companies, and the outstanding one is with a gaming company not a million miles removed.

Also interesting to note how the deals are variously about ‘the club’s Malay, Thai, Chinese and Indonesian sites’, ‘ the team’s pre-season tour through Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan’, and the ‘focus on Asian Markets’.

I say that, without wishing in any way to be casting aspersions either on companies whose security systems I know nothing about nor on the evolution in thinking of the commercial departments of sports clubs, in the context of:

  1. The long-standing idea that betting is somehow problematic for sport
  2. The generally-accepted view that it is most problematic in the Asian markets
  3. The much-pushed notion that the betting industry leaches off sport
  4. The current debate, of which the POCT is a part, relating to how competitive the gambling industry actually is, and to what extent the brand names that we have traditionally known are competing in a global marketplace (where many of the newest entrants have fewer tax burdens and are able to attract significant market share).

The wrangling it took to become a shirt-sponsor of Fulham back in 2003, as a British-licensed operator with a single office employing a few hundred people 400 yards down the road from the club’s ground in order to try to get market share predominantly from a handful of High Street bookmakers seems a lifetime away…


Posted in Betfair, Betting industry, Gambling, Regulation, Sport.

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