Why are betting companies popular sponsors of Irish sports?

November 4th, 2020 4:30 PM

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Casinos and online betting sponsors dominate the sports industry.

Just look at the English Premier League and Championship, where 50% of clubs have links with gambling businesses, according to the Guardian.

17 out of 24 Championship teams were sponsored by betting firms at the beginning of the 2019/20 season. 

Sports in Ireland aren't exempt from the rule, with the likes of St. Patrick's Athletic in the League of Ireland following the trend, not to mention the host of rugby union clubs. There's no doubt that betting companies are popular sponsors for sports teams throughout Europe, including Ireland, but why?

An Irish Base

Lucrative and profitable markets exist throughout the world, but Europe is the stronghold of the sector at the moment.

For example, European Gaming reports that Malta has the largest average monthly searches per capita for sports betting terms, which is backed up by the number of land-based and digital casinos and wagering enterprises that have headquarters in Malta.

However, Ireland isn't far behind as Eire, too, has a high level of average monthly searches per capita, currently ranking at 16,610 per month.

Ireland is only second to Malta in this regard, highlighting the popularity among Irish viewers and audiences.

Therefore, it's a brilliant move for betting firms to use Irish sports teams for advertising their products and services to potential customers.

A Steady Revenue Stream

Indeed, the Irish gambling sector is growing at an incredibly rapid rate, even compared to its nearest rival – the United Kingdom.

In 2018, Irish customers accounted for £1 billion (€1.1bn) in revenues for the year. Of the total, £285 million (€315mn) came from land-based casinos, whereas £279 million (€310mn) was as a result of betting on lotteries, with the rest coming from betting machines.

Not only do the figures paint a healthy picture of the industry, but so do online casino reviews that outline the host of promotions and bonuses on offer to consumers as this highlights the dominance of the market.

Only enterprises with impressive revenues can provide the types of promos that casinos and betting businesses do in Ireland.

While the popularity of the activity is important for wagering companies, the Irish sports team are encouraged by the strong source of sponsorship income that doesn't appear set to end soon.

The Growing Sports Market

The sports sector is one that appears to be established, and it is in many cases. Still, there is always room for growth, and betting firms and sports teams understand this only too well.

For instance, although rugby union has been around for centuries, the viewing figures are greater in 2020 than ever before. The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan captured a record-breaking audience of 857 million watchers, with an 83% increase on the live TV audience from 2015's final.

Another staple of Irish sport, horse racing, has benefited from a 13.5% year-on-year increase in viewing figures in the British Isles. Therefore, the gambling sector in Ireland is expanding, and so is the sports market, making sponsorship for both parties a popular choice, particularly as these two sports are renowned for their high-quality in Ireland.

With the popularity of the products and services on offer, as well as the growth in both the wagering and sports industries, it makes sense for betting firms to sponsor Irish sports.

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