It would appear that bookmakers are set to receive another blow to their ability to advertise. The next challenger appears to be the FA (Football Association), who have recently come underfire for dishing out an 18 month suspension to footballer Joey Barton for breaking gambling regulations. Why would they come under fire for this you ask? Well, the FA is heavily associated with Ladbrokes. So suspending a player for using the very industry you’ve taken money from does not sit well.
As such, the FA is desperately trying to manoeuvre the spotlight onto the bookmakers, rather than themselves. For those worried about how Joey Barton is getting on throughout all this…..don’t. He has a long list of run in’s with various authorities and why someone who earns tens of thousands of pounds a week should need to gamble is truly beyond us.
So, how does this all look for bookmakers? Well, frankly, not very good and they’ll be cursing the day they accepted bets from Joey Barton. FA chairman Gregg Clarke commented to The Times: “We are actively considering what our position will be and should be. I have thought about the relationship between betting and football, and alcohol and football, and I raised this at the start of the season. I asked for the management team to produce a report on what our position should be on a number of things, and gambling and alcohol were among those things. The FA will decide what is appropriate for a governing body, and there is a set of tests we would apply, and they will be different to what should apply to clubs as for a governing body they should be higher.”
There are a couple of key points in that statement. Firstly, bookies, should not feel too victimised as these restrictions are likely to apply to alcohol companies as well. Secondly, the longer this statement goes on, the less conviction it has. This sounds to us, like this is more about creating a few more hoops for bookies to jump through for sponsorship……more than likely these will come at a cost.
So, in short, some partnerships will be cut, but in most cases it looks like the bookies will just need to pay more for the privilege of having their brand associated with the FA. This could go one of two ways for us matched bettors. The first, and more positive outcome, would be the bookmakers saving the money and investing in more aggressive customer expansion and retention – meaning more offers for us. The second, and more negative outcome, would involve the bookies paying the (potentially) higher price. This would likely lead to a consolidation of resources and less promotions overall, as the bookmakers would then rely on their PR partnerships to spur growth.
Either way, it is becoming ever more interesting as to just how regularly the gambling industry is receiving these blows. One does wonder how far this will go and, more importantly, where it will end.