Wild West: gambling advertising at Premier League grounds

Did you place a bet over the Christmas period? You certainly wouldn’t be alone. Betting on sports is big business, and the FA Premier League is globally recognised as football’s most commercially successful league. And online sports betting is a regulated, legal activity in the UK.

By Andy Brown

How big a business? Sports Betting generated 490 billion US dollars in revenue during 2019, and this is forecast to rise to 770 billion dollars by 2025. However, it is generally held that this amount is eclipsed by the amount of money wagered on the illegal market.

Due to its unregulated nature, estimating the amount of illegal sports bets wagered each year is tricky. However a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Report recently estimated that 1.7 trillion dollars is wagered on illegal sports betting markets each year.

In other words, the value of the illegal sports betting market is over three times that of the regulated market. As the UNODC Report notes, organised crime’s involvement in illegal betting is equivalent in value to its involvement in drug, human, or arms trafficking.

Of course, the FAPL wants nothing to do with the illegal betting market, or its connections to criminality. But as we approach the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs are increas...

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