Gambling sponsorships in sports have long been regarded as controversial. Now, the English team, Everton, is facing the wrath of supporters over a new deal.
The club recently announced a new sponsorship from gambling giant Stake.com worth £10 million per season. The deal replaces Everton’s existing sponsorship deal with significant car dealership Cazoo.
In January 2020, Everton CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale said the club preferred not to deal with gambling sponsorships. In an ideal world, an alternative would be found.
Petition Making Waves
The sponsorship deal means Stake.com’s logos will appear on the jerseys of the men’s and the women’s teams.
There are currently no plans to cancel the new partnership. Many fans have accepted that the club is in dire need of a cash injection. Especially after losses to the tune of £372 million had been posted over the last three seasons.
Even so, current levels of opposition against a gambling sponsor are believed to be unmatched in English football.
The petition was reportedly launched by season ticket-holder Ben Melvin. Melvin claims to have suffered from addiction to gambling. Melvin said he found the petition to send a strong message to the FC about so-called “harmful” sponsorships. According to the letter sent to the club, Melvin insists that the new sponsorship isn’t in line with the motto of the FC. Nor does it resonate well with the club’s community work addressing mental health issues.
As recently as last year, Norwich City cancelled a gambling sponsorship deal after fans complained about online casino BK8’s “sexualized” marketing style.
After ditching the deal, the club announced that they took pride in their place in the community as an FC. They said they understood the reaction from fans as the sponsors’ values disagreed with the football club’s values.
According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov, around 1.4 million people in Britain were suffering harmful effects from an addiction to gambling. Even so, according to a ruling by the English Football League, Premier League and the Betting and Gaming Council, there’s no evidence to show a link between gambling sponsorships in sports and gambling addiction.