Gambling has always been a part of sport, for many people it’s what makes sports more entertaining and makes people more invested in whatever their watching. But, with the explosion of online gambling the problem has been getting a lot worse.
Evidence of how bad it has gotten can be seen in the fact that in the 2020/21 English Premier League season only three of the twenty teams did not have some connection with a gambling company. While they themselves did voluntarily ban gambling advertisements during sports games the problem is still very bad.
Social media has also exacerbated this problem. A book recently published by Aaron Rogan called “Punters: How Paddy Power Bet Billions and Changed Gambling” shows how PaddyPower made its money and how it is now an enormous data company with mathematicians and accountants running it.
The cosy relationship that gambling and sports have clearly ruined the lives of so many people, yet Irish football internationals are still sponsored by PaddyPower. They should ban betting advertisements for the same reason they banned cigarette advertisements for the damage they cause and the danger they put people in.
This shouldn’t be normalised and should be something that should have been gotten rid of a long time ago. It seems almost farcical that an industry that knows scientifically how to take your money is advertising itself on the biggest stage in sports and no one seems to care.
The sad reality is nothing will be done until people start to care about the problem. In the U.K things are starting to be done about it with the banning of credit cards for gambling. Ireland still has not taken the problem seriously enough and with an estimated 40,000 people in Ireland with a gambling addiction and betting shops on every second corner it’s far past time for this problem to be properly dealt with.