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Volume 7 No. 149
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U.S. Teams Can Look To U.K. To See Impact Of Legalized Gambling

As "we try to read the course and consequences of admitting legalized bookmakers as bona fide sports sponsors, it occurred that we might look to England," according to Terry Lefton of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. During the past decade or so, "the ease of betting from mobile phones, combined with a huge infusion of sponsorship and TV dollars, especially from Asian bookmakers, have made oddsmakers one of the largest commercial patrons" of British football. Nine of 20 Premier League teams have their shirts sponsored by bookmakers, along with 17 of 24 teams in the League Championship. Almost 20% of the ads shown on England’s ITV during the most recent World Cup were for bookmakers -- "the largest single category." MLS side San Jose Earthquakes President Tom Fox said, "The U.K. is decades ahead of the U.S., in terms of gambling, so it would be wise as our gambling industry grows to look there." As CEO of Aston Villa, Fox "got Dafabet off their jerseys, replacing it with Intuit/QuickBooks." Minting new fans "is the priority at MLS." MLS Business Ventures President & Managing Dir Gary Stevenson said, "No matter whose data you look at, people that wager watch more. It’s a fan development tool, and we’ll have the appropriate measures in place to manage it" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/7 issue).