The UK betting industry will see a further reduction in its football sponsorship presence with the news that the Scottish FA will not be renewing their long-standing arrangement with bookmaker William Hill.
The betting operator has been the main sponsor for the Scottish Cup as well as the Official Betting Partner for the national Scotland team for nine years and has sponsored Hampden Park’s South Stand since 2015. But the FA have announced that they will not be renewing the arrangements when the current deal runs out at the end of June this year.
Speaking about the end of the deal, the Chief Executive at the Scottish FA, Ian Maxwell, thanked William Hill for their involvement in Scottish football over the last ten years:
“Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported key initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health programme.”
The news is the latest example of links between sport and the betting industry being cut in the UK. It follows the decision of Premier League club Everton not to continue their shirt sponsorship deal with troubled Kenyan operator Sport Pesa, which was announced earlier this week.
Reports suggest that the end of the Scottish FA deal was partly down to a decision by William Hill to scale back its football sponsorship deals. This decision is related to the fact that many of the bookmakers competing for advertising space in the UK game are focused on an international market and are not direct competitors for William Hill in the UK. But the overall climate in which football has come under heavy criticism for its links with betting companies, is also likely to have played a part.