Football and betting are two things that are commonly linked. In fact, they’re as prevalent today as they have ever been, with all Premier League teams having some sort of official betting partner that they work alongside.
Bookmakers are also keen to offer sponsorship to plenty of football teams around the world. It’s big business these days and the bookies will pay tens of millions for the right shirt sponsorship deal that gives them access to a prime target audience for their business.
If you’ve spent any time within a football stadium over the last few years, you’ve probably seen branded betting booths dotted all over the place. These are where you’re able to place a bet with that bookmaker that’s usually linked to the game that day.
You’d be forgiven to think that the bookmaker that’s advertised is are running said booth, but this is not always the case. Throughout the article we will take a look at how betting in football stadiums work and also take a look at the how the industry benefits from this.
Who Runs Stadium Betting Booths?
The vast majority of betting booths as football stadiums are actually run by an outside company. The biggest at the minute is that BD Stadia who are a company that are able to provide operational and logistical solutions for bookmakers to get access inside of football stadiums.
They work a little bit like an affiliate, in that they are representing the brand, but they are doing so by using things like their branding and marketing promotions, before then trying to get people to sign up to the bookmaker whilst at the stadium.
It’s worth noting at this point that the companies like BD Stadia are working with the bookmaker, but they offering an outsource solution for them.
Who Are You Placing the Bet With?
This is where things get a little tricky and there is a hook why the companies do it like they do. Let’s work through the full process.
The bookmaker will employ a company like BD Stadia to use their brand and identity to work within a number of football grounds all over the country. These grounds don’t necessarily need to be sponsored by the bookmaker to gain access. In fact, it has little do with the football ground at all as they have signed their deal with BD Stadia to offer gambling of sorts.
BD Stadia will then get access to advertising boards, branded betting sheets and even branded clothing for their staff to use on at the stands. The range of bets that they offer are mixed, but as we stated earlier, are often linked to the match that day.
When a player places a bet, they do so on a unique betting slip. The betting slip will contain some sort of customer number, but they won’t necessarily need to sign up straight away to place the bet. They will have to part with their cash though and if they lose, it works the same as any other bet you would place at the bookies.
The hook for both the bookmaker and BD Stadia is that if someone wins, then to collect their money they need to open an online account with that bookmaker to get their money deposited in there. No cash is paid out at the ground. Or, if that company has high street shops, you can claim there also.
The reason that this process is in place is so that the bookmaker allows people to have a bet, but then means that they are likely to sign up to an account with that bookmaker to get their money. It basically dissuades people from just placing a bet, taking any winnings and then never hearing from them again. Essentially, it helps create new accounts for the bookie.
Do They Still Need to be Licensed?
Given that they are taking money, they work as part of the bookmaker they are promoting. But they do in fact need to be fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission as well.
Based on the fact that they only work at football grounds and offer no bets online, the license they need is a “General betting limited” license. This basically allows them to provide facilities for betting on tracks, which includes football stadia in that.
If you’re unsure, you can check the license information out for each company via the UK Gambling Commission website.
Who Operates Where in the UK?
The range of sponsors and bookmakers across the UK are vast. William Hill have probably been the most vocal advocate of the BD Stadia brand, announcing a partnership in 2017 that was set to last for 2 years. But upon researching the who is where for betting companies, William Hill are actually no longer anywhere to be seen. It appears that the partnership, for whatever reason has broken down and ended.
Regardless of that, here are the football grounds across the UK that are currently linked with in stadium betting providers:
|Aston Villa||Villa Park||BD Stadia|
|Birmingham City||St Andrews||Boylesports|
|Blackburn Rovers||Ewood Park||BD Stadia|
|Bolton Wanderers||Macron Stadium||BD Stadia|
|Bradford City||Valley Parade||BD Stadia|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||AMEX Stadium||BD Stadia|
|Chelsea||Stamford Bridge||BD Stadia|
|Coventry City||Ricoh Arena||BD Stadia|
|Derby County||Pride Park||Unibet|
|Fulham||Craven Cottage||BD Stadia|
|Huddersfield Town||John Smith’s Stadium||BD Stadia|
|Hull City||KC Stadium||SortPesa|
|Leeds United||Elland Road||Unibet|
|Leicester City||King Power Stadium||BD Stadia|
|Manchester City||Etihad Stadium||Marathon Bet|
|Manchester United||Old Trafford||BD Stadia|
|Newcastle United||St James Park||Mansion Bet|
|Norwich City||Carrow Road||BD Stadia|
|Nottingham Forest||City Ground||BD Stadia|
|Preston North End||Deepdale||BD Stadia|
|Queens Park Rangers||Loftus Road||Royal Panda|
|Sheffield United||Bramall Lane||Ladbrokes|
|Stoke City||Britannia Stadium||BD Stadia|
|Sunderland||Stadium of Light||Coral|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium||BD Stadia|
|West Brom||The Hawthorns||Coral|
|West Ham||Olympic Stadium||BD Stadia|
A key thing that we noticed from compiling this is list is that even though these clubs are sponsored by a bookmaker or have them as official betting partners, these aren’t necessarily the brand that you see advertised as the in-stadium betting provider.
There are numerous examples of this, but one of the key ones that stood out was that of Newcastle United. Newcastle are not only sponsored by Fun88, a bookmaker in their own right, they also have strong ties with bet365. So, when you see that Mansion Bet are the bookmaker of choice here, it does look a little odd.
From this we can probably assume that in a lot of cases BD Stadia might have their own discretion as to which bookmaker from their list they want to use at each ground. As you can see, lots don’t actually specify which bookmaker is being used, so it’s likely in these cases that they can just include whoever they see fit. There is probably some licensing deal behind the fact the football club allows them to do this.
Are They a Good Thing for the Punters?
The thing that we were most interested in finding out is if this system works best for punters or not. Like we probably predicted before delving into this article, there are good points and bad points.
The good points are that you are able to place a bet within the ground with a bookmaker that you’re able to trust. The brands that companies like SD Stadia work with include Betfair, SBObet, Sporting Bet, 188 Bet, BetVictor, Coral, 888Sport, Mansion Bet, Ladbrokes and plenty more.
You’re also going to get favourable odds if you bet on the match that you’re about to watch. Many have promotions or offers of price boosts on these markets which offer good value.
The downsides are that most people aren’t aware that, even though they have bet with cash, they have to claim any winnings by registering online. This may put people off and it’s not always as well advertised as it maybe should be.
Given that you have access to dozens of bookmakers via your smartphone these days means that you are rarely going to get industry best prices here. Prices will be printed out in the morning, so any shifts (either way) won’t be reflected in these prices. This can be a good thing as well, so bear this in mind.
Are There Alternatives?
Rather surprisingly, we weren’t able to find any competition to BD Stadia from our research. Given how saturated the sports betting sector is, we would have thought that there would be at least a couple of companies trying to get in on the action.