Gambling industry contributes euro 3.4 billion annually to EU sports

Gambling industry contributes euro 3.4 billion annually to EU sports

November 10, 2009.

Gambling in Europe contributed over Euro 3.4 billion to European Union sport, a new study commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association has found.

Conducted by the independent consultancy Europe Economics, the results of the study were released at the RGA's Annual General Meeting this week.

62 percent of the contribution came from private, as opposed to public, gambling sector operators.

"The financial and commercial relationship between the betting and sporting industries is the subject of much debate across the EU," a spokesman for the RGA said. "The aim of the study was to provide an independent assessment of the current level of funding in order to provide an evidence base for any future consideration of the issues. It draws on publically available data and commercially sensitive information supplied by individual members of the RGA."

Clive Hawkswood, the RGA's chief executive commented: "We are currently undertaking a wider study into the funding and integrity issues that are associated with sports' betting, but this report is important in its own right because it demonstrates the scale of funding that flows through the gambling industry and into sports.

"If nothing else it must serve to counter any claims that sports do not benefit from the link with gambling or that the amounts they receive are inconsequential.

"However, this is an objective report which provides a context for those sorts of questions to be considered. Therefore, it deliberately does not look at whether this sum is too little or too much and nor did its remit extend to assessing how these considerable funds are used by the sports once they receive them."

Bob Young of Europe Economics added: "The most striking thing that our research discovered about sports funding from private sector gambling is the sheer diversity of sport that it supports.

"State-mandated contributions, notably statutory levies and lotteries, tend to channel substantial amounts of private sector money into a limited range of sports, while the commercial and charitable contributions that private sector gambling operators make of their own volition distribute lesser sums across a much wider front.

"Sport across the EU would be much the poorer without the combined contributions that private sector gambling makes."

The RGA represents most of the world's largest, licensed, and stock market-listed remote gambling companies and provides the industry with a single voice on all the issues of importance to regulators, legislators, and key decision makers around the world.