When it comes to sports betting, one of the most popular sports, believe it or not, is tennis. The game is especially sought after for those who love betting live. Since tennis matches are full of fast points, games and sets, there’s never ending betting opportunities.
No Partnerships Allowed for Players
Considering its popularity among bettors, the rules surrounding any possible connection to betting companies are as strict as they come. For example, players are not allowed to have any betting sponsorship on their clothes. I guess it’s fair and there are a lot of other big sports that have the same rules.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
At the same time, it is allowed for the sports governing bodies (ITF, WTA, ATP) to secure their own deals with companies from the industry. There used to be a ban, following a string of match fixing incidents, but it was lifted at the end of 2020.
Not only are casinos making sure to sponsor some of the tour events, they are also prominently featured as sponsors of the networks that are broadcasting the tournaments. Some of them are also very involved in the betting streaming rights.
Why Do Sports Books Sponsor Tennis Events?
Well, when casinos sponsor public tennis events, it allows fans to build trust in the institution of betting by giving a positive perception of their product and legalities. There’s a lot of tennis that airs on national and international TV channels at all times which helps build a more extensive audience base. Just to make it clear, this isn’t just tennis, but all sports.
Djokovic – Things Need to Change
We all know there is a ton of money involved in these types of sponsorships but the money is not finding its way down to the players in a meaningful way, and it needs to change, says Novak Djokovic.
Players Want 50 Percent
Not only has Djokovic won an astonishing 24 Grand Slam titles, he is also the co-founder of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). This is an association that campaigns for players to have a greater say when it comes to decision-making in the sport.
Before the US Open earlier this month, which Djokovic won once again, he spoke up about the subject.
Tournaments Making the Big Bucks
One of his main points (no pun intended) was the fact that since players are not allowed betting sponsors on their kits, they should at least get to share the money that the tournament makes from betting sponsorships.
“Personally I probably would not get a betting sponsor on my sleeve but I know that probably 95-plus percent of the players would do that,” Djokovic said. “I would support that but if that’s not allowed then what we would deserve to have is the 50 percent of the share that tournament gets from these sponsorship deals with betting houses.”
Money Towards Players Pensions
Some of the profits do eventually make their way to the players in the way of player pension compensation, however Djokovic believes players deserve a bigger piece of the pie.
“I know that a pretty significant chunk goes to the player pension and which is something that I always support of course but we have to remind ourselves that you only become eligible for pension when you are 50 or 55 years old,” Djokovic said.
“So a player that retires when he or she is 30 or 35 has to wait for 20-plus years to actually start receiving the benefits from that deal. I think that it’s obvious that that’s probably one of the biggest sources of income for tennis – the broadcasting rights, the TV rights and the data – I think players are probably not either fully aware or maybe they just are not pushing enough for their fair share from the betting. They are giving much more than they are receiving. They’re literally receiving nothing from it…
“Billions and billions of dollars are circulating on a weekly basis from the tennis tournaments on different levels. Players are, I feel, in a very underprivileged position in regards to that situation. That’s something that I feel like we need to talk about more. We need to raise the awareness about this issue to the players; in this particular area players are not benefiting at all and giving way too much of their own value into this, and the rest of the tennis ecosystem is obviously profiting from that and we just can’t allow this to happen anymore – this is a very significant value and chunk of the money that is it that is out there for players to get a hold of.”
Tennis Must Keep Up Its Integrity
One of the reasons why sports are not fully welcoming betting companies is because of the stigma surrounding it and the concern of their integrity taking a hit. As players have been focused on maintaining the integrity of the sport and not associate themselves with gambling, it has led to the tour being the ones pocketing the millions and millions in monetary benefits.
That’s where I think the focus should be because being in the player Council of ATP for almost a decade, whenever we would address this subject what would normally surface in the discussion is the integrity,” said Djokovic.
“It’s like ‘We’ve got to fight to make sure that the sport stays clean. We got to make sure that the players are not cheating, they’re not betting, they’re not compromised,” which of course I support and agree with, but there’s kind of a psychological game that you focus on that and you don’t really talk about the main issue here, that us players need to be aware of.”
Do You Agree?
There’s no denying that Djokovic brings up a good point and having arguably the best player of all time being the spokesperson for the players should help.
Thankfully this doesn’t affect those who love betting on tennis and other sports. Saying that, if you haven’t seen it, every Thursday I post the biggest sporting events and where to find the best odds. Betting hot spots like Stake, Sportsbet.io, JustBit and Vave are always open for business.
We have a gigantic weekend of sports coming up, including a very exciting Ryder Cup, so make sure to stay tuned to optimize your chances of winning.
In terms of Djokovic and players’ share of the profits, do you agree?