Sports betting may still be highly restricted in the U.S., but Premier League clubs are all in. Six of them have online gambling firms as jersey sponsors.
Now Manchester United has launched its official “online casino” with bwin, supposedly the first soccer club-based casino app in the world in which gamers use real money.
Essentially, you pay and then pretend that there’s a roulette table on the Old Trafford field and that Wayne Rooney is your croupier.
Although there are a few reasons you might not want to gamble with Rooney – like he doesn’t seem to be particularly good at it. In 2006 the forward allegedly racked up a gambling debt in excess of $1 million. In 2008 he reportedly lost $100,000 in two hours at four in the morning, going straight to a club in Manchester to play blackjack and roulette after flying back from a World Cup qualifier in Belarus.
Some might say that European soccer’s enthusiasm for promoting betting might be a concern in the context of the current global epidemic of match fixing. Research has found that the “problem gambling rate” among professional soccer and cricket players is 6.1 percent, more than three times higher than the rate for young men in the general population.
Still, looks like a fun app. Put 50 pounds on red for me, Rafael.