888.com gambling on snooker sponsorship

Having read your recent feature “Gaming giant’s gamble” (MW January 12), I must ask if anyone else is puzzled by 888.com’s decision to sponsor snooker?

While the company probably sees this as a bargain in terms of coverage and reach, and one that offers huge potential given the sport’s popularity in the Far East, the UK opportunity is less clear cut. Despite the inconsistent efforts of “Rocket” Ronnie and Jimmy “Brown Sauce” White to engage a younger demographic, “the most mesmerising sport on TV” is still in internal turmoil and audiences are a shadow of those in the sport’s late-1980s heyday. Perhaps 888.com has spotted a niche in getting the over-60s to gamble online? Whatever happens, with an online casino as your headline sponsor, snooker’s governing bodies will need to redouble their efforts to avoid any more match-fixing allegations.

Steve Richards

Managing director

Swordfish

London W1

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