Novak Djokovic details change he wants in tennis' partnership with betting houses

Djokovic thinks players should also get something from the money that earns from its deals with betting companies.

by Dzevad Mesic
Novak Djokovic details change he wants in tennis' partnership with betting houses
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Novak Djokovic thinks it would be fair if players received 50 percent of the money that tennis earns from selling live data feeds to betting companies. For tennis players, it's strictly prohibited to sponsor any betting companies.

For tournaments, it is allowed to sponsor a betting company. Overall, tennis as a sport and betting companies have been partners for a long time. Since a tennis season lasts 11 months, that led to tennis becoming one of the most bet-on sports in the world.

While tennis earns a notable sum from its partnership with betting companies, players basically get nothing.

Djokovic wants changes in tennis' partnerships with betting houses

“A thing that is very illogical for me is the fact that we haven’t moved from the same spot that we were at 20 years ago or maybe even more which is because of the integrity of the sport we are not allowed as players to put any of the betting companies patches on our clothes clothes while we’re playing on the court and we do not get a fair share.

When I say fair share I mean 50/50 at least with the tournaments that are allowed on the other hand to have the major sponsors from the betting world. So that’s as simple as it gets and for me it’s completely unacceptable.

Personally I probably would not get a betting sponsor on my sleeve but I know that probably 95+ percent of the players would do that and I would support that but if that’s not allowed then what we would deserve to have is the 50% of the of the share that tournament gets from these sponsorship deals with with betting houses.

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 for pension when you are 50 or 55 (yrs old).

So for a player that retires when he or she is 30 or 35 he or she has to wait for 20 plus years to actually start receiving and getting the benefits from that deal and I think that it’s obvious that that’s probably one of the the biggest sources of income for tennis.

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 that they are receiving. They’re literally receiving nothing from it and they’re giving their names that are run through various betting platforms websites etc.

So billions and billions of dollars are circulating on a weekly basis from the tournaments on different levels. Men and women players are I feel in a very underprivileged position in regards to that situation so 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. Organize and structure in such way where 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 and 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.

In the sport and in the category betting is officialized. It’s happening and the betting houses are earning hundreds of millions of dollars maybe billions for all the tennis so there’s there’s huge value there and then lots of interested sides in the tennis ecosystem are also benefiting through that data deal but the players are getting a shorter end of the stick and are are getting literally crumbles or nothing almost.

So that’s that’s what 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.

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 right that you focus on that and you don’t really talk about the main issue here that us players need to be aware of," Djokovic said in an interview for the PTPA, via Tennishead.

Novak Djokovic