Spanish Minister Questions New Sponsorships of Soccer Club Betting Companies

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 Updated on 28/08/2020 às 9h39
 Spain Questions New Sponsorships of Game Companies to Football Clubs
Photo: Site Oficial Garzon

Some licensed game operators in Spain have been criticized for continuing to sign new sponsorship deals with soccer clubs, despite the approval of new rules that will ban this practice soon.

Earlier this month, online gaming operator Betway signed an agreement with Real Betis Balompié, which disputes LaLiga. Betway CEO Anthony Werkman welcomed the deal, saying the company hopes to “be able to ‘introduce’ itself to fans [of the team] and the people of Seville.”

Asian online betting operator Dafabet has also signed a two-year contract with Cádiz CF. According to CEO Dimitris Karatzas, the measure would help “consolidate our brand in the Spanish market”. The company has not yet launched operations in Spain, but closed a partnership with the R. Franco Digital platform.

Recently, Spanish media reported that British betting house, William Hill is negotiating the placement of its brand on the sleeves of the shirts of Malaga, a team with which the company has already occupied the main space in the uniform.

The New sponsorships are a cause of concern in Spain

The news of these deals was surprising, as Spain has drawn up plans to end all sponsorship in the gaming sector with local sports teams.

And, part of the new marketing restrictions for the segment will take effect in October, less than a month after the start of the new soccer season in Spain.

The press speculated that the two operators would be waiting for the reaction of Alberto Garzón, Spain’s minister who led efforts to control the involvement of online gaming companies in football. Others assume that the arrangements with the operators’ divisions in the UK, aimed at circumventing the restrictions.

In an interview, Garzón stated that the attitude of the Spanish football clubs when signing the agreements was “very imprudent, knowing that the Royal Decree will be approved in October”.

The minister insisted that the government of Spain “considers it absolutely necessary that ads for shirt-game companies (football teams) disappear”.

On the other hand, Garzón highlighted Real Sociedad as an example, after the club decided to “not accept agreements for this type of sponsorship”.

He warned that “everyone will have to change” their sponsorship contracts, and “it doesn’t cross my mind” because any club or operator would continue to seek these partnerships.