The Spanish government plans to ban the cooperation of sports clubs with gambling companies from next season. As a consequence, La Liga will lose up to 90 million euros in revenue.
The Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs as the party authorized to regulate this matter emphasized that the deadline for writing gambling companies on jerseys is when La Liga 2020/2021 ends. There is zero tolerance for those who try to break the regulation.
“The government has decided that there will be no transitional period. Everything is final and will take effect immediately without exception,” said Minister of State for Consumer Affairs of Spain, Alberto Garzon, quoted by Sports Pro Media.
Despite supporting the government, La Liga has a different opinion. The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, proposed a transition so that clubs have preparations to separate themselves from gambling companies, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. This transitional period lasts 3 years until the end of the 2023/2024 season. The reason is, this concerns the kitchen aasp of a number of clubs.
“The goal of this transition period is so that clubs have enough time to adapt to breaking away from working with gambling companies. This is because this is not an easy job and all clubs can do it in a short time,” said Tebas.
For Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and several other clubs, the ban did not have a big impact. El Barca is sponsored by Rakuten, El Real collaborates with Fly Emirates, and El Atleti owns Plus500. Rakuten is an e-commerce company, Flay Emirates (aviation) and Plus500 (investment).
However, for the other 7 clubs, this will be a serious problem. They are La Liga clubs that have received funding from 5 gambling companies, namely:
1. Betway (Deportivo Alaves, Levante, Real Betis)
The Betway Group is a global online betting company with brands such as Betway Sportsbook, Casino, Vegas, Bingo, and Betway Poker. Betway operates across all regulated and licensed online marketplaces in the UK, Malta, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal.
The company is based in Guernsey and Malta with support from Cape Town, London, and the Isle of Man. Betway is a member of the Association of Online Gambling, European Sports Safety Association, and Association of Independent Gambling and is accredited by the international testing agency eCOGRA.
Betway partners with the Professional Players Association, which promotes, protects, and develops the collective interests of professional sportsmen in the UK. Betway is also a supporter of the Responsible Gambling Trust.
In La Liga, Betway cooperates with three clubs at once, namely Deportivo Alaves, Levante, and Real Betis with quite a large amount. They also sponsor Leganes in the Segunda Division and West Ham United in the Premier League. Betway is also a co-sponsor of Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.
2. Dafabet (Cadiz)
Dafabet is a global online gambling company based in Makati City, Philippines. Founded in 2004, Dafabet has expanded to Europe. In 2011, they made Alan Shearer their brand ambassador.
It was from there that Dafabet touched football clubs on the Blue Continent. Blackburn Rovers, Burnley and Sunderland became English clubs that fell into their arms. Then, Glasgow Celtic in Scotland. Furthermore, Fulham da Norwich City also entered into a sponsorship partnership with Dafabet. Meanwhile, in La Liga, Cadiz is the only club they support.
“We are pleased with the agreement with a historic club that has a great reputation and tradition. This signature is one of the first steps to consolidate our brand in the Spanish market and establish relationships with La Liga fans,” said Dafabet CEO, Dimitris Karatzas, quoted by Marca.
3. Winamax (Granada)
Winamax is an online poker and gambling game company based in Paris, France, and founded by Patrick Bruel, Nicole Junkermann, Alexandre Roos, Christophe Schaming, and Alex Dreyfus. They claim to have millions of fans from around the world.
Having been a co-sponsor of Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux in Ligue 1, Winamax decided to work with Granada from 2019 to 2023. However, with the regulations set by the Spanish Government, El Grana seems to have to end the partnership with Winamax ahead of schedule.
4. MarathonBet (Sevilla)
MarathonBet is a gambling company founded in Russia in 1997. Over time, MarathonBet has not only operated in the former Soviet Union countries, but also throughout the world. Currently, they have London, England, as their corporate headquarters.
MarathonBet is the official training shirt sponsor of Manchester City in 2018/2019. Now, they are Sevilla’s main supporters. The collaboration started last year and will last until 2020.
“In line with Seville’s international growth project, it is important for us to associate our brand with a major international company like MarathonBet. This 2-year sponsorship deal is an important step for us. We believe our relationship will be very fruitful. Betting on MarathonBet for Sevilla will be a total success, ” said the chairman of the club, Jose Castro, on the official website of Los Rojiblancos.
The financial support from MarathonBet really makes Sevilla a scary team. The proof, last season the Andalucia club won the Europa League after beating Inter Milan in the top match.
5. Bwin (Valencia)
Bwin is a gambling company from Austria that was founded in 1997. As a pioneer of online football gambling, Bwin has a very large income and continues to increase every year. In 2009, Bwin had a net income of up to 423.1 million euros.
The popularity was gained because Bwin had sponsored many big European clubs. Call it Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, to AC Milan. They also once supported the Portuguese Cup with the label Bwin Cup. They also support Serie B in Italy. So did the 2006 FIBA European and World Basketball Championships and MotoGP in Estoril and Brno.
For this season in La Liga, Bwin is still supporting Valencia. The 3-year collaboration began at the start of the 2019/2020 season. But, with the policy of the Spanish Government, Valencia was forced to break up with Bwin at the end of this season.
“Bwin is a leader in their sector and sets the benchmark for their technological innovation, transparency, and dynamism. Valencia shares this virtue and I am sure that strengthening this alliance will be of great benefit to both parties. We hope to make history together,” Mestalla Bat president Anil Murthy said on the club’s official website.