In the midst of changing gambling advertising regulations in Spain, sportsbook Betway is eyeing up a spot on the front of next season’s Sevilla FC shirts.
According to Spanish football site Palco23, the operator is ahead of its competitors to replace Marathonbet on the Andalusian club’s jerseys.
Reports have suggested that Marathonbet, whose sponsorship deal was supposed to run until 2021, has cancelled its contract early.
If Betway prevails, the €5 million per season it has offered will be the five-time Europa League/UEFA Cup winners’ biggest-ever sponsorship.
Expanding its presence in Spain… but turbulent times for betting ads could lie ahead
Betway has already partnered with a host of smaller La Liga clubs. In the summer of 2018, it joined forces with Levante, Leganes and Alaves.
Clubs in Spain are subjected to new gambling ad measures, which were supposed to come into force next season. Due to the spread of COVID-19 and abrupt halt of the current La Liga season, these were fast-tracked.
All betting-related ads are now prohibited during sporting broadcasts, a move which has been criticised by both football clubs and broadcasters in the country. Both parties believe that operators had, as a result of these changes, not been given a grace period to fulfill their existing partnerships.
Marathonbet’s partnership with Sevilla was supposed to run through until the end of the 2020/21 season.
Spain’s government not overly fond of gambling
The fast-tracked conditions of the Royal Decree were approved by Alberto Garzón, who is Spain’s current Consumer Affairs Minister. He said that this decision was made to protect residents during the country’s coronavirus lockdown throughout March and April.
Garzón has been given the responsibility of overhauling gambling regulations in the Southern European country. He referred to the newly-introduced measures as the “first stage” of this. In the coming months, further restrictions are expected to be implemented by the Spanish government.
In the past, Garzón has said that “football has been flooded by betting partnerships”.
La Liga hoping to restart soon
Spain has relaxed many of its draconian lockdown restrictions, following a drastic decline in both the number of infections and deaths.
La Liga has been working on how the country’s top footballing division can get underway in a safe manner. The league has been out of action since 10th March, when Real Sociedad won 2-1 away at Eibar.
According to a report published by the Guardian on Monday, 197 people will be allowed to attend matches when the division begins again.
Players and officials will both have to take coronavirus tests 24 hours prior to each match. And before stadium entry is granted, temperatures will be checked.
Pre-match handshakes are also off the cards for now, but there is no indication that goal celebrations will be banned. In the 34-page document, just one sentence is dedicated to the actual match.
Teams were also allowed to hold collective training sessions yesterday. The government still needs to approve any planned restart date.