Online betting and gaming operator Betway has announced its third Spanish football sponsorship deal of the past fortnight, despite the prospect of tighter advertising restrictions looming, including a ban on shirt branding.
The latest agreement, with RC Celta de Vigo, sees the operator become the club’s official bookmaker for the next two years.
Betway will have a branding presence in the team’s Estadio Municipal de Balaídos ground, and will collaborate with the club on a range of fan engagement activities.
Celta's vice-president Ricardo Barros said the club was “very satisfied” with the agreement, describing Betway as a brand with “international prestige”.
“It is not easy to obtain this type of support in the current circumstances, with so much social and economic uncertainty,” Barros explained. “[And] for that reason in the club we value very positively this agreement, which allows us to continue growing as an entity and brand, and to continue advancing in our international expansion.”
The deal further strengthens Betway’s presence in Spanish football.
Earlier this week the operator agreed a similar partnership with another LaLiga team, Real Betis, with the deal described as a “record” agreement for the club. Betway also recently renewed a sponsorship agreement with Segunda División team CD Leganes for the 2020-21 season.
However, these partnerships have been struck against a backdrop of uncertainty, with legislation notified to the European Commission by the Spanish government in July looking to ban gambling businesses from having branding on sports teams’ shirts.
The stricter regulations also ban gambling companies from purchasing naming rights to stadia, event spaces or competitions. While in-stadium gambling advertising will be permitted, it will be subject to the same restrictions as TV and radio ads, meaning it can only be displayed between 1am and 5am.
The proposed controls have been attacked by Spanish operator association JDigital, which described the measures as ideologically driven whilst having little to no impact on player protection efforts.