In terms of a Portuguese court ruling against Bwin Party Digital Entertainment, the world’s biggest online gambling company listed on a stock exchange, Bwin’s sponsorship of national sports in Portugal has been labeled as illegal.
Many local associations, sports clubs and tournaments have signed deals with online gambling groups in an attempt to obtain funds to continue their activities. It is feared that this new court ruling may set a precedent to stop other sponsorship deals between sports groups in Portugal and online gambling companies.
The Portuguese soccer league cup could be in jeopardy if the sponsorship deal between Bwin Party Digital Entertainment and the tournament comes to an end as the sponsorship is valued at EURO 4 million.
The Portuguese Casino Association teamed up with national lottery operator Santa Casa a few years ago and filed a complaint against Bwin’s activities claiming that the online gambling company has an unfair advantage by not being taxed or subject to Portuguese gambling Legislation.
The Portuguese Casino Association manager, Artur Mateus, said that they are happy with the court’s decision which is a positive one. Mateus added that they want the state to combat illegal operators who have unfair advantages by not having to pay for the extremely expensive licenses.
Bwin Party Digital Entertainment is very disappointed with the ruling as it feels that it does not comply with acceptable European Union law.
The Portuguese professional football league (LPFP) was required to remove any advertising that refers to Bwin and intends appealing against the court’s ruling as it feels that it is harmful to the national game.