It is a thunderclap in Spanish football. Online bookmakers could no longer sponsor the professional and second Spanish division professional teams. In the midst of a covid crisis, clubs are strangled by the absence of the public and the drop in TV rights. However, the Spanish government wants to prohibit the sponsorship of Online sports betting sites. One wonders which fly has stung the executive of the Iberian peninsula, but with a little hindsight, we can find meaning at this measure.
Youth protection and fight against addiction
Just like in USA, sports betting is prohibited for those under 18, but in reality, we know that many young people are betting regularly. Online bookmakers may play the game by prohibiting access to their sites to minors, it is impossible to fight against this drift. Especially with the Paris on football. A study has shown that 10% of the under 18s had already bet. We know that most will bet in shops on sports lots like that of the FDJ. The Spanish authorities believe that advertising on jerseys is an incentive to bet. We can also see in advertisements, as les bookmakers seek to reach a young audience. Addiction problems are also pointed out. However, sports betting sites provide tools to regulate the number of bets, amounts and deposits. It is true that a person playing with addiction will not be limited himself. The other problem is the incestuous relationship between sport and sports betting. When, a team is sponsored by an online sports betting site, one can wonder if the link cannot lead to fraud and harm the transparency of the dimensions. Indeed, the bookmaker has information that bettors do not have thanks to its link with its team. The mixture of genres always creates suspicion.
Ultimatum and Panade
The Spanish government is not half-measure. Alberto Garzon, Ministry of Consumption, wrote directly at 25 clubs to stop their partnerships with Paris companies next season with August 30, 2021 as a deadline. The case is not new. The clubs had asked for a three -year moratorium to adapt to this ban. The government seems in a hurry. It is quite surprising that the Spanish state attacks football, when it used to be flexible with an economic activity which would brew six billion euros per year. The clubs concerned estimate the cumulative loss at more than 80 million euros per year. For football, we can think that it is a small sum when we see the price of players and wages, but it could put the most fragile clubs on straw. The Spanish Federation would like to negotiate, but the government seems particularly attached to this measure and the ultimatum seems distant enough for the 25 clubs to find a lasting solution.
Negotiations are not yet completed and we can hope that the situation that seems to go from bad to worse can soften political firmness. We are not already sure to see all the teams resist a second season of camera, so if the extra state comes to put sticks in the wheels.