Dyc Breogán, Gin MG Sarrià, Licor 43, Ron Negrita Joventut… There was a time when high-alcohol liqueurs were very present in sports competitions. Until the Spanish Government decided in 2012 to prohibit the advertising of drinks with more than 20 degrees could be visible in sports venues. Since 2016, tobacco cannot be advertised on the cars, drivers, motorcycles and motorcyclists who compete in the Montmeló or Jerez GPs. Now the Ministry of Consumption has targeted the bookmakers that had become the sponsors of most soccer and basketball teams. the minister Alberto Garzon has sent a letter to the presidents of the First and Second clubs to warn them that they must extinguish them at the end of the season.
“In recent years, the sponsorship of betting houses and games of chance in sports clubs, as well as the advertising carried out by individual athletes, have contributed to normalizing a practice that entails serious health and social risks that are necessarily minimized in the exercise of publicity”, denounces the letter, which makes it clear that from the entry into force of the Royal Decree no more agreements of this type will be allowed and that those in force will have to be broken before August 30. As the minister points out in his letter, four years ago young people between the ages of 19 and 28 represented 29% of new bettors, a figure that rose to 40% last year. In addition, Garzón points out, the average spending of young people on this activity has increased by 13%.
It is in football where they have made the most fortune of this type of sponsorship. At present, all the clubs except the Real society they have agreement with this type of sponsors in one way or another. The San Sebastian club decided to submit this decision to the will of its members. “Do you approve of the Real Sociedad signing sponsorship agreements for bookmakers in the future?” Was the question asked at the 2018 assembly, which had a massive response: 5,715 did so against it and only 841.
From Barça they emphasize that they only have a minor sponsor, 1XBET, for which they point out that it will not have much impact on their accounts while in LaLiga they explained that the losses in First and Second due to the suppression of these sponsorships could reach a total of 80 million euros, a figure that Javier Tebas raised last Monday. “The economic impact will be 90 million. It is true that the world of betting is a wild world and that it would be necessary to regulate, but not prohibit. I think there is demagogy in that regard”, sentenced the president of the League, denouncing a grievance comparison with other countries. “The betting houses will continue, but there will be a decrease. But it is contradictory, because I was watching the Portuguese GP and there are betting houses there. Will that broadcast be prohibited in Spain? We are going to see big events with advertising from betting shops”.
Extended to other sports
Although Garzón’s letter has been sent only to football clubs, the ministry makes it clear that the new regulations also affect other sports. A good example of the change that this entails can be found in the current ACB champion, whose name was Kirolbet Baskonia when he captured the title this summer. Faced with the threat of the new law, the bookmaker has stopped naming the team, although it continues on the shirt. Currently only the Retabet Bilbao maintains this advertising in the name of the team for the fourth season in a row, although many clubs maintain other sponsorship formulas. As of August 30, no team will be able to carry advertising of this type on the shirts or as a complement to the name or the stadium.