Bwin Party Digital Entertainment, the world’s biggest listed online gaming company, has been ordered by a Portuguese court to remove all advertising and sponsorship from any national sports tournaments claiming that it is illegal.
Online gambling groups have signed many deals with sports clubs and local associations who endeavor to obtain funds to continue their activities. This new ruling could, however, set a precedent and stop other sponsorship deals between online gambling companies and sports groups in Portugal.
The sponsorship deal between Bwin Party Digital Entertainment and the Portuguese soccer league is valued at a massive EURO 4 million and with the deal coming to an end the Portuguese soccer league cup is now in jeopardy.
A few years ago the Portuguese Casino Association and the national lottery operator Santa Casa filed a complaint against Bwin claiming that the fact that it is not taxed or subject to Portuguese gambling legislation gives it an unfair advantage.
Artur Mateus, manager of the Portuguese Casino Association, said "We are happy with this decision, it was a positive one. We pay for extremely expensive licenses so we want the state to combat illegal operators from having unfair advantages.”
Bwin’s lawyer, Eduardo Serre Jorgbe, said “It is time for the state to legislate and tax online gambling instead of banning it. Regulating it is in the interest of the consumer, the economy and the state budget.”