|During the course of the summer, particularly since the World Cup Final, there has been an increased migration from online casino operators into the football sponsorship market, with 32Red becoming the main sponsor of English Premiership Club Aston Villa, and BET24.com agreeing a similar deal with Blackburn Rovers.|
The trend has been just as active in France where three of the country’s top clubs are now sponsored by online gaming operators. Toulouse Football Club have agreed a sponsorship deal with 888.com (sponsors of Middlesbrough FC), whilst the shirts of FC Nantes are endorsed by Gamebookers.com, and AS Monaco by Bwin.com.
However, current legislations in France appear to dictate that online casinos and other online gaming portals are prohibited until further notice, a law which includes the online and offline advertisement of the products. It is thought the football clubs were unaware of the legislation.
In reaction to the debate, a spokesperson for Toulouse Football Club said, “As far as we know, online gaming is the only illegal activity in France, which so far can be displayed without any risk. One can hardly imagine an ad of some illegal slot network appearing on players jerseys.”