Isle of Man-licensed NordicBet.com has angered the Swedish Ice Hockey Association after an advert for the online sportsbetting site appeared prominently at a hockey festival in the northeastern city of Umea.
The Association claims that host team IF Bjorkloven broke the terms of an agreement signed with Svenska Spel that forbids member clubs from promoting competitors to the State-owned operator. NordicBet.com allegedly also distributed promotional materials at the ice hockey festival and the Association has threatened to take action against the second-tier team in the form of a heavy fine.
”We should have the opportunity to support the general public in Sweden,” said Kenneth Engstrom, Marketing Manager for NordicBet.com.
”These clubs have little money as it is.”
He stated that the tournament was between three local teams and one from Finland and did not concern the domestic professional game. In addition, he said that individual teams should be allowed to choose their own partners and that NordicBet.com would help with any fines that might be imposed.
Bedros Sakayan, Chief Executive Officer for IF Bjorkloven, stated that he believed that the agreement with Svenska Spel was only applicable during competitive games during the regular season but that the team would take full responsibility for any wrongdoing.
The Association recently negotiated a four-year sponsorship deal with Svenska Spel that will see it receive $21.47 million, which is due to be split between member clubs. However, the majority of this sponsorship money is earmarked for teams in the top division, the Swedish Elite League, rather than those in the lower Allsvenskan league.