The online casino crackdown in Germany has now started affecting the football teams in the country as some of them have sports betting sponsors. The German media reported on Friday that the Ministry of the Interior for the state of Baden-Würtemberg wrote a letter to the German Football Association (DFB) expression concern over one of their sponsors.
Bwin, the sports betting brand of GVC holdings, owner of William Hill, that is one of the DFB’s sponsors was offering gambling products considered illegal under the country’s law. The letter was issued in support of other states. It said that Bwin offers sports betting product- its original product, alongside “online casino and slot games.” The Ministry clarified that the law considered these activities illegal and warned that if no changes are seen in the near future, Bwin could be prohibited from advertising altogether.
The letter has proven that German authorities are serious about their views on sponsorships. German broadcasters may be asked to air any football matches that feature the logos of Bwin or any other German online gambling operators. Tipico is one such company that sponsors Bundesliga (DFL) and even popular teams like Bayern Munich.
As far as Bwin is concerned, it has had sponsorship ties with the DFB since 2017. It extended its existing sponsorship with the DFB till the end of 2022 which secured it the advertising rights to the DFB Cup, the third-tier Liga by the DFB and the Women’s Bundesliga. Bwin is also sponsoring some independent German football teams, including Borussia Dortmund.
Last week, media reports stated that the German state telecom regulatory bodies had sent letters to radio and television broadcasters warning them about airing commercials that promote online casino products. After this, the number of online casino promos on German broadcast stations has decreased significantly.
These warnings come at a time when the representatives of 16 German landers are preparing to sign the latest version of their federal gambling treaty. The newly revised treaty will extend the temporary toleration regime for sports betting until June 30, 2021. After that, the Germans can expect a permanent regulatory environment.
The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein intends to signs the new treaty, but it wants a carve-out that allows it to renew 19 online casino licenses that it issued in 2012. All these licenses expired earlier this year. Dirk Schrödter, the head of Schleswig-Holstein’s chancellery said that the 16 landers were “not far apart” on sports betting issues, but in some cases, their state has a very different view of online gambling. The opposition parties of the state aren’t keen on the decision.