La Liga clubs could lose betting sponsorships under new gambling law

By Violeta Prockyte

Spanish football clubs that are sponsored by betting companies might have to cancel their contracts, according to a letter sent out by the minister of consumer affairs Alberto Garzon. He informed the clubs the contracts with betting companies will be prohibited by the new gambling advertising law, which will come into effect once the royal decree is approved by a cabinet meeting. 

According to Reuters, because the athletes are seen as role models, the advertising led to a rise of gambling among young people in Spain (aged 18-25), which increased from 29% to 40% in the last fours year. The amount of money young people spent on gambling rose by 13% annually.

The letter stated the sponsored teams had “contributed to normalising a practice with serious health and social risks which need to be minimised in the field of advertising.”

Seven of the 20 teams in La Liga are sponsored by gambling companies. La Liga president Javier Tebas stated that under the new law, the clubs would lose a combined €90m ($105m). The clubs were given a transition period that ends in May, but the league wished to extend the period for up to three years.

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