Bwin’s Real Sponsorship Against ‘Competition Laws’ in Spain

February 25, 2011

Codere, a Spanish bingo hall, casino and betting outlet operator, has gone to court to challenge the shirt sponsorship deal between La Liga soccer giants Real Madrid and online gaming giant Bwin.

Codere is raising a claim that Bwin’s advertising contravenes competition laws in the country at the Madrid Commercial Court. Codere’s claim has stated that “Bwin carries out unfair advertising, competing unfairly in Spain with authorised operators such as Codere”.

The online gaming company’s name has adorned the home and away shirts of Real Madrid since the start of the 2007-08 season, and in 2009 the two parties agreed an extension through to 2013 reportedly worth in excess of US$27.5m per year.

Online betting companies that have struck shirt sponsorship deals have run into opposition in several European countries in recent years, including France and Germany, although the legislation against such firms is gradually being relaxed.

A statement from Codere read: “Authorised gambling operators in Spain are not permitted to advertise or may only do so subject to stringent restrictions and after obtaining authorisation from the authority.

“Neither are authorised operators able to operate games through the internet, although they have the necessary technology and expertise to do so, since these games are prohibited in Spain and in some cases may be activities liable for prosecution in the context of criminal law.”