August 30 – Love them or hate them? Bookmakers – online Asian firms in particular – have ploughed sponsorship money into Europe’s football clubs with AS Roma being the latest to announce a deal. But not everyone is so comfortable taking their money with PSV Eindhoven going to their fans for their opinion on a potential deal.
Serie A’s AS Roma this week signed a new online bookmaker sponsor with Allwin City’s AWCBET.com brand taking over from KB88 as the club’s regional partner in Asia.
Francesco Calvo, chief revenue officer at AS Roma, happily trumpeted: “We are proud to announce this partnership, the second agreement signed with a leading brand in Asia over the last few years.
“This is an agreement that confirms, once again, the club’s strategic development objectives – with a particular focus on important markets like Asia.”
The marketing will be based around digital platforms and new media. Andrew Wong, Brand Director at AWCBET.com, said: “I believe this partnership will create a new journey as a premium brand for all of our fans, and it will be a great adventure for us.”
Not everyone has the same unbridled enthusiasm for bookmaker promotion. PSV Eindhoven has written to season ticket holders requesting their views on gambling sponsorship, with a potential deal estimated to be worth between €1 – 1.5 million a year ready to be signed off.
Harrie Timmermans, the chairman of the PSV Supporters’ Association, said: “We have had internal discussions about this (the deal).
“It’s a bit of a grey area. This will soon be legal and will bring money to the club, but it is too easy to regard everything that brings in money as desirable.”
Ajax and Feyenoord are also reportedly reviewing the possibility of striking partnerships with gambling operators.
Not everyone in Holland is concerned about gambling. In March the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch regulator, is going through the process of opening up the country’s gaming industry further. The country’s Senate approved the Remote Gaming Act after two and a half years of debate, with the Act due to come into force from July 1, 2020.
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