The Spanish Grupo Codere casino operator has taken action against the online gambling company Bwin's sponsorship of Real Madrid. Codere claims Bwin's shirt sponsorship violates the Spanish law on advertising.
The online gambling company Bwin is also accused of being guilty of unfair competition against authorized operators of gambling. Grupo Codere demands that Bwin, based in Gibraltar, ends its shirt sponsorship of Real Madrid and will stop advertising in Spain altogether. A complaint regarding this issue was filed with the Commercial Court in Madrid.
Bwin and Real Madrid started their collaboration four years ago and the shirt sponsorship contract is worth 20 million euros per year. "Grupo Codere has always recognized that operators of gambling in Spain should participate in the principal of not advertising but if undertaking in the practice of advertising that this should be done only under very strict conditions and with prior approval and the permission of government regulators," notes the magazine Sportbusiness.com on.
"The casino operators have also recognized that they are not allowed to organize or operate any online gambling activities, even if they have the necessary technology and expertise," Grupo Codere went on to say. "This type of activity is banned in Spain and in some cases, criminally prosecuted."
European football clubs found an important source of sponsorship in the online gaming industry, but this has led to problems, including in France and Germany. The contract between Bwin and Real Madrid has still two years to run.