04/02/2012 : BETCLIC TO CALL IT A DAY IN PORTUGAL?
Litigation by gambling monopoly could have disastrous effects for football sponsorships provided by online gambling companies
The litigious actions of Portuguese gambling monopoly Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa, which has launched successful civil actions against Betclic, Bwin and other European internet gambling groups, could have a pronounced negative impact on football in that country, which the online companies have strongly supported through sponsorships.
In the latest development, Betclic has confirmed to the newspaper Publico that it is about to exit the Portuguese market. If that withdrawal includes an end to its sponsorship program, as seems inevitable, it will adversely impact some 28 regional soccer clubs, sports observers have noted.
Betclic defended itself against Santa Casa in a Lisbon civil court recently but was unsuccessful in heading off bans on its advertising in the country. Had it continued its marketing efforts, it would have faced punitive daily fines and the possibility of ISP blocks by telecomm firm Anacom.
However, the court refused to grant an order for costs in favour of Santa Casa, and Betclic was given 30 days to lodge an appeal against the finding; it is uncertain whether it availed itself of this opportunity.