Chile, Sports Betting Limit Affects Soccer Sponsorships

September 27, 2023 | Sponsorship

CHILE (September 22, 2023) — Chile, sports betting limit affects soccer sponsorships. Chile’s new limits on the sports betting industry leave soccer teams with fewer sponsors and resources.

Chile sports betting football

Justices at Chile’s Supreme Court decided last week that almost all sports betting operators active in the country are operating illegally.

As anticipated, the ruling is impacting Chilean sports, especially its soccer industry, as teams break their sponsorship agreements with betting houses.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, dealt a severe blow to online betting operators and football with its decision.

Many of these operators support local football teams, as well as the main national championship. The only company that avoided falling into the network was the state gaming and lottery agency, La Polla Chilena de Beneficencia.

In particular, Betsson and Betway are likely to be the most affected by the decision. Betsson has paid a lot of money to be part of Chilean soccer and Betway was the main sponsor of a handful of local teams. Both operators are now sidelined.

News of the ban resonated around the world, reaching Malta and Sweden, where Betsson’s operations and shareholders are based. The company paid $2.5 million to the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) to get its foot in the door, later increasing its contribution to $8 million.

The previous sponsor of the championship, the financial entity AFP Planvital, paid $500,000 for the same rights.

Sponsored clubs

In Argentina, since the beginning of this year, Betsson has sponsored Boca Juniors in a deal worth $7.5 million. He also sponsors clubs in other countries, including Spain and Peru, and is the title sponsor of the latter’s Liga 1. Betsson is also behind the Pernambuco Championship in Brazil and sponsored the Copa América 2021.

The contract with the highest body of Chilean football was already faltering before the Supreme Court issued its ruling. On August 31, the Undersecretary of Justice ordered the ANFP to terminate any contract linking the association with Betsson within a period of 30 business days.

It also had to eliminate any reference to the company on its website and in any other public media, as well as change the name of its First Division A and B championships.

The ANFP opposed the decision and hired a lawyer to file an appeal against that order. However, after the intervention of the Supreme Court, everything came to a standstill and now the ANFP breaks its contract with Betsson.

Online game

Virtually all Chilean soccer teams have an online betting operator as a sponsor on their shirts, all of which has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

Any attempt to circumvent the order and maintain a contract could lead to legal and financial problems.

Five teams, Unión La Calera, Everton de Viña del Mar, Ñublense, Audax Italiano and Coquimbo Unidos, will break with Betway. They had jointly announced their sponsorships in January 2022, becoming the first to sign such agreements. Since then, others have joined, with Unión Española being the only team in the National Championship without one of these platforms as a sponsor.

The sports rights management company 1190 Sports, an intermediary between the teams and Betway, notified the teams to end the sponsorship relationship. They will reportedly finalize their split in the coming days after contacting Betway and opening a dialogue about what happens next.

There is no complete data on the total value of the sponsorships combined or how much Betway has given out already. Each contract, including that of Betsson, will need to be reviewed individually to determine financial responsibilities and refunds, if any.


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