MADRID: Spanish football clubs sponsored by betting companies have been advised to cancel their contracts before the end of the season in anticipation of a new law on gambling advertising, according to Reuters.
The agency has reported seeing a letter from consumer affairs Minister Alberto Garzon which informs clubs that contracts with gambling companies will be prohibited once the new royal decree is approved by a cabinet meeting and written into law.
The decree, which affects all sports in Spain, contains a transition period which ends when the current season terminates next May.
It said athletes’ status as role models had led to an increase in gambling among young people aged 18-25, rising from 29% to 40% in the last four years. The amount of money spent by young people on gambling, meanwhile, had risen by 13% annually.
Seven of the 20 teams in Spanish soccer’s top division La Liga are sponsored by gambling companies, including Europa League holders Sevilla and six-times league champions Valencia.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas has spoken out against the decree, saying on Monday that clubs would lose a combined 90 million euros and that the league was trying to increase the transition period to up to three years to help teams acclimatise.