Gambling with their future?

Recent legislation attempts in Poland may begin to have a negative effect on sports sponsorship in that country. Polish lawmakers have proposed a ban of online gambling and bookkeeping, which would allow only brick and mortar casinos to carry on. This news coming at a time of economic turmoil around the world could prove devastating to the sports industry in Poland. Currently over 50 million zloties (roughly $18 million) are pumped into Polish sports each year, with soccer teams like Wisla Krakow and Lech Poznan relying heavily on gambling sponsors like Bet-at-Home and BetClick.

With this legislation on the table, sporting teams in Poland are running a risk by having reliance on these companies. Along with a ban on gambling will come a ban on any gambling related marketing and advertising, including sponsorships. This would leave teams without funding for their programs, and ultimately scrambling for cash.

In light of this situation, it will be interesting to see what plans these properties have for their future. Certainly one would believe that in moving forward they would take a more cautious approach when accepting sponsors, keeping a close eye on potential legal troubles. Also, when dealing with gambling and other companies that birth moral questioning, should these properties also be concerned with how they are perceived by the public? In the coming year we’ll keep a close eye on how this pending situation takes place.

6 responses to “Gambling with their future?

  1. Great post!

    It’s unfortunate that in today’s economy a government would try to keep money off the table. All the more intriguing is the fact that American leagues (notably the NFL and MLB) have relaxed restrictions this past year on casino and lottery sponsors.

    From an economical and sponsorship trends perspective, Poland definitely seems to be swimming against the stream with this legislation.

  2. Too true Rob, these measures from the Polish seem counter productive, taking money out of sports and limiting trade – not the objectives many governments have in mind during a recession. I would think now more than ever we need interconnected economies and less boundaries between states, so I’m supporting campaigns like http://www.right2bet.net so markets are opened and businesses drag us up and out.

  3. I agree that a general limiting of advertising and sponsorships to products / services that are legal seems to be hypocritical. Especially if the product is heavily taxed to produce gov’t income.(MSA in the US comes to mind).

    But, and this may not be the case in Poland, I do think their may need to be a little “Church & State” between the gambling category, and a sponsored sporting event.

    IE: Could it be argued that a sports team / league with close financial ties to a gambling facility — which pays out wagers based on the outcome of that same sporting event — may have a credibility problem should they “blow” a big lead, that just happens to fall under the points spread?

    Sound unlikely? Maybe for major US sports teams, but think about the financial realities of a second tier Polish football club.

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