win.party has stated the court’s decision goes against European law, with a spokesman adding: “One cannot aggressively advertise and expand games on the one hand and keep foreign competition out on the other hand.” Bwin's lawyer, Eduardo Serra Jorge, said: “It is time for the state to legislate and tax online gambling instead of banning it. Regulating it is in the interest of the consumer, the economy and the state budget.”
Bwin.party has a major presence in the country’s football market and Reuters reports that Monday's ruling, covering tax and regulatory issues, could set a precedent for sponsorship deals between other online gambling companies and sports clubs and associations. Betclic sponsors a range of Portuguese clubs including Sporting Braga, while Betfair is also present in the market.
Bwin.party currently sponsors the Taca da Liga competition to the tune of Eur4 million. The deal with the Portuguese Football League (LPFP) is now under threat, but the League has signalled its intention to appeal the decision by claiming the judgment could threaten the health of the national game. The LPFP said: “As of Monday, the Portuguese professional football league is obliged to remove all advertising that refers to Bwin.”