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Online Casino Company Signs Deal with Premier UK Football Club 2006-04-09
After signing a two-year contract with Aston Villa, an online casino has become the second online gambling operator to sponsor a premier football team in the UK.
The deal comes just days after another online casino company failed to complete deals with Manchester United in a record 70m sponsorship tie-up. The new deal with Aston Villa is rumoured to be valued at around 1m, though the actual sum is, as yet, undisclosed.
The new contract, set to begin with the start of next season, comes on the heels of the online gaming industry's first premier football sponsorship deal, when one internet casino signed with Middlesbrough. The Middlesbrough deal has been lauded as a huge success.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has released a statement that it is concerned about a rapid rise in advertising and publicity from international offshore companies. However the 2005 Gambling Act will come into force, banning all operators based in countries not approved by the department from advertising in the UK.
The two companies currently in deals with UK Football teams are based in Gibraltar, which has already been exempted from the foreign company ban.
The newly established Gaming regulatory body, the Gambling Commission last week released a joint statement with the DCMS warning that under the 1968 Gaming Act, it was illegal to "invite" gamblers in the UK to place bets in advertisements, however "informing" citizens of online facilities is allowed under the law.
(By Ela)