PSG Enlists Controversial Russian Betting Sponsor 1xBet

Lionel Messi playing for Paris Saint Germain

Paris Saint-Germain will be sponsored by Russian-founded 1xBet, which has caused some controversy. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Regional restrictions

French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has partnered with controversial betting platform 1xBet for the next three seasons.

faced a slew of scandals and has been banned in many EU countries

1xBet will serve as PSG’s regional sponsor in Asia and Africa, but will not be featured in France or Europe, where the Parisian giants play. The Russian company has already faced a slew of scandals and has been banned in many EU countries.

The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but will be extended to other regions after the first year.

The climate of betting partnerships

1xBet appears to be in a rebranding period, having moved its headquarters to Cyprus. With the help of its partners, it is now operational in over 20 countries.

The company’s contentious history did not move PSG, which is happy to welcome its new partner.

1xBet is well established in continents where the club has a great many supporters.”

“1xBet is well established in continents where the club has a great many supporters,” said PSG chief partnerships officer Marc Armstrong. “1xBet is an ambitious stakeholder in the world of online sports betting and, by collaborating with Paris Saint-Germain, hopes to consolidate its position as a leader in many countries.”

1xBet’s portfolio is expansive. On top of its new deal with PSG, the second-richest club in the world, it is a global sponsor of FC Barcelona in Spain and the Italian Serie A’s official oddsmaker. The Russia-founded company was also a sponsor of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The decision comes during an uncertain time for gambling’s future. Organizations such as the English Premier League are heavily considering banning gambling sponsorships.

Meanwhile, Italy’s “Dignity Decree” effectively bans any gambling advertisements, which has hurt soccer teams.

1xBet, scandals, and recent operations

PSG is facing backlash from its new deal because of its partner’s history.

In 2019, 1xBet’s UK website was taken offline after a newspaper’s investigation sparked a regulatory probe. The Sunday Times revealed that the site was promoting a “pornhub casino” which portrayed topless croupiers.

1xBet was accepting wagers on cockfighting and U19 athletics

It was later revealed that 1xBet was accepting wagers on cockfighting and U19 athletics and was promoting its services on video-sharing websites, a practice banned by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in 2016.

The company is also prohibited from operating in France and several other European countries.

1xBet most recently served as 2021 Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais’ partner in the 2021-22 season. That deal was also regionally-based in Africa and promoted the company during televised matches.

PSG’s season kicks off on Saturday, August 6 with a match against Clermont Foot, which finished 17th in last season’s table.

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