ATP Tour lifts betting sponsorship ban
ATP Tour has officially lifted the two-year ban on men’s tennis tournaments signing agreements with sports betting and fantasy firms.
The ATP Tour decided to ban tournaments from joining partnerships with gambling operators after it sought help from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) after countless match fixing incidents in 2018. It now appears that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and the elite tour believe enough has been done to fight all types of unlawful activity.
ATP Tour Director Eddie Gonzalez stated: “We’re very appreciative of the support from the board. This has happened under Andrea coming in as our new chairman in a very difficult year, so we appreciate that. This is a great move for ATP Tour events to be able to secure revenue in a new category.”
Gonzalez is convinced that new agreements might be worth ‘six figures plus per event’.
Furthermore, he revealed that seven US-based 250 and 500 level ATP tournaments have merged their sponsorship rights together, meaning new sports betting and daily fantasy partners could be looking at seven-figure deals to partner these events en masse. Under the new rules sports betting and fantasy categories are open to tournaments at the 250 and 500 levels
The ATP has not entirely backtracked from the decision taken in 2018, as top-tier Masters 1000 events will solely be allowed to allow sports fantasy categories. Title sponsorships or presenting partnerships with sports betting or fantasy firms are still banned, and on-court branding signage should be installed at an acceptable distance from the umpire’s chair and the player’s bench.
What is interesting is that the recent announcement comes after a bunch of incidents in which two tennis players (one in Algeria and one in Spain), as well as a French line umpire, were issued with harsh penalties for violating the sports betting regulations.