The two-year ban on signing agreements with sports betting and fantasy companies for men’s tennis tournaments was lifted by the ATP Tour.
After receiving advice from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) following a number of match fixing incidents in 2018, the ATP Tour took the decision to bar tournaments from establishing alliances with gambling operators, however it seems that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and the elite tour feel enough has been done to curb illegal activity.
ATP Tour Director Eddie Gonzalez reported in his statement to SBJ: “We’re very appreciative of the support from the board. This has happened under Andrea [Gaudenzi] 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 claims that “six figures plus per event” might be worth new agreements.
He also announced that the sponsorship rights of seven US-based 250 and 500 level ATP tournaments have been bundled together, meaning that new sports betting and daily fantasy partners will look at seven-figure deals to jointly partner these events.
Sports betting and fantasy categories are available for tournaments at the 250 and 500 tiers under the new rules.
However, as top-tier Masters 1000 events will only be allowed to allow sports fantasy categories, the ATP has not fully backtracked from the decision taken in 2018.
Title sponsorships or associations with sports betting or fantasy companies are also forbidden, and it is important to instal on-court branding signage at an appropriate distance from the chair of the umpire and the bench of the player.
Interestingly, the latest announcement comes after a series of events in which two tennis players were issued with serious penalties for breaching the sports betting laws, one in Algeria and one in Spain respectively, as well as a French line umpire.