FIFA has its first gambling sponsor for the Women’s World Cup, announcing a deal Monday with the New Zealand state monopoly betting agency TAB.
FIFA said TAB will be promoted in the four New Zealand stadiums at the July 20-Aug. 20 tournament being co-hosted with Australia. The value of the sponsorship was not disclosed.
The deal follows a gambling sponsorship for FIFA at the men’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar, also in the third-tier “supporter” category, to promote the Betano brand in Europe.
The New Zealand betting agency returns commission to sports it takes bets on, and paid NZ$2.4 million ($1.48 million) to the national soccer federation last year.
Soccer bodies are increasingly making deals with the gambling sector even as their own rules bar players, referees and officials from betting on games or having financial interests in betting industry operators.
UEFA signed betting operator bwin to a three-year deal in 2021 for the Europa League and Europa Conference League.
The English Premier League has agreed to reduce the prominence of betting sponsors on team jerseys though not for three more seasons.
Match-fixing in soccer has long been connected to betting syndicates and unregulated markets, particularly in Asia.