Italian football giants Inter Milan have agreed to a regional partnership deal with the sports betting operator HAPPYBET.
HAPPYBET offers its services in Germany and Austria and already has a deal with AC Milan.
What did Inter say about the deal?
In a press release on the club website, the Milanese outfit — which won Serie A last season for the first time in a decade — said: “The HAPPYBET brand stands for reliability and expertise in German and Austrian markets. In 2017, the company was acquired by the Playtech group, a leading gaming company operating in 24 different countries that has also controlled Snaitech since 2018.
The club continued: “A predilection for innovation is the key value that links the two brands and seals the partnership, as proven by the visibility that the HAPPYBET brand will receive in selected European countries on the Virtual Cam Carpets and on LED boards around the pitch during Inter’s home games at the Stadio San Siro thanks to the innovative Digital Overlay geolocation technology adopted by the club.
“The new partnership also includes further exclusive initiatives that will be launched throughout the season that will promote the HAPPYBET brand to the large fan base of one of the most iconic clubs at an international level.”
Gambling advertising laws in Italy
In the UK, the Gambling Act of 2005 is currently under review. Considering that other countries have already overhauled their regulations, many eyes have looked over to the European mainland.
Since 2019, gambling advertising in Italy has been heavily restricted. Operators aren’t allowed to carry out any form of commercial marketing in the country.
However, the impact of COVID-19 is being felt on Italian football. Although supporters have returned to stadiums, most of the 2020-2021 season was played behind closed doors — along with the end of the 2019-2020 campaign.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has argued that a two-year ban lifting would be a good idea, along with suggesting that a fund should be created for supporting sporting initiatives across Italy.
FIGC President Gabrielle Gravina said: “We are at a crossroads; we must act quickly to prevent the professional football crisis from obliging the clubs to block their activity, thus bringing the entire sports sector to its knees, the companies of the 12 product sectors connected to it and the entire country system, with an undesirable decrease in direct and indirect tax contributions.
“We did not ask the government for refreshments, rather to recognise the socio-economic importance that football has through the adoption of some urgent measures to relieve the clubs from the crisis generated by COVID-19. Football can play a decisive role in Italy’s overall recovery.”
Inter’s title defence faltering
After winning the Serie A title relatively comfortably last year, Inter have struggled to replicate last season’s form domestically.
Title-winning boss Antonio Conte left last summer and was replaced by fellow Italian Simone Inzaghi. Several key players, including Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku, also left.
Inter currently sit third in Serie A with 18 points, 10 behind AC Milan — who have played a game more.