The Belgian Pro League (BPL), the top soccer league in Belgium, has a new gambling partner. The sportsbook and iGaming operator bwin, one of the entities under the umbrella of GVC Holdings, has signed on with the organization in a sports gambling deal that will cover the next three seasons. The arrangement includes the BPL, the 1B Pro League and the Super Cup.
The agreement was reportedly facilitated with the help of Eleven Sports, an international sports broadcaster that will be involved in the arrangement. Game streaming rights will be given to bwin, which will allow the operator to put live matches up on its website, as well as its mobile platforms. The financial details of the arrangement haven’t been released.
The commercial head of bwin Benelux & Row, Steven Cartigny, is ready to dig in and develop a robust plan in Belgium. He explains, “bwin is extremely proud to become the exclusive betting partner of the Jupiler Pro League and Eleven Sports for the next three seasons. Thanks to its European sponsorship strategy, bwin has become a fixed value in the online sports and casino world. We also want to build a strong presence in Belgium.
“bwin has already set up a successful partnership with the German Football Association and Bundesliga 3. As a result of this positive experience, we now continue to focus on Belgian football. Belgium is a breeding ground for talented football players, who are doing a great job worldwide.”
Eleven Sports, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, is found in Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Poland and others. Its head of acquisitions and managing director for Belgium and Luxembourg, Guillaume Collard, adds, “We welcome bwin to the ‘Home of Belgian Football,’ our innovative project for Belgian football. We look forward to working together to champion bwin’s offering in a way that promotes responsible entertainment to fans.”
BPL CEO Pierre François expects the agreement to have a positive impact on soccer transparency and integrity, and a possible catalyst for global sports maturity. He explains, “Games of chance and betting can add an extra dimension to the football experience. However, each partner is aware of the risks of irresponsible behaviour. That’s why we are all committed to minimising the risks, each in his own role.
“In this partnership, bwin, the Pro League and Eleven Sports will focus on an overall prevention policy, the protection of players and the integrity of football as a whole. This cooperation will be measured at any time against the goals and best practice set out in the cooperation agreement between the Pro League and the Gaming Commission.”
Belgium’s gaming scene has had a few setbacks this year. The Belgian Gaming Commission came under fire in February for alleged ethics violations, and the country has been clamping down betting limits over concerns of exaggerated online gambling due to the coronavirus lockdown. Overall, though, Belgium continues to have one of the better online gaming markets found anywhere.