REAL Madrid are in danger of losing their lucrative shirt sponsorship with Gibraltar-based gambling firm Bwin after a court ruled the deal breaks competition laws.
The agreement was deemed to violate strict advertising rules, which state that companies operating in Spain must be licensed by the Spanish authorities.
The online betting company – which is licensed and regulated in Gibraltar – signed a reported 23 million euro-per-year deal with the Spanish giants in 2009.
The agreement was an extension of a deal struck ahead of the 2007-08 season and will see Bwin’s name displayed on the famous white shirt until 2013.
The case was brought before Madrid’s Commercial Court by rival gambling firm Codere, who successfully argued that Bwin was competing unfairly in Spain.
The ruling states that ‘any offering of gaming or betting activity that has not been granted a prior administrative authorisation is, indisputably, prohibited’.
The case is the latest in a number of similar actions to be brought against gaming companies operating in Spain from so-called tax havens.