The international tennis tour has lifted its two-year ban on deals with sports betting and fantasy sports operators.
UK.- The ATP Tour, the worldwide top-tier tennis tour, has lifted a two-year ban that prohibited men’s tennis tournaments from signing deals with sports betting and fantasy firms.
The ban was implemented on the recommendation of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) following a spate of match fixing incidents in 2018. Now ATP tour director Eddie Gonzalez said the ban would be lifted following work to tackle match fixing in the sport.
Deals with sports betting and fantasy operators will now be permitted for tournaments at the 250 and 500 levels. Top-tier Masters 1000 events will only be permitted to allow fantasy sports sponsorships.
Title sponsorships or presentation partnerships with sports betting or fantasy firms remain prohibited, and on-court branding must appear at a distance from the umpire’s chair and the players’ benches.
Gonzalez also revealed that seven US-based 250 and 500 level ATP tournaments have packaged sponsorship rights together to allow sports betting and fantasy partners to collectively sponsor the tournaments in deals that could come with price tags of up to seven figures.
He said: “This is a great move for ATP Tour events to be able to secure revenue in a new category.”
The Tennis Integrity Unit has dealt several heavy punishments of late, including banning a French line judge for 18 months betting.
It also banned Bulgarian multiple title winner Aleksandrina Naydenova for life for match-fixing. The body will rebrand as the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) from January 1.