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Jumbo-Visma is partnering with an online betting platform as part of a new three-year deal.
BetCity, a Dutch online gaming operator, will be featured on the jerseys of the newly crowned Tour de France-winning team in 2023.
Officials confirmed to VeloNews the team’s naming rights will remain as Jumbo-Visma in 2023, with BetCity’s name and logo on the sides of the jersey for all WorldTour riders beginning next season. The contract runs until January 1, 2025, team officials confirmed Monday.
In a released statement, team director Richard Plugge said that the team “is aware of the societal controversy around internet gambling,” but stated that the team, “as always, proceeded carefully.”
“Although we are aware that working with this new partner may be regarded critically, we have been well-informed and advised,” Plugge said Monday. “BetCity was one of the Netherlands’s first to receive a government license.
“It has been very open and transparent in all discussions concerning its working practices, standards, and values,” Plugge said. “These are essential conditions for us. Together with BetCity, we look forward to making this partnership a success.”
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Officials said the arrival of the new partner will allow the team “to pursue its … sporting goals for the upcoming season partly because of BetCity’s sponsorship.”
A dollar amount involved in the three-year deal was not revealed, but partner rights are typically lower than naming rights for a major team, which can run well into eight figures.
Officials said BetCity will make “significant investments” to promote cycling as a recreational sport, a press release stated.
The partnership could ruffle some feathers, however.
Some critics point out how online betting can have negative impacts on some users, while others — including UCI president David Lappartient — have expressed concerns about betting inside the peloton.
The website is one of the Netherlands’ leading online sports betting and gaming operators. Headquartered in Amsterdam, BetCity received an online sports betting and gaming license from the Dutch Gaming and Gambling Authority in October 2021, according to media reports.
BetCity grew to control 20 percent of the Dutch market, prompting Entain — one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups with operations in five continents — to buy out the company in June 2022 in a deal that could be worth as much as $850 million.
Users can use the BetCity platform to place bets on cycling events, including the Tour de France, Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, and Tour of Flanders.
The odds now that Jonas Vingegaard — a Jumbo-Visma rider — will defend his yellow jersey in 2023 are at 2.50-to-1, according to the BetCity website.
Cycling is just a small sliver of the platform’s different gaming and betting options, however, with major sports, such as European football, major U.S. league sports, hockey, and darts, offering thousands of betting opportunities.
New partner alert!
Vanaf 1 januari is @BetCity_NL partner van Team Jumbo-Visma.
Het logo is in 2023 en 2024 te zien op het shirt van onze World Tour-renners. Zo kunnen we ook komend seizoen de sportieve ambities van onze ploeg nastreven. 🙌 #samenwinnen
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) December 19, 2022
Online betting and gaming is booming worldwide, with an estimated $60 billion annually spent on online sports betting in 2021.
That number is expected to continue to grow, especially in the U.S. market as more states begin to regulate and offer online gaming and betting within their jurisdictions.
Officials said BetCity will not be featured on children’s jerseys that are sold on Jumbo-Visma’s team web shop. The logo position will be available to Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur, officials said Monday.