New Zealand TAB has struck a deal with FIFA to become the first gambling sponsor of the Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
TAB is a government-owned monopoly that oversees gambling and sports betting in New Zealand. The agency returns a commission to sports organizations it takes bets on, and paid $1.48 million to New Zealand’s national soccer federation last year, reports the AP.
FIFA’s inaugural gambling sponsorship came last year when it signed a deal with European brand Betano to be promoted at the men’s World Cup in Qatar. The governing body’s embrace of the gambling sector comes as several of its major league members — including the English Premier League, Spain’s LaLiga, and Italy’s Serie A — have enacted rules to restrict teams from promoting gambling companies.
Serie A clubs have not been allowed to be sponsored by betting brands since 2019, while LaLiga has done the same since 2021. Starting with the 2025-26 season, English Premier League teams will not be allowed to have front-of-shirt gambling sponsors.
New Zealand TAB signed a $545 million, 25-year deal with gambling firm Entain in May to expand horse race betting in the country. Fellow Women’s World Cup sponsor Visa is debuting a new program to give $500,000 in grant funding to women small business owners, with 64 women to be selected across the 64-game tournament.