The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has decided to once again allow sports betting and daily fantasy sponsorships due to the Covid-19 situation, after a two-year ban.
Moratorium on Tournament Betting Sponsors Lifted
For the first time since 2018, the ATP has decided to authorize bets and daily fantasy sponsorships for ATP hosted events. The organization decided this Thursday that enough progress had been accomplished to lift the prohibition and for tournament sponsorships to be allowed.
According to The Sports Business Journal, this authorization includes betting and daily fantasy sponsorship, which will be available at the 250 and 500 levels. Masters 1000 events such as the BNP Paribas Open will only be able to go after daily fantasy partnerships, for example with operators such as DraftKings or FanDuel.
Tournament director of the Atlanta Open Eddie Gonzalez confirmed the revised policy. However, there will be some exceptions as tournaments are not yet permitted to form title or have sponsorships.
Gonzalez said the support provided by the board was appreciated, as Andrea Gaudenzi stepped in as the new chairman during the pandemic and facilitated much of the negotiation. He confirmed already being in dialogue with different partners to reach a new agreement regarding the Atlanta Open after the ban is revoked.
“This is a great move for ATP Tour events to be able to secure revenue in a new category,” he said.
While the tedious pandemic situation continues, this change of policy is necessary as events all around the world look for a solution to boost cash flow. Gonzalez welcomed this additional source of revenue the ATP Tour is now looking to tap into.
While Indian Wells is still debating whether to host events or not, Auckland, New York, and Pune have already they would refrain from hosting their respective events given the circumstances.
Tennis Ethical Values at Stake
This sponsorship ban was originally introduced because of rampant corruption in the sports sector, particularly at minor tournaments, revealed by an independent investigation, at the recommendation of the International Review Panel.
The BBC and BuzzFeed News reported back in 2016 that at least 16 of the top 50 players were identified by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) in the last 10 years as suspected of fixing games: the inquiry was initiated following the publication.
Yet, the governing bodies were exonerated of any crime and none of the perpetrators was named.
The ATP is committed to maintaining ethical standards and integrity in professional tennis. The anti-corruption body, TIU, has been established with the help of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the WTA, and the ATP.
Recently, the TIU banned pro-tennis player Aleksandrina Naydenova for 12 violations related to match-fixing and the organization wants to ensure that these types of breaches do not reoccur.