It is well known that in Qatar, which is shaped by Islam, there is a completely different value system than in Europe. In the emirate on the Persian Gulf, not only homosexuality, but also gambling, among other things, is almost completely forbidden. But how does this attitude fit with the fact that the World Cup featured many sponsors from the gambling and crypto industries?
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Just over a month ago we reported on the controversial start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The soccer World Cup is now over. However, the criticism in all areas does not abate: there are still reports about the sometimes human rights-violating living conditions in Qatar. It is well known that gambling is completely forbidden in the Islamic desert state. Even before the tournament started, those responsible asked the incoming tourists to respect the local culture. But how does this claim fit in with the fact that several gambling and crypto companies were directly or indirectly active as sponsors for the 2022 World Cup?
Betting providers and crypto platforms as sponsors of teams and FIFA
As early as mid-November, the FAZ published an article about gambling and speculation in the desert. The article can be accessed online here. Despite the fact that the Islamic world takes a critical view of issues such as gambling and crypto trading, several sponsors from these same sectors were active at the World Cup.
An example: The official sports betting sponsor of the German national soccer team is bwin. Just a few weeks ago we reported that bwin had received its first license for online poker. In addition, the operator Entain has received additional licenses for virtual slot machines for the brands bwin, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet, among others. As of next year, Interwetten is the new sponsor of the German national soccer team. In any case, the sheikhs in Qatar do not seem to have bothered.
In Qatar, both brick-and-mortar bookmakers and online bookmakers are banned. Anyone caught illegally betting in Qatar can face a fine of up to 824 euros. In special circumstances, a prison sentence of up to three months is even possible.
Crypto exchange also major sponsor of the soccer World Cup
In addition, the Singapore-based crypto exchange Crypto.com also appeared as a key sponsor at this year’s World Cup. It is quite astonishing that those responsible did not feel disturbed by the sponsorship activities of companies from the gambling and crypto sector. By the way, back in January of this year we reported on a study that came to the conclusion that gambling sponsorship is unpopular in sports.
Likewise, in October 2021, the answer to the question of whether crypto trading can also be addictive was discussed.
After almost a month, what is probably the most controversial World Cup in FIFA history has come to an end. The obvious double standards displayed by hosts Qatar are always surprising. On the one hand there was a strong call to accept the local culture. On the other hand, the sheikhs have obviously accepted sponsors from the gambling and crypto business.