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Riot denies policy change on allowing gambling sponsors for VALORANT organizations

Not so fast.

Organizations competing in Riot-sanctioned tournaments in VALORANT will not be allowed to partner with betting companies, contrary to reports.

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Today it was reported by Turkish news outlet Esporkolik that VALORANT organizations may be eligible to partner with gambling companies in the future, which would symbolize a major shift in policy since Riot has stated previously that the partnerships are off-limits. Riot has confirmed that teams will be unable to partner with gambling companies in a statement to Dot Esports.

“While there has been no change in the current policy regarding approved team sponsor categories, we will continue to evaluate all opportunities that deliver safe, secure, and meaningful experiences that best support the growth of our esports ecosystem globally,” a spokesperson for Riot told Dot Esports.

“Riot remains committed to investing in opportunities that ensure the integrity of all our esports, enable great experiences for fans, and unlock revenue streams for our teams.”

Dot Esports spoke to several team owners that said they were aware Riot is open to the policy change, but it remains unlikely due to strict gambling regulations in Europe, for example. A North American team owner told Dot Esports they were not aware of a policy change.

Gambling sponsorships are lucrative investment opportunities for organizations. Many traditional sports teams are partnered with betting companies across multi-year deals. English Premier League club West Ham is sponsored by Betway, while NBA teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors are also partnered with Betway, according to their website.

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George Geddes
George is an investigative journalist from the United Kingdom.