It ain’t over till it’s over – some binary options brokers do not let go of sports partnerships

Maria Nikolova

Even after its deal with France’s PSG came to an end, OptionWeb finds a way of touting its partnership with the football club.

In January this year, FinanceFeeds reported about several French football clubs having terminated their partnerships with binary options brands amid new law requirements that prohibited all sorts of sponsorships and partnerships that result in the promotion of high-risk financial products like binary options. Amid the football teams to bring such partnerships to an end was Paris Saint-Germain, with its deal OptionWeb quietly terminated.

Whereas the story of the PSG-OptionWeb might seem to have come to an end, the website of the binary options brand shows otherwise. The French-language version of the website shows a number of sports news sources amid the partners of the binary options platform. The list includes ParisFans.fr – a website containing “all news about Paris Saint-Germain”.

It seems that the broker is seeking a way to continue to capitalize on the love of PSG fans even after the partnership is over. Apparently, PSG FC is trapped in one of those partnerships from which one cannot get out unscathed.

The French “Sapin 2” law, however, prohibits this type of advertising. It is important, of course, to see how the law is put to practice and whether the fines it envisages will be in fact imposed.

OptionWeb asserts to be operated by Spot Capital Markets Ltd, which is authorized in Cyprus. OptionWeb’s website, however, is not on the list of domains approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) for Spot Capital Markets Ltd.

The oversight methods of CySEC regarding binary options have raised eyebrows lately, as the regulator suspended four Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) licenses of binary options and FX brokers last Friday, only to change its mind about some of them on Monday.

In the meantime, CySEC has outlined proposals for changes in the regulation of binary options providers. The controversy in the latest actions of the regulator, however, sheds a shadow of doubt on whether and how these rules will be implemented.

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