As Rangers ran out 4-3 winners against Royal Antwerp more than a few bears would’ve noticed that the club had changed their sponsor for this tie on the front of the club’s away strip.

Ordinarily, the Gers shirt’s main sponsor is 32 Red but for this clash, the club had changed to Unibet in a move that drew particular confusion considering they are both gambling companies.

Royal Antwerp FC v Rangers FC - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
Unibet were the main sponsors on the Rangers jersey against Royal Antwerp in a major amendment to the club’s strip. (Photo by Jasper Jacobs/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

We’ve seen in the past the Gers being forced to cover up gambling sponsors whilst on their European adventures and this is a pretty unique case of moving from one gambling company to another.

But why?

Well, firstly, whilst online casino company 32 Red are the Gers main shirt sponsors the club also have an official partnership with sports betting company Unibet.

But most importantly in Belgium only gambling companies who have been licensed by the nation’s authorities can be used as a sponsor.

In December 2020, the Belgian Gaming Commission and the country’s Jupiler Pro League introduced a series of responsible advertising guidelines.

According to European Gaming, these guidelines prevent partnerships between the Jupiler Pro League’s clubs with gambling operators who are not licensed to operate in Belgium.

That report also claims that all gambling sponsorship deals must be reported to the country’s gambling commission whilst the commission will keep clubs up to date with the state of play regarding investigations and infringements.

Rangers wore an amended strip when they played BSC Young Boys in Switzerland last season where the club were not permitted to include any gambling sponsor. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

So without knowing the exact ins and outs of this, it would appear that Unibet are licensed to operate in Belgium, whereas 32 Red are not.

Rangers ran out 4-3 winners in Belgium with the match being won by a late Borna Barisic penalty which even drew the applause of Croatian national team’s official Twitter account.

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