FC Internazionale Milano has signed an agreement with Chinese betting brand Hua Ti Hui (HTH) to become the club’s official regional partner in Asia.
HTH is an Asian digital sports platform based on blockchain technology that “is committed to creating an integrated sports entertainment platform that conforms to the current trend, providing a comfortable, safe, and reliable diversified sports entertainment platform,” according to a statement on the Inter website.
Specifics of the agreement are scarce, but it comes after Inter was embroiled in a dispute with partner DigitalBits. After the blockchain sponsor allegedly failed to meet its financial obligations, the Serie A club removed DigitalBits branding from its website and stadium.
HTH signed a similar partnership with Manchester United in May 2021, in a deal with few specifics.
The Manchester United partnership drew some criticism because the HTH website had yet to go live eight months after the partnership was announced.
Some saw the collaboration as symptomatic of football’s troubled relationship with gambling, with some clubs opting to collaborate with companies for financial gain, despite questionable regulatory and transparency practices.
Serie A clubs have recently secured a number of gambling industry sponsorships, the most recent being PlanetPay365’s partnership with Torino FC, following similar agreements with Lazio, Roma, and Fiorentina.
The PlanetPay365-Torino partnership will begin on Saturday, when the club takes on Lazio in the Italian top flight.