Club confirms partnership is over
Tottenham Hotspur, an English soccer club who play in the Premier League, have ended their multimillion-pound partnership with gambling operator 1xBet.
advertising on illegal websites and taking bets on children’s sports
This announcement follows recent revelations that sparked an investigation into the Russian-owned company. This subsequently led to the UK-facing website being suspended.
1xBet was the focus of an investigation by The Sunday Times that uncovered numerous regulation breaches, such as advertising on illegal websites and taking bets on children’s sports.
The club first announced the sponsorship back in August 2018, a year before the scandal broke, and the soccer club had been mostly silent in recent weeks. However, they have now confirmed that the partnership has ended.
Liable for prosecution
Jon Ungoed-Thomas, chief reporter for The Sunday Times, tweeted that the club released a statement confirming that the deal with 1xBet, which was due to run until 2020, had been ended.
Breaking: Tottenham Hotspur football club says in statement to @thesundaytimes it has “terminated” its multi-million pound betting partnership with gambling firm 1xBet. The deal was to run until 2022.— Jon Ungoed-Thomas (@JonUngoedThomas) August 31, 2019
Star striker Harry Kane had already been used in a publicity deal to promote the gambling website, alongside other top players. Premier League clubs Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC also have sponsorship deals in place with 1xBet, but both have yet to suspend their partnerships.
The Gambling Commission wrote to all three affected clubs to let them know that they may be liable for prosecution if the deal continues.
In a statement, the Gambling Commission said: “We recently wrote to Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC to remind them that organizations engaging in sponsorship, and associated advertising arrangements, with an unlicensed operator may be liable to prosecution…for the offense of advertising unlawful gambling.”
It is thought that the collaboration could result in further fines and even a jail sentence if the clubs continue to partner with the company.
Working with the Commission
1xBet maintain that they are working with the Gambling Commission and recently released a statement to say that advertising on prohibited sites was against their policies.
1xBet has received harsh words from across the industry, including from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, a spokesman for the campaign said: “It is shocking that these soccer clubs failed to do the most basic due diligence checks on 1xBet before signing up for these multimillion-pound deals. It’s an absolute debacle.”
Liverpool FC has so far declined to comment, although their defender Virgil van Dijk has already been featured in advertising promotions, as has Chelsea’s winger Willian.
Chelsea has said so far that they are “monitoring the situation”.