One of the world’s most decorated players
Vave, a crypto-based gambling site, recently announced Judd Trump MBE as its new global brand ambassador. At the time, Vave’s website described the team as “excited” about the announcement, but since then, Trump has had to face a backlash from his fans.
Trump built his reputation as a professional snooker player. He has 23 ranking titles, the sixth most titles of anyone on the planet. In 2019, he became one of 11 players to achieve snooker’s career triple crown when he won the World Championship. He also won the UK championship in 2011 and has won the Masters twice, including in January of this year. In other words, he knows his way around a pool cue.
Trump waited until Monday to announce via Twitter that he was joining Vave:
This business decision has been less than universally acclaimed. The thread beneath the announcement is filled with highly critical responses.
Vave is a gambling site that offers slots, table games (including live betting), and sports betting. The gimmick is that it supports payment in seven popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Ripple. However, it is not licensed to provide gambling products in the UK.
Celebrity endorsements of gambling sites are nothing new. For example, PokerStars is represented by Neymar Jr. and Americas Cardroom is endorsed by Ebony Kenney. Thus, it is an interesting measure of public opinion that the response to Trump’s decision has been so negative.
Crypto and Gambling – really? Both are so toxic.”
A typical example comes from Mark Burcher, who replied to Trump: “Crypto and Gambling – really? Both are so toxic.”
The UK public is currently in the midst of a moral and legislative debate about gambling. On the whole, however, it appears to be the secondary infection of cryptocurrency products that triggered the public outrage.
After Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent arrest and subsequent smaller-scale scandals, including one involving Steven Segal, the blockchain is viewed with deep suspicion by many. As a result, the timing was not propitious for Trump to join a company that uses cryptocurrencies to facilitate gambling.
Vave is not available to UK players
Critics have also pointed out that the product is not available in the UK.
Vave is managed and operated by TechOptions Group B.V. in Curaçao where it is licensed by the Curaçao Gaming Authority. The company maintains a registered office in Cyprus. TechOptions also manages Hell Spin and Ivibet. Curaçao is currently in negotiations with the UK government, which has been pushing the island to reform its gambling legislation.
Trump is a UK citizen and the majority of his snooker fans are UK locals. As a result, many of the critics wonder to whom exactly is Trump advertising this product?