Reporter Claims Crystal Palace and Wolves Have Partnered Illegal Vietnamese Sportsbooks

  • Crystal Palace has partnered with Net88, while Wolves teamed up with DEBET
  • Reporter Martin Calladine did some digging into the sportsbooks to find out more
  • He found they have no social media presence and could be the same company
  • Calldine believes they are illegal sportsbooks that may even permit cockfight betting
Crystal Palace flag
A reporter has uncovered some shocking revelations about the new partners of Crystal Palace and Wolves. [Image:]

Suspicious new partners

Just this week, English Premier League (EPL) teams Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers announced new front-of-shirt sponsorship deals. Palace has teamed up with Net88 as its jersey sponsor, while Wolves has signed a two-year deal with DEBET.

Net88’s English-facing X account has just 156 followers

If you haven’t heard of these gambling brands, then you aren’t alone. Many have been left confused at how these companies could have the funds for such a deal when they are relatively unknown outside of Asia. In fact, Net88’s English-facing X account has just 156 followers, and DEBET’s 148.

This has prompted one particular sports reporter to do some digging into the sportsbooks. In a series of posts to X, Martin Calladine, author of ‘No Questions Asked: How football joined the crypto con,’ revealed the results of his investigation. He concluded that the two firms are illegal Vietnamese operators.

Digging up dirt

Calladine didn’t take long to begin his investigation after news of both deals dropped on Thursday. Here are some of his claims against the companies.

No social media presence – It might not be impossible for a company to have little to no social media presence, but it seems unlikely from one that claims to be four years old and the leading sportsbook in a country. Net88 and DEBET both posted for the first time on their English language X accounts this week. Net88’s Vietnam-facing account appears to have 0 followers.

The same company – Calladine found that both DEBET and Net88 filed their trademarks on exactly the same day – March 13 2024. He believes this would be an “extraordinary coincidence” if the two operators are not at least “closely connected.”  

the image for Chau was in fact a Vietnamese TikToker called Đặng Ngọc Bích Tuyền

A fake Founder – On one Net88 website, Calladine claims that the company lists a woman called Minh Chau as its CEO and Founder. However, when he did a little more digging, the reporter discovered that the image for Chau was in fact a Vietnamese TikToker called Đặng Ngọc Bích Tuyền who passed away in 2023.

Cockfight betting – According to Calladine, Palace’s new sponsor Net88 had a website offering betting on cockfights. This is a practice that is legal in many Southeast Asian countries, but illegal in Vietnam. The reporter said that the option “vanished overnight” once he had drawn attention to it, and Net88 denied anything to do with the website in question.

The last of the deals

This is the last opportunity for Palace and Wolves to sign deals of this kind, with the EPL voluntarily phasing out front-of-shirt gambling deals by the 2026/2027 season.

Burnley and Nottingham Forest also formed gambling sponsorship deals last year

The EPL enacted the measure itself because of pressure from MPs and the public. Owners knew that legislation would be inbound unless they took drastic action. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped teams from forming gambling deals in the interim period. Burnley and Nottingham Forest also formed gambling sponsorship deals last year.

VegasSlotsOnline News spoke with UK gambling industry expert Kevin Dale last year, and he said that the ban on EPL sponsorships will only cause anti-gambling groups to target other leagues and sports. “The Premier League can afford it, other’s aren’t so lucky,” he explained.” League 1 takings will be more significantly impacted, if extended there, for example.”

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