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• zaterdag 10 december 2022

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Times | Premier League clubs accused over links with betting firm

Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Lucy Bacon | The Sunday Times

The Curacao company 1xCorp, the operator of the many 1xBet sportsbetting sites, was founded in 2013, is directed by Carmanco NV and sublicensed by Curacao eGaming (Cyberluck) and hosted by UTS Curacao

Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs face allegations of whitewashing the reputation of one of the world’s most controversial betting firms, whose operations in the UK were suspended this weekend after a Sunday Times investigation.

Some of the Premier League’s top players, including Roberto Firmino, Willian and Olivier Giroud, have launched sponsorship deals with the Russian firm 1xBet. Its websites have been blacklisted by regulators around the world.

The company’s UK website was taken down after a Sunday Times investigation into its global activities, which included promoting a “pornhub casino”, bets on children’s sports and advertising on illegal websites. A pornhub casino entices gamblers with topless croupiers. The Gambling Commission confirmed this weekend that it has launched an investigation.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, said: “The football clubs are being used to sanitise gambling brands. They should consider the damage that is being caused to their own reputations.”

The new controversy comes after the Church of England criticised Wayne Rooney over his decision to promote the betting firm 32Red as part of his multimillion-pound deal to join Derby County.

Tottenham announced last August that 1xBet was its official betting partner for Africa. The firm was exposed last month in a Sunday Times investigation for fuelling the country’s youth gambling epidemic with pictures of the club’s stars, including Harry Kane. The firm’s licence has been suspended in Kenya.

Chelsea and Liverpool football clubs announced a tie-up with the brand last month. Premier League clubs now face a backlash over the estimated £50m a year they earn from sponsorship deals.

1xBet, founded in Russia in 2007 and registered in Cyprus, has in some countries offered “battlecock”, where bets are accepted on cockfighting. Live streams of the cockfights are promoted on websites emblazoned with the logos of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The company has previously been exposed for allowing bets on children’s basketball and football.

The brand is one of the biggest advertisers on websites that illegally stream Premier League football matches. On Friday evening, an 1xBet ad on a pirate website featured a sexual cartoon of a topless young woman lying on her back and removing her underwear. The ad — almost certainly in breach of advertising rules — linked to the UK 1xBet website, operated by partner FSB Technology (UK) Ltd. The website was suspended on Friday after the newspaper’s inquiries with regulators.

Peter Szyszko, chief executive of White Bullet Solutions, a London firm that works with governments, law and private clients to combat intellectual property theft, said 1xBet was “on the radar” of law enforcement agencies around the world. He said: “They are helping to fund sites which in many cases are run by criminal gangs.”

1xBet blames its marketing partners overseas for some of its dubious brand promotions and advertising on piracy websites. The company said: “If any of these third-party networks or partners are found to advertise the 1xBet brand on prohibited sites or sites which break the law, 1xBet shall investigate immediately.” FSB Technology (UK) said players‘ deposits would be protected on the suspended website.

FSB said it had always complied with UK regulations and was reviewing its licensing agreement with 1xBet.

Tottenham Hotspur said 1xBet had assured the club that it provides a safe environment to protect people from “irresponsible gambling and addiction”.

Liverpool football club said there were restrictions on its partnership deals to ensure all marketing content was appropriate. Chelsea did not respond to a request for comment.

Bron: The Sunday Times

Naschrift KKC

The Curacao company 1xCorp, the operator of the many 1xBet sportsbetting sites, was founded in 2013, is directed by Carmanco NV and sublicensed by Curacao eGaming (Cyberluck) and hosted by UTS Curacao
The Curacao company 1xCorp, the operator of the many 1xBet sportsbetting sites, was founded in 2013, is directed by Carmanco NV and sublicensed by Curacao eGaming (Cyberluck) and hosted by UTS Curacao

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