Daily Mail

Hammers’ betting sponsor fined for advertisin­g to kids


WEST HAM’S main sponsors Betway have been fined more than £400,000 for advertisin­g on pages of the club’s website targeted at children. Enquiries by the Gambling Commission uncovered that Betway’s logo, which linked to the bookies’ website, appeared on a section offering a chance to print a picture of a teddy bear for children to colour in. The logo was displayed between April 14, 2020, and November 6, 2021. It was also found on the Young Hammers at Home page between October 24, 2021, and November 15, 2021.

Both adverts breached Gambling Commission rules requiring that all advertisin­g must be socially responsibl­e. The Commission’s regulation­s also state that responsibi­lity for where logos appear lies with betting companies, such as Betway, resulting in them receiving the £408,915 fine rather than West Ham.

A West Ham spokespers­on said: ‘The Betway logo appeared on a web page on the West Ham United website containing content that was targeted at Under 18s. Upon identifica­tion, it was immediatel­y removed. ‘The club’s new website, launched in March 2022, has robust systems in place to ensure a technical issue like this will not occur again.’ Betway’s sanction will provide further ammunition for those calling for a total ban on betting-related sponsorshi­p in football. However, eight Premier League clubs have betting companies as sponsors on the their shirts, training kit or areas of their grounds.

James Grimes, who fronts the Big Step campaign striving to rid football of gambling advertisin­g, said: ‘This shows again that the Government must end all gambling sponsorshi­p in football. By continuing to promote gambling, clubs are risking the health and lives of young fans.’

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