According to report, Gaming Commission (GC) decided that the online betting operator Betway, breached the Commission’s rules on socially responsible advertising, by marketing on the children’s pages of the West Ham United Football Club’s website, and thus levied them with a fine of £408,915 ($463,178/N177, 396, 840)
The operator was said to be in breach of the rules because, its logo which linked to its website appeared on a page, on the West Ham site that offered the option of printing off a picture of a teddy bear, for children to colour in. This was visible on the said page, between 14 April 2020 and 6 November 2021.
Secondly, a similar logo that linked to Betway’s homepage was also featured on the “Young Hammers at Home” page of the club’s site, between 24 October 2021 and 15 November 2021.
According to the director of enforcement of GC; Leanne Oxley, even though the Commission had no reason to believe that the operator was intentionally targeting children, but that the protection of children from gambling harm, is at the core of the Commission’s activities, and so any breach of the rule was deemed extremely serious, deliberate or not.
Betway, immediately removed the logo from the restricted section of the football club’s website, once the matter became public, via social media. Their representatives stated further that the appearance of the logo on the site was in error, as they have zero tolerance, with marketing to persons under 18, however they accept the penalty and will continue to do better.
This is the second time the operator, has been in breach of the regulator’s rules. They paid out £11.6m pounds as settlement in March 2020, for what the Commission termed “systematic historic failings” relating to the operator’s anti-money laundering and problem gambling practices.