West Ham shirt sponsor Betway is fined £400,000 for advertising with links to play on the club’s website ‘colouring’ pages aimed at children with images of mascots of the club
- West Ham’s gambling sponsor has been fined £400,000 for his The advertisement
- Betway have displayed their logo on the children’s coloring page on the West Ham website
- Links on this page directed users directly to the company’s betting pages
- The ads broke Commission rules and the site has now been updated
West Ham gambling sponsor Betway has been hit with a £400,000 fine for advertising a direct link to their betting site on a children’s coloring page.
On the official West Ham website, there are pages dedicated to their young supporters, one of which provides outlines to color in, including one to color in the mascot Bubbles the West Ham Bear.
The Gambling Commission ruled that Betway, which had also been found guilty of infringing the advertisement on West Ham’s ‘Young Hammers at Home’ page, had breached the rules of ‘advertising being socially responsible’.
An infringement lasted three weeks, but the logo on the coloring page remained for more than 18 months.
West Ham’s website has since been changed to remove direct links to Betway, but the sponsor has nonetheless been fined a total of £408,915.
Both advertisements breached Commission rules that state that gambling advertising must be socially responsible.
Betway was fined £400,000 for advertising a direct betting link on a children’s coloring page (the sponsor’s logo is visible in the website banner but has since been removed)
Bubbles the mascot was pictured on the coloring page, alongside the Betway game links
“As a responsible licensed operator, Betway has zero tolerance with marketing to those under 18,” Betway said in a statement.
“As one of the first betting operators to remove our branding from Under-18 kit and supporter merchandise, we are very confident of our responsibility in this area.”
“On this occasion, the Betway logo – due to a technical error – appeared on a restricted section of the West Ham United website. As soon as we were made aware of this error, we took immediate action to remove it. .
“Nevertheless, we accept the fine and will continue to work closely with the Club to ensure that this does not happen again.”
West Ham owners David Sullivan (left) and David Gold (right) struck a sponsorship deal with Betway in 2015
Two pages on the club’s website aimed at young fans included links to Betway’s website
Betway and West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan originally struck their sponsorship deal in 2015.
The betting company has been the club’s main shirt sponsor for the past seven years. West Ham had already withdrawn the shirt sponsor of Bubbles, the London stadium mascot on match days.
The Betway findings come two years after the same commission fined the gambling sponsor a record £11.6 million for “systemic historical failings” in the fight against money laundering and problem gambling.
They failed to carry out effective social responsibility checks with a client who deposited and lost £187,000 in two days.
Betway says it takes it seriously and said it was a ‘technical error’ advertising to under-18s
Leanne Oxley, the commission’s director of enforcement, said: ‘Protecting children from play is at the heart of what we do.
“While there is no suggestion that the operator was deliberately targeting children or that children were allowed to play, we take the violation of any rules aimed at protecting children very seriously.”
She advised other gambling companies to “learn from this case” and ensure they have “the right processes in place” to avoid similar mistakes.