UK: Gambling Commission penalises Betway for marketing to children

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The Gambling Commission, a public body of the Government of the United Kingdom, penalised Betway, an online gambling company, for about 400,000 pounds on September 21, Wednesday, for extending their marketing to the children’s section of a football club’s website. The company attributed it to a technical error. The Gambling Commission stated that it had found Betway’s gambling logo on West Ham United’s official website, proferring children to print a teddy bear to colour.

This took place on the website from April 2020 to November 2021. Leanne Oxley, the Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement, said there is no suggestion that the operator’s actions were deliberate or that children had been allowed to gamble. However, the department aims to take any breach of rule “seriously”.

“Although there is no suggestion that the operator was deliberately targeting children, or that children had been allowed to gamble, we take the breach of any rules aimed at protecting children extremely seriously,” Oxley was quoted as saying in the Economic Times. The governing body also found a similar logo to the betting company on the website ‘Young Hammers at Home’ between October and November of 2021. The total fine the company incurred was 408,915 pounds.

Betway stated that immediate action was taken to remove the logo, and they would work closely with the club to ensure that this does not happen going forward. “We took immediate action to get it removed. Nonetheless, we accept the fine and will continue to work closely with the Club to ensure this does not happen again,” Betway said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Betway has also been found to have put up advertisements illegally in India and has also accepted players from the region. Britain has been continually making the rules pertaining to gambling stricter since the early 2000s, focusing more on betting activities via digital channels, especially since the start of the pandemic. The government will also put forward a white paper, which is a proposal for future legislation, related to gambling regulation.