Top English clubs cancel betting giant 1xBet sponsorship

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 00:00 |
Africa Cup of Nations. Photo/Courtesy

Derek Otieno

English top-flight soccer clubs Chelsea and Liverpool have ended their partnerships with 1xBet, a week after fellow Premier League side ties with the online betting company.

The two clubs had only signed deals with 1xBet in July but have now ended their respective deals with immediate effect after string of allegations against the gambling brand. 

These included taking bets on children’s sports, advertising on illegal websites, cockfighting live streams and promoting a casino featuring topless croupiers. It subsequently suspended its advertising activity in the UK.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea had been contacted by the Gambling Commission, the UK’s betting regulator, warning them any promotion of 1xBet in the country could be considered unlawful, leading to heavy fines and imprisonment.

Official global betting partner is a significant sponsorship category for Premier League clubs and 1xBet held that designation with Liverpool.

The move by the giant English clubs put the betting company’s operations in Africa into jeopardy considering they sponsor the Confederation of African Football (CAF) premier competition AFCON and Club’s Champions League.

During last season’s competitions, Gor Mahia, sponsored by another betting firm SportPesa, were forced to cover the name of the partners to avoid a clash with the continental body’s. 

More on Football