English Premier League giants Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been forced to dump Russian-owned betting site 1xBet as sponsors following reports the company was offering bets on children’s sport and cockfighting.
According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Champions League finalists Tottenham cut ties with 1xBet last week when it was also revealed it had been using the image of star striker Harry Kane to promote gambling in Kenya. Kenyan authorities suspended the company’s gambling license in July.
The UK Gambling Commission followed suit last month but Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League champions Chelsea only dropped 1xBet as a partner over the weekend after the Commission warned they faced potential legal action under the Gambling Act.
The three clubs had only inked their lucrative deals with the site, which operates out of Cyprus, over the summer.
The close links between gambling sites and football clubs has become a major topic of discussion in recent times, with 10 of the Premier League’s 20 clubs and 17 of 24 in the second-tier Championship sponsored by betting firms.
They include a number of Asian betting companies: Dafabet sponsors Sunderland and West Brom, 138 Bet sponsors Watford and Wolverhampton is sponsored by ManBetX.