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Michael Owen in breach of UK gambling advertising laws

Former professional footballer Michael Owen has breached UK laws regarding gambling advertising, as reported by The Athletic.

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The ex-Liverpool striker and current football pundit used his Twitter account to promote an unlicensed cryptocurrency casino to the British public, and has been instructed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to delete a promotion for a non-fungible token scheme which breached rules about advertising cryptocurrency products.

Last month, Owen published two tweets advertising Punt Casino, a company registered in Curacao without a UK licence. Under UK law, only betting firms licensed by the UK Gambling Commission can legally be advertised to the UK public.

The tweets have since been deleted, while the site has been geo-blocked for UK users.

“Punt Casino is a fully licensed Curacao casino operating under the rules and regulations associated with that licence,” a Punt Casino spokesperson said. “We do not target or promote our casino to customers of any countries and/or jurisdictions not allowed by such licence.”

Gambling advertising is a major aspect of professional football, particularly in the UK, with 10 of the 20 Premier League clubs currently having a gambling firm on their shirts. It is one of the main issues within the Government's Review of the Gambling Act 2005. 

Everton have recently joined this list of clubs, after the Merseyside outfit completed a club-record main partner agreement with Stake.com

It begins a multi-year partnership that represents the highest front-of-shirt deal in Everton’s history, with the cryptocurrency betting operator’s name to appear on the men’s and women’s playing shirts, as well as featuring at the club’s stadium and training ground.

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