Betway has received a £408,915 ($463,654) penalty for marketing on the children’s pages of West Ham United Football Club’s website.
Issued by the Gambling Commission, the fine follows inquiries that revealed the operator’s gambling logo, with a link to Betway’s website, was displayed on the webpage between 14 April 2020 and 6 November 2021.
The primary function of the webpage was to offer young Hammers fans a printout teddy bear to colour in.
Furthermore, inquiries also found a Betway logo with a link to the operator’s webpage featured on the Young Hammers at Home webpage between 24 October 2021 and 15 November 2021.
Both advertisements breached the Gambling Commission’s advertising rules for social responsibility.
Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement Leanne Oxley said: “Protecting children from gambling harm is at the heart of what we do.
“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.
“We note the remedial actions since taken by the licensee but advise all operators to learn from this case and ensure that they take responsibility and have the correct processes in place so that websites directed at children do not include advertisements for gambling.”
It remains unclear if West Ham United Football Club has received a fine for these breaches, despite having illegal gambling advertisements on its website.
West Ham and Betway are arguably both culpable for displaying gambling advertisements to children on the football club’s web pages.
Gambling Insider has reached out to Betway for comment, which provided the following: "As a responsible, licensed operator Betway has zero tolerance with marketing to under 18’s. As one of the first betting operators to remove our branding from under 18’s kit and supporter merchandise, we feel very strongly about our responsibility in this area.
"On this occasion, the Betway logo – owing 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 get it removed.
"Nonetheless, we accept the fine and will continue to work closely with the Club to ensure this does not happen again."