UKGC Imposes £408,915 Fine on Betway for Displaying Gambling Marketing on West Ham United F.C. Children’s Pages

Daniel Williams

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that it had imposed a monetary penalty worth £408,915 on Betway Limited. The online gambling business has been fined for displaying marketing materials on the children’s pages of the website of West Ham United F.C.

Enquiries held by the UK gambling regulatory body revealed that the gambling operator’s logo, which linked to the company’s website, was displayed on a webpage offering the chance to print a colour-in teddy bear for children from April 14th, 2020 to November 6th, 2021. Apart from that, the UKGC investigations also revealed that a logo which was linked to Betway’s digital gambling platform was displayed on the “Young Hammers at Home” webpage from October 24th, 2021 to November 15th, 2021.

Both adverts violated the Gambling Commission’s rules which state gambling advertising in the UK needs to be socially responsible.

The massive monetary penalty imposed on Betway was confirmed by the UKGC Director of Enforcement, Leanne Oxley, who noted that protecting children from gambling-related harm is extremely important. Ms Oxley explained there was no evidence or suggestion that the online gambling company had been deliberately targeting underage individuals, or that children had been permitted to gamble, the industry watchdog took very seriously each violation of rules aimed at protecting children.

Ms Oxley further noted that Betway cooperated with the investigation, accepted there were certain shortcomings in its processes and policies and took remedial actions since the rule breach had been found.

Betway Failed to Comply with Relevant Advertising Codes, the UKGC Says

As the UK Gambling Commission revealed, its investigation found that Betway Limited failed to comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Social Responsibility Code of Practice (SRCP) 5.1.6 in terms of compliance with advertising codes. Under the provisions of the Code, the licensees are required to make sure their marketing is undertaken in a socially responsible manner, with gambling operators required to comply with the advertising codes of practice issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).

Under the existing rules, the failure to comply with the SRCP is considered a violation of a licence condition of section 82(1) of the Act.

In line with the Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement of the UKGC, the Statement of principles for determining financial penalties, as well as the Indicative sanctions guidance, the UK gambling regulatory body eventually decided to impose a monetary fine worth almost £409,000 under section 121(1) of the Gambling Act.

As confirmed by the Commission’s Director of Enforcement, the online gambling operator took remedial action after the violation findings. The company cooperated with the country’s major gambling regulator throughout the investigation, and eventually acknowledged that it had failed to comply with the requirements it was supposed to stick to.

This is not the first time Betway faces a hefty monetary penalty. On March 12th, 2020 it was forced to pay a total of £11.6 million, consisting of £5.8 million instead of a financial penalty, as well as a £5.8-million divestment as a result of some social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez