Betway fined £400,000 for marketing on children's pages of West Ham website
Online bookmaker Betway have been fined £400,000 by the Gambling Commission for marketing on the children's pages of the website of West Ham United, the Premier League football club they sponsor.
Betway said they would work with the club to ensure such a mistake did not happen again.
The Gambling Commisison said that between April 2020 and November 2021, Betway's logo, which linked to the operator's website, was displayed on a webpage offering the opportunity to print a teddy bear for children to colour in.
A similar link featured on the Young Hammers at Home webpage in October and November last year.
Both advertisements breached the industry regulator's rules stating gambling advertising must be socially responsible, and has resulted in a financial penalty of £408,915.
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 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."
Responding to the punishment, Betway said they had "zero tolerance" with marketing to under-18s.
Betway added in a statement: "As one of the first betting operators to remove our branding from under-18s 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."
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