- Seven English football teams stand accused of putting gambling links on web pages targeted to children.
- Six of them have apologized while all have removed the offending content.
- Arsenal, however, defended itself from the accusations, justifying their inclusion, although they removed the links.
LONDON - Another gambling scandal has come to the attention of British authorities, as seven soccer clubs stand accused of linking betting sites on children’s webpages.
Among the teams accused are Premier League stalwarts like Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and West Ham United, as well as Queens Park Rangers, Millwall and Reading.
The pages in question were clearly marketed to children - one of the links used as an example by the BBC contained a gambling link that was on a children’s color-in page, near pictures of a teddy bear.
The U.K. Gambling Commission is looking into the matter, and is no stranger to English gambling scandals.
"Gambling advertising and sponsor credits must not appear on any web pages that are directed at under-18s,” the Commission’s statement read. "Sports teams should be ensuring that all content on such webpages is appropriate for children, and we expect gambling companies to take responsibility for where their adverts and logos appear."
How Did The Clubs Respond?
Six of the clubs immediately accepted that they had made a mistake. Tottenham, Aston Villa, West Ham, QPR, Millwall and Reading all admitted error and claimed that the links should not have been on those pages.
Arsenal, however, defended itself by arguing that the gambling links were only on their webpage in terms of listing sponsors on their “Junior Membership Programme”.
They did, however, take it upon themselves to remove the links so that they could “avoid further confusion.”
All online gambling related links appear to have been removed from the seven teams’ children-oriented web pages at this time.
The BBC published statements from Tottenham and QPR spokespeople, and both seemed contrite and promised action to ensure nothing of this sort happens again.
Tottenham’s spokesperson said: "We sincerely regret this error and have adjusted our practices to ensure this does not happen again. We apologise for any offence caused."
QPR’s spokesperson said: "The club appreciates this issue being raised. The link has subsequently been removed and an internal investigation will now take place to understand how this has happened and to ensure it does not occur again."