Liverpool FC Follows Tottenham and Chelsea by Suspending 1XBet Partnership

Liverpool FC has suspended its ties with online gaming company 1XBet after it was barred from operating in the UK.

Liverpool FC 1Xbet

Liverpool FC has suspended its ties with 1XBet following issues of improper conduct. (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Questions regarding the business practices of the Russian firm were first raised by the Sunday Times.

An investigation in August led to allegations of improper conduct. At the heart of the allegations was evidence the betting company had advertised its products on websites aimed at children.

In its defence, 1XBet said the promotional material was posted by third-party affiliates. Despite that, it suspended operations in the UK pending an internal investigation.

1XBet Sidelined by Clubs

In light of the exposé, Tottenham Hotspur cut ties with the operator at the end of August. Chelsea FC quickly followed and, in recent days, Liverpool FC has done the same.

Information obtained by The Daily Mail found the Merseyside club had been forced to “suspend all advertising” linked to 1XBet. A subsequent review of Liverpool’s social media channels now shows no sign of the operator’s branding.

The news will be welcomed by some Liverpool supporters. According to local news source This Is Anfield, the deal has been a source of contention since July.

Following the end of an agreement with BetVictor, there was “widespread criticism” after 1XBet was named as the club’s new betting partner.

That now appears to be a moot point as 1XBet’s UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licence is currently inactive.

Although ongoing investigations could change things, the website is blocked for British customers and there are no signs normal service will resume any time soon.

Football and Betting Must Tackle Infractions

While Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham have detached themselves from the problem, football as a whole may have a harder time doing the same.

Over the last two years, the issue of betting and football has been a political hot potato. As well as players falling foul of FA betting rules, clubs have been criticised for relying too much on sponsorship deals.

Various studies have shown that a majority of teams now have links with betting companies. Labour’s Tom Watson has been particularly critical and has called for the government to address the “hidden epidemic.”

For its part, Sky Bet launched a £1 million initiative in 2018. Designed to educate footballers, coaches and backroom staff about the industry, the campaign has been seen as a positive starting point.

However, with tensions still running high, the 1XBet issue will almost certainly fan the flames once again.

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