8XBet has formed a partnership with Manchester City FC as the brand becomes the official betting partner of the Premier League club in Asia.
The gambling firm will gain exposure through LED signage in the Etihad Stadium and a presence in the region across digital assets and the club’s Cityzens platform. However, the new deal has brought some concerns to the table.
As per a release, Man City stated that 8XBet is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission. However, reports are suggesting that this statement is false as people take to twitter to express their concern over the agreement.
Man City’s statement says this website “is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission” which is categorically false. https://t.co/K0fPyt9s0G
— Joey D’Urso (@josephmdurso) July 5, 2022
I actually cannot believe it. Manchester City teams up with another of those 'Asian-facing' bookmakers, 8XBet, who are 'powered' by an Isle of Man company linked to a suspected triad gangster. https://t.co/lnLSSbNnRT
— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) July 5, 2022
One particular tweet against the club’s decision read: “Sports gambling is prohibited in almost every Asian country. According to UN and ARF reports, over 60% of gambling there is illegal, and directly linked to criminal gangs. Yet PL clubs team up with operators they know nothing of.”
Also raising suspicions is the incomplete 8XBet website, which currently shows ‘coming your way soon’.
The news also comes in the midst of various updates of the gambling shirt ban in the English top-flight. Recent reports suggest that Premier League clubs are about to vote on the decision to bring in a voluntary ban.
The League already supports gambling sponsors being phased out within three years – but 14 out of 20 clubs would need to vote in favour for the proposal to be approved and implemented.
Regardless of the social media backlash, Ryan Li, Founder of 8Xbet, said: “It is a huge honour to partner with Manchester City – we are delighted to have secured our first-ever football club partnership with one of the biggest teams in the world.
“As Premier League Champions in four of the last five years, City have a huge following in Asia, and we are excited to work together to bring exclusive content to fans in the region.”
The partnership also follows 8XBet’s the recent signing of former Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham as a brand ambassador.