Betway is First UK Bookmaker to Remove Transfer Betting

Betway no longer accepts betting on the football transfer market. The bookmaker describes the practice of betting on player transfers as a “grey area” and stopped offering odds on player movements last week.

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UK Bookmaker Withdraws Transfer Betting Market © Pixabay.

Customers at betway will no longer be able to bet on football transfers as the bookmaker removes the market across all their territories. The bookmaker, who runs operations in the UK, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Africa, Ireland and Portugal, has urged other bookmakers to follow their lead and ban the practice.

While Head of Corporate Communication, Algar did not directly mention any particular case, two recent high-profile cases involving footballers has raised concerns over the transfer betting market and is likely to have influenced the bookmaker’s decision.

Alan Alger confirmed the company’s decision, saying:

The FA have strict rules on betting, and we feel that offering odds on players to move to specific clubs highlights a grey area which has caused issues in the past. It is best removed as an option. Alan Alger, Betway

In March this year, former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was banned from all football activity until 17 June after the Football Association successfully appealed against the length of his ban for breaching betting rules. The 30-year was originally given a six-week ban and fined £75,000 last July after being found guilty of providing his brother with inside information on a proposed transfer.

Sturridge instructed his sibling to place bets that he would make a move from Liverpool to Sevilla in 2018, a transfer that failed to materialise. The FA felt the six-weeks ban was too lenient and appealed, leading to an increased ban of four-months and a doubling of his fine to £150,000.

After being found guilty of breaching betting rules Sterling’s club Trabzonspor agreed to a mutual termination of his contract. The former England international had only been at the club for six months, having signed for three-years for the Turkish club as a free agent.

According to the FA, Sturridge directly or indirectly instructed bets to be placed with a value of almost £14,000. Suspicions were raised when further bets of a £20,560 were attempted. Although these bets were declined, the possible winnings from these bets would have totalled £317,006. The other case involves England full-back Kieran Trippier who has been charged by the FA for ‘misconduct in relation to betting breaches’. The former Tottenham player is alleged to have made details of his £20 million move to La Liga club Atlético Madrid available to ‘close friends’ in 2019.

The FA charged Trippier under its E8 betting rules. These state, ‘all registered professionals (athlete and club management) shall not bet ‘either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect in connection with, a football match or competition’.

The FA confirmed that these rules apply to all football betting ‘without limitations’ and include the transfer of players, team selection, disciplinary issues and employment of managers.

Trippier has until this Friday to respond to the FA charge.

Betway has not revealed the financial impact of this decision. Alger described the market as ‘profitable’ but stated that it was a sacrifice they were willing to make. He added that customers should enjoy their football based on what is happening on the pitch, not what customers read in the newspaper and rumours.

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