Professional footballer Michael Owen is deemed to have used his Twitter account to promote an unlicensed crypto casino, thus breaching laws set forth by the United Kingdom.
Michael Owen Faces Scrutiny from the ASA
He has also been told he must delete a social media promotion for a non-fungible token (NFT) scheme by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The tweets came about on May 16 of this year and were for an organization simply known as “Punt Casino.” The gambling site is registered on the Caribbean Island of Curacao, yet it has no license considered valid in the U.K.
Under present laws, only betting companies that have licenses in the country can advertise there. A spokesperson explained:
Punt Casino is a fully licensed Curacao casino operating under the rules and regulations associated with that license. We do not target or promote our casino to customers of any countries and/or jurisdictions not allowed by such license.
Owen discussed Punt Casino in a related press release. He stated:
I’m a strong believer in the power of crypto, so teaming up with an innovative platform like Punt Casino feels like a natural fit.
Some of the companies licensed to hold gambling businesses in the U.K. include Ladbrokes, Bet365, and William Hill. Punt Casino is very different in that it is not presently regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission. Punt Casino also accepts cryptocurrency payments through bitcoin and Ethereum.
The firm explained:
Punt Casino has quickly become a strong player in the crypto casino scene with its super-powered giveaways and outstanding online casino platform.
A separate spokesperson explained that many bookmakers working with customers in the U.K. do not bring cryptocurrencies into the mix given that the practice often contains several risks for both the trader and the company issuing the assets. They said:
Punt Casino takes its responsibilities as a legitimate and licensed casino operator very seriously… Online gambling operators are required to hold a gambling commission license to transact with U.K. based consumers.
Owen has been at the center of various crypto-based controversies in the past. In May, he stirred some online questions given that he was promoting NFTs as items that couldn’t “lose their initial value,” which is not necessarily true.
Why Are So Many Famous People into Crypto?
As time has gone by, the celebrity presence in the crypto space has grown tenfold, with figures like Oscar winners Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon getting involved. Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame also struck a few negative chords recently with a crypto commercial he did that premiered during the Super Bowl.
Many individuals are not too happy about this given that it looks like said celebrities are only promoting the space as a means of earning another paycheck. In addition, the attitudes and airs of the commercials they’ve worked on have given people the wrong messages.