June 14, 2024 2 min read

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Crystal Palace’s Gambling Deal with Net88 Attracts Scrutiny

Based in Vietnam, the white-label firm is, in fact, controlled by Risq Capital, a London-registered company that is regulated by the UKGC

Crystal Palace FC’s recent gambling sponsorship doesn’t sit well with all fans. Set to run until the summer of 2026, the record two-year deal will see Net88’s logo appear on the club’s jerseys.

As agreed, Net88’s logo will be added to the front of the soccer team’s Premier League shirts. The deal will continue until the upcoming ban on front-of-shirt sponsorships.

Prior to the deal, Net88 stood as a relatively obscure brand without a significant online presence. Based in Vietnam, the white-label firm is, in fact, controlled by Risq Capital, a London-registered company that is regulated by the UKGC.  

While Net88 is yet to launch in the UK, its website promises a “brand new betting experience to fans.” According to the message on the operator’s homepage, the full website should be live soon.

Barry Webber, Crystal Palace’s chief commercial officer, described Net88 as a “global online gaming platform for spots and gaming fans alike.” He added that his team is excited to work with the operator at such an “exciting time.”

Despite underscoring its commitment to responsible and legal gambling, Net88 attracted suspicion from critics who believe that the brand may leverage its partnership to promote its products in markets such as Vietnam where most forms of gambling and betting are illegal.  

Critics: Net88 Will Advertise in Markets Where Gaming Is Illegal

Fans and critics alike were somewhat unhappy with the deal. While many acknowledged that gambling is part and parcel of modern society, they accused the club of teaming up with a white-label entity that would then promote gambling in countries where it’s illegal.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of Clean Up Gambling, an organization dedicated to “getting gambling under control,” expressed his thoughts on the matter. He accused Net88 and DEBET, another gambling company that recently struck a similar deal with the Wolverhampton Wanderers, of planning to target Asian markets.

Zarb-Cousin elaborated that operators licensed through white-label agreements with European entities are well-positioned to indirectly advertise on a global scale and use this position to promote online gambling and betting in Asian jurisdictions where they’d usually be unable to advertise.  

The Clean Up Gambling director suggested that the next government could eliminate a lot of gambling advertising in football by banning white labels.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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