Ex-England star told to remove crypto casino promotion posts
Former England striker Michael Owen has been ordered to remove a pair of social media posts that he recently made promoting a cryptocurrency casino site.
Owen, who played 89 times for the Three Lions and scored 40 goals, used his Twitter account to promote Punt Casino, a site that allows users to play casino games with cryptocurrency.
Punt Casino is registered in the Caribbean island of Curacao. However, the site does not have a licence to operate in the UK from the Gambling Commission, which regulates online casinos. This means that it could not legally operate as an online crypto casino aimed at UK customers.
Reports claim Owen was told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to remove two Twitter posts he made in May about the casino site. Owen had been announced as the new global ambassador for Punt Casino shortly before he made the social media posts in question.
“I’ve been involved with crypto for some time now, so it’s great for me to stand side-by-side with Punt Casino,” Owen said in a statement at the time. “Being involved with the best has always worked for me. Punt Casino is just that, and they really are changing the game with crypto.”
Owen’s arrival was also hailed by the crypto casino brand when the Punt announcement was made. Alexander Bowring, head of marketing at Punt Casino, said in a statement at the time that the deal was made: “Michael Owen is a football icon in every sense of the word, so to have him come on board as our brand ambassador is a major moment for us. Since launching last year, Punt Casino has been changing the game, delivering exciting crypto casino action that our rivals just can’t match. Expect big things from Punt Casino in 2022 and beyond.”
Punt Casino’s website has since been “geo-blocked” for UK users, preventing them from using the site to play its range of casino games such as slots using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“Punt Casino is a fully licensed Curacao casino operating under the rules and regulations associated with that licence,” a spokesperson told the Athletic. “We do not target or promote our casino to customers of any countries and/or jurisdictions not allowed by such licence. Punt Casino takes its responsibilities as a legitimate and licensed casino operator very seriously.”
Punt Casino claims to offer “the ultimate online Vegas experience” with over 200 games to play, including slots and casino classics like roulette and blackjack. The site is one of a growing number of online casinos to accept payment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Despite Owen removing the social media posts that he published about Punt Casino, the site’s many social media channels are still using the former footballer to promote the crypto casino.
Owen played for clubs including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United in a glittering football career, winning the Ballon d’Or in 2001 – the last Englishman to claim the honour.