Reports indicate that UK gambling regulators are investigating Mansion, an online gambling operator, mainly Asian-facing M88 brand. This has led to the brand losing its English Premier League sponsorship. AFC Bournemouth stated on Friday that it would not renew its shirt sponsorship deal with M88 after it expired on Sunday. Though the club thanked M88 for its support over the past three years, it stated that it would end the remainder of the EPL’s current season using a different kit.
The Athletic on Saturday stated that the club’s pronouncement came after learning that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was “currently looking at various aspects of M88 and Mansion Europe model and operations.” Though it is not clear on what features of that model are under the UKGC scrutiny, the UK media reported that the UKGC was looking at the VIP scheme of Mansion’s MansionBet brand in April. According to a Mansion rep, the site did not like demanding clients to disclose the source of their gambling money, “but we have to do it because the UK gambling regulators make us do it.”
Several years ago, the operator was fined €150k by the Netherlands Gambling Authority for accommodating Dutch clients without Dutch permission. Recently, the M88 proclaimed it would withdraw its services from Malaysia and Cambodia. Although those two markets are believed to be small potatoes compared to the brand’s business in China, Thailand, and Vietnam, the company did not specify the reasons behind the exits. The Daily Mail reported that Bournemouth could end up featuring a ‘thank you’ message to COVID-19 frontline medical workers on its kit for the remaining EPL games if the club will not come to terms with a new commercial sponsor.