The Asian Connection

The links between Premier League clubs and mysterious Asian e-Gambling platforms keeps getting stronger. Everton recently announced i8.BET as the club's new Asian betting partner. But who they are, what they actually do, no-one knows, aside from a handful of individuals who are neither seen, heard or scrutinised.

By Philippe Auclair 

A new name appeared on the LED boards which run across all four stands of Goodison Park on the occasion of the last Merseyside derby: i8.BET.

A few hours earlier, on the very same day, Wednesday 1 December, Everton FC announced on its website that it had "further expanded its international partnership portfolio by signing up i8.BET as a new commercial partner".

The statement read: "The deal will see i8.BET become the Club's exclusive Official Betting Partner in Asia, as the gaming brand continues to expand its trusted and innovative platform in the online betting market across Asia and beyond".

The news was barely shared outside of the specialist betting media, which satisfied themselves with publishing quotes from the original statement without adding detail or comment. No British newspaper or website of note thought it worthy of a mention.

This was understandable. This type of partnership is commonplace in the Premier League, where drawing money from opaque e-Gambling operators has long been accepted as a fait accompli, regardless of the inconvenient questions which could be raised about the problematic nature of these businesses. English football chose to...

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