No Questions Asked, We’re English

You'd have thought that with the imminent publication of the British government's White Paper on gambling and the current public interest in – and criticism of – that business, English football clubs would have taken a step back in their toxic relationship with bookmakers. At least for a while.

By Philippe Auclair, with Andy Brown, Jack Kerr and Steve Menary

Well, think again. 

Over the past few weeks, Everton have linked up with; Wolves have signed a sleeve sponsorship deal with 12bet; and now, Manchester City (who'd discreetly ditched their previous betting partner Marathonbet because of that company's links with Russia) have taken in 8Xbet as their 'Asian betting partner'. 

Josimar has been investigating the opaque world of so-called 'Asian-facing' online betting operators and their links with football clubs, particularly English ones, over the past eleven months; a world in which no questions are asked, as the answers would be deeply embarrassing to all concerned. As reported by the United Nations On Drugs And Crime (UNODC) and in a recent study by the Asian Racing Federation, over 60 percent of betting (a business worth close to three billion US dollars per annum) is illegal. It is also accepted that those illegal operators, whose ultimate owners hide behind a myriad of stooges and offshore companies, are controlled by criminal underworld organisations, Chinese triads foremost among them. It couldn't be otherwise: gambling on sports events is strictly prohibited – and is even considered a criminal offence – in the same Asian countries in which Premier League 'Asian betting partners' recruit almost all of their cust...

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