Ghost in the machine

Mystery surrounds 8XBet, Manchester City's new Asian betting partner. Open-source intelligence points to the UAE.

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

Its ‘global ambassador’ Teddy Sheringham calls it “the place where trust and fun go together”. 

Tom Boyle, Vice-President, Global Partnerships Marketing and Operations, City Football Group, said in July:
“We are delighted to welcome 8Xbet as a regional partner of Manchester City today. 8Xbet shares our commitment to entertaining and providing great experiences to customers and fans alike. The new partnership provides the club an opportunity to further increase our presence across the region and we look forward to working with 8Xbet.”

But it would be hard to find a more opaque bookmaker than 8XBet, the Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese-facing operation that Manchester City recently announced as its Asian betting partner.

It has many of the hallmarks of a company keeping its cards close to its chest: a founder who doesn’t seem to exist online; a CEO appearing to hide behind a stolen avatar; a backstory that doesn't align with publicly available records. 

It also has a ghostly presence on social media. 8XBet’s LinkedIn account lists just two employees, for example. Neither of them appear legitimate. 

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