It’s been a tough couple of weeks for former England striker Michael Owen.
He’s had to watch his daughter Gemma’s antics on dating show Love Island unfold, and has seen his appearances as a pundit for England’s Nations League games panned by the critics.
And now he has fallen foul of the law after promoting an online casino to his Twitter followers – despite the brand not having a licence to operate in the UK.
The tweets, which have since been deleted, promoted Punt Casino – a cryptocurrency-based site that operates an NFT token style staking system.
By promoting the firm, Owen breached Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) protocol on the promotion of crypto products in the gambling sector – their rules state that only UK Gambling Commission approved brands can be advertised in such a way.
Punt Casino is registered in the Caribbean, and they released a statement which read:
“Punt Casino is a fully licensed Curacao casino operating under the rules and regulations associated with that license.
“We do not target or promote our casino to customers of any countries and/or jurisdictions not allowed by such license….Punt Casino takes its responsibilities as a legitimate and licensed casino operator very seriously.”
Owen also made an extraordinary claim about another NFT project he was involved in, claiming his tokens ‘will be the first ever that can’t lose their initial value’ – a false assertion for which he came under considerable fire.
Neymar Shoots for WSOP Glory
The retired former Liverpool and Manchester United striker is not the only goalscorer to make the headlines lately.
Neymar has been enjoying some time off following the end of the 2021/22 season, and the Brazilian has attempted to win his first ever World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet on a jaunt to Las Vegas.
The PSG frontman attended an appropriately-named venue, the Paris Las Vegas Casino, to take his seat in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship event.
Neymar was one of 74 entrants in the tournament, and observers noted that he deployed a rather loose and aggressive strategy in his play – which perhaps precipitated his early exit from the competition.
The 30-year-old departed on the first day after losing all his chips, but he has a pretty decent record in the game for an amateur and has picked up more than £20,000 in prize money from the tables.
He has previously competed in top-tier poker events, and won a PokerStars qualifier back in 2016 which earned him a seat in a WSOP tournament – however, he had to delay that after it originally clashed with Brazil’s gold medal winning campaign at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Neymar also picked up a paycheque of more than £15,000 for finishing sixth in the Brazilian Series of Poker back in 2018.
He’s also thought to be a regular at high stakes ‘home games’ played by many in professional football, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and former Barcelona midfielder Arthur.