PL clubs react to mooted gaming sponsorship ban

Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, is outraged by a British Government investigation into whether top football clubs should be prevented from being sponsorsed by online gaming sites. The UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn has instructed the Gambling Commission to probe whether the sponsorships break regulations prohibiting such sites targeting children. “I think it’s ridiculous," Levy said. "This country freely advertises the lottery on TV and billboards. It’s no different. What about all the alcohol advertising you get on billboards? I just think it’s nonsense.”

Earlier this month Sport and Technology disclosed how one online gaming company is using football to penetrate Asian markets. Launched in September 2004, Mansion (Gibraltar) Limited is a fully licensed gaming company employing over 130 industry experts and member support staff. In 2006, Mansion signed a four-year £34 million shirt sponsorship deal with English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. Under the terms of the deal, Mansion will partner Spurs across a wide range of commercial activities including targeting of the Asian market and a co-branded internet gaming site that will operate on a revenue share basis.

Mansionpoker.net is a free play online poker site where players can hone their strategy and qualify for a seat and a chance to share in the $2 million-plus prize pool on offer in the company's Poker Dome Challenge, a 43-week televised tournament series in Las Vegas. Mansionpoker.net has attracted over 200,000 registered players since launching in late May 2006. “A highly resilient infrastructure is fundamental to the success and continued growth of our business – even the shortest outage of service would be damaging and result in players turning to our competitors’ online gaming environments,” said Grant Brett, Mansion's head of IT.

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