Officials in Holland have warned British online bookie Unibet for breaking the law after its logo featured at the Feyenoord Centenary Tournament last week.
The pre-season Dutch soccer competition was held at Rotterdam’s De Kuip stadium and featured teams such as Glasgow’s Celtic and London’s Tottenham Hotspur.
The Dutch Ministry of Justice acted after advertisements for Unibet featured on hoardings around the stadium. It also claimed that the firm received widespread exposure two weeks ago after its adverts appeared at the live and televised testimonial match of former Manchester United and AC Milan defender Jaap Stam.
“Gaming companies without a license cannot offer their services in the Netherlands nor can they advertise,” said Ivo Hommes, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice.
“They are breaking the law.”
Feyenoord revealed that the weekend’s tournament had been organised by external media company IEP and that it had been ‘guests in our own ground’. IEP stated that the Unibet advertising was a simple misunderstanding and that it would not occur again.
“We disposed of a surplus of advertising space and asked another company to look for advertisers,” said Jan De Vos, Spokesperson for IEP.
“This company claimed Unibet was allowed to advertise and we acted in good faith.”
This is the third time that Unibet has fallen foul of Dutch gambling laws and the Ministry issued a written complaint. The firm was warned earlier for placing hundreds of posters in Dutch bus shelters while a court ruled in March that the company must block access to its website from The Netherlands because it breached the Betting and Gaming Act.
“They are very much aware of the fact that they are breaking the law,” said Hommes.
“There is free movement of services in Europe and soccer events such as these are a perfect opportunity for us to generate publicity,” said Christophe Dhaisne, Spokesperson for Unibet.