Is betting on footballer’s sexuality a step too far?

Is betting on footballer’s sexuality a step too far?

Friday, November 6, 2015 Totally Gaming
WinCashLive is been criticised for its market offering

WinCashLive has been criticised by gay rights campaigners for taking bets on which England footballer is to announce that he is a homosexual.

The market was opened by the gaming operator - which focuses on television and showbiz - following tabloid newspaper reports that an international player was considering making the announcement. The story was covered widely in the traditional media, and was the subject of millions of tweets, as there have been few prominent footballers to make such a declaration.

WinCashLive opened its market with the tagline: “The papers reckon an England footballer is going to come out as gay. Fancy a bet on who it’ll be?” The site said that the player would have to come out before September 1, 2016 in order for a payout.

However, a spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall warned: “Homophobia in sport is a real issue that should not be cashed in on and trivialised.”

In response, WinCashLive owner Ashley Faull told the Daily Mail newspaper: “We think it is a shame that the culture in football has made it so difficult for gay players to come out.

“We do not want to cause offense and are not seeking to trivialise the coming out of a gay England footballer, but it is the kind of high profile unpredictable market which customers would expect us to offer odds on.”

Controversy over betting markets is nothing new, with companies offering odds on more and more social and political stories. 

Last year Paddy Power provoked outrage and a ticking off from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after offering odds related to the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. The company also opened a market on which would be the next animal to put down at Copenhagen Zoo following media reports about the death of a giraffe.

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