England Bans Betting in Soccer but Not for ‘The Lizard’

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Aug/14/2017

They call Tony Bloom “The Lizard” in poker circles. But the Lizard is more than just a gambler, the New York Times writes.

For the first time in more than three decades, the soccer club Mr. Bloom owns, Brighton & Hove Albion, has been elevated to the Premier League.

There is one slight problem.

For the first time ever, one of the best-known leagues in football (soccer to those in America) now has a club that is owned by one of the biggest gamblers in the world. 

The New York Times this past week featured a piece on Bloom and the league’s policy on gambling, that apparently only applies to players.   Big name player Joey Barton was recently suspended for 18 months as a result of his gambling behavior.

Louisa Fyans, an F.A. spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the Times that when the association updated its rules in 2014, it took into account that some owners had significant gambling interests.

“These clubs would be materially impaired by the F.A.’s position on betting,” she said, so the association created “provisions whereby those individuals could continue to have both an interest in football clubs and in betting companies/entities but subject to very stringent rules and reporting obligations.”

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