Owen in Hot Water Over Crypto Tweets

It’s not a great time to be Michael Owen. He has enough on his plate wondering what his daughter is getting up to on Love Island. Now he’s also in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over his promotion of an unlicensed cryptocurrency casino.

The ASA are always strict on anything which is unlicensed. That led to problems when the former England striker published two tweets on May 16 that advertised ‘Punt Casino.’ They may hold a Curacao licence (another island) but they have not been granted one by the UK Gambling Commission.

That’s the centre of the problem because under UK law, only those licensed by the Gambling Commission can be advertised.

Another problem was a tweet that advertised non-fungible tokens (NFT). It claimed to be “the first ever NFT that can’t lose their initial value.” A controversial claim such as that is always going to attract the attention of the ASA.

The theory is that a code that the NFT contains means it isn’t possible for it to be sold for the purchase price. However, if an NFT is purchased and the price goes in the wrong direction, it’s not possible to sell up and all their purchase price will be lost.

The father of the Love Island contestant (sadly that’s what he’ll be known as for a while) has been told to delete that controversial claim.

As for the “Punt Casino,” they aren’t having a good time of it either. UK residents will no longer be able to access the site as it has been “geo-blocked.”

Michael Owen has made no secret of the fact that he is “a strong believer in the power of crypto.” Signing up with Punt Casino felt like “a natural fit” to him. When a press release was issued about the company, it did not indicate which countries or jurisdictions their promotions were being aimed at.

The company say that there have “quickly become a strong player in the crypto casino scene.” Reasons for this are they claim their “super-powered giveaways” and an “outstanding casino platform.”

They can be the best casino in the world but without that UK Gambling Commission licence, the ASA will always clamp down on them. There’s also the problem of cryptocurrencies themselves. Their value keeps fluctuating and there are fears of money laundering and other activities on the wrong side of legality.

Recent months have seen the Gambling Commission issuing large fines to betting sites. One reason has been them not doing enough to deal with potential money-laundering. Issuing a licence to Punt Casino was longer odds than Owen’s daughter winning Love Island or being photographed wearing several layers of clothes.