York City Player Banned for Placing Bets

York City player Joshua King has become the latest non-league footballer to receive a ban for illegal betting. He placed 139 bets over two seasons, including several related to a match or competition that his club were taking part.

Football Association rules state that professional footballers cannot bet on their own sport. However, that’s just what King did and in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, of the 139 bets placed, 16 were York City related wagers. His bets weren’t that successful with over £450 being lost.

The most serious part of the charges made against King was two certain bets that he placed. These were on games in which the National League North side played in. One saw King on the bench, though he didn’t get to play in the game.

However, he was described by the Football Association as a “potential direct participant.” King wasn’t in the City squad for the other game. King has only played 11 games for York since joining in 2019. He bet a total of £7 on the two matches and lost all his stakes.

In his defence, King told the FA disciplinary hearing that he’d allowed friends to have access to his Sky Bet account. He added that most of the bets had been placed by them. However, officials had found “that almost invariably”, it had been his own mobile phone service provider internet or home wi-fi that was used to go online and place the bets.

It was also noted that many of the bets had been placed during the national lockdown. Would his friends have been able to place so many bets while they had to remain in their own homes for long periods.

King claimed that his “his friends and associates would attend near his home in order to provide instructions to him in order to place bets” using his betting account. The Football Association did not accept this as a credible explanation and wondered why his friends couldn’t use their own betting accounts.

The disciplinary hearing concluded that he had made the “vast majority” of the bets, including those related to York City. They fined King £750 and banned him for one month.

His banning follows that of another York City player Michael Woods. In July of this year, he was fined £250 for placing 71 bets. His defence had been that he had been furloughed and took on work as a delivery driver, therefore he didn’t classify himself as a footballer. York could be in more trouble as their assistant manager Micky Cummins has also been charged on betting misconduct.

The club have released a statement and said they have “clear policies” on betting. They will “continue to provide education via the FA for all club employees.” The club added that: “We are very disappointed by the situation. However, we will continue to support those affected throughout the process.”

Ironically, York lost their game at the weekend. They were beaten 2-1 at Boston United. Their opponents have recently had both Andy Thanoj and Jay Rollins banned for placing bets.