Toney case ‘symptomatic of a gambling epidemic’

SPECIALIST lawyers in Swanage have warned that a high-profile gambling case involving a top footballer is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of a wider epidemic in society.

The comments came from Ellis Jones Solicitors after Brentford FC and England striker Ivan Toney admitted 230 breaches of Football Association (FA) gambling rules.

He has been banned from all football activities for eight months until January 16, 2024, ruling him out of a large part of next season. Mr Toney was also fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct.

Ellis Jones, which has offices in High Street, Swanage, has a specialist sports law department and a betting disputes team, which has recovered more than £5million for gamblers to date.

Partner Paul Kanolik, from the betting disputes team, said: “This high-profile case has highlighted the strict rules on betting for professional and semi-professional footballers.

“All players are made aware of the rules but with the increase in online betting apps and the constant bombardment of betting adverts on TV and ground advertising, together with shirt sponsorship deals from betting companies, it does not come as a surprise that these charges have been raised and dealt with.

“The education of players will no doubt be highlighted as a result of this case. The FA works tirelessly to educate players but gambling is a culture issue in today’s world.”

He added: “Ivan Toney’s case is the tip of the iceberg and symptomatic of a gambling epidemic emerging in wider society which can affect people from all walks of life.

“Clearly more needs to be done to protect the most vulnerable, and it is important that measures announced in a recent government White Paper about gambling laws result in meaningful changes.”

Mr Toney fell foul of FA Rule E8 which does not permit any participant – player, match official, manager, coach or match observer – operating at Step 4 or below in the National League system to bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition or any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world.

The charges came after the Government’s publication of its long-awaited white paper on gambling reforms and the Premier League announcement of a ban on front-of-shirt betting sponsorship from the 2026/27 season.

Ellis Jones’ betting disputes team specialises in dealing with gambling claims and complaints to recover monies clients have lost as a result of the failings of betting operators.

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