A new trend on social media and involves influencers from British Reality Shows like ‘Love Island’, ‘Geordie Shore’, and ‘TOWIE’ is of doing paid-for ads for betting tipsters.
‘Love Island’ star Sam Gowland, 24, has around 1.5 million followers across his social platforms. The reality star filmed himself bounding up his driveway surrounded by all his prize possessions. Well, if you think the reason being his net worth is his reality TV and endorsements, then you are wrong.
Gowland wrote in his post, “I’ve got my dream car, my dream house and this beauty today” – pointing at a Porsche in his driveway – “all from a £25 investment.” Walking into his house, he excitedly said, “I cannot stress enough, if you want in guys, swipe on the link and get involved.”
The Snapchat video was uploaded last month. In the video, he openly states that all his significant possessions were bought from the winnings of £25 per month betting tipster, The Betting Man. Many of his followers on the social network may be underage, given that almost 19% of Snapchat’s audiences are below 17 years of age. Check out the video here:
What a bellend he is. No wonder why so many people becoming addicted to gambling when they see this clown advertising how to become rich overnight, just following a few footy bets… what a fraud 🤣 pic.twitter.com/8WSvcj5BKE
— Harry (@HarryMcMullen1) June 11, 2020
Sam Gowland is not the only influencer doing so. Scotty T from British Reality Show ‘Geordie Shore’ and Mario Falcone from ‘TOWIE’, too, have uploaded more than one promotion for a similar tipster – The Racing Guru. It offers horse racing tips.
Scotty T – who was declared bankrupt in 2019 –previously advertised another tipping site, First Past The Post.
Once you have signed up, the tipster advises you what bets to place. But there is no limit to the number of bets the tipster can offer you. Also, there is no guarantee if you’ll win. In order to maximise your initial £25 monthly investment, you can then move money chasing these tips.
Not only is it an unbelievable claim, but it also crosses numerous Advertising Standards Agency rules on gambling. The agency instructs that gambling companies cannot use anyone under 25 to advertise their products (Gowland is 24), or target young audiences. They cannot show that gambling is financially profitable. They also cannot show that it enhances personal image.
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council said: “This type of advertising is totally unacceptable and violates advertising regulations on content, including giving a false impression of financial success.”
inzpire.me, an industry algorithm which works out how much companies should pay influencers for posts, says Gowland could ask for a fee of up to £4,000 for his posts. This is based on his number of followers and their engagement. Using the same algorithm, Mario Falcone (1.1 million followers on Instagram) could command a fee of up to £3,600 per post. At the same time, Scotty (2.7 million Insta followers) could ask for up to £6,900 per plug.
Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who heads the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, says social media adverts by high profile influencers are toxic for inexperienced gamblers.
As of their 2020 results so far, The Betting Man states they are up £755 for the year for those placing £10 stakes but there is no hard evidence for this.
In the ‘unlikely’ event of regularly winning tens of thousands, bookmakers can restrict or even close accounts that become “too successful”. This makes it harder to reach life-changing scores.
Kenny Alexander, CEO of Ladbrokes and Coral said, “99 percent of those gamble will lose. If you are playing more, you are losing more.”
VICE approached Gowland’s agent and The Betting Man for comment but had no reply. Repeated requests to Scotty T and Mario Falcone’s agents too went unanswered.