AFC Bournemouth has ended its three-year association with shirt sponsor M88 as media outlets report that an investigation into the online betting and gaming firm is being undertaken by the UK Gambling Commission.
M88, the Asian-facing subsidiary of gambling operator Mansion Group, which boasts a variety of brands such as Mansion Casino, Casino.com and Slots Heaven as part of its portfolio, first aligned with the Premier League club before the 2017/18 season.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, M88 is being investigated by the Gambling Commission alongside Mansion Europe, with the UKGC said to be currently looking at various aspects of the model and operations of both. The club’s sleeve sponsorship with the parent company is reportedly unaffected.
With the football season set to restart this month following a temporary suspension due to the global health crisis, it is said that the club is considering adorning its strips with a message to key workers for the remainder of the 2019/20 fixtures.
The club is also thought to be exploring the possibility of finding a new shirt sponsor before the Premier League’s resumption on June 17.
A statement on the club’s website stated: “AFC Bournemouth can confirm that its partnership with M88 will end on Sunday (31st May).
“The online gaming company has featured on the front of the club’s home, away and third shirts, and training wear, since the start of the 2017/18 season.
“The club will therefore complete the 2019/20 campaign in new training wear and playing kits. AFC Bournemouth would like to thank M88 for its support over the past three years.”
Last year’s one-year extension to the M88 partnership saw Bournemouth “extended their club-record shirt sponsorship deal”with the Cherries aiming to utilise the brand to bring football fans and customers in Asia closer to the club.