Bookmaker Paddy Power issued an apology after allowing wagers on the odds of Ugo Ehiogu, a dead former footballer, becoming a manager to Birmingham City.
The bookmaker site advertised the hopefuls for the position, among the hopefuls was Ugo Ehiogu with the odds of 66/1. The late Ehiogu was a defender in the big-league football team – Aston Villa; and also played for England. Sadly, he died in April this year, from a heart attack sustained during a training session. Ehiogu’s name joined Sam Allardyce, a previous England manager and Frank de Boer who was the Crystal Palace manager on the list of people to bet on.
Reactions and responses to Bookmaker fail
After the release of the Birmingham advertisement, social media came down heavy on Paddy Power. The responses were extremely direct, calling the bookmaker “sick” and referring to their adverts as “pretty poor taste”. But the bookmaker issued individual responses and stated it was an honest error and was removed. To add, this is what the official statement read “this was a genuine error. A trader re-used an old market as a template for this one, and didn’t notice that Mr Ehiogu was included”.
According to Paddy Power spokesman, players were only able to bet money on Ehiogu for just over four minutes; before the blunder was detected. The company also issued an apology to the Ehiogu family.
Bookmaker’s “always bet on black” ad banned
In another debacle, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled an ad by Paddy Power as racist and ordered it banned. The ad sparked outraged in the gambling community and social media, days before the highly publicised match between Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor. To explain, the ad featured Mayweather alongside the following tagline “always bet on black” and further stated that “we’ve paid out early on a Mayweather victory”.
The decision to ban the ad was made after a total of nine complaints. The ASA said, “we considered that readers would be offended by invitation to always best on the outcome of a boxing match based on boxer’s race”.