ONLINE GAMBLING AFFILIATE MARKETING COMPANY CRITICIZED FOR EMPLOYING FORMER PROBLEM GAMBLER
Matching Visions employment of former Scotland football captain in the spotlight.
A report in the UK newspaper The Times claims that gambling addiction experts have condemned the employment by an online gambling affiliate marketing firm of a former Scotland football captain with a history of problem gambling and drinking.
The appointment of Colin Hendry (50) as ambassador was announced in September by Matching Visions, which outlined his outstanding sports career, noting:
"Over the years, Hendry has scooped up more than 500 league appearances and found the net no less than 40 times during his 20 year playing career. During his illustrious career he has been named the Premier League Player Of The Year, as well as leading his team, Blackburn Rovers, to the Premier League title during the 94/95 season.
"Not only this, but he had also represented his country on the biggest stage of them all, the World Cup, where he played against the very best of the best, including global superstar Ronaldo."
However, The Times reports that last year Hendry was "…banned from driving for having almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. In 2010, he was declared bankrupt with debts of more than £2 million owed to the taxman, family, friends and Spreadex, an online betting firm."
Hendry allegedly blamed online gambling for his financial troubles.
The Scottish Sun newspaper reported today that Hendry is due to represent Matching Visions at the Sigma conference in Malta this weekend, but that a former friend had criticized his continued involvement with gambling following his bankruptcy due to the activity six years ago.
The newspaper reports that Hendry tragically lost his wife the year before he "…went bust owing £2.2million, including £40,000 to bookmakers Spreadex, Sporting Index and Sportspread Betting."
Matching Visions has announced that whilst in Malta Hendry will represent the company "both on and off the field," claiming that his presence in an exhibition game will generate excitement "….with plenty of young football fanatics out there wanting to try their luck against this legendary defender."