Celebrity Gambler: Brendon McCullum Punting Online Casinos in NZ
Brendon McCullum is a retired right-handed batter and the current coach of the England Cricket Test Team. McCullum represented New Zealand many times during his professional career and is known to hold the record for the fastest test century. Since he retired from all forms of cricket in August 2019, this Kiwi has made headlines again in 2023.
In 2023, Brendon McCullum became the brand ambassador for the offshore online sportsbook, 22Bet. He is also involved in a YouTube ad for the online sportsbook, where he markets the brand to New Zealand bettors. However, this brand was supposedly aggressively marketed as an NZ online casino, which caught the attention of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
Brendon McCullum’s Statistics
|Name||Brendon Barrie McCullum|
|Born||Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand|
|Birthday||27th September 1981|
|Followers||539.2K (Twitter) 1 million (Instagram) 2.3 million (Facebook)|
|Height||5 ft 7 inches (1.71m)|
|Hobbies||Golf, Rugby, and Horse Riding|
|Net Worth||$9 million|
Bet to Play, Bet to WinBrendon McCullum for 22Bet
Brendon McCullums 22Bet Ad Campaign
22Bet is an online betting platform that is operated by TechSolutions Group, a company that’s based in Cyprus. This online sportsbook is seen as India’s biggest betting site, and it also operates with a Curacao eGaming licence. As an offshore betting site, 22Bet offers its services to many countries worldwide.
In January 2023, Brendon McCullum became an ambassador for 22Bet and went on to feature in their YouTube ad. In this ad, the former New Zealand captain is shown driving a red Ferrari in the desert before alighting from his car. He then goes up to show viewers that he doesn’t miss a game with 22Bet and continues with other promotional words.
Well, there are a few things wrong here, as New Zealand has several gambling laws in place. However, 22Bet, a betting site that isn’t registered or regulated in New Zealand, circumvented them to advertise to Kiwis.
Using the international platform YouTube, which isn’t hosted within the country, 22Bet went on to promote gambling to Kiwis. If this wasn’t bad enough, many Kiwis complained that the advertising was aggressive, and it was everywhere. Everyone faced the onslaught during that period, with each ad prompting them to register and collect welcome bonuses from 22Bet.
This led to an outcry from many New Zealand residents, which prompted the Problem Gambling Foundation to file a complaint with the DIA. The Problem Gambling Foundation pointed out in their complaint that these ads were aggressive and painted 22Bet as a legal betting site.
Additionally, they said that because these advertising came from fraudulent accounts, no particular demographic was intended for them. This implies that Kiwis of all ages, especially those who are Brendon McCullum supporters, were exposed to the advertisements. These unsuspecting individuals will be led to believe that, with the presence of Brendon McCullum, 22Bet should be legal in New Zealand.
In response, the DIA said that their hands were tied as YouTube is a platform that’s not based in New Zealand. This allows it to circumvent New Zealand gambling laws regarding advertising. Unlike NZ online casinos, 22Bet is an offshore betting site, so its affairs cannot be controlled by New Zealand gambling laws.
Does McCullum Like Casinos and Gambling?
Although Brendon McCullum loves horse racing, this is not proof that he’s a gambler. When he was a professional players, McCullum had to abide by the anti-gambling regulations set forth regarding wagering on cricket matches.
After retirement, he now works as the head coach for the England and Wales Cricket Board. This group also attests that they have rules regarding gambling and they always ensure that these rules are followed.
Regarding his love for horse racing, it’s no surprise, as McCullum is one of the owners of Defibrillate. This is a thoroughbred racehorse that was born in 2014 and has earned $1,015,375 in its career.
At one point in his life, McCallum not only owned horses but also bred them. He also owned a large stable where 14 horses were kept.
Of course, things are different now, as he is only showing interest in horse racing. Nonetheless, apart from a few online rumours, there’s no proof that McCullum likes casinos and gambling.
Why the 22Bet Advert Was Removed from YouTube
Google pulled the 22Bet ad in April 2023 as it saw that the ad violated its policy on gambling. Google cited the fact that advertised services need to be properly licenced in the region where they’re operating. Since 22Bet is an offshore casino and is not licenced in New Zealand, their ad violates this rule.
The tech giant also cited the fact that gambling ads must target countries where they are approved. The ad should never target minors, and it should also have a landing page displaying information regarding responsible gambling. Since this online sportsbook didn’t follow these rules, Google searched out the ads that violated their rules and removed them.
Nonetheless, we can’t argue that the 22Bet gambling ad was very successful—too successful, in fact. This ad was visible to many Kiwis during the short period for which it was active.
It became so well-known and overpromoted that this was the cause of its downfall. New Zealand residents couldn’t take it anymore and took to social media to complain.
Many went to the social media handle of Brendon McCullum to make their displeasure known. Others made posts regarding the issue and called for its removal.
Is Brendon McCullum Still Partnered with 22Bet?
The 22Bet ad featuring their ambassador, Brendon McCullum, has become a major controversy these days. Although many complaints were made regarding it and the ad was eventually pulled down, this didn’t affect their partnership. Brendon McCullum is still an ambassador for 22Bet and will continue to be one for an undetermined period.
22Bet released a statement saying that their decision to select McCullum as their ambassador had been speculated for a long time. It was discussed among many decision-makers within the betting company before a move was made. Their decision to bring the Kiwi hard hitter on board elevated the brand’s presence among his fans, bettors, and other sports enthusiasts.
Although McCullum’s partnership with 22Bet got off to a rocky start, this was all due to over-advertising. This isn’t the first time a sports star has become an ambassador for a gambling company, and it won’t be the last. So, McCullum’s decision to become a betting organisation’s ambassador is nothing new.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also investigated the situation and see nothing wrong. They said that their anti-corruption code does not stop coaches or players from becoming ambassadors for gambling organisations. After going through a round of discussions with McCullum, the ECB has concluded that they won’t be taking any further action.
So, if there is another chance for Brendon McCullum to become affiliated with online casinos in the future, he’ll take it. As long the betting platform doesn’t breach New Zealand gambling policies, everything will be okay.