England Bans Betting in Soccer, but Not for ‘The Lizard’

Louisa Fyans, an F.A. spokeswoman, said in an email that when the association updated its rules in 2014, it took into account that some owners had significant gambling interests.

“These clubs would be materially impaired by the F.A.’s position on betting,” she said, so the association created “provisions whereby those individuals could continue to have both an interest in football clubs and in betting companies/entities but subject to very stringent rules and reporting obligations.”

The association declined to share those provisions. The Premier League did not respond to requests for comment.

In the United States, a man like Mr. Bloom, a hybrid of high-rolling gambler and sports team owner, is unheard-of, and would run afoul of the typical sports league bylaws. The appetite for mixing sports and gambling waned nearly a century ago, after eight baseball players were accused of trying to fix the World Series. Even allowing a major sports team, the Oakland Raiders, to move to Las Vegas represents a cultural shift in America.

But the blending of gambling and sport is accepted practice in Britain, where winnings aren’t taxed. Mr. Bloom’s ascension has caused barely a ripple, even though his soccer gambling and poker playing career has been well chronicled.

Part of the reason is that Mr. Bloom is not alone. Dozens of clubs are sponsored by betting firms. The family that owns a betting platform called Bet365 also owns the Stoke City football club, which plays in the Premier League. Matthew Benham, who runs a similar operation to Star Lizard called Smartodds, owns the Brentford football club, which plays in a league between League One and the Premier League.

Both Mr. Bloom and Mr. Benham are known for bringing a data-driven approach to their pursuits.

“Tony is a hugely mathematical and analytical type of person, so clearly he looks at numbers as a means of gaining confidence in decision-making,” said Paul Barber, Brighton’s chief executive, adding that his team had its own data and scouts apart from Star Lizard.

While his team’s players “are aware that Tony is a professional gambler,” they are more interested in his poker skills, Mr. Barber said, adding, “Some of them like to play cards.”

Chris Bonett, an integrity officer at U.E.F.A., European soccer’s governing body, described Mr. Bloom as an ally.

“I know there is an ethical argument, should betting companies be in sports, but we are in…

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