Russian online gambling firm 1xBet has been added to a piracy blacklist in the US.
The US Motion Picture Association (MPA) has added 1xBet to its list of blacklisted sites due to their use of advertising in pirated film content. The MPA put 1xBet on the list, along with China based search site Baidu, in its annual update on global piracy to US trade officials.
The MPA say that video piracy is a big problem for its five member studios in an industry that they say is worth $177 billion in wages and 2.6 million jobs. Their report shows that 1xBet ads were found in more than 1,200 pirate video sites this year. 1xBet does use legal channels for its ads and is one of the best-known companies in Russia, but its use of illegal methods has got it into trouble lately.
In September, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) told three Premier League clubs to end their advertising link with 1xBet. This came after the UKGC suspended 1xBet for ads on illegal sites, but the firm chose to give up its UK license instead of complying.
1xBet is also in trouble in Italy. Serie A, the country’s top football league, has increased efforts to tackle piracy, which could threaten 1xBet’s role as a key sponsor in the country.
The MPA allege that 1xBet has paid to include ads in pirated content, thus supporting piracy. They also say that the 1xBet logo features in the video files of pirated films. In addition, they have accused 1xBet of stealing livestreams, framing the content with its ads, then passing the livestream on to pirate sites. This practice is known as cam watermarking and is a feature of modern pirate video streams.