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FA hand ban to non league player after exchanging betting tips in WhatsApp group with Ivan Toney

The FA hand a football ban to non league player Lewis Wilson after exchanging betting tips in a WhatsApp group with Ivan Toney.

Toney’s former team-mate given a three-month ban from football following an FA investigation which involved a lads’ trip to Ibiza with Wilson understood to have pleaded guilty to placing 743 bets on football over a seven-year period as he played for 11 different clubs.

Wilson, 30, received written confirmation of the ban just months after his involvement at Wembley for Newport Pagnell in the FA Vase final.

Mail Sport reported earlier in the week that Wilson and another non league player in Dean Snedker, who began their careers with Toney at Northampton, were together charged by the FA with placing a total of 1248 bets on football.

On Wilson, the Football Association said that their inquiries followed a previous investigation into Toney, who was given an eight-month ban from football in May after being found guilty of breaking the rules by placing 232 bets. The case against Snedker remains ongoing.

It is understood they were both charged with breaching FA Rule E8 in May 2023 with Snedker is accused of placing 503 bets being June 2016 and June 2022, and Wilson of making 745 bets between March 2017 and October 2022.

An investigation by the FA was said to have been triggered by the discovery of two WhatsApp groups (one of which named Ibiza) involving Wilson, with a group of 17 people made for arranging a holiday with Toney and several non-league players included, and a fair few of that had previously played for the Cobblers.

Daily Mail write that the group wasactive after the trip but soon used as a place to swap betting tips with one discussion about which members of the group were each asked to nominate a match to be included in a multi-game accumulator.

A disciplinary hearing saw FA lawyers allege that Wilson was part of an organised gambling group which led to raised suspicions over their activity, only for the independent commission to then find no evidence to support this and confirmed that he was a recreational gambler.

Snedker, who plays for Coalville after leaving AFC Rushden & Diamonds recently, could however be handed a more serious punishment with the report also saying that one of the WhatsApp messages saw him ask for ‘inside information’, with none provided.

Lewis Wilson of Banbury United placed a total of £3,673.31 worth of bets on football matches over the course of seven years with Bet365 and SkyBet and lost £459.17.

As he was interviewed by the FA, Wilson admitted he was responsible for his gambling, none of which on his own club or a match he was involved in. 49 of the 743 unlawful bets involved games in competitions that his club played in.

Mitigation saw Lewis Wilson’s lawyers speak on the players education on gambling in football had been limited to his time at Northampton with an independent commission accepting he was a ‘small-time gambler’ who bet modest stakes and was no integrity risk, before concluding that because of the amount of games he put a bet on, it resulted in a ban.

It was also found that Toney’s cousin, Nathan Hicks, now without a club having left AFC Rushden & Diamonds, also placed 2,753 bets between 2017 and 2022 and was given a £500 fine after admitting 162 betting breaches as a player for Kettering Town between 2014 and 2017.

Toney isn’t too happy with how he was treated by the FA.

‘The whole football community is big on mental health and then the FA are going to do this and push me away,’ he said. ‘[But] it’s not a place I want people to feel sorry for me. That’s the last thing that I want.

‘Not being allowed at the training ground is baffling to me. I’m counting down the days until I can be training and around the boys. It’s like being in football prison at the moment.’

Ivan Toney opens up honestly on his eight month ban, his mental health, and gambling

GAMBLING HELP

Problems with gambling can harm your health and relationships, and leave you in serious debt.

If your gambling is causing problems for you or your loved ones and you’d like to stop, support and treatment is available.

Are you having problems with gambling?

Try this questionnaire:

Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?

Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling?

Have you tried to win back money you have lost (chasing losses)?

Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?

Have you wondered whether you have a problem with gambling?

Has your gambling caused you any health problems, including feelings of stress or anxiety?

Have other people criticised your betting or told you that you had a problem with gambling (regardless of whether or not you thought it was true)?

Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?

Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?

Score 0 for each time you answer “never”
Score 1 for each time you answer “sometimes”
Score 2 for each time you answer “most of the time”
Score 3 for each time you answer “almost always”

If your total score is 8 or higher, your gambling might be causing problems for you or those closest to you.

Problem Gambling Signs

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