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Despite Bookmakers’ Objections, Judge Allows New UK Gambling Laws

Oct 13, 2014
The court has given the British Government the green light to implement its new gambling laws

The court has given the British Government the green light to implement its new gambling laws

The UK Government will move forward with its plan to tax remote gambling companies who cater to British players.

The court has given the British Government the green light to implement its new gambling laws. The decision comes after the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association challenged the government’s new licensing and taxation policies in court, hoping to receive approval to continue catering to British players remotely, without actually paying taxes in the UK.

For several years now, top gambling operators – including big names like William Hill, Ladbrokes or bet365 – have been running their online casinos and betting services from places like Gibraltar, Malta or Isle of Man. These offshore jurisdictions have much lower taxes than the UK, allowing gambling companies to pocket millions of pounds that would normally go to the British government.

The industry has been preparing for the big tax change, which is expected to cost it around GBP300 million a year, but the move has also caused share prices to drop. British bookmaker William Hill saw its shares fall 3.3%, while Ladbrokes shares dropped more than 4% following the court’s decision.

Reuters: RPT- Court clears Britain to take tighter control of online gambling

In order to tighten controls on the online betting industry, the British Government will require all internet gambling companies to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission before providing their services on the local market.

With the new license comes an additional 15% tax on online profits made from bets placed by UK-based customers, which is scheduled to come into force on December 1. As of March 2015, bookmakers will also pay 20 to 25% more on lucrative high stakes gambling machines. It is estimated that this tax increase will cost betting companies around GBP75 million a year.

As for the new gambling act, officials had initially set the deadline for October 1, but were forced to postpone the measures until November 1 after the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) challenged them in court, claiming they contravened European laws guaranteeing free movement of services.

Judge Nicholas Green dismissed the appeal on Friday, saying: “Parliament was clearly within its rights to act as it did.”

“We remain concerned the UK regulator will find it difficult to hold companies to account in jurisdictions outside of the EU where it has no legal powers and common legal framework or culture,” the GBGA wrote in a statement.

Critics argue that the new regulations will result in unlicensed operators offering better odds on sports scores, thus encouraging gamblers to turn to illegal websites, which offer no consumer protection.

GBGA: “Unlawful’” Gambling Law Poses “New Danger” for Consumers

Earlier in June, the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) raised a few issues regarding the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, labeling it as “unlawful”, and claiming that it “threatens the safety of consumers online.”

The new regime will require the UK Gambling Commission to police the online industry worldwide, which will be very difficult. GBGA chief Peter Howitt believes that the new law, combined with planned tax changes, will cause local players to migrate to the unregulated market.

“This is bad for UK consumers, bad for the regulated industry, bad for Gibraltar and is in breach of European law, but fantastic news for operators who choose to avoid proper regulation,” he said in a statement.

“We know of no precedent where any regulator in any industry will be granted the role of licensing and regulating operators all over the world in this way, threatening to criminalize companies and people who fail to submit to its regime. This is plainly unworkable.”

In addition to being “unlawful” and “unworkable”, the new law is also “unnecessary”, the association said. Gibraltar has one of the world’s most effective regulatory regimes and would continue to be responsible for its gambling industry, but it would also have to share information with the UK regulator on a formal basis.

In a statement released by the GBGA, the association’s lawyers added: “All this Act achieves is a wholly unjustified, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services, a right enshrined in European Law.”

Gaming Intelligence: Pinnacle Sports to shut down UK operations

Curaçao-licensed betting operator Pinnacle Sports announced that it will withdraw from the UK market. The company decided to stop catering to British players after the Government announced it was introducing tighter regulations under the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014.

At the beginning of September, the company sent a notification to all its customers, announcing it will shut down its UK operations from September 30th. Apart from withdrawals, all account functions have been disabled starting September 30. The restriction applies to subscribers who have listed UK as their place of residence, in their account details.

“Amendments to the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act come into force on October 1st, 2014 requiring all companies that advertise or provide gambling services to British residents to obtain a license from the British Gambling Commission,” the betting operator explained in a statement.

Pinnacle is just one of the many online gambling operators who chose to withdraw from the British market due to the 15% point of consumption tax. The list also includes SBOBet and 12BET, both licensed in Isle of Man, and Gibraltar-based Mansion casino.

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Bookmakers in Britain Agree to Have a Voluntary Watchdog

Sep 17, 2014
Bookmakers in Britain agree to have a voluntary watchdog

Bookmakers in Britain agree to have a voluntary watchdog

In efforts to maintain a more transparent approach with their gaming practices, some of the biggest bookmakers in Britain believe it is in their best interest to establish a supervisory watchdog. This newly formed group will aim to keep them in line with responsible gambling and other relevant standards that the industry calls for.

The Guardian: Bookmakers sign up to voluntary watchdog

With the current industry demands to create a higher standard of gaming and increase efforts to engage in responsible gambling, several high-profile firms are looking into setting up a watchdog. William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power are all among the gaming providers that want to implement the new group to oversee their practices.

They have come up with this plan in order to help them with avoid statutory measures for offering “free money” on many of their gaming machines and in betting shops. All of these big firms have agreed to remove all advertisements for touch-screen roulette machines from their respective shops starting from next month.

Additionally, they will also install responsible gambling messages that will be visible across a fifth of their shops’ space. Advertisement that promote “free bets” and “free money” for players to claim will not be aired before 9pm.

Latest gambling news reports that the new overseeing association will be called the Senet Group. Among their many responsibilities will be to fund educational advertising campaigns on problems that are associated with gambling. The group will also make sure to alter their TV commercials to contain more messages that are oriented towards responsible gambling.

Latest gambling news reports that Silver is determined many states that are currently experiencing financial difficulties will want to follow the model set by Nevada. The gaming state allows sports betting and is showing a steady growth.

Financial Times: Britain’s biggest bookmakers to create gambling watchdog

In order to follow through on tougher gaming standards that are being imposed by officials, four of the biggest bookmakers in Britain will create a new overseeing body. Problem gambling has become a heated debate in the industry, so establishing a board should help them curtail issues associated with that.

The self-regulatory body will be titled the Senet group (named after a board game in ancient Egypt), and its purpose will be to help maintains the standards that are sought by the industry today. The group will have the capacity to “name and shame” and also impose fines for any companies that don’t follow through on the missions and objectives set by it.

Other big name gaming providers like Bet365 and BetFred have also been invited to participate and sign-up for the new supervisory entity. The planned date for its launch is currently believed to be in January after several important steps pass completion.

Chief executive of Gala Coral, Carl Leaver, stated, “Actions speak louder than words. That’s why the Senet Group will be given the independence, budget and purpose to hold the betting industry to account.”

Recently, government official have expressed concern about the increased number of betting shops and the effect that they have on Britain’s society. This has seen them launch initiates to reduce problem gambling which is heavily linked to gambling advertisements and high-stakes betting machines that are provided by many betting shops.

Express & Star: Bookies back responsible gambling

William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power have all come together to form a new overseeing entity that is intended to help them maintain responsible gambling practices. Many corners of the country believe that gambling providers should be held accountable for problems that may arise due to intense gambling pursuits.

Therefore, the new body titled the Senet Group will be tasked with implementing strict guidelines and measures for all the gambling providers to follow. The key goals that have been put forward by the firms involve the voluntary ban on advertising various gambling offers such as “free bets” and “free money” before 9 pm.

Betting shops will also remove all advertisements of gaming machines from all their windows. Additionally, they will convert a fifth of their shop window advertisement space into messages that will bear responsible gambling points, according to gambling news.

The aim is to protect “vulnerable” gamblers from spending all of their money, while the new group will also have the power to “name and shame” and impose fines for any provider that doesn’t follow the regulations.

Although currently there are four founding companies looking to establish a watchdog, others have also been encouraged to join. Chief executive of Ladbrokes, Richard Glynn, commented, “Gambling has long been a leisure pursuit and part of the cultural fabric of the UK, but we are alive to the concerns of the public to keep gambling a responsible and fun activity.”

PoliticsHome: Four bookmakers set up watchdog to keep themselves in check

A total of four gaming providers have come up with a plant to set up an overseeing body that will make sure all the companies are running socially responsible operations. William Hill, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and Paddy Power have all agreed to start the new Senet group to keep them in line with the guidelines demanded by government officials and the public.

All of the big four companies are already member of the Association of British Bookmakers, and the new group will help them maintain leverage over BetFred, which the largest non-member of the Association.

The Gambling Commission was established by the government to oversee and make sure all practices are scrupulous and responsible towards the society at large. However, up until it has not done much with its powers but instead has managed to receive criticism from some corners of the public for not doing any effective work.

No fines or penalties like loss of license have been issued to providers for breaching regulations on gambling. The Commission has not been able to discipline the perpetrators for not following the rules which has propelled the government and the public to seek a better regulating body to ensure all runs according to the guidelines.

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Second Royal Baby Triggers Betting Boom

Sep 10, 2014
Betting companies are taking bets on the second royal baby's name, gender and weight

Betting companies are taking bets on the second royal baby’s name, gender and weight

The second royal baby is on its way, and thousands of punters have already rushed to the bookies to place wagers on its name.

This week started off with great news for fans of the Royal Family, as a statement from Clarence House announced Prince George is going to be a big brother. As Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child, online gambling news sites predict a new betting bonanza.

When Kate and William got married in April 2011, 24.5 million watched their wedding on TV. Soon after the news got out that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant, bookmakers started offering odds on the royal baby’s name, hair color and even his future job, with bettors placing over $2.4 million in wagers.

Betting companies are expecting even bigger profits this time around, as the second royal baby has started to draw new clients just after the announcement was made. Next to the usual sports scores listed at bookmakers, players can already place wagers on the name, weight and hair color of the new royal baby.

The Wire: People Are Already Betting on the Royal Baby

British newspapers have announced the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a second child. Kate will not be accompanying Prince William on a previous engagement in Oxford, as she is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a severe form of morning sickness – and is under medical observation.

Meanwhile, punters are already placing bets on the baby’s name, hair color, weight, and even whether Kate is having twins or triplets. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has released a statement saying players have already spent more than GBP10,000 by Monday midnight.

“If there’s one thing that baby George taught us it’s that the British public love a punt on a Royal offspring and we’re bracing ourselves for another baby betting bonanza. Money is already pouring in by the pramload and we expect this to be the biggest novelty betting market of the year,” Paddy Power said in a statement.

According to the company’s latest odds, the safest bet is on Kate and William having a brown-haired baby at birth. Odds on hair color are: brown (6/4), blonde (5/2), red (3/1) and black (5/1). Odds for multiple birth are 33/1 for twins and 250/1 for triplets. As for the weight of the baby, Paddy Power is going with 5/1 for less than 6lbs, 6lbs to 6lbs 15oz, or 9lbs to 9lbs 15oz; 11/8 for 7lbs to 7lbs 15oz; 11/8 for 8lbs to 8lbs 15oz; and 8/1 for the baby weighing 10lbs or more.

As far as names go, Elizabeth, Henry and Victoria are top favorites with odds of 10/1, followed by Charlotte, Arthur, William, Alice, Philip, Alexandra, Catherine or Kate, and Charles, all given 12/1 odds; James, Mary and Frances are at 16/1, while Albert, Alex/Alexander, Diana and Spencer are at 20/1. The last option – Macbeth – is a long-shot with odds of 500/1.

E! News: Royal Baby No. 2 Names and Gender Already Sparking Major Betting Frenzy — Check Out the Odds!

Merely hours after Clarence House revealed the good news that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their second child, bookmakers have started taking wagers on the baby’s gender and name.

“The royal baby betting frenzy is back in full swing. With one correct gamble already in the bag, punters are quickly reinvesting their winnings on the couple having a second son called James,” Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes told E! News.

James, the duchess’ brother’s name, is at the top of the list with 6:1 odds, followed by Elizabeth, Arthur and Victoria at 8:1. Ladbrokes has posted 4:5 odds that the duke and duchess will have another boy, and it seems highly unlikely that Kate is carrying more than one child, with odds being at 20:1 for twins and 100:1 for triplets.

Either way, punters will have to wait until next spring to meet the second royal baby and find out if they won.

People: Royal Baby’s Name and Sex: Bookmakers Taking Bets

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that Kate is expecting their second child and all bets are on, as bookmakers are already taking wagers on the baby’s name and sex.

“The Royal Baby betting frenzy is back in full swing,” Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes told reporters. “With one correct gamble already in the bag, punters are quickly reinvesting their winnings on the couple having a second son called James,” she added.

Ladbrokes is offering 4:5 odds on the new child being a boy, and James (Kate’s brother’s name) is the top favorite for a first name, with odds at 6:1.

NBC News: Royal Baby Boom a Bonanza for British Economy

The British economy is getting a boost from the second royal baby. Money has already started pouring into the betting industry, and economy experts are expecting tourism and souvenir sales to increase.

When Prince George was born last July, it was predicted that the food, drink, tourism and media industry would make an extra $400 million in sales. The birth of the second baby is expected to reach the same level, but economist Howard Archer warns: “There may be a small feel-good factor when it is born and some buying of souvenirs but that is as far as it will go.”

Gamblers have already started to place wagers on the baby’s name, gender and weight, which can only mean good news for the betting industry.

CNN: Betting gets a bump from Royal Baby #2

Gambling companies are preparing for another betting bonanza. Paddy Power said it was expecting this to be the biggest novelty betting market of the year, and Ladbrokes has also announced it was taking bets on the new baby’s name, with James being favorite at odds of 6:1. Betfair is going with Victoria as top choice for the second child’s name.

Players from all over the world have placed more than GBP1.5 million ($2.4 million) in wagers on the birth of the first royal baby, trying to guess its name, hair color and future career. Bets started pouring after the palace announced that Kate had gone into labor.

Wagers on a sibling for Prince George have been open for some time, and betting companies said hundreds of people have already won thousands of pounds.

“587 people have correctly predicted that the couple would announce they are expecting a second child in 2014, all of those punters have now collected [their] winnings,” Ladbrokes announced.

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Mysterious Australian Tries to Sell of Millions of Ladbrokes Clients’ Personal Details

Dec 22, 2011

Ladbrokes Security Breach

Australian newspaper, “The Mail,” published the summary of an exchange that they had with a mysterious Australian, in which he offered to sell the personal details of 4.5M Ladbrokes betting customers this weekend. The police, Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, and The Mail are working together to resolve the matter.

The Herald Sun: Mystery Aussie in Ladbrokes breach

A mystery Aussie approached UK newspaper, The Mail, and offered to sell confidential information about millions of punters who’ve placed bets with bookmaker Ladbrokes. The newspaper was given 10,000 Ladbrokes customers’ personal information including addresses, account numbers, phone numbers, and gambling histories on Sunday after the man claimed to have cracked the bookmaker’s 4.5 million member database.

Ladbrokes is contacting its punters to assure safety on credit card details, passwords and other financial information. The police were also contacted and informed of the breach. The matter’s also under investigation by Britain’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The Australian, “Daniel,” offered to sell the database, claiming that he worked as a computer security consultant for Ladbrokes in Britain 2 years ago.

“We’ve been informed that a person connected to our organisation offered details from a customer database to the Mail on Sunday,” Ciaran O’Brien, head of PR at Ladbrokes stated. “This is a criminal act and we are working with the police, the ICO and the newspaper to identify and apprehend the culprit.”

Mail Online: For sale: Personal details of millions of Ladbrokes gamblers, offered to the MoS by a mysterious Australian

Millions of British gamblers’ confidential records were offered for sale to The Mail on Sunday. The huge data theft is at the center of an investigation after the paper was given personal information about 10,000 Ladbrokes customers and offered access to its 4.5 million member database.

Last night we alerted Ladbrokes of the breach and handed the customer files to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which immediately began to investigate. The records include home addresses, gambling histories, customer account numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses.

Ladbrokes contacted the police and started to reassure customers that credit card details, passwords and other financial information is safe.

During protracted negotiations via email and in one phone call, the man who offered to sell the information gave his name only as ‘Daniel’ and claimed to represent an Australian company. The Mail received an email from ‘Daniel’ Sunday, saying that he was ending negotiations and warning against passing his details to the authorities.

The Mail was first approached by ‘Daniel’ earlier this month. He said he had been passed the data by a ‘relatively junior’ employee, who was trying to sell it on. ‘Daniel’ claimed that his initial intention was to tip Ladbrokes off about the breach, but he then decided it would be better to contact the media.

IT Wire: Ladbrokes secures personal data, wanna bet?

A data breach of 4.5M Ladbrokes customers’ personal and gambling details emerged over the weekend. Ladbrokes are adamant that customers are safe. An exposing summary of an exchange with ‘Daniel’ of Melbourne was publically displayed by the newspaper, “the Mail,” on Sunday.

Prior to going public, the paper passed all information to Britain’s data oversight group, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a more formal investigation.

‘Daniel’ claimed to be from DSS Enterprises, an organization run by Dinitha Subasinghe. The newspaper did not indicate whether ‘Daniel’ spoke with an accent.

Initially, ‘Daniel’ told the newspaper that he was going to contact Ladbrokes but decided to contact the media directly with the information that he’d been passed the stolen data by a relatively junior employee of Ladbrokes who was trying to sell it on.

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Ladbrokes Refuses to pay £7.1 Million Over White Christmas Due to “Error”

Dec 18, 2011
Ladbrokes Refuses to Pay Christmas Snow Winnings

Fifty-two year old Cliff Bryant, placed several accumulator bets on whether cities in Britain would enjoy a White Christmas, and won all of them bringing his winnings to £7.1 million. Ladbrokes, the betting site where he placed the bet, is refusing to pay out this sum on account of the bets being accumulators instead of singles.

Press Association: No £7.1m payout after bet ‘error’

Bookmaker Ladbrokes refuses to pay off a bet worth £7.1 million to a man who wagered snow would fall on Christmas because it was accepted by mistake. Cliff Bryant placed 2 £5 accumulators on snow fall across 24 British Cities on December 25.

Ladbrokes staff accepted the bet by mistake as the company rules state such a wager can only be a single bet. The first accumulator would’ve netted Mr. Bryant over £4.9 million, the second £2.23 million. The company honored the relevant single bets and paid out a lesser £31.78 instead. They’ve since apologized for the mistake.

Mr. Bryant is seeking legal advice over the error and says he was “gutted” by the decision. He urged the company to make rules clearer. A Ladbrokes spokesman said company rules state “snow at Christmas” bets must be singles only, rather than accumulators.

Reuters: Bookie refuses to pay out £7 million on snow bet

Cliff Bryant placed 2 £5 accumulator bets that snow would fall on 24 towns and cities across the north of England on Christmas. Now he’s being refused the £7.1 million payout he won.

“We have apologized to the customer for any confusion and for mistakenly accepting an accumulator bet when our own rules state that only single bets are available on a market of this nature,” said a Ladbrokes spokesman. “We are happy to void the bets and to pay the customer his winnings on the relevant singles.” That would be a mere £32.

The graphic designer from Southampton, says he was “gutted” and will seek legal advice. He claims the 1st bet would have won him 4.9 million pounds, with the second adding 2.2 million. “If I make a mistake in my work like that it costs me dearly and I think the offer should be a lot more generous than they have made.”

Ladbrokes gave Bryant details of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), an neutral adjudicator that deals with gambling operators and customers disagreements.

Danny Cracknell, an IBAS manager, told Reuters that Bryant had been in contact and they would be investigating the issue once he had completed the relevant forms.

Mirror.co.uk: Punter furious after bookies refuse to pay out on £7m white Christmas bet

A UK punter thought he won £7million betting on a white Christmas and ended up with just £31. Cliff Bryant spent £10 on 2 accumulator bets that 24 UK cities would see snow fall on Christmas. All of his predictions were correct but he was later told that his wager was invalid.

Company rules say accumulators, a series of linked bets, can’t be placed on the chances of a white Christmas. Cliff received the winnings he would have got had he placed 24 single bets. The dad-of-three, said: “My heart was beating fast when I thought I’d won but now I’m absolutely fuming. If I’d been paid I would have loved to have got my teeth done.”

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “We apologize that a bet was taken in error. We intend to talk to Mr. Cliff to see if we can make it up to him.”

Cliff Bryant would’ve made over £7 million this Christmas but Ladbrokes claims that his bets were invalid and will award him only £31 due to the mishap.

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Mega Moolah Isis progressive jackpot pays out big again at Ladbrokes

Aug 24, 2010
Mega Moolah ISIS Slot

As though it weren’t enough for one lucky Ladbrokes Casino player to take £75,000 on a single spin, as though it weren’t enough that he did it on a free spin earned through a promotion, the big winner also pulled off the feat on a Friday the 13th.

Ladbrokes Online Casino just released a few details – though not the identity – about their £75,000 winner, and it’s a story about beating the odds all the way. The London resident first won in the casino’s “Single Day Prize Draw Promotion,” which offered randomly-awarded £10, £25 and £50 prizes for play on the Mega Moolah Isis progressive slot.

Even stranger about this story is that just last month a Ladbrokes customer hit Mega Moolah Isis for over £88,000 – and that player was also from London! With such a stacking up of coincidences, it’s no wonder magical Friday the 13th paid off in strange ways, one supposes.

A representative for Ladbrokes marketing said that “A £75,000 win on Friday the 13th is amazing. It just goes to show that this day can be lucky for some! We have had so many big winners in the last few months that 2010 is starting to look very good for our customers.”

With a bit more than a trace of worry, Ladbrokes also reminds that the progressive jackpot on the record-breaking Mega Moolah progressive slot has just passed £4 million.

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The 2010 World Cup bets you could have made

Jul 14, 2010
2010 World Cup

While the final result and the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup wasn’t highly unexpected, the relative lack of clear-cut favorite throughout the tournament made for some big payouts for punters who bet correctly.

To start the tournament, Spain was a favorite at every sportsbook: The only variable were the odds, which ran at 4/1, 9/2 or 5/1. That’s at least $500 on a $100 bet just for picking the no.1 ranked team in the world going into the tournament. Even with eight teams remaining, Spain was still getting 11/4 odds at PaddyPower – a potential $375 more on a $100 wager.

Ladbrokes Sportsbook had finalists Spain and Holland at 2/1 and 13/2 to make the final match when the World Cup began. A $50 bet on each there earned clever bettors a total of $525.

As for individual matches, the biggest money was predictably made betting against the powerhouses. Those foolhardy enough to have wagered on Switzerland to beat Spain in their first game got odds of 11/1 at Brobury Sports for a huge $1,200 on $100 invested. And despite the terrible morale on Team France going into their third game, a South Africa win was still getting 11/5 odds at PaddyPower, for another $320 on $100 when the host nation defeated the champions of 1998.

Probably the biggest loss in the tournament was suffered by a bookmaker. Paddy Power had installed a money-back special for the World Cup, in which certain wagers would be returned on a 0-0 draw. England-Algeria in group play ended at 0-0 with millions bet by British punters and a sizable fraction returned on what normally would have been profit for the bookmaker.

But on our wagers, we just turned $500 into $2,920. See? Betting on the World Cup is easy. Good luck in 2014!

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Looking back at 2010 World Cup outright winner odds

Jul 06, 2010
2010 World Cup odds

One serious longshot and one dark horse remain among the 2010 World Cup final four, and if one of these two wins a few lucky punters will get some nice returns indeed. Even if the more highly regarded Holland or Spain hoists the Cup for the first time, though, the results will still be nice indeed for some.

Anyone with foresight enough to have bet on Germany at the start of the tournament is feeling pretty good right now. Now the hottest team left, BetUS was typical and offered a line of 14/1 on the Germans to win this thing – and eight goals in the past two games say they’ve got a shot. A $20 bet at BetUS Sportsbook in June could be worth a cool $280 on Monday.

Uruguay is the other surprise remaining in World Cup betting. Not only would a Uruguay victory in the championship represent the biggest upset ever, a mere $20 bet placed at Ladbrokes in early June will be worth a crazy $2,500.

As said before, either Holland or Spain will pay well in what was a fairly open tournament from the go with no true consensus favorite: Just last week, Netherlands was still getting 15/2 odds at BroburySports. Those doing their World Cup football betting at Bodog would have gotten 5/1 on Spain through most of the tournament.

Whoever wins the 2010 World Cup, two things are certain: This has been a great one, and some clever punters are going to be very happy with their sports betting expertise.

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Bet on USA to win and advance in World Cup

Jun 23, 2010

Team USA is only one win away from advancing to the round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, facing Algeria

landon-donovanBoth Ladbrokes and Brobury Sports are giving the Americans’ good chances to win this one, the odds are +111 (11/10). All the eyes in this game will be on the USA team as they face off Algeria.

A low score is expected, with USA winning 1-0 getting the shortest odds in Ladbrokes Correct Score betting at 5/1. Want to bet on who will score the winning goal? Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are getting 5/1 odds … will it be a header this time around?

At Brobury Sports, bet on the World Cup and receive a 50% signup bonus on all deposits of at least $100 for up to $500. Or get $25 in free bets from Ladbrokes by making just $5 in World Cup bets – with either deal, you can’t go wrong with these quality sportsbooks.

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888 issues profit warning, opens possibility of hostile takeover

Jun 02, 2010
888 Slump

Gaming group 888 has had a difficult 2010 and it seems things are only going to get worse. After releasing a profit warning showing that poker turnover had decreased by 18% between January and May, 888 now anticipates losing even more business during the 2010 World Cup this summer. While 888 blames an industry-wide decline, currency fluctuation and even illegal casino operators for their woes, some financial experts wonder if 888 is ripe for a takeover.

The Guardian: Gaming group 888 could attract predators after profit warning

After a gloomy warning from 888 spokespeople regarding revenue between January and May, the company has left itself vulnerable to takeover. Following up on a similar negative forecast released in April, 888 showed that the number of players at its poker website dropped by about 18% in the first five months of 2010.

Though 888 believes the downward trend to be industry-wide and that its own program of cost-cutting must be adhered to, spokesmen maintained that 888 would continue its strategy of acquisition – a plan 888 seems to be incapable of at present.

Rumors that bigger companies Party Gaming and/or Ladbrokes might make a bid at a takeover of 888 emerged while 888 stocks lost 21% of value on the day of the announcement to finish trading at 53.25p. Greg Johnson of investment banking services provider Shore Capital stated that Ladbrokes “needs greater scale in its online operation, in our view,” making 888 operation a perfect match.

This is London: 888 will spend World Cup behind the sofa as it predicts strain on profits

Internet casino 888 warned that the upcoming World Cup would actually be bad for its business, as its staple poker players are expected to be spending less time and money at the online poker tables and instead devote more energy to football. “Online gaming trading during the period of the World Cup will be difficult,” said 888 CEO Gigi Levy as he announced the profit warning.

Levy also stated that profits for 888 in year 2010 would be “significantly lower than previous market expectations” of $45.5 million.

As for the current drop in poker business at 888, illegal online operators in America were blamed for eating into profits, though the numbers show that high-rollers visit the site less frequently than ever. Levy also blamed currency fluctuation for its financial woes, stating that $5 million in revenue had been lost in 2010 so far because of exchange rates: Though 888 does most business in euros and pounds sterling, revenue is reported in terms of U.S. dollars.

The (London) Express: 888’s World Cup Fears

Online gaming company 888 Holdings issued a warning on profits yesterday in anticipation of casino gamers deserting the site to turn attention to the 2010 World Cup tournament: “Instead of staying in and using 888,” said one 888 spokesman, “people are more likely to go down the pub and watch the football.”

A pair of financial analysts offered harsh assessments of 888’s current financial state. One unnamed analyst stated that “The potential for 888 to be acquired has diminished,” while James Hollins of corporate advisory firm Daniel Stewart & Co. said that “888’s weak poker offering and lack of significant sports offering has worked against it.”

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Ladbrokes pushes its online operations as land-based revenue falls

May 17, 2010
Ladbrokes Online Sportsbook

Due in part to the recent economic downturn, but also to bad weather across the UK this winter, Ladbrokes has seen first quarter profits at its high street betting shops down several percent. Online, however, things are looking promising, especially after the group cut costs by moving its online operations to Gibraltar.

Telegraph: Ladbrokes revenue dips as cautious punters stake less cash

Ladbrokes last week revealed that revenue has slipped 6% year on year, with a 10% drop in the amount of money staked by customers.

The sportsbook said that over-the-counter revenue at its land-based betting shops saw a huge drop in January due to bad weather, falling a full 17%. In the months following, trends slowly improved with April revenue down only 7%.

Sports betting is often considered to be a recession-proof businesses, but many struggled during the recent economic downturn. The latest updates from other high street bookmakers like Paddy Power and William Hill have fortunately been more promising.

Ladbrokes’ new chief executive Richard Glynn said the current economic climate is still “challenging” and UK consumers are not as confident in their spending as they were a few years ago.

Despite this recent drop in revenues, Ladbrokes saw operating profits rice 3pc in the first quarter of 2010, thanks in large part to the group’s move to the tax haven of Gibraltar last year.

Ladbrokes finance director Brian Wallace said he has plans to save the company around £8m a year.

Guardian: Ladbrokes shares slip as punters stay away

UK bookmakers have been struggling more than expected during the recent economic slump recession, but the latest reports from William Hill and Paddy Power are showing signs of picking up. Ladbrokes, however, said last week that numbers are dropping in their books, with the amount of bets placed in its high street shops continuing to decline.

First quarter net revenue at Ladbrokes has fallen 6%, with UK retail revenue down 11%. Over the counter revenue dropped by 10%. Its online sports betting business is also seeing a slump, mostly due to unexpectedly poor performance from their poker and casino offerings.

Newly appointed Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glyn said, “The economic environment remains challenging and the strength of UK consumer confidence post the election is difficult to gauge. However group profitability year to date has been broadly in line with expectations.”

Irish Times: Operating profit rises at Ladbrokes

UK bookmaker Ladbrokes reported a 3% rise in four-month operating profits, thanks to its recent strategy of moving its online sports betting headquarters to the gambling tax haven of Gibraltar.

The move introduced several expense reductions which have helped to offset a recent drop in revenue at Ladbrokes’ UK betting shops, which is down 6% over the last four months.

The company also revealed that their net debt had fallen by £179 million, thanks to a £515 million settlement it recently received from a tax dispute.

Ladbrokes’ latest strategy is to bring more attention to its online sportsbook, to make up for the drop in sales at its land-based betting shops. After moving their online betting unit to Gibraltar last year, the company expects to save about £8 million annually.

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Tony Blair Filmed Betting on David Cameron

May 07, 2010
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William Hill offers takeover bid to Centrebet

May 03, 2010
Centrebet Fish

UK bookmaker and online gambling operator William Hill made a $130 million takeover offer to Centrebet, one of the first licensed sportsbooks in Australia. Both parties insist that talks are preliminary, though it has been said that William Hill executives are now in Australia looking over Centrebet’s operation. The move seems to be part of William Hill’s recent globalization strategy.

The Australian: UK group William Hill to bid $130m for Centrebet

UK online sportsbook William Hill is poised to offer £80m ($132m) for online gambling operator Centrebet International.

William Hill’s executives are said to be in Australia examining Centrebet’s operations. It is understood that the groups are still in discussions, with final offers not yet regarded as imminent. Other major sportsbooks like Ladbrokes are still in the running.

William Hill has said it is interested in expanding its operations offshore by increasing its online presence instead of going for land-based betting shops. Australia is seen as fertile territory for bookmakers looking to expand.

“William Hill, Ladbrokes and (British group) Coral are companies I would expect, whether it’s through acquisitions or starting up themselves, to look at entering the Australian market at some point in the next year or so,” says Betfair Australia chief executive Andrew Twaits.

Sky News Australia: William Hill to make offer for Centrebet

UK sportsbook operator William Hilll has offered to pay $132 million for Centrebet.

Australian newspaper The Sunday Times reports that William Hill executives are in currently Australia, examining Centrebet’s books as part of an ongoing negotiation.

In March, Centrebet announced that it had received a number of acquisition proposals and was considering them all.

It is believed that there are other gambling groups interested in acquiring Centrebet, including William Hill’s UK rival Ladbrokes and Austria’s BWin.

The draft recommendation to liberalise Australia’s gambling laws recently published by the Productivity Commission has boosted overseas interest in internet gambling in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Centrebet continues consolidation talks

The internet gambling and betting group Centrebet International Ltd is still in talks with other operators over consolidation opportunities.

“Whilst parties have expressed interest in exploring a variety of transaction structures, no terms, including as to price, have been agreed,” Centrebet said in a statement on Monday.

“Centrebet anticipates that these discussions may continue for some time.” The group also admitted that the talks are preliminary, and may not result in any formal proposal being made.

Centrebet revealed back in March that it had received takeover proposals in February, and that the proposals were confidential and non-binding. At the time, it was speculated that Ladbrokes, William Hill and Sportingbet were all in talks with Centrebet.

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Ladbrokes Goes French

Apr 09, 2010
French TV

UK’s largest sports betting company Ladbrokes has forged a deal with France’s largest pay-tv provider Canal+. Together the two will forge an online gambling and sports betting service for French players. The new service will launch later this year, and will attempt to lure Canal+ subscribers to Ladbrokes’ online gaming websites.

Financial Times: Ladbrokes tilts at French gambling market

Ladbrokes has entered France’s newly-regulated gambling market through a joint venture with Canal+, the pay-TV broadcaster. Together they will create a new internet betting and gaming service.

Through the operation, which is supported by an initial €2.25m (£1.97m) of funds from each partner, Ladbrokes will gain access to 12.5m subscribers of Canal+.

The terms of the deal demand that Ladbrokes refrain from operating any other online gambling operations in France until two years after the partnership ends.

Until recently, Ladbrokes was skeptical about the French market because tight regulations and steep tax rates. Operators are required to pay 7.5% tax of turnover on sports betting and horse racing, and 2% tax on poker turnover.

The new service will launch later this year, as long as it gets approved French regulators. France is new to the world of online gambling, and the government is pushing to get the new market up and running before the start of the football World Cup on June 11.

Ladbrokes and Canal+ will face a lot of competition in France’s new online gambling market. Other French groups have signed deals with brands like Betclick, PartyGaming, Paddy Power, and Everest Poker.

Reuters UK: Ladbrokes to launch French JV

The UK’s largest online bookmaker Ladbrokes has signed a joint venture agreement with Groupe CANAL+ to launch an online gambling and sports betting service in France.

The new service is set to launch by the end of the year, so long as the application is approved by French authorities. It will mark Ladbrokes’ first move into the French market in its 124-year history.

“We believe that there is an opportunity to build a good business in France over time as the market and regulation develop,” said Ladbrokes’ John O’Reilly.

Both Ladbrokes and CANAL+ are putting forth an initial €2.25 million to fund the 50:50 venture. Ladbrokes will provide its online gambling knowledge and technology, while CANAL+ will provide access to media, brand, and a large base of subscribers.

Times Online: Ladbrokes takes a punt on French venture

Ladbrokes is making a move on the French gambling market through a joint venture with Canal+, France’s top pay-TV company. Ladbrokes hopes to lure French gamblers to its website and through its new partner’s television channels.

France recently opened up its gambling market, breaking down the old Française des Jeux lottery monopoly.

“We currently have no presence in France,” said a Ladbrokes spokesperson. “It is a very competitive market but it is also a very big market. It will still be highly regulated but it is hoped that it will be further deregulated over time.

Ladbrokes and Canal+ are both putting up an initial €2.25 million (£1.97 million) into the 50:50 joint ventures. The contract also gives Canal+ the option to force Ladbrokes to buy its stake in five years.

Ladbrokes’ online gambling chief John O’Reilly said: “Canal+ is a brand synonymous with sport in France. We believe that there is an opportunity to build a good business in France over time as the market and regulation develop.”

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Tiger Woods – The Billion Dollar Athlete

Apr 06, 2010
tiger woods

Tiger is not his real name. This golf legend – perhaps the most famous golfer who ever lived – was born Eldrick Tont Woods. The name “Tiger” was given to him as a child by his father, and the nickname stuck with him through adulthood.

Woods’ father was a Vietnam vet. His mother was originally from Thailand. Both of his parents had mixed ancestry, making Woods one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch. To keep things simple, Woods refers to himself as Cablinasian (Caucasian, Black, (American) Indian, and Asian.

In 1978, when Woods was 2 years old, he made his first television golf appearance, putting against showstar Bob Hope on The Mike Douglas Show. Before the year was up, he had won his first golf competition.  At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest. Woods established himself as a golf prodigy from an early age, and has yet to live down that title.

As a teenager, Woods’ career really picked up. He started getting noticed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, and he was winning more big events than ever before. In 1994, at the age of 19, he moved on from his Junior League career to play in the U.S. Amateur Championship, becoming the youngest winner the event had ever seen.

After high school, Woods attended Stanford University on a golf scholarship. After two years of mixing school and golf, he left university, went pro, and immediately signed a $40 million endorsement deal with Nike – the biggest such deal the golf world had ever seen. Since then, the sponsorship deals have only increased, during Woods into the most marketable athlete the world has ever seen.

Woods has had an impressive pro career. To date, he has won 71 official PGA Tour events including 14 majors. His focus is on raw power, and he is known for his long drives. His short game is also good – his putting skills, especially when he’s under pressure, are a sight to behold. Despite his incredible skill he remains cautious in his game – he plays fewer big events than most pros, preferring to spend more time preparing for each one to be sure he plays the best game he can play.

The man’s skills have certainly paid off. Last year, Forbes confirmed that Woods is the first male athlete in sports history to earn more than one billion dollars during his career.

Woods has had a bad year, there’s no question about that. He’s lost many of his most lucrative sponsorships, and his charities have taken a hit. But as of April 2010 Woods back in the game, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, both Both William Hill and Ladbrokes, two of the largest online sportsbooks, have Woods listed as the 4-1 favorite to win the next Masters. Does he still have what it takes?

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Ladbrokes watch as profits plummet

Feb 23, 2010
Ladbrokes Sportsbook

Ladbrokes, one of the UK’s largest , reported a 28% fall in profits for 2009 over the previous year. They blame the economic climate which kept punters from betting, and the unusually snowy winter which kept bettors from heading out to the 2,700 betting shops that Ladbrokes operates across the UK.

The Wall Street Journal: Ladbrokes’s Net Tumbles

The UK gambling company Ladbrokes PLC reported a significant drop in 2009 profits amid the economic downturn.

The sportsbook reported last year’s net profit down 63% to £74.4 million from £200.7 million in 2008. Revenue fell 10% to £1.032 billion.

Revenue suffered from winter weather, with snow and ice across the UK keeping customers at home. Another contributing factor was a strange year for the Premier League, which saw fewer draws in matches than usual. Draws are a bookmaker’s secret weapon, as most bettors wager on one team to win.

Chief Executive Officer Chris Bell says they are putting their hopes on the soccer World Cup in South Africa this summer. “Far from me to make the prediction that the World Cup will balance the economy … But it’s a huge tournament.”

Ladbrokes is watching carefully for changes to US gambling laws. “We are prepared,” Bell said.

BBC: Ladbrokes profits hit by recession

UK sportsbook Ladbrokes blames the economy for a 28% fall in profits for 2009. Last year it made £191.3m ($301.5m), down from the £265.6m it made in 2008.

Sales in the UK fell by 28%, as bettors cut back on spending in the recession.

The company says the football World Cup this summer is a good opportunity to increase profits and attract new customers.

Ladbrokes also hopes to increase profits through the upcoming launch of a new spread betting service, which will let punters to bet on stock markets, shares and currencies.

The company’s chairman Peter Erskine admits “2009 was a challenging year for Ladbrokes.”

“We were impacted by the deteriorating economic environment… however, Ladbrokes continues to be a profitable and cash generative business.”

The New York Times: Ladbrokes Profits Slump

Britain’s largest sportsbook Ladbrokes reported a 28% drop in last year’s pretax profits. The figure reflects recent economic conditions and bettor-friendly results hitting margins during the third quarter.

The company, which has operates more than 2,700 betting shops across the UK, said their 2009 pretax profits fell from 265.6 million in 2008 to just 191.3 million pounds.

The figures are still ahead average forecast for pretax profit, which stood at 166 million pounds according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 19 analysts. Ladbrokes is also facing the loss of CEO Chris Bell who will step down in early summer, and are currently looking for a replacement.

Shares in Ladbrokes closed last week at 151.9 pence, valuing the business at 1.4 billion pounds.

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