Pretender to contender: Part Two

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Pretender to contender: Part Two Regions: US New Jersey Pennsylvania Topics: Sports betting Horse racing Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Race Track and Racino In the second part of our feature on Kambi’s rapid growth, CEO Kristian Nylén and CCO Max Meltzer discuss DraftKings, retail and the future, including its expansion plans for Pennsylvania. In the second part of our feature on Kambi’s rapid growth, CEO Kristian Nylén and CCO Max Meltzer discuss DraftKings, retail and the future. Read part one here.“I think part of the reason for that perception is the great success we’ve had online,” Meltzer says. “Although when I was appointed chief commercial officer I looked at the different markets, the various dynamics and our approach to them and found that we needed to make a lot more of our retail product.”He says this was simply a case of showing ambition and communicating what Kambi could do in the retail channel. It had a product, one that had proved itself in heavily regulated markets, and it was simply a case of making potential US clients aware of it. Meltzer says translating their online technology into the retail sphere had enabled them to offer the same depth of markets, in-play quality, speed and presentation. While retail as a channel had slipped under the radar to some extent, it is firmly in the spotlight because the majority of US markets are currently adopting a land-based first approach.“Executing on-property was probably the one doubt we had about ourselves going into the US,” Nylén says. “But after what we’ve achieved in recent months, it shouldn’t have been a concern to us at all. I’m confident we now offer the leading online and on-property sportsbook in the US.”This confidence is born less of bravado than of having had the retail solution stress-tested within an inch of its life. In short order Kambi has worked with DraftKings to launch a retail sportsbook for its licensing partner Resorts, and simultaneously tested, then launched, sports betting for the Rivers (pictured below left) and SugarHouse (pictured right) casinos in Pennsylvania. “I believe the initial Resorts sportsbook hadn’t been performing well and they had seen the quality of product DraftKings offered online and decided to take the on-property equivalent,” Nylén explains. “Resorts set a pretty short timeframe to make the switch, which meant DraftKings and Kambi had to spring into action. We allocated top talent to ensure we could deliver on time. This helped the Pennsylvania roll-out, says Nylén.“We gained our license from the PGCB on 28 November and were up and running on 13 December, launching in two casinos simultaneously. Introducing two on-property sportsbooks on the same day was a challenge but it was one we met and the sportsbooks so far have been a great success.” Looking ahead, Nylén dismisses concerns that Kambi could be locked out of certain states following a rise in long-term partnerships between land-based and online operators. In recent months a trend of market access deals has emerged, such as Bet365’s 25-year partnership with Empire Resorts for New York State, and William Hill and The Stars Group pairing up with Eldorado Resorts. Kambi’s CEO argues that this requires the market entrants to pay prohibitively high revenue share agreements or give their new partners equity.“It also seems premature,” he adds. “You’ve got to consider it is still early days in the regulation process in the US; most states aren’t close to regulating or deciding how many skins they will allow establishments to have. “Take New Jersey: they have three online skins offering ample chance for market access. While that isn’t and won’t be the case everywhere, we’re taking steps to ensure that in markets such as single-skin Pennsylvania, and New York with its four commercial casinos, we are well‑positioned.”He points out that Kambi’s partners will provide it with routes into multiple states: “Combined with that, there will be states where numerous skins will be made available and where some have already paid a price for market access when they perhaps needn’t have done so.”Nylén also warns the US casinos against rushing into deals.“From our perspective, what we are increasingly seeing from US operators is the desire to protect and grow their brand in their respective markets,” he says. “Unfortunately for some, they’ve come to this realization too late and are starting to regret their earlier decisions perhaps blinded by short-term share-price gains – particularly as they begin to see how the Kambi sportsbook stacks up against the rest of the market.”Kambi ends 2018 having shot ahead of many of the operators and suppliers that industry observers had tipped to make a bigger splash in the US. While some will view 2019 with a degree of trepidation, Nylén has the luxury of looking at the year ahead with a degree of excitement. The supplier is already preparing for the next 12 months with plans to open its first US office, staffed by trading, risk-management and commercial staff. “It’s thrilling to take part in such an environment with all the different combinations, the number of skins changing per state, the joint ventures we’ve seen, the focus on retail and the creation of some partnerships you may not have expected,” he says of the US market.Since May 2018, Kambi has evolved from a pretender to a serious contender. Few would bet against further success in the coming year. 11th January 2019 | By contenteditor Horse racing Email Addresslast_img read more

GVC’s Hornby to join The Restaurant Group

first_img Topics: People Strategy People Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Andy Hornby is to step down from his role as co-chief operating officer of GVC Holdings to become chief executive of The Restaurant Group. Hornby will have an annual base wage of £630,000 at the group. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwittercenter_img Andy Hornby is to step down from his role as co-chief operating officer of GVC Holdings to become chief executive of The Restaurant Group.The group, which operates a network of restaurants and pubs, has not confirmed when Hornby will join, but has stated that he will have an annual base salary of £630,000 (€734,270/$823,290).The Restaurant Group counts the likes of Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito among its brands, with over 650 sites in the UK and over 50 in other territories including the US.“I am delighted to be joining The Restaurant Group as CEO at such an exciting time,” Hornby said. “This is a great business, with strong brands, committed colleagues and tremendous potential to grow.”Hornby has served in his current role since last year when GVC acquired the Ladbrokes Coral Group business. Prior to this, he was COO of Ladbrokes Coral.He has been with the group since 2011 when he joined Gala Coral, holding a number of senior roles such as chief executive of Coral and chief operating officer of Gala Coral, before the bookmaker merged with Ladbrokes in 2016.“Over the last eight years Andy has been instrumental in the turnaround and growth of the Ladbrokes Coral businesses,” GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander said of Hornby’s tenure with the operator.“The business has genuinely been transformed under Andy and I have really enjoyed working with him, and would like to thank him for his valuable contribution to the Group.”Prior to his time at GVC, Hornby was group chief executive of banking group HBOS. However, he stepped down from the role in 2008 when it had to be rescued by Lloyds TSB Group. HBOS now operates as a subsidiary of Lloyds.Hornby also spent time as chief executive of Alliance Boots, the pharmacy-led health and beauty group behind high street pharmacist Boots Group.Image: GCG Communications GVC’s Hornby to join The Restaurant Group 2nd May 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shopslast_img read more

Apple and Google remove misleading gambling apps

first_img Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have removed a series of Asian-facing gambling apps that were falsely presented as non-gambling products. Apple and Google remove misleading gambling apps Tech & innovation Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have removed a series of Asian-facing gambling apps that were falsely presented as non-gambling products.An investigation by cyber security specialist Trend Micro discovered that Apple and Google Play’s stores contained apps designed to “trick unwitting users into downloading gambling apps,” including some apps listed among the top-100 most downloaded within their category and with more than 100,000 ratings.According to Trend Micro, the apps were all deleted before the blog was posted, after the blog’s authors alerted Apple and Google.The apps would typically feature descriptions that did not suggests they were gambling products — with Trend Micro citing examples of descriptions about wine and weather tracking — only for the app to be a gambling product unrelated to the description given.The apps included a “switch feature,” in which the app can either show its actual content or the non-gambling content, allowing Apple and Google to only see the non-gambling version and approve the apps, before they revert to gambling apps.The apps flagged included the 26th most popular app in the weather category and the 42nd, No. 51st and 88th most popular entertainment apps in the Chinese App Store. The blog also noted that many of the gambling apps had the same names as non-gambling apps and appeared above the non-gambling products in searches.Gambling apps on both stores face many regulations, notably including Apple’s recent requirement for all real-money gambling apps to be iOS native rather than HTML-based. Trend Micro stated that the apps did not fulfill the requirements to be permitted as real-money gambling apps in either store. 30th September 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Topics: Tech & innovation Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Asia China Email Addresslast_img read more

At The Races pens turnover-based streaming deal with Betfred

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 25th November 2019 | By contenteditor Regions: UK & Ireland At The Races pens turnover-based streaming deal with Betfred Finance Sky Sports-owned At The Races (ATR) has entered into a multi-year turnover-based streaming and data deal with Betfred, covering a wide range of horseracing content from the UK.Under the agreement, Betfred will gain access to live streams and raceday data across ATR’s UK horseracing content. The deal will shift pricing of each product from a pence-per-stream basis to one where ATR will receive a share of turnover on all bets placed.ATR will use its wholly owned streaming platform Sport Mediastream to deliver coverage and data content to Betfred.“Our partnership with Betfred is one to which we attribute great value and we are naturally delighted that this deal will not only deepen this relationship but unite us in working together, with a common goal, to maximise turnover on our horseracing product,” ATR chief executive Matthew Imi said.Rakesh Chablani, managing director of, added: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with ATR and we look forward to working together in growing our horseracing product.”The move comes amid a debate about the future of streaming partnerships between operators and racetrack operators. While the tracks are increasingly in favour of a turnover-based model, bookies are concerned that this could erode margins or even lead to a coverage blackout, should operators cease offering live streams of certain race content.Bookmakers have also raised concerns that such a move could force them to drop promotions such as best odds guarantees, and this could in turn lead to a decline in customer spend.The Racing Partnership, the media arm of UK racecourse operator Arena Racing Company (ARC), is said to be in favour of turnover-based agreements and could move to implement the changes on a widespread basis. Topics: Finance Sports betting Tech & innovation Sky Sports-owned At The Races (ATR) has entered into a multi-year turnover-based streaming and data deal with Betfred, covering a wide range of horseracing content from the UK. Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Email Addresslast_img read more

Hamilton Academical manager admits breaking betting rules

first_imgSports betting Hamilton Academical Football Club manager Brian Rice has voluntarily acknowledged breaches of its gambling rules after the club received a notice of complaint from the Scottish FA (SFA) about the breaches.The club said it has, “co-operated fully with the association throughout the investigation period,” into breaches of the rules by Rice between 2015 and 2019, while its chief executive said he would propose a “gambling amnesty” to encourage self-reporting of gambling breaches.Rice said that he regretted his actions, which he said he took as he struggled with gambling addiction.“Firstly, I would like to express my regret to the players, coaching staff and my friends and colleagues at Hamilton Academical for the lapse that has prompted me to voluntarily acknowledge breaches of the Scottish Football Association’s gambling rules,” Rice said.“This decision was one of the hardest I have had to take but in a way also the easiest. I have made no secret of the fact that I have struggled with the disease that is gambling addiction in the past.“The reality is I am an addict and while I have been proud of the fact I have been in recovery from this disease, a key part of the recovery programme is honesty: honesty to myself, and honesty to those who have and who continue to support me, including my family and my football family at Hamilton.”Rice added that his decision to acknowledge the breaches was a necessary part of his recovery from this addiction.“I wrote a letter to the Scottish FA self-reporting my gambling and did so as an admission that my disease has returned, in order that I commit to recovery,” he continued. “I have apologised to those at the club in whom I have sought counsel and I apologise today to the players, fans and colleagues I have let down through my gambling addiction.”“I accept that a breach of the rules will come with punishment and I accept that. The reason I am speaking out is to remove the stigma attached to this horrible, isolating disease, in the hope that those involved in Scottish football who are similarly in its grasp feel they can seek help and draw strength from my admission.“I look forward to a future founded on truth and commitment to recovery and it is my wish that anyone who feels vulnerable, helpless or hopeless in the grip of this silent yet destructive disease can come forward and seek help.”Club chief executive Colin McGowan said that, as the news will gain media attention, he hoped the focus would be on the effects of gambling addiction rather than the rule breaches themselves.McGowan said: “As a head coach in the Scottish Premiership, news of his breach of gambling rules will come with profile, media attention and scrutiny. But this is a far more serious issue than a breach of a football rule, a breach that both Brian and the club accepts.”“It is the latest example of a disease that afflicts many people across Scotland and doesn’t discriminate by profile or professional capability.”McGowan added that he was proud that Rice was willing to admit the extent of his problem.He said: “On behalf of my fellow directors at Hamilton Academical, we are proud that our head coach, Brian Rice, has today spoken publicly of his struggles with gambling addiction. As a recovering addict myself – and somebody who has dedicated the last 20 years to counselling individuals across the country, from all walks of life – I believe Brian’s actions are a show of colossal strength and inspiration.“Having spoken extensively to Brian since his addiction resurfaced, I know that his followed a well-worn path from smaller, less frequent bets to the snowball effect of a daily addiction. He has re-engaged fully with professionals, is committed to recovery and has the full support of all at Hamilton Academical.”McGowan said he would propose a rule to the SFA that would allow for amnesty for problem gamblers who self-report infractions such as Rice’s.He said: “It is my intention to write to my colleagues at the SPFL to table a proposal to the Scottish FA’s Professional Game Board for the introduction of a gambling amnesty in our game: one that will enable people to confront their addiction in a safe and non-judgmental environment, with help and support readily available.”Hamilton Academical did not specify exactly what Rice’s breaches were, but SFA rules say that players and managers “shall not gamble in any way on a football match.” It also states that they may not “knowingly behav[e] in a manner, during or in connection with a match in which the party has participated or has any influence… which could give rise to an event in which they or any third party benefits financially through gambling.”Rice became Hamilton Academical manager in January 2019, his first managerial job. In a 20-year playing career, Rice appeared for Hibernian, Nottingham Forest, Grimsby, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke, Falkirk, Dunfermline, Clyde and Greenock Morton, as well as the Scottland Under-21 national team. Before becoming Hamilton manager, Rice had been assistant manager at Hibernian, Ardrieonians, Dundee United, Inverness and St Mirren. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Hamilton Academical manager admits breaking betting rules Regions: UK & Irelandcenter_img Topics: Sports betting Hamilton Academical Football Club manager Brian Rice has voluntarily acknowledged breaches of its gambling rules after the club received a notice of complaint from the Scottish FA (SFA) about the breaches. 20th January 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Email Addresslast_img read more

5 May: Where’s the action?

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter iGB, in partnership with sports data specialist Abelson Info, is providing an updated list of the sporting events taking place each weekday throughout the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Badminton The next 24 hours’ badminton action remains centred on Eastern Europe, with events taking place in Belarus and Ukraine.Baseball South Korea’s Baseball Championship is now underway, while China’s Professional Baseball League and its reserves also play.Basketball The only basketball taking place is the women’s Super Basketball League in Chinese Taipei.Darts The Icons of Darts Live League and PDC Home Tour are the only darts competitions taking place, both remotely.Football The footballing action is restricted to the Turkmenistan Premier League.Golf The Golden State Tour’s Legacy Classic moves into its second round in Arizona.Greyhounds In Australia, 15 tracks hold races in the next 24 hours, while New Zealand joins the schedule with action from Hatrick, for the first time since the daily fixture round-up began. The only US action comes from Florida’s Palm Beach.Horse Racing Racing comes from Japan’s Funabashi; from Visby, Eskilstuna and Jagersro in Sweden; from Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park in the US, and from 13 tracks across Australia.Ice Hockey Again, only short form action is available, and from just one league, Russia’s Liga Pro.Table Tennis Matches are taking place in Armenia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, and from two competitions in Russia and three in Ukraine.Tennis Belarus’ Masters League and Russia’s Liga Pro and Spring Tour finish today’s round-up.This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and all events are subject to change.Abelson Info was set up by Ed Abelson in 2003 to supply the bookmaking industry with the crucial sports data it required as the online betting industry began to boom. Starting with just a handful of employees and even fewer clients, the business has since grown and evolved to accommodate the ever-changing requirements of the industry.We now supply data and technical services to the majority of the top tier bookmakers and platform providers in the UK, along with many of the biggest media corporations and development firms across the world. We have a stellar reputation for delivering top quality data and are always on hand to support customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 5 May: Where’s the action? Tags: Mobile Online Gambling 5th May 2020 | By contenteditor Sports bettingcenter_img Topics: Sports betting Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter iGB, in partnership with sports data specialist Abelson Info, is providing an updated list of the sporting events taking place each weekday throughout the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.last_img read more

Tennis player Hossam banned for life over corruption charges

first_img The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has handed a lifetime ban to Egyptian tennis player Youssef Hossam after he was convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption charges.The 21-year-old, who is currently ranked 820th among Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles players, was provisionally suspended from all professional tennis in May 2019, as a result of concerns about his alleged involvement in corruption.However, following a TIU-led investigation, covering a four-year period between 2015 and 2019, Hossam has been permanently excluded from competing in or attending any event organised or recognised by the governing bodies of tennis.The TIU said its investigation found that Hossam, who reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 291 in December 2017, conspired with other parties to carry out a campaign of betting-related corruption at the lower levels of professional tennis.This involved 21 breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, namely eight cases of match-fixing, six incidents of facilitating gambling, two cases of soliciting other players not to use best efforts, three failures to report corrupt approaches and two failures to co-operate with a TIU investigation.The TIU cited several sections of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, including Section D.1.b, which states that no player or official shall solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any event or any other tennis competition.Such activity include the display of live tennis betting odds on a player’s website, writing articles for a tennis betting publication or website, conducting personal appearances for a tennis betting company, or appearing in adverts encouraging others to bet on tennis.The TIU also highlighted Section D.1.d, which states no player shall or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event, as well as Section D.1.e, whereby persons must not solicit or facilitate any player to not use their best efforts in any event.The investigation also found breaches of Section D.2.a.i, where by in the event a player is approached by someone who offers money, benefit or consideration to influence the outcome or other aspect of an event, or provide inside information, the player must report this incident to the TIU as soon as possible.In addition, the TIU said Hossam was in breach of Section F.2.b, which states that players must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings.After a player receives a request for an initial interview or becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving them, they are required to preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or alter any evidence or other information related to the offence. No must a player solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to tamper with, damage or destroy or alter evidence and information related to the offence.Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy imposed the lifetime sanction following a disciplinary hearing in London, England from 9-11 March.The TIU is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA. Earlier this year, the TIU also handed a lifetime ban to Brazilian player Joao Olavo Soares de Souza after he was convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption offences. Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting Tennis player Hossam banned for life over corruption charges AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has handed a lifetime ban to Egyptian tennis player Youssef Hossam after he was convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption charges. Email Address Legal & compliance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 5th May 2020 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

BOS challenges Swedish government over regulatory changes

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling BOS challenges Swedish government over regulatory changes Swedish gambling operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has once again criticised the country’s government’s decision to impose tighter restrictions on the industry during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, saying such changes would harm the market and its licensees. Swedish gambling operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has hit out at the government’s revised set of temporary restrictions it plans to implement during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, saying that they would seriously harm the market and its licensees.Announced late in May by Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi, the new set of measures replace earlier proposals put forward in April.The original measures faced heavy criticism, with chief executives from a host of Swedish licensees signing a BOS petition in protest of the changes. Betsson, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, NetEnt and William Hill are among those to have spoken out against the plans. Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen even warned the restrictions could force players to unlicensed sites.In an attempt to ease these concerns, the updated measures state that horse and sports betting exempt from an SEK5,000 (£428/€482/$545) weekly deposit limit, which will now only apply to online casino games and slots.Players of slots and casino games would also be required to set time limits for gameplay, while an SEK100 bonus cap also put forward in April would now also only apply to online casino.However, BOS, which was highly critical of the original measures, has published an official response to the Ministry of Finance, questioning the motives behind the latest changes and suggesting that they could harm channelisation in the Swedish market.One of the primary reasons given by the government for the new measures was that more people would turn to online casino gaming during the Covid-19 crisis.According to BOS, the Ministry of Finance has not yet provided any evidence that this has been the case, while it said its own members have not seen a drastic change in behaviour in relation to online casino usage. Earlier this week a study, which claims to be the first of its kind to track changes in sports bettors’ behaviour under lockdown, claimed that players in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany actually gambled less overall, rather than shifting from betting to different verticals such as casino.“For BOS members, the most notable difference is found in another gambling vertical: sports betting, which due to cancelled games has seen a notable decline,” BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said. “Other betting companies outside of BOS – including state-owned Svenska Spel – report that online casino activity is standing still while there is a hefty decline in sports betting.”BOS also pointed out that the Ministry of Finance should further analyse data before it imposes new controls. It proposed the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) to deliver monthly and quarterly reports about the state of the market to offer a more realistic view of the situation.“One example of irreversible damage is that gamblers that leave the licensed gambling system [to play] outside of the Swedish licensing system due to the temporary regulation will be lost even after the expiry of [these controls].”Focusing on channelisation, BOS highlighted its recent study that found the rate for online casino and sports betting was well below government targets and in decline. According to BOS, the new measures would have further negative effect on the online casino channelisation, describing such a move as “inconsiderate”.BOS also pointed to recent figures published by the Swedish Tax Agency, which showed a stagnation or decline in revenue for operators offering sports gambling and online casino, while AB Trav och Galopp (ATG), the market leader in horse race betting, saw an increase of more than 30%.“In this situation, to propose austerity measures for online casino and, as in this case, an exception for horse betting appears to be inconsiderate or even incomprehensible from a consumer protection perspective,” Hoffstedt said.BOS also highlighted the lack of evidence to support the government’s claim that the restrictions were prompted by changing consumer behaviour, despite the European Union’s regulatory framework for urgent procedures being invoked in order to quickly implement the measures.“BOS wishes to emphasise that for the second memorandum, with its obviously distortive consequences for competition and, to say the least, lack of factual support for the proposed measures, it is of the utmost importance that the government conducts a normal notification to the European Commission,” Hoffstedt said.“It stands without reasonable doubt there is no basis for an urgent procedure and that such a procedure would be a violation of EU law. Sweden is obliged to notify whether proposals are undergoing significant changes, which the revised memorandum to a great extent does.”The association went on to raise concerns over the technical implementation of new controls. Swedish licensees are usually required to carry out months of tests in order to ensure their system can comply with regulations, it said. However, with the tight turnaround on the changes, this would not be possible. “It cannot be regarded as responsible by the Ministry of Finance to propose changes that in reality require deviations from Swedish gambling regulation,” Hoffstedt said.BOS then moved on to suggest that the changes would favour state-owned or state-controlled gambling operators, with private businesses set to suffer as a result.It noted that while online casino is a gambling vertical offered by the both state-controlled operators Svenska Spel and ATG, it is not a key product either, with the majority of revenue coming from lotteries and horse racing.“If the government goes ahead with its proposals, then we are back to square one regarding channelisation,” Hoffstedt said in conclusion, suggesting that a spike in problem gambling was more likely were the controls to be implemented.“There is a long way to go before we will reach the spirit of mutual respect and willingness to compromise that characterised the previous reform.“The government should, under all circumstances, prepare for the probable increase in problem gamblers that Sweden can expect when the gambling collective due to the extent of the proposed regulation increasingly turns to the unlicensed gambling market.”In other Swedish news, Spelinspektionen has awarded a gambling licence to Lotto Direct Limited. The licence is valid until June 2023 and will permit the operator to run its online lottery gaming services in the country. Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Casino & games Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting 5th June 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more

Caesars details £2.9bn takeover offer for William Hill

first_imgThe bookmaker explained that having received an initial written proposal from Apollo on 27 August, it then received a further offer from the firm, while Caesars made its own proposal. Last month, Caesars Entertainment Inc. – the name for the combined business – reported a $1.17bn net loss for the first half of the year. The operators announced the deal in June last year, with Eldorado agreeing to pay $17.3bn – comprising $7.2bn in cash and around 77m Eldorado common shares – to take ownership of Caesars. Caesars addressed this in the statement on its own offer, saying that if Apollo were to acquire William Hill, Caesars would then be entitled to terminate rights associated with the joint venture it operators with William Hill in the US. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Any offer would be subject to approval of William Hill shareholders, though the bookmaker’s board of directors has indicated that the proposed terms of the bid mean it would be minded to recommend that the offer be accepted. The offer would see Caesars pay 272.0 pence for each William Hill share, with the operator also revealing that it has finalised its due diligence and will make a further announcement on the potential offer when appropriate. Caesars, which has a 20% equity ownership in the venture to William Hill’s 80%, said that any acquisition agreement with Apollo would see it terminate mobile market access rights and rights to operate sportsbooks at it premises that are granted to the venture by Caesars. “We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the US by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting and entertainment.” “The opportunity to combine our land-based casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the US is a truly exciting prospect,” Caesars’ chief executive Tom Reeg said. “William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to better serve our customers in the fast-growing US sports betting and online market. Caesars said that it intends to pursue a more integrated arrangement with an unnamed media company to further align interests and create an enhanced customer offering. Finance In terms of how Caesars would finance the acquisition, the operator said it plans to launch an equity capital raise today (28 September) with proceeds from this to be put towards the purchase.  Details of the offer comes after it was revealed last week that both Caesars and alternative investments giant Apollo Global Management had put forward separate cash proposals to acquire the business. The takeover bid would also require customary antitrust and regulatory gaming approvals, but Caesars said it would expect to secure this approval and complete the transaction in the second half of 2021. Caesars details £2.9bn takeover offer for William Hillcenter_img In addition, should the acquisition go ahead, William Hill would have complete access to Caesars’ loyalty programme, in an arrangement Caesars said would benefit all customers. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Caesars also said the combined business would have a “world class” portfolio of assets, as well as the ability to access Caesars’ pre-existing relationships with teams and events including being the exclusive casino partner of the National Football League. US gaming giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. has set out further details of its possible cash offer for William Hill, saying that it is set to make a bid worth £2.9bn (€3.29bn/$3.71bn) for the bookmaker. Going into detail on the benefits it believed the acquisition would have on the wider business, Caesars said a combined business would better serve customers in the US, as well as increase its market access in the country and provide a more unified customer experience by consolidating applications and wallets. Email Address Caesars would also use existing cash as well as $2.0bn of new non-recourse debt facilities, which it intends to enter into and secure against William Hill’s non-US businesses. Through this joint venture, William Hill runs online sports betting operations through Caesars’ market access in each state and retail sports betting in Caesars’ properties as well as those of other casino operators across the US. However, should Caesars succeed with its offer, the operator said it would seek to broaden the scope of the venture to maximise the opportunity in the sports betting and gaming sector, as well as provide an enhanced customer experience. 28th September 2020 | By Aaron Noy The combination, Caesars said, would also allow for greater alignment with media companies. Caesars already has in place a multi-year relationship with ESPN, while William Hill has a partnership with CBS. Regions: UK & Ireland US Topics: Finance The potential offer comes after the legacy Caesars Entertainment Corporation business in July was acquired by Eldorado Resorts, in a reverse merger deal that the operators said created the largest casino and entertainment business in the US.last_img read more

Sazka to compete for UK National Lottery tender

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Sazka, which already operates lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy, has completed its response to the Gambling Commission’s Selection Questionnaire, the first step in the tender process set out in August this year.“As a leader in operating lotteries across Europe, Sazka has made no secret of the fact that we would be thrilled to operate the UK National Lottery,” Sazka chief executive Robert Chvátal said. “The UK National Lottery is a national treasure with a proud 26-year history.“Now it is looking forward to the next decade and how it can best serve its customers in a world so disrupted by digital transformation, the fourth industrial revolution and [novel coronavirus],” he continued. “The landscape from when the UK National Lottery was launched back in 1994 has changed beyond measure.”Chvátal revealed that the operator was in the process of hiring a team in the UK, and building the partnerships and relationships needed to deliver “a compelling case” for Sazka to replace Camelot as the lottery’s operator.The tender announcement in August set out a number of changes to operating conditions for the National Lottery, with the winning bidder to be handed a fixed, ten-year term. The next operator will also be granted more flexibility in how it achieves its good causes funding targets.Furthermore, the contract will set out incentives to encourage the operator to reach these funding targets, and mandate closer relationships with bodies responsible for distributing National Lottery money.Chvátal said that Sazka’s track record of “facilitating the evolution of established lotteries to innovate for their successful future” left it well-placed to fulfil these aims.“We are serious about our intentions and respectful of the process we are entering into,” he said. “We submitted our completed application to the Gambling Commission by yesterday’s deadline. This was an important and exciting moment for us, marking our official entry into the competition. We trust that our submission will demonstrate our professional track record and technical capabilities.”The tender had been due to launch in the first half of 2020, only to be pushed back as a result of disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This in turn led to incumbent Camelot being granted a six-month extension to its current contract.The other runners and riders are yet to confirm their participation in the tender, though the deadline for interested parties to submit their selection questionnaire passed on 2 October. This would suggest that those competing will either be announced by the Gambling Commission or the individual companies over the coming days.Camelot, which has held the National Lottery licence since its formation in 1994, is certain to compete – though has not officially confirmed its involvement – while Health Lottery operator Northern & Shell is understood to be interested.Sugal & Damani, which was the only competitor to Camelot in the third licence process in 2009, may also be involved. However, its chief executive Kamlesh Vijay told iGB in September that the delays may ultimately create another two-horse race, something the Gambling Commission had been eager to avoid. Regions: UK & Ireland 5th October 2020 | By Aaron Noy Pan-European lottery and gaming giant Sazka Group has announced it will compete for the fourth UK National Lottery licence, becoming the first business to confirm its participation in the process. Sazka to compete for UK National Lottery tendercenter_img Lottery Topics: Lottery Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more