Australia's Tabcorp Tatts Merger On Hold Again

The gambling industry in Australia has been going through some serious reconfiguring over that past few years making it difficult for some operators to expand. The $11 billion merger of Australian gambling giants Tabcorp and Tatts is being looked at again by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The previously approved merger of the two firms is now in jeopardy after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appeal was upheld by the Federal Court. Two appeals by the ACCC and rival betting operator CrownBet were lodged in July and Tabcorp has repeatedly explained to its shareholders it was "committed to the transaction" and confident the merger will be completed although not before the Melbourne Cup begins.

A spokesperson explained, "Tabcorp will be arguing that the tribunal does have the jurisdiction as the full Federal Court authority says the time limit is satisfied if the original decision was made in that time frame,"

A statement from the company said, "Tabcorp has engaged with the various gambling regulatory authorities over the past 10 months, in order to satisfy the requisite requirements and secure the relevant approvals in order to implement the transaction," "The necessary pre-implementation notifications have been provided and the probity assessments for the proposed combined group, as well as its subsidiaries, directors, officers and 'associates' have been completed."

The ACCC chairman Rod Sims commented on the Federal Court decision, “The ACCC is pleased that the Full Federal Court has set aside the decision.

“The ACCC argued that the tribunal had made an error in failing to assign less weight to benefits which would be retained by Tabcorp, its shareholders and the racing industry, and not shared with consumers more broad.”

The concerns about the immense market power the merged entity would obtain, and the subsequent lessening of competition are the safeguards the government has in place for the benefit of the consumer.  

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Ladbrokes Coral Opens Tech Center In Here East London

There are many internet gambling products available for every particular taste. The development of online games is becoming a competitive and interesting field for research and gambling operators such as Ladbrokes Coral is embarking on the techno path.

Ladbrokes Coral has seen the benefits of education and innovation for their business. Ladbrokes Coral is bringing together its sports product and technology teams to create a new entity. Now located in Here East, the former media centre for the London 2012 Olympics, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London LC2 will be made up of a dedicated group of very skilled software engineers, analysts, architects and sports product specialists. The premier team of 140 from each brand sector will hopefully expand after increasing the position of the LC2 findings. First class software engineering capabilities will keep the firm on the leading edge of innovation unique products for the market. Delivering  a range of programmes and products including CRM, ePOS and digital sports book platforms is on the team’s primary agenda with the aim of building on the results. The merging of the professionals focuses on faster communication, improved accessibility and collaboration.

CEO of Here East, Gavin Poole, commented on the opening, “As Here East continues to draw in innovators from more and more sectors, Ladbrokes Coral’s new digital product development centre fits well within the campus. Their newly joined up sport-technology team builds on Here East’s reputation as a centre of innovation for established companies and start-ups to collaborate, test new ideas, prototype new products and learn from each other’s expertise.”

Ladbrokes Coral CIO, Graham Calder, also commented,  “With the creation of LC2 our goal is to deliver excellence for our customers by leveraging the best digital technology, to hire the best digital talent to build the best digital future. With our passion for sports, we can’t help but be inspired by the great sporting legacy that comes with being a part of the Olympic Park.”






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Gambling On Trump's Demise Still Interesting

Online betting on politics is a popular pastime for punters in regulated gambling markets such as the one in the United Kingdom. The American political situation is like watching a loaded canon float across a ship’s deck on the high seas. The idea that the leader of one of the most powerful nations on the planet is constantly being judged by the whole world on every tweet he makes is fascinating and worthy of a gamble.

The persistent allegations revolving around the Russian connection, Mr. Trump’s tirades against the media, the recent escalation in rhetoric aimed at North Korea in the United Nations Assembly have got some online gambling companies looking at adjusting the odds on Trump’s demise.

Trump has been having a really hard time getting approval ratings on the positive side with the100 days in office milestone. A Gallup poll revealed that only around 40 per cent of US voters approved of the way Trump is handling the job of 45th President compared to around 55 per cent that disapprove. Bill Clinton for example lasted a record 573 days before his administration received more than a 50 per cent disapproval rating.

Trump has beaten back the record after winning the election with the disenfranchised antiestablishment sentiment. The firing of the FBI chief Comey has raised serious legal questions whether Trump and his gang committed an obstruction of justice. The online gambling firms are not really sure about impeachment which is still unlikely. Trump does have loyal supporters in the House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority in the Senate and they would have to abandon their leader for anything to really happen to the President. The operators are however banking on things not going well for this administration revealing there is a 48 per cent chance he will fail to end his first term in office.






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 Scientific Games Purchases NYX Gaming Group

Sports betting, with all of its forms and opportunities is one of the cornerstones in the gambling universe. The online sports betting industry has been making its way into main stream sport sponsorship and the public seems comfortable with it. Watching the mergers and acquisitions in the sports betting field especially in the USA is an interesting pastime for investors in the business.

A recent acquisition makes perfect sense for those gambling services and product providers that are betting on a larger legal sports betting market in the USA. The NYX Gaming Group is being acquired by Scientific Games for an estimated $631 million in an effort to be ready for legal sports betting in more US jurisdictions.

Scientific Games revealed in a press release, that this purchase will further strengthen its “leadership position and ability to provide the broadest portfolio of content, technologies and digital products and services for its global Gaming and Lottery customers.”

Scientific Games CEO Kevin Sheehan commented on the arrangement, “This strategic and financially compelling acquisition combines NYX’s premier digital gaming and sports betting platforms and expansive distribution network to our own global, industry-leading content, technologies and digital products and services,” adding, “ NYX ideally positions us to capitalize on the growing online gaming and sports betting markets.”

NYX  CEO Matt Davey also spoke on the acquisition, “We see great potential for the US market to accelerate over the next several years, in both gaming and sports betting, and we are well positioned for this opportunity, as it develops,”

NYX’s connections with bookmakers such as William Hill, which is already established in the US, as well as Bet365 and Ladbrokes Coral will be a great asset to Scientific Games and NYX’s digital sports book made available throughout Scientific Games’ worldwide gaming and lottery networks.  

Nevada based Scientific Games is the gambling industry’s only full-service provider offering diverse products, technology and services that can be customized to meet the unique requirements of most sectors of the wagering world.






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Marathonbet Introduces Microgaming Bingo Software

International online bookmaker Marathonbet and has been operating in Europe and the UK since 1997. The company is known for its professional and all inclusive approach to online gambling. The bingo section is part of the wide range of products on the Marathonbet web site including offers for pre-match bets and a live betting market across a range of sports and events on its sportsbook. Casino and Live Casino, Pool, and financial betting are available too. 

Veteran online gambling software developer and provider Microgaming has announced it has agreed to a deal to become the only bingo software supplier to Marathonbet. Bingo has become a favoured game by many in the online gambling industry. The respected games developer has agreed to provide the full suite of Microgaming bingo and some other games to Marathonbet punters. There will be a number of different bingo games and more than four hundred casino bingo side games offered with the deal. The arrangement also includes access to a Microgaming progressive jackpot network and a convenient back office product.

Dave Mills, Marathonbet’s  gaming manager commented, “We’re thrilled to be launching a comprehensive Bingo selection for our customers to enjoy; we’ll be offering our dedicated customers two classic variants of 90 and 75 ball games – plus access to a host of progressive jackpot titles with huge prizes,” adding, “Our bingo launch marks another step forward in our strategy to increase both brand awareness and footprint in the UK marketplace.”

Network games Director for Microgaming Jean-Luc Ferriere, continued to say, “Marathonbet have always been an important Quickfire customer; we’re thrilled to be welcoming them to the Microgaming Bingo Network, supporting them in their launch of bingo, and adding a strong brand to our growing customer base.”

The deal with Microgaming and Marathonbet is an example of companies combined effort to provide a better product range in the regulated online gambling world.



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Turkey To Use Banks to Oust Illegal Online Gambling

Turkey is part of the European Union although for some people that may seem a little hard to understand. Turkey is a nation straddling eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to the Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Being in that position the difficulty arises for the online gambling industry which has been going well up until the latest round of threats from the country’s finance minister.

Turkey has gone through periods of political and economic crisis such as in the 70s when the country’s economy collapsed, and the instability led to fighting. Then in the 90s, Turkey was hit by triple-digit inflation and a full-blown Kurdish insurgency but Turkey survived.

Turkey’s Finance Minister Naci Agbal was quoted in the local media source saying that the approximated annual turnover from Turkish consumers of betting products on offshore unlicensed online gambling sites is worth about US $11.4b. Agbal said the government is taking steps to ensure the government gets it share and said the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) is coordinating detection of illegal activity with local banks. The newest two year plan to oust illegal online betting from Turkey will use the banks to do the job.

Even though Turkey continues to oppose online gambling and make it difficult many offshore internet betting operators continue to serve the market in Turkey. The Finance Minister is saying that surveillance cameras at banks and ATMs will be able to identify people who engage in gambling-related transactions, and these surveillance images will be forwarded to the public prosecutor’s department. Agbal also claimed that criminal elements were controlling many foreign online gambling sites, and  loyal citizens should not “knowingly or unwittingly transmit resources that threaten Turkey’s national security.”

The online gambling market has been shrinking in the jurisdiction due to the volatile political and economic situation so some operators are not that concerned with the perceived threat from the government.



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Central and Eastern European Gambling Conference Budapest

The Baltic region online gambling industry has been evolving at a fast pace in recent years and the upcoming Central and Eastern European gambling conference is sure to give insight into the direction of the field for those who attend. The conference is to take place this September 19th and 20th in Budapest Hungary. This is the second time the CEEGC will be held at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus presenting 50 plus speakers during 2 days of networking and market updates.

The 2017 event motto is “Unfinished Business: Dare to attend”. This year the focus is on the latest innovations, topics in demand, Eastern and Central European market updates with a concentrated effort on the Balkans. The conference organizers have chosen Budapest again because this great venue offers great value for the dollar and an historic background for this information session.

The first day of the conference will see a full report on the market situation in the Balkans and there will be presentations on the opportunities for regulated markets that will shape the industry in Serbia and Croatia for example. The growth of regulated markets in the Eastern European region will be explored  by a panel of experts who  will discuss the recent reports and updates.

Jurisdictions in Eastern Europe such as Bulgaria and Romania have come to a maturation point and the mistakes made in their development can be used as learning tools for other emerging markets in the Czech Republic, Poland and the Ukraine.

The section dealing with the future for operators and the challenges presented for them the conference will address the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Competition is getting fierce in the market and the organizers are looking at a busy year for operators, software developers and the advertizing affiliates. The gold sponsor for the event is Iforium  an award winning eGaming software development company licensed and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and ONJN in Romania.



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Online Gambling Affiliates Warned By Paddy Power Betfair

Once bitten twice shy is an old saying that describes the situation when an online gambling operators and customers are shaken by unscrupulous affiliate marketers. The loss of consumer loyalty is a big issue for gambling services providers that do all they can to attract and keep punters coming to their domains.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the United Kingdom recently called on Ladbrokes, 888, SkyBet, and Casumo to reign in a rogue affiliate that used the companies names to scam people into believing  gambling could provide an escape from their personal issues.

In response to the ASA’s move Paddy Power Betfair has launched details of its new ‘1 Strike Policy’ for affiliates. The Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA), received an e-mail stating the operator will suspend any affiliate found to be operating against the firm’s internal regulations. Paddy Power Betfair continued to add, “We take the Gambling Commission Guidelines very seriously and want to ensure that all our affiliates are behaving in a responsible manner.

“With recent announcements in the sector it is imperative that we hold ourselves and our partners to the highest standards and ensure that we are not conducting marketing practices that are prohibited by The Gambling Commission, the ASA or other regulatory bodies.”

Staying compliant is the main objective for all online gambling operators because there is a lot at stake for those who lose the confidence and loyalty of their customers. The conditions applied by the Paddy Power Betfair directive ‘1 Strike Policy’ include things such as any sign-up offers must include the words: ‘New Customer Offer, T&C’s Apply 18+’, while any promotions on social media must also have the 18+ bio.

Also the operator said when conducting paid social advertising, it should be paid ads for the affiliate site and it be made obvious it is the affiliate site advertised.   




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Columbia's Coljuegos Licenses Corredor Empresarial S.A.

Latin America is the biggest online gambling market in the world and if governments do a good job of regulating it gambling on the internet may even be profitable for operators willing to try.  The current environment in South America for online betting companies is getting better as counties such as Columbia that has a regulated system.

The national online gambling regulator Coljuegos revealed recently that it has issued a second license to Bogata headquartered operator Corredor Empresarial SA.  The company is now licensed to offer sports betting utilizing its domain  with slots and games of chance also being made available.

Columbia’s 32 provincial lotteries as well as other gambling enterprises are controlled by Corredor Empresarial SA. The revenue the government regulator expects to gain from issuing this license is impressive estimated at around $1.1 billion over the five year term of the agreement.

Being the first country in South America to change its gambling laws to accommodate the digital age Columbia and it expects to reap the rewards and apply the funds to “resources for the health of Colombians”.

Juan Perez Hidalgo President for Coljuegos said, “With this initiative we seek greater resources for the health of Colombians, expanding the portfolio of games through innovative tools and synchronizing with the trend towards greater use of new technologies in the world,” adding, “We want more operators to obtain the authorization of Coljuegos so as to achieve a strong sector and in tune with the new technologies.”

Corredor Empresarial S.A has been anticipating the authorization by agreeing to deals with R. Franco Digital, the interactive division of the Malta-based R. Franco Group, to provide its latest-generation IRIS omni-channel platform, along with its varied catalog of online games and sports betting products.

General Manager at Corredor Empresarial S.A, Diana Margarita Otálora Taylor, said, R Franco would help the company “consolidate our position within the market, retain satisfied users and generate a stronger contribution to Colombia as a whole.”



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Superbet and ioSport Team Up For Innovation

Investment in technology can be a risky bet but it’s a situation in the online gambling industry where keeping ahead of the tech curve can be a necessary part of the equation. The development of new technologies is a game that every internet betting enterprise must play in order to keep current. The challenge for the programmers and innovators of new tech in gaming is actualizing the concepts.

One company from Romania, Superbet Interactive is focused on expanding and strengthening their sports betting business. The company is dedicated to keeping its services up to date and to do so has agreed to a deal with ioSport to develop an array of the next-generation internet betting products.

ioSport specializes in continuous real-time systems, feeds and AI applications for the sports betting world and will be powering the products with automated pricing technology. A common goal will be achieved as both firms utilize their special reserves and capabilities such as ioSport’s Erlang-based tech stack. The new products and innovative approach will see Superbet achieve its goal of, “building market share in new and existing territories with a range of innovative features.”

Director of e-commerce for Superbet, Jamie Hart, commented, “The world is changing rapidly, driven by significant advances in our use of technology.” Hart added, “Until now, the betting industry has remained relatively stagnant while big steps have been made elsewhere.  

“At Superbet we intend to build an enhanced betting experience that embraces those advances, and the guys at ioSport think in the same way we do.

“Sports pricing, and trading in general, has seen more disruption than casino gaming, but I believe we’re only scratching the surface.

“With ioSport as partners we’re well placed to push new boundaries and open up fresh flexibility into sports betting.”

ioSport, as a small company has the advantage of evaluating and applying best-of-breed technologies in a detailed innovative way.



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