GVC Ladbrokes Coral Merger Talks Fail Again

In the online gambling industry survival of the fittest is the name of the game and in the highly competitive space merging with or acquiring competitors is believed to be an effective means for both operators and suppliers to meet the challenging environment head on. New regulatory requirements and updated tax systems have the industry looking for ways to beat the odds and remain profitable. As an example the government regulatory body in the U.K. regulatory has recently proposed that free plays and other deals offered to online gambling customers will be taxed from August 2017.

Late last year the merger talks between the gambling giants Ladbrokes Coral Group and GVC collapsed. Ladbrokes-Coral was created earlier in the year through a merger of the existing Ladbrokes and Gala Coral brands. Now a report has revealed that the renewed talks have once again stalled. GVC Holdings has failed in its latest approach for Ladbrokes-Coral.  Discussions concerning the deal reportedly worth up to £3.6bn (€3.9bn/$4.6bn) have ended for the time being. GVC had valued the firm at around 140p per share, or £2.7bn. The Financial Times said GVC depending on the outcome of a regulatory review allegedly proposed a boost of about 50p per share, which could have pressed the value of the company  up to £3.6bn.

GVC’s successfully took over bwin.party for an estimated £1.1bn in 2015 with the aim to do the same with the Ladbrokes Coral Group. GVC’s original bid undervalued the company. It has been suggested that this was one of the main reasons why its proposal was rejected by Ladbrokes Coral Group.  

Neither Ladbrokes Coral Group representatives or any officials from GVC Holdings have commented on the demise of the talks. Ladbrokes Coral has established roots in the terrestrial gambling world and GVC has made a name in the online gambling sector so a merger could be beneficial for either gambling operator.   


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Tenth Eastern European Gaming Summit Sofia Bulgaria

The online gambling industry has many challenges and is successfully dealing with many of them with the help of expos and conferences that face the challenges head on. One jurisdiction that has been gaining momentum is the Eastern European sector which by all accounts has proven to be a profitable gambling destination.

The tenth annual Eastern European Gaming Summit is scheduled to take place this coming November 21-22nd  2017 at the Inter Expo Center, Sofia, Bulgaria. The official language of the conference is English with the first topic on the agenda being augmented reality and virtual reality tied with the technological advancements in online casino presentations.

The tenth year of the summit will include again the many timely topics affecting the eastern European online casino industry such as regulatory challenges and marketing techniques plus the economic impact of Virtual Reality offerings and the trends of Daily Fantasy Sports betting and eSports involvement.

The conference is organized by the Bulgarian Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry which has focused on compliance and sharing information, experience and ideas to further the industry growth. There is the expectation that this edition of the Summit will outdo the last one and according to the feedback received from its regular delegates the ninth edition was the most successful and beneficial of all editions of the conference so far. Last year the conference attracted about 200 visitors taking part in panels and discussions that saw more than 60 seasoned professionals sharing their particular expertise with the attendees.

The latest trend in interactive casino development ‘blockchain’ is also on the discussion table with speakers talking on why blockchain and virtual currencies are the perfect match for online casinos. The discussion panel will also delve into the regulatory changes in Eastern Europe coming in May of 2018 when the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect.

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Monster Casino Launches Android App at Google Play Store

Mobile is in a word a fantastic when it comes to online casino entertainment. The biggest advancement in the internet betting industry it has been suggested is mobile technology. The replacement of the desktop was one thing with the advancement of laptops and tablets another but the smartphone has changed the accessibility of casino games on move considerably.

The launch of a new mobile casino always has punters eager to try the platform on for size. A recent ad campaign by Monster Casino out of the U.K. is an attempt by the operator to consolidate its position as the fastest growing casino brand in the UK. Monster Casino partnered with London based advertising firm, Mediacle, which is known for creating successful ad films for a number of casino brands.

The Monster Casino products are available on desktop as well as mobile has announced it will release an Android app on Google Play Store. The very secure application has an extremely sensitive authentication system.

The technical aspects were explained by a spokesperson, “We take the privacy of our players very seriously and therefore all the personal information of the players is secured using 128-bit SSL encryption method. Also, secured payment methods are offered to the players so that they do not have to worry about their privacy and security while making the deposits and withdrawals at our mobile casino app. The app has been approved by the UK Gambling Commission and has also been tested by renowned third party auditors”

The  Monster Casino’s marketing manager spoke, “Monster Casino is committed to offer our players with innovative gaming experiences. We always strive to offer better services to our players and the mobile app is just one of the many innovations that we plan to offer to our customers. We want to make use of this opportunity to further our position as a leader in the online casino industry.”


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SportPesa Invests In African Premier Soccer League

The internet gambling industry is a complicated combination of sponsorships for advertizing and regulatory compliance in many jurisdictions. The advertizing of online sports betting firms in exchange for sponsorship opportunities has been the norm for a number of years by sports organizations all over the planet. As an example the South African Premier Soccer League team Cape Town City has made the decision to enter into an agreement for the next four years with sports betting platform SportPesa.

Operating with the cooperation of TGP Europe, SportPesa has operations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom. The deal with Cape Town City will cover the senior, development and youth teams of the team which was previously known as Mpumalanga Black Aces.

The Director of SportPesa in South Africa, Nick Ferguson, commented on the arrangement, “We welcome our first football partners in South Africa, Cape Town City, to our global portfolio.” Ferguson continued to explain, “Our pioneering partnership is a big statement by SportPesa to showcase our commitment to football development in this country.” Adding, “We are more than happy to work with Cape Town City FC, a club that stands for our values and we look forward to a period of greater success inspired by the start of our journey together.”

SportPesa is powered by TGP Europe Ltd which has a license to operate granted by the Isle of Mann and the UK Gambling Commission. SportPesa has been investing in the development of the local sports leagues and tournaments in Kenya and Tanzania and has signed agreements to build local and international partnerships in soccer, rugby, boxing, motorsport, athletics, golf and the Indian sport of kabaddi.


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DFS Operator DraftKings Planning Expansion In Ireland

Daily fantasy sports betting is all the rage among sports fans in the USA but the question is being asked whether the activity will become popular in the UK or Europe. The recent failure by the two main providers of daily fantasy sports to merge after the Federal Trade Commission in the USA blocked the proposed amalgamation voicing concerns over competition in the unique market.

Now the US daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings is looking to expand across the pond specifically on the ‘Emerald Isle’ Ireland. DraftKings launched it incomplete product line up back in February of 2016 in the UK with rival operator FanDuel also attempting to offer daily fantasy sports betting to players in the jurisdiction. Fan Duel closed its offering in the UK after less than a year explaining it will focus on the US market claim to “be back in the future, bringing you more of the games you love.” The soft market in the UK revealed that real-money, single-game sports betting has much greater appeal in the region.

Chief International Officer for DraftKings, Jeffrey Haas, stated that DraftKings will roll-out their products to Irish customers, quickly pointing out that there are no plans to open its headquarters in the jurisdiction. There was no mention of the investment amount that DraftKings has put into the launch in Ireland.  Haas’ also said, “Let’s see how our (Irish) business becomes established and grows over time.”

DraftKings is confident that it will succeed in Ireland with seven million players worldwide and product availability in North America, the UK, Germany, and Malta. Haas said the company is interested in the market due to the perceived demand for fantasy sports betting in Ireland. Haas’ letter, to the Irish government’s Finance Department reportedly read, “Irish sports fans are incredibly passionate and they make themselves known wherever they are found,”



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Holland Issues Warning To Catena Media Cease and Desist

Holland has been struggling with online gambling regulation since last year when the Lower House in the country’s government voted in favour of a regulated market for internet betting. Since the vote however the Senate has yet to approve of the resolution which is expected to take a considerable time before the state sorts out the licensing process and tax regime. According to Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice officials it will not be before July 2018 that this happens.

The so called grey area in Holland has seen offshore operators targeting the Dutch gambling market and succeeding in attracting punters from that nation. The Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit has implemented a new set of rules to stop the raiding of the market which include the prohibition on using typically Dutch symbols such as tulips and windmills to attract players from Holland to international online gambling web locations. Also .nl affiliate websites are banned from directing Dutch players to .com gambling websites.

To drive home the point the Dutch regulator has issued a cease and desist order to performance marketing company Catena Media. The company was found to have advertised different brands in a manner that had violated the gaming regulations set out by the government. Malta based Catena Media is a lead generating firm that through a network of affiliate websites, promotes online gambling services to players globally.

The Netherlands Gaming Authority told Catena Media that it would be imposing a fine of up to €21,000, if the company did not comply with the recently issued order to stop it activities. It appears that the order was significant enough to halt access to the websites in question including pellenoverzicht.com, gokoverzicht.com, and netentcasino.nl. The Netherlands like other countries in the region have been slow to respond to the changing times presented by the internet gambling trends.




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Intense Wagering Expected On Mayweather McGregor Match

It is not often that a sport such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the traditional sport of boxing come together to compete. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts production based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was owned and operated by parent company Zuffa. The growth of the sport is reflected in the recent sale in 2016 of Zuffa to William Morris Endeavor  for over $4 billion USD.

The latest test for the sports world will be experienced when the current champion of the UFC Conor Anthony McGregor born in 1988, an Irish professional mixed martial artist and professional boxer is pitted against Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. an American professional boxer and promoter. Both of these competitors are sure they will be victorious during the August 26th match in the T-Mobile arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada USA.

Bookies around the world are lining up their odds for the match which is expected to be viewed by millions of fans. Some books immediately predicted that Mayweather will win. William Hill put the veteran as a 1/11 favourite. He's now 2/9 with just over a week until the fight.

"Realistically if we were just putting up a number and didn't have to take bets on it, Floyd would be 1/100," oddsmaker Bogdanovich said. "But this will be a very, very big betting fight for sure, one of the biggest ever."

Meanwhile BetVictor has announced it will offer new customers odds of 100/1 for McGregor to come out on top in his much-anticipated fight with boxing legend Mayweather.

Head of sports book at BetVictor, Eoin Ryan, commented, “Mayweather was for a long time pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world, but he is not the force of old. Can McGregor win? You bet and we are giving new customers the opportunity to put their pound on the younger two-weight UFC champion at 100/1.”










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UltraPlay Claims First Live eSports Betting Solution

The latest gambling trend to hit the internet is eSports and the interest in the activity has gained massive traction.  To accommodate the growth a number of firms have taken on the task of bringing the action to life and creating a platform for eSport fans.

The Bulgarian firm UltraPlay, a tech company, founded in 2010, with a focus on eSports, sports betting, casino, live betting and bitcoin solutions is providing  an innovative approach to the online gambling industry. The operator claims the UltraPlay eSports solution is ready to accommodate the millennial generation of punters. A recent post now ignites interest in Ultraplay which is said to set an industry first with esports live betting.

The company is to be the first provider of betting products to offer live betting on the Grand Final of esports tournament  of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017. Featuring teams from around the globe the competition is organised and run by EA Sports in partnership with FIFA . The exclusive live betting option will be made available for all FIFA interactive players around the world.

Head of esports trading at UltraPlay, Peter Ivanov commented,  “Led by the mission and experience of building a betting brand that appeals to eSports fans, UltraPlay is constantly improving its eSports odds provision and betting options to offer the next level of gaming experience. Ivanov continued to explain, “That was the core idea behind the company’s decision to become the first igaming provider offering live betting on the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final - the highly ranked and prestigious international tournament followed by millions of fans worldwide.”

UltraPlay eSports has created a unique approach by combining traditional sportsbook techniques with innovative game analysis. The firm claims to be doing the impossible. With over 500 in-play variables for some of the games, statistical, mathematical models don’t reveal to complete betting image. UltraPlay is on the leading edge of the new wave in gaming.




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Sweden's Svenska Spel Online Gambling Fears Exposed

A few months ago the Swedish government made the decision to scrap the monopoly on online gambling in Sweden. A government-appointed commission was set up in 2015 to review the Swedish gambling industry and report on possible changes to improve tax revenue and offer more selection for online gambling players.  Offshore online casinos have been infiltrating the gambling market in Sweden and not paying associated taxes or licensing fees.

The state owned and regulated gambling company Svenska Spel is experiencing growth with Swedish households spending 2.3% of disposable income with Svenska Spel. Unregulated online betting saw larger expansion which increased by 16% last year.

Now after reviewing the results of the review there has been new development. Svenska Spel has issued its own regulatory recommendations via the Swedish media outlet, Dagens Samhälle.  Fredrik Schulte who is a member of the Swedish Moderate Party has labelled Spel’s input as ‘serious mischief’ and is concerned the monopoly holder Svenska Spel is trying to sway the politicians into accepting the favoured position of the government’s online gambling provider.

The government run gambling provider’s CEO, Lennart Käll and Chairman, Erik Strand responded by pointing out the two areas that need attention when creating new legislation for gambling. The business men were of the opinion that the minimization of problem gambling risks and the introduction of effective mechanisms to combat illegal gambling were the main issues to contend with. They also said in the news article that offshore firms offering online gambling services and products should be fully vetted before being granted a license to operate from the country’s regulator.

As it stands now Svenska Spel is the only authorised operator of online gambling services in Sweden and have been taking profits from the local market prompting Svenska to ask for a ‘fair set of regulations to create fair competition’. It will not be until early 2019 that the new regulations will come into effect.





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Kindred Group Focuses On Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is the key to a good time while not enduring any repercussions or harm caused by excessive or compulsive betting. Gambling operator Kindred Group is a participant in the effort to find the best ways of dealing with issues caused by problem gambling. Recently the company commissioned two researchers in the gambling industry professors at Nottingham Trent University, Michael Auer, the director at Neccton, and Mark Griffiths who will utilize anonymous customer information for research in responsible gambling.

The former Unibet Group, now called Kindred will take measures to improve the quality of gaming practices and move towards a more responsible gaming environment. The discussions are now on the front burner for the company which is making an effort to comply with expectations and protect its customers from problem gambling issues.

Kindred Group is attempting to ensure safe and secure customer participation.  Professors Auer and Griffiths have been researching the gambling field for about five years prior to the request by Kindred Group. The experts have been publishing studies that have investigated the methods and various apparatus needed to improve the responsible gaming model. The work they have done has prompted a variety of online gambling operators to review and make necessary changes to their platforms products and services to enable a quick response to developing gambling issues.

Some of those improvements include the time spent playing and fund limits for a single online game, the availability of real time custom feedback to improve a gambler’s habits, along with the offering of expert advice and professional assistance. Online gambling operator Kindred Group consists of 13 brands, among them Unibet, Maria Casino, Stan James, 32Red, iGame and it is on the leading edge for consumer safety and security. The research that Kindred will finance will go a long way for operators and consumers in the new age of wagering.


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