U.K.Gambling Firms Seeking Australia Market Share

As online gambling operators consolidate and acquire more market share the need to expand remains a major priority as government regulatory requirements strengthen restricting growth. The recent revelation that the icon Irish bookie Paddy Power Betfair, has had discussions with Australia’s  online gambling firm CrownBet.  

The news comes through the Reuters news source that the company which is 62 percent-owned by Crown Resorts was talking business recently. It was also confirmed that rival gambling services and product provider William Hill was in “very preliminary discussions” with CrownBet.  

The expansion plans of a number of gambling operators especially in the United Kingdom has been pushed to the forefront with the British government outlining proposals to cut the maximum stake on gambling machines in betting shops. It is obvious that some U.K. gambling operators are looking to grow to offset potential losses when the stronger regulations affect the bottom line.

The Australian gambling market has already gone through some major overhauls and is ready for a challenge from U.K. operators. Paddy Power Betfair has interests in Australia via its Sportsbet offering.

All is not well for William Hill, which entered the jurisdiction four years ago when it bought Sportingbet and tomwaterhouse.com which has struggled to gain traction with losses revealed recently.

Crown Resorts is Australia’s largest casino operator facing increased stiff competition from online offerings. Crown Resorts officials have confirmed that the firm was “in discussions concerning its interest in CrownBet. ” Media sources are staying on the consolidation story after a $4.7 billion takeover last year of lottery owner Tatts Group by horse race betting giant Tabcorp Holding. The stock market has been affected by the news with shares in Crown Resorts falling 0.6 percent on Friday.  Paddy Power Betfair shares went up 3.8 percent on the London exchange trade while William Hill shares were down 1 percent.

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2017 Miss Universe Pageant Odds Revealed

The opportunities online gamblers have to bet on just about anything are amazing, strange and sometimes very entertaining.  One such prop type bet is the upcoming Miss Universe annual international beauty pageant run by the Miss Universe Organization. The motto for this contest that has been going on for 65 years and while Americans enjoy their Thanksgiving the Miss Universe Competition returns to the AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for the 66th edition.

Odds on the winner are coming into play as bookies look at the competition and the judges. The betting odd money is on South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters who they feel will hold the Miss Universe 2017 title.

Irish operator Paddy Power has the 22-year-old Nel-Peters at 4-1 winning the competition, so a $100 wager nets the gambler who chooses her over the other 92 contestants $400. A few other bookies are using a 3-1 payout on the same winner. Bookie Bovada thinks Miss Thailand, Chalita Suansane will win the pageant with Nel-Peters at 9-2, or +450. Bovada also favours Colombia (5-1), and Philippines, Venezuela, Australia, and Canada (10-1).

The Miss Universe 2017 pageant goes live on FOX network November 26 at 7 pm ET. Steve Harvey will return to host for a third consecutive year, with entertainment supplied by Fergie and Rachel Platten.

The logic the bookies have regarding Miss USA Kara McCullough is that she will receive a some sort of advantage for representing the US in Las Vegas even though she was born in Italy. Bovada has the 26-year-old at 12-1, McCullough while Paddy Power has given her a better chance at 10-1.

No matter who takes the crown as the most beautiful woman in the world the interest is there from an entertainment point of view after all women aspiring to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered and cultured.


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Scientific Games Wins Danske Spil Gambling Contract

The market for platforms related to online gambling is a competitive one that governments and regulators examine closely for the necessary elements that keep their systems safe and secure. A recent announcement that the Danish state-owned operator Danske Spil has migrated to a new gaming system supplied by Scientific Games which gives the punter a reason to at least check it out.

The old Danish Lottery's legacy system has given way to the new platform which has been live since earlier this year noting it will support the regulator’s multi-channel environment. Operations provided by Scientific Games will be 24-hour seven days controlled by redundant European centralised data centres.

The intense biding for the Danish system won by Scientific Games commented that the new platform will advance the Lottery's retail, web and mobile channels significantly.

Danske Spil’s Chief executive officer Susanne Mørch Koch commented, “We knew that we were looking for a flexible, channel-agnostic system for our Lottery; our strategy for the lottery market is aggressive and progressive, and a new system is a core part of that strategy,” adding, “We need our technology platforms to be scalable, so that we can ramp up or down and add hardware components that would not require replacing the entire system, this has been a must-have requirement for our new lottery solution.”

Senior vice-president, global lottery systems at Scientific Games, Pat McHugh, also commented on the acquisition of the contract,  “There is a great deal of excitement and collaboration surrounding this conversion, as we expand our support to welcome Danske Spil to the Scientific Games’ lottery systems family.”  McHugh continued, “Scientific Games has aligned with Danske Spil's business goals to deliver our most advanced, open architecture system in Denmark with flexible, scalable technology that will support the Lottery's growth.” Danske Spil's move is an example of a regulator willing to make things better for its consumers.



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Italy Busts Illegal Online Gambling Linked to Malta

The laws regarding online gambling in Italy are clear and modern. Sports betting, lotteries and some other activities are legal and regulated gambling activities in Italy. The Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies or the AAMS is the gambling authority responsible for keeping gambling in all of its forms including online in line with guidelines set up by the organization.

A few weeks ago the Italian media revealed operation Double Jack that saw authorities go to a number of Italian provinces raiding 30 residences which were suspected of being connected to an illegal gambling operation. The officials arrested seven suspects that were involved in the illegal operation that joined terrestrial gambling machines with computers connected to Malta located online gambling servers. It was reported that the operation generated revenue of €10m per month. The police seized the assets of 14 venues that included bank accounts and computers valued at as much as €8.5m.

Recently it has been revealed that two Malta licensed Medialive Casino Ltd. executives were among those who were detained by the Italian police in the ‘Double Jack’ bust. Medialive Casino Ltd. provides live dealer casino technology to Italian-licensed online and land-based gaming operators.

Prosecutors allege that directors, Massimiliano Fullin and Fabio Veglianetti, ran an illegal gambling operation in parallel with Medialive’s legal functions. The illegal group of venues, “were controlled remotely through the servers in Malta and all the money exchanged ended up going through the Maltese servers in various bank accounts on the island.”

There hasn’t been much cooperation between the two the Florence prosecutor told the Times of Malta “it is yet unclear whether there is a direct nexus between the MGA license and the accusations being made by the Italian authorities against this company given [Medialive’s] global links with other gaming jurisdictions.”

MGA executive chairperson Joseph Cuschieri, said the MGA license, “has not been suspended at this time and it would be premature to give a comment at this stage, as investigations are still ongoing.”


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Bangladesh Curbs Illegal Cricket Betting

Gambling in India is illegal although there seems to be a lot of illegal betting going on in the country. A difficult task for regulators to keep under control the country struggles with technology infused wagering that is rampant involving many games. Bangladesh is a country next to the North-east Indian provincial regions of India, which is surrounded on all three sides by India, Myanmar on the south eastern corner, and it has a proximity to China, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal.

Bangladesh police recently caught illegal gamblers during a one-day Bangladesh Premier League match, at the Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Five people from India were wagering on the cricket match and police are saying they will be deported. Officials are concerned that the popular and lucrative Premier League is subject to match-fixing and illegal gambling.

Cricket board spokesperson, Jalal Yunus, commented, "We have handed them over to police as this is the most we could do. They will take further action." The arrest revealed that two of the illegal gamblers were busted before in October of last year betting on the Bangladesh's home series, Yunus added.

Recently as many as 80 spectators at two cricket grounds were removed on suspicion of gambling. Using mobile smart phones to place live wagers before the score are published on television or online the alleged perpetrators bet on the cricket action. News media has pointed to the various venues such as garages and restaurants where the illegal gambling takes place undercover.

Dozens of gambling websites have been blocked by the Communications regulator in Bangladesh in an effort to curb illegal betting on cricket matches. The authorities are continually scanning the stadiums for this type illegal sports betting but have done little to curb the activity. The seven team British Premier League tournament has many top notch players involved so there will be many individuals attempting a wager legal or not.





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NBA Supports Change In USA Sports Betting Laws

The state of the gambling industry in the USA is always in flux depending on the current law maker’s opinion and general knowledge on the subject. Legislators are constantly being introduced to new information about all sorts of issues that may include the expansion of gambling in their particular jurisdiction. The required effort to change a law in the USA is enormous because lawmakers want to make intelligent choices and need to be brought up to speed on the topic.

Gambling on sports in America is going through a time when major organizations have built a case to present to the US Congress to legalise and regulate sports betting throughout the nation. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has revealed plans to lobby the Congress which is a major about face for the NBA that did not come forward to advocate it last year.

Vice-president and assistant general counsel at the NBA, Dan Spillane, pointed out the league’s intent at the Sports Betting USA conference in New York recently, stating it will lobby the government for a “federal framework”. Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Adam Silver, said last July such activities will result in “enormous additional engagement with the fans”.

Commissioner of North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS), Don Garber also recently said he would support the proposed legalizing of sports betting stating wagering is “part of the DNA of football”.

Garber recently said, “I am a big proponent that it’s going to happen, we might as well be in front of it.

“I think there are great values to our tax revenues to be able to do that, I don’t think we can stop it, so maybe we’d even lead the charge.”

The Garden State of New Jersey is working on overturning the Federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), maintaining that the Act violates the Constitution of the USA.  


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UKGC New Five-Step Strategy Announced

One of the most successful online gambling jurisdictions in the world, the United Kingdom, has adjusted its rules of engagement. The UK Gambling Commission recently announced its revised strategy that is intended too, “shape a well-regulated gambling market that works for consumers”. The all encompassing UKGC five-step strategy revealed on its web location will be valued by consumers, gambling operators and all those involved with the gambling industry.

The Commission has reviewed research on the industry and found that as many as 63 percent of U.K.’s citizens had placed a bet of some sort within the last year and the regulatory body claims it will “balance consumer choice and enjoyment against the risks and impact gambling can have for individuals and wider society”. The initiated plan is committed to protecting the interests of consumers; preventing  harm; raising the  standards for the gambling market; optimising returns to worthwhile causes from lotteries; and to improve communications between consumer and the authorities for real issues.

Bill Moyes, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission chairperson commented on the strategy proposed,  “This is an ambitious strategy to deliver fairer and safer gambling over the next three years; we can only be successful in this by engaging with consumers and by working closely with all our regulatory partners and the industry.” “In the same way that this strategy challenges the industry, we also challenge ourselves – as the regulator – to deliver effective, targeted and innovative regulation.

“At the end of three years we expect to see an industry that strives continuously to raise their standards, treat customers fairly, and protect vulnerable people.”

Last month the commission said,  “We have seen online gambling grow rapidly and we need to protect players in this space, while also making sure those experiencing harm relating to gambling receive the help they need.”





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Real Money Letsbet.com New Casino Concept Coming

The innovative wheels are constantly turning in the online gambling industry with new and outstanding products being launched almost every day.

Coming soon to a computer near you, the former Regional Business Manager of NetEnt, Michael Pedersen and former Head of Operations of LeoVegas, Stefan Lind have created a new online casino that is scheduled to be launched in early 2018. Letsbet.com has been described as a real-money casino mash-up of live streaming, social features and gamification techniques.

CEO and Co-founder of Letsbet.com, Michael Pedersen commented on the proposed launch, “Most casino operators are in the same boat, faced with limited ability to differentiate their respective core offering, as the same games are available on more or less all sites. That’s why it’s so important to have the courage to stand for something in terms of unique features and marketing concepts – we can’t all serve the same spaghetti Bolognese in our restaurants!” adding, “We decided from day one that we wanted to be different, go all-in and dare to stand out!”.

CMO and Co-founder of Letsbet.com, Stefan Lind also commented on the reasons for the new casino concept, “When you visit a land-based casino, do you sit down at the empty Blackjack table or the one with one seat left and people having fun? Casino players might not always want to directly speak to other players, but it’s clear that they often like to interact with the casino staff and enjoy the indirect presence of other players; that’s what we are trying to replicate using the latest technology.”

Daily live broadcasts presented by casino hosts will give players an enhanced entertainment and interaction experience with the brand which considered an industry first. Live streaming technology will be aimed at increasing conversion rates, extending session times and in general increase retention rates of punters. Also an instant messenger function will be added enabling participants to add friends, make groups and chat considered another industry innovation.


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Sweden's Offshore Gambling Operators Taking 25 Percent Share

Sweden has been saying it will regulate its online gambling market by 2019 but as stats have revealed that time line may be too long. Numbers released by Sweden’s gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen, revealed that their gambling market experienced a 3% increase in revenue during the first half of 2017. The gambling authority’s half-year report also pointed out that Sweden’s unregulated online gambling market displayed a double-digit growth during the same time.

The calculations provided by Lotteriinspektionen, also exposed the value of the Swedish overall gambling market to be worth SEK 16.5b (US $1.95b) and that international online betting operators had a 25 percent share of that growing market. The fact that international online gambling operators are targeting Swedish players is helping online gambling gain traction in Sweden. The punters in Sweden enjoy the tech aspect in their gaming habits fueling the rise in revenue felt all over the internet betting world. Swedish media consultant Mediavision said gambling ads by offshore gambling operators accounted for 10% of all ads presented on Swedish television in 2016 also adding to the popularity of the pastime.

Sweden is committed to change its monopoly oriented gambling environment with the latest figures revealing how serious this loss of revenue has become in Sweden. In the nine-month period, sales at Svenska Spel dropped 1% year-on-year to SEK6.5bn, mainly due to a decline in land-based gambling, with revenue from this sector down 5% to SEK4.9bn. Online gambling operations at Svenska Spel however climbed 15% to approximately SEK1.6bn.

Last month the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ban on local media outlets showing  adverts  for internationally licensed online gambling operators. Lotteriinspektionen director general Camilla Rosenberg said it was expected that media companies will comply with the regulations and warned that those who did not would face penalties.

Media has been blamed for the surge in online gambling interest but the slow road to gambling law reform in Sweden may be the real reason.



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Pennsylvania Upsets Adelson Plan To Ban Online Gambling

The current situation in the USA regarding legal online betting is still up in the air as more jurisdictions in America decide to allow or ban online gambling. The battle to prohibit internet wagering is headed up by mega casino owner Sheldon Adelson who seems to be losing the fight after the Keystone State of Pennsylvania has made the move to allow online betting.  

Adelson the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and along with his wealth and the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, Adelson tried to point out the evils of online gambling but those efforts failed. The casino magnate had enlisted a number of politicians that were on his side to stop the proposed legislation. The coalition alleges that online gambling leads to gambling addiction and can have harmful effects on youth and the vulnerable.

Now however Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf has signed into law a massive gambling expansion package that in addition to allowing for more casinos in the state, also includes provisions to legalize online poker, online casinos, and daily fantasy sports betting.

Adelson had some allies in the political arena including Sen. Lisa Boscola, who represents the district which houses the Adelson owned Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.  Boscola however saw the benefits of the bill approving a gambling expansion and voted for the gaming bill which made economic sense for Pennsylvania which is already the nation’s second largest commercial casino state.

The debate over expansion and the introduction of legal online wagering went on for years. Governor Wolf was on the Democrat side of the political fence and struggled with a Republican Legislature while looking for options to balance the deficit budget. Wolf said, “There’s been a lot of pressure from a lot of places in the commonwealth to actually expand this, and we do need some recurring revenue.”

Adelson is not a happy camper with this legislation but time will tell what steps he will take next.


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