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ROB PAINTER: Sky Bet making the most out of football partnerships
THE SPORT OF KINGS: How horseracing is still a vital part of the betting mix
BETTING NEWS 12
ESSENTIAL GUIDE 18
ONLINE CASINO: GameAccount hopes to stimulate gaming with its Simulated Gaming experience BUSINESS 42
£5.20 (€8.30) • ISSUE:117 • JUNE 2014 • www.betting-business.co.uk
Paddy Power in the job market for new CEO RECRUITMENT
Paddy Power is the latest bookmaker faced with the challenge of transition after CEO Patrick Kennedy revealed he is to leave.
rish bookmaker Paddy Power has joined William Hill on the hunt for a new chief executive after Patrick Kennedy unexpectedly revealed that he will leave the firm next year. Chairman Nigel Northridge is leading the hunt for a replacement, which will ‘consider both internal and external candidates’. Kennedy commented: “I have loved every day of being Paddy Power’s chief executive. It is as fun and as interesting a job as anyone could hope to have, and I have had the privilege of working with some enormously talented and supportive people over the years that I’ve been here. I have always had a personal view that after ten years at the helm, change is good, both for the business and the individual. With this in mind, I have given notice to the Board of my intention to step down next April, the tenth anniversary of my appointment.” Northridge said the firm would be sorry to see Kennedy leave. “He has overseen a period of exceptional development and growth in Paddy Power: in 2005, we earned pre-tax profit of 31m euro (£25m), last year it was 141m euro (£114m). He has advised the Board of his intention to step down next year, giving notice well in excess of his contractual obligation. In doing so, Patrick has given us more than adequate time to run a thorough process and ensure a smooth transition.” There’s no denying that Kennedy leaves some big shoes to fill with the Irish Independent describing him as ‘probably the
PATRICK KENNEDY HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS ‘PROBABLY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF HIS GENERATION’
chief executive of his generation’. Davy Stockbrokers commented: “Given the group’s very impressive track record under Kennedy’s tenure, this is likely to lead to a period of uncertainty for investors.” Indeed, in the week of the announcement Paddy Power’s shares started at 59.57p and they ended the week at 51.95p. Its competitors are also enjoying making some mischief at the uncertainty with Boylesports opening a market on who will be the next chief executive. Given the extra challenges provided by the change in gambling laws in both Ireland and the UK, Northridge has a big task on his hands in helping identify the successor. In comparison, Paddy Power’s
announcement that it had witnessed its two worst weekends for football profitability pales into insignificance, although they did see a 27 per cent loss in net revenue for its online sportsbook and 10 per cent drop in OTC revenues in its UK retail estate. Given that turnover in both these channels was up 19 and 8 per cent respectively, the bookmaker is treating it as a blip. Northridge commented: “In the full year, we expect the impact of these adverse sports results to be largely offset by the impact of positive top-line momentum, the recycling of winnings by customers, favourable exchange rate movements and the later than expected introduction of the Irish online and phone betting tax.”
Michael Tabor takes control at BetVictor TAKEOVER
ibraltar-based bookmaker BetVictor is continuing the industry trend for major upheaval after it was revealed that Michael Tabor has taken full control of the operator and that chairman Victor Chandler and CEO Michael Carlton are to step down. Tabor was a founding shareholder in the company and increased his 45 per cent stake to 100 per cent for an undisclosed sum. He originally made his money in betting shops after selling the Arthur Prince chain to Coral in the mid 1990s and has since flourished through investments in international real estate, as well as interests in pubs, radio and horseracing. The Gibraltar Gambling Licensing Authority has already approved of the acquisition deal in principle. Tabor commented: “I believe the BetVictor brand has enormous potential and is well placed to continue its expansion with further investment and strategic development.” It is a big change for Victor Chandler as well, given that he is still the marketing figurehead for the company that sports his name. He also played a major part in getting the betting turnover tax changed to a gross profits tax in 2001, a development that transformed the fortunes of the industry. Both Chandler and Carlton are being retained as consultants to the business in order for a smooth transition to the new management team. Chandler said: “Having owned and led this business for more than 40 years, I looked towards the future and I decided that the company would be best served under new ownership and leadership. I have known Mr Tabor for many years and I am confident that the company will continue to thrive under his ownership.”
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Report suggests sports betting rights commercially driven
THE FRENCH BETTING RIGHT HAS BEEN CRITICISED
An EC-funded report has poured some cold water on the attempts of sporting authorities to get more money out of bookmakers. RESEARCH
European Commission-funded study on the rights of sports organisers has questioned the reasoning behind the ‘right to bet’ mechanism and whether sports should be able to charge the gambling industry for a licence to bet on their sports. The study, which found that there is no legal basis nor rationale for an EU-wide right to consent to bets, has understandably been welcomed by the regulated betting industry, which has seen fierce lobbying on the subject from sports looking to extract more money from bookmakers. The study, carried out by a consortium composed of TMC ASSER Instituut and IVIR (University of Amsterdam), also concluded that the French sports betting right, whereby sports betting operators must obtain the consent of sports organisers to offer bets, is not an effective mechanism for financial distribution to sport or as an integrity instrument against match-fixing. Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, stated: “The study shows that other more effective means should be encouraged to preserve the integrity of sport. Fighting corruption in sport requires an international effort and cooperation as illustrated by
ESSA’s collaboration with the recent Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as its active participation in the future Council of Europe convention against match fixing.” Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA, commented: “We welcome the publication of the Asser Study on sports organisers’ rights as we did the opportunity to participate in the consultation process. We hope that the European Commission will take note of its findings which echo our view that calls for a European wide sports betting right, or indeed a sports betting right of any kind, are commercially driven and have little if anything to do with integrity. Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA, added: “This very comprehensive study illustrates clearly that a sports betting right cannot act as a safeguard to keep corruption out of sport. Such right has many practical and legal shortfalls, and the regulated betting industry is encouraged to see that no other Member States in the EU have decided to copy the French model.” The study was designed to map out the rights of sports organisers, in particular in relation to sports betting operators and assess the merits of
a betting right. In that respect, the study makes a number of significant conclusions: The ‘costs associated with the administering of the right to consent to bets will always be considerable’ and ‘there is no evidence for a link between the financial return stemming from a right to consent to bets and the financing of grassroots sport’. The adoption of integrity mechanisms is not a prerequisite of the French right and ‘there is no guarantee that the income is in fact allocated to fraud prevention and detection’. The right to consent to bets ‘risks leaving less popular and less visible sports more exposed to integrity risks’ as ‘for most sports organisers the financial return would be insufficient to cover their own integrity costs. It is not evident that safeguarding the integrity of sports events constitutes the principal rationale of the French right to consent to bets’. The conditions required to implement a right to consent to bets are capable of constituting an unjustified restriction on the free movement of services within the EU as it would establish a monopoly for sports ‘leading to the creation of a dominant position within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU’ and anti-competitive concerns.
ANALYSIS Whilst sports bodies and the French authorities continue to promote a betting right, the report highlights that no other Member State has properly implemented legislation similar to that existing in France and that most other jurisdictions have ‘instead opted for alternative mechanisms to collect and allocate revenue derived from gambling to sport’. Moreover, the report shows that sports organisers already have sufficient legal protection and the creation, at EU level, of a French style sports betting right is not justified. In order for a sports betting right to work, the sporting bodies ought to have a fully established integrity unit to which funds would go directly. It should also afford the betting industry with a right to penalise the sporting authority if it does not live up to its side of the deal. 2
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
FA ban could be the ti Can football ban all its participants from betting and yet still promote it to its customers? That was one of the questions at the Betting on Football conference. REGULATION
he gambling industry has been warned that the FA’s vote to ban any of its participants from betting on any football event from around the world could be the first step in the sport distancing itself from the gambling industry. Speaking at last month’s Betting on Football Conference at Stamford Bridge, Sport for Business CEO Rob Hartnett suggested that the ban may prove to be a tipping point and that in the future sport would end up keeping the gambling industry at arm’s length, in much the same way that has happened with tobacco and, in some countries, alcohol. He commented on the FA’s vote:
“Change happens. Are we about to cross the line with the reputation of betting and football and the public? I’m an avid believer of Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote The Tipping Point. There is a danger that this is the tipping point for football and betting. Seven years ago it would be normal for a child’s replica football kit to feature a betting sponsor. Six years ago the sports and the betting authorities decided that wasn’t right and now people consider that a reasonable thing to do. This season anybody involved in football, trainers etc, can have a bet on football in general. But maybe in eight years’ time that view will seem archaic.”
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Best Football award
ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Bet365 picked up the Best Football Bookmaker title at the inaugural Betting on Football Awards, outpacing the competition with 35 per cent of the popular vote. Bet365 took the award, sponsored by BetConstruct, ahead of the four other finalists: BetVictor, Paddy Power, Pinnacle Sports and SkyBet. On behalf of Bet365, head of performance marketing James Woods collected the award from BetConstruct’s Dave Webb.
CHATEZ SECURED £1,342,599 FOR CRAIG BRAZIER
Scoop6 creates new record LBO winners POOL BETTING
raig Brazier, a £2 Betfred betting shop punter from Mansfield, became one of Britain’s biggest individual betting shop winners when pocketing £1,342,599 on the Scoop6 after months of rollovers. Brazier, a wheelie bin cleaner, was one of eight winners to share the £10,740,796 win fund after the Alan King-trained Chatez scored in the final leg at Haydock. The 39-year-old, who has vowed to carry on cleaning bins, was unsuccessful in landing the £5,481,763 bonus race though. That was picked up by three of the syndicates that held winning tickets - one of which was headed up by pools betting expert Bernard Marantelli, CEO of Colossus Bets. Marantelli said his syndicate’s £1.3m share from the prize had not
ACTION IMAGES / JOHN SIBLEY
been enough to recoup its losses from the bet in the past three months but the share of the bonus fund meant that a profit has now been achieved. Brazier placed his bet following a visit to his local fishing shop. Left with £2 in his pocket, he visited the Betfred shop to play the Scoop6 for only the third time and amazingly picked all six winners. He said: “I’d spent most of my money on fishing gear, but I had £2 in my pocket so I nipped into the Betfred shop as I knew there was a huge rollover. “It was only the third time I’d played the Scoop6 and I had four winners the week before. I went home to watch the racing and started panicking after I got three out of three. I couldn’t see the telly for the last leg because I was running up and down the room riding
Chatez home. “I went absolutely berserk when he won and I was still up at 4am wondering if it had really happened. On Sunday I went fishing to let it all sink in, but all I caught was some sleep on the bank. My biggest previous win was on New Year’s Day in 2008 when Blazing Bailey landed me a Lucky 15. Since that day I’ve always said I’d have a horse with Alan King if I had enough money…now I might have two!” Betfred boss Fred Done said: “I’m delighted for all eight winners, but particularly Craig as he placed his bet in one of my shops. He clearly has a knack for the Scoop6.” MARKETING POTENTIAL Essential Guide 20
he tipping point for betting and football
ROB HARTNETT, MARK DAVIES AND BETTORSOCIAL’S SIMON BURRELL DISCUSS REPUTATION
Hartnett said that given the FA vote would deem that betting is unacceptable within the top tier of its events, then there could be a consumer backlash from people asking why it is acceptable for them if it’s not for the people involved in the sport. He warned that the £609m spent by gambling in and around football is at risk.
“I’ve stepped away from betting now and am working more in the business environment, where you can actually step back and see things from the outside. And from the outside the reputation of betting and the reputation of football is in danger from this vote. If something is deemed unacceptable for people involved in the
sport, is it going to be long-term sustainable for that the commercial revenues that come into the sport?” However, Hartnett’s prognosis was rejected by Mark Davies, CEO of Camberton Associates. “I don’t agree with that point at all,” he said. “Not least because in cricket you’ve had that ban for
years and it’s a question of whether it is enforceable and from my own experience it isn’t. I know of one director of a first class cricket club who at first didn’t know about the rule and when he found out, continued betting anyway. “That aside, I don’t think it’s going to suddenly result in a cessation of advertising. I think there are other things that might well stop advertising being taken which the sports themselves are completely blind to, which I find quite bizarre.” Davies highlighted the potential for Asian bookmakers to turn their back on UK sports rather than deal with the new licensing requirements when they have no UK custom. He said that football has a ‘schizophrenic’ approach to betting. “They talk about match fixing and illegal bookmakers and all the problems that we are told exist, but they don’t separate out all the different issues. Instead,
they throw them all into one mix and pin the problems that come form that general mix onto people who generally don’t have any control over it. “I find it intriguing that there is nobody in sport that has been hired by from the betting industry to bring expertise to the sports about a topic which is very important from a commercial point of view and an integrity one. Yet in all sorts of other worlds there are poachers turned gatekeepers in all other walks of life. At Betfair, we wanted to know about horseracing so we recruited people from the sport so we could better understand it. Where is the person from the betting industry that has been hired by sports? Where’s the betting expertise in the FA? Where’s the betting expertise in the horseracing sector? It doesn’t exist. And yet all the sports will talk about betting as if they know about the subject.” BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
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iGaming GVC makes Scandinavian NetPlay TV investment with Betit JV plays Big Brother again GVC Holdings is KENNETH ALEXANDER: ‘SCANDINAVIAN MARKET HAS BEEN ON OUR RADAR FOR SOME TIME’
making a move into Scandinavia with an innovative JV in conjunction with Betit.
nteractive gaming company NetPlay TV has confirmed that its SuperCasino.com brand will be the headline sponsor of both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother summer 2014 for a second consecutive year. Big Brother will air every night on Channel 5 this month, which will be followed by Celebrity Big Brother. The advertising campaign will begin in June for approximately 14 weeks. SuperCasino.com branded bumpers will be shown from 9pm onwards on all coverage including all Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother support programming, online and video on demand. A full social media campaign will complement the sponsorship throughout the period. The firm also revealed that trading has had a strong start in Q2 with average daily net revenue up by 17 per cent versus Q2 2013. CEO Charles Butler commented: “Following the positive returns it has previously provided the company, we are delighted to be the headline sponsor for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother once again this summer. The sponsorship of both Big Brother in 2013 and January 2014 were both hugely successful. “These high profile sponsorships are an effective
isted operator GVC Holdings is targeting Scandinavia by entering into a joint venture agreement with Betit Securities Limited via a new company known as Betit Holdings Limited. The joint venture agreement provides GVC with a strategic entry point into the dynamic and expanding Scandinavian gaming markets in which, to date, GVC and its key brand Sportingbet have had no significant presence. According to estimates by Svenska Spel, the Swedish state-owned gambling company, online gaming turnover in Sweden alone topped SEK 6.2bn (£5.0bn) in 2013. Betit commenced operations in December 2013 and has already achieved average daily revenues in excess of 40,000 euro (£32,500) and has around 1,600 players per day. Betit operates the brands Thrills.com and Superlenny.com and since it started trading has grown rapidly to a team of 60 employees. With a clear focus on product usability, design and service, both Thrills.com and Superlenny.com have seen unparalleled growth in the Nordic markets. GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander said: “GVC’s commitment to expansion without undermining the current level of dividend is represented in this investment. The lucrative Scandinavian market has been on our radar for some time and we are delighted to be working with the entrepreneurial team at Betit who have a proven track record in the Scandinavian egaming markets, and have already grown the business from a standing-start five months ago to generating revenues of over 40k euros per day now. “By entering into this joint venture, we believe that GVC can diversify its revenue streams and significantly enhance the future dividend prospects and valuation of the Group for a minimal initial outlay and is similar to what has been achieved through GVC’s Betboo acquisition in Latin America.”
ANALYSIS It seems that GVC is pioneering a try before you buy model for gaming industry M&A as it has a call option to acquire the balance of the outstanding shares. The call option can be exercised no earlier than 1 July 2017 and no later than 30 September 2017, and would be subject to further LGA clearance and the AIM Rules. The minimum call option price is 70m euro (£56.9m), and the actual price would be determined by the mix of revenues between regulated and non-regulated markets and certain multiples attaching thereto which at current multiple levels would lead to the transaction being accretive for shareholders.
GVC’s upfront commitment is an initial 3.5m euro (£2.8m) out of free cash flow for a 15 per cent share in the joint venture and is dependent on the granting of approval by the Lotteries & Gaming Association of Malta. GVC will be taking a seat on the board of Betit. BSL is majority owned by Optimizer Invest Ltd, a venture capital business owned and operated by iGaming veterans Henrik Persson, Andre Lavold and Mikael Harstad. Together they have been a part of launching and growing a number of high-value profitable companies including; Nordic Gaming Group, Betsafe.com and BestGames Holdings.
The firm also revealed that Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) in the 41 days of Q2-2014 from 1 April 2014 to 11 May 2014 has averaged 601,000 euro per day which was 8.1 per cent higher than the previous quarter, and 11 per cent higher than the same period last year. On a constant currency measure, Q2-2014 would have been 654,000 euro per day, 20 per cent ahead of Q2-2013. The firm commented: “This clearly demonstrates that GVC is continuing to grow its revenues. This is especially true for the mobile product where the Gross Revenue per day is double that of last year at an average for Q2-2014 of 108,000 euro per day.”
tool to increase brand awareness and customer acquisition. Following a strong start to Q2, with average daily net revenue up by 17 per cent versus Q2 2013, we look forward to the extended customer reach throughout Q2 and Q3 brought by this sponsorship.” Chairman Clive Jones was also bullish about the operator’s performance in an AGM statement. Jones said that the company delivered its third consecutive year of net revenue growth in excess of 20 per cent and increased EBITDA by 21 per cent to a record £5.2m. He added: “We have continued to be highly cash generative with the year end cash balances standing at £13.9m. We are therefore pleased to have recommended a final dividend of 0.32 pence per share, which will be submitted for formal approval at the AGM today. “Q2 average daily net revenues continue to grow compared with the same period last year. In addition, the company is pleased to announce that its brand Vernons.com will sponsor the Walkabout chain of sports bars throughout the UK until May 2015. “We anticipate that 2014 will be a year of further financial progress, and we look forward to updating the market with our Q2 KPIs in July.”
JIM DAVIDSON WON THE LAST CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
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BB117-p04-08-iGaming_09/10 04/06/2014 10:56 Page 2
Zone Poker on mobile
Bodog has now launched its fast-fold poker game, Zone Poker, on mobile and tablet but will also keep the casual player protection offered by its unique all-player, anonymous tables. Research highlighted that casual players do not want to sit and grind for hours at a time, they want to play and have fun so Bodog’s new mobile and tablet option aims to offer that exact experience.
Bwin.party gets SpringOwl truce after board shake-up Activist investor Jason Ader has once again changed the board make-up of major gambling organisation Bwin.party. RECRUITMENT
win.party has agreed to work alongside SpringOwl, the organisation run by activist shareholder Jason Ader, after months of clashes over the direction of the igaming giant. SpringOwl had been increasingly critical of bwin.party’s direction and launched a charm offensive to shareholders in order to populate the board with its own nominees in a bid to influence the direction of the company. The Board had pushed back with promises of a review of personnel and it is the outcome of this review which has appeared to quell the storm. Driven by new chairmanelect Philip Yea, the report found ‘no material adverse findings’ but concluded that the increasing complexity of the group’s business and regulatory environment, along with other factors, meant that the firm was on the hunt for three new independent directors. The new directors will displace deputy chairman and senior independent director Rod Perry and an independent director and chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee Helmut Kern,
both of whom will retire. Also leaving the board is former Bwin co-CEO Manfred Bodner, who is stepping aside to work with Bwin.party on an annual consultancy agreement. The Board has appointed Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm, to conduct an international search to identify suitable candidates to join the Board. In addition, Sylvia Coleman has succeeded Simon Duffy as a member of the Nominations Committee. Yea commented: “Bwin.party is a business with great brands, technology and people - assets that have combined to create enormous potential. However, it is also operating in a challenging and rapidly changing business environment. The steps will ensure that succession is in place to allow the Board to anticipate and address the complexities of technological change, the inevitable transition to regulated and taxed markets and also to maximise the long-term value of the business for its shareholders, customers and employees. Both Rod and Helmut have been strong and effective committee chairmen but it is
right to start the search for their successors.” Soon afterwards it was announced that SpringOwl will be helping with recruitment of the new directors. Michael Fertik, one of SpringOwl’s earlier nominees, has been accepted as a potential candidate and Daniel Silvers has joined the board using SpringOwl’s nomination right it acquired with its shareholding. Yea added: “I am pleased to be able to demonstrate common ground with SpringOwl and welcome its support. There remains much work ahead and, together with the rest of the Board, I look forward to working closely with SpringOwl as a significant shareholder in bwin.party and welcome Dan Silvers to the Board as SpringOwl’s appointed nominee.” Jason Ader commented: “Bwin.party is a business with great brands and enormous potential. We welcome the planned changes to the composition of the Board and are looking forward to working with Philip Yea and the Board over the coming period to ensure that this potential is both realised and translated into long-term value for shareholders.”
ANALYSIS , SpringOwl has exerted influence and then some in shaking up the board at Bwin with the organisation’s sudden and successful publicity over its proposed changes no doubt spooking the operator just ahead of its AGM. While Manfred Bodner has found himself in the firing line and lost a director’s seat in the company he helped drive forward, at least he has continuing involvement in a no doubt lucrative consultancy role. Meanwhile, Daniel Silvers has found himself thrust into a generally unfriendly boardroom at the behest of Jason Ader. Silvers was forced on IGT in 2012, although he only stayed in the role for eight months.
MANFRED BODNER: LEAVING THE BWIN.PARTY BOARD BUT STAYING ON AS A CONSULTANT
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Best Workplace is Rational choice HR
he Rational Group, operator of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has been selected as one of the best workplaces in the United Kingdom, including its headquarters office in the Isle of Man, for the third consecutive year. Last month the Great Place to Work Institute announced its annual ‘Best Workplace’ rankings for large companies in the UK, ranking Rational Group at 14th place, based upon an employee survey conducted by the Institute. The Great Place to Work Institute is the world’s largest consultancy specialising in workplace assessment and enhancement. This is the third consecutive year that the UK and Isle of Man offices have been named to the list. Earlier this year, Rational Group offices in Ireland and Costa Rica were also named as some of the Best Workplaces in those countries. “Once again, we are the only company in our industry to receive this accolade, which speaks volumes for our desire to lead from the front,” said Michael Hazel, chief finance officer of the Rational Group. “We are working hard to embrace the principles of what makes a great workplace and will never stop listening to our people and acting on their feedback.” Globally, 6,000 organisations around the world are surveyed, representing approximately 10m employees. On this occasion, PokerStars offices in both London and the Isle of Man were part of the analysis. This process included surveying both employees and management to get a holistic view of the organisation’s HR policies and practices and how these are perceived by employees. Tom O’Byrne, chief executive of the Great Place to Work Institute, said: “All Best Workplaces recognise the strategic importance of creating and maintaining high trust, highly engaged workplaces as this can improve business performance and, for many, the bottom line.” Meanwhile, Rational’s The European Poker Tour (EPT) has announced that PokerTracker 4 will return for the second consecutive year as the official poker tracking software. EPT president Edgar Stuchly commented: “The game analysis software provided by PokerTracker is among the finest in the online poker industry. The EPT are very pleased to welcome them back as a sponsor for the next season.”
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Another award for INTRALOT
Intralot has been awarded the prestigious distinction ‘Best Multinational Company’ during the ‘Diamonds of the Hellenic Economy 2014 ‘awards’ ceremony organised by Statbank in Athens. This distinction recognises Intralot’s successful ‘extrovert’ strategy, its commitment to excellence, robust business growth, as well as its contribution to the Greek economy. INTRALOT GROUP INVESTORS RELATIONS DIRECTOR ELIAS ATHANASIOU RECEIVES THE AWARD
Adelson takes another swipe at online gaming Sheldon Adelson continues to throw his weight around as he looks to get online gambling banned in the US. USA
heldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands’ chairman, majority holder, and multi-billionaire, has claimed that online gambling exploits those who can least afford it, and fails to regulate against underage users and money laundering. Listed as the world’s 9th richest person by Forbes, with an estimated value or net worth of $37bn (£22bn), the casino magnate recently discussed his attempts to defeat online gaming in an interview with US financial network Bloomberg TV. He commented: “I’m larger than all the gaming companies combined in the United States. I have authority in the bona fides to recommend to the government that this is not the right way to encourage people to gamble. For instance, here in the land based casinos we are required to have the dealers shuffle the cards a certain way. How do you do that in on the internet?” The Boston-born businessman refuted claims that he is only concerned with looking after his own self interest, adding that there is nowhere in America that is more than 200 miles away from a casino. “There is no reason, nor a compelling reason to put a
casino in everybody’s pocket, underage, of age, college students that owe plenty of money, unfortunate people, working class people, middle class people that will be easily exploited by, and easily incentivised to go on the internet and gamble. For what?” Adelson said he is willing to spend ‘whatever it takes’ to stop it. “I want to make money from those who can afford it. I can’t tell over the internet who is underage, I can’t tell who has financial difficulties,” he added. Las Vegas Sands Corp has a number of resorts and properties in North America and Asia, including several premises in Nevada and Pennsylvania and others in China and Singapore. Results from the first quarter of 2014 show that group net revenue reached a record $4.01bn (£2.4bn). Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association (AGA), which represents the interests of commercial casinos and supports more than 332,000 American jobs, withdrew its support for online gambling last week. The organisation values the industry at $37.34bn (£22.34bn) and according to the Wall Street Journal, its president, Geoff Freeman, said it could not continue to
support the issue, citing different attitudes from casino providers. Given the dichotomy between its members over online gaming, it has decided to take the fifth. However, the AGA has launched the “Get to Know Gaming” campaign to promote the value of the industry and counter stereotypes. “We are entering a critical stage in the gaming industry’s evolution. Nationwide expansion is running headfirst into unsustainable tax rates and regulatory inefficiencies. ‘Get to Know Gaming’ will help to establish gaming as a mainstream business and pave the way for critical, pro-innovation reforms,” said Freeman. A Brattle Group report estimates that the commercial casino industry generates about $125bn (£74.8bn) per year in direct and indirect spending, including purchases from suppliers and salaries and benefits for more than 800,000 employees across the US. The drive will begin with the release of a detailed, nationwide survey providing an up-todate profile of casino visitors and insights about the people who avail of the entertainment options casinos offer, due in the coming weeks.
ew Jersey, the great online gaming hope for the US, is struggling to live up to its billing after April saw the market actually contract by US$500,000 to $11.4m (£6.8m). Figures released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show the average online take per day was $380,958 (£227,459) in April, down from $383,173 (£228,781) in March. With a soft launch of the market in late November 2013, online gaming in the state had picked up since the turn of the year, with monthly increases of 28 per
THE BORGATA IS STILL LEADING THE WAY ONLINE IN NJ
cent in January, 9 per cent in February, and 15 per cent in March. However, the opening up of the market has been bedevilled by technical problems - mainly on the
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
payment processing side. Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said the drop may be because of the continuing difficulties many gamblers encounter
CashBet has launched its real-money online gambling platform in the United Kingdom following permissions granted by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The first game to go live on CashBet’s platform will be Casino Island Adventure from developer Gamzio, Inc. Dr Mike Reaves, CEO and co-founder of CashBet, commented: “Every publisher and developer we speak with is interested in entering the online gaming market, but is concerned about the barriers to entry, such as compliance and security. We’re continuing to build the most trusted platform for mobile gambling, and we have a highly experienced team that deeply understands what ‘Real Money Play’ is all about.” JOINING REALMS
SHELDON ADELSON: ‘I’M LARGER THAN ALL THE GAMING COMPANIES COMBINED’
ANALYSIS Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling believes Congress must strike to ban gambling over the net because it targets the ‘poor and isolated, poses threats, such as identity theft and criminal activity’. It’s campaign is gaining traction in some places as well. Several of the nation’s governors also expressed concerns in a National Governors Association letter, dated 16 May. They called for a ‘strong, cooperative relationship between the states and federal government’ to be exercised before deciding whether to implement legislation to ban online internet gaming and lottery sales. The fact that Adelson is a major financial supporter of the Republican Party means that he holds a lot of political sway.
New Jersey figures show struggling market MARKETING
in trying to fund their accounts with credit cards. As ever, weather may also have played its part. He added: “Maybe when the weather was nice, the laptops got closed and people decided to come down to Atlantic City.” Online, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa continues to lead the way with its partnership with Bwin.party. The operator has generated revenues of $16.4m so far this year, compared to $13.1m for Caesars Interactive and $6.2m from the Tropicana Casino and Resort. The Golden Nugget and the two Trump casinos are far behind the pacesetters.
Joe Lupo, senior vice president at Borgata, told AP that his casino has always believed that mobile devices would be key to internet gambling revenue. He said: “It simply takes time when launching a new business.” However, the chief executive of 888, which has partnered with Caesars, said that the industry was ‘absolutely shocked by the slowness of the market’ and suggested a shift in their promotional efforts. Brian Mattingley said: “The operators have not seen a positive response to their marketing campaigns. We’ve got to think again, the way we market.”
London-listed igaming and social gaming operator Gaming Realms has appointed Atul Bali, president of RealNetworks’ games division, as a nonexecutive director of the company. Bali has held a number of senior positions in the gaming sector and currently oversees online, mobile and social games development, cross-platform publishing, software and technology licensing at RealNetworks. Gaming Realms executive chairman Michael Buckley said: “Bali is one of the very few executives with deep experience in land, online and social based games and lotteries on all platforms. His broad regulatory knowledge and worldwide experience in JVs and M&A will bring a unique perspective to Gaming Realms as it expands in the future.” POKER FACE FOR SUAREZ
888poker has announced a new global contract with Uruguay and Liverpool centre forward Luis Suarez, who will become the official global brand ambassador for 888poker. As part of the endorsement of 888 online poker room Suarez will become a team member of 888poker. The operator will host exclusive tournaments and social media content featuring the football player. The Premiership’s 2013/2014 leading top scorer will join other international sports stars who have represented 888poker, including Ultimate Fighting Champing George St Pierre and Australian cricket’s all time leading wicket taker Shane Warne.
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BB117-p10-14-Betting_09/10 04/06/2014 12:16 Page 1
Betting Complaints over Ladbrokes Life adverts
IAN WRIGHT: IMPORTANT TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THE RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
The Ladbrokes Life adverts may contain a socially responsible message, but that hasn’t stopped people being offended by other aspects of the campaign. MARKETING
adbrokes has launched the UK’s first dedicated TV advertisement to promote responsible gambling, although that hasn’t stopped scores of complaints about the Ladbrokes Life campaign reaching the Advertising Standards Authority. The advertisement is part of the new ‘Ladbrokes Life’ campaign The campaign, which launched in April, celebrates the characteristics of different betting customers and aims to set a markedly less aggressive tone than other betting advertisements. In the new dedicated responsible gambling ad, one of the characters, Mr Brightside, is seen enjoying his night out despite being denied a winning bet by the decision of a linesman. The advertisement ends with a ‘Please Bet Responsibly’ message and does not include any promotional or sales messages. The dedicated responsible gambling ad follows a number of measures undertaken by Ladbrokes to promote responsible gambling. These include the introduction of the ABB code of player protection, new set limits software on machines and retraining of staff to include a greater focus on interaction. Ladbrokes already dedicates 20 per cent of its shop window space to promotion of responsible gambling and runs in-shop responsible gambling adverts featuring Chris Kamara. Earlier this year the company also announced further measures to promote Responsible Gambling including establishing a committee of the plc board to set responsible business benchmarks and for elements of executive pay to be linked to responsible gambling measures. Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn commented: “Most betting customers will recognise the message in the advertisement as something they already practice but we believe it is important to continue to promote responsible gambling to ensure people stay within their limits and don’t take unnecessary risks. It is part of a package of awareness and self-help measures that customers value and appreciate. We remain focussed on continuing to evolve our approach to promote responsible gambling
in conjunction with government, the Gambling Commission and the industry.” However, the ASA has received a number of complaints that the ads are harmful and irresponsible because they glamorise gambling, link it with social and sexual success, and exploit the credulity of young and vulnerable people. A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: “There appear to be a few people who have had a sense of humour failure regarding our new campaign. It is a shame because the feedback on Ladbrokes life has been overwhelmingly positive and the tone of the advertising is in marked contrast to other aggressive campaigns in the market place.” Gala Coral has also recently found itself on the wrong side of the line when it comes to ASA’s perception of sexual success. The bookmaker has been told not to repeat its advert featuring a glamorous female jockey encouraging men in a barber shop to use Coral’s mobile phone app. Clearcast defended the advert, saying that the men in the ad were discussing their betting options before the appearance of the female character, and she did not lead them into making a behavioural choice that they would otherwise not have made. They stated that there was no implication in the ad of sexual success or promise of future interaction between the characters; instead, the woman was shown as mysterious and unattainable, breezing into the shop and leaving quickly after highlighting the offer available. They said the ad was lighthearted and unrealistic and they did not consider that it contained any sexual content or seduction. The ASA disagreed though, judging that the jockey’s behaviours were flirtatious and, as she represented the Coral product, concluded that the ad linked gambling to seduction and was therefore in breach of the Code.
ANALYSIS Again, bookmakers have struggled to find the right line when it comes to marketing and have fallen foul of the ASA judgement - albeit, it seems that whatever line they find will be wholly unpalatable to some quarters. Attractive people can be used in adverts, but it seems operators need to be smarter in how they use them. In contrast, Ladbrokes have used a group of ordinary looking people and have still possibly overstepped the mark - how, when you view the advert, this is possible does beggar belief and perhaps says more about the nature of our society than it does the standards of propriety applied by the bookmaker. However, it can be argued that in the case of one of the Ladbrokes Life men. his girlfriend can only talk about his prowess in the bedroom - an angle which may be a misstep in an advertising campaign which seems remarkably well balanced and a good contrast to its previous attempts with Chris Kamara. But even here, don’t you really have to be an utter, total berk to not realise the distinction between an advert and real life? There is a large swathe of people that would applaud Ladbrokes for this fresh lease of life on betting advertising - the ads are witty, clever, self effacing and warm. And, most probably, the biggest problem to the anti-lobby because they seem to reflect extremely well the overwhelming face of the British betting public rather than the one they wish us to see. You have to have some sympathy for the Ladbokes spokesman who referred to a “humour failure” - at some stage the balance has to be restored: a funny advert is exactly that - not a conspiratorial attempt by the betting industry to lure, capture and imprison the unsuspecting public into a life of betting hell.
Adapting to customer behaviour CRM
etting shop operators need to pay more attention to collecting data on customer habits at each store, according to retail anthropologist Ian Wright, managing director of Rufus. Speaking at last month’s Betting on Football Conference, Wright said that not enough work is done by gambling operators on collecting customer behaviour patterns and thus their design and layouts suffer. He said that operators need to pick both quantitative and qualitative data which would be important to improving retail betting stores and their layouts. Wright said: “The golden rule of retail anthropology being, the longer you stay in any retail space, the more money you are likely to spend. In a nutshell, that is the main objective with any retail set up.” Wright believes that retail operators should learn retail design techniques which have proven successful for supermarkets chains and petrol stations that have installed strategic sales points within their stores. He added: “In Britain, we err to the left, which is to say that we will notice things on the left as we enter a shop, more than we will notice things on the right. So, if we position the Football Coupons on the left, near the doors, then customers will be reminded on their way in about what’s on offer. If we also position the Numbers Zone on the opposite side near the doors, this area will catch the eye on the way out of the shop.” He also said that where there is a disconnect between a shop and its online operation then there may be problems. “A good online presence and a good retail set up should support each other to be honest if they are part of the same company. If they are, then from a public perspective, a good experience on one will give a positive impression of the other. “The difficulty comes when, although they both have the same brand name they are actually two separate companies, probably one in this country and one abroad, each with their own cost centres, overheads and targets. Add to that the associated tax issues and laws regarding advertising an ‘offshore’ business in a ‘land based’ shop in this country and it becomes a minefield.”
10 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
BB117-p10-14-Betting_09/10 04/06/2014 14:18 Page 2
Pools increases membership
The Football Pools has continued its modernisation with over 7,000 new players acquired since the beginning of the year – double the figure over the same period in 2013. This recruitment is being driven through telephone and digital marketing activity through our website, www.footballpools.co.uk. The overall decline in players in the direct channel continues to slow as a result of modernisation and the increase in new player acquisition.
Tribunal dismisses primary purpose concept
Football sponsors should look at engagement Sky Bet is now one of the biggest sponsors in English football and marketing director Rob Painter believes that many operators are missing a trick with their own deals.
T ROB PAINTER, IAIN WEBB AND CHAIR SIMON BURRELL DISCUSS FOOTBALL SPONSORSHIP
ambling operators should not use footballers as walking billboards, but should instead use their marketing deals to engage the football supporting community, that’s the advice of Sky Bet marketing director Rob Painter. Speaking at Sports Betting Community’s Betting on Football Conference last month, Painter explained that sponsorship fails when bookmakers or igaming operators simply look for brand coverage. He told delegates that operators need to understand how to value and benchmark sponsorship metrics - this will allow for better valuation of the sponsorship and what has been achieved by the practice. Last season Sky Bet announced one of the more audacious sponsorship deals - it became the headline sponsor for the three Football League divisions,
an agreement which also made the firm the default betting and gaming partner for the 72 football clubs. However, the operator realised that this was too much to manage. Painter explained that the deal involved six months of planning, and that in order to optimise SkyBet coverage, the operator had to seek third party agency help, since not even Sky could have the resources to cater branding throughout 72 partner clubs. In fact, the bookmaker has since has appointed M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment to activate the sponsorship further. Painter added: “Sponsors have to create constant activity and involvement with the sponsored football clubs. This should include exclusive coverage on digital and social media verticals. Too many sponsorships will simply be treated as corporate jollies; betting operators should look to be proactive and gain beneficial impacts
to all their channels - affiliates, search marketing, SEO and mobile.” Iain Webb, partnerships manager at Fulham Football Club, told delegates that operators need to be prepared and gather knowledge of the football club they wish to sponsor in order to get the most out of any deal. He explained that many advertisers simply come ‘cash in hand’, but do not understand the dynamics and key demographics of the football club with which they wish to partner. During the conference’s affiliate panel, which discussed ways of attracting football custom through third parties, BiggerBet managing director Iain Coward bemoaned the fact that promotion of bookmaker services is still to singularly focused on odds and bonus provisions rather than something richer. He believes that bookmakers should look beyond these elements, and look to engage further with
the affiliates communities, content and social channels. He said: “Many operators fail to leverage the full utilities that an affiliate has to offer.” Andreas Phillipsen, head of marketing at bettingexpert.com owner Better Collective, believes that operators face a multicontent future and that it is down to the affiliates to provide that. He added: “Content output on multiple mediums will only be effective if the quality of content is engaging and deemed worthwhile by the viewers. The focus should be on quality and not quantity.” Again Phillipsen noted a certain disconnect between affiliates and operators, saying that data gathering and data mapping between the two is still behind other industries and that an unexplained ‘black box’ of undisclosed information between both parties is harming attempts to streamline communications and player journeys.
ANALYSIS Given that football clubs have an inbuilt community; it seems like an obvious opportunity to sponsors to tap into after all that is the audience they are interested in attracting. But it appears that some football sponsors have handed over the money and automatically expected the custom to roll in. But with margins due to get very tight in the UK due to the new licensing and taxation rules, and a ban on Asian-only bookmakers advertising, any operator wanting to invest in an expensive football sponsorship will no doubt be looking at all avenues to exploit in order to achieve ROI.
Graduate wins Titan Bet’s ‘Best Job in the World’ promotion WORLD CUP
urham University sports student Ollie Silverton has signed an exclusive contract with online bookmaker Titan Bet for the ‘Best Job in the World’ - an all-expensespaid opportunity to represent the rising star of sports betting at the world’s biggest football tournament in Brazil this summer. Silverton, who has only just completed his final exam, beat hundreds of applicants to the role and has been handed return flights to Rio, hotel accommodation for 33 nights, a month’s salary of £4,000 as
well as a whole host of prizes including a state-ofthe-art smartphone, laptop, and Go-Pro camera. In return he will write, film and upload a series of daily blogs, match previews, analysis, interviews
12 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
he Gambling Commission’s ‘primary purpose’ stipulations, which were introduced to curtail gaming machine-only betting shops, have been heavily criticised by the First-Tier Tribunal, which has redefined the way that machine heavy LBOs will be regulated in the future. Operator Luxury Leisure has successfully appealed against the Gambling Commission’s use of primary purpose when reviewing the licence on its Newcastle betting shop ‘A1 Roulette’, in a decision which throws into doubt the whole concept. The licence for the premises was originally provided by the local magistrates and overtly maintained that it was for the provision of FOBTs. Luxury Leisure has since attempted to conform to the Commission’s requirements and offers betting on Betfair via a terminal along with screens and the Racing Post. However, the betting activity seems to equate to 72 slips a week causing the Commission to deem betting as not the primary purpose. First Tier Tribunal President NJ Warren found that Condition 16 means no more than what the plain words of what it says that is the provision of ‘sufficient facilities for betting’. He criticises the ambiguous use of the phrase ‘primary gambling activity’ and the Commission’s belief that Condition 16 means at the very least that betting should have more than a ‘token’ presence. The judge said: “I have concluded that I cannot accept the submission made on behalf of the Commission. The first and simplest reason for this conclusion is that the construction inserts into the condition, without justification, words which are simply not there. It seems to me that the words to be applied are the plain words of the condition.” This decision means that a betting shop is not in breach of its licensing conditions if gaming machine activity is greater than OTC betting activity - at least until the Commission decides to have another consultation on Condition 16.
sonality, broadcasting and social media skills and his overall entry and campaign to win Best Job in the World stood out from the crowd. He even created his own website and knows sport and betting inside out. He’s the ideal candidate. “The Best Job campaign has been a huge success TITAN BET’S RUSS YERSHON from day one. We have WITH OLLIE SILVERTON received hundreds of entries and tens of thouand video diaries with fans, sands of tweets, views on players and celebrities as YouTube and shares on well as live tweet from Facebook. We are offering eight games including the our customers something semi-finals and the final. completely different this Russell Yershon, World Cup and Ollie will be spokesman for Titan Bet, on hand to bring us all the said: “Ollie’s infectious per- best odds and excitement
from Brazil.” Silverton, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday the day before the World Cup final, said: “I was told on Twitter about the job and I immediately said ‘I need to win this’ and made it my mission to do so. “I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working for Titan Bet in Brazil. I have so many ideas on how I can not only bring the best World Cup coverage, but also the most interactive coverage. I will be using social media heavily and offering Titan Bet customers the best promotions and offers while I’m in Rio.”
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BB117-p10-14-Betting_09/10 04/06/2014 12:29 Page 3
SunLoto shines for Betegy
Betegy is to provide patented football sports betting prediction software to the Chinese Welfare and Sports Lottery provider SunLoto - operator of the Wozhongla brand. Alex Kornilov CEO and co-founder of Betegy, said: “By signing this agreement with Wozhongla, we have a trusted and reliable strategic partner in China.”
ANALYSIS BODOG GOT THE FA CUP FINAL SHOWN IN CINEMAS IN MALAYSIA
666Bet makes audacious entrance into betting arena
The World Cup is frequently touted as the place to make money for sportsbooks - indeed, there are stories that tournaments in the past have saved the future of some online betting portals - so it is little wonder that marketing teams have gone into overdrive. Longer term, it will be interesting to see what happens. As it stands, the Premier League is about to get hit by an exodus of Asian operators unprepared to go through the expense process of being licensed in the UK just for the opportunity to advertise around the sport. And even the firms that locate in the UK will have less discretionary spend given the larger tax bill that they will have to settle.
BETTINGBRIEFS PMU STAYS WITH PSG
French monopoly operator PMU has confirmed a four year extension of its existing sponsorship of French football Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain. PMU renewed partnership terms with the Parisian football club, extending its sponsorship which began in 2011, and will also gain visibility through sponsorship of the PSG handball and women’s football teams. Philippe Germond, chief executive of PMU, said: “These results are the fruit of a genuine requirement of performance and excellence. Paris SaintGermain has the means to achieve its objectives and develops the projected ambitions of PMU.” CANBET WOULD HAVE LOST LICENCE
If you’re going to make a big splash, you may as well do it before a World Cup tournament is due to start. Enter 666Bet.
ith the battle for the hearts and minds of football fans ahead of the World Cup hotting up, a new brand has made quite an eye-catching entrance. 666Bet has hit the market with an £8m marketing drive and its initial offer has gained lots of coverage. The firm has offered its first 1,966 customers the chance to bet on England to win the World Cup at odds of 1,966/1, although with stakes understandably limited to £1. The firm then offered England at odds of 66/1 until the start of the tournament. The offer was revealed by brand ambassador Harry Redknapp, who features in the company’s TV advertising. Barry Martin, CEO of 666Bet.com, said: “We wanted to launch with a bang and what better way than to offer our customers the
chance to win almost two grand from just a pound if England make history in Brazil? “Our plan is to truly shake up the betting market and we’re absolutely thrilled that Harry is our brand ambassador. He’s the perfect fit for us and I’m sure everyone will love our TV adverts with him.” Martin is the former CEO and founder of The Gutshot Poker Club, the mould breaking retail venue for poker in London, and he has plans for 666Bet to make waves in the UK and Asia. He explained: “Of course it’s a very competitive and cluttered market, but I see that there’s a number of opportunities for an operator that is agile, takes customer service seriously - not just about its interaction with its end user, but the whole spectrum of brand perception and deliverability. Within 18 months we will be knock-
ing on the door of the big guys.” 666Bet will run as an Isle of Man-licensed Novigroup B2B whitelabel platform and was also pressing for an Alderney and a UK licence. The campaign has made Paddy Power’s limited offer of 100/1 around England look a little jaded, but when the Irish bookmaker first announced the promotion it received plenty of attention. Meanwhile, online gaming brand Bodog has been making the most out of being the Official Asian Betting Partner to FA Cup winners Arsenal FC ahead of the World Cup with a series of promotions linking the brand to the ‘beautiful game’. Bodog hired cinemas all across Asia to allow fans to enjoy special screenings of the FA Cup final, including the Cathay Cineplex in Ikano Shopping Centre in Kuala
Lumpur in conjunction with Arsenal MY (Arsenal’s official supporters club in the country). Last month also saw the launch of the FC Bodog Shanghai Supporters Club Champions League. The Bodog-sponsored event saw 10 teams, 25 player squads, all existing teams made up of the best players from top European club’s supporters networks in Shanghai. The company also had a series of reasons to visit the website as well, such as prizes for picking which of the Arsenal squad will have the best World Cup and there’s a shared prize of $40,000 just for picking which team will win the tournament in Brazil. There is also unique content such as a video of Arsenal players Alex OxladeChamberlan, Carl Jenkinson and Lukasz Fabianski competing game of ice-hockey.
Ladbrokes revamps mobile sportsbook features MOBILE
adbrokes has unveiled a number of new features from its Innovation Lab to bring its mobile Apps and HMTL5 offer to the forefront of the operator’s mobile sportsbook services. Customers can now access the mobile service from Windows and Blackberry phones and enjoy real-time In-Play match action, statistics and timelines. They can also now use their PayPal accounts to make a deposit, benefitting the estimated 30 per cent of mobile cus-
14 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
tomers who use PayPal as their primary payment channel. The platform expansion also means that Ladbrokes has increased the availability of its services to customers, specifically on Windows and Blackberry devices who now have the ability to access the new Mobenga platform and services. Ladbrokes director of mobile and devices Andrew Bagguley commented: “We are committed to delivering the best mobile sportsbook experience to
our customers and focus on features that customers are going to enjoy and find valuable. Speed, access and availability of service is paramount to us as is the very clear focus to embrace new platforms and partnerships such as we have with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and IE11. We are in the last stages of World Cup preparations and are looking forward to leading the innovation through the tournament.” These developments are all part of the evolving of the new Ladbrokes’ mobile offer which launched in December and has already seen four new applications and over
25 new features introduced, including real-time video streaming, auto-login, personalisation features such as, choose my start page, quick betslip, quick deposit, festival modules, Racing Post race card content, live streaming and yes/no coupons and enhanced cross sell into its Playtech gaming products These new developments form the basis of Ladbrokes mobile, but with only a few remaining weeks remaining before the World Cup it plans to continue with a series of features designed to engage customers in the build up and during the event.
Canbet Sports Bookmakers surrendered its UK operating licence after the Gambling Commission informed the bookmaker that it was minded to revoke the licence. The regulator has since said that if required it would have revoked the licence as financially Canbet could not carry on to a high enough standard. It added: “The Licensee’s apparent inability or unwillingness to respond to the Commission’s most recent enquiries in a timely fashion which, together with the fact that questions posed by the Commission have not been fully explained or answered satisfactorily, raised fundamental questions about the licensee’s suitability to hold a licence.” SYNOT TO SPONSOR CZECH LEAGUE
Czech Republic gambling and lottery operator Synot Group is to become the title sponsor for the Czech Liga, the top football division in the country. Synot director Neofytos Neofytou commented:“When we learned that the title partner for the league was available, we believed this would give us the opportunity to expand our marketing and improve the visibility of the brand in the Czech Republic. In addition, the move fits in with the Synot group’s strategy of supporting the sports industry in different countries.” Czech Football Association president Miroslav Pelta added: “In the Synot group, we gain an important partner that will significantly contribute to the development of the Czech top league and football in general.”
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BB117-p16-Politics_09/10 04/06/2014 11:28 Page 1
The new Licensing and Advertising act may have received Royal Assent, but the Gambling Commission is doing the hard work.
Austrian laws not consistent enough for EU
Lots of detail still required ahead of new laws he Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill has now received Royal Assent, which means that the Gambling Commission has had to step up a gear in relation to its remote gambling regulations. Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: “This Act marks a significant step in increasing protection to consumers based in Great Britain, by ensuring that all remote gambling operators will be subject to robust and consistent regulation. This includes a requirement for operators to support action against illegal activity and corruption in sport, and to comply with licence conditions that protect children and vulnerable adults.” Chairman of the Gambling Commission, Philip Graf added: “This is a welcome step forward - bringing the 85 per cent of the remote gambling market currently regulated overseas within the Commission’s remit will provide us with direct access to and oversight of all commercial gambling provided to those in Britain. This means that we will be far better placed to protect players and to respond to and advise the government on emerging player protection and consumer risks and issues.” In the meantime, the Commission has been making changes to its Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice, the biggest one being the segregation of player funds. The regulator said: “Remote gambling operators must segregate customer funds into a separate bank account. Although we recognise that this will bring additional costs for some operators, we consider it appropriate that there is a clear distinction between funds held in customer accounts and company funds. This provision has an important deterrent effect - to prevent operators dipping into funds which they hold for players to use for gambling.” The Commission has also put a spanner in
the works for the whole supply chain of gambling software, but maintaining that UK licensed operators would only be able to use UK licensed software developers. It explained: “The final provision clarifies that licensed operators must only use gambling software that has been manufactured by, and supplied to them by, the holder(s) of gambling software licences. Installation and adaption must also only be undertaken by gambling software licence holders. The Commission is aware that supply chains can be complex involving many different parties. The Commission does not intend to require each and every business within an extended supply chain to hold a gambling software licence. The Commission will also be publishing further advice on what we consider to be gambling software. The advice will set out what activities the Commission considers to meet the definitions of
‘manufacture’, ‘supply’, ‘installation’ and ‘adaptation’ of gambling software.” With most of the supply sector now waiting for the regulator to clarify what exactly it requires, there has been a noticeable hiatus in R&D in some areas given that some operators might be unable to implement solutions developed by non-licensed software houses. It added: “This does mean that by 1 January 2015 operators will have to cease using gambling software manufactured, supplied, installed or adapted by any entity that should (by virtue of this condition) hold a gambling software licence, but that does not hold such a licence. Operators should therefore enter into dialogue with their suppliers to ensure that relevant businesses hold a gambling software licence by 1 January 2015 and gambling software businesses should consider with their advisors whether they need a licence.” ANALYSIS
HELEN GRANT: ‘A SIGNIFICANT STEP IN INCREASING PROTECTION’
With the Gambling Commission still hammering out details on a number of requirements, it is not surprising there has been a lot of focus on transitional arrangements. The regulator said: “We expect to be in a position to invite applications under the transitional arrangements in mid-July. This is because the transitional arrangements cannot be brought into force until at least two months after the date of Royal Assent. We expect there to be a short period for submitting applications before a ‘dead’ period of approximately two weeks to ensure that the Commission can process applications in time for ‘go live’. At present we expect the application window for advance applications to open mid-July and the deadline for submitting applications for continuation licences to be no earlier than mid-August.”
Report suggests social games don’t cause problem gambling SOCIAL
esearch commissioned by the International Social Games Association (ISGA) suggests that there are few links between social gaming and real money gambling and that most in-game transactions are small. The independent academic research by Harvest Strategy into the evolution, use and impact of social games, appears to suggest that social gaming doesn’t pose much of a risk to society and that, as such, does not require a close look by regulators. The report undertakes both a review of existing academic literature and data surrounding social games as well as a survey of consumer behaviour and perceptions across Australia, the UK, France and the US, ‘the 2014 Consumer Survey’.
16 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Amongst the report’s findings are that in-game expenditure is typically low and that average players are spending no money on games at all. According to the 2014 Consumer Survey, a high proportion of people playing social games are not spending money on in-app purchases. Less than 1 in 10 players spent money on a social game on their last playing occasion. Those players that do make in-app purchases are spending low amounts, typically less than one unit of local currency (i.e. 87 per centof French transactions were less than one euro, and 90 per cent of UK transactions were less than £1). The research also implies no evidence that social casino games are converting people to real money gamblers or causing problem gambling. The report concludes that
social games are played for different reasons to gambling such as social interaction and relationship building across social networks. The consumer data also indicates that consumers are able to distinguish and understand the difference between social games and real money gaming. ISGA CEO Luc Delany said: “We have read Harvest’s report with great interest. As an industry we are very pleased to have a new and robust piece of research to help put context and facts into the discussion on social games. This report helps to explain what the social games sector is and who are playing social games, and that it will bring clarity to the discussion surrounding social games, forming a solid basis for constructive dialogue between industry and
key stakeholders. We are reassured that Harvest’s research demonstrates that there is no link between social casino games and real money gambling and that the two practices are entirely separate, with very different audiences and player demographics. We look forward to carrying on research of social games and their impact in the future.”
he Court of Justice of the European Union has again found that the current national gambling legislation in Austria contravenes European laws as it is not ‘strictly consistent’ and has told the Member State that it needs to provide the necessary evidence that it complies. The CJEU’s ruling on the Pfleger case mirrors the official Opinion issued by AG Sharpston in November 2013 and has been warmly received by the European Gaming and Betting Association. EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer commented: “We welcome the Court’s decision, which confirms that the Austrian gambling legislation is in breach of EU law. The ruling strengthens the requirement that Member States’ gambling laws should be consistent. “In this context, we want to remind that the European Commission acted in its proper role as guardian of the treaties by launching formal infringement proceedings against six Member States last November. Whilst we encourage the Commission to take the appropriate next steps in these proceedings and open new proceedings where necessary, we especially urge the Member States to pursue their stated public interest objectives in a consistent and systematic manner free of hypocrisy.” The EGBA also pointed out that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was invoked by the court, the first time this has happened in a gamblingrelated ruling. The CJEU also reiterated that the Austrian regulators are unable to pursue legal action aginst operators transcending the national law: “Where a restrictive system has been established for games of chance and that system is incompatible with Article 56 TFEU, an infringement of the system by an economic operator cannot give rise to penalties.” The Austrian Gambling system has recently been subject to several Court cases both on national and EU levels, in particular the CJEU cases C64/08, Engelmann; C-347/09, Dickinger and Ömer as well as C-176/11, Hit and Hit Larix, in which the CJEU has detected major inconsistencies in the Austrian gambling legislation and hence declared that major parts of the Austrian system are non-compliant with EU law.
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
28 Betway takes on a handheld EPOS system from A Bet A
30 Inspired Gaming virtual sports spread across mainland Europe
32 The live dealer market is being shaken up by Entwine Tech
34 New Jersey market can now be serviced locally by Continent 8
Almost £5bn turnover According to Gambling Commission figures, off-course horseracing turnover was £4.9bn in 2012/13, although this figure has declined by over £800m between April 2008March 2009.
However, the Gross Gambling Yield for off course betting on horseracing was £697.88m in 2012/13 - an increase of three per cent on the previous year.
Horses turnover for pool betting has fluctuated over the past five years having increased in April 2010-March 2011 and April 2011-March 2012 before showing a decline in April 2012March 2013.
‘Destined to be closely aligned with blue-riband racing’
ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Betting Business Interactive Edition
Essential guide to ...
Denis Kelly, Stan James CEO, talks horse-racing sponsorship and explains why recent company restructuring and redundancies were inevitable. hy have Stan James always had a strong affinity with horse racing, particularly around sponsorship of events such as Cheltenham and the Chester Cup? Despite the advent of sports, football and inplay betting arguably growing around the feet of horse racing, events such as the Cheltenham Festival are absolutely key to the mindset of the day to day punter. Hailing from Lambourn, or the ‘Valley of the Racehorse’ as it’s otherwise known, Stan James was always destined to be closely aligned with blueriband racing heritage events such as the Festival and the Chester Cup meeting.
You have previously stated that football will become your biggest sport over the next two years. Will the company be looking for sponsorship opportunities elsewhere to reflect this shift? The advertising and sponsorship landscape is ever changing and as an agile company, we always have our eyes and ears open to new opportunities. As per our company strategy, the signs continue to point towards football almost certainly overtaking racing, at no cost to our racing business, and we will therefore continue to distribute our marketing spend accordingly. No potential opportunity will be overlooked.
Do you think December’s point of consumption tax will change this relationship by forcing Stan James to pay the horse racing levy? Where there’s a case to suggest the we continue to develop and grow with revenue streams that wouldn’t be subject to further costs, it would be folly to think that ‘racing fans’ enjoy backing horses to the exclusion of other recreational gambling opportunities. Coming back to the previous point, a well-positioned racing sponsorship has more to do with your place in the consumer mindset, and your brand association, rather than specifically targeting more race bettors. Although that too is of course an unavoidable benefit.
The recent announcement that 11 sportsbook traders have been put at risk of redundancy because of the increased role played by technology reflects the harsh reality of business. What can the industry do protect jobs, or were these losses inevitable? As in any industry, where available sector technology continues to burgeon, there are going to be inevitable restructurings to reflect where a company’s resource efficiencies are found. Having said this, with all new development, comes a new opportunity and this is representative of a chance for the industry’s workforce to evolve according to the needs of a 21st century bookmaker.
Racing still vital Andrew McCarron hile the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak in the UK was generally bad for livestock, it has had long repercussions for the racing sector as bookmakers realised the folly of depending on one sport for c80 per cent of its turnover and looked to diversify. Racing’s market share has been eroded by football, gaming machines and virtual since then, but it is important not to write the sport off. Only recently Unibet realised the folly of offering a UK-facing sportsbook without British racing and moved to offer it to customers (and has since got involved on the sponsorship side) and the recent Scoop6 rollovers saw a record £11m placed on the bet on its final Saturday. The frustrating thing for betting in recent times has been the way racing has blamed bookmakers for its fall in market share, especially given it is far and away the most expensive betting product for bookies, but in recent times it has actually looked to do something about it. The development of the Champions Series and the Great British Racing initiative has gone some way to bring attention back to the Sport of Kings, but more co-operation is needed, both within the sport itself and with bookmakers, if the popularity goals are to be realised.
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
... Horseracing BETTING
Scoop6 rollovers help to raise racing profile May saw the horseracing’s industry’s equivalent of the national lottery wrest the headlines from other sports thanks to a bumper rollover jackpot on the Scoop6 pool. raig Brazier may be the biggest ever betting shop winner, after his share of the Scoop6 pool netted him a glorious £1,342,599 for a £2 bet, but his value to racing after this past month could be even greater. Brazier held one of the eight winning tickets of the Scoop6 prize but was very much the competition’s poster child given that the other seven tickets were held by consortia of varying sizes. Andrew Griffiths, spokesperson for Totepool, was particularly pleased that the firm could put a human face on a winner after such a big build up. “We were absolutely delighted,” he said. “Obviously, syndicates are a hugely important element of the bet, but the Scoop6 was invented to give small punters an opportunity to strike
it rich. Craig Brazier epitomises this 100 per cent and we couldn’t be happier for him.” Griffiths said that Brazier helped the media coverage no end. “It’s been vital. Everyone loves a rags to riches story and the tale of a wheelie bin cleaner becoming a millionaire on the horses is fairytale stuff. We’ve been blown away by the level of interest and we will be doing all we can to build on this platform in future.” Griffiths said that the rolling over jackpot really helped to get punters involved in the product. He explained: “The week on week increases have been quite remarkable. In the last month the number of shop punters playing the scoop6 was doubling every Saturday which contributed significantly to the record turnover levels on the bet.
“Now the bonus fund has been won as well, will we truly see the benefits of the recent run of record rollovers. We’re very hopeful the Scoop6 has attracted many new fans who will continue to play in the months and years to come.” It was also a boost to viewing figures for the sport with Channel 4 Racing noticing an increase in audience share during its programmes in May. Hannah Walker, Channel 4 Racing’s spokesperson, commented: “The excitement surrounding the Scoop6 rollover has proven a great asset to the sport and Saturday ratings.” Griffiths is particularly pleased that the Scoop6 story has actually managed to puncture the blanket covering of football ahead of Brazil 2014. He added: “With a world cup rapidly approaching it’s not easy
for many sports to hit the headlines. Racing very rarely hits the news pages for the right reasons, so to see the Scoop6 on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph after it was won was hugely satisfying.” As Telegraph racing columnist HOTSPUR commented, there are also wider implications that should be acknowledged: “For the various factions of racing - Levy Board, British Horseracing Authority, Great British Racing etc - it must surely now be obvious that betting is the key tool in promoting the sport. People do not follow racehorses as they would a football team. But they love having a day out at the races and betting. There are many lessons to be learned from the Scoop6 this weekend. Let us hope those involved are taking notice.”
The start of a new era Gantry screen systems for ALL bookmakers
Contact us today for the latest independent screen systems. Call 01453 820 840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org MRG Systems Limited The Mill, Upper Mills Estate, Bristol Road, Stonehouse, GL10 2BJ T +44 (0)1453 820840 E email@example.com W www.mrgsystems.co.uk
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Essential Guide to ... Horseracing BROADCASTING ast month saw the 10 year anniversary of the Racing UK channel, the project that proved a catalyst for turning the funding of horseracing in the UK into an altogether more complicated beast. John Sanderson, representing Yorkshire racecourses, commented: “I would say the advent of Racing UK and the subsequent derivative of Turf TV is the most important thing to have happened to British racing since the Levy was invented in the 1960s - and I should know, as sadly I’ve been around longer than most people!” Without Racing UK, it is highly unlikely that half the country’s racecourses would have had the confidence to go it alone with LBO channel Turf TV. Ironically, given the fact that Turf TV is the closest the industry has got to replacing the funding mechanism from bookmakers to racing, Racing UK was initially meant to boost the Levy. After the original At The Races channel failed in March 2004, daily coverage of horseracing vanished from TV screens. It left a few searching questions. Sarah Hordern, representing Newbury racecourse, commented: “I remember the large independents, such as Rod Fabricius from Good-
ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Racing UK: Ten years on It’s been a decade since the collapse of the first consumer racing channel in the UK led to some searching questions for the sport.
wood and Mark Kershaw from Newbury, asking how difficult would it be to create our own media channel. Keeping racing pictures on air was the real driver to ensure racing had visibility to drive the Levy, but there was also that element of keeping control.” The problem was that the original At The Races channel had collapsed just three years into a £307m 10-year media rights contract signed by BSkyB, Channel 4, Arena Leisure, and 49 of Britain’s racecourses. But the racecourses had been paid for their media rights upfront and there was conjecture from all sides over whether these monies would have to be returned to a re-launched At The Races channels owned by Sky and Arena Leisure. Hordern said: “That first court case brought by ATR had the ability to bring Racing UK down. The courses were looking at a huge financial burden if we’d had to repay Sky the £50m that had been paid up front, but within three days it was clearly going our way and it was great to watch it all unfold.” Racing UK executive chairman Simon Bazalgette explained: “Racecourses could fight a court case and start their own channel and media business, or fall into a deal that looked incredibly unat-
tractive. Some racecourses took the brave decision to go down the former route, believing it was more important to take control of their own destiny by ensuring media was a core part of their business. In hindsight, it’s proved to be quite a good decision. “I was asked to come and see the racecourses early in 2004. My background was in pay TV and I had some idea about how to put together a channel, but I admit I knew nothing about racing. When I looked at the business plan I thought it was a goer. I was willing to take it on for six months. Ten years later and I haven’t escaped.” Bazalgette said that its international betting shop media rights helped fund Racing UK thanks to a £3m deal with South African firm Phumelela, which gave the subscription business time to click. He added: “I believe racing is one of the most successful sports in the world in terms of managing its own media rights, and we could never have expected that at the time. The model supports racing and puts the money back into the sport. The whole business in terms of managing media rights for British racing, not just here, but around the world, continues to grow from strength to strength.”
World Cup might boost racing business Sharon Byrne, chair of the Irish Bookmakers Association and Boylesports’ commercial manager, discusses the strength of the Irish domestic horse racing product, and how concerns over the delayed implementation of the Betting Amendment Bill could hurt the industry. ow important is horse racing to today’s betting shop punter, that is, how do you explain the affinity between Irish race goers and gamblers and national hunt and flat meets? Currently, racing generates approximately 55 per cent of Irish betting shop turnover. This is down from a high of approximately 80 per cent around 7 or 8 years ago. The popularity of virtual, soccer, greyhounds, numbers and other sports has eaten into racing’s share. I understand it is significantly lower in the UK as the bulk of their shop revenue is generated on machines.
In your opinion, is the Irish domestic product stronger than the UK one? Irish over the counter business is certainly stronger than in the UK. The Irish model is more traditional as our legislation has prevented shops from modernising and availing of the computerised products in the market place. However, this will have to change, as online and mobile products are con-
sistently eating into retail turnover, and unless shops can compete, they will continue to haemorrhage jobs and close. Do you expect horse racing to take a dip with the World Cup just around the corner, or will loyal customers continue to spend? I don’t think it will have a major impact on racing turnover, in fact I think it will bring in additional customers, those who would normally just have a bet on the weekend soccer action or midweek longlist. It will also entice some of our other customers to have a bet on the soccer, as soccer content will be very prominent in all shops throughout the tournament. Irish retail is very competitive so there will be a range of offers from bookmakers, and customers will be spoiled for choice. The IBA has launched a briefing document to encourage the implementation of the Betting Amendment Bill before summer recess. How important is the bill to the survival of retail
bookmakers and the horse racing industry itself? The horse racing industry is funded indirectly from the Betting Tax. Along with the betting tax of 26m euro it gets approximately 30m euro in picture payments from betting shops. As a result, they need betting shops to perform or they will need to look for further exchequer funding. In this day and age, there are many good causes fighting for a lot less than this, so funding for racing may not be as easily available. How can the taxation system be reformed, and do you expect re-negotiations with Horse Racing Ireland as regards picture rights? The tax system must be able to tax all operators in the sector. From retail, online, casinos, card clubs, to gaming. A turnover tax does not work for most of these, and only serves to penalise the one sector providing over 6,000 jobs across Ireland. A taxation system based on profits as applied across Europe is the best way to go, and can apply to all.
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Essential Guide to ... Horseracing XB NET
Triple Crown shines brightest on US racing calendar
Screen systems ‘the lifeblood’ of betting shops
Dustin Fabian, racetrack content manager for Xpressbet.com/XB Net, discusses one of US racing’s most elusive titles.
Bookmakers may take a variety of approaches when it comes to feeding their customers information, but it is an increasingly important aspect of the business as MRG explains.
nclaimed since 1978, the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is up for grabs on Saturday, 7 June at New York’s Belmont Park as California Chrome races to become only the 12th horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. With a victory in the Belmont, California Chrome would etch his name alongside the greatest equine athletes the sport has ever seen, including Secretariat, Seattle Slew, War Admiral and Citation, as horses who were successful in winning racing’s most elusive and prestigious honour. With the eyes of the nation on it, the Triple Crown remains entrenched as the most popular sequence of events in US horseracing, and when attending the races, the horserace is only one part of the spectacle. At Baltimore’s Pimlico Racecourse, the Preakness Stakes combines the pageantry of an elite sporting event with excitement and celebration only available at a world-class party. At this year’s Preakness, a record 123,469 fans piled into Pimlico to not only watch and wager as California Chrome replicated his Kentucky Derby success, but also to attend concerts from renowned artists Lorde, The Fray, Nas and Switchfoot. In total, $83,786,363 was wagered on Pimlico’s races on Preakness Day. There is simply no doubt that the Triple Crown is the hottest
event on the North American thoroughbred racing calendar. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont are world-class sporting events that enthral and captivate millions of fans over a five-week span as the best three-year-olds in the United States jostle for immortality and the opportunity to take home $5,000,000 in purse money. However, they represent only a small fraction of the total number of races held each year in the United States. Top venues such as Saratoga and Del Mar will once again take centre stage this summer and will prove to be popular destinations for racing fans and bettors, as well as top horses, jockeys, trainers and owners. For nearly a year, bettors in the United Kingdom have been treated to the opportunity to wager on premier North American racing through XB Net’s partnership with London-based Turf TV. Together, XB Net and Turf TV provide punters the opportunity to wager on two North American race cards each evening. With premier venues like Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Belmont, Saratoga and Pimlico showcased each day, there is no doubt that the best racing the United States has to offer is on display at betting shops in the UK and Ireland. As this issue went to press, California Chrome was still preparing for his run at history in the Belmont Stakes.
Entry-level racing for new punters Steven Spartinos, cofounder and co-CEO of Kiron Interactive, believes virtual racing can help horseracing - and even help halt its decline.
he issues affecting horseracing go beyond betting. From the cost of breeding and keeping horses in training to a decline in on-course attendances at all but the biggest meetings, the sport isn’t without its fair share of problems these days. Yet the accusation that bookmakers don’t give enough back is the regular refrain of those lamenting its decline. Over the counter turnover on horseracing is undoubtedly down. Many point to the increasing popularity of machines and other sports, with football in particular, as the reason for this. Others have suggested wagers on virtual sports have had a detrimental impact too. I’d argue, however, that the last of these has the ability to complement racing turnover for bookmakers - and, in turn, aid racing - rather than cannibalise it. And this can only be a good thing for both industries. Part of racing’s problem, in a betting shop environment at least, is its infrequency. Even with racing beamed in from overseas at different times there are long periods every day in which no horseracing is shown. Bookies fill these gaps with other live sport, of course, but these do nothing to promote interest in racing
Virtual horseracing, on the other hand, delivers a modern face of the sport, without any esoteric language, specialist knowledge requirement, or need to study the formbook. In short, it is an entry-level version. This is particularly important to the next generation of betting shop customers, who are unlikely to have been brought up on horseracing like their older counterparts. This younger crowd also has less time to spend in a shop or wait for the next race. As a result, virtual racing’s ability to present a new race every couple of minutes appeals. So too does the fact it can now be shown on the aforementioned machines, with which younger bettors are happy to engage. For them, virtual racing is very similar to the ‘spin and win’ concept provided by slots, table games, and scratch cards. While it might be too big a leap to suggest this introduction to horseracing via its virtual equivalent will turn young machine players into aficionados over- night, it can’t hurt in promoting the sport. In fact, in recent discussions Kiron has held with a number of international racing operators all are convinced it will help rather than hinder when it comes to turnover.
RG Systems believes the lifeblood of a bookmaker’s shop is its screen systems. It thinks that the method by which events and markets are managed in order to provide the right information on the right screens at the right time needs to be right to create customer loyalty, which stimulates positive responses and greater predictability in customer behaviour. Paddy Power and Coral manage their screens particularly well given that they both use the MRG BIDS
system and yet provide very different experiences for their customers. Paddy Power specialises in presenting a greater number of offers and routinely flashes promotions onto two thirds of its screens prior to an upcoming event. Whereas Coral’s focus is to ensure customers have all the information they need for the next three races. MRG says that because BIDS5 automates many processes and routines, the studio is able to concentrate on providing more content for customers and, as a result, a better all-round service. This has helped Bar One Racing introduce a new service in Ireland during the past year. Ian Hunter of MRG Systems commented: “We have the most technically advanced and mature market here in the UK & Ireland. To that end it is our objective to provide the best gantry screen systems to bookmakers of all sizes, big or small. So we are delighted with the success that Bar One Racing has received since launching their bureau service twelve months ago.” Heather Glenn at Bar One Racing added: “Through the Screen One Bureau Service we provide a competitive, compelling service to 200 independent shops. Our message to potential new subscribers is to understand that the bureau service is designed for independent bookmakers managed by independent bookmakers. “Our goal is to ensure every office receiving our service is a great place to be in from every customer’s perspective. BIDS5 enables us to compete with the top high street brands. With no barriers to entry we are now capable of providing the same service to UK based clients and I look forward to welcoming many more subscribers in the future.” The service provides a wide variety of betting opportunities on all horseracing and major sporting events every day. Examples include many Daily Specials, Doubles such as Across the Card and derivative markets such as Place Only, Without the Favourite, Inside vs Outside and options on the Winning Distance.
Creative, innovative and reliable end-to-end products and services across multiple platforms. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sis.tv
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Essential Guide to ... Horseracing INSPIRED GAMING
A BET A
Let’s talk about text Jason Hardman, operations manager of EPOS and online transactional software supplier A Bet A, says on-course bookmakers and independents could benefit from the relaunch of a more sophisticated SMS betting service. ritain’s 2,000 odd independent bookies are up against it. Increased competition from the big boys, with their economies of scale and spending power, are driving many to distraction - if not the wall. And the situation only gets worse when the shop lights go out and their customers go online to bet on that evening’s football or darts. Unable to run a website of his own, how is the one man band or small chain supposed to compete? The answer lies in the humble text message. Ten years ago, when online sportsbooks weren’t nearly as numerous or sophisticated as they are now, the SMS solution was going to be big. But when the technology proved expensive and unreliable, the bubble quickly burst. Networks weren’t geared up to the volumes and a timely delivery wasn’t guaranteed. Customers were understandably sceptical when there was no telling if they’d got on. These days texts arrive almost instantaneously. They’re discreet, uncomplicated, and perfect for any punter who knows his selection. They don’t require a smartphone and are inexpensive, or even free for those with bundle deals in their contracts. Some solutions still require a mastery of a specific syntax of text dialect, forcing users to follow a set of rules so the automated system understands them. But the technology we’ve developed at A Bet A allows them to write their bet however they wish. A call centre operative can text back if there is any ambiguity, yet in most cases there is instant acknowledgement and a detailed receipt. The technology can text results, congratulatory messages, and customise offers based on a customer’s interests. The recipient of these can also make balance enquiries, top up their account, or withdraw winnings - all without needing access to the internet. Variations of the system are growing in popularity in Ireland, where deposits are made at local shops. Punters then bet via text messages, before later collecting any winnings in cash. In the UK, early adopters have included leading rails bookie Geoff Banks, whose turnover has increased with the ability to take bets from customers on and off course. But the beauty of the system is its everyman approach, which crosses social and national boundaries and caters for customers of all shapes and sizes. And if you don’t believe me, we’re currently offering a free, no obligation, threemonth trial to any client, new or existing, who wants to increase their revenue channels. So why not come and have a look at what you’re missing out on?
Younger virtual demographic means incremental revenue Steve Rogers, SVP of Virtual Sports and Mobile at Inspired Gaming Group, is quizzed on the role that virtual horseracing plays in the betting shop.
an it get any more realistic? We’re definitely leading the market in terms of the quality of our graphics and the range of bet markets we offer, but we are always going to get better! Our Virtual Horseracing has been enhanced quite a bit over the years, since the first iteration a decade ago, and we’ll continue to develop it further, because high quality graphics and realistic events continue to drive our customer’s revenues. We currently offer lots of different variations including 8-22 runners per race; flats, jumps/national hunt, sprints and trotting; different weather variations; and customisable jockey silks and courses. This keeps the content fresh and exciting for the players. The realism is an important USP for us, but all our product development centres around what makes our sports more entertaining for the punters - it’s much more than just film-standard graphics.
Do punters bet on it the same way as they bet on horseracing or does it attract different behaviours? Lots of horseracing punters are statisticallyminded and enjoy the odds of betting - in comparison to live football, for example, where lots of bets are based on team loyalty. Our Virtual Horses is great for that because our prices are proportional to the true chance that each horse has of winning. While some punters betting on live horseracing may feel short changed if their selection is a ‘non-trier’, this doesn’t happen in the Virtual world - the outsiders in the field see more money compared to the outsiders in real life horseracing. The betting opportunities on our Virtual Horses is the same as real life horse racing, with win and each way bring the most popular, and forecast and tricast markets catering for the punters chasing the big wins.
One difference is that our Virtual Horseracing events aren’t linked to other races - each one is unique, therefore, the odds and the result aren’t determined by previous performance or random circumstances. However, many punters will still look for patterns of winning numbers etc to try and get an edge as they would when betting on real life sports. Is the punter demographic the same for actual horseracing? Some research in the UK has shown that a higher proportion of women bet on Virtual Sports and the demographic for betting on our Virtual Horseracing is younger than for live horseracing. These are both incremental markets for our retailers. In Italy betting on horse trotting is just as popular as horseracing, so we developed new content for this important market where we currently have our virtual sports in 7,000 venues and counting. Where does it perform best: in a betting shop or online? In the UK, Virtual Sports accounts for over 10 per cent of all over the counter bets and horseracing is generally the most popular sport - as with live betting. Most of our online customers have a channel per sport, allowing them to stream continuous virtual horseracing, for example, every four minutes. In the UK many of our retail customers also have two virtual sports channels showing on two dedicated TVs in the venue and Virtual Horses, Virtual Football and Virtual Dogs get a large proportion of the airtime. Per market, online and retail perform very similarly. i.e. the number one virtual sport in the UK is horseracing - across both online and retail. Whereas in Italy and Asia Virtual Football is number one across all platforms.
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Essential Guide to ... Horseracing SIS
Revolutionising the ‘raceday experience’ 5
ture and continue SIS’ involvement in racing as an innovative supplier and partner.” As well as 24 tracks in England and Wales, and all 26 in Ireland, SIS is now broadcasting more international racing than ever. From early in the morning, when Australian racing is being shown on shop screens, to racing during the day from South Africa and France, to North and Latin America (LARC) in the evening, SIS provides a varied diet of high quality thoroughbred racing seven days a week. And in line with its mission to innovate, it is no longer just about satellite delivery to LBOs. SIS is now streaming racing online to digital customers, including the winter series from Dubai which finished in March, and which culminated in the world’s richest race meeting, the £15m Dubai World Cup. SIS has seen continued growth and higher levels of interest in both LARC and Dubai viewing, as more operators offer these products across more devices and at a time of day when punters are looking for something new. As an example, viewing figures pushed through the 300,000 mark for the Dubai se-
Tote now available at every Irish racecourse ownpatrick Racecourse has introduced Tote on-course betting facilities. As of the start of last month, racegoers at Downpatrick have been able to play the full range of Tote bets at the racecourse. Tote Ireland account customers can bet online, on mobile and through the Tote Ireland call centre on the full range of Tote bets on racing at from other courses. Richard Lyttle, Manager of Downpatrick Racecourse, said: “We’re delighted to announce the introduction of full on-course Tote betting facilities to Downpatrick. Working with the support of Tote Ireland we aim to enhance the experience for our patrons by delivering the many additional betting opportunities which come as part of The Tote offering.” Tim Higgins, CEO of Tote Ireland, said: “This development means that Tote betting is now available at every racecourse on the island of Ireland. We look forward to working with Richard and his team on the delivery of Tote betting. We have supported this launch with significant guarantees and hope local Downpatrick racegoers take the opportunity to chase a big win for a small investment on one of the many Tote pool multi-leg bets.”
Ever since one remarkable day 27 years ago, SIS has been among horseracing’s innovators. May 1987 saw SIS’ first broadcast, which revolutionised gambling and allowed betting shop punters to see for the first time live action direct from the race track, with pictures and data married together to create a best-in-class service. Now, nearly three decades on, the firm remains at the forefront of ground-breaking developments with plans in place to vastly improve the level of data collected from sports, as well as provide tools and products for bookmakers, punters and organisations alike. Many of these initiatives will centre around the ‘raceday experience’ and 2014 will see SIS drive some exciting new developments, which are currently being trialled at UK racecourses and beyond. Marc Thomas, SIS head of product, said: “We’re hoping to use this information in a number of ways and see both commercial and non-commercial wider benefits. To this end, we are in discussions with various operators and more importantly racing organisations in an attempt to make optimum use of it in the fu-
ries from Meydan and Jebel Ali after a great series - which will again be available from November, 2014. SIS is also offering a multi-platform streaming solution which it believes will give bookmakers a different way of attracting and retaining punters. With mobile gambling become more and more important, SIS is focussing efforts on providing streaming solutions that can be used across a whole array of devices including desktops, mobiles, connected TV and tablets. This also offers other revenue opportunities for bookmakers such as online advertising, cross-selling and targeted calls to action. Thomas added: “This service gives us the opportunity to build on our existing streaming capability. The SIS Digital Streaming Platform provides a solution for multi-platform devices and operating systems covering web, mobile, tablet and connected TV. “SIS has invested in a dedicated infrastructure as well as having developed key partnerships with the leading suppliers in the digital space in order to offer a ‘best in class’ digital streaming for the entire betting industry.”
Webis Holdings finds advantage in running Cal Expo races WatchandWager has found that there are advantages to developing your own horseracing content, in the US at least.
ebis Holdings, the parent company of Betinternet.com, has found itself in the unexpected position of running its own horseracing in California in order to boost its San Francisco-based advanced deposit wagering (ADW) business WatchandWager.com LLC. The leverage afforded to WatchandWager by virtue of the fact that it operates Cal Expo, the Californian harness track, means that it is easier for the operator to do business with other racetracks for content, and also that it is taken more seriously by the state’s regulator. Just last month, WatchandWager renewed an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc to allow its customers to wager on races controlled by Churchill, in time for the start of the Churchill Downs racetrack meeting in Lexington, Kentucky. The contract was deemed as particularly significant as it encompasses the rights for the famous Kentucky
Derby. The contract also allows for wagering and video streaming rights from the following racetracks: Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Calder, Canterbury Park, Fairgrounds, Finger Lakes, Hoosier Park, Indiana Downs, Miami Valley, Oaklawn Park and The Meadows. The contract is also important in that it coincides with the public launch of WatchandWager’s new mobile enhanced application, watchandwager.com/mobile, in parallel with an increase in marketing activity for the WatchandWager brand. Ed Comins, president of WatchandWager.com, commented: “We are delighted to work with Churchill again to cover the Derby and the other important race meetings under their control this year. It’s a testament to our investment as a licensed US ADW and racetrack operator that one of the leading content providers in the US, and indeed the world, continues to extend our partnership.”
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Retail B2B Retail Listings
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Guide published The Racing Post has published its World Football Guide 2014, the ultimate guide to the world’s biggest sporting event. The guide includes commentary from Mark Langdon, the man who tipped the Spain v Holland final in 2010.
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BT sign ups
More than 19,000 pubs, clubs, betting shops, and other commercial premises have signed up to BT Sports. Director Bruce Cuthbert said: “We said we wanted to bring premium live sport to a wider audience including those that were unable to afford Sky’s high prices, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Innovative Technonlogy senior business development manager Paul Curley has reported an ‘incredible response’ to its SMART Ticket validator. The revolutionary combined note in/ticket out design eliminates the need for a separate printer.
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EPOS BETWAY SPONSORED PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS
Betway doubles up with EPOS at the darts A handheld EPOS systems from A Bet A has helped Betway make the most out of its sponsorship of Premier League Darts.
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pecialist EPOS supplier A Bet A Technology has penned a deal allowing Betway to activate its sponsorship of the Premier League Darts with betting facilities at each venue. A Bet A, which services operators in the UK and Ireland as well as 22 global territories, has provided the bookmaker with a portable EPOS system that captures both on and off-site wagers. Its technology, delivered via a betting shop or hand-held devices, debuted at the Birmingham and Newcastle legs of the PDC series last month and was used in Newcastle as well as the play-offs at London’s O2 Arena. A Bet A operations manager Jason Hardman said: “We’re delighted Betway have adopted our EPOS system, which has proved to be both a flexible and robust performer at live events. It delivers a far better
user experience to punters who can now enjoy multiple markets on numerous events without leaving their seat.” He added: “The portable EPOS system gives operators a top class betting service which, in the case of an online company, allows them to engage directly with customers on site as part of their sponsorship.” The unique system, which utilises Bluetooth or WiFi access, combines fixed EPOS terminals with tablet devices connected to printers, that allow cashiers to hand out betting slips on the move. It also provides operators with the opportunity to offer customers bets on any event logged in to the EPOS system back at headquarters and delivers returns information on their slips. Cashiers can even process bets taken elsewhere on the system during busy times to speed up turnover, while management
have remote access to field books and betting reports in order to assess activity. Betway is incentivising new customers at each venue by offering a 50 per cent bonus to those who collect their winnings online. A Bet A, which also supplies call centre and online transactional software, operates a version of the system for Coral at its VIP events including the Cheltenham Festival in March. A Bet A is also offering free trials of its SMS betting service following a successful pilot scheme. The system sends out an instant acknowledgment and a detailed receipt. It can also text a congratulatory message with a winning bet notification, or customisable offers based upon a customer’s interests. The recipient of these can also make balance enquiries, request mini statements, top up their account, or withdraw winnings.
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DATA Cost reduction IS has announced a reduction in its data charges to a wide number of independent subscribers - a decision which followed a review of its supply and delivery systems. It is also taking the opportunity to refocus its main racing FACTS channel to include marketing messages and promotions to benefit the small operators. Terry Mahoney, major account manager at SIS Betting, said: “These initiatives underline our commitment to helping the smallest and hardest hit sector of the LBO market - the independent operators. They’ve come at an opportune time for the independent sector given the difficult trading climate at the moment.”
VIRTUAL Bumper world cup
nspired Gaming Group is gearing up for a record FIFA World Cup; predicting a massive 200m bets on its Virtual Sports products in venues, online and on mobile channels across 35 countries. Inspired is also forecasting that its popular Virtual Football product will generate over 3m bets per day during the 32-day World Cup tournament period, and more bets than ever will be placed via mobile products. To maximise virtual betting opportunities during the World Cup, Inspired’s Virtual Football product includes all World Cup 2014 qualifying teams with bespoke international team kits. Players can also bet on a range of exciting markets including Accumulators, Double Change and Asian Handicap.
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Zeus II joins the Road Hog in LBOs G Gaming, a division of Scientific Games Corporation, has unveiled ‘Road Hog’, a new slots title, and the Zeus II slot theme, the first WMS Gaming (WMS) title available to SG customers. Both games were previewed at theICE Totally Gaming show in London in February. SG Gaming began deploying both titles to customers across the LBO, arcade and bingo sectors in late February. The roll-out is expected to be completed in the coming months. Road Hog was developed by SG Gaming’s in-house content development team. Headed by Rick Mountney, UK director of content development, the team has led the creation of classic titles such as Rainbow Riches and Money Mad Martians. The Zeus II slot theme is the first in a line of
WMS titles that are being made available exclusively to SG Gaming customers in the LBO, arcade and bingo sectors following the acquisition of WMS by Scientific Games in autumn 2013. “Our games have a strong track record of driving significant cash box revenue. They are innovative, and their themes are proving popular with players,” said Mountney. “Road Hog continues in that vein. It is an exciting slots game and we expect it to be a success across the LBO, arcade and bingo sectors. “Customers and players are seeing the benefits of the acquisition of WMS by our parent company, Scientific Games. The combination has allowed us to offer a range of excellent WMS titles exclusively to our customers, enhancing what was an already strong content offering, and resulting in a greater variety of game choice for our players.”
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
“” This partnership will enable 32Red players to have access to a first class sportsbetting product online and across all mobile devices.
Ed Ware CEO, 32Red Plc
Kambi Sports Solutions has signed a four-year agreement to deliver a fully managed sportsbook solution to 32Red. The agreement will enable 32Red to offer a significantly upgraded sports betting experience to its customer base and will be fully integrated with 32Red’s Microgaming platform, enabling the players to move seamlessly between casino and sport.
Virtual sign ups in Belgium, Italy and Slovenia
The virtual sports portfolio developed by Inspired Gaming is gaining popularity across mainland Europe. nspired Gaming Group has been rolling out its Virtual Sports portfolio across Europe with Circus Group in Belgium, Gamenet Betting in Italy and Slovenia’s estave. Already the largest online operator in Belgium, Circus.be is one of the first operators to allow players in the country to bet on virtual sports. Inspired is initially supplying four of its premium Virtual Sports games to Circus.be: Football, Horseracing, Greyhounds and Tennis. Due to the advance capabilities of Inspired’s Virtuals Dashboard, Circus Group can schedule the four different event channels to each broadcast a new event every three minutes, creating a total of nearly 2,000 betting opportunities a day on its site via the internet and on mobile devices. Players can choose from a wide range of bet
markets, place accumulator bets across multiple races, and watch the result unfold via direct streaming of Inspired Virtual Sports events. Emmanuel Mewissen, CEO of Circus Group, commented: “Adding Inspired’s Virtual Sports to our online platform is a fantastic extension to our first class entertainment portfolio and we have already seen impressive income performance within the first few weeks. We are always looking to provide fresh and exciting content and by showcasing Inspired’s Virtual Sports we continue to maintain our position as the pioneer of online betting in Belgium.” Steve Rogers, SVP of Virtual Sports and Mobile at Inspired, added: “We are delighted to be working with Belgium’s leading online operator and are expecting to see impressive results. This is a great time to launch
with Circus as there will be a spike in all sports bets during the Football World Cup in June based on our experience. Typically our Virtual Sports add 10-15 per cent to sportsbook revenues and generate 100 per cent more revenue than our closest competitor. With product enhancements launching continuously, we expect this lead to widen in the coming years.” In Italy, Gamenet has over 80 shops and 80 corners all around Italy and will provide its players with an extensive Inspired Virtual Sports library including football, horses, trotting, tennis, motor racing, speedway, greyhounds and cycling. Francesco Mastantuoni, general director of Gamenet Betting, commented: “Following this partnership Gamenet will be able to provide an even more extensive games library. Inspired’s wide range of Vir-
tual Sports are now available in many of our venues and we are working on implementing this product in over 150 Gamenet venues all around Italy.” Inspired is also supplying Slovenia’s state sports lottery website, e-stave, with seven sports (horses, greyhounds, football, motor racing, speedway, tennis and cycling) localised in to Slovenian. Primož Pöschl, executive director of games development at Športna Loterija, commented: “We are excited about the quality and proven income performance of Virtual Sports with our colleagues in the World Lottery Association (WLA). Many of our players are sports fans and are already familiar with sports betting so they will welcome the increased volume of betting entertainment on the website and the range of bet markets available.”
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PLATFORM EveryMatrix gets brands online veryMatrix has been busy behind the scenes developing, delivering and launching six new sites over the past quarter. These include Dongcasino, which has a strong focus on catering for customers from Asia living and working in Europe. Dongcasino has taken on the improved OddsMatrix sportsbook which offers in excess of 12,000 live events per
month, multiple Asian languages and an Asian styled front end with Asian odds formats, making it a unique player experience for the Dongcasino customer base. Many operators are looking to explore new and developing markets such as Reel Crazy which is targeting the newly emerging Indian market as well as Slotobank which has its focus in Ukraine and Russia. Other new sites launched were Florijn, Mayplay and Topsport.
Goldrush on for BetTech etTech Gaming, the global provider of turnkey gaming solutions, has been chosen by Goldrush Gaming Group to launch online sportsbook GBets.co.za. Goldrush’s move into South Africa’s burgeoning sports betting market comes after almost 20 years as an established landbased operator of bingo and casino venues in the country. The launch of the new betting brand is being promoted by an extensive media campaign in South Africa. Mergan Naidoo , CFO at Goldrush Group, said: “By launching G-Bets we are able to boost our product offering into online sports betting and provide our players with the opportunity to interact with our brand at any time - and at their convenience.”
Sportal gets social ocial sports betting technology developer Oddslife is providing its 2014 World Cup social betting solution to Sportal Media Group, one of the biggest media providers in Bulgaria. Sportal has signed a ground-breaking threeyear deal with Oddslife for its white label solution. Stilian Shishkov, CEO at Sportal Media Group, commented: “Our editorial and production teams were greatly impressed at the capabilities of the Oddslife platform and we have moved quickly to secure it on a long-term deal. We think this social betting offer is extremely engaging and entertaining and believe our customers think so as well. We are especially excited about the global competitions where our fans will battle it out against other media partners across countries.”
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Top writers for World Cup
etting affiliate website .com is rolling out the big guns over the World Cup Tournament with a stellar line up of award winning football journalists who will contribute exclusive content and commentary to the bettingexpert blog. They include Guardian European football correspondent Jonathan Wilson, German football expert Raphael Honigstein, ZonalMarking.net editor Michael and Italian football expert Adam Digby. Chief strategy officer Thomas Høgenhaven commented: “Bettingexpert knows the importance of providing all its members with top quality content. We feel that the writers we have lined up for Brazil 2014 are the best and most knowledgeable at football tactics and will give our members an edge.”
VIRTUAL End-to-end content ermantia has launched 360Virtual, a groundbreaking end-to-end Virtual Games service, built using plug and play technology. 360Virtual is powered by V Plus Media Platform, which globally delivers end to end content broadcast solutions for retail, online and mobile. CEO Filippos Antonopoulos said: “Vermantia is very excited to collaborate with two global leaders in international gaming, giving us the opportunity to empower our global broadcast services with the world’s leading portfolio of virtual games. We believe in the ascendance of virtual games as an entertaining and highly profitable product vertical, which can be offered by operators on a standalone basis, or complementary to any existing successful sportsbook.”
POOL BETTING Innovative recognition ew pool betting operator Colossus Bets COLOSSUS BETS’ BRADLEY has been awarded MORRISH (LEFT) PICKS UP THE BEST FOOTBALL the title of Best INNOVATION TROPHY Football Innovation at the Betting on Football Awards. In an open vote, the firm’s pool betting product outscored the other finalists to be recognised as the best addition to the football betting sector. Since launching last season, 13 B2B firms have signed up to offer the Colossus Bets game, which offers a weekly £10m football prize called The Colossus. The firm has also partnered with gaming platform Bit8, which will supply the Colossus game to its customers.
GVC and Mozzart Bet turn to Betradar VC Holdings and Mozzart Bet have both signed up to take Betradar’s Virtual Football solution, which has now been incorporated by more than 50 operators worldwide. The integration process of virtual sports has been facilitated by an eWallet integration via Betradar’s new Remote Game Server (RGS), as announced at ICE 2014. All current and future Betradar gaming products can be accessed via one server, ensuring users have quick access to all the betting markets Erik Lorenz, managing director of sales at Betradar, commented: “We are delighted that GVC Holding has decided in favour of our solution to integrate virtual football into the Sportingbet website.” Recently, Mozzart Bet grew its ground operations to over 900 retail betting shops and has seen exponential growth in its online operations. The company successfully operates in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Macedonia. Mozzart Bet has been a client of Betradar since May 2010 and has already successfully launched Betradar services such as Life Cycle of Odds, Live Odds, Statistics and Live Scores, as well as the Live Centre Soccer. Mozzart Bet COO Dimitrije Gajicic commented: “We all know that Virtual Sports Betting has become an integral part of modern bookmaking. Therefore, we are excited to announce the successful launch of the revamped Virtual Football League together with Betradar, a pioneer in the industry. By adding Virtual Football League to our portfolio of betting services, we have once again created high interest among our loyal customers. The fastpaced betting approach perfectly meets today’s market needs and our punters will enjoy the impulsive nature of Virtual Football League.”
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iGaming Flash game
NextGen Gaming, the Sydneybased games studio of NYX Gaming Group, has announced the Flash & HTML5 release of Merlin’s Magic Respins. The sequel to Merlin’s Millions features 50 win lines over 5 reels, with stacked wilds and an exclusive multi-level SuperBet mechanic.
Net Entertainment has turned on its Lights slot across desktop and Touch mobile portfolio. Chief product officer Simon Hammon said: “Rich graphics and animations make Light one of our most enjoyable games to date and there’s huge potential for big wins once the fireflies arrive on the scene.”
Comtrade Gaming has signed a re-seller agreement with Quickfire, powered by Microgaming, which will enable all its licensed operators to add Microgaming’s Quickfire content to their portfolio.
Zombies released André Nylander, head of casino at Amaya, is ‘extremely excited’ about the new slot The Zombies which emulates the appeal of a blockbuster animated movie. He explained: “This was achieved by combining the ultra-popular Zombie genre with charming characters and our player-controlled volatility feature, Pick-a-Spin.”
Asian live dealer expert targets rest of world ENTWINE WILL HAVE A LIVE DEALER PRODUCT FROM BIRMINGHAM’S RAINBOW CASINO
The live dealer market is being shaken up by one of the biggest providers in Asia spreading its wings across the globe. First on the Entwine schedule are the European and US markets.
BINGO Winneroo launches on Dragonfish aming brand Winneroo has launched online and mobile bingo with exclusive free games and player promotions in the Dragonfish network. Cofounder Jussi Halme said: “We’re thrilled to launch our bingo site on the renowned Dragonfish network. Our mobile casino has quickly progressed to pay out over £1 million in cash every month, and we’re aiming to swiftly achieve similarly high volumes with the new bingo site. “Our goal since the company was founded in 2012 has been to build Winneroo into a fresh and exciting gaming brand, and portfolio of free competitions and games, bingo and mobile casino.”
POKER ive dealer experts Entwine Tech believes that operators who have not heard of the firm are in for a pleasant surprise at it looks to diversify from its core Asian market into Europe and the US. Entwine is one of Asia’s key suppliers with what the firm describes as ‘over 80 very loyal, highly satisfied and profitable licensees that had zero down time in the last twelve months and is constantly leading the way in developing the live dealer sector with innovations to its range of products’. The company has now turned its sights on the rest of the world and in particular the European and US markets, and in preparation for its entry into these markets it has taken on a number of initiatives, including a deal with Rainbow Casino in Birmingham to set up and operate the first live dealer product streamed from a real table in a UK land-
based casino. EntwineTech has also developed westernised versions of its software for Android, iPhone and tablets which complement its web offering. Ian Dunning, a spokesperson for EntwineTech, commented: “For the past decade EntwineTech has developed world class live dealer solutions which have become the software of choice for live dealer operators in Asia - the most demanding live dealer market in the world. They have achieved this by focusing on a few key deliverables; state of the art reliable software, transparency, trust and working closely with their licences to produce true partnerships where the needs of the operator are listened to and acted upon. This approach of genuine partnership and trust bodes well for EntwineTech’s growth in the European and US markets.” EntwineTech was established in 2004,
and is an Alderney, IOM and First Cagayan licensed Live Dealer Software Company, with over 80 licensees.Its current offerings include Black Jack, Roulette, Crazy21, Baccarat and Sicbo with a total of 24 tables broadcast from three studios settings including western and eastern variations. It works with some of the world’s leading operators such as 888, 188bet, Victor Chandler, Sun Game and Fun88; overall, providing world class Live Dealer experiences to thousands of concurrent players across the world. Dunning added: “From now on there is a genuine choice for western operators, no longer will they have to rely on ‘me to’ live dealer software, where differentiating from your competitors with the same software is difficult. EntwineTech’s move in to the European and US markets is a welcome development for operators and consumers alike.”
Poker database bought 80Vita has completed the acquisition of WeakTight.com, the world’s largest database of online poker hands. WeakTight boasts more than 100,000 members, who have posted more than 6.6m online poker hands between them, and the site will join 180Vita’s growing portfolio which already includes sites such as PokerVIP, PokerTube, FootballTube and newly launched sports tipping authority Tipday. Jamie Nevin, founder of 180Vita, said: “We have some very exciting plans for WeakTight, and going forward we will work on integrating it into our portfolio of sites while keeping the features which have made it so popular with online poker players around the globe.”
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B2B iGaming Listings RAJ â€˜HITMANâ€™ HUNDAL
Locus goes to the Hitman
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ocus Gaming, operator of Jack Gold Casino, is to debut an innovative white label service with the launch of an online casino aimed at the Asian community based in the UK. Casino Raj, which will go live at the end of this month, is the brainchild of former World Pool Masters champion Raj â€˜Hitmanâ€™ Hundal and will be operated under Locusâ€™ Isle of Man licence. The site will utilise the fully-integrated, turnkey solution that offers companies a unique platform and access to the developerâ€™s award-winning expertise and technology.As
well as developing the site, Locus will also look after customer service, fraud prevention, payments, responsible gambling requirements, and the relationship with suppliers. CEO Ed Andrewes said: â€œWeâ€™re very excited about launching our B2B service with Casino Raj which has a unique opportunity to tap into a previously neglected audience. To help them, weâ€™ve recruited a team that puts the customer first and doesnâ€™t believe in the old-school distinction between mobile and desktop, catering instead for every device and platform. â€œWeâ€™ve also made changes to improve
conversion rates, average visit times, and spend per session, which will benefit not only Casino Raj but others looking to run their own online casinos.â€? The new service offers a quality user experience via responsive HTML5 design that serves games on a wide variety of screen sizes for both touch and mouse-led navigation and operating systems. As well as a live casino provided by Evolution Gaming, players will benefit from over 100 table and slots games from suppliers including Microgaming, Realistic Games, Aristocrat, and NextGen Gaming.
â€˜queue of operatorsâ€™ ready to take this across desktop and mobile. He added: â€œItâ€™s been a great project to work on with every facet of the game designed and built in-house, even the logo font, which was inspired by Apple Computerâ€™s 1977 logo giving it both a retro and a futuristic feel. This also pays homage to a great man who inspired millions of people on Earth.â€?
SLOTS icrogaming has launched a 175,000 euro multi-player network tournament called Reels de Janeiro on the recently launched Shoot! tournament slot. Reels de Janeiro kicks-off on 12 June, with the final whistle blowing on 31 July. With a capacity of 10,000 players, the top five will net 10,000 euro each. James Ford, spokesperson for Microgamingâ€™s multi-player product, commented: â€œThe countdown to Brazil has already begun and Reels de Janeiro is the perfect tournament for our operatorsâ€™ players. Weâ€™ve combined a smashing game with an eye-catching prize pool; we know that this will be a highly popular offering across the network.â€?
M Montezuma arrives online illiams Interactive LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation, has announced the addition of the Montezuma slot theme to its Game Server library of authentic Vegas-style slot games. Montezuma is the first slot launched online that is powered by the Wheel Bonus game engine, a top performer with players on casino floors across North America since its recent debut by Williams Interactive sister company WMS Gaming. Tom Wood, director of casino products for Williams Interactive, said: â€œMontezuma introduces the playerfavourite Wheel Bonus mechanic to iGaming players, and is our latest simultaneous desktop and HTML5 mobile launch, highlighting our commitment to introduce exciting, authentic Vegas-style slots for iGaming players both at home and on-the-go.â€?
Fruitoid both retro and futuristic redrik Elmqvist, chief executive of Yggdrasil Gaming, has described his firmâ€™s new game - Fruitoids - as the latest in a long line of high energy, innovative slot games and claims the firm has a
Buck and Butler API with EveryMatrix veryMatrix chief executive Ebbe Groes is â€˜delightedâ€™ that his firm has helped new operator Buck and Butler launch using its new Web API capability. He said: â€œWe are delighted to be able to launch such a fantastic new operator integrating this innovative feature. Buck and Butler have greatly impressed me with their skill, enthusiasm and rich ideas. We look forward to launching more sites utilising Web API.â€? The Web API allows operators to rapidly build a completely customised website without the use of a webserver. It can also be used as a stepping stone for custom front-end features based on user habits.
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BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
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Payment solutions provider First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) and data centre operator CTEX have joined together to leverage their strengths in the Latin American Caribbean Region to deliver IT and ecommerce services.
Content and systems developer Betdigital has been approved for a Core Service Provider Associates Certificate by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The licence enables Betdigital to provide its services to Alderney-based online gaming operators.
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The data requirements of operators in the recently regulated New Jersey market can now be serviced locally by Continent 8. ontinent 8 Technologies has announced the launch of its suite of hosting and managed service offerings to the New Jersey market - the company’s 10th data centre offering worldwide. From the new data centre in Atlantic City, Continent 8 now supplies a full range of offerings to the market. As with other Continent 8 data centres in places such as London, Dublin, Gibraltar, Malta, Paris, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Montreal, Atlantic City is incorporated into the company’s global private backbone with diverse links into northern New Jersey and New York. This allows customers to link back into other markets and locations from which they operate. In addition to the standard co-location and managed service offerings, Continent 8
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is offering customers its DDoS Prevention and Cloud Backup services. Nick Nally, chief development officer of Continent 8, explained: “We are constantly called upon by our customers to assist them as they navigate changing technical, commercial, and regulatory environments. In turn, our customers lead us to opportunities and help shape our corporate and product development. It is a mutually beneficial environment where ideas are exchanged and innovation occurs.” Michael Tobin, CEO of Continent 8, added: “This cooperation is no more evident than in New Jersey where prior to the introduction of online gaming regulations, we worked with all facets of the industry in the State to bring a neutral co-location and managed services offering to the market that benefitted all involved. As a result Con-
tinent 8 has established a hosting centre in one of the licensed premises in Atlantic City.” In April the company received its Transactional Waiver from the Division of Gaming Enforcement allowing the company to offer services into the newly regulated market. Nally explained one of the key elements of the waiver: “This allows operators and providers to serve multiple locations and brands from one independent location into the newly regulated market.” Tobin concluded: “This is one of the most significant milestones in Continent 8’s ongoing global expansion. In addition to our growing New Jersey customer base, we can really start marketing our offering to help make Atlantic City a technology hub for the inevitable growth of the online gaming industry in the USA.”
BB117-p34-35-b2bBackOffice_Layout 1 04/06/2014 14:09 Page 2
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014 Editor: Andrew McCarron Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0) 1457 867 683 Managing editor: Ken Scott Email: email@example.com Tel: +44 (0) 1273 699 900
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PAYMENTS Ukash available on Betfair etfair has signed up with online cash payments provider Ukash. Betfair customers who pass strict verification processes will now be able to make cash deposits into their account through Ukash vouchers, which are available from over 50,000 sale points in the UK, with a reverse process being available to make cash withdrawals. The unique 19 digit codes can be used to pay directly on thousands of websites that accept Ukash transactions worldwide. The service is available on both desktop and mobile. Ian Chuter, group operations director at Betfair, said: “Ukash offers a secure and easy method of deposit and withdrawing, supporting our wider ongoing aim of making it easier for customers to transact with Betfair.”
B DAVID FLYNN
NYX gets UK licence YX Gaming Group, through its subsidiary, NYX Interactive, has been granted both a remote and non-remote Operating Licence for the provision of gambling software to the UK market. David Flynn, senior vice president of NYX Gaming Group, said “Following our recent successful licence applications in other European countries, NYX continues its aggressive growth strategy in regulated markets. Both licences were issued just weeks before passing of the UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill, putting NYX in a solid position to support the large amount of operators expected to apply for a UK licence during the summer.”
Opinions expressed in this publication should not be regarded as the official view of GB Media Corporation Ltd, except where stated. Views, opinions and recommendations contained in this publication are put forward for consideration only. No action should be taken in reliance upon any such views, opinions or recommendations. Neither GB Media Corporation Ltd nor contributors accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person howsoever caused or arising as a result of or in consequence of action taken or refrained from in realiance on the contents of this publication.
Notes for contributors: BBi welcomes the submission of articles for consideration by the editor with a view to publication. Submission of an article will be held to imply that the article contains original unpublished work which GB Media Corporation Ltd may lawfully publish. All submissions are made at the owner’s risk. © GB Media Corporation Ltd, 2014 All rights strictly reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission given, full acknowledgement of author, publisher and source must be given.
Macao exhibition appoints GB Media acao Gaming Show, which takes place across 18-20 November at the Venetian Macao, has appointed GB Media as principal media partner in support of the 2014 exhibition. The UK owned company, which also has offices in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Palma (Majorca), is the world’s biggest publisher of specialist business-to-business gaming media, producing over 100 publications a year and covering all forms of online and offline gaming. Marina Wong, general manager and event director of Macao Gaming Show, commented: “In 2013 we enjoyed a very positive launch event when we welcomed 8,000 visitors to the exhibition. We were delighted with the outcome which has provided solid foundations which we now want to build on. We met with John Sullivan at the beginning of the year and were highly impressed by his company’s credentials. Their award winning magazines are the best in the business and the team has worked with a large number of international gaming brands using the influence of their titles to deliver value.
“They bring in-depth gaming knowledge, creativity, energy and a competitive edge to the work they deliver on our behalf. I am confident that with their expertise and commitment we will be able to take Macao Gaming Show to the next level. Our ‘By Asia for the World’ advertising campaign is already appearing across international gaming media alongside media relations activities and social and digital marketing initiatives.” John Sullivan, director of GB Media, said: “We are delighted to be selected as principal media partner for MGS 2014 and to be working alongside Marina Wong and the highly talented team which has made Macao Gaming Show such a formidable brand in such a short period of time. Our media channels will connect the campaign with an international audience of gaming professionals building on the fantastic success achieved by last year’s exhibition. ‘By Asia for the World’ is a powerful message and one which connects with the community of buyers and influencers many of whom have already confirmed their attendance and registered for MGS 2014.”
BB117-p36-38-Comment G_09/10 05/06/2014 11:09 Page 1
“Every time you back a horse you have a small temporary stake in ownership as it competes.” Spectator writer Robin Oakley attempts to distil the essence of horseracing punting.
Are price setters guilty of Spanish practices? In his series of articles discussing best practice among bookmakers, retired business consultant Ric Ingram believes that automation should play a part in price-setting and liability control. n the context of money laundering at bookmakers, the Gambling Commission recently suggested that some trading teams have a lack of formal controls. Such governance issues are not really surprising as lower oversight is common when directors perceive it as risky to interfere in a corporate function seen as being the source of a large proportion of their annual profits. It is also not uncommon for ‘Spanish Practices’ to occur in a ‘blue-eyed department’. While nowhere near as bad as the practices of hot-metal typesetters in Fleet Street up to the mid-1980’s, price-setting and liability control functions have developed their own self-indulgent practices over time. If you regularly got hauled over the coals by junior price-setting and liability control managers for ever laying a bet that lost say £500 or more (or a similar threshold) then you too would prefer to lay many small bets than one large one. This just makes more work for the price-setters and liability controllers and increases the overheads for each bet taken. It is frequently justified by ‘spreading the opportunity among all the betting customers’. If you could avoid being rushed by having to alter many prices in short order, then you too might wish to blame it on ‘the shops do not like us changing the prices too often’. This excuse is beginning to run a little thin as more turnover moves online. Of course, if you change the prices less often, the size of the changes when alteration is forced upon you must inevitably be larger. So you have the crazy situation of a 104 per cent to 107 per cent soccer book having prices changed in 10 per cent steps! Typically - for 1X2 favourites - the popular price steps can be 1/2 down to 4/9, then 2/5, 4/11 etcetera even though it is illogical to employ 10 per cent price changes for a 5 per cent profit margin product. As the Gambling Commission implied, directors of bookmaking firms rarely intervene in the operation of their own price-setters and liability controllers. Then human nature would tend to resist computerisation as they can continually delay any resulting reduction in staff levels. You have to be confident or pretend to be confident to be a price-setter. Human nature makes it difficult to avoid allowing confidence to drift into over-confidence. When over-confident, denial of superior skills becomes an automatic process as learning from others becomes emotionally painful. Are Price-setters and Liability Controllers really necessary? I suggest the answer is - in Hithchikers Guide to the Galaxy style - ‘Mostly no’. Perhaps it is time for the bookmaking industry to take full governance of their price-setting and liability control functions. In this way ‘Spanish Practices’ can be steadily replaced with computerisation. The first few bookies successfully modernise their business will have an opportunity to: increase market share; increase gross profitability; enjoy lower costs; enjoy lower profit volatility. With full shareholder support, which board of directors could want for more opportunity?
36 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
Why always us? here was a very refreshing aspect about all the recent reports over spot-fixing in cricket - there was barely any mention of betting or indeed the involvement of bookmakers. While the betting industry is actually the front-line victim of match fixing, it has in the past found itself in the firing line when it comes to affixing blame on sporting corruption. It seemed for a moment that the industry and sport were entering the next more mature stage in the symbiotic relationship with acknowledgement that people in sport were actually the ones with the wherewithal to corrupt sport, regardless of the presence of bookmakers, malign or otherwise. But then came the report from the International Centre for Sport Security; an apparent two-year research programme into sport corruption which quite firmly pointed the finger of blame at the gambling industry. Quite frankly, the gambling industry should point a finger back. The press release heralding the report was, well, bizarre and keen to run parallels between the regulated and unregulated markets where it could with
andrew mccarron viewpoint
phrases such as: “Asia and Europe represents 85 per cent of the total legal and illegal market.” “Legal sports betting currently delivers only 4bn euro of official tax revenues for countries,” it trumpets. Quite what that has to do with sporting corruption is anyone’s guess. “More than 8,000 legal operators offer sports betting - 80 per cent are in territories with a low rate of tax and few inspections,” it adds. See even the legal operators who pay tax are bad ‘uns! Low tax is a sure sign of naughtiness. Yet how much tax does FIFA pay locally when the World Cup comes to town? None - as it demands a taxfree status as part of the bidding process. It literally has the tax laws re-written otherwise it would take its ball home. To the tax haven of Switzerland. Double standards ahoy. Even more unexpectedly, the key recommendation from the report is ‘creating a sports betting tax to finance investigations into match-fixing and illegalbetting’. Sporting integrity organisation publishes report suggesting more money for sporting integrity shock. As the recent expose over the voting for the 2022 World Cup only shows too
well, sport doesn’t need bookmakers to become embroiled in corruption and result fixing scandals. It manages to do that on its own very nicely, thank you. Perhaps if the ICSS is so concerned about the integrity of sport, it could do a little report into how FIFA’s executive ended up awarding its flagship tournament to an oil-rich state with no history of football, no long term plans for football and is generally so unsuitable for playing football that it requires moving to winter. How can you demand the participants of a sport be whiter than white when the people that run the sport globally have invited so many question marks hanging over their heads? It could be the perfect project for the ICSS, especially as its director of sport integrity, Chris Eaton, used to be FIFA’s head of security. Surely he’d have an inside track and know where to ask the right questions or unravel clear answers? In fact, you could say that ICSS is ideally positioned for such an investigation given that its headquarters are, by an unfortunate coincidence, in… Qatar. But it’s probably the bookmaker’s fault for offering betting markets on the outcome of the vote.
EXPERIENCE THE PULLING POWER OF GREAT GAMES INNOVATION
To find out more about our exciting new Pull Tab games, or any of our other products, please contact Andy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org realisticgames.co.uk www.realisticgames.co.uk
BB117-p36-38-Comment G_09/10 05/06/2014 11:10 Page 2
“The cardinal sin in sports, what could really wreck it, is not cheating to win, which has gone on forever, but cheating to lose.” US Professor Michael Mandelbaum
Do you have pulling power?
Standardise rules to prevent punter puzzlement
Realistic Games’ commercial director Andy Harris reckons going back to the future with pull tab games will be a hit with both players and operators alike. or an industry of our size that makes as much money as it does we’re not always very good at innovation. It’s true that countless new slots are produced each year and that the quest for the perfect version of the classic table games goes on. Yet the fact many appear happy to re-skin old games with new graphics but old maths, in a vain attempt to recreate past hits, covers nobody in glory. Our resurrection of an old format like Pull Tabs might appear on the surface to be no different therefore, given that they have been around for donkey’s years. But it is the combination of their old school charm with the latest technology, and the fact we don’t think anyone has created them online, that really differentiates them. For those not familiar with pull tabs, who’ve never found themselves in a working men’s club or on an American sidewalk, they are things of nostalgic beauty. The focus of the games is centred on the excitement created when players pull back the perforated ‘pull tab’ to reveal the symbols and see if they’ve won. Unlike scratch cards, Pull Tabs offer three symbols in a row in each tab, the same as a win line on a three reel slot game. The return to player margins are also much higher at around 95 per cent, typically, and provide a significantly better player experience as a result. Pull Tabs have been - and still are - very popular in land-based environments across the globe. As players of a wide range of products ourselves over several decades, they are one of many games styles which create feelings of nostalgia. I have no doubt that is the case for others too. More importantly, however, the connection with this nostalgia is related to using our experience of popular game types and features as an inspiration for creating fresh and often unique content for delivery across a wide range of channels, many of which weren’t heard of when the originals were in their pomp. Pull Tabs can also fill a gap in the current gaming product mix. They are easy to understand, simple to play, and create the levels of excitement players are looking for in a product. They are also perfect for mobile given the ‘snacky’, on-the-move, nature of their use. While early in their development, the indications are that they are proving very popular at our customers’ sites - and that is obviously pleasing given the risk involved with their development. The points is, however, that they are a risk worth taking for suppliers like us. If we don’t try new things we are not going to produce new hits. The point for operators is that none of that risk is on them, as they can be kicked into touch if they don’t work. That said, we’re confident those that give them a go - and offer a fair crack of the promotional whip - will not be disappointed. Operators are crying out for innovation and new ideas, and Pull Tabs are the perfect example of a format with a strong history of success which can work well in a new channel. If they do, it will herald a re-birth or rejuvenation of the genre, rather than repetition and regurgitation, which we see all too often in game development.
38 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
ver the years many bookmaker executives and customer service managers have often expressed a desire to attempt convergence towards standardised industry terms and conditions and betting rules. Those individuals recognised that this would help to provide enhanced integrity to those operators who wish to foster best practise in the industry. It would also clearly assist and provide some comfort to customers who often find it hard to understand why operators have different rules and settlement criteria for identical circumstances. If you ever have a spare moment you may wish to look at how, in their published rules, various operators deal with the following: match stopped due to injury to tennis player, abandoned or postponed football games, amount of leeway time (if any) given when bets are placed after the off of a horse, greyhound or virtual race, what happens if an incorrect price is given or other error is made by the operator, how bets are settled if they are understaked or over staked, what happens to mis-timed events or mis-spelt selections, how ambiguous bets are treated.....the list is fairly lengthy. Notwithstanding the fact that, for at least the sake of healthy competition and brand identity, there will always be different limits, prices, bonus and concession offers etc. But, as time passes, little work or effort has been done to bring about such convergence. In some instances the situation has even become worse with the same ‘brand’ applying different rules to bets struck through different channels. For example, if a wrong price is advertised on shop screens etc and laid, one major company states in its published retail terms and conditions that the customer will only receive the price that the company was truly giving at the time the bet was taken, and no more. Thus there is no recognition that an error had been
John Samuels of IBAS questions the customer service in working to a bewildering array of changing rules depending on the channel used.
made by the operator, and maybe even that it was the error that tempted the customer to place the (erroneously priced) bet. Yet, on the website bearing the same name and logo, if a wrong price is displayed and laid, the customer will get either the odds that the company was truly offering or the best odds available from its main competitors, whichever is the greater. How odd (no pun intended). Another large scale operator gives a defined minimum leeway time to any bets placed, across the counter in their retail estate, that are after the ‘off’. Yet, for this same operator’s telephone customers, a rule is in place that provides for a rather subjective view to be taken by the operator. The telephone rules state that the transaction will be reviewed to see if the customer gained an unfair advantage or not before a decision will be made to void the bet or not. A further cause for confusion is witnessed in many retail outlets. I am referring to how odds, particularly football odds, shown on a shop’s Self Service Betting Terminal (SSBT) are often different from the odds offered by the same company for bets placed over the counter. Not too many customers would expect that the odds offered through SSBTs would be created not by the bookmaker but under contract by a third party. Further, the pay-out limits offered on the SSBT’s are generally in the region of a maximum payout of £20,000 whilst a normal shop limit from one of the main high street operators, for example, is generally in the region of between £100,000 and £1 million. Just the kind of confusion the industry needs with the World Cup coming along! Maybe, before convergence and standardisation on rules etc is attempted within the industry, individual companies should make greater efforts to standardise their own offerings across their betting channels and betting mediums. Little wonder that customers are often left angry and confused.
BB117-p40-43-Business_09/10 04/06/2014 13:38 Page 1
Business Acquisition of PXP Solutions sees Bwin’s payment business expand
iGAMINGBRIEFS REVENUES DOWN
Bwin’s payments firm has made a sizeable payment of its own in order to acquire card processing outfit PXO Solutions. M&A
win.party’s payments subsidiary Kalixa has acquired PXP Solutions, a private company with a 27-year track record in the card payment processing sector. The acquisition apparently represents an important step in the acceleration of the group’s three-year plan to grow Kalixa and to increase significantly the proportion of its revenue coming from outside the Group. Integrating PXP will significantly grow the size of Kalixa’s payment processing volume and is expected to generate substantial revenue synergies in the areas of credit and debit card acquisition and issuance. With further strategic moves planned for later in the year, the firm believes that Kalixa is well on its way towards achieving the scale, breadth and customer reach that will ensure it can realise its potential. With a robust and fully integrated payments platform, Kalixa is wellplaced to take advantage of the secular growth that is driving digital payments volumes across the globe and the Board believes that it will become an increasingly valuable asset for the Group and its shareholders. The combination of Kalixa and PXP will enhance the competitive position of both businesses in the global and rapidly growing pay-
ments services sector. On a pro forma basis, in 2013 the combined businesses processed a total transaction volume of 10bn euro. Following completion, Kalixa now has both the critical mass and breadth to offer end-to-end capabilities covering all payments across each of the three segments of the market - issuing, acquiring and acceptance - via any channel and any device using a single, integrated and advanced technology platform. Both Kalixa and PXP Solutions will continue to operate under their existing brand names and address their respective segments of the payments market. Norbert Teufelberger, CEO of bwin.party, said: “Kalixa is oncourse to become a significant player in the digital payments arena. The acquisition provides excellent cross-selling opportunities for both Kalixa and PXP and has created a payments business with a balanced portfolio of customers, sectors, and geographies across Europe starting to enter the US and APAC. We are working on a series of other strategic initiatives that we expect will further enhance the future prospects for Kalixa and its value to the group.” Ed Chandler, chief executive officer of Kalixa, said: “The announcement marks a major mile-
NORBERT TEUFELBERGER: ‘KALIXA IS ON-COURSE TO BECOME A SIGNIFICANT PLAYER’
stone in creating a world-class payments company with an unrivalled portfolio across the entire payments value chain. Kalixa and PXP together now have the scale and breadth of services to expand significantly in the global payments market. We are focused on introducing Kalixa Pro and Kalixa Pay services to PXP’s extensive portfolio of merchants across 27 countries and in the process diversify into new sectors such as retail, travel and leisure, and financial services.” Ritz Steytler, CEO of PXP Solutions who will become COO of Kalixa, added: “The payments industry has a reputation for being complex, expensive and inflexible, while adding little value to merchants and consumers alike. As a result of joining together with Kalixa, we can provide merchants of all sizes with one partner, one contract, and one service on a single, proven and fully integrated payments platform.”
ANALYSIS Bwin.party’s recent boardroom battle suggested that some of the group’s subsidiaries should be involved in a little M&A activity, although the inference was that they should be getting bought by third parties rather than being acquisitive themselves. The firm is quite bullish, however, that acquisition will create significant value for customers who choose to use Kalixa’s end-to-end payments offering. It intends to see this through the delivery of improved customer loyalty, data collection and analytics, access to more product innovations and improved operational efficiencies.
New five year debt deal for William Hill FINANCE
illiam Hill PLC has spent £6.5m ensuring its long-term debt is secure in order to strengthen its balance sheet. The listed bookmaker has signed a new bank loan agreement, entering into a five-year £540m committed multicurrency revolving credit facility with a syndicate of banks. The new facility expires in May 2019 and replaces the group’s existing revolving credit facility, which was due to expire in November 2015. The bookmaker said that the new facility reflects current market commercial terms and pricing for a loan of this nature for a credit of William Hill’s standing. Drawn amounts under the facility attract a variable
40 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
NEIL COOPER: ‘TRANSACTION EXTENDS THE GROUP’S DEBT MATURITIES’
margin over LIBOR based on the group’s Net Debt/EBITDA ratio plus an utilisation fee if more than a certain proportion of the facility is drawn. The initial margin under the new facility is expected to be lower than the current margin under the group’s existing facility. Undrawn amounts attract a commitment fee. The new facility continues the group’s current financial covenant obligations which are for Net Debt/EBITDA to be not more than 3.5 times and for EBITDA/Net Cash Interest to be not less than 3.0 times. The facility is unsecured but the lenders benefit from a guarantee from the principal operating subsidiaries of the group. The group expects to pay c£4.5m of arrangement and participation
fees and associated costs, which will be charged to the income statement over the life of the new facility. As a result of entering into this new deal, the Group will incur c£2m of one-off non-cash exceptional costs arising from the accelerated amortisation of the fees related to the replaced deal. Neil Cooper, group finance director of William Hill, commented: “We are pleased to have completed this deal both with the support of our relationship banks and with two new lenders to the group. This transaction extends the group’s debt maturities strengthening the group’s balance sheet position and slightly reduces projected bank financing costs compared to the current facility.”
Spread betting firm IG Group has announced that trading has been ‘generally subdued’ since the firm’s Interim Management Statement was published in the middle of March, with the relative weakness most evident in May. Volumes in the FX market have been particularly impacted, as this asset class has experienced historically low levels of volatility over the last few months. The firm has warned that this will hit performance: “Management currently anticipate that revenue for the full year will be slightly below expectations, although profit, earnings and cash generation remain on track, as operating costs continue to run slightly below plan.” ONLINE CASINO IMPROVEMENT
Rank Group has revealed strong growth in its digital casino brand Grosvenor, with revenues in the 19week period to 11 May 2014 up 54 per cent. The firm said that the growth in digital was ‘principally driven by an increase in crossover of venues customers to the digital channel and a strong live casino performance’. However, the Mecca Bingo brand has been struggling. The firm said: “The highly competitive digital bingo market continues to adversely impact the brand’s digital channel with revenues falling by 8 per cent in the 19-week period.” WAITING GAME FOR REBATE
Pools betting business Sportech is waiting to see whether it will get a £95m VAT rebate on its ‘Spot the Ball’ game after the Upper Tribunal heard the appeal by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. The claim, for approximately £95m including simple interest, was successfully determined in the Group’s favour by the First Tier Tax Tribunal in March 2013, although HMRC was granted permission to appeal two months later. Sportech commented: “The group has been advised to expect a decision from the Upper Tribunal later this summer.”
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BB117-p40-43-Business_09/10 04/06/2014 13:36 Page 2
Unibet’s CEO Henrik Tjärnström has demonstrated his confidence in the company by acquiring 31,000 Swedish Depository Receipts in Unibet Group plc. Henrik Tjärnström and his family’s holding in Unibet Group plc totals 105,394 Swedish Depository Receipts.
GameAccount progress not just simulated
illiam Hill has confirmed that David Edmonds has retired from the Board and relinquished his position as senior independent non-executive director. Chairman Gareth Davis commented: “I would like to express my sincere thanks on behalf of the Board for David’s significant contribution as a non-executive director over the last nine years.”
The new Simulated Gaming experience developed by GameAccount is helping the firm gain land-based casino customers in the US.
R DERMOT SMURFIT: ‘CONTINUE TO INVEST SIGNIFICANTLY IN RECRUITMENT’
aming software developer GameAccount Network boosted net revenue by almost £7m last year, according to the firm’s full year results. The company, listed on both the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, increased net returns to £12.3m by 31 December, a jump of 123 per cent on 2012 figures. Profit before tax yielded £1.6m, versus a subsequent loss of £1m the year previous. Commenting on some of the firm’s recent success and future goals, CEO Dermot Smurfit, said: “2013 was a transformational year for GameAccount Network. Net revenue has more than doubled and EBITDA increased from £0.3m to £4.1m. We have made real progress in delivering on our strategic initiative to develop sustainable higher margin revenue streams while positioning the Group for growth in regulating markets. “We also successfully raised £15m (before deduction of expenses) through an institutional placing in November 2013 and listed on the AIM and ESM markets of the London and Irish Stock Exchanges.
We have a strong balance sheet with almost £17m in liquidity to accelerate our growth in 2014 and beyond.” Forging partnerships has been a key strategic feature for the London based company and developer of slots and skill games, having secured several high-profile and lucrative deals in the US and Italy, allowing it to expand its product offering and base. These contracts include the launch of a real money gaming platform in New Jersey via Betfaircasino.com, numerous supplier agreements with Konami Gaming, Multimedia Games, Net Entertainment and Reel Time Gaming, as well the opening of U.S. HQ offices in Las Vegas and Nevada. New York’s Empire City Casino has teamed up with the operator, to use and host its specialist online platform for new clients. Smurfit added: “We continue to invest significantly in recruitment to support increased product development and sales & marketing services capability in both the European and United States regulated markets. “During 2013 the Group invested heavily in product development
resulting in enhanced mobile and reporting capability. We also completed our unique Simulated Gaming product offering designed to enable land-based casino operators in the United States to move online in advance of regulation of real money internet gaming. Simulated Gaming combines the company’s real money Internet gaming technology platform; recognisable Class III casino gaming content; and, the land-based casino operator’s brand.” “In January 2014 the Group delivered ‘Simulated Gaming’ into the United States for Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and secured new casino operator customers including, Osage Casinos in Oklahoma and Empire City Casino in New York. Smurfit commented: “In addition to regulated Internet gaming and Simulated Gaming in the United States we remain well placed in 2014 to deliver further growth in our core European content distribution business with new game titles for Konami Gaming, Multimedia Games, Reel Time Gaming and Gamomat coming to market in 2014 in both desktop and mobile formats.”
GamCrowd becomes a partner for Clarion’s Start-Up focus larion Events and GamCrowd have signed a co-operation agreement which will see the gambling industry-focused crowdfunding platform become a supporting partner for Clarion’s Start-Up LaunchPad and Start-Up Village at EiG and ICE Totally Gaming. GamCrowd will also use these events to host the major physical meetings of GamCrowd’s crowd of start-ups and investors. GamCrowd’s assessors will work with LaunchPad finalists on their pitches to prepare them for the ‘Dragons Den’ style competition and Clarion
42 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
will help promote and support the finalists. It is expected that many of the finalists will be cleared as ‘GamCrowd Fit’ and go on to raise funds on the crowdfunding platform. Chris North, CEO of GamCrowd, is delighted with the new partnership: “To be working with the industry’s leading event organisers is great news for GamCrowd’s start-ups. The additional exposure and the opportunity to promote their ideas face to face with investors will help them get the funding and support they need.” Silvia Peneva, Clarion’s pro-
gramme manager, also believes the new partnership will be beneficial to the established and start-up players in the industry: “Our focus groups are telling us that the industry wants to see more innovation and differentiated, unique content at our events and we have taken note. We firmly believe that the partnership with GamCrowd will further that aim and advance our Start-Up LaunchPad and Start-Up Village at EiG 2014 by adding value to all start-ups participating and also integrate these event features with a Gambling focused online platform.”
on McMillan has been appointed to the Board of gaming operator 888 as an independent non-executive director and as chairman of the company’s audit committee. Amos Pickel will step aside as chairman of the Audit Committee and will continue in his role as independent non-executive director. McMillan spent the whole of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he was a partner for 28 years until his retirement last year. Chairman Richard Kilsby said: “With his extensive experience of boards and audit committees of major listed companies, Ron brings a wealth of experience to 888. This will be of considerable benefit as the Company continues to grow and pursue its strategic objectives.”
reentube has announced a key appointment with the internal promotion of Gernot Baumgartner as the company’s new head of marketing and sales. He will be responsible for all strategic and operational developments in the B2B area and will also oversee all marketing and sales procedures. He commented: “I believe that our professional structure will help us to extend Greentube’s leadership position in terms of current CrossPlatform Gaming solutions. One of our biggest goals is a continuous broadening of business partnerships in international markets with dynamic environments. Most importantly, our clear vision continues to be in expanding our popular games portfolio and providing our high quality content for all successful platforms.” GERNOT BAUMGARTNER
aming product supplier Bally Technologies has appointed Richard Haddrill as CEO, a position he held between 2004 to 2012. David Robbins, who has been serving as the Board’s Lead Independent Director, has also been reappointed Chairman of the Board, a role he held between 1997 and 2010. They replace Ramesh Srinivasan, who will no longer serve as President and CEO. Robbins commented: “The Board would like to thank Ramesh for his many years of service to Bally and for his leadership in guiding the Company through the acquisition and integration of SHFL entertainment, as well as his exemplary execution in developing Bally’s systems business.” RICHARD HADDRILL
ayment management group Secure Trading has appointed industry veteran Jens Bader to the newly created position of chief commercial officer (CCO). The firm has also installed David Backshall as sales director, while Michael Lane has become Secure Trading’s first channel and product director. Bader joins from Paysafecard where he was also CCO, having previously worked at a number of other companies in the payment sector, including Optimal Payments and Global Collect. Kobus Paulsen, CEO at parent company UC Group, said: “These appointments clearly illustrate our ambition and growth plans. All three have the experience and knowledge to build our sales power and improve our go-tomarket strategy. The newly created roles give us a solid structure to build on, which will be crucial as we enter a new phase of international growth.” JENS BADER
THANKS FOR PLAYING BALL BE T T I N G
F O O T BA L L ON
8 May 2014
Sports Betting Community would like to thank all the partners of last month’s Betting on Football Conference and Awards. We couldn’t have done it without your support. Have a good World Cup and see you next season!
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ll eyes will be firmly focused on Brazil as the biggest betting event of all time unfolds with more at stake for the industry than ever before. Early estimates are that over a billion pounds will be bet across the country during the tournament with a record number of wagers also set to be placed on mobile devices due to kick off times. At the time of writing, the patriotic plunge that has seen England go off as second and third favourites in recent tournaments has yet to materialise (England currently 28/1) so with punters now betting with the heads over their hearts bookmakers have had to price up more innovative and stats-driven special and derivative markets to catch attention than ever before. Germany are the side at the head of the betting which would be the best result at this stage with a victory for Brazil or Argentina set to be particularly costly.
ACTION IMAGES / LEE SMITH LIVEPIC
Apparently there is a big football tournament this month which has attracted the attention of some bookmakers.
ALEX DONOHUE PR Ladbrokes
The big story this month is undoubtedly that big tournament over in Brazil. The World Cup is set to be the biggest sports betting event ever with an estimated £200m set to be wagered with us alone. Brazil are the 3/1 favourites to win their home tournament, although at 4/1 and with an easy group, Argentina are being incredibly well fancied. England are the longest price they have ever been to win the tournament - currently
25/1. We will also see Andy Murray attempt to defend his Wimbledon title and while his form has not been the best this year, there will undoubtedly be countless patriotic punters up and down the United Kingdom will have a pound or two on him winning. One of the highlights of last year’s sporting calendar was the smile on The Queen’s face when her horse, Estimate, won the Ascot Gold Cup. This year he bids to retain his title and it’s sure to be one of the highlights of the five day Royal Ascot meeting. JOE CRILLY Press Officer William Hill
Unsurprisingly, the World Cup in Brazil is going to be our major focus for the next four weeks. We’re an exciting new sportsbook out to shake up the market and we’ve already hit the headlines with our fantastic introductory offer of
England to win the World Cup at 1966/1 for our first 1966 customers. Punters snapped that price up swiftly but we are holding out at a best-priced 66/1 (max stake £10) on the Three Lions up until the 12 June. Brazil 2014 is predicted to be the biggest betting event of all time and we’ll be offering great prices and exciting markets to keep every type of punter entertained. But it’s not just the football that will be on our customers’ minds. Royal Ascot and Wimbledon are two of the British summer’s greatest sporting spectacles and, from the turf of Berkshire to the lawns of SW19, 666Bet will have all the action covered. BARRY MARTIN CEO 666Bet
fail to divert all eyes from some huge sporting events taking place in Britain and Ireland this month. Australia will be among the leading contenders for the Derby at Royal Ascot. Jockey Joseph O’Brien and his father Aidan became the first father and son combination to win the Classic in 2012 with Camelot. And an in-form Rory McIlroy has to be in with a shout at the US Open on the famous No.2 course at Pinehurst. Andy Murray has to prove his Centre Court triumph last year was not a one-off when he returns to Wimbledon. However, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the World No.1 has to be the one player who poses the greatest threat. He is one of just two players in the history of tennis to win at least two Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces - clay, hard court and grass. Murray will have his work cut out.
Global sporting attention will switch to Brazil and the World Cup PAUL MCLEAN which gets underway next week, CEO & Founder but even soccer’s superstars will www.BetMcLean.com
My Diary: Daniel Lindsay GameAccount Network commercial director Daniel Lindsay describes life at a ‘dynamic entrepreneurial’ company. y responsibility at GameAccount Network revolves around our broad commercial activity in all markets with the exception of North America. That includes looking after our team of commercial staff, overseeing our B2B Marcomms activity, ensuring we maximise our development opportunities as a business and sharing visibility on our activities with the rest of the
44 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
senior management team. The business has grown tremendously over the last 18 months and this has meant relocating to new office premises which give, what is a dynamic entrepreneurial company, the room to expand, the arrival and induction of new team members and intense activities in regulated markets where we previously had no presence. Ultimately, but predictably in the
gaming business, this means a lot of travel. I try and visit all of our corporate customers once a quarter with our relevant country account manager and June seems like a good time to visit those in Italy (of course the food and weather isn’t bad either). I will also be undertaking business trips to Spain, Gibraltar, France and Germany during the month. We also have a number of UK based customers, and are lucky enough to be located in central London - a stone’s throw from Selfridges - a privilege which sometimes I take for granted; it really is one of the best cities in the world to work in. On 17 June I’ll be hosting a table at the EGR B2B Awards in London where we have been shortlisted in a number of categories. The rest of the table will be made up of team members
from different departments in the office; it should be a fun evening. I’ll be attending a two day offsite management team strategy session towards the end of the month where it’s great to spend quality time with the rest of the team really getting into our strategic goals and how we can accomplish them. However, the backlog of emails this results in is less desirable! I’ll have a monthly catch up with our PR partner and also ensure that arrangements for forthcoming exhibitions and events are in place. Is it really only three months until G2E?! I spend my weekends with my son but also try to ensure I get to play golf where I’ve somehow managed to hang on to my low single figure handicap despite work commitments.
LISTINGS MONTHLY BRIEFING
JUNE 11 Peru Gaming Show 2014, Lima, Peru 12-13 Social Casino Summit, Bellagio, Las Vegas, USA 12-13 Online Gambling Summit, Bellagio, Las Vegas, USA 11-13 Mobile Asia Expo 2014, Shanghai, China 17 EGR Operator Marketing and Innovation Awards, London, UK 22-25 Sports Betting Seminar, Blue Tree Premium Fortaleza, Brazil 23-25 Canadian Gaming Summit, Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada 24-27 iGaming Super Show, Amsterdam, RAI 25 Betting Trends & Strategies @ iGaming Super Show, Amsterdam, RAI 25 Gaming in Holland @ iGaming Super Show, Amsterdam, RAI 25 FADJA Peru, Westin Hotel & Convention Centre, Lima, Peru JULY 8-10 World Gaming Executive Summit, W Hotel, Barcelona, Spain 10 BiG Sports Dinner, The Dorchester, London 14-16 GiGse 2014, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, USA 14-16 Social Casino Summit at GiGse 2014, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, USA 15-17 Casino Marketing Conference, Paris, Las Vegas, USA AUGUST 5 Annual Tribal Gaming & Compliance Update, Reno, NV, USA 11-13 OIGA Conference and Trade Show 2014, Cox Centre, Oklahoma City, OK, USA 12-14 Australasian Gaming Expo 2014, Sydney Exhibition Centre, Glebe Island, Australia SEPTEMBER 8-9 eGR Mobile Power Summit, South Lodge Hotel, West Sussex, UK 9-12 10th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, Helsinki, Finland 16-17 eGR US Power Summit 2014, The Montage, Laguna Beach, California, USA 30-2 Responsible Gaming Seminar, Florence, Italy OCTOBER 9 Bookmakers’ Trade Fair Wolverhampton 21 – 23 EIG Expo Berlin 21-22 Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo 2014 Inter Expo Centre, Sofia, Bulgaria
BB117-p44-45-Agenda_09/10 04/06/2014 13:56 Page 2
Government subsidy Qualified buyers may be eligible to receive official state subsidies to cover some or part of their travel and accommodation costs when attending November’s Macao Gaming Show (MGS) at the Venetian Macao. This is part of the Direccao dos Servicos de Economia’s (DSE) Exhibition Stimulation Program which seeks to enhance the competitive edge of Macao’s convention and exhibition industry and the marketing of Macao as a successful and vibrant destination city for commerce.
MIGS confirmed with November dates CONFERENCE
IGS14 is confirmed to take place 11-12 November at the Hilton Malta by the organisers of the seminar: BMIT, Capstone Group, RE/MAX Malta, Sue Schneider and AliQuantum Gaming. The Malta iGaming Seminar is the only established seminar in the Mediterranean that focuses on providing a unique platform of discussion for C-Level executives and staff of the international iGaming community and over the last five years it has attracted delegates from across the globe, including the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Speaking about the event, past attendee Chris Smart, former head of gaming for Paypoint, stated: “MIGS is one of the only events that is not commercially focused on selling you products. It is a great knowledge base where executives and staff of the gaming community come together and discuss the gaming sector.” The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) has been a sponsor of the event for the past
Bartlett, chief executive and founder of Global Betting & Gaming Consultancy, has been a key figure in the iGaming Industry for the last 20 years, having consulted various countries including Malta on setting up their jurisdictions. He has also consulted to companies such as William Hill and Ladbrokes and is also the owner of the widely acclaimed Global Gambling Report. Other key speakers that have been confirmed for the event are; Andre Wilsenach (CEO, Alderney Gambling Control Commission), SUE SCHNEIDER: Wes Himes (Managing Partner of ‘DELIGHTED THAT THE Instinctif Partners), Julian Borg LGA HAS YET AGAIN Barthet (Business Development CONFIRMED THEIR Manager, Nmi), Steve Donoughue SUPPORT’ (Gambling Consultants), Garron Whitesman (Whitesmans Attorsix years and has consistently support for our event. This reaf- neys - Africa) and Angelo Dalli been a key contributor to the firms that our event is important (Bit8) amongst others. content. The LGA has provided to the iGaming Calendar,” comMIGS has attracted a number important expertise to the discus- mented Sue Schneider, MIGS of other key sponsors and partsion panels and has extended Partner and iGaming Veteran. ners including iGaming Business, their support for the 2014 edition. MIGS has already confirmed a Playson, Nmi, Interactive Gaming “We are most delighted that the number of key speakers for the Council, Secure Trading, Ezugi LGA has yet again confirmed their event including Warwick Bartlett. and iGaming Calendar.
BeTS on it in Amsterdam he World Cup is going to be the biggest betting event of the year and sportsbook operators are going to go all out to get as many new players as they can. But come the day after the World Cup, how are they going to retain their players? The session ‘Post World Cup: The Panini Sticker Album Effect’ is taking place at the Betting Trends & Strategies (BeTS) conference at the iGaming Super Show. This session will allow delegates to learn some strategies on how sportsbook operators can look to retain their players after the World Cup to maximise active player numbers. The speakers for this session include: Russell Yershon, Head of UK Sportsbook at Titanbet.com; Conleth Byrne, Managing Director, The Football Pools; James Arnold, CMO, Boyle Sports; Martyn Miller, Director of Newfangelt Ltd BeTS is a dedicated conference for the sports betting industry and sets its sights on creating a meeting place for the sports betting industry to come together, learn and network.
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014 45
BB117-p46-47-Analysis_09/10 05/06/2014 11:59 Page 1
A grea before
ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Colossus Bets has made a huge impact on the global pool chart, with its weekly £10m Colossus offer helping the award winning pool betting product stand out from the crowd.
TOP TEN RETAIL BETTING EVENTS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Horseracing - The Grand National, Aintree Golf - The Masters, Augusta Snooker - World Snooker Championship Domestic Football - Liverpool v Chelsea Horseracing - The Scottish Grand National, Ayr European Football - Man Utd v Bayern Munich, Champions League Domestic Football - Liverpool v Man City Horseracing - Bet365 Gold Cup, Sandown Horseracing - Punchestown Gold Cup, Punchestown International Cricket - India v Sri Lanka, World Twenty20 Final
Chart supplied by: Betfred. Data for April
TOP TEN UK HORSERACE POOLS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chart supplied by: Totepool. Data for April
TOP TEN FINANCIAL SPREAD MARKETS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Germany 30, Daily Wall Street, Daily UK 100, Daily Spot, EUR/USD Spot, GBP/USD Spot, AUD/USD UK 100, Jun US Tech 100, Daily Jun SPX 500, Jun Wall Street, Jun
Chart supplied by: Spreadex. Calculated on volume of bets. Data for April
Aintree - Grand National Aintree - Handicap Chase Aintree - Mares’ Standard National Hunt Flat Race Aintree - Topham Chase Aintree - Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) Aintree - Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) Aintree - Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Aintree -Handicap Hurdle (amateurs) Aintree - Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Aintree - Mersey Novices’ Hurdle
Horseracing - Grand National Golf - US Masters Golf European Football - Atletico Madrid v Chelsea European Football - Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Horseracing - Scottish Grand National Domestic Football - Liverpool v Manchester City European Football - Bayern Munich v Manchester United European Football - Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Domestic Football - Liverpool v Chelsea European Football - Bayern Munich v Real Madrid
Chart supplied by: BetVictor. Data for April
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
European Football - B Munich v Real Madrid Domestic Football - Liverpool v Man City European Football - Real Madrid v B Munich European Football - Man Utd v B Munich European Football - Atl Madrid v Chelsea European Football - B Munich v Man Utd Domestic Football - Man City v West Brom European Football - Chelsea v Paris St-G Golf - The Masters - Leaderboard Domestic Football - Liverpool v Chelsea
Chart supplied by: Spreadex. Calculated on volume of bets. Data for April
TOP TEN BETTING EXCHANGE MARKETS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Indian Cricket - Mumbai v Hyderabad £40,644,368.94 Indian Cricket - Kolkata v Punjab £38,105,317.68 International Cricket - Pakistan v West Indies £37,694,329.10 Indian Cricket - Bangalore v Kolkata £36,737,011.30 International Cricket - Sri Lanka v West Indies £35,322,381.64 Indian Cricket - Hyderabad v Delhi £34,812,302.10 International Cricket - India v South Africa £34,307,009.38 Indian Cricket - Kolkata v Delhi £33,908,106.84 Indian Cricket - Punjab v Hyderabad £32,387,256.20 Indian Cricket - Hyderabad v Chennai £32,195,991.70
Chart supplied by: BetVictor. Data for April
THE £10,000,000 COLOSSUS
ALL OTHER BETS ARE LOWER LEAGUE 46 BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014
TOP TEN SPORTS SPREAD MARKETS
TOP TEN ONLINE BETTING MARKETS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
t’s been a big month for Colossus Bets and that’s before the World Cup starts, where the firm will offer over £100,000,000 of guaranteed pools throughout the tournament. The start of June saw three big UK betting operators and a couple of smaller internationals go live
BB117-p46-47-Analysis_09/10 05/06/2014 11:59 Page 2
SPONSORED BY COLOSSUSBETS
reat year even ore the World Cup TOP TEN GLOBAL POOLS 1 GBR – Scoop6 – E19,917,246 2 SWE – V75 –Solvalla– E13,654,820 3 GBR – Colossus Bets – The £10,000,000 Colossus – E12,277,500 4 ESP – La Quinella – E4,280,978 5 GBR – Classic Pools – E3,683,250 6 GBR – Colossus Bets – Premier League Pick6 – E2,455,500 7 SWE – V86 – Solvalla – E1,980,528 8 GBR – GBR – Goal Millions – E1,227,750 9 SWE – V64 – Vaggeryd – E906,599 10SWE/RUS – Stryktipset/Soccer13 – E588,341 Chart supplied by: Colossus Bets. Calculated by biggest pools/guarantees over a week’s period during the month. One entry per bet type. Data for May
with the £10,000,000 Colossus and Colossus Bets’ other football pools – Betdaq, Betfair, and Boylesports are all expected to go live before the World Cup and now will be able to offer their own customers the opportunity to win a jackpot of £10,000,000 every few days of the World Cup and weekly during the regular seasons. The best thing about it from their perspective is that it is
at no risk to themselves. Colossus Bets has now signed thirteen B2B firms to carry its games, including the platform developer Bit8 which in turn will supply the game to its operator customers. This all adds to the rollovers and with million pound pools for Horses, greyhounds, NBA, NFL, AFL and ARL all expected to be released before the end of the 2014 Colossus Bets
anticipates that its partners will have the ability to make multi-millionaires almost 365 days a year. Among the other developments that the operator has been working on include the introduction of a Colossus Bets app in the iOS App store as well as the functionality of five languages and multi-currency options on our website. One of the exciting things about Colossus Bets is its ability to fractionally CashIn bets, with the firm’s patented Fractional-Cash-In technology giving players the best of both worlds when it comes to the current cash out phenomenon. By the start of June Colossus Bets had paid out £400,000 on what would have been losing bets, which no doubt helps generate players loyalty. 13 B2B contracts and counting indicate that the operator is on the correct path, and the firm’s £10m
TOP TEN ONLINE SPORTSBOOK PERFORMANCE (1) Bet365 - 1.08 (3) Jenningsbet - 1.21 (4) BetVictor - 1.24 (2) Betfair Sports - 1.31 (7) Boylesports - 1.50 (5) Totesport - 1.70 (8) Betclic- 1.88 (7) Sky Bet - 2.05 (-) Betfred - 2.46 (10) Bwin - 2.56
Chart supplied by: Gomez. Data for April
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TOP TEN MOST SELECTED BET TYPES (ENG) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(1) Pinnacle (2) Bet365 (4) Unibet (3) Bwin (6) William Hill (5) BetVictor (7) Interwetten (9) Ladbrokes (8) 5dimes (-) Betway
Chart supplied by: bettingexpert Based on data from 40,000 tips in English language section Data from April
Bet on our easy-to-play weekly pick 7 football game.
((1) Pinnacle (2) Bet365 (5) William Hill (3) BetVictor (4) 5dimes (8) Ladbrokes (-) Bwin (10) Betway (6) Interwetten (9) Coral
Chart supplied by: bettingexpert Based on data from 13,131 tips in English language section Data from April
TOP TEN MOST SELECTED BOOKMAKERS (GLOBAL) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(2) Over/Under (1) 1x2 (4) 12 (3) Asian Handicap (5) Correct Score (6) Draw no bet (8) Both to Score (7) European Handicap (10) Double Chance (9) Halftime/fulltime
Chart supplied by: Based on data from 13,131 tips in English language section Data from April
Cash-In profits in full
(2) Over/Under (1) 1X2 (4) 12 (3) Asian Handicap (5) Correct Score (6) Both Teams to Score (-) Draw No Bet (7) Double Chance (9) European Handicap (8) HT:FT
Chart supplied by: Based on data from 40,000 tips. Data from April
TOP TEN FOOTBALL BETTING WEBSITES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(1) Betfair Exchange (2) Bet365 (3) BetVictor (4) Paddy Power (5) William Hill (6) Coral (7) Sky Bet (8) Stan James (9) Ladbrokes (10) Betfred
Chart supplied by: Oddschecker. Calculated on market share of betslip clicks from Oddschecker.com Data for April
TOP TEN MONEYBACK OFFERS BY CHANCE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Lukaku scores v Arsenal Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Lukaku scores v Man United Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Man City win v Liverpool Coral - Football: Moneyback if Man City win v Liverpool Betfair - Darts: Premier league darts of match won in final leg bet365 - Greyhounds: Sky dogs 2/1 Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if a draw Chelsea v Atletico Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Gerard scores v Chelsea Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Suarez scores last v West Ham Ladbrokes - Horseracing: Back Aintree winner at 3/1
Chart supplied by: Freebets.com . Data for April
TOP TEN MONEYBACK OFFERS BY VALUE
TOP TEN MOST SELECTED BOOKMAKERS (ENG)
RESPONSE TIME (SECS)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Colossus frequently tops the global pools jackpot chart (although that has been slightly derailed this month because of the Scoop6 rollovers). Colossus Bets winning the Best Football Innovation prize at last month’s Betting on Football Conference and Awards solidifies the view that it is moving in the right direction. CEO Bernard Marantelli commented: “We were very happy to be a part of this first event and believe that the award recognises all the hard work we have put into making the Colossus Bets pools a success.” Colossus Bets is also planning to have a World Cup Party for the Costa Rica vs England game at the Hippodrome Casino in London, with a panel including brand ambassador Michael Owen discussing the game. As Marantelli added: “Let’s hope England qualify that evening for the round of 16!”
TOP TEN MOST SELECTED BET TYPES (GLOBAL)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Lukaku scores v Arsenal Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Lukaku scores v Man United Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Man City win v Liverpool bet365 - Greyhounds: Sky dogs 2/1 Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if a draw Chelsea v Atletico Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Gerard scores v Chelsea Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Suarez scores last v West Ham Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if Rooney scores v Bayern Paddy Power - Football: Moneyback if a draw Atletico v Chelsea Stan James - Football: Red Card Refund Arsenal v West Ham
Chart supplied by: Freebets.com . Data for April
TOP TEN BOOKMAKERS FOR MONEYBACK OFFERS (WEB & MOBILE) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(1) Paddy Power (2) bet365 (4) William Hill (3) Stan James (5) Winner (6) Betfair (8) BetVictor (7) Betfred (9) Betway (10) Ladbrokes
Chart supplied by: Freebets.com. Data for April
Win your share of the pool
or in part as matches progress. by holding your nerve to the end.
Start playing at colossusbets.com www.colossusbets.com @ColossusBets
BettingBusinessInteractive • JUNE 2014 47