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888 Holdings and Rank Group Target William Hill Acquisition

Reports have been made that major casino and gambling operators 888 Holdings and Rank Group are negotiating to create a £2billion merger.

Speeding up the pace of the UK gambling market consolidation, the two operators are in “relatively advanced” talks on the merger, and assuming the deal goes through, the two would then make a £3billion play to acquire bookmaker William Hill, creating a truly full spectrum gambling operator.

Subsequently, 888 and Rank issued a joint statement announcing that they saw “significant industrial logic” in acquiring William Hill; a move which they believe will result in “substantial revenue and cost synergies”.

While a formal approach has not yet been made to Hills, 888 and Rank have been given until 21st August by UK takeover regulations to propose specific terms of a deal.

As a result of the UK government’s requirement for all UK-facing online operators to hold UK Gambling Commission licenses and to pay 15% tax on all online revenue derived from UK punters, synergy-seeking operators began rushing to the merger altar. Operators with a UK retail presence also saw increased taxes on their shops’ profitable fixed-odds betting terminals, while EU markets hit online operators with new value added taxes.

According to sources with knowledge on the matter, William Hill might express interest in the three-way deal proposed, although 888 Holdings and The Rank Group said in their statement that an official bid might not be made at all, but if made, may not result in a completed deal.

The 888 and Rank consortium statement reads: “The consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale, which will accrue to all shareholders.

“In relation to the proposed transaction, no decision has yet been taken as to whether 888 would be an offeror or offeree company in respect of certain of the steps that may be taken in order to implement the proposed transaction.”

888 Holdings will also be one of the many exhibitors showcasing at Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year, SiGMA16. If you would like to come and experience this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Playtech Confirms Best Gaming Technology Acquisition

Playtech Plc, FTSE-listed gambling software development company, has confirmed its acquisition of Best Gaming Technology (BGT) for €138 million, further strengthening its position within the sports betting market.

Best Gaming Technology creates software for self-service betting terminals; machines in betting shops which allow players access to several betting and gaming functions.

The “all-cash” acquisition sees Playtech securing a 90% stake in the Vienna-based company that specializes in retail-based sports betting provisions, multi-channel odds feeds, and risk and liability management.

Under the announced deal, founder of BGT Dr. Armin Sageder is said to remain leader of the company for the next three years. Additionally, Playtech has been granted first right to securing the remaining 105 shares of the company, valued at €55 million.

Earlier this year, the iGaming software company said that it was pursuing a number of acquisitions as it looks to expand its technology offered to customers.

BGT currently provides software and provisions for approximately 24,000 betting machines, having its core markets in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Austria. Commentators of the industry have stated that the acquisition was carried out by Playtech governance in order to support its ongoing customer omni-channel demands; a key corporate initiative.

Confirming the new acquisition, Mor Weizer, Chief Executive of Playtech, commented: “We believe that the future of gaming is for retail operators to digitise their offering, creating an opportunity to extend beyond retail and into online including web and mobile.”

“This follows the same trends we see in other commercial sectors around the world with the modernisation and digitisation of betting shops not only improving the retail experience but also adding a whole new channel as it integrates into an online offering.”

EveryMatrix Ups Business, Securing 25 New Clients in 2016

EveryMatrix, independent leading industry platform and iGaming software provider, has disclosed that is has added a whopping 25 new clients to its services portfolio.

The company placed a high emphasis on product development and delivery, which leveraged its gains in new business. OddsMatrix, its sports betting product, has now got 23,000 monthly live events, in combination with more than 300 bet types.

Furthermore, with more than 3,000 games from over 40 leading casino game providers, EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine services one of the industry’s widest range of gaming content.

In the first half of 2016, EveryMatrix expanded its client portfolio, adding new European and Asian clients which include Anna Casino, Ekstra Bladet, Codeta, BetonFinance, and Sporting Indexing.

As the company expands its operations internationally, new client wins come with EveryMatrix introducing new partner management hubs in Malta, Denmark, and the Philippines.

Issuing an H1 statement for the company, EveryMatrix said: “As for our future evolution, EveryMatrix platform is under continuous improvement and our teams continue to supply better components and reliable integration systems for our clients. Among the highlights, we can include the Unified Back Office, which is a single point of contact for operators that want to manage all the gaming products from a single log on, and the Unified Front End components, that allow faster creation of gaming websites and serve customized gaming content.”

“EveryMatrix continues its pursuit to offer the best services and our technology developers and engineers work every day to better serve our clients, improve our products and keep our top position in the market.”

EveryMatrix will also be showcasing at Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year, SiGMA16. If you would like to come and see EveryMatrix along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Betway Announces 3-Year Partnerships with Bundesliga 2

Betway, leading global online gambling company, has announced that it has entered into a strategic three-year partnership with five Bundesliga 2 clubs.

The agreement will see the online bookmaker designated as the official betting partner for the five clubs; Union Berlin, St. Pauli, Karlsruher SC, Eintracht Braunschweig and Dynamo Dresden,ahead of the new season that kicks off in August.

As a part of the deal, Betway, the main sponsor of West Ham United and Premier League Darts, will receive in-stadium branding at all five clubs, in addition to hospitality tickets to all games.

Anthony Werkman, Director of Marketing and Operations at Betway, commented: “The Bundesliga is one of the most followed leagues in the world, and we’re delighted to have signed partnerships agreements with five clubs who boast significant heritage and history in both German and European football.

“Betway has always had football coursing through its veins, and we’ve been thrilled to be the official sponsor of West Ham United amid an historic period of success and growth for the club. We look forward to supporting the five Bundesliga 2 clubs as they embark on a new season, with the glory of promotion to the top tier on offer.”

Betway is managed by Betway Limited, a Maltese registered company, and provides entertainment across a number of brands including Betway Sportsbook, Betway Vegas, Betway Casino, Betway Bingo, and Betway Poker.

Tipico Launches Prepaid Deposit App in Germany

Tipico, international sports betting and casino games provider, has strengthened its service offering by launching a brand new prepaid payment application for customers in Germany.

With this prepaid app, sports bettors can top up their account easily via smartphone; the application is available for free download on both Android and iOS.

Prepaid cards will be made available in several shops across Germany. Tobacconists and tobacco shops, grocery stores, gas stations, and various other providers guarantee an area-wide service.

Furthermore, the Tipico Pay application always leads the customer to the nearest point of sale, on the shortest route available.

The app was developed in partnership with Funanga, provider of white label cash solution “Cash to Code”, which will be featured on the application itself.

After downloading the app, Tipico customers must simply select the amount they want to deposit, and a Cash to Code barcode will appear on the display, which is then used as a confirmation of their deposit when paying that amount in cash at a cooperating sales outlet.

Once the code is approved by the outlet, the player’s account with be credited accordingly and they will receive a notification from the app itself to confirm that the transaction has been successful. All transactions are secured by high-level encryption and the customer’s personalised account credentials.

Tipico is based at the Portomaso Business Tower in St Julian’s, Malta, and is regulated and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The company has branches in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Gibraltar and Colombia. Tipico.com, additionally, operates in Malta, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Tipico will also be one of the main exhibitors at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year. If you would like to come and see Tipico along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit this November, click here to register.

Bet365 Increases its Grip on Italy’s Online Sports Betting Market

According to new estimates released by the AGIMEG news agency, Bet365, online gambling operator, has tightened its grip on Italy’s regulated sports betting market.

In the month of May, Italy’s overall sports betting market took in wagers of €562.4million; 15% higher than the same month last year. Sports betting turnover totalled to €2.9billion for the year-to-date, up from €2.5billion in the first five months of 2015, with online wagering accounting for €1.6billion of 2016’s total.

In may, total online wagers were up nearly one third at €317.4million, of which Bet365 claimed just below €120million for a share of 37.1%; a 1.4 point improvement over its Q1 share. Bet365’s total was enough to make it the top overall betting operator, easily shadowing SNAI–Cogetech Group’s combined online/retail total of €80million.

With €32million, Gala Coral Group’s Eurobet brand ranked a distant second on the online chart, well ahead of SISAL’s third placement with €23.9million, while SNAI’s €21.5million edged out William Hill by a mere €200k.

SNAI-Cogetech Group was the retail betting leader with €58.4million, while Lottomatica placed second with €41.4million, with Eurobet not too far behind with €39.5million.

With wagers totalling €95.3million, the second highest total this year following January, May was a strong month for virtual betting products. Betting exchanges were only approved in 2014 in Italy, but despite the relatively small base, this year has shown strong growth. In May, exchange wagers totalled around €400k, but the year-to-date number is up by more than a third over the first five months of 2015.

Bet365 will also be showcasing at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year this November. If you would like to come and see Bet365 along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit, click here to register.

William Hill –England v Wales Betting Expects £35m Turnover

Due to an unfortunate late goal, England’s Euro 2016 might not have started as well as planned, but Wales enjoyed the exact kind of start that they had been hoping for.

In a game that is expected to attract around £35million worth of turnover for the betting industry, William Hill, a bookmaker based in the United Kingdom, has priced England at 4/7 to defeat Wales.

Joe Crilly, William Hill Spokesman, said: “£35million worth of turnover would far surpass the total takings on any match this season. Despite England being clear favourites to win this match we expect anything but a rarebit of Welsh cash as they back their boys to beat the old enemy.”

Russia’s late goal against England sparked a £5million swing for William Hill, as well as projected a £25million swing for the industry.

Crilly went on to say: “An England defeat would have been around a £3m loser for us yet ended up as a £2m winner. England’s failure to defeat Russia was perhaps the best result we have seen after the favourites have largely done the business for our punters.”

SBTech Awarded for Best In-Play Betting Software of 2016

SBTechOn June 1st, 2016, SBTech took home the award for best In-Play Betting Software from the prestigious EGR B2B Awards.

The Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts including former CEOs, board directors and founders of renowned betting brands, and recognise the companies which have stood out in an exceptionally competitive market in the last year.

SBTech was awarded for its commercial success and world-beating in-play betting product. The company’s in-play offering has enabled operators to expand their market reach, making it the number one in-play betting software package for revenue generation.

 

Richard-Carter“Over the past 12 months we have acquired numerous major operators, powering some of the most successful online gaming brands. The in-play betting element is the icing on the cake of our Sportsbook offering,” comments Richard Carter, CEO of SBTech. “We are delighted to be recognised as the best supplier of Sportsbetting software and services to the global online gaming market.”

 

SBTech will be present at SiGMA again this November. Register today and visit their stand at SiGMA16.

 

Chris Bonett

Dr Chris Bonett is a Maltese sports lawyer, currently serving as Vice President and Head of the Legal and Football Governance Department of the Malta Football Association.
Set up the Malta FA legal department in 2010, which department incorporates the player registration and TMS unit, the club licensing unit and the disciplinary unit.
Currently a member of the UEFA Control Ethics and Disciplinary Boday and a UEFA match delegate.
Regularly assists the Parliamentary Secretariat for Research and Innovation, Youth and Sport, and is in charge of the reform on the Commercialisation of Sports Facilities. Is also contributing on the drafting of the new National Sports Policy and represents the Government of Malta on the Council of Europe’s Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS).
A sports litigator, having successfully assisted numerous Maltese football clubs in front of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Court of Arbitration for Sport of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Specialised in the field of anti-maniupulation of sports competitions, he has obtained the degree of Master of Law in Sports Law at the De Montfort University of Leicester, United Kingdom, after authoring and defending a dissertation entitled ‘FIXing the Beautiful Game: A critical analysis on the legal, regulatory and investigative mechanisms to combat match-fixing in football’.
A member of the British Association for Sports and the Law (BASL) and lectures third-year Bachelor of Law degree students at the University of Malta in the study-unit entitled ‘International and EU Sports Law’.
Specialisations: Sports Employment Law, Media Rights and Intellectual Property, Sports Regulatory and Sports Integrity.

U.S. sports-betting market with a potential of $12.4bn

If the U.S. sports-betting market was fully-regulated, it would be the largest in the world.  According to a recent research conducted by Gambling Compliance, the American market has the potential to generate up to $12.4bn revenue, on a yearly basis. The sum would account for more than five times the mature sports betting market in the United Kingdom.

The authors of the study made an assumption, that US sports betting market is fully developed, which means the bets are allowed via land-based, as well as digital channels. Now, with an exception of Nevada, the business is illegal, so the projections of $12.4b merely stimulate the imagination.

According to Gambling Compliance, the American sports-betting market would account for $6.3bn per year additionally if bets were also allowed in another retail land-based outlets, besides casinos.

Assuming the U.S. law changes, the situation would look interesting also from iGaminig point of view. Online sports-betting is estimated to be worth $4.5bn alone, provided it’s allowed across all over the States.

The main obstacle that stands in the American sports-betting market’s way is the federal law imposed in 1992, namely the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act”.