888 Sports' shares take a dive & Bet Victor beefs up their security

By Martin Green02 October 2018
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888 Sports' shares take a dive & Bet Victor beefs up their security

Shares in 888 Group fell 8% after the operator reported a sharp revenue decline in its core UK market. Britain accounts for almost a third of 888’s sales, and revenue in that market dropped 18% in the six months to 30 June, 2018. That sent the share price plummeting, despite an otherwise healthy picture. Total sales rose 1% to $273 million, while it recorded a $60.1 million profit. That contrasts with a $17 million loss in the same period in 2017, and it is now making inroads into the US market in order to generate further growth. “We have maintained strong momentum in 888 Casino and 888 Sport, particularly in continental European markets,” said chief executive Itai Frieberger. “In the UK, we are pleased to report that since the period end we have started to see positive trends in revenue.” Read the Financial Times for more on this.

Bet Victor has launched a new two-factor authentication system in an effort to protect all new and existing customer accounts. The operator was hit by a data breach in the summer, in the middle of the World Cup, causing reputational damage. It has now stepped up its security in order to fend off hackers. The in-house-developed multi-factor authentication is designed to safeguard against compromised account details and significantly reduce the risk of a customer becoming the victim of fraud or identification theft. “Online crime and internet fraud are on the rise and businesses with an online presence are targets,” said chief technology officer Jonathan De La Rosa. “Thus, it’s crucial for our company to have effective security systems in place to mitigate the risk of security breaches. A large number of cyber-attacks are password related and integrating multi-factor authentication on our platforms, demonstrates our continued efforts to safeguard our customers’ data.”

The Swedish Gambling Authority has reported that operators’ revenue after payment of winnings rose to SEK 11.2 billion in the first half of 2018. That is an increase of 1.5% on the same period in 2017. Operators with Swedish permits reported gross gaming revenue of SEK 8.2 billion, down 1.9%, while operators without Swedish permits reported gross gaming revenue of SEK 3 billion, up 12.5%. Read the organisation’s website for more.

Ireland’s regulators have ruled that loot boxes on video games do not represent a form of gambling. The debate is raging across the world, with Belgium and Australia labelling them a form of wagering, but Ireland has joined France and New Zealand in deciding they do not constitute gambling. A video game player can purchase a loot box that will give them a competitive edge over their rivals, but because the players do not what they contain they have been classified by some as gambling. David Stanton of the Irish Department of Justice said it “does not have a role to regulate game developers on how their games work nor, in the offering of in-game purchases”. Read IGN for more.

The Georgian government is working on a bill that will limit the advertising of gambling. It seeks to prohibit betting ads online, on TV and on the radio unless they are part of a sponsorship. The government also plans to prevent citizens from betting on sites that are not licensed to operate in Georgia. “We very much hope that we will

have a very serious result, as the task that we face at this stage is to reduce the number of people playing on foreign sites,” said member of parliament Levan Gogichaishvili. Read the Georgia Today for more.