Bet365 cemented its status as the world’s most popular gambling site after enjoying strong growth in May. The Stoke-based firm had 173,473,539 users during the month, up from 157,670,345 in April. That left it comfortably ahead of rivals like Caliente.mx in the global rankings, compiled by SEMrush and Yogonet. In the UK, Bet365 led the traffic ranking with 24,695,278 users. Sky Bet was second with 18,783,002, followed by William Hill with 15,078,635. Betfair was the fourth most popular site among British punters, with Betway a distant fifth. Bet365 was hugely popular in Brazil, where it has 68,882,939 users. Sportingbet, the second most popular site, had just 6,194,715 users.
Betway has become the first major bookmaker to stop accepting bets on football transfers after referring to it as a “grey area”. It follows a couple of high-profile scandals involving Premier League footballers. Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was hit with a lengthy ban from football after being found guilty of providing his brother with inside information about a transfer. The bets were refused, but the Football Association said he would have made £317,006 from them. Elsewhere, former Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier has been charged with misconduct in relation to betting breaches. The England star is alleged to have made details of his transfer to Atletico Madrid known to friends last year. Betway’s head of corporate communication, Alan Alger, said: “The FA have strict rules on betting, and we feel that offering odds on players to move to specific clubs highlights a grey area which has caused issues in the past. It is best removed as an option.”
Ladbrokes will reopen all 138 of its Irish betting shops on Monday after receiving the green light from the government. It opened for business two weeks ago, but shut its doors again the following day after realising it was not actually permitted to start welcoming customers yet. Now they have been given the go-ahead to start trading once more on June 29. The stores have been equipped with barriers between bet stations and screens to stop people spreading germs. Ladbrokes Ireland Director Jackie Murphy said: “We are delighted to be re-opening our doors from Monday and safely welcoming back our customers. The team here at Ladbrokes Ireland have worked tirelessly to ensure we could re-open and deliver the safest possible environment for both our staff and customers and I am confident we have achieved that.”
888 Sport has some tempting bonus offers on Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final clashes. The first game sees Sheff Utd take on Arsenal at Brammal Lane and 888 Sport is offering boosted odds of 16/1 on the Blades or 14/1 on Mikel Arteta’s side. You can wager a maximum of £5 on either team. Offers of this nature normally limit your stake to £1, so that looks like a tempting promotion. You must deposit £10 into a new account to qualify for the offer. Alternatively, you can find 14/1 on Leicester or 15/1 on Chelsea for their clash at the King Power Stadium. Finally, 888 Sport is offering 125/1 on Newcastle or 6/1 on Man City in the final game of the day. If you go for a £5 bet on Newcastle and the Magpies pull off an upset, you would earn £625 in free bets.
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has accused the UK government and the gambling watchdog of “totally failing problem gamblers”. It said the government needs to be more proactive in decreasing harm rather than simply spending money on treating people that already have a gambling problem, while accusing the Gambling Commission of working at a glacial pace. ““What has emerged in evidence is a picture of a torpid, toothless regulator that doesn’t seem terribly interested in either the harms it exists to reduce or the means it might use to achieve that,” said Meg Hillier MP, chair of the committee. Tory MP James Wild, who sits on the committee, added: “The regulator is not at the races – it works at a glacial pace, has no targets to reduce levels of harm, and is behind the curve on online gaming.”