Bet365 held onto its position as the world’s most popular gambling site in July, according to data from SEMrush and Yogonet. The Stoke-based firm had 213.4 million visitors to its Bet365.com platform during the month, while a further 51.4 million visited Bet365.es. That left Bet365 well ahead of Caliente.mx as the world’s most popular gambling site. In the UK, Bet365 also finished top of the pile with 33 million visitors. Sky Bet was in second, followed by Betfair and then William Hill, according to the SEMrush data. Bettors that previously visited Ladbrokes and Coral via Oddschecker have switched to Bet365 and William Hill after Ladbrokes Coral left the platform, according to data from the Oddschecker app. Bet365 was also the market leader in the Brazilian market.
Manchester-based firm Betfred has made a bid worth around £40 million to buy beleaguered South African racing operator Phumelela. The operator has sketched out a rescue plan after the Covid-19 pandemic pushed it closer to going bust. It involves the sale of certain assets and operations to Mary Oppenheimer Daughters (MOD), an organisation run by the family of the late industrialist Harry Oppenheimer. However, Betfred has now thrown a spanner in the works by launching a rival bid to take on Phumelela. Its bid would preserve all Phumelela’s business units and retain all staff, while it will also provide a loan to ensure all creditors are paid in full. The MOD proposal would only take on certain parts of the business and just 72% of debts would be repaid. Betfred ran the Tote from 2011 to 2019 before selling it to Alizeti Capital. “In the face of a challenging global and domestic economic environment, the offer represents a vote of confidence in the South African economy and a direct response to President Ramaphosa’s drive to boost the South African economy by securing USD$100 billion in foreign investment by 2023,” Betfred said.
The Nevada Commission Gaming Commission has given London-listed William Hill the green light to buy CG Technologies. The deal will see William Hill take over six established properties on the Las Vegas Strip: Venetian, Palazzo, Tropicana, Cosmopolitan, Palms and Silverton. That will allow Hills to double down on its status as the market leading sportsbook operator in Nevada. The firm already runs sportsbooks at Circus Circus, Casino Royale, and Sahara. It will also take control of another 11 Silver State sportsbooks following the merger between Caesars Entertainment and Edorado Resorts, which has an active partnership with William Hill. Joe Asher, chief executive at William Hill US, assured the Nevada Gaming Control Board that all existing sportsbooks will transition to William Hill’s online offer seamlessly without any need for consumers to adapt to anything. The company pledged to hire between 80 to 100 former CG employees. Hills runs sports betting operations in New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado, while it has licences for New Mexico and Mississippi and provides the sportsbook risk management for lotteries in Delaware and Rhode Island.
Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment announced that first-half profits crashed due to costs associated with its takeover of The Stars Group. It racked up £200 million in costs in order to get the deal done, and that sparked a 70% profit decrease. Revenue increased 49% to £1.52 billion, up from £1.02 billion in the first half of 2019. Net debt soared from £356 million a year ago to £2.9 billion due to the takeover of The Stars Group, which owns Sky Bet, Fox Bet and Poker Stars. The cancellation of major sporting events “materially impacted” Flutter’s sports and retail businesses, according to the firm, but it is upbeat about its future prospects. “The first half of 2020 has been defined by the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic,” said chief executive Peter Jackson. “For Flutter, my primary concern has been to keep our colleagues and customers safe. I am proud of the support we have been able to provide to our employees during this challenging time and the additional safer gambling measures we have put in place to enhance player protection. The pandemic has been a highly unusual backdrop for completion of our combination with The Stars Group and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues across the enlarged Group for their hard work, commitment and resilience as we have combined to form one team.”