Bookmaker news of the week: Sky Bet gaffe creates frenzy

By Martin Green03 December 2018
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Sky Bet took a hit this weekend as the popular football betting site crashed just as the big 3 p.m. Premiership games were about to kick off. Every game saw a goal by the 20-minute mark, resulting in a frenzy of in-play bets as Sky Bet struggled to fix the problem with its site. Much mirth ensued among punters on social media, with helpful fans offering such sage advice as: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Operators in Spain enjoyed a 30% rise in revenue in the third quarter of the year as GGR hit €181.7 million. The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego reported that more than half of that revenue came from sports wagering, while the rest was down to casino, poker and bingo. The monthly average number of active users on Spanish gaming sites climbed 31% to 812,007, and the average amount of new registrations fell 2% to 232,012 users.

The UK Gambling Commission fined three online casino companies a total of £14 million for failing have effective safeguards in place to prevent money laundering and protect vulnerable gamblers. Daub Alderney is to pay £7.1 million, Casumo must pay £5.85 million and Videoslots was fined £1 million, while CZ Holdings was forced to surrender its licence to operate in the UK.

“I hope today’s announcement will make all online casino operators sit up and pay attention, as our investigations found that a large number of operators and their senior management were not meeting their obligations,” said Neil McArthur, the chief executive of the Gambling Commission. “We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”

The UKGC has also reported that teenage gambling is on the rise, having gone from 12% in 2017 to 14% this year.

Bet365 has teamed up with Realistic Games to launch in the Danish market. “We’re delighted to be entering the market in tandem with Realistic and are excited by the opportunities that it presents us both,” said a spokesman for Bet365. “Their games are proven performers around the world and we’re anticipating that they will be well-received in Denmark too.”

Betfair is the latest sportsbook to offer a minimum win guarantee on all horse races in the UK and Ireland. It had already offered the guarantee on all Class 1 and Class 2 races, but it has extended the initiative to cover every single race. Kevin Harrington, Betfair's managing director, said: “In guaranteeing to lay any horse to £500 every morning, we hope it will also become the destination for any customer who has been stake factored elsewhere. Racing is in our DNA and we have huge confidence in our compilers, reflected in the wide-ranging nature of this initiative.”

Kindred has been given the green light to expand into Sweden as market is re-regulated by the Lotteriinspektionen. Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred, said: “Today is a historic day for Kindred. We have been pushing for a modern and sustainable gambling market in Sweden from the very start of Unibet in 1997, in which the focus is on consumer protection and harm minimisation. I am extremely proud and delighted that we have finally reached this point and look forward to a new and better future for Kindred, for local sport and for those who enjoy gambling in Sweden.”