Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green01 May 2018
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The Guardian has attacked the gambling industry for using AI to keep punters hooked, arguing that technology outpaces legislation. It has apparently found a former industry insider, called Asif, who says: “The industry is using AI to profile customers and predict their behaviour in frightening new ways. Every click is scrutinised in order to optimise profit, not to enhance a user’s experience.” Read the report here.

The Jockey Club, which runs the UK’s biggest horseracing tracks, festivals, races and betting events, including Cheltenham and the Grand National, announced record revenues for 2017. Revenues jumped 5.2%, while it also enjoyed record operating profits before prize money of £44.8 million. “Looking ahead, we are increasing prize money further in 2018 and we are continuing to invest in the experience we offer to customers and participants,” said chief executive Simon Bazalgette. The press release is on the organisation’s website.

Sky Sports is preparing to launch a dedicated racing channel that will allow punters to take in a wealth of racing action from the comfort of their armchairs. Read all about it at Sky Sports News.

Bitcoin suffered a difficult start to 2018, but its value has been creeping north for the past few weeks and it could soon return to its 2017 highs. Many Bitcoin-only bookmakers have opened in the past year and other big names accept cryptocurrency, so it has become a valuable tool in a bettors’ arsenal. Its volatility is an issue, as a sudden drop in value can eat into your margins, but that is becoming less of an issue as the market stabilises. However, multibillionaire investor Warren Buffet has warned that buying Bitcoin represents gambling, not investing, as per Forbes.

Business Matters has an engaging feature on how the blockchain technology used by Bitcoin and altcoins is transforming online gambling as we know it. Read it here.

Nevada’s gambling revenue topped $1 billion for the third consecutive month, while Macau enjoyed a 28% spike in April. Read all about it at Business Insider and the Financial Times.

The British government has been accused of nanny-stateism for pushing through new regulations on advertising for online casinos, meaning they are no longer allowed to promote free spins. Read an angry pensioner lay into the policymakers here.

Stockholm-listed online bookmaker Mr Green enjoyed a 38% increase in revenue to SEK381 million (€36.4 million) for the first quarter of 2018. It marks the sixth consecutive quarter in which the company has exceeded a 20 per cent year-on-year revenue growth rate. Its financial update is available on its website.