Bookmaker News of the Week

By Bookmakers Review12 June 2018
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Shareholders at Ladbrokes and Coral owner GVC have revolted over executive pay and forced director Peter Isola to step down. At the firm’s AGM in Gibraltar, 44% of shareholders voted against the firm’s remuneration report for 2017 and 42.6% opposed the re-election of Isola as a director. It follows anger at chief executive Kenneth Alexander receiving £45 million in share options and non-executive chairman Lee Feldman receiving £22.5 million since 2016, based on a remuneration scheme linked to the firm’s share price. GVC became the UK’s second biggest gambling operator after purchasing Ladbrokes Coral, behind only Paddy Power Betfair. It will join the FTSE 100 index of the UK’s biggest companies on Monday next week. Read more about the shareholder revolt at The Guardian.

William Hill has pledged to accept single bets with a minimum of a £10,000 liability on all 90-minute markets at this summer’s World Cup. The guarantee applies to all punters, including those that might have previously been hit with restrictions, and it is likely to appeal to high rollers. “We aspire to be the bookmaker of choice for the World Cup and we hope this commitment will encourage customers to choose William Hill for the tournaments duration,” said trading director Terry Pattinson. Check out William Hill’s World Cup match betting options here.

Paddy Power has been forced to issue an apology over a controversial World Cup ad that saw England fans spray paint a Russian polar bear with a St George’s Cross. It is the latest in a long line of controversial marketing stunts from the Irish bookmaker, and it drew widespread condemnation from animal rights activists. Yet they say that all publicity is good publicity, and Paddy Power’s apology was not quite what it seemed. After revealing that the stunt was a collaboration with the NGO Polar Bears International, and the supposed cross was faked, in an effort to draw attention to the plight of the animals in Russia, Paddy Power’s head of major brand activation Paul Mallon said: “So, by all means, accuse us of bad puns, being offensive, or being morally bankrupt. We don’t mind offending Gant-wearing, snooty agency types. We are sorry that you were upset by the image. We need more snowflakes like you guys in the world – albeit in the Russian Arctic rather than on Twitter.” Read more at Campaign Live.

Gambling is legal once again in the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, after the regional court ruled that a ban did not comply with the country’s law. “The wishes of 136,000 Bratislavans as well as all opponents of gambling in our city have been trampled,” said the city’s outraged mayor, vowing to take the matter to the Supreme Court. Read more at The Slovak Spectator.

New Jersey is about to follow in the footsteps of Delaware by becoming the second US state to roll out legal sports betting following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a federal ban. ESPN has more on this. UK betting giants are doing their utmost to carve out a share of this potentially lucrative market, and the likes of William Bill are busy tying up deals behind the scenes. The BBC has an engaging feature on the machinations behind this.