Bookmaker news of the week

By Martin Green21 January 2019
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Irish Horse Racing

Ladbrokes and Coral are poised to extend their best odds guaranteed offer on UK and Irish horse races to all over the counter bets from this week. It follows the government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2, which is expected to put a huge dent in the chains’ retail businesses. In order to give their empires a boost, they are rolling out the best odds promotion across the estate, backed by a full marketing campaign. Ladbrokes Coral PR director Simon Clare said: “This is the biggest racing offer ever to hit the high street, and is a clear signal of our intent as we face up to a new era for betting shops from April 1. There is no question that a seismic change in our betting shop business is going to occur when the FOBT stake restrictions come into force, but we are now taking pre-emptive action with the launch of this significant betting shop offer, which will boost our horseracing business and also our betting shop footfall as we prepare for the challenge ahead.”

Bet365 has obtained details of punter Megan McCann’s account from Skrill as it prepares for a court battle with her. Skrill is a popular e-wallet used by bettors to deposit money with online gambling sites, and The Guardian said it is “concerning” to see it hand over McCann’s details to Bet365 without contesting the application. “We were entitled to comply with the order,” said Skrill in a statement. Under the Skrill privacy policy which all customers agree to, we can disclose customer personal information to third parties in certain limited circumstances, including in response to a subpoena, warrant, court order, or as otherwise required to by law.” McCann is suing Bet365 over a £25,000 wager she placed on four races in Britain in June 2016. Bet365 accepted the bet and the winnings came to just over £975,000, but it has refused to pay her or return the initial £25,000 stake, because it claims that the stake was provided by a “third party” in contravention of its terms and conditions.

Bet Victor has launched a nationwide search for its next horseracing correspondent, urging anyone looking for a career change to “take a gamble” on the new role. The successful applicant will need to attend regular race meetings and record live interviews on course, adopt hospitality responsibilities at major race meetings and feature regularly on Bet Victor’s social media channels, becoming a well-known face of the brand, among other tasks. Applicants must be 18 and over and need to submit a two-and-a-half-minute video application, explaining why they should lead the brand’s racing coverage.

William Hill could be a takeover target after a sharp fall in the London-listed bookmaker’s value over the past year. Broker Berenberg said it was ripe for a takeover, adding: “2018 was an intense year for William Hill, with the UK digital business still struggling to gain back market share due to the implementation of new regulatory measures, a monster write-off of the UK retail network, the acquisition of Mr Green and several initiatives undertaken to address the nascent US sports betting market.” Meanwhile, William Hill has restructured its governance and executive framework and appointed Robin Terrell as the new chair of its Audit & Risk Management Committee.

Paddy Power and Betfair have tied up a deal with Scientific Games to use its open gaming system, giving them content aggregation and access to more than 2,000 casino games. Dylan Slaney, senior vice president for gaming at Scientific Games Digital, said: “They are an established operator with a sizeable offering and the decision to integrate OGS for its key regulated markets is further endorsement of the scalability and quality of our gaming product portfolio.”