Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green05 May 2019
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Paddy Power Betfair has reported that like for like revenue grew 17% in the first quarter of 2019 thanks to strong online gaming growth. Australia and the US, where it owns FanDuel, were its strongest performing regions, and online gaming revenue surged 31% to make up for a slight dip in online sports revenue. “Q1 was a good quarter for the Group with revenues up 17%, notwithstanding customer friendly sports results in the UK,” said chief executive Peter Jackson. “Underlying momentum remains good for Paddy Power with 22% growth in average daily actives. For Betfair, we continue to make good progress on the technology development work to enhance our global customer propositions, which will enable us to accelerate international growth. Trading in April has been in line with our expectations. In the US, FanDuel remains well positioned to generate good returns on on-going sports betting investment and for rest of the group we remain on track to meet our full year profit expectations despite the adverse sports results in Q1.”

The chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC risks another clash with shareholders after he was awarded £19.1 million in pay for 2018. Kenny Alexander’s decision to sell £13.7 million worth of stock caused the group’s share price to decrease by 18% in March. He later admitted he never would have done it if he had known what a furore it would create. Alexander received £16.4 million from share awards that vested in 2018, plus £2.7 million in salary and annual bonus. His basic salary increased 13% to £858,000. “Kenny’s remuneration was largely driven by the vesting of the final tranches of awards under the 2015 LTIP, which were made when GVC successfully completed the transformational acquisition of bwin.party entertainment,” said the group in a statement. “The value of these awards reflect the significant value created for GVC shareholders and represents c85% of Mr Alexander’s package. These awards are now fully vested.”

Stockholm-based sportsbook provider Kambi will power William Hill’s new product in the re-regulated Swedish market. Hills snapped up Mr Green in a €270 million deal in January to boost its presence in international markets and it is now poised to return to Sweden. “Work is well underway to align the Kambi Sportsbook with William Hill’s product requirements with an initial product launch expected to take place imminently,” a corporate update from Kambi revealed. Kambi has provided white label solutions for Mr Green since 2016.

Betfred has signed a deal to extend its sponsorship of snooker’s World Championship until at least 2021. The firm first sponsored the event at the Crucible in 2009 and the tournament has since gone from strength to strength, with World Snooker claiming that 500 million people watch the action unfold. “At Betfred we absolutely love sponsoring the World Snooker Championship,” said founder Fred Done. “It’s a fabulous event which receives massive exposure around the world. And the Crucible is a very special place. We look forward to working with World Snooker for years to come.”

The UK gambling industry has fallen short of the £10 million in donations it is supposed to give to charity GambleAware. Firms are asked to give up 0.1% of their gambling revenues, but the charity only took £9.6 million in donations in 2018/19. “These companies are making billions and yet are refusing to contribute even 0.1% to support research, education and treatment of gambling harms,” said Tom Watson MP, deputy leader of the opposition Labour party. “The pittance contributed by some firms, and the complete absence of others from this list, is frankly an insult to the voluntary system. We urgently need reform.”