Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green02 June 2019
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Bookmaker News of the Week

GVC Holdings chief executive Kenneth Alexander has agreed to take a £150,000 per year pay cut in a bid to appease angry shareholders. The firm, which owns Ladbrokes, Coral, Bwin and Sportingbet, saw its share price plummet after Alexander sold off significant holdings earlier this year. He has also drawn a backlash over a remuneration package of £19.1 million this year. The firm is facing a shareholders’ revolt and Alexander has agreed to reduce his basic salary from £950,000 to £800,000 in an effort to nip it in the bud. “After consulting with GVC’s chairman and remuneration committee chair, GVC’s chief executive officer has volunteered to reduce his annual salary from £950,000 to £800,000,” the company said. “This offer was made in light of recent shareholder and proxy adviser feedback on GVC’s 2018 remuneration report and on our remuneration committee chair. This change will take effect from 1 June 2019.” Yet Alexander’s basic salary accounts for just a small proportion of his remuneration and some industry insiders are still tipping a revolt to take place.

William Hill has held talks with America’s largest casino operator, Caesars Entertainment, about a £6 billion merger. The revelation made front-page news on The Sunday Times, which provided details about a mooted cash-and-shares deal that was discussed last year. Caesars is said to have initiated the talks as it sought a digital business to complement its land-based might. William Hill has a thriving US business and a strong presence in Nevada. It could do with the safety net provided by a larger parent company in a rapidly consolidating gaming market, and Caesars would be a sensible choice. The firm is now in discussions about taking over Eldorado Resorts, which owns 20% of William Hill’s American business, so the two could yet join forces in future.

Paddy Power Betfair is now known as Flutter Entertainment after completing a rebrand. The firm owns FanDuel in the US and Adjarabet in Georgia and it wanted a new name to reflect the diversity within the group. It now trades under the ticker symbol FLTR on the FTSE. “Flutter is a key participant in the global sports betting and gaming market, with a strong product and brand portfolio and over six million customers worldwide,” said chief executive Peter Jackson. “We think our new name better reflects the diversity of the group and supports our future growth strategy. We’d like to thank our shareholders for approving the change.” Ninety-nine per cent of shareholders agreed to the name change. In the early days of exchange betting, Betfair took over rival Flutter, and it has now gone full circle.

Betway has renewed its deal to be the principle shirt sponsor of Premier League team West Ham Utd. The online bookmaker has been the Hammers’ main partner since 2015 and it has now signed the largest deal in the club’s history to continue that agreement until 2025. “After working together successfully for four years, this is a new, long-term, record-breaking commercial deal for the club, which shows the faith that Betway has in West Ham United and our iconic global identity which has seen us recognised as one of the world’s biggest football brands,” said West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady. Betway cief executive Anthony Werkmann added: “Our partnership with West Ham United has been a huge success over the past four years and we are proud to be extending it by another six. They are a club with one of the most passionate fan bases in the game, who we have built up a strong relationship with by giving them some unforgettable experiences and memories.”