Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green14 July 2019
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Bookmaker News of the Week

Ladbrokes and Coral have started offering starting prices only on multiples covering Frankie Dettori’s rides. The popular Italian jockey hammered the bookies by riding four consecutive winners at Royal Ascot last month. Now they are all running scared of him running riot at big meetings. Ladbrokes and Coral would not let anyone take a price when betting on his mounts at Newmarket on Friday and at Sandown on Eclipse day in order to keep potential losses down. “Frankie Dettori has six rides at Newmarket with the acca coming in at around 20,000-1 and we are continuing to see a real upsurge in small-stakes multiples on his mounts following his Royal Ascot heroics, and a high-profile treble featuring Enable on Saturday,” said Ladbrokes Coral PR director Simon Clare. “With such large cumulative odds, Ladbrokes Coral are looking at tens of millions of pounds worth of liabilities on Dettori and we have to take steps to manage that level of exposure.” He added that it is a “unique phenomenon” limited to Dettori, although ITV presented Mark Chapman branded the decision “absolutely pathetic”.

The Swedish Gambling Authority has fined a number of leading bookmakers for offering bets on football fixtures involving under-18s. The Scandinavian nation forbids wagering on sports on which the majority of players are under the age of 18. Bet365, Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC, Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment, Sky Bet owner Stars Group, Bethard, Gaming Innovation Group Casinostugan and Polar were fined a total of €3.9 million. Bet365 received the highest fine as it offered bets on the widest range of fixtures featuring children.

Paddy Power has paid 85 workers a total of almost €100,000 in compensation after they were denied rest breaks that they were legally entitled to. Trade union Mandate took the cases to the Workplace Relations Committee and it was successful. Robert McNamara, a divisional organiser at Mandate, said: “Our members are delighted to see this process end with compensation of between €700 and €1,000 per member for the denial of their rest breaks. Hopefully Paddy Power and all companies will ensure their workers get their basic entitlements in the future.”

Betfred is expanding into Spain after securing DGOJ licences to operate sports betting and casino services. It is not yet known whether it will use the Betfred name or launch a new brand specific to the Spanish market, but it has confirmed that it will be powered by technology from Seville-based Optima. “This is an exciting opportunity for Betfred and the Spanish licence is part of our on-going expansion strategy, said group chief operating officer Mark Stebbings. “There is clearly a real passion for sport especially football in Spain and we share that passion here at Betfred. We believe we bring the necessary expertise but also heritage and trust in this expanding market.”

An investigation in The Sunday Times has accused British bookmakers and English football clubs of fuelling underage gambling in Kenya. A reporter claims to have entered a British company’s betting shops in “the Nairobi slums” and witnessed children as young as 14 “gambling freely”, in breach of Kenyan law. Former sports minister Tracey Crouch said: “It is reminiscent of the way that tobacco companies are seeking new markets among young people in Africa.” The article also lays into Premier League football clubs for promoting betting. Arsenal sent former centre-back Sol Campbell to Nairobi for children’s coaching sessions with Kenyan operator SportPesa, its African commercial partner.