Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green25 August 2019
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Bookmaker News of the Week

The embattled chief executive at Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC has purchased £5 million worth of shares in the company. Kenny Alexander said the move “demonstrates my conviction that GVC’s strategy and long-term outlook will provide shareholders with strong returns”. Alexander and chairman Lee Feldman caused the firm’s share price to plummet when they sold a combined £20 million worth of stocks earlier this year. It came just after Alexander said the firm was under-priced. He has also been mired in controversy over GVC’s Turkish business to his partner in a stud farm. Shareholders have rebelled over pay and bonuses to executives and he had to apologise to US gaming regulators earlier this year. He is now hoping to draw a line under the controversies. “I am confident in the regulatory outlook in Germany and the UK, and in the group’s opportunity to take a leading position in the US market,” said Alexander. “I remain totally committed to GVC for the long-term.”

William Hill will not be able to sponsor the ring for Anthony Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia. The bookmaker’s branding was all over the ring as Joshua slumped to a shock defeat at the hands of Ruiz in New York earlier this year. However, gambling is illegal in Saudi Arabia and the firm will be barred from plastering the ring with its branding for the rematch in December. The rematch will take place at 9pm UK time, which is after the watershed, so William Hill can advertise in TV breaks and it will be able to promote the fight. Joshua is an ambassador for the bookmaker and they will use him at press conferences in an effort to whip up pre-match betting interest.

Betfair has tied up a three-year deal with Conmebol to become the official betting partner of South American club football competitions. The exchange and sportsbook opertator will sponsor the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, receiving branding inside the grounds and broadcasting airtime. “These two prestigious tournaments have provided so many memorable moments in world football throughout the ages and we are very proud to be supporting the action for the next three years,” said Betfair brand director Stephen Mault.

Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit has fined Unibet €470,000 for targeting punters in the Netherlands. The site was not licensed to serve the Dutch market, but it included a Dutch chat service and Dutch online payment service Ideal while offering them sports betting and online casino games. Holland Casino is the only state-regulated operator, but international firms regularly flout the law. Earlier this year, the Dutch senate voted to open up the online market to other bookmakers, but the Kansspelautoriteit is clamping down on any companies targeting its citizens right now. Unibet owner Kindred Group said: “Kindred respects any requests from the Dutch regulator and is fully compliant with the rules set out by the Ministry of Justice and Security earlier this year. Kindred remains committed to having a constructive dialogue with the regulator and other stakeholders.”

Bet365 has finally expanded into the US market by soft launching its sports betting and casino sites in New Jersey. The Stoke-headquartered firm set up an office in Marlton, New Jersey, earlier this year and it has a deal with Hard Rock Atlantic City to run online betting on its licence. It has finally been able to launch in time for the start of the new NFL season, and it will be fascinating to see if it can challenge the duopoly of FanDuel and DraftKings in the Garden State.