Bookmaker News of the Week

By Martin Green22 September 2019
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William Hill has launched an advertising campaign designed to highlight the energy, excitement and sociability of gambling. The campaign is called “It’s who you play with” and aims to show that “a bet isn’t just a bet” but also a social tool that helps punters keep in touch with friends. Matt Firth, creative director at 72andSunny Amsterdam, which created the campaign, said: “Working with William Hill felt like an opportunity for a really fresh take on the betting category. We wanted to get away from all the tired lads and larger stereotypes to create something that felt more relatable and showcased the best of betting. For us, that meant showing how a bet can bring people together, fuel conversation and create real moments of connection.”

Unibet has become the new sponsor of NHL franchise New Jersey Devils as it bids to ramp up its presence in the USA. It is the first time it has tied up a deal with an American team. Hall of Famer and former Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will become a Unibet brand ambassador as part of the multi-year deal. Unibet will in-arena and digital ads at the Devils Prudential Center stadium, and it will be able to offer special entertainment and hospitality experiences during match days. Unibet head of US marketing Arnas Janickas said: “We are incredibly excited over our partnership with New Jersey’s beloved Devils, and especially over welcoming goaltending legend Martin Brodeur to our team. Together with the Devils and Prudential Center, Unibet players will enjoy a greater entertainment and hospitality experience, and now with our newly launched Sportsbook in New Jersey we anticipate a long and successful partnership with the Devils.”

Unibet owner Kindred Group is ramping up its responsible gambling strategy by displaying unique messages on the shirts of the teams it sponsors. Earlier this month, Rangers players wore “32Red: Stay in Control” on their shirts in a game against Celtic, and it will now roll the strategy out across the English teams it sponsors: Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Derby County and Preston North End. “Gambling companies and the wider industry have an important role to play in tackling problem gambling,” said general manager Neil Banbury. “To remove the industry from the public’s eye would be irresponsible. Instead, there is a fantastic opportunity for football club sponsors to do so much more.”

Betfred could be subject to a legal claim after its automated payroll system failed to correctly pay staff that had worked overtime ahead of a holiday period. A whistle blower told the Guardian that the bookmaker had failed to inform staff that they might be owed money even after it discovered the widespread payment issue. “I don’t know one person in there who doesn’t do overtime. Everyone does it because they don’t have enough staff,” said the whistle blower. It’s disgusting that as workers on 10p or 20p more than the minimum wage we’ve put off taking holidays or are forced to work extra hours before a holiday to make up for the shortfall of wages that shouldn’t even be happening.” A Betfred spokesperson blamed the error on problems with its outsourced payroll system. “We are currently working with both our advisers and our external payroll providers to develop a robust and accurate system that will automate the calculation of holiday pay based on an employee’s ‘normal remuneration’ in line with government guidelines,” it said.

Bet365 is offering odds of 14/1 on Man City remaining unbeaten for the rest of the season following their surprise defeat at the hands of Norwich last weekend. The Premier League champions had 22 shots on goal, but still ended up losing 3-2, and their defensive crisis then deepened when John Stones was injured. They are now 1/33 to lose at least one more game this season, and 14/1 to go unbeaten for the rest of the campaign. They made a great start by thrashing Watford 8-0 on Saturday. Man City lost four times last season, and twice during the previous campaign.