Bookmaker news of week: overhaul at 888 Sport

By Bookmakers Review24 October 2018
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Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC reported strong third quarter financial results after receiving a great boost from the World Cup. Revenue climbed 14% in Q3, driven by rapid growth in its online betting arm. Land-based revenue at its 3,500 betting shops was down 2%, but online net gaming revenue skyrocketed by 28%. Meanwhile, its European retail arm, NRG, recorded 24% growth. “The group’s performance in the quarter was very pleasing, with momentum continuing across the online and European retail divisions,” said chief executive Kenny Alexander. “The industry continues to evolve and, while there are challenges, there are also many exciting opportunities. Through our proprietary technology, portfolio of brands, leading product and talent, GVC is well placed to continue to deliver shareholder value.” Check out The Telegraph for more.

New Sky Bet chief executive Ian Proctor says the gaming industry must better deploy technology to eradicate problem gambling. In his first interview since taking the top job, he admitted that “the gambling sector is not the flavour of the month”. He said responsible gambling is important to him and claimed the industry has not done itself any favours in the past. “A few years ago, everybody who worked in the industry would have considered that it was up to the customer as an adult to make choices. That was the mantra. The shift has been to an almost paternalistic model where there is a moral obligation to think about affordability. This is not just about problem gambling. It goes further than that, because people can develop problems over time. We don’t want people to spend beyond their means. Working in an online business, the access that we have to customers’ data can help us understand people’s spending patterns. We have got this rich information about customers and that’s the starting point for all of this.” Read more at The Yorkshire Post.

888 has overhauled its casino offering in a bid to win over more players. 888 Sport is thriving, but it is original an online casino operator and that remains the largest chunk of its business. It has redesigned its site, upgraded its technology, enhanced its live casino function and brought in hundreds of new games “888casino is the pioneer in online gaming technology and the latest version of our website is smart, sophisticated and exciting,” said Guy Cohen, senior vice president at 888 B2C. “It ensures that we deliver a well-oiled and flawless experience for our players.” Read the press release here.

William Hill has sold 82 pitches at UK racecourses after deciding its rails operation did not make commercial sense. It now has 41 betting shops at racecourses, so it decided to cash in on the pitches, tying up a £2 million deal with Sid Hooper. “Our focus now is to provide on-course customers with a full retail experience on the racecourse, so it makes sense to move away from our rails operation,” said trading director Terry Pattinson. The Racing Post has more on this.

An Austrian gambling addict has earned a €2.5 million compensation package from Novomatic after a court decided he was “partially incapacitated” through his addiction, which rendered his bets invalid. That could prove to be a landmark case in the country, and NDTV has more on this.