William Hill recorded a pre-tax loss of £819.6 million in the first half of 2018 as its retail operations took a battering. The bookmaker reported a £93.1 million profit during the same period in 2017, and it blamed the vast swing on UK Government plans to reduce the minimum stake on virtual roulette wheels from £100 to £2. The results were hit by £915.9 million in exceptional charges and adjustments, of which £882.8 million was linked to the “unprecedented” regulatory change. But chief executive Peter Bowcock added: “During the first half, our online business continued to deliver double-digit growth. “In the US, we have moved quickly following the repeal of PASPA as we grow into newly regulating states. We will continue to invest in the US to ensure we are well-placed to capture the substantial potential available to us.” He also pledged to take a renewed approach to reducing the harm caused by gambling. “We have set ourselves the ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling and set out a detailed programme of actions as we start out on this journey,” he said. William Hill’s results for the 26 weeks to June 27 are available on its website.
A punter has scooped a cool £100,000 payout after landing a 15-fold snooker accumulator with Ladbrokes. The male customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, won £100,124.82 after placing the wager late on Sunday. Twelve of his 15 selections were odds-on, with Jamie Jones at evens, Fergal O’Brien at 11/8 and Jak Jones at 8/5 his longest picks. It just shows how lucrative combining several odds-on selections into one bet can be. Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “This is the biggest snooker accumulator win we’ve ever seen placed on a BetStation. Predicting the wins of 15 games has sent our traders snooker loopy, but we can only applaud this gentleman’s belief.” Read the company’s site for more on this.
Bet365 has tied up deals to sponsor 10 different teams in La Liga. It now sponsors exactly half of all the teams competing in Spain’s top flight after securing deals with Athletic, Betis, Celta, Eibar, Espanyol, Getafe, Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid and Villarreal this week. It caused Spanish outlet El Economista to declare that Bet365 is “colonising La Liga”.
A new bookmaker that allows eSports fans to bet on their favourite games using cryptocurrency has gained a licence in the Isle of Man. The crypto-based platform is called Luckbox, operated by Real Time Games Holdings, and it counts eSports commentator Paul “Redeye” Chaloner as an advisor. It will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Online Gambling Regulation Act and will operate under its regulations. Luckbox chief Lars Lien said: “This is a significant milestone for our project. As well as building an industry-leading product, having a top-tier licence is what sets us apart. Having received the OGRA licence, built our development team and now being confident with our infrastructure partners, I am confident we will deliver an amazing product early next year that will be very hard to copy.” Read more on the company’s blog.
Paddy Power has paid out on Celtic winning the 2018/19 Scottish Premier League title after just one game. Brendan Rodgers’ men beat Livingston 3-1, opening up a two-point lead over rivals Rangers and Aberdeen, who drew 1-1. Rangers’ new boss Steven Gerrard was disappointed as his team conceded a stoppage time equaliser, and
Paddy Power declared the title race over. A spokesman for the bookmaker said: “One game into the Scottish league season and Steven Gerrard has already slipped up. On the face of it, a draw with Aberdeen isn’t a bad result, and we're sure Stevie G will emphasise the positives of that display, but we do also think the title race is done. It’s only one game into the season, but Celtic’s lead already looks unassailable.” Read Sport Bible for more on this.