Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC increased its full-year earnings guidance after reporting a rise in over the counter trading at its retail estate. The firm previously said full-year earnings would be between £650 million and £670 million, but it has now increased that to £670 million to £680 million. Revenues took a hit after the government enforced a maximum stake of £2 per spin on virtual roulette machines, down from the previous limit of £100. That was damaging to the firm’s retail business, but a knock-on effect has been a 7% increase in over-the-counter wagering. Retail revenue fell 18% during Q3 2019, which was ahead of initial guidance. “I am delighted that the group’s financial performance has allowed us to upgrade our full-year EBITDA expectations again,” said chief executive Kenneth Alexander. “Online momentum remains strong across all major territories, with NGR up 12 per cent in the quarter despite the prior period containing part of the world cup. This performance continues to be driven by our industry-leading technology, products, brands, marketing capability, and people.”
Flutter Entertainment’s proposed takeover of Canadian firm Stars Group has hit a potential snag due to competition concerns. Paddy Power Betfair rebranded as Flutter earlier this year and it has now decided to purchase Sky Bet owner Stars Group, which would form the world’s largest online gambling company. Yet that could see it run afoul of the UK Competition Commission, as it might become too dominant in the UK online sector. Paddy Power and Betfair are huge businesses, and Sky Bet is also massive, so they would capture a large part of the market as a group, with more than 13 million customer accounts. Analysts as Cannacord said the most logical decision would be to sell Paddy Power. It would be a tough decision, as Paddy Power bought Betfair in the first place and it is still Flutter’s flagship brand, while the firm is based in Dublin. Chief executive Peter Jackson said at the time the merger was announced: “We are very respectful of the competition authorities. We know they need to do their analysis.”
Salford Red Devils fans Gary Smeaton and Kris Shenton were left fuming after William Hill refused to pay them £23,400 they thought they had won. The duo stuck in £50 each for a £100 double on Salford finishing in the top five of the Super League table and Jackson Hastings winning the Man of Steel award. The former was priced at 8/1 and Hastings was 25/1, so the £100 bet should have yielded winnings of £23,400. However, Hills ruled that the bet should never have been accepted in the first place, as one bet coming in meant that the other was more likely to follow. “William Hill have now said they regard our bet as two £50 bets and are prepared to pay out £1,700 to each of us,” said Smeaton. I am not settling for that. I will take it all the way. The chief executive of William Hill has refused to speak to me. Kris and I were so elated at the weekend. Now we are so annoyed after coming down with a massive thud on Monday. I went back to the branch where I placed the bet and the person who wrote it out for me said he ‘must have been half asleep’ when he did it.”
Bet365 has stopped accepting Skrill and Neteller as payment methods due to issues with people abusing bonuses, according to EGR. The payment methods were turned off over the weekend, although will remain active in certain markets. Elsewhere, Bet365’s .it site has been added to the Swiss gambling regulator’s blacklist of unlicensed operators. Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission added 17 sites to the blacklist, including Anogame.com, Anoguess.com, Africabet.co.zw, Bahigo207.com, Balkanbet.rs, Betaland.it, Betflag.it, Betlive.com, Betlima117.com, Betolimp.com, Betonline.ag, Betrebels.com, Betspawn.com, Lopoca.com, Sportsbetting.ag and Topsport.com.au.