Sports betting news of the week

By Martin Green03 February 2019
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Bet365 has tied up a multiyear deal with Inspired Entertainment to continue receiving virtual sports for its 35 million customers to bet on. The Bet365 site currently includes virtual horse racing, tennis, motor racing, trotting, cycling, darts and cricket games from Inspired, with two upgrades – Rush Horses Sprints 2 and Rush Dogs 2 – slated for the spring. Inspired will deliver further new content in 2019 after signing the deal. Simon Betteley of Bet365 said: “Innovation and technology are the lifeblood of our business and Inspired has always impressed us with their ultra-realistic and engaging games. Our customers have enjoyed the 'virtual sports experience and we are excited to introduce additional channels and new products in 2019.”

Paddy Power Betfair has snapped up a controlling stake in Adjarabet, the market leading online betting site in Georgia. The eastern European nation is a high growth market for sports betting, having enjoyed a compound rate rise of 40% between 2016 and 2018, and Paddy Power Betfair’s shares climbed 3% as a result of the news. “This bolt-on acquisition is in line with our strategy of establishing podium positions in attractive online markets,” said Peter Jackson, Paddy Power’s chief executive. “Adjarabet’s leading brand presence and strong management team has established it as the clear number 1 in the fast-growing, regulated online Georgian market.” The deal was valued at £101 million. In 2018, Adjarbet’s revenue stood at £64 million and earnings earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £20 million. Paddy Power Betfair bought 51% of the business and it has an option to purchase the remaining 49% of the company after three years at a valuation of seven times its EBITDA.

William Hill has completed a deal with Eldorado Resorts that cements the companies’ 25-year partnership. Eldorado has invested £38.1 million in William Hill and taken a 20% stake in its US business, while William Hill is the exclusive sports betting technology partner for all Eldorado’s casinos and it will have first refusal on online skins on those land-based casinos’ licenses. “Extending our long-term relationship with William Hill partners Eldorado with the world’s leading provider of in-casino, mobile and online sports wagering to launch sports wagering across our current platform of 26 properties at such time as legislation is enacted and regulatory approvals are obtained,” said Eldorado chief executive Tom Reeg.

Ladbrokes Coral has reported that lots of punters are backing a no deal Brexit and it has cut the price from 3/1 to 5/2 as a result. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29 and if a deal with the bloc cannot be agreed by then it would mean a no deal Brexit, unless an extension to the deadline is permitted. Theresa May thrashed out a deal with the EU, but it was totally rejected in parliament and she is now scrabbling to win concessions from the bloc in order to appease rebel MPs. Matt Shaddick, head of politics betting at Ladbrokes Coral, told SBC: “The chances of the UK leaving with No Deal on 29 March have increased, according to Ladbrokes punters at any rate. The 3/1 was well backed from the moment the Cooper Amendment was voted down, and that’s now a 5/2 shot.” Elsewhere, Ladbrokes has bolstered its footprint in Belgium by launching an affiliate programme with Income Access.

Betway has denied claims that the Belgian Gaming Commission has sanctioned it over licensing issues. “We have not received any communication from the BGC that this is the case Betway is regulated in multiple jurisdictions, and it fully discloses all required information to the relevant regulatory authorities in all of these jurisdictions,” it said.

The UK Gambling Commission has warned the industry over gagging orders after reports of consumers being paid substantial sums of money in return for agreeing not to talk to the regulator. Read the full guidance here.