Paddy Power Betfair Merging with FanDuel for US Operations

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 25 May 2018 3:15 pm

Paddy Power Betfair and FanDuel are merging their US operations, creating a US-facing gaming entity with a focus on sports betting. It’s the first major UK/US gaming merger to emerge from the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to leave the future of American sports betting in the hands of American States.

Details of the deal have not yet been released but it does appear to be a slightly different deal than the rumored purchase of FanDuel by Paddy Power Betfair that emerged late last week. What is known, however, is that this deal will only involve Paddy Power Betfair’s US-facing operations.

While the deal is being described as a “merger” today, it sounds more like a purchase. Under the current arrangement, Paddy Power Betfair will control 61 percent of the company from day one. From there, it will have the option to enlarge its stake to 80 percent after three years and 100 percent after five years. Paddy Power Betfair also retains the privilege of naming the company’s CEO and other executives.

As one might expect, the current executives from both companies were over the moon regarding the new deal with Peter Jackson, Chief Executive, Paddy Power Betfair saying in a press release:

We are excited to add FanDuel to the Group’s portfolio of leading sports brands. This combination creates the industry’s largest online business in the US, with a large sports-focused customer base and an extensive nationwide footprint. The Group has leading sports betting operating capabilities globally and strong operations on the ground in the US. Together with our substantial financial firepower, we believe we are now exceptionally well placed to target the prospective US sport betting opportunity.

For FanDuel, the deal offers a new lease on life and an opportunity to turn a profit for the first time in its history.

The new entity’s first project will likely be a sports betting operation based out of Paddy Power Betfair’s New Jersey horse racing operation. From there, the company is likely to expand further into the emerging US sports betting market.

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MP Wilkie Likes FOBT Stake Limits for Aussie Gamblers

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 23 May 2018 3:14 pm

When UK lawmakers made good on their promises to regulate the maximum wager on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) last week, they set forth a precedent that Australian MP Andrew Wilkie would like to follow. Earlier this week, the anti-gambling MP advocated the institution of severe stake limits on Aussie FOBTs, aka Pokies.

Wilkie’s move, however, would actually go a bit further than what his UK counterparts introduced. He’d like to see the maximum stake on an FOBT wager limited to a mere $ 1 AUD ($ .85 USD). That’s exactly half of the £2 ($ 2.69 USD) maximum that’s going to be implemented on UK operators this October.

While FOBT stake minimums are already impacting UK gambling operators in the form of falling stock prices, the story could play out a bit differently in Australia. After all, in Australia many FOBTs are owned by small business owners. As we’ve learned from the battle between digital lottery operators and the Australian news agents, small business owners have a fair amount of pull in Australia.

Regardless, Wilkie is dead set on pursuing the stake limits saying:

The Federal Government has it within its power to legislate for $ 1 maximum bets, as well as other harm minimisation measures like mandatory pre-commitment,. Unfortunately, the Government has shown itself to be thoroughly uninterested when it comes to reining in poker machines. And no wonder, when you look at the enormous donations both major parties receive from the gambling industry.

Not surprisingly, Wilkie got plenty of support from fellow anti-gambling advocate Tom Costello, who compared the Australian government’s willingness to protect pokie operators to the American government’s willingness to protect gun manufacturers.

So far, Wilkie hasn’t offered up any legislation to support his stance and industry watchers should expect a real fight if FOBT stake limits are introduced to the Australian market.

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Operators Fret After UK Regulators Approve FOBT Stake Limit

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 21 May 2018 3:16 pm

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have long been the source of controversy in the UK and, late last week, UK gaming regulators made the decision to move the maximum stake at FOBTs from £100 to a mere £2. To say that this decision will have a major impact on the UK and UK-facing gaming industry is something of an understatement.

The new rules on FOBT maximum wagers are set to go into effect sometime this fall, but impact from the decision was felt by UK operators almost immediately. On Thursday, stocks in William Hill dropped more than six percent while shares in GVC Holdings dropped by four percent.

Operators across the spectrum have long said that reducing the maximum wager on FOBTs to £2 has the potential to cost thousands of gaming industry jobs. Betfred’s managing director Mark Stebbings told the BBC that the decision was a purely and that, “This decision will result in unintended consequences including direct and indirect job losses, empty shops on the High Street, and a massive funding hit for the horseracing industry.” (The UK horse racing industry does receive a subsidy from taxes generated by FOBTs.

Supporters of the new limits, such as Tom Watson, the shadow culture secretary, pointed out that FOBTs and their ability to create frenzied gambling addicts are an issue that should have been addressed long ago saying, “The great tragedy of this is [that] for five years now pretty much everyone in Westminster, Whitehall and in the country has known that these machines have had a very detrimental effect in communities up and down the land.”

While it’s still not known how severe the impact from this decision will be, it’s certain that the UK gaming industry will definitely be taking a hit when the new regulations go into effect.

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Aussie Regulators Fine Neds for ‘Inducing Gambling’

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 19 May 2018 3:14 pm

It’s been clear for some time that Australian lawmakers and regulators are coming down hard on the online gambling industry and the case of Neds, an online bookmaker, really drives that point home.

Earlier this week, the operators of plead guilty to five counts of offering New South Wales residents inducements to gamble or open betting accounts. The court accepted their plea and threw down a sentence that included an $ 18,000 fine.

The ads in question ran afoul Australia’s beefed up laws regulating everything from when gambling operators can advertise their services to how they can promote bonus offers. In this case, Neds ran afoul of the law by offering bonuses of $ 505 along with “bet boosts” to add value to specific wagers.

All of the ads that got Neds into trouble ran during the period of October-December 2017. As our colleagues at point out, Neds has only been in business since September of 2017.

What’s particularly noteworthy about this case is that the charges were laid against specific members of the Neds executive team. This sort of personal accountability is a hallmark of Australia’s beefed up laws governing gambling operators and it’s exactly the message that Liquor & Gaming NSW deputy secretary Paul Newson wants to send to the gaming business.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Newson explained the rationale behind the prosecution saying:

Under the new laws, maximum fines for offering unlawful inducements to gamble have been increased tenfold, and directors of wagering businesses can be held personally liable and be criminally convicted for gaming offences. It will no longer be good enough for directors to turn a blind eye and say they were unaware their company had committed offences.

In short, Australian gaming regulators are very serious about enforcing their new laws and operators who run afoul of them may find themselves in very hot water.

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Paddy Power Betfair Looking at Possible FanDuel Acquisition

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 17 May 2018 3:14 pm

Officials from Paddy Power Betfair are in negotiations to possibly acquire the US daily fantasy sports site FanDuel. It’s the first major, potential, acquisition of a US sports wagering firm since the US Supreme Court green-lighted regulated sports betting at the state level earlier this week. And, in the eyes of gaming industry watchers, it’s not likely to be the last.

Word of Paddy Power Betfair’s interest in FanDuel was announced on Wednesday and appears to be in its very early stages. In a statement released on its website, Paddy Power Betfair officials confirmed rumors, but cautioned readers against getting ahead of themselves saying:

Paddy Power Betfair plc notes the media speculation, and confirms it is in discussions, regarding a potential combination of the Group’s US business and FanDuel to create a combined business to target the prospective US sports betting market. Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction.

Now that sports betting is no longer illegal in the United States, it’s likely that a number of European and UK operators will be trawling America, looking for sports betting expertise. While FanDuel is not, ostensibly, a sports betting firm it is packed with employees who are very familiar with the US sports betting landscape. In all likelihood, that’s what Paddy Power Betfair is actually looking to purchase.

The Supreme Court’s decision this week to put the decision regarding sports betting in the hands of the states has been good news for gaming industry stock prices, including UK firms such as Paddy Power Betfair. Their stock shot up an incredible 12.2 percent on news of the decision on Monday and picked up another six percent on Wednesday.

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US Supreme Court OK’s Sports Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 15 May 2018 3:17 pm

In a 6-3 decision, the US Supreme Court has overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and opened the gates for regulated sports betting in the United States. The ruling also puts aside decades of wrong-headed, puritanical thought that pushed a huge sector of the gaming industry into the arms of the black market.

At its core, Murphy vs. National College Athletic Association (NCAA) was all about states’ rights, specifically the right to offer regulated sports betting. Under the terms of PASPA, states were forbidden from offering sports betting in any form that wasn’t legal in 1992. That’s why Nevada casinos have sportsbooks and Atlantic City casinos don’t.

Back in 2007, New Jersey voters decided to challenge that ruling in an attempt to breathe life into the struggling casinos in Atlantic City. In legal terms, New Jersey’s case wasn’t a blanket attempt to legalize sports betting, but rather an attempt to let the states decide for themselves.

In the majority ruling, the Supreme Court Justices said that PASPA was not valid because it imposed a legal burden on the States that Congress had not approved. That is to say, Congress has never ruled that sports betting is illegal. What PASPA did was freeze the gaming industry in place, without allowing states the opportunity to change their positions on regulated sports betting.

For the Supreme Court, that was enough. Speaking for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

News of the Supreme Court’s decision was greeted enthusiastically by the gaming industry with American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman saying, “Through smart, efficient regulation this new market will protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for states, sporting bodies, broadcasters and many others.”

So what’s next for sports betting in America? We’ll take a look at the issues surrounding the roll out of regulated sports betting in the United States tomorrow.

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Kentucky Derby Wagering Sets New Record

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 13 May 2018 3:15 pm

On any given year the Kentucky Derby draws gamblers out of the woodwork as casual punters try their luck at wagering while partying at Derby celebrations across the country. This year, however, those once-a-year bettors took their wagering to new heights as Churchill Downs reported record wagering on the 144-year-old event.

According to published reports, the handle on this year’s Kentucky Derby hit $ 225.7 million (USD). That’s up 8 percent over last year’s race day total.

For the day, wagering was also up 8 percent over 2017. Churchill Downs’ satellite Twin Spires reported wagers totaling $ 39.2 million for all the day’s events. That a leap of more than 15 percent over last year’s total.

Online bettors drover a huge leap in wagering on the Kentucky Derby’s marquee event. Wagers on the big race were up 18 percent over last with players dropping a cool $ 24.6 million over the course of the day.

All that cash is expected to add $ 11-$ 13 million of additional revenue to TwinSpires’ bottom line.

As rain fell on the hallowed track at Churchill Downs, rain also fell on a few sports books and race tracks that were visited by a few very lucky, or very smart, punters.

At the Wynn Las Vegas, one very sharp player cashed in for $ 150,000 on a $ 200 futures wager on the day’s winner, Justify. According to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal, an unnamed sharp called bookmakers early in the week looking to wager on Justify at 250-1. Because Justify had not raced as a two-year-old, the bookmaker made a very generous offer of 300-1. While that cost the casino a few bucks, it netted the mystery bettor a cool $ 150,000 on a $ 250 wager.

As Kentucky Derby parties become more popular across the United States, casino affiliates can count on Derby Day as a good day for converting new players.

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New Jersey Spent $8.5 Million Fighting Sports Betting Ban

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 11 May 2018 3:15 pm

When the citizens of New Jersey approved a measure allowing sports betting in Atlantic City casinos, if sports betting were actually legalized, they knew they were in for a fight. Now, nearly eight years later, the bill for that fight is coming in and it’s clocking in at around $ 8.5 million in legal fees.

State officials, however, are betting that legalized sports betting will bring in much more than $ 8.5 million to the struggling casinos of Atlantic City. According to a recent report on The Press of Atlantic City, regulated sports betting is expected to generate more than $ 173 million in new revenue while creating more than 3,633. Those are extremely ambitious numbers, but they’re backed up by a report from Oxford Economics.

Of course not everyone is convinced that regulated sports betting is the answer to all that ails the boardwalk casinos of Atlantic City. David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas recently pointed out that sports betting is only a two percent drop in the bucket of Nevada’s total gaming revenue.

While Schwartz is correct about the relatively small role sports betting plays in Nevada, he doesn’t mention the potential of regional competitors who would also be offering sports betting in their casinos. Pennsylvania, which is one of the largest casino markets in the country, would almost certainly offer sports betting in its thriving casinos. That would steal a lot of thunder of Atlantic City.

All these arguments are, for the moment, theoretical. The US Supreme Court has yet to issue a decision on whether or not it’s willing to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which would allow New Jersey and other states to offer sports betting. That decision is expected to come any day now and, when it does, it’s likely that that $ 8.5 million will seem like money well spent.

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Lottoland Readies for Bruising Legal Fight

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 9 May 2018 3:14 pm

In the Land Down Under, the battle between synthetic lottery operator Lottoland and the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) is, once again, heating up. Over the past week, Lottoland has threatened to take its fight to Australia’s highest courts, while also accusing its arch-rival of seriously over representing its numbers. Here’s where the fight stands this week.

Early last week, Lottoland dropped a bombshell allegation against the ALNA, claiming that it didn’t represent nearly as many small businesses as it claims. According to Lottoland, which backed its claims with information from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the ALNA has only about 700 members. In its battle to save small businesses from the ravages of online lotteries, the ALNA has long claimed to be representing more than 4,000 members.

In an interview with Gaming Intelligence, Lottoland Australia chief executive Luke Brill explained the importance of this alleged deception saying:

We’re shocked and disappointed to find out that a body that the Government believes has over 4,000 newsagents nationally as members has in fact only 707 paid members – about 80 per cent less than claimed. This raises major questions about the true intent of ALNA and whether it has misled not just the Government and others MPs, but whether it has also misled the public.

In Brill’s view, the ALNA is simply a small group that’s hellbent on preserving a lucrative monopoly and doesn’t mind fudging the facts in that effort.

For his part, Brill expressed his group’s willingness to fight to the bitter end, no matter what it takes. In this case, however, that bitter end will likely be Australia’s equivalent of the Supreme Court, the High Tribunal…which means this case will likely drag on for quite some time.

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Ransomware’s Favorite Target is the Online Gambling Industry

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 7 May 2018 3:14 pm

The online gambling industry ranks number one in a category that no business wants anything to do with, ransomware attacks. According to a recent study by NTT Security, roughly 20 percent of all ransomware attacks are aimed at online gambling sites.

Ransomware is the practice of criminals taking over a website and, literally, holding it hostage until the site owner pays up a ransom for the return of his or her site. Most ransomware hackers demand a relatively small amount of ransom in the hopes that most site owners will decide paying up is the most economical technique for getting their sites back, rather than going to the authorities.

The report found the online gambling industry was targeted more than any other industry and that these attacks comprise a full 20 percent of all ransomware attacks. That’s really saying something, given the fact that ransomware attacks were up 350 percent in 2017.

One reason that hackers like to target online gambling sites is that many of them, especially sportsbooks, work in a time sensitive environment. That is to say, if they attack a sports betting site on the even of a big sporting event like the Super Bowl, the victim is more likely to just pay the ransom, usually in bitcoin, and get their site operational.

Geographically speaking, the kinds of criminals who run these scams target their attacks in regions where online gambling sites are both legal and plentiful. That means that sites in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are their favorite targets. Sites in these regions account for a full 35 percent of all ransomware attacks.

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