Gambling Industry Review – October 2015
As October draws to a close, it’s time for us to review what’s been going on in the gambling industry this month. Below we have summarized some of the biggest news stories that have broken so far this month.
Unibet Completes Stan James Takeover
The month started with the news that another takeover in the industry had been completed, with Unibet taking control of Stan James’ online business. This was a deal agreed back in July, and believed to be worth around £19 million. It didn’t include Stan James’ chain of 90 bookmaking shops though, which will continue to operate under the existing brand.
Court Ruling Goes Against German Gambling Board
German gambling laws are currently very complicated, and recent attempts to reform them have been hit by a number of legal challenges. These challenges have mostly been based on suspicions that the the German gambling board (Glücksspielkollegium) was enforcing regulation that was not in line with the country’s constitution.
These suspicions were confirmed in early October, when the Bavarian Constitutional Court ruled the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG) was unconstitutional. The ISTG was passed in 2012, as Germany came under pressure from the European Union due to its state monopoly on betting. The result was that 20 companies were issued sports betting licenses, but it’s expected that those licenses will now be voided and further legislative reform will be required.
DraftKings Prepare for Entry to UK Market With NFL Deal
DraftKings, one of the two biggest daily fantasy sports sites in the United States, has been preparing an assault on the United Kingdom fantasy sports market for some time. The current plans are to launch fully in the region by the end of this year, and they’ve been making the first steps in their marketing campaign.
The site agreed to a deal with the NFL International Series in a move designed to attract UK fans of American football. They’ll be hosting events around Wembley stadium for each of the three games, and organizing other events around London too.
In addition, DraftKings will be advertising on Sky TV too.
Amaya Gaming Forced to Sack Four Senior Executives
A report issued by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) revealed that Amaya Gaming were told that they have to sack four members of their staff in order to obtain a license to operate a gambling site in New Jersey. The names of the individuals were not published, but it’s believed that they were part of the Rational Group executive team. The Rational Group was acquired by Amaya Gaming, and had previously operated in the United States in an unlicensed capacity.
According to the DGE, these individuals had “failed to establish the requisite good character, honesty and integrity” and therefore did not meet the necessary licensing requirements. Amaya were given until the end of January next year to terminate their employment.
UK Gambling Commission Launches Online Poker Review
The UK Gambling Commission announced that it would be undertaking a review of online poker, to specifically investigate the use of third party software and, in particular, the use of bots. The investigation is aimed at cleaning up the collusion and cheating that takes place in the online game, and the commission stated that they would be liaising closely with licensed operators.
PokerStars Introduces New Casino Products in Europe
PokerStars continued the expansion of their online casino offerings, with the introduction of several new products.
- Slots were introduced in Spain
- Live casinos was introduced in Italy
- Video poker was introduced in the UK and other EU markets.
UK Bookmakers Told to Pay Increased Horse Racing Levy
Bookmakers in the United Kingdom were given a stark warning from Jockey Club Racecourse and Arena Racing company. These two organizations, which operate around half the horse racing venues in the UK, have long believed that the bookmakers should pay additional levies to reflect the online aspects of their business. They have now told the relevant companies that commercial agreements, such as race meeting sponsorships, will not be renewed unless this happens.
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