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Shares plummet as Chancellor Hammond accepts FOBTs limit

George Miller

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Shares plummet as Chancellor Hammond accepts FOBTs limit
Photo credits: Bloomberg
Reading Time: 1 minute

Shares in the UK’s biggest bookmakers tumbled on Tuesday after reports that Chancellor Philip Hammond had accepted the need for a £2 maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

In March, the UK Gambling Commission published recommendations to support the government with its review of FOBTs, including limiting stakes on slot games to £2 and non-slot games to £30.
The recommendation got mixed reviews, while some were calling for tougher action, others and especially some campaign groups were backing this recommendation to lower the top stakes.

According to the Times, Chancellor Hammond postponed the signing off on the limits due to the impact it could have on the gambling taxes keeping in mind just how much the government profits from these activities.

But the Times also noted that the Treasury signalled that a deal is near, with the Chancellor thus having an agreement with Matt Hancock Culture Secretary.

The deal could include increased levies on other forms of gambling to complement for the lost funds from FOBT taxes, concluded the Times baesd on a source from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

An official announcement is to be after the local elections according to the Times. The news hit the UK gambling community, as major opeators saw a stinging drop on their share prices.

Shares in William Hill were down as much as 14% today and Paddy Power Betfair down 4%, while GVC, which owns Ladbrokes Coral, also saw shares drop 7% this morning.
GVC’s takeover offer for Ladbrokes Coral, which went through last month, was dependent on FOBT stakes in the UK market.
The deal included Ladbrokes Coral shareholders receiving 32.7p per share and 0.141 new GVC shares, with a further contingent entitlement of up to 42.8p depending on the government ruling on FOBT stakes.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Kindred ties up with Itsme in Belgium

Niji Ng

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Photo credits: www.kbcbrussels.be
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Kindred Group, the Malta-based gambling operator, has signed an agreement with Itsme, a free mobile identification application created by Belgium-based consortium of banks and mobile network providers called Belgian Mobile ID, for its Belgian customers.

Kindred has become the first online gambling operator in Belgium to use the digital identification solution, used and supported by the Belgian government.

Itsme allows users to identify themselves via a unique five-digit numerical code or fingerprint.

Verifying and validating user identities is complex and time consuming. Itsme will make it faster, easier and more secure.

Dennis Mariën, country manager for Kindred in Belgium, explained the collaboration: “We are delighted to be the first operator to start working with Itsme. Kindred values the best possible protection of its customers and strives to offer a safe and responsible gambling platform. The integration of tools such as the Itsme app, which ensures reliable, correct and user-friendly identification of the customer, is a crucial part of this journey. Moreover, a comprehensive identification process will also help in the fight against fraud.”

Source: intergameonline.com

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Sports betting records growth in Kenya

Niji Ng

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Photo credits: www.kenyatravelguide.co.ke
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African betting markets continue to thrive, with Kenya registering the highest growth mainly because of its rising sports betting revenues and introduction of new technologies.

GeoPoll conducted a survey recently and found out that at least 54 per cent of the youth (aged 17–35) in Sub-Saharan Africa has tried some form of gambling. The study also revealed that younger gamblers are more inclined to sports betting, especially using smartphone apps.

Kenya registered the highest number of gambling or betting participants in the past at 76 per cent.  Uganda comes second with 57 per cent.

Ghana sits on the other end with the lowest number of young bettors at 42 per cent. In addition, while the rest of the countries studied has a bet frequency of once a month, Kenyans gamble once a week, especially in football matches over the weekends.

According to GeoPoll, most Kenyans use mobile phones to bet, with 75 per cent of all wagers made through smartphones. South Africa has the lowest usage of the mobile for gambling at 48 per cent despite having the highest rate of mobile penetration in the continent.

Source: focusgn.com

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Monzo offers option to block gambling transaction.

Niji Ng

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Photo credits: Bitcoin Exchange Guide.com
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Monzo, a UK-based bank that offers only mobile-based banking services, has come up with a unique service for those who want to self-exclude from all gambling activities. A soon-to-be-introduced feature in the bank’s app will allow the users to to block all gambling transactions from their Monzo accounts.

At present, Monzo’s policies about problem gambling include identifying certain behavioral patterns, initiating a “sensitive, tactful conversation” with the customer and then leading them to the direction of the GamCare charity, which provides free software to block customers’ access to gambling sites.

The new blocking functionality to its mobile app will come into effect “in the next few weeks.”

The feature will be included in the app’s settings, which, if switched on, will prevent the use of customers’ Monzo accounts from being used for gambling purposes, be it online or land-based.

Monzo said its new feature will rely on identifying merchant category codes, and the company will “do our best to block any payments you try to make” to merchants whose codes indicate a gambling connection.

Should a customer decide to disable the feature, Monzo will require them to “chat with customer support first.” Should the customer still wish to disable the feature following this chat, Monzo will impose a 48-hour time-out before the customer can make the switch on their mobile device.

Monzo calls these steps “positive friction” intended to ensure customers do not “impulsively” disable the self-exclusion, but do so only after they have had the chance to “understand the implications and make a considered decision.”

Monzo recognises that the feature “isn’t a perfect or catch-all solution” but the company pledged to tinker with the tech following its release in the hope of helping customers avoid financial problems related to gambling, rather than closing the barn door after the cows have bolted.

Monzo is also considering allowing customers to set a “30-day rolling gambling limit” that would prevent gamblers from exceeding their spending, requiring a “trusted friend” to authorise gambling transactions, lowering limits on cash withdrawals and other payments, and setting aside money for bills in a “protected” zone that ensures customers cannot blow the rent or car payment on gambling.

Last year, the GambleAware charity issued a report that claimed the industry’s retail self-exclusion scheme was performing well, but investigative media poked a few holes in that claim. In March, Paddy Power Betfair rolled out a new electronic self-exclusion system, replacing its retail paper-based system.

Online gambling accounted for 96 per cent of self-exclusions in a recent UK market study and the UK Gambling Commission has been spanking numerous UK operators for failures in their individual self-exclusion programmes.

 

Source: calvinayre.com

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