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Online gambling is the runaway winner of this World Cup

Niji Ng

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Online gambling is the runaway winner of this World Cup
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Online gambling has profited most from the pulsating action in the football World Cup in Russia, especially from the fine showing of the young and unfancied England team.

The London Times has reported that the brits could end up betting for about 2.5 billion pounds ($3.31 billion) when the World Cup concludes. It represents a 50 per cent hike from the figure of the previous tournament held in Brazil. The trend points to a possible rise in the number of problem gamblers too. Curbing advertising, without cracking down on betting platforms, seems to be the best way to control problem gamblers without troubling the responsible bettors.

The spread of technology and decades of fairly permissive regulation, with betting shops a common sight on British streets since the 1960s, have laid the groundwork. The UK’s online gambling market is the biggest in Europe, with gross revenues of $5.7 billion, according to consultancy GBGC. Markets like France are catching up, but keep the sector on a much tighter leash.

Yet advertising and marketing really keep the wheels turning. The tens of millions of UK viewers tuning in for a World Cup match regularly come face-to-face with a celebrity cheerfully promoting online bets, somewhere in between the teams’ national anthems and the start of play. It’s hard to reconcile the glossy scenes of groups of friends laying down victorious bets between swigs of beer with reality.

The ads are the logical conclusion of a deregulation drive that began a decade ago, and which led to ads so in-your-face that some politicians and the Church of England have called for further restrictions. Sponsorship deals between clubs and betting brands have soared.

Rules and standards are belatedly being tightened, notably around the tone and seductive financial promotions of some ads. But the ubiquity of ads and aggressive messaging remain unchanged. Betting websites’ impressive double-digit operating margins alone should make clear who the real winners are.

Industry bodies have in the past argued that opposition to ads is emotional rather than evidence-based. Dr. Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University’s gaming research unit, found otherwise. According to his research, normalisation of sports betting could hurt vulnerable sections of society: Some 70 per cent of children have seen gambling ads on social media, according to the Gambling Commission; and problem gamblers mention advertising as a trigger.

A direct crackdown on online gambling is probably more paternalistic than UK society would support; it would also just fuel a black market. But consumers would benefit from a nudge in the right direction. Advertising and awareness campaigns about the risks of gambling could balance the scales a little better. A proposal from Bournemouth University’s Raian Ali suggests re-routing the data harvested by gambling platforms back to the consumer, so gamblers can see the full record of their activity and money spent (and lost).

These measures would make a great deal of sense. But future regulatory efforts should still target the marketing machine of an increasingly volume-driven and commoditised betting market. A reduction or ban in betting ads would no doubt help with gambling addiction. But, as with alcohol and cigarette advertising, where heavy restrictions now apply in the UK, firms are unlikely to hold back voluntarily. Betting on less exposure could pay out for society over the long run.

 

Source: bloomberg.com

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Gambling in the USA

Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill

Niji Ng

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Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill
Photo Source: ingingitinmotown.com - Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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World’s leading betting company William Hill and the Las Vegas-based National Hockey League (NHL) franchisee Golden Knights have signed a multiyear partnership. The deal will include in-arena signage and updated league-wide odds displayed on the video board during intermissions at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This partnership is the first of its kind in North America between a bookmaker and an NHL franchise.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments of our fan base and provide a unique fan experience,” Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz said in a release announcing the deal. “This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”

The partnership between sports franchises and bookmakers could be the first of many as more states elect to offer legal sports betting. The NBA recently completed a deal with MGM Resorts, making the company the “official gaming partner of the NBA.”

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights,” William Hill CEO Joe Asher said in the release. “William Hill is the leader in the U.S sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country.”

Asher said at a recent gaming conference that the U.S. branch of William Hill has been fielding frequent requests from sports franchises asking about partnerships.

The NHL, along with other major U.S. professional leagues, has been an ardent opponent of sports betting, with commissioner Gary Bettman often expressing concerns about how legalised betting would impact the atmosphere in the arenas.

 

Source: ESPN

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Russia arrests over 100 people for running illegal casinos

Niji Ng

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Russia arrests over 100 people for running illegal casinos
Photo Credit: RIA Novosti
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The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (SKR), together with the K Department of the FSB and the police, has busted a casino ring that has been engaged in illegal gambling business in Moscow.

“Investigators came to the conclusion that since May 2016 members of this group have been operating casinos outside the specialised gambling zones and used the signs of legal bookmaker office Panorama, which operates under the brands Green Bet, UnionBet and WinLin.”

The police stopped the activity of 15 gaming clubs and casinos, and also conducted more than 80 searches in offices. More than 100 people were arrested, of which 47 are already planned to be charged and imprisoned.

The criminal group had a strict conspiracy, where ordinary members did not know the leaders. The communication was carried out via modern IP telephony and messengers. The roles of the members within the group were clearly distributed, there was a strict hierarchy. Police has also arrested the leader of the criminal community.

According to RBC, the illegal gambling network generated hundreds of millions of rubles every month. Leaders of the group own real estate in prestigious suburbs of Moscow and premium cars. A criminal case was initiated against them in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

 

Source: E-PLAY Online

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Gambling in the USA

Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations

Niji Ng

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Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations
Photo Credit: AP
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A federal judge has annulled legislation in Pennsylvania law that banned casino owners and persons who owns stakes in the gambling industry from contributing to political campaigns in the state. The court observed that the legislation is unconstitutional.

In her 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo said the provision violates constitutional protections over political association. However, Rambo did not close the door on lawmakers reviving a similar ban that is narrower in scope and tailored to the purpose of fighting corruption.

“The court holds only that the ban in its current form goes much further than necessary to achieve its stated purpose of eliminating corruption and the appearance of corruption,” Rambo wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court, Rambo wrote, has ruled that preventing corruption, or the appearance of corruption, is the only sufficient reason to justify restrictions on political contributions.

So the Legislature, she wrote, could more strictly define who is subject to the ban by limiting its reach to those with close connections to a casino or imposing a limit on the amount of cash contributions. Right now, law acts as a wholesale ban on contributions of any amount, even $1, by people with “even an attenuated connection” to the gambling industry, far exceeding the necessary scope of such a prohibition, Rambo wrote.

The ban applied to people who own a stake in a casino, a slot-machine manufacturer or a casino vendor, as well as non-owner executives and important employees.

The prohibition has largely stood in Pennsylvania since the state legalised commercial casinos in 2004, touted as a major bulwark against gambling industry influence. A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office directed questions to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. A spokesman at the board did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was filed last year by Pasquale Deon, who owns a 2.5 per cent stake in Sands Casino in Bethlehem, according to gaming board records, and Maggie Hardy Magerko, whose family owns the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania that is home to Lady Luck Casino.

With 12 casinos operating and a 13th under construction, Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 2 state for commercial casino gross revenue, second to Nevada. At $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year, Pennsylvania rakes in more tax revenue from casino gambling than any other state, according to the American Gaming Association’s figures.

 

Source: AP

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