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Regulatory Woes to Weigh on UK Online Gambling Growth, Says New Report From GamblingCompliance

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels
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A cascade of regulatory pressures is set to slow growth in the UK’s online gambling market over the next few years, according to a new report published today by GamblingCompliance.

The report, “UK Online Gambling: Data Forecasting & Market Shares”, projects the UK market will swell to £6.42bn in total annual revenues by 2020, compared with £5.24bn in 2017, growing at an average rate of 7 percent over the next three years. Since 2013, annual growth has been more than double that rate.

Onerous new regulatory requirements, including more rigorous due-diligence checks and affordability tests, are expected to weigh on online casino operators in particular, with multi million pound fines in store for companies found to have deficient player protection standards. The report is being published less than a week after UK Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed an increase in taxes on online bingo, casino and poker games from October 2019.

“Next year’s hike in the rate of remote gaming duty from 15 to 21 percent adds to the mounting regulatory headwinds and enforcement actions which are challenging traditional operating models and the reliance of operators on high-spending VIP customers,” said Daniel Stone, GamblingCompliance’s head of data content and the report’s author.

“We nevertheless expect the decelerating UK market to grow by over £1bn in absolute terms between 2017 and 2020, cementing its status as the largest regulated online gambling market in the world,” Stone added.

In addition to future market-size projections, the report includes exclusive estimates on the market shares held by operators in the UK’s online betting and gaming sectors.

The report finds that bet365 was the UK’s largest online gambling operator by total revenue in 2017, as the Stoke-based group overtook former market-leader Paddy Power Betfair during the course of the year.

bet365 also extended its lead as the UK’s largest online sports-betting brand by a clear distance, pulling away from Sky Bet, Betfair and William Hill in a market dominated by seven major brands owned by five different companies.

In the UK’s more fragmented market for online gaming, Ladbrokes Coral took the top slot in 2017, followed by Sky Bet, William Hill and bingo specialist Jackpotjoy.

The GamblingCompliance report provides a forensic review of trends in the UK market at a time when consolidation has reshaped the gambling industry. Earlier this year, Ladbrokes Coral was acquired by GVC Holdings, while Sky Betting & Gaming was bought by PokerStars-owner The Stars Group.

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Frankie’s on board with Sporting Index

George Miller

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Frankie's on board with Sporting Index
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World’s top jockey joins leading bookmaker to offer unique insight for the 2020 Flat racing season

Sporting Index has made the landmark signing of world-class jockey Frankie Dettori, widely regarded as one of the greatest riders of all time, as a brand ambassador.

The deal will see Dettori carry the Sporting Index logo on his breeches and collar, offer exclusive thoughts on his rides at sportingindex.com and support with social media posts and daily previews during the season’s major meetings, such as Royal Ascot.

The Italian’s unrivalled achievements in the Flat racing sphere consist of 19 British Classics, including two Derby wins at Epsom, and an astonishing 251 Group 1 victories worldwide. He currently holds the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award and has done so for three of the last five years.

Sporting Index, who launched a fixed odds offering in 2019 to run alongside its well-established spread betting service, also currently sponsor leading National Hunt jockey Barry Geraghty, who celebrated a vintage Cheltenham Festival with five wins in March.

Simon Trim, CEO at Sporting Index, said: “Frankie is the face of Flat racing, if not horse racing as a whole, so it’s hugely exciting to have him as a Sporting Index brand ambassador.

“He is often riding the most talked about horses of the season, like Enable and Stradivarius, and we’re delighted to be able to bring racing fans closer to that with his regular blog.

“Even though he has cost us plenty of money over the years, no-one has done more to promote the sport of horse racing and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.”

Frankie Dettori, said: “I’m over the moon to be joining Sporting Index ahead of the new Flat season. There are some top-quality horses that I can’t wait to get on this year, and I look forward to telling readers all about them.

“I saw over the winter that Barry Geraghty had plenty of success with Sporting Index on his breeches, so hopefully it’s the same for me too!”

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Industry News

Playtech “Takes Full Responsibility” and Apologises for PTES Failings

Niji Narayan

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Playtech “Takes Full Responsibility” and Apologises for PTES Failings
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Playtech has issued an apology for the failings of its PT Entertainment Services (PTES) subsidiary.

The case saw a customer sign up for an account in December 2016, ultimately spending £4.5m (€5.0m/$5.5m) on PTES’ Winner and Titanbet brands – losing £119,395 between 1 to 5 April 2017 alone – before committing suicide.

The UK Gambling Commission’s investigation uncovered widespread failings in the business’ social responsibility and anti-money laundering processes that resulted in no action being taken over the individual’s excessive gambling.

“We take full responsibility for these regulatory breaches. As a technology specialist, Playtech focuses on harnessing its capabilities in data-driven intelligence to place consumer protection at the centre of every stage of the player experience from game design to real-time engagement and messaging,” More Weizer, Chief Executive of Playtech, said.

“In recent years, we have invested significantly to seek to ensure that these types of breaches do not happen again, including addressing the specific issues raised by the Commission,” More Weizer added.

Playtech’s board extended its “deepest sympathies” to the victim’s family. Its interim chair, Claire Milne, will be contacting the family to apologise personally for the B2C subsidiary’s failings.

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Industry News

Bojoko Special Report assess the impact of Covid-19

George Miller

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Bojoko Special Report assess the impact of Covid-19
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Online casino comparison site has created a report that looks at what the pandemic means for the industry and how it can move forwards on a positive footing

Bojoko.com has created a special report analysing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the online casino sector.

The online casino comparison site has used Google Trends data to see how consumers have reacted to the global sports blackout and what this means for online casino operators.

Some of the headline numbers show:

  • Sports betting search terms have declined from February to April. In particular, searches for “Best Betting Sites” and “Sports Betting UK” fell 41% and 33% respectively.
  • Online casino search terms have increased in volume over the three-month period, with “Best Casino Sites” enjoying a 78% increase in volume between February and April.
  • “New Online Casino” search volume recorded a 31% increase over the three months but made the biggest jump between March and April with its score increasing 50% MoM.
  • There were spikes in sports betting search terms on April 4 when the Virtual Grand National took place and casino search terms on Valentine’s Day.

The report also includes expert analysis and comment from a range of contributors, including operators, game developers and responsible gambling experts.

Joonas KarhuChief Business Officer at Bojoko, said: “We have created this report as a record of this unprecedented time in the history of the online gambling industry.

“But we also want it to act as a blueprint for how the sector can come out the other side on a positive footing and ensure it is business as usual as soon as possible.

“I’d like to thank those that have provided their opinion and insight and hope that the Bojoko Special Report provides understanding and value to all industry stakeholders.”

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