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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
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

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.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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BetBright closes UK operations

Niji Narayan

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BetBright closes UK operations
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BetBright has closed its operations in the UK by selling its entire technology stack and assets to 888 Holdings for €15 million. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) approved the move and termed it as the right step as there was a strong chance of going into insolvent liquidation if the company remained operational.

BetBright will refund all pending payments and winnings in 30 days’ time.

The gambling commission confirmed that it had been overseeing the company and that there was a “very real possibility of going into insolvent liquidation if it remained open,” resulting in customers receiving no winnings and no refunds on stakes which had been placed.

“This was a significant risk for BetBright’s customers and therefore we are content that the return of stakes, as part of an orderly closure of the business, is the best option available for the vast majority of customers in what is an unusual and difficult situation,” explained the UKGC.

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SportPesa signs partnership with F1 team Racing Point

Niji Narayan

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SportPesa signs partnership with F1 team Racing Point
Photo Source: autoweek.com
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SportPesa, the premier betting platform based in Africa, has signed an agreement with the British Formula 1 team Racing Point. In the process, SportPesa becomes the first online betting company to join hands with Formula 1 team.

Racing Point was earlier known as Sahara Force India. Racing Point cars in the 2019 Formula One season will now sport a SportPesa brand as the title sponsor.

Speaking after the agreement, SportPesa Company Director Adam Beighton reiterated on the importance of the deal.

“Equally important is the platform it provides us, which enables us to stay true to our mission; to build and develop grassroots and professional sport in countries where we operate by bringing new opportunities to local communities,” Beighton said.

On his side, Racing Point CEO and team Principal Otmar Szafnauer welcomed the deal and praised the betting giant for supporting sport.

“We are excited to have such an ambitious partner on board to help us deliver our team mission and look forward to working with them to bring the sport of Formula One closer to fans around the world,” Said Szafnauer.

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Highlight Games’ SOCCERBET™ is top performer with Eurobet

George Miller

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Highlight Games’ SOCCERBET™ is top performer with Eurobet
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Highlight Games Limited today announces that its SOCCERBET single match and league football products are now live with Eurobet in Italy.

Since launch, SOCCERBET has consistently been the top performing virtual sports product across the Eurobet retail estate with player numbers and average bet amounts increasing daily. SOCCERBET games are based on Highlight Games’ exclusively licensed and ADM approved virtual football product which features real archive footage from the Serie A Italian football league.

Tim Green, CEO, Highlight Games Limited, said: “I’m delighted to announce that SOCCERBET has been the number one performing virtual sports product across the Eurobet retail estate since launch.

“Entering a new product concept into a mature market can be challenging, but this innovative game takes players to the heart of the action where they can watch real league highlights play out and it is, therefore, no surprise that it has received such a fantastic response.

“We look forward to the continued success of SOCCERBET as we complete rollout to Eurobet’s 720 retail venues and online and mobile channels.”

Carlo Di Maio, Sportsbook Director, Eurobet, added: “Since its launch last month, SOCCERBET’s performance has exceeded expectations.

“The opportunity for players to bet on genuine Serie A archive footage has proven an irresistible one, and this is reflected in increased levels of player engagement which is driving incremental revenues. SOCCERBET delivers entertainment in a class of its own.”

 

About Highlight Games Limited:

Highlight Games is a specialist games supplier founded in 2014 and managed by CEO Tim Green, Director Stewart Whittle, Director Nick Gardiner and General Counsel Steven Holmes.  Specializing in creating innovative, sports focused betting experiences, the Company’s flagship SOCCERBET™ product features highly optimized game design based on decades of archived live action football and can be tailored to suit the sportsbook or virtuals offering of operators around the globe across retail, online and mobile. Highlight Games Limited www.highlight-games.com is majority owned by Swedish gaming, entertainment and media firm Cherry AB. Cherry AB’s class B shares are listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, Mid Cap segment. More information is available at www.cherry.se.

 

About Eurobet Italia Srl:

Eurobet Italia Srl is part of GVC Holdings PLC and owns more than 850 betting shops across Italy and one of the most popular betting and gaming website in the Italian gambling Industry. Eurobet was born in 1995 and was one of the first bookmaker to take online bets. In 1999 Coral (third UK bookmaker at that time) completed the Eurobet acquisition, followed by the merge with Gala, and the GalaCoral Group foundation in 2005. The historic merge between Ladbrokes and GalaCoral of 2016 created the most important betting and gaming company in the UK (LadbrokesCoral Group). In 2018, GVC Holdings completed the Ladbrokes Coral takeover, creating one of the world’s biggest gambling groups. Today Eurobet is one of market leaders in the betting and gaming industry in Italy, thanks to a wide product offer, both online and offline, with special focus on innovation and responsible gaming propositions.

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