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Betting Shop Workers Union Responds to the News about William Hill Closures in UK

Niji Narayan

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UK Betting Shop Workers Union Responds to the News about William Hill Closures in UK
Photo Source: businessinsider.my
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The betting shop workers trade union in the UK has responded to the news report that William Hill is consulting on plans to close 700 betting shops with the loss of up to 4500 jobs.

Tom Blenkinsop, Operations Director at the betting shop workers union, Community, said: “This is devastating news for thousands of betting shop workers. We will be advising our members through the consultation process. William Hill should immediately engage with Community, so that their staff get additional support and advice during the consultation and all measures can be taken to minimise redundancies and find alternatives. The Government also has a role to play and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are threatened as a consequence of changes to the law around FOBTs.”

“Betting shops provide an important source of local employment and many of our members have served the company loyally for years. Workers don’t deserve to be the victims of the changes happening in the industry as a result of either government policy or the significant shift towards online gambling,” Tom Blenkinsop added.

Gambling in the USA

Indiana Sportsbooks Lose Out On $125 Million In March Wagers

Zoltan Tundik

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Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Without NCAA Tournament, NBA, baseball, and more, sportsbooks attract $75 million in bets, according to PlayIndiana

Indiana’s retail and online sportsbooks were hit hard in the first weeks of the coronavirus shutdown, costing the state an estimated $125 million in wagers in March, according to PlayIndiana. And with no immediate end in sight, the industry will continue to navigate treacherous waters in the months ahead.

“This is an unprecedented stoppage for legal sportsbooks, and there is no playbook for them to follow to help manage the crisis,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “Obviously, the sports betting industry is just one facet in a crisis that is affecting us all, too often tragically. But it is a business that employs hundreds in Indiana and generates millions in state taxes. And the bottom line is that there will be no significant relief until the sports world begins to open back up.”

Indiana appeared to be headed for its first month of more than $200 million in bets. Instead, the state’s retail and online sportsbooks collected just $74.8 million in March wagers, down 60% from the record $187.2 million in February, according to official reporting released Thursday. Almost all of the handle was generated before March 11, when the NBA shut down its season and sent a cascade of closures through the sports world.

March’s bets produced $5.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, down 50.5% from $11.9 million in February, and yielded $522,0825 in tax revenue for the state.

The shutdown wiped out nearly three weeks of games, including the NBA and the opening of the Major League Baseball season. The loss of the NCAA Tournament, one of the largest sports betting holidays in the U.S., proved particularly damaging. Indiana sportsbooks could have generated more than $50 million in tournament-related wagers, PlayIndiana estimates.

“There is no way to replace the revenue that would have been generated from the NCAA Tournament, which in legal jurisdictions generates more action than the Super Bowl,” said Jessica Welman, an analyst for PlayIndiana.com. “The NCAA Tournament can’t be rescheduled, but professional leagues are beginning to draw plans to begin games again. We still don’t know what that looks like or when it will happen. Whether spectators are there to watch in-person or not, though, online sportsbooks should again be able to attract bettors, which will be welcome news for the industry.

Other than some minor international events and futures betting, mainly on the NFL, sportsbooks have gone completely silent. That could change in a minor way without a single game being played. Sportsbooks are now accepting bets on Friday’s WNBA Draft and the NFL Draft later this month.

“We don’t expect a lot of betting on the WNBA and NFL drafts, but we suspect that each will draw more interest than either would under ordinary circumstances,” Welman said. “People are looking for some sense of normalcy while they practice social distancing, and the drafts and futures betting is providing at least some outlet for bettors.”

In March, online sportsbooks generated 81.3%, or $60.8 million, of the state’s handle. DraftKings/Ameristar Casino led the market with $33.1 million in bets, down from $74.1 million in February, and generated $2.4 million in gross receipts, down from $5.7 million. FanDuel/Blue Chip Casino was second with a $21.6 million handle, down from $63.8 million. That resulted in a $1.45 million win, down from $2.7 million.

The market leaders were followed by:

  • BetRivers/French Lick Resort ($3.6 million handle, down from $7.7 million; $343,482 win, down from $348,869)
  • BetAmerica/Rising Star Casino ($132,568 handle, down from $212,953; $8,233 win, up from -$6,169)
  • BetMGM/Belterra ($2.1 million handle, up from $70,061; $370,669 win, up from $13,175)
  • Hollywood Lawrenceburg/PointsBet ($334,237 handle, $65,390 win)

Horseshoe Hammond led the retail market with $3.4 million in bets, down from $12.4 million in February. That generated $211,475 in gross receipts, up from $52,445. Horseshoe Hammond was followed by:

  • Hollywood Lawrenceburg ($2.6 million handle, down from $6.8 million; $65,390 win, down from $308,577)
  • Ameristar Casino ($2.1 million handle, down from $5.9 million; $232,186 win, down from $345,660)
  • Indiana Grand ($1.7 million handle, down from $4.7 million; $95,088 win, down from $516,760)
  • Harrah’s Hoosier Park ($1.8 million handle, down from $4.5 million; $32,459 win, down from $301,764)
  • Caesars Southern Indiana ($800,758 handle, down from $2.2 million; -$25,689 win, up from $16,774)
  • Blue Chip Casino ($693,011 handle, down from $2.1 million; $10,736 win, up from $3,008)
  • Tropicana Evansville ($594,036 handle, down from $1.6 million; -$49,753 win, down from $31,513)
  • Belterra Casino ($242,689 handle, down from $864,230; -$35,082 win, down from $46,173)
  • French Lick Resort ($81,343 handle, down from $387,656; -$16,027 win, down from $27,015)
  • Rising Star Casino ($43,686 handle, down from $123,393; -$5,903 win, down from $11,723)

“Online sportsbooks will bounce back more quickly than their retail counterparts, which face a much more uncertain future as the coronavirus pandemic continues,” Gouker said. “In states where online casino games and poker are legal, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, casino operators have had a bit softer landing. But Indiana has really borne the brunt of this crisis, unfortunately.”

For more revenue information on Indiana sportsbooks, visit PlayIndiana.com/revenue.

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Latest News

Jogo do Bicho – Ever Heard About the Largest Lottery in the World?

George Miller

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Still quite popular as an illegal gambling game in Brazil, Jogo Do Bicho (the animal game) has been prohibited by law since the 1940s. The game is mainly used by mobsters as a lottery-type drawing using daily state lottery draws.

These mobsters facilitating the animal game are known as Contraventores (“Bankers”). Let’s take a closer look at where it all began, and the game’s influence on Brazilian culture today.

History of the Popular Game

Joao Batista Viana Drummond, a Brazilian born Englishman and the ‘originator’ of Jogo Do Bicho, encouraged visitors to guess the type of animal that he would hide behind a curtain as a publicity stunt and became very popular with it. The game then became a big numbers game of animals being assigned to 25 different set of numbers.

Many believe that the popularity of the game grew to such an extent because of the large or small wages that could be bet. No limit or minimum wage was required to put down a wager.

Sometimes motivated by corruption and to crack the cycle of gambling, the policies on acceptance of the game grew larger until gambling was prohibited by federal law in 1946. Even though being illegal in most Brazilian states, the game was still thriving.

In 1966, Sao Paulo Police had a successful crackdown operation on the game that grew to an annually grossing of US$500 Million and employed roughly 1% of Brazilian workers. The crackdown operation was quietly resolved.

 

Where It Can Be Played

The only state in Brazil that have legalised the game and where it is regulated is Paraiba. As any amount may be wagered it can be quite dangerous and it is the only state-operated lottery where wagers are not limited to a maximum amount.

It is illegal in Rio de Janeiro, although the game is quite popular. The same goes for 25 states in Brazil where the game is illegal. Thanks to Brazilian legislation, anyone playing the animal game in any of the states where it is illegal, may be persecuted by law.

How It Works

The game works with mnemonic associations using the draw numbers with a selection of 25 random animals. For Example, choosing the number 1 the animal name would be Ostrich, Using the number 2 will count for Eagle and the number three would be used for Donkey.

Each of the 25 animals would have four numbers between one and one hundred assigned to them.

An example of how one would start your game is to bet one Brazilian Real on an animal, but one can also choose combined numerals assigned to an animal.

The bankers consist of managers, operators and dealers. Players place their bets at point-of-sale (“Pontos”) sites where dealers collect money as well as keep records of all the bets and send the records through to the operator who is also in charge of the draws.

Image by Bicho365.com


 
Finding your dealer to place your bet is pretty easy as they are seen in almost every corner of every street with a very specific appearance with floral printed shirts, sunglasses and cigars usually waiting by their “Pontos” which is usually small wooden boxes or simple stools.

On the drawing days, phone lines get clogged beyond belief, with phone companies naming them “Bicho hours”. The drawing which is usually held in local Bicho headquarters at 2 pm is always quickly distributed by taxi or scribbled notes, as well as scribbled on designated walls and destinations with chalk.

Influence on Brazilian Culture

In Brazilian society, Jogo Do Bicho has had a big impact on the culture whether they have been involved in the game or not, with the significant association of the number twenty-four in Brazilian politics, sports and homosexuality.

Influence on Brazilian Sport

With 24 being the number of the deer animal in the game of Jogo Do Bicho, and the deer being associated with gay men, the number has caused some difficulties with professional athletes. As male athletes heavily avoid number 24 jerseys, they are always dissatisfied when forced to wear a number 24 jersey.

With the zebra animal not being in the game of Jogo Do Bicho, the team manager of the Portuguesa football Team “Gentil Cardoso” once described their chances against opposing team “Vasco da Gama” as drawing a zebra in Jogo Do Bicho.

Therefore, insinuating that it would be impossible as they are a much weaker team. As Portuguesa did win that game, the zebra has since been used in Brazil for sports defeats.

Number thirteen has also been significant in sports and is the number for the rooster in the Jogo Do Bicho game. The number is also used by two different football teams.

A football club from Paraiba “Treze Futebol Clube” uses the rooster as their mascot as the meaning of “Treze” is thirteen. Another football club also using the rooster as their mascot is “Clube Atletico Mineiro” as their supporters expected the year 2013 to be the year of the rooster and won the Libertadores cup in 2013.

Influence on Brazilian Politics

In politics, many LGBT candidates use the number 24 in their campaigns to be seen as being associated with the LGBT movement.

The number is also used by heterosexual politicians in the case that they have an Anti-LGBT agenda or not. The Brazilian senate has 81 senators, not one of the senators use the number 24 in their cabinet.

Even though the animal game is still illegal in most states in Brazil, it remains one of the most popular games in the country and is considered to be the largest lottery in the world.

 

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Industry News

32Red Launches New Responsible Gambling Campaign Featuring Wayne Rooney

Niji Narayan

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32Red Launches New Responsible Gambling Campaign Featuring Wayne Rooney
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

32Red, the sponsor of Derby County FC, has launched its latest responsible gambling campaign featuring Wayne Rooney.

32Red released the video as part of their ongoing commitment to encourage responsible gambling, with Rooney at the forefront of the move.

The former Manchester United and England captain, now with Derby, appears in the video along with boxer Carl Frampton and jockey Paddy Brennan.

In the minute-long video, Rooney, 34, who has been open about his own gambling issues in the past, looks straight into the camera and says: “Do you gamble responsibly?”, as well as encouraging gamblers to “set limits on your play” and “how long you play for.”

Neil Banbury, 32Red managing director, said it was vital to have someone with Rooney’s profile and global reach to deliver and get across such an important message.

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