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BGC Welcomes UK Govt’s Decision to Let Betting Shops Re-open in Tier 3 Areas

Niji Narayan

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BGC Welcomes UK Govt’s Decision to Let Betting Shops Re-open in Tier 3 Areas
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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the UK Government’s decision to let betting shops re-open in Tier 3 areas with severe restrictions in place.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “This is great news for our customers in communities across large parts of England and for the thousands of people employed in high street betting shops. I know how hard in particular the DCMS battled for their sectors and ministers deserve our sincere thanks.

“On top of the stringent anti-Covid measures betting shops already adhere to, our members have agreed to further restrictions to limit any chance of Covid being transmitted in their premises.

“We now look forward to England coming out of lockdown next week, with betting shops back contributing to the Exchequer and playing their part in helping power the country’s economic recovery.”

He added: “It’s also great that limited numbers of spectators will be allowed back to watch live sport in Tiers 1 and 2. The ban on crowds has been devastating for sports like horse racing and football, so this sensible step comes at just the right time.”

However, Mr. Dugher expressed disappointment that casinos will have to remain closed in Tier 3 areas.

He said: “Casinos are best-in-class amongst the hospitality sector when it comes to anti-Covid measures. There is no evidence that they contribute to the spread of the virus.

“So it remains extremely disappointing that they are still being ordered to close in Tier 3 areas.

“We do welcome the decision to extend the hospitality curfew by an hour to 11 pm, but we will continue to make the case that casinos are uniquely exposed to any curfew and we will press for their full and safe reopening in all parts of the country.”

The BGC boss also backed the Government’s move to let limited numbers of spectators watch live sport in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas.

He said: “It’s great that some crowds will be allowed back to watch live sport in Tiers 1 and 2. The ban has been devastating for sports like horse racing and football, so this sensible step comes at just the right time.”

eSports

Former ESL Executive Charlie Allen Launches Esports Agency “Road House”

Niji Narayan

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Former ESL Executive Charlie Allen Launches Esports Agency “Road House”
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Charlie Allen, former director of global brand partnerships at ESL, has launched a new commercial esports and gaming agency, Road House.

The new company focuses on working with its clients to help them navigate the esports and gaming landscape and understand the mass potential of brand partnerships in a booming industry. Founded back in late 2020, Road House consults with brands, agencies, rights holders, publishers, and tournament organisers from all over the sports, media & entertainment world.

“Despite the challenges the industry has faced due to the pandemic, it is still a very promising time for esports right now. I’ve learned a great deal from working in this fascinating sector over the past few years and it felt like the right time to launch Road House,” Charlie Allen said.

“During my years at ESL, I spoke with many C-suite level executives from across many different sectors in the traditional marketing world, and what I discovered is that the broad, open ecosystem of esports can prove rather daunting to them. They really needed it explaining to them – like about how esports is consumed, who plays where, how many people are tuning in, and how can we positively engage with them?”

The commercial agency works with clients on RFPs from across both the endemic and non-endemic world, and the appetite to reach new millennial audiences that these brands have never managed to reach before is definitely on the rise.

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Affiliate Industry

XLMedia Announces Plans to Recover Casino Vertical

Niji Narayan

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XLMedia Announces Plans to Recover Casino Vertical
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Global digital performance publisher XLMedia has provided an update for the year ended 31 December 2020.

For the Full Year 2020, XLMedia expects to deliver revenue of approximately $54.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $11.5 million (excluding transformation costs and share-based payments).

As detailed in the first half results in September, the Company is pursuing a multi-track approach to recovering the Casino vertical, where a number of sites were penalised by Google early in 2020. This process is being carried out in conjunction with a fundamental rationalisation of the asset portfolio, significantly reducing the overall number of sites and upgrading the quality of those remaining, with a concentration on highly-engaging content and enhanced functionality to drive increased traffic and build consumer loyalty.

The approach to recovering the Casino vertical is an orderly combination of, i) submitting to Google for reconsideration certain sites which have been rebuilt in-house or in conjunction with a partner, ii) developing some entirely new sites, where this is the better strategic option, iii) de-indexing sites which are immaterial and may have a negative impact on the authority of the premium websites, and iv) disposing of sites which no longer fit with the direction of the business.

“We have now completed the core development work on all the rebuilt sites we will take forward and have commenced the submission process to Google for reconsideration. To date, we have been successful in having the penalty removed for three of the ten sites we wish to recover, Casino.pt, Casino.gr and CasinoKiwi.co.nz. Learnings from both successes and initial rejections are being applied to the ongoing refinement of the remaining sites and we will resubmit those sites in due course. We will provide a further update on the Casino recovery process with the Financial Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2020, currently expected on 13 April 2021,” XLMedia said.

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Industry News

Nederlandse Loterij Appoints Sven Kramer as Brand Ambassador

Niji Narayan

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Nederlandse Loterij Appoints Sven Kramer as Brand Ambassador
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The Dutch National Lottery (Nederlandse Loterij) has appointed speed skater and four-time Olympic champion Sven Kramer as its brand ambassador.

Kramer joins the team of Nederlandse Loterij sports ambassadors in the run-up to the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. The deal confirms the lottery’s role as a partner of skating Netherlands and as a co-main sponsor of the Royal Dutch Skating Association (KNSB).

“Within the rich history of long track speed skating, Sven is the undisputed number one. As a partner of TeamNL, we have of course been involved in the Olympic Games for many years and have already enjoyed his achievements a lot. He is a great sportsman with an unprecedented winning mentality, which we as a gaming organization are big fans of,” Judith Keizer, Sponsor Manager of Nederlandse Loterij, said.

“When Lotto, one of the seven game brands of the Nederlandse Loterij, was a partner of the skating team, I already worked with them a lot and I got to know the Nederlandse Loterij as a committed partner with a real heart for the sport. I look forward to the collaboration,” Sven Kramer said.

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