Apr 11, 2023 by Dustin Jermalowicz
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The latest news and comment on gambling
Updated: 15 hours 17 min ago

Paddy Power faced with £4m bill after Republican's victory

Wed, 09/11/2022 - 19:50

Biggest political payout in bookmaker’s history after Donald Trump’s shock win in US election

They say the bookie always wins, but not on Tuesday night.

Three weeks ago, bookmaker Paddy Power paid out £800,000 in winnings to punters who had backed Hillary Clinton to be the next US president, only now to be left with a bill for £4m to pay clients who had backed Donald Trump.

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'Addictive' high-stake betting machines under review by sport minister

Tue, 25/10/2022 - 01:48

Fixed odds betting terminals, which let gamblers lose hundreds of pounds in less than a minute, have prompted widespread concern

Ministers have launched a review of the gambling industry, including fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) that have been accused of being highly addictive.

The review was announced by Tracey Crouch, the sport minister, who said it would consider the maximum stakes and prizes for gaming machines. It will look in particular at fixed odds betting terminals because of concerns they can be addictive, and other rules on gaming machines across the industry.

Related: Bookmakers' attempts to curb problem gambling 'in disarray'

Related: British gamblers lost a record £12.6bn last year

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Competition watchdog to investigate online betting firms

Fri, 21/10/2022 - 10:24

Bookies could face fines over claims they change odds on winning bets and limit amount successful gamblers can bet

Online betting companies could face fines and be forced to changed their practices after it was announced that they are to be investigated by the competition watchdog over whether they are treating customers fairly.

The Competition and Markets Authority will investigate allegations that online bookmakers are using the small print of contracts to change the odds on winning bets so less money is paid out, to limit the amount successful gamblers can bet and to deny some users access to promotions.

Related: One in eight European teenage boys gamble online, says survey

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After China's crackdown, can Packer’s Barangaroo casino survive without pokies? | Francis Markham

Wed, 19/10/2022 - 02:19

If James Packer’s Sydney Crown casino has to rely on local gamblers to make a profit, it will exact a toll of suffering from the Sydney community

Sydneysiders should share billionaire casino magnate James Packer’s “deep concern” at the news that 18 Crown Casino employees have been detained in China, albeit for different reasons. While we should be concerned about the fate of Crown’s staff, this move also has implications for Crown’s Australian facilities, especially the casino currently being constructed on Sydney Harbour.

The Barangaroo casino was marketed to the public in 2023 on the basis that it would attract VIP high-rollers from Asia. While detailed business modelling was never revealed to the public, Packer admitted at the time that “the economics on this project are tough” and that viability “involves Crown making some really significant assumptions along the line of tripling the value of international VIP business coming to Sydney”.

Related: Packer's Crown casino company unable to contact 18 employees detained in China

Related: Ka-ching! How the gambling lobby won the fight over pokie reforms | Francis Markham

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William Hill folded on merger that was never on the cards | Nils Pratley

Tue, 18/10/2022 - 21:16

Widespread shareholder opposition to tie-up with poker giant Amaya has led to embarrassment for chairman Gareth Davies

Chairing a public company involves two essential skills. First, know when to change the chief executive. Second, don’t get fancy ideas about mergers if your shareholders won’t back them. Gareth Davis got a tick in the first box when he waved goodbye to James Henderson in July after online growth went soft. On the second front, however, he has suffered embarrassment.

Hedge fund Parvus, William Hill’s biggest shareholder, hated the idea of a £4.6bn “merger of equals” with Amaya, the Canadian owner of the PokerStars online poker website, and said so loudly. The bookie’s board then discovered little appetite among other big investors. Thus it has had to fold and abandon the talks – and maybe also reflect on the old poker saying that if you can’t see the sucker around the table, then it’s you.

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William Hill and online poker operator Amaya end merger talks

Tue, 18/10/2022 - 11:18

Bookmaker says it will not pursue potential £4.6bn tie-up with Canadian company after opposition from shareholders

William Hill and its Canadian suitor Amaya have ended talks over a potential £4.6bn merger following opposition from some of the UK bookmakers’ major shareholders.

Earlier this month, the companies said they were pursuing a “merger of equals”, but on Tuesday, William Hill said it was walking away from a potential deal.

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Packer's Crown casino company unable to contact 18 employees detained in China

Mon, 17/10/2022 - 03:01

Employees of Crown Resorts, including three Australians, arrested over soliciting Chinese high rollers to gamble in overseas casinos

Crown Resorts has been unable to contact any of its employees since they were detained three days ago in a series of late-night raids in China and taken away for questioning.

“To date, Crown has not been able to speak with our employees and is working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to urgently make contact and ascertain their welfare,” a Crown Resorts spokeswoman told Guardian Australia on Monday.

Related: More than 4,000 arrested over illegal gambling on Euro 2016

Related: How China's Macau crackdown threatens big US casino moguls

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Bookmakers' attempts to curb problem gambling 'in disarray'

Mon, 17/10/2022 - 02:01

Betting shops accused of ignoring flaws in self-adopted measures to curb gambling addiction on fixed-odds betting terminals

A system set up by bookmakers to address problem gambling is in disarray, according to campaigners, after a report exposed vast differences in how firms apply the measures.

The report, produced by accountancy group PwC and seen by the Guardian, found flaws in how betting shops use “player awareness systems”, which are meant to curb addiction to fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

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Hundreds of jobseekers flock to planned casino in New York: 'It's a new start'

Mon, 10/10/2022 - 13:00

The Rivers Casino will open in Schenectady in 2017, bringing 1,200 jobs to the area – and tempting workers interested in everything from policing to fashion

“If nobody has any questions, I’m going to have to break into a dance!” exclaimed a representative of the Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, at a group of potential recruits. She then broke into a little dance.

“We told her not to do that!” shouted another, half joking, and the other representatives laughed.

Related: Trump and Atlantic City: the lessons behind the demise of his casino empire

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Proposed ban on daytime TV gambling adverts has racing chiefs worried

Fri, 07/10/2022 - 20:46
• Value of rights depends on bookies paying for programme slots
• BHA says sport will be united in calling for an exemption for racing

Rhododendron was a hugely impressive winner of the Fillies’ Mile on the opening day of Future Champions Weekend here on Friday, but as the applause died away, the background noise was the sound of racing’s administrators preparing to fight tooth and nail to stop any plan by the government to limit TV gambling advertisements. The possibility of a pre-watershed ban on the adverts was floated in Friday’s edition of The Times and, while the report was speculative and anonymously sourced, it was enough to send a shiver through senior figures, both on the turf and beyond.

Related: Matt Chapman lands coveted ITV Racing betting ring and presenter role

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Betting firms and TV channels oppose likely plan to ban daytime adverts

Fri, 07/10/2022 - 20:03

Figures show gambling firms spent £162m on advertising so far this year

Betting firms and broadcasters have lashed out against the prospect of a ban on betting adverts on daytime TV, amid reports the government is planning a crackdown to protect children and problem gamblers.

The two industries voiced their criticism as figures revealed that gambling firms’ spend on TV advertising has more than doubled since 2012, reaching £162m already this year.

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EuroMillions winner could scoop £136m

Thu, 06/10/2022 - 20:49

Single ticketholder would become Britain’s 752nd richest person if they won Friday’s jackpot

A £136m EuroMillions jackpot could make someone the UK’s third biggest lottery winner. The estimated jackpot for Friday night’s draw would leave a single player who matched all five main numbers and two Lucky Star numbers the joint 752nd richest person in Britain, based on the Sunday Times Rich List.

But if the prize is not won, it will snowball further and roll over to Tuesday.

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Fruit machines are being killed off – by sea bass drizzled in balsamic

Wed, 21/09/2022 - 17:21

Could a preference for pub food spell the end for an era of spinning, holding and nudging?

Name: Fruit machines.

Age: 125-ish.

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One in eight European teenage boys gamble online, says survey

Tue, 20/09/2022 - 13:30

School students across Europe smoke and drink less but there are new public health concerns about excessive screen time

Online gambling by teenage boys across Europe is becoming a huge public health concern with one in eight now gambling frequently, according to a Europe-wide survey of school students aged 15 and 16.

The results of the four-yearly survey, in which 96,000 school students in 35 countries took part, reveal that while teenage smoking and drinking are showing signs of decline, there are new concerns about the dangers of excessive screen time and new psychoactive drugs.

Related: Number of smokers in England drops to all-time low

Related: Why are British kids so unhappy? Two words: screen time | Bob Granleese

Related: What to do if your student son or daughter is taking drugs

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Panorama: Why Are Gambling Machines Addictive? review – scandal of the century

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 09:00
This personal and brave investigation by a woman whose partner killed himself after becoming addicted to gambling showed how our high streets have become gaming arcades of misery

Go to any high street in the country – apart from perhaps the really posh ones, in very affluent places – and you’ll see a lot of betting shops. Often, you’ll find more than one branch of the same variety – two Ladbrokes, say – within spitting distance. The reason for that is FOBTs – fixed-odds betting terminals. Only four machines are allowed in any one branch. You want eight? You have to open another shop. And you do want eight, because FOBTs bring the industry £1.7bn a year. And so what if it’s £1.7bn from the poor, the sick and the vulnerable? Or that Britain’s high streets are being turned into gaming arcades of misery?

Wendy Bendel’s investigation – Panorama: Why Are Gambling Machines Addictive? (BBC1) – was a personal and a brave one. Two years ago, her partner, Lee, killed himself, at the age of 36. In a confessional letter to her, he singled out these high-stakes, high-frequency FOBTs as the core of his addiction. Now, she’s trying to understand what it is that has made her a single mum.

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Bargain-store owners and bookies top rich list in north-west England

Fri, 02/09/2022 - 18:50

Owners of discount store chain B&M and founders of and Betfred among top five

Discount store owners and bookies have topped a list of the richest people in north-west England.

Tom Morris, the owner of Liverpool-based Home Bargains, is the richest person in the region, with a fortune of £2.5bn, according to Insider Media.

Related: Property tycoons David and Simon Reuben top Sunday Times rich list

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Trump and Atlantic City: the lessons behind the demise of his casino empire

Fri, 02/09/2022 - 13:00

In 1990, Donald Trump threw a star-studded opening party at the $1.1bn Taj Mahal. Today, as it is about to be shut down, locals accuse him of ‘sucking the life and the money’ from the casino and leaving the city to deal with the fallout

The night of 2 April 2023 is one Tina Condos will never forget. It was the opening night of Donald Trump’s new $1.1bn Atlantic City casino, and Condos was working as a cocktail waitress serving drinks to Michael Jackson, Elle Macpherson and the other stars and socialites who had flown in for the big night.

Lit by $16m worth of chandeliers, Trump described the casino, then the most expensive ever built, as the “eighth wonder of the world”. The property tycoon now turned presidential candidate also promised it would transform the fortunes of the New Jersey coastal city.

Related: Making the man: to understand Trump, look at his relationship with his dad

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New betting site Black Type Bet promises not to ban customers

Fri, 26/08/2022 - 00:14
• New site trying to trade in a traditional way
• Black Type admant it will not close winning accounts

A prominent campaigner for increased consumer rights for punters has offered a cautious welcome to a new player in the crowded internet gambling market: a bookmaking site that claims it will not ban or restrict its customers for winning, and will guarantee to lay any price to lose at least £500.

“It’s positive that an online bookmaker is trying to trade in a traditional way,” Brian Chappell, the founder of the website, said on Thursday. “This type of approach, if it continues, will certainly be welcomed by most punters, especially the thousands who have their bets restricted to pennies by the major players.”

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Ladbrokes' Iron Man 3 ad banned in case it appeals to children

Wed, 24/08/2022 - 15:26

Bookmaker says marketing email was only sent to over-18s – and Marvel fans are mainly adults

An ad for bookmaker Ladbrokes featuring the popular superhero Iron Man has been banned over fears it would appeal to children.

The email promoting the Ladbrokes casino featured an image of Iron Man and the text: “Enjoy this exclusive Ladbrokes welcome offer with Iron Man 3.”

Related: Channel 4 rapped for airing Fear the Walking Dead ad during kids’ film

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Britain's newest gambling addiction charity funded by betting firms

Fri, 19/08/2022 - 10:00

Young Gamblers Education Trust accused of conflict of interest over links to betting industry

Britain’s newest gambling addiction charity has been accused of serious conflict of interest over funding from the betting industry and the involvement of gambling executives on its board.

The Young Gamblers Education Trust, which also operates under the trading name YGAM, was set up two years ago by reformed gambling addict Lee Willows as a private company and acquired charitable status earlier this year.

Related: British gamblers lost a record £12.6bn last year

Related: The big gamble: the dangerous world of British betting shops | Tom Lamont

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