The Stars Group eyes sports win after Sky Bet deal closes

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe Finance 11th July 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Stars Group believes it now has a sports offering to match its poker after completing its $4.7bn acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming.PokerStars’ owner first agreed a deal to buy Sky Bet and its various brands from owners CVC Capital Partners and media giant Sky PLC in April. It says it is now “the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company”.The Stars Group said the deal “dramatically improves The Stars Group’s revenue diversity, creating a balanced spread across poker, casino and sportsbook with a broad geographic reach.”Sky Bet is already one of the UK’s leading betting operators. Last year its revenues soared by 38% to £516m (€585m/$685m), with customers increasing by 31% to 2.6 million. Profit before tax grew by 38 per cent to £146m in the period up to June 30, compared to £105m in 2016. Its surge continued in the first half of this year, with H1 revenue up 58% to £210m. “This acquisition represents a pivotal moment in The Stars Group’s evolution,” said CEO Rafi Ashkenazi (pictured) in a statement.The Stars Group explained that the deal allows it to develop sports betting “as a second customer acquisition channel”. As well as complementing its core poker offerings it will create an opportunity to cross-sell players across multiple verticals.The Stars Group’s position is also likely to be strengthened by the incorporation of Sky Bet’s technological expertise, including its sportsbook, casino offerings and portfolio of mobile apps.Ashkenazi added: “SBG’s mobile-focused sportsbook pairs well with our industry-leading poker offering to create two premier customer acquisition channels.“We believe this combination along with our combined online casino offerings positions The Stars Group for continued growth in the evolving online gaming industry.”The Sky Bet acquisition is seen as another strategic move in enhancing The Stars Group’s global profile and broadening its offerings. The completion comes just months after it also became the majority shareholder in Australia’s CrownBet Holdings and subsequently purchased William Hill Australia, the country’s third biggest betting operator. center_img Topics: Finance Sports betting The Stars Group eyes sports win after Sky Bet deal closes The Stars Group has boosted its sports offering by completing the $4.7bn deal Email Addresslast_img read more

Vera&John boosts JPJ as core Jackpotjoy business stalls

first_img Topics: Casino & games Finance Bingo Tags: Online Gambling JPJ Group has cited growth within its Vera&John arm as the main reason behind an 8% year-on-year increase in overall revenue during the third quarter, despite revenue falling in its core Jackpotjoy business. Gaming revenue hit £77.8m (€89.4m/$100.9m) in the three months to the end of September at the online bingo-led operator, up from £71.8m in the same period last year. This growth comes despite revenue in the Jackpotjoy business slipping 3% year-on-year from £53.5m to £52.1m. JPJ put this down to a decline in its Mandalay brands and the closure of some high value accounts in response to responsible gambling measures. JPJ Group executive chairman Neil Goulden (pictured) said he only expects these issues to be affect revenue for Jackpotjoy in the short-term. “We expect that the impact of closed accounts will begin to annualise during H2 2019 and, provided there are no further regulatory challenges, the Jackpotjoy segment will return to revenue growth thereafter,” Goulden explained. However, this drop was offset by strong growth in the Vera&John segment, with revenue up 41% on a constant currency basis to £52.7m, increasing its share of the overall revenue at JPJ to 33%. Goulden said: “The Vera&John segment is once again the stand-out, with year-on-year revenue growth of 41% on a constant currency basis. The growth at Vera&John highlights our strategy of international diversification, with 44% of Group revenue generated outside the UK in Q3.” During the quarter, JPJ also agreed a deal to sell its social gaming business to South Korean studio Bagelcode for £18m. The company said this will allow it to focus exclusively on real-money gaming. As part of this effort, JPJ plans to bring various operational functions currently outsourced to Gamesys – the business from which it acquired Jackpotjoy and other brands – in-house. In addition, JPJ is opting against extending its non-compete agreement signed with Gamesys following the acquisition. JPJ acknowledged while this will leave Gamesys free to consider launching new brands in the UK, Spain and Sweden, it does not believe that this “represents a significant incremental competitive threat given JPJ Group’s strong, market-leading position in these geographies”. Elsewhere, JPJ said costs fell marginally in Q3 to £65.1m – with a decline in administrative expenses offset by increased distribution costs – while adjusted EBITDA was up 13% year-on-year to £28.8m, mainly due to “strong earnings growth” at Vera&John. In addition, JPJ reported a post-tax profit of £7.3m for the quarter, compared to a net loss of £8.2m in the corresponding period last year.Regulus analysts also offered their view on the results, noting the Gamesys move in particular. They said that on one hand it can be seen as a “high-risk strategy”, given how much more “dynamic Gamesys has been than JPJ in key markets”. However, Regulus also said: “Given that the non-compete largely revolves around bingo and this is only one means of generating the slot-led customers that are the mainstay for both JPJ and Gamesys, we doubt that the change will amount to much commercially.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 14th November 2018 | By contenteditorcenter_img Bingo Vera&John boosts JPJ as core Jackpotjoy business stalls Gaming revenue up 8% year-on-year to £77.8m Email Addresslast_img read more

Trio of Pennsylvania casinos move closer to sportsbook launch

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has awarded conditional licences to a key sports betting supplier and the company set to manage sports betting at two of the state’s land-based casinos.The regulator has awarded conditional licences to sports betting solutions provider Kambi, via its Sports Wagering Information Services subsidiary, and Rush Street Interactive, operator of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. Rush Street Gaming also operates the Rivers Casino on behalf of the venue’s owners Walton Street Capital and High Pitt Gaming.Kambi is to power sports betting for the state’s largest casino, the Greenwood Gaming-owned Parx, through a deal agreed earlier this month. It was also named Rush Street’s sports betting technology provider in May this year.With Parx having already secured a conditional licence, the Kambi-powered offerings now move a step closer to launch. Before a two-day testing period can get underway, the PGCB must assess whether the physical location is ready, systems are working and all personnel are prepared.To date, just Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino has launched sports betting, in partnership with William Hill. The venue went live on November 17, following two days of testing.Caesars Entertainment has secured a licence for its Harrah’s Philadelphia property, and will launch a Scientific Games-powered sportsbook, while Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia filed its application on November 15. The operator has teamed up with Paddy Power Betfair’s FanDuel subsidiary for the launch.Licensees must pay a $10m (£7.8m/€8.8m) licence fee, as well as a 36% tax on gross wagering revenue. Casino & games Email Address Trio of Pennsylvania casinos move closer to sportsbook launch Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports bettingcenter_img Kambi and Rush Street Interactive secure conditional licences from state’s Gaming Control Board Regions: US Pennsylvania AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 29th November 2018 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

Oneida partners Scientific Games for New York sports betting

first_img Oneida Indian Nation has enlisted Scientific Games to support its planned launch of sports bettting in New York State.Scientific Games will provide its OpenBet technology to power sports betting at the tribal operator’s three New York casinos; Turning Stone Resort, Yellow Brick Road and Point Place.This will include player management software and dynamic pre-game and live data feeds from Scientific Games’ recent acquisition of Don Best Sports, which now forms part of its SG Digital business.The deal is subject to New York passing legislation to legalise sports betting in the state. Oneida and Scientific anticipate that sports wagering could be authorised in New York by the end of 2019.Scientific Games and Oneida are also required to submit the agreement to the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) for review to ensure it complies with applicable laws.“Being among the first Indian nations nationally to operate a sportsbook, and among the first to offer sports betting in New York, represents our commitment to entering this burgeoning market ready for rapid acceleration,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation representative and Nation Enterprises CEO.“Sports betting is taking the US by storm, with quick-to-market operators in early regulated states seeing huge success,” SG Digital group chief executive Jordan Levin said.“By partnering with the Oneida Indian Nation who has secured the Caesars Entertainment brand, we’re planning to mirror that success in New York as soon as sports betting is authorised there.”Oneida has already secured the support of Caesars Entertainment for its launch in New York. Should the state legalise sports betting, Caesars would have a presence at the operator’s three casinos near Syracuse, the fifth most-populous city in the state.Caesars has an existing relationship with Scientific Games, having launched the SG Digital Managed Trading Service solution via its sports betting offerings in both New Jersey and Mississippi in November. The move provided the operator’s sportsbooks with betting and pricing services, as well as real-time event data solutions.Image: John Marino AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: US New York Oneida partners Scientific Games for New York sports betting Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Tribal gaming Tribal operator Oneida Indian Nation has already agreed a deal to work with Caesars Entertainment in the statecenter_img Casino & games Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 8th January 2019 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

CG Technology lands sports betting deal with NJ’s Meadowlands

first_img US bookmaker CG Technology is to begin offering online and mobile sports betting services in New Jersey after striking up a new partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack. Regions: US New Jersey AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 8th February 2019 | By contenteditor Horse racing Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Sports betting Horse racing US bookmaker CG Technology (CGT) is to begin offering online and mobile sports betting services in New Jersey after striking up a partnership with Meadowlands Racetrack.Through its CG Technology NJ affiliate, CGT will launch its services in the state in the autumn, to coincide with the start of the 2019 NFL American football season.The new deal remains subject to approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, but should it gain clearance as expected, Nevada-based CGT will become the third and final online licensee partner of Meadowlands.The East Rutherford racing facility already has online sports betting agreements in place with Australian operator PointsBet and Paddy Power Betfair-owned FanDuel.“We are delighted to enter the New Jersey market and bring forth our decade-plus of experience catering to customers in the country’s biggest gambling market,” CG Technology CEO Parikshat Khanna said.“As an early mover in the Nevada sports betting business, we always envisioned national expansion that would give American consumers more product options.”Jeff Gural, chairman and CEO of Meadowlands Racetrack, added: “We are confident CGT, with its years of experience, will bring some new and inventive offerings that will appeal to the New Jersey online and mobile sports wagering market.”FanDuel, in partnership with Meadowlands, has been one of the most consistent performers in New Jersey since the state launched its regulated sports betting market in June of last year.In December, FanDuel was the biggest winner in New Jersey, reporting $9.1m (£7m/€8m) in revenue – the largest monthly amount since regulation came into effect. FanDuel also leapfrogged rival DraftKings (revenue of $6.7m) in the process.PointsBet rolled out its services in the state last month, vowing to bring a “high-risk, high-reward” experience to US bettors through its signature PointsBetting product. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Race Track and Racino CG Technology lands sports betting deal with NJ’s Meadowlands Email Addresslast_img read more

iGB Market Monitor – September 2019

first_img Ad bans, powerful monopolies and punishing tax rates feature prominently in this edition of the Market Monitor, but this would probably be the case whatever markets we focused on.In July, Dutch authorities further committed to purging the market of what it deems to be illegal advertising to Dutch players a full 18 months out from the regulated opening,Potential licensees not abiding by six criteria designed to determine if they are ignoring advertising restrictions during a two-year cooling-off period face being blocked from participating in the dot.nl market from January 2021.KSA programming director Amida Michael expects 90-100 of the 180 applications to be granted, meaning a market that is relatively small in European terms (less than €600m according to recent estimates by MotivAction) looks like being competitive to the point of saturation.Offshore operators also face the challenge of cutting through the far higher degree of brand recognition of local lottery and land-based casino brands among Dutch consumers. As we saw in Sweden with ATG and Svenska Spel, this can prove decisive in the initial transition from dot.com to dot.country, possibly even more so in the Netherlands given the moratorium on advertising in place until the dot.nl opening.Elsewhere, we drill down in to the latest public numbers from Portugal and Spain, the former scaling as well as expected given the heavy turnover tax regime for sports betting, and the latter now looking like following Italy towards a blanket ban on gambling advertising.The Market Monitor provides you with a comprehensive overview of the state of play in the igaming markets of these countries.Stephen CarterEditorial director, iGaming BusinessYou can also download the PDF from here iGB Market Monitor – September 2019 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter This edition of the iGB Market Monitor drills down into the latest public numbers and data from the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain  23rd September 2019 | By Stephen Carter Email Addresscenter_img Casino & games Regions: Europe Southern Europe Western Europe Spain Netherlands Portugal Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Finance Legal & compliance Bingolast_img read more

Best bookmaker for American sports betting

first_img Matchbook – 0.25% Marathonbet – 2.58% Netbet – 3.63%Best bookmaker for NBA betting Now onto the best bookmaker for NBA betting. As we touched upon earlier, Unibet came out on top of this list, offering an excellent, all-round betting experience. Our top three were as follows: Sports betting Mr Green 888sport UnibetBest NHL odds: moneyline Matchbook – 1.80% Premier Punt – 4.17% Energy Bet – 4.41%Best NBA odds: spread Our top five were: Regions: UK & Ireland William Hill Mr Green BetfairLet’s look at the individual stats for our best bookmaker for NHL betting review.Best NHL markets Matchbook – 1.62% Marathonbet – 2.56% Betsafe – 3.50%Best NFL odds: spread Betfair – 120 markets Paddy Power – 110 markets bet365 – 83 markets William Hill – 61 markets Unibet – 61 marketsLet’s now look at the individual sports we researched, starting with the best bookmaker for NFL betting.Best bookmaker for NFL Our top performing bookmakers for NFL betting, in general, were as follows. Unibet Betfair Mr GreenWe have further separated our research to find the best bookmakers for each of the following categories. The results for odds include the rate of commission.Best NBA markets Betfair Betsafe William HillThe results of our analysis of the NFL games between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, along with the Chicago Bears versus the LA Rams, also indicated the following:Best NFL markets Matchbook – 0.92% Premier Punt – 3.92% Sportingbet – 4.12%Best bookmaker for NHL Lastly, let’s look at who performed well in our best bookmaker for NHL betting research. The following bookmakers impressed us with their overall NHL betting offerings, with William Hill leading the way. Topics: Sports betting 9th December 2019 | By Joanne Christie William Hill Betfair Unibet Mr Green MatchbookWe were particularly impressed with William Hill’s offering for NHL betting. It was consistently among the top bookmakers for competitive odds on each game we tested.The same can also be said for its offering on NFL and NBA betting. We found a good range of markets available at William Hill for each game we researched.In second place was Betfair. Betfair offered the highest number of markets across all sports tested. After analysing the results on each individual sport, we found that Betfair came top for NFL, second for NBA betting and third for NHL.The third-placed bookmaker overall was Unibet. This may come as a surprise to some, but those who read our bookmaker comparisons regularly will know that Unibet performs well in almost every aspect of sports betting we research. Unibet impressed us with the range of markets offered and the average number of markets available on each game. Unibet came out on top for NBA betting.In fourth place was Mr Green. Relatively new to the online sports betting scene, Mr Green offered a good range of odds and markets across all games tested, in particular NBA and NHL betting.Matchbook rounded out our top five. We found that Matchbook offered the best odds on almost every game we tested, so is likely to be the exchange of choice for punters solely focused on getting the best odds possible.For players looking for the widest range of markets, these were our top five operators: Betfair Paddy Power bet365Best NBA odds: moneylinecenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Matchbook – 1.55% Marathonbet – 2.56% Ladbrokes – 3.61%Best NBA odds: totals Matchbook – 0.67% William Hill – 3.47% bet365 – 4.11%Best NHL odds: total Best bookmaker for American sports betting NFL: New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles NFL: Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams NBA: Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA: New York Knicks vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA: Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans NHL: Arizona Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild NHL: Winnipeg Jets vs. Florida Panthers NHL: New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay LightningWe looked at the odds for moneyline, totals and spread to determine who had the lowest commission rates.The operators tested for our research were:Overall best bookmakers for American sports After collating and analysing all of the data we gathered, we found that William Hill offered the best all-round betting experience. Matchbook – 0.65% William Hill – 3.03% Unibet – 3.27%Best NFL odds: total Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Matchbook – 1.16% Premier Punt – 4.16% William Hill – 4.36%Odds: spread Matchbook – 1.37% William Hill – 3.50% Marathonbet – 3.90%Conclusion While William Hill came out on top overall, for punters focusing on odds, operators such as Matchbook may prove more appealing. Those looking for the widest range of markets may opt for Betfair or Paddy Power, with both offering close to double the number of markets available at William Hill.It’s also worth pointing out that a handful of the operators tested offer live streaming on selected American sports events, which may be another key attraction to players. Bet365 was the most prolific in this regard, though others, including Mr Green, also offered live streaming on major events such as the playoffs.We expect UK bookmakers to improve their American sport offerings even further as these sports continue to gain popularity in the UK.About bettingexpert.com Providing expert tips and in depth betting theory, bettingexpert.com is the world’s biggest social network of sports betting tipsters. Its global community of experts compete for prizes by sharing their strongest tips on upcoming matches across 25 different sports to help millions of sports bettors place knowledge-supported bets, with the best odds available from a variety of bookmakers. Betting Expert is owned by Better Collective, the leading developer of educational platforms within the igaming industry. Paddy Power Betfair bet365Best NFL odds: moneyline Email Address Leading tipster site bettingexpert.com considers the American sports betting options offered by 25 of the UK’s most popular bookmakersAmerican sports have become increasingly popular on this side of the pond in recent years. As such, UK bookmakers have increased their offerings in this area, with a range of odds and markets on basketball, baseball, American Football and ice hockey.For our best bookmaker for American sports betting review, we concentrated on three of the biggest sports leagues in the States: NFL, NBA and NHL.We looked at which bookies offered the best odds and the biggest range of markets for each of these leagues, using this information to determine the best bookmaker for each of these leagues individually, as well the best overall bookmaker for American sports betting.We conducted our research between 13 November and 18 November. Our results are purely based on this time frame, during which we analysed the following games: Tags: Online Gambling Leading tipster site bettingexpert.com considers the American sports betting options offered by 25 of the UK’s most popular bookmakerslast_img read more

LeoVegas appoints chairman Forste as new COO

first_img Online gambling operator LeoVegas has announced that Mårten Forste, currently its chairman of the board, is to become its new chief operating officer.Beginning his new role on 3 February, Forste will take overarching responsibility for operations at the LeoVegas offices in Malta. He replaces Richard Woodbridge, who has accepted a job offer in another industry and will leave LeoVegas at the end of May.Forste will remain as chairman until the Annual General Meeting in May, when a new chair will be proposed by the Nomination Committee. He has served as the operator’s chair for the past three years and been on the board since 2012.Prior to his time with LeoVegas, Forste has a spell as COO of Match Group, which includes the brands Match, Meetic and Tinder. Forste also has 12 years’ of experience from the gaming industry, working in a number of operational roles.“The gaming market is dynamic, and I am convinced that we are in the best possible place to further strengthen our position as market leader in the casino segment,” Forste said.“I look forward to working further on the course charted by the management team, creating shareholder value and continuing to take market shares by delivering a safe, sustainable and entertaining customer experience.”LeoVegas group chief executive Gustaf Hagman added: “It is truly unfortunate to lose such an ambitious and talented person as Richard Woodbridge. He is highly appreciated in the company, and I wish him success in the future.“Mårten is the perfect successor, as he has been with LeoVegas from the start and is a strong contributing force behind our strategy and operations. He has good knowledge about all parts of LeoVegas and our culture, and he knows what we need to do to further develop the company and be ‘King of Casino’.”The appointment comes after LeoVegas earlier this month announced that it was to withdraw its Royal Panda brand from the UK market. Royal Panda will cease UK operations at 9am on 31 January, with customers able to access their account and withdraw funds prior to this date. LeoVegas appoints chairman Forste as new COO Online gambling operator LeoVegas has announced that Mårten Forste, currently its chairman of the board, is to become its new chief operating officer. Tags: Online Gambling 24th January 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: People Strategycenter_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Peoplelast_img read more

KSA launches consultation on problem gambling helpline

first_img27th February 2020 | By contenteditor Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has launched a public consultation to gather expert opinion on a national problem gambling helpline, ahead of a tender to select a provider to manage the service.The service is to be bankrolled via the problem gambling funding body established by the Netherlands Gaming Act, which in turn will be supported by a levy to be paid by licensees.In its early-stage plans, the KSA said this new funding body will have three core responsibilities. First, it would be responsible for awarding funds to research and projects tackling problem gambling. It will also be responsible for providing anonymous treatment services to players.Finally, it will provide funding to a national helpline for players, which is to provide treatment, advice and support to players and their relatives, via a website, chat service, email and on the phone. This has been assigned to the KSA under Dutch regulations, though the regulator aims to outsource its development.But before it can do so, the KSA explained, it aims to gather expert opinion on the nature and the breadth of the services it can offer.In the consultation document, the regulator said that it aims to ensure the service is available 24 hours a day, both in Dutch and other relevant languages. It should be able to provide objective information based on the most recent scientific developments, as well as tailoring advice on gambling to each caller.It aims to offer short-term preventative interventions, to help players keep their gambling under control, and where possible connect individuals with addiction treatment, rehabilitation and medical and debt counselling services.The service must be free of charge and easily accessible, preserve callers’ anonymity, and offer a high quality of service to all those who use it.The KSA is therefore inviting organisations capable of developing and operating such a service to share how they would manage the project, and to give their opinion on the proposed scope of the project. In particular it aims to understand how these organisations would handle elements such as treatment referrals and coordination with external health and social care providers.Interested parties have until 13 March to submit their comments, after which the KSA may engage participants in follow-up discussions. It then aims to produce a report on the consultation, which will be released alongside the start of the tender to select a provider, though the date for this has not been set.The project, which is expected to cost upwards of €750,000 is to be completed by the time the Netherlands gaming market opens for business. The projected go-live date is 1 July, 2021, six months after the original 1 January start date. Topics: Legal & compliance People AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has launched a public consultation to gather expert opinion on a national problem gambling helpline, ahead of a tender to select a provider to manage the service. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter KSA launches consultation on problem gambling helpline Regions: Europe Western Europe Netherlands Legal & compliance Email Addresslast_img read more

GC working group PPC restrictions divide affiliate sector

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 9th April 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Email Address GC working group PPC restrictions divide affiliate sector Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The findings of a Gambling Commission working group on marketing has divided affiliates, with agreements to restrict pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to over-25s generating a mixed reaction in the sector.The three British Gambling Commission working groups – formed in January – consisted of a group dedicated to VIP schemes, a group for marketing and a game design group.Among the changes agreed by the marketing group were for social media and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to only target those aged 25 or over when possible. This reflected a similar new provision for VIP schemes, which going forward will only be open to players aged 25 and above.In addition, the working group will also draw up a new code of conduct for affiliates, which the Commission noted would be amended and updated regularly.Clive Hawkswood, chairman of affiliate trade association Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) told iGB the organisation was pleased to see the new safeguards put in place.“RAiG very much supports the introduction of additional safeguards for the young and vulnerable, especially with regard to the marketing of gambling products, and we believe these proposals should sit comfortably alongside a number of initiatives that we are already undertaking,” Hawkswood said.“With that in mind we had previously instigated discussions with the Betting and Gaming Council about how an affiliate code of practice could be developed; the areas that it might cover; and how we can best contribute to the process.” “Although it is appreciated that some affiliates will have concerns about a code being imposed on them, the hope must be that the sector will come to see this as more of an opportunity than a threat.”However, Richard Skelhorn, founder of PPC-focused affiliate business Atemi, took the opposing view. He said the move would only increase the risk of consumer harm by replacing PPC sites with natural search-focused sites – with less incentive to promote licensed casinos – at the top of search results.“Instead of players going to casinos via paid for (PPC) ads which have to comply with the regulation for ensuring operators on the landing page do have a UK license,” Skelhorn said. “They now go to casinos via whoever owns these search engine optimisation (SEO) sites.“They don’t pay for these positions so it’s not ‘technically’ advertising, therefore they can continue and put whatever casino they like on there, licensed or not,” he explained. “The initiative should have been discussed with PPC affiliates and a better decision would have been made and some control retained.”Skelhorn also questioned the motives of RAiG, noting that its members were mostly SEO affiliates, suggesting they stood to gain the most from new restrictions on PPC.Ron Wiener, chief executive of affiliate Optival, said that this level of targeting in PPC advertising was impossible for affiliates. So – given the caveat that it must only be done where it is possible – the rule was effectively meaningless, he said.Wiener argued that the only age segmentation that can be applied through Google is for users aged 18+, with further breakdowns only available retroactively.Hawkswood said that the practicalities of the restriction would be on the agenda of an RAiG meeting in May.The RAiG chair added that he believed operators and the Gambling Commission would understand that the restriction should not be applied if this kind of age segmenting is not possible, but that the onus would be on affiliates to prove this was the case.The changes agreed by the working groups are to be implemented by operators, with the Gambling Commission to launch a consultation on whether to add the new controls to its Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).While the changes to advertising and VIP schemes were deemed to be sufficient, the Gambling Commission said that it believed the game design group needed to do more work to protect consumers from gambling related harm.Playtech, which led the game design working group alongside SG Gaming, said it would continue to work with the Commission and attempt to create new, higher standards of player protection.“Playtech is committed to working with the wider industry to maintain momentum and build on this initial phase with further standards in the second half of the year,” the supplier said.“Cross-industry collaboration will continue to be essential in implementing new safer gambling standards, and Playtech remains committed to leading the way in investing, and innovating in, safer product and game design.”center_img Legal & compliance Tags: Online Gambling The findings of a Gambling Commission working group on marketing has divided affiliates, with agreements to restrict pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to over-25s generating a mixed reaction in the sector. Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliateslast_img read more