PokerStars Sportsbook Comes to Ireland, And Manchester United’s Shock Signing

Manchester united signing PokerStars sportsbook Ireland

Manchester United teams with Marathonbet, ditching former gambling partner bwin. (Image: bi.ro)

A newly licensed PokerStars sportsbook has landed on the company’s Irish platform. The online poker giant, whose head offices are based in Dublin, recently rolled out sports betting in beta phase in selected jurisdictions, including the UK, and now Irish punters will also be able to have a sporting flutter via their favourite poker site.

The move follows the highly successful introduction of casino gaming to the previously poker-only site, part of a string of changes that have been introduced by PokerStars’ new Canadian owners, Amaya Inc.

Amaya recently announced that its online casino revenues have exceeded expectation since the introduction of that capability at the beginning of the year, almost doubling in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to the first quarter.

The signing of Ireland’s Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 into law in March means that all online sports book operators wishing to engage with the Irish betting community must now seek a license from the Irish regulator.
PokerStars, whose new watchword is “compliance”, was keen to wait out the protracted regulatory process before launching its new product on the Emerald Isle.

Manchester United New Signing

Meanwhile, online sports betting site Marathonbet has announced a deal with Manchester United that will see it take over from bwin.party as the club’s new global betting partner.

Bwin signed a £2.4 million for a three-season deal starting with the 2012-13 season, and launched a bwin powered Manchester United online casino in March.

Still, at least bwin lasted longer than Angel Di Maria and Ramadel Falco.

Marathonbet, of course, is hoping to tap into the 659 million fans that Man Utd claim to have globally.

That’s 10 percent of the world’s population, by the way, which would seem like a leap of the imagination by the Man Utd PR team. If several hundred million of those switch to Chelsea mid-way through the season, as we predict, we may be facing a tsunami.

Optimal Strategy

On the payments side, Optimal Payments, which operates NETELLER, says it expects its €1.1 billion takeover of Skrill will be completed next Monday. This will create a digital payments powerhouse, uniting two of the biggest online gambling e-wallets in the world.

The online payment service industry is facing a period of consolidation, as it fights off increased competition from mainstream companies looking to invade its space.

Apple’s launch of the “wave and pay” system on iPhone is a case in point. The Apple technology allows customers to upload credit and debit card details to their handsets, like an e-wallet in your pocket.

It’s enough to keep the traditional payments service providers awake at night.

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