OCUK News Centre

Paddy Power Rapped for Another Controversial Commercial

Paddy Power’s PR team is in hot water again after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that a recent TV advert condoned gambling at work.

Following two complaints, the ASA was prompted to review the betting operator’s advert featuring a security guard singing Papa Loves Mambo while betting on Paddy Power’s mobile casino app.

At one point in the short clip, the security guard turns away from his computer screen and looks at his phone before placing a bet.

Even though Paddy Power’s PR team argued that it was clear the man was on a break, the ASA said that … Read more

Loot Boxes Blurring the Lines, But Not Gambling According to UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reconfirmed its position on loot boxes following a recent statement from the Belgian Gambling Commission.

In a piece published by UKGC on November 24, the regulator confirmed that loot boxes in popular video games such as Stars Wars: Battlefront II don’t fall under its remit. On November 22, Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens said that he believed loot boxes should be banned.

Although an original report by local news outlet VTM suggested that the Minister was officially defining loot boxes as gambling, it seems that investigations are ongoing at this stage.

However, despite … Read more

Will the UK Join Belgium In Classifying Loot Boxes as a Form of Gambling?

Loot boxes have been classed as a form of gambling by the Belgium government according to local news source VTM.

After launching an investigation in mid-November, the Belgian Gaming Commission has concluded that mystery boxes in games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II aren’t simply an in-game extra.

The ruling could prove significant for UK gamers as the Belgian authority’s review was triggered, in part, by Conor Rhys Deeley.

UK Petition Helps Spark Belgian Investigation

After raising the question on Reddit, Deeley launched an online petition calling for the UK government to consider the status of loot boxes.

In … Read more

Online betting at William Hill has helped the group’s total revenue grow by six percent in the 17 weeks to October 24.

In a statement released on November 20, William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock announced that activity in the second half of 2017 has been positive. On top of a 28 percent increase in US net revenue, Bowcock pointed to a 14 percent upswing in online activity.

As well as noting the growth in general terms, William Hill’s top exec told shareholders that the increase came despite any major football tournaments this summer.

Putting William Hill’s recent fortunes into … Read more

European Gaming Commissions to Investigate Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the talk of the gaming world, but the new release has also aroused the interest of gaming commissions across Europe.

The issue of loot boxes in popular video games such as Overwatch came to the fore in October after concerned gamer Conor Rhys Deeley submitted a petition to the UK government.

At the heart of Deeley’s petition was the concern that loot boxes are essentially a form of gambling.

UK Petition Sparks European Investigations

At the time of writing, the online petition has received more than 15,000 digital signatures, but the issue could be moved … Read more

UKGC’s New Strategy to Make Betting More Fair for Consumers

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is pushing to make all forms of betting in the UK more fair and safer for consumers with its new regulatory strategy.

Published on November 14, the new guidelines will cover five key areas in a bid to improve services for customers while simultaneously reducing the risks for individuals and society as a whole.

In a short video summarising the UKGC’s new strategy, Executive Director Sarah Gardner explained that consumers were at the heart of the latest policies.

“We want to protect them [consumers] from gambling related harm and keep gambling fair and safe,” Gardner … Read more

Bet365’s Denise Coates Becomes Britain’s Top CEO Following £217 Million Payout

Bet365 boss Denise Coates was the highest paid CEO in the UK last year thanks to her online betting company’s continued growth.

According to a recent financial statement, Coates noted “significant growth” as the primary reason she received an annual pay packet worth £199 million.

On top of her annual earnings, Coates also received a dividend of £18 million to take her 2016/2017 payout to £217 million.

Coates is Britain’s Biggest Power Player

As well as being more than 1,300 times the annual salary of the Prime Minister Theresa May, the colossal payout makes Coates the top paid executive in … Read more

Adebayo Akinfenwa Claims He’ll Sleep Rio Ferdinand in a Boxing Bout

Betfair’s mission to turn Rio Ferdinand into a professional boxer has drawn some attention from a 16-stone footballer known as the Beast.

Although Ferdinand and Adebayo Akinfenwa rarely crossed paths on the pitch when the former was an active player, they could end up meeting in the ring as part of Betfair’s defender to contender challenge.

When the online betting operator first announced its deal Ferdinand back in September, it did so with the intention of helping the ex-footballer take on a pro-level boxer.

Footballers Could Collide in the Ring

However, with Ferdinand deep into his new training regime, it … Read more

Sky Bet Performing Well but Warns Government Against Tax Hike

Sky Bet has warned the government not to penalise UK-based operators by raising the point of consumption tax on betting revenue.

Following the publication of the online operator’s latest financial report, Sky Bet chief executive Richard Flint has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond to ensure a tax rise isn’t in his plans.

Although the Chancellor hasn’t suggested he wants to increase the point of consumption tax that was implemented in 2014, Flint is bidding to avert any potential moves before they happen.

Changes Aren’t a Longshot

With the government already in the midst of reviewing a potential change to the … Read more

bet365 Banks £2 Billion Following Upturn in Betting Activity

Bet365 banked more than £2 billion in the last 12 months thanks to increased mobile activity and Brexit’s impact on the pound.

Following another year of growth, bet365 reported a £514 million uptick in pre-tax profits for an annual operating profit return of £503 million. The 15 percent increase in operating revenue was helped by a 27 percent upswing in sports betting activity as well as the number of active customers jumping up by 35 percent.

Rises and Falls Helps bet365

In line with recent developments, the mobile arm of bet365 continued to perform well. With in-play betting continuing to … Read more