OCUK News Centre

FOBT Changes Hurt GVC But Online Innovations Pay Dividends

The fallout from changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) is finally starting to bite according to GVC Holdings.

Publishing its H1 post close trading update on July 17, the owner of Ladbrokes Coral said retail revenue was down 10 percent.

Although the report said the downswing was less severe than expected, the reduction of FOBT betting limits to £2 was the primary cause.

April Changes Bite

In support of its analysis, GVC reported that Q2 like-for-like retail revenue dropped by 19 percent.

Changes to class B2 betting terminals (aka FOBTs) came into force in April. In the weeks that … Read more

Loot boxes are back in the media spotlight following a report by the BBC that details how children spent £550 on the in-game add-ons.

Published on July 9, the article doesn’t name the children but explains how they got caught up in an online spending spree.

Opening Pandora’s Loot Boxes

By authorising an £8 transaction on EA’s FIFA for the Nintendo Switch, Thomas Carter unwittingly opened Pandora’s box. Although the admits he didn’t protect his Nintendo account with a PIN number, Carter never expected his children to notch up a £550 bill.

With receipts going to an old email account, Read more

UK Gaming Industry to Welcome New Cross-Platform Trade Body

The UK gaming industry will wave goodbye to two long-standing trade associations but welcome a new one in the autumn.

News of a merger between the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) first broke in February.

Although no official statements were made, job adverts for a new trade body were posted online. Fast-forward to July 3 and the two bodies have confirmed they’ll be replaced later this year.

UK Gaming Evolution Calls for New Trade Body

Replacing the RGA and ABB will be the Betting and Gaming Council. An amalgamation of the two departing … Read more

MP Jeremy Wright Happy with £100 Million Problem Gambling Strategy

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright has addressed the issue of problem gambling in Parliament.

Delivered on July 2, the statement centred on the responsible gaming provisions currently in place across the country.

His opening gambit focused on the gaming industry’s importance for the economy. Acknowledging the contributions operators make to the national coffers, Wright said a “healthy” industry was important.

Operators Working to Protect Consumers

However, to ensure problem gambling doesn’t become an epidemic, he said the industry needs to protect consumers.

We can all agree that it’s best to prevent harm before it

Read more

Problem Gambling Clinics for Children Part of New NHS Plan

The UK’s battle against problem gambling has taken another step forward thanks to the NHS and its new plan to help minors.

As per an announcement on June 24, a network of gambling clinics for children are to be set up.

Following a report by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that classed 55,000 children as having a problem, the government has greenlighted 14 treatment centres.

Significant Step for Problem Gambling Efforts

Described as a “major turning point” by NHS England’s national director for mental health Claire Murdoch, the plans have been well received.

However, the UKGC has noted that many … Read more

Loot Boxes Are More Like Kinder Eggs than Gambling Says EA Boss

EA vice president of legal Kerry Hopkins has reignited the loot box debate after likening them to chocolate treats rather than a type of gambling.

Addressing UK MPs in Parliament, the video game executive said the add-ons were “ethical” and “fun” rather than a social concern.

Over the past two years, loot boxes have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Following a petition by one gamer, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was called to investigate.

Loot Boxes Continue to Cause Debate

Reviewing the way loot boxes appear in video games, the regulator acknowledged that they blur the lines. … Read more

UK Betting Firms Pledge £100 Million to Tackle Problem Gambling

UK betting and gaming companies have pledged to increase their charitable donations in effort to raise £100 million for problem gambling.

News of the change was first reported by the BBC. As per a letter obtained by the media network, William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet and bet365 have all pledged to increase their contributions.

Letter of Intent from UK Betting Firms

Outlining their plans to the Department for Media Culture and Sport, the UK betting firms will raise the bar from 0.01 percent to 1 percent. Although the change won’t be immediate, it will up the … Read more

Platinum Gaming, the company behind Unibet, will pay a £1.6 million settlement package after a convicted fraudster used its services.

Owned by the Kindred Group and holding the licence for Unibet’s operations, Platinum Gaming is a major player in Europe. However, despite its size and experience, it failed to carry out the necessary security checks on a rogue customer.

Platinum Gaming Misses Fraudulent Bets

Following reports of suspicious activity, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) launched an investigation. Reviewing the account of an unnamed player, the regulator found the person in question was a convicted fraudster.

In tandem with a criminal … Read more

MaxEnt Hits Back at UKGC After Losing Gaming Licence

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and MaxEnt are currently at loggerheads after the former flexed its regulatory muscle.

As part of its bid to raise standards, the UKGC has questioned the business practices of MaxEnt. At the heart of the matter is a change of ownership and a lack of details pertaining to certain operational measures.

UKGC Gets Tough

Although the new owner of MaxEnt Limited isn’t named in the UKGC filing, a takeover appears to have taken place in 2018. Reviewing the situation 12 months later, the gaming regulator found a number of issues.

The Commission is not satisfied

Read more

888 Relies on Casino Revenue as Poker Flops in 2019

London Stock Exchange-listed 888 Holdings has seen casino profits soar at the expense of its poker interests this year.

Publishing a trading update on June 4, the gaming operator noted ups and downs across its verticals. The highlight of the report was a 29 percent uptick in sports betting revenue.

Also coming in strong for the period between January 1 and May 18, 2019, was casino revenue. Comparing stats on a like-for-like basis to the previous accounting period, 888 showed a 13 percent increase in casino earnings.

Poker Problematic for 888

While sports and poker soared, poker and bingo fell … Read more