OCUK News Centre

PokerStars Diversification Drive Continues as Sky Bet Takeover Completes  

PokerStars has completed its £3.4 billion takeover of Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) to become the largest publicly-owned gaming company in the world. 

Rafi Ashkenazi.

Chief executive of The Stars Group Rafi Ashkenazi (centre) is looking to diversify as his company completes its takeover of Sky Betting & Gaming.

In an official press release, The Stars Group, said that the deal will create more opportunities across both verticals. Read more

UK Betting Firms Ready for £200 Million Weekend of Sport

UK betting operators are braced for a perfect storm this weekend thanks to a schedule packed with world-class sporting events.

Harry Kane.

As Harry Kane and England prepare to take on Sweden in the World Cup, bookies are braced for a £200 million betting spree. (Image: Wikimedia/Dingleberries2001)

Following England’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Colombia on July 3, Ladbrokes’ head of racing PR has predicted a bumper weekend of betting. As well as English eyes focusing on the World Cup quarterfinal clash against Sweden, sports fans have the Coral Eclipse Stakes, Wimbledon and British Grand Prix to speculate on.

“The weekend’s sport … Read more

Bet365 Betting on US Success with Hard Rock Atlantic City Partnership

UK betting firm Bet365 has forged a deal with the recently opened Hard Rock Atlantic City Casino, marking its first sports betting venture in the US.

 Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Bet365 has partnered with Hard Rock Atlantic City in a bid to capitalise on the new era in US sports betting. (Image: hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com)

The partnership was first signed on June 19 but wasn’t made public until July 3. As per the letter published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), Bet365 has been granted a temporary licence until July 31 while it works to obtain a full regulatory approval.

“The Division has … Read more

Kindred Group Working to Tackle Fraud Using Artificial Intelligence

The Kindred Group and its continued focus on artificial intelligence (AI) took another step forward recently thanks to a joint project with BetBuddy and London’s City University.

Artificial intelligence.

The Kindred Group and City University have published a research paper into the applications of anti-money laundering AI technology. (Image: forbesmiddleeast.com)

As part of the gaming company’s efforts to improve its anti-money laundering provisions, it has announced the publication of a new research paper.

Titled Raising Standards in Compliance: Application of artificial intelligence to online data to identify anomalous behaviours, the paper is the first step in a three-part process.

Getting Smart About

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UK Gambling Sites Put On Alert Following UKGC Enforcement Report

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published a new Enforcement Report to show the steps it’s taken to improve the industry over the last 12 months.

UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur.

UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur posted a video to accompany the agency’s recent Enforcement Report. (Image: UKGC/YouTube)

In a preface to the main document, UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur reconfirmed the organisation’s stance on gaming and its mission to “raise standards” across the board.

Picking through the salient points, the Enforcement Report 2017-2018 highlights how the UKGC carried out investigations into 22 remote casino operators.

UKGC Taking Down Illegal Operators

Although certain brand

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Pragmatic Play Enters Live Casino Market with Extreme Acquisition

Live casino provider Extreme Live Gaming has been acquired by Pragmatic Play in a move that will see the latter increase its betting options in the UK.

Extreme Live Gaming Roulette 360.

Extreme Live Gaming products such as Golden Ball Roulette will now be added to the Pragmatic Play library. (Image: Extreme Live Gaming)

Announced on June 26, the deal will see Pragmatic Play pay an undisclosed sum to the Novomatic Group take control of a live gaming suite featuring ten games.

As a B2B software supplier to a number of UK casino sites, including William Hill, Pragmatic Play has built up a

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GambleAware Enlists M&C Saatchi to Promote Safer Gambling

Responsible gambling charity GambleAware has announced that it will now be using the services of the world’s largest creative design agency, M&C Saatchi.

M&C Saatchi London.

An image of M&C Saatchi’s London office where designers will work on a new campaign for GambleAware. (Image: oktra.co.uk)

In a press release published on June 22, the organisation said that it will work in partnership with M&C Saatchi to create a new safer gambling advertising campaign.

Following consultations between broadcasters and industry groups, GambleAware was selected to oversee a two-year project aimed at reducing problem gambling.

With a budget of up to £7 million

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Betway to Boost Spanish Presence with La Liga Club Partnership

Betway Gaming’s affiliation with the football industry has been strengthened thanks to a recent sponsorship deal with La Liga side, C.D. Leganés.

C.D. Leganés.

As C.D. Leganés’ players celebrate, Betway’s branding will soon be printed on the front of their shirts. (Image: boxtoboxfootball.uk)

Announced on June 21, the move will not only see Betway’s branding adorn the shirts of C.D. Leganés but increase the company’s presence in Europe.

The two-year deal will follow a similar format to the one Betway currently enjoys with Premier League side West Ham.

Betway Extends Football Interests

When Alpari filed for insolvency and ceased its

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32Red Scolded by UKGC and Fined £2 Million for Social Responsibility Failings

Online betting firm 32Red has been hit with a £2 million fine by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failing to protect a customer from gambling-related harm.

32Red fined.

Former UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison discusses the issue of social responsibility in a YouTube video prior to 32Red’s £2 million fine. (Image: YouTube/UKGC)

In a press release published on June 20, the regulatory body outlined the results of a long-running investigation into how the operator handled one of its high-volume players. According to the report, the customer in question deposited £758,000 between November 2014 and April 2017, despite earning a net salary of

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Royal Ascot.

As punters flock to Royal Ascot and huddle around TVs to watch the World Cup, bookies expect wagers to top £500 million. (Image: royalascothospitalityuk.co.uk)

With the World Cup and Royal Ascot giving British punters something to get excited about, one bookmaker is predicting a £500 million betting bonanza will sweep the UK this week.

Describing the potentially bountiful period in The Telegraph’s business section, Betway’s Alan Alger believes the country’s leading operators are in for a major windfall.

“Britons are expected to wager as much as £500 million this week as England plays World Cup ties against Tunisia this evening … Read more