OCUK News Centre

GVC Holdings Wins as Theresa May Brings Forward FOBT Deadline

The deadline reducing the maximum bet on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will now take place earlier than expected, something that will benefit GVC Holdings but hurt other operators.

Following pressure from Conservative party members, backbenchers and opposing MPs, Prime Minster Theresa May has been forced to backtrack on the recent FOBT decision. As part of the 2019 budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the maximum FOBT stakes would be cut from £100 to £2 in October.

May Performs U-Turn

However, following backlash from MPs across Westminster, May has confirmed that the changes will now take place in April 2019 as … Read more

MPs Line Up to Vote Down Philip Hammond’s FOBT Changes

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are threatening to split the government as Tory members line up to vote against Philip Hammond’s recent budget announcement.

In the wake of Tracey Crouch resigning as Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Westminster insiders have said that there are more than 20 MPs ready to take action against FOBTs.

As part of the parliamentary process, Hammond’s 2019 budget will have to pass a vote before the new levies, rates and taxes come into effect.

According to political publication The Spectator, Conservative MPs, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, have signed a Commons amendment calling for the FOBT … Read more

Scout Gaming to Diversify UK Gaming with Daily Fantasy Sports Licence

Scout Gaming has been granted a B2B licence by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), a move that will give British punters access to more fantasy sports (DFS) sites in the coming months.

Announced on November 6, the approval goes alongside the gaming operator’s existing B2C licence and will dramatically increase its footprint within another regulated market. In real terms, Scout Gaming can offer its DFS services across its 12 partners, including those already active in the UK.

DFS Demographics are Different

Commenting on the news, Scout Gaming CEO Andreas Ternström said the deal was not only a positive for his … Read more

LeoVegas Sees Third-Quarter Growth but CEO Wants More

LeoVegas is on course to meet its two-year financial targets despite recent regulatory unrest within the UK and European gaming industry.

Publishing its latest quarterly report on November 7, LeoVegas noted a revenue increase of 41 percent to £68.6 million. Delving further into the data for the period between July 1 and September 30, net gaming revenue from regulated markets now stands at 35.5 percent, while organic growth improved by 14 percent.

UK Opens Up New Potential

The number of depositing customers also grew year-on-year from 202,890 to 318,189. The growth was fuelled, in part, by an increased presence in … Read more

William Hill Issues Profit Warning As Hammond’s Budget Bites

William Hill has issued a profit warning following Philip Hammond’s recent budget announcement which outlined the fate of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and tax rates.

With the Chancellor’s budget plans causing a political stir, William Hill’s chief executive Philip Bowcock has said tougher operating conditions will affect the company’s bottom-line.

“Retail continues to be challenged by the wider high street conditions and we have seen gaming as well as sportsbook revenues decline in the period,” Bowcock said in a November 6 trading update.

Budget Spooks Investors

In projecting its full year earnings, William Hill issued a revised forecast of … Read more

The UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) new dispute resolution guidelines came into effect on October 31 as part of the regulator’s ongoing effort to improve customer service standards.

Announced in mid-October but coming into force at the end of the month, the standards outline how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services should operate going forward.

Initially set-up by the regulator in 2015, ADR is designed to offer an independent complaint handling service in instances where traditional methods have failed.

After reviewing the state of play in 2017, the UKGC identified five areas where operators were failing consumers. As well as making it … Read more

Digital Expansion Needs for William Hill Inspire Mr Green Takeover Bid

William Hill has made a play to offset recent regulatory changes by launching a £242 million bid for online operator Mr Green.

Following the decision to have tighter controls on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), the UK gaming firm is planning to expand its global reach by acquiring Mr Green & Co.

Based in Malta but drawing the majority of its revenue from Europe, Mr Green has become one of the leading online brands since going live in 2007.

Opening New Doors

According to the company’s latest financial report, 36 percent of its revenue comes from western Europe, while the … Read more

Remote UK Betting Tax to Rise as Part of 2019 Budget

Remote UK betting tax is set to increase by six percent as the Treasury looks to plug the gap left by reducing the maximum stakes for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

In announcing his 2019 budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said remote gaming duty will rise to 21 percent. The move comes amid growing pressure from anti-gambling advocates to bring forward the new £2 FOBT betting limit.

Remote Betting Tax Hike to Cover FOBT Losses

Assessing the impact of lowering the maximum wager on live gaming terminals, the Treasury believes the national coffers will lose around £245 … Read more

The uproar over fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is expected to continue well into 2019 following reports that any changes won’t come into force for another 12 months.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond prepares to announce his 2019 budget, Whitehall insiders have hit out at reports that impending FOBT cuts won’t take place until October 2019. According to an October 25 report by The Guardian, those supporting the reduction in stakes from £100 to £2 are ready to revolt if the processes is unduly delayed.

Tempers Flare in Whitehall

The latest wave of discontent comes after a select … Read more

Bookmaker William Hill is fighting battles on two continents following reports that its looking to sell its racing interests in the UK and regain control over its content in the US.

According to a recent report by The Guardian newspaper, William Hill could be on the brink of selling its on-course pitches at the UK’s leading racing venues. Although unconfirmed at this stage, speculation suggests that a deal with a major rival could net the operator around £2.5 million from the selloff.

Online Activity Killing On-Course Bookies

The reason for selling its on-course pitches is mainly due to the rise … Read more