OCUK News Centre

Wembley Stadium Will be a Gambling Free Zone Says Government

Gambling adverts won’t be welcome in or around Wembley Stadium even if the Football Association (FA) sells the venue to Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan.

Following a £600 million bid from Khan back in April, the FA has been keen to move the sale forward. However, an unnamed source speaking to the Financial Times has said that various organisations with an interest in the stadium could be set to veto the plans.

Government Flexes Its Muscle

With Sport England and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport both helping to fund Wembley’s redevelopment, they have a right to decide its future. … Read more

Sky Bet Addresses Racing Fans’ Backlash with Minimum Bet to Win Limit

Sky Bet has become the largest online bookmaker to offer a minimum bet to win guarantee on top-tier horse races.

Following a growing wave of discontent from punters, the operator will allow everyone to place any sized wager so long as the potential payout doesn’t exceed £500. Announced on September 3, the move is designed to quell the recent backlash against bookmakers restricting winning customers to small stakes bets.

Better Betting Conditions for Top-Tier Races

As per the new rules, Sky Bet’s minimum bet to win feature will be available for from 10am on the day of all Class 1 … Read more

LeoVegas Launches New Sports Betting Venture on BetUK

LeoVegas has added sports betting to recent purchase BetUK just two years after adding its own non-casino options.

Launched on August 29, the new platform will increase the number betting options on the site LeoVegas acquired back in January.

Following its £65 million takeover of Intellectual Property & Software Limited, LeoVegas assumed control of its assets, including BetUK.

LeoVegas Building Its Sports Betting Base

The operator quickly agreed a sponsorship deal with Swansea City FC and has now given the casino-only site a selection of sports betting options. In addition to pre-event markets on 32 different sports, BetUK will also … Read more

Paddy Power Betfair Starts £300 Million Share Buyback

Paddy Power Betfair has initiated the second phase of its plan to return £500 million to its shareholders.

The decision to repurchase £300 million in shares was first made public on August 8 when Paddy Power Betfair published its Q2 results. Following that, the operator confirmed that Goodbody Stockbrokers will now take control of the process.

Shareholders Get Cash but FanDuel Founder Misses Out

As part of the deal, the Irish stockbrokerage will buy investor’s shares before the lots are cancelled. Commenting on the August 21 announcement as well as the £200 million share buyback in May, chief executive Peter

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Anthony Joshua Joins William Hill as Operator Looks to KO Recent Losses

William Hill is making big moves at home and aboard after reporting an £820 million loss for the first six months of 2018.

The latest financial report showed a £915 million accounting charge due to the government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2. Discounting the FOBT write-off, William Hill recorded a £96 million profit for the period.

Excluding the accounting charge, profit was still down 13 percent on last year. However, despite the need for major changes in the UK, the betting brand is optimistic about the future.

Despite looking across the … Read more

EFL Defends Its Position as Betting Sponsorships Reach a Tipping Point

A spokesperson for the English Football League (EFL) has defended the organisation’s position on the betting industry in the wake of more calls for change.

In a statement published in The Guardian, the EFL’s representative said that money from the gambling industry was integral to the organisation as a whole and the clubs within it.

“[Gambling firms] make a significant contribution to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional football at all levels,” the spokesperson said on July 30.

EFL Wants Socially Responsible Gambling

Despite suggesting that the betting industry was propping up a number of EFL teams, the governing body … Read more

GVC Holdings Confirms US Sports Betting Tie-Up with MGM Resorts

GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts have confirmed a $200 million/£152 million joint venture that will see the former provide its online sports betting expertise to the latter.

Initially reported on July 28, the deal will be mutually beneficial project that won’t involve any equity swap between the two companies at this stage.

However, what it will involve is an initial investment of £76 million from each party and the launch of a new selection of sports betting sites in the US.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

In the official announcement on July 30, GVC said that the 50/50 deal will build … Read more

World Cup Sees Surge in Betting Site Sign-Ups

The 2018 World Cup created a surge in new sign-ups as the leading betting operators saw more than six million people speculate on the summer event.

Following France’s World Cup final win, polling organisation YouGov conducted a review of the recent betting activity across the UK. Surveying 2,061 British consumers, the data analytics firm found that more than one million new registrations were tracked during the tournament.

New Punters Reach for the Sky

Sky Bet emerged as the most attractive destination, with 25 percent of newbies taking advantage of the site’s online offers. In line with this stat, YouGov’s

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Bristol Rovers Follow City’s Lead and Partner with Betting Firm  

Bristol Rovers and Mintbet have announced a new deal that will see the latter’s logo emblazoned on the back of the first team’s shirts throughout the 2018/2019 season.

The July 20 announcement coincided with the launch of Rover’s new home and away strips, which will also feature the branding of Football Index and kit manufacturer Macron.

An Online/Offline Relationship

For Mintbet, the association with the League One club is its first foray into the football industry since its launched in 2017. As well as having its logo on the back of Bristol Rovers’ shirts, Mintbet will be looking to host … Read more

The 2018 World Cup in Russia not only caused a betting boom in the UK but an upturn in the number of gambling-related adverts shown on TV.

Following a stream of 115 complaints, the Advertising Standards Association (ASA) is investigating whether bookies breached the new advertising code of practice (CAP).

In addition to broadcasters showing more betting content that usual, offers such as bet boots may have implicitly suggested that viewers had a limited amount of time to make a wager.

Unnecessary Urgency an Issue for ASA

If this proves to be the case, certain betting operators could have broken … Read more