OCUK News Centre

Manchester City’s Martin Demichelis Hit with Illegal Betting Charges

Martin Demichelis, the Manchester City Defender, has been charged by the FA for reportedly violating its betting rules on 12 separate occasions.

The Argentinean professional has made 18 appearances for Manchester City this season, but between January 22 and January 28 it’s alleged that he breached the FA’s rules by placing 12 football bets.

Although the FA hasn’t suggested that Demichelis was attempting to fix the matches he had bet nor had he placed any bets on Manchester City games, it has stated that he was in breach of rule E8 which was introduced in 2014.

FA Hot on Blocking

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UK Gambling Round-Up: William Hill Issues Profit Warning

William Hill has issued a profit warning after a poor run of results at Cheltenham and a string of online betting restrictions have caused revenue to drop significantly in recent months.

According to a trading update released on March 23, William Hill announced that it expects its annual profits to fall to between £260 million and £280 million which would be between £11 million and £31 million down on 2015’s total.

William Hill Takes a Knock

Before the announcement analysts had given William Hill an average forecast of £307 million; however, after the company reported a string of losses at … Read more

2015 Year in Review: Highlights of the UK Online Casino Gaming Market

The UK online casino world was turned inside out and back in on itself in 2015.

Thanks to a flurry of mergers, regulatory shifts and new players entering the game, the online casino market in the UK has become a new look entity over the last 12 months.

Mergers, Mergers, Mergers

The one story that dominated the online casino, poker and sports betting world in 2015 was the trio of mergers that took place.

At times complex, convoluted and uncertain, the sales and acquisitions between some of the leading iGaming operators in the UK made for endless pages of content … Read more

Ladbrokes Investigating Great British Bake Off Scandal

The final of this year’s Great British Bake Off has caused a stir for more reasons than one this week after it emerged that Ladbrokes is conducting an investigation into potential illegal betting.

In keeping with tradition, Ladbrokes has been offering a market on the potential winner of this year’s TV baking contest; however, earlier this week it was revealed that plans to offer future markets might be scrapped.

A Half-Baked Scheme Uncovered

According to reports, Ladbrokes’ fraud detection team has linked dozens of newly opened accounts to BBC employees.

Described as “people in the know”, these employees have allegedly … Read more

Britain’s Bet365 Buoyed by Record Growth

UK based bet365, one of the largest online gambling operators in the world, got a little bit larger during the last financial year thanks to an increase in mobile betting activity.

Following a review of the company’s financials during the 12 months between March 31, 2014, and March 31, 2015, bet365 has reported a 26.5 percent growth figure.

According to the balance sheet, bet365’s profit before exceptional items hit £409.3 million while year-on-year revenue was able to peak at just under £1.5 billion.

More Mobile Bettors

Much of the recent growth is down to an increased sports betting customer base … Read more

Controversial Paddy Power Blatter Ad Upheld by ASA

PaddyPower has survived its latest inquisition from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) into a recent ad that exhorted FIFA’s Sep Blatter to “just f***” off already.”

Amusingly, the authority upheld the ad, which was placed in the Guardian newspaper, because it chimed with the public mood, reflecting, in the words of the ASA, fans’ “overwhelming sentiment” that the embattled FIFA chairman should, in fact, just eff-off already.

The ASA was responding to a complaint from a member of the public that the use of the expletive, which featured in PaddyPower’s campaign to advertise odds on the next FIFA chairman, would … Read more

Betfair and Paddy Power Merger Causes Industry Shake Up

The latest pair of iGaming operators to agree to a merger was revealed today when Betfair and Paddy Power announced a deal worth £5 billion.

Traditionally two of the largest online bookmakers in Europe, Betfair and Paddy Power have seen their fortunes increase in recent years thanks to flourishing casino and poker platforms.

Rising Fortunes for Betfair and Paddy Power

In fact, according to the latest financial reports, both companies have seen impressive revenue increases in the first half of 2015.

For Betfair, the opening six months of 2015 have resulted in £135.4 million in total revenue.

Thanks to impressive … Read more

DraftKings Set to Launch UK DFS Site

One of the leading daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators, DraftKings, has been granted a licence to operate in the UK.

Having established itself in the US as the go-to place for fantasy betting on American football, the company is now setting its sights on the UK market and has opened up a new office in London to mark the occasion.

Application Sought, Permission Granted

DraftKings initially applied for a UK gambling licence back in June.

Following an initial report by TotallyGaming, documents submitted to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that the company listed its Boston address as its main … Read more

William Hill and Ladbrokes Hit Hard by New Online Gambling Tax

William Hill and Ladbrokes, Britain’s two biggest bookmakers, have reported sliding financial results this week, as increased online gambling taxes begin to kick in. Both William Hill and Ladbrokes have said the UK’s new “point of consumption tax” has hit them hard, along with a bigger duty on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

The new tax regime was established at the beginning of this year, following the implementation of the UK Gambling Act, and requires online operators with exposure to the UK market to be licensed and regulated within the UK, and to pay a 15 percent levy on gross … Read more

A newly licensed PokerStars sportsbook has landed on the company’s Irish platform. The online poker giant, whose head offices are based in Dublin, recently rolled out sports betting in beta phase in selected jurisdictions, including the UK, and now Irish punters will also be able to have a sporting flutter via their favourite poker site.

The move follows the highly successful introduction of casino gaming to the previously poker-only site, part of a string of changes that have been introduced by PokerStars’ new Canadian owners, Amaya Inc.

Amaya recently announced that its online casino revenues have exceeded expectation since the … Read more