OCUK News Centre

William Hill Pleads for Rent Cuts to Save 4,500 Betting Shop Employees

William Hill is looking to save jobs and offset any potential losses from its fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) by asking for rent cuts.

As operators prepare for FOBT betting limit cuts in April, William Hill is pushing for concessions to save its stores.

FOBT Cuts Start to Bite

Following the government’s decision to reduce the maximum bet on FOBTs from £100 to £2, the British bookmaker said closures would be inevitable. Although it stopped short of setting a plan in stone, it did say up to 900 betting shops could be shuttered.

“In 2019 we will remodel our

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William Hill Extends Responsible Gambling Initiative to US States

William Hill has extended its responsible gambling initiative beyond the UK by making a £38,000/$50,000 donation to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ).

Off the back of its 2018 Nobody Harmed by Gambling campaign, William Hill UK has passed the baton to its US counterpart. Confirmed by CEO of William Hill US Joe Asher, the donation is the start of an ongoing relationship with the Garden State’s responsible gambling agency.

“We are proud to partner with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey on bringing attention to this extremely important issue,” Asher said on March 20.

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Paddy Power Gets Satirical with Brexit Bunker Promo

Paddy Power is offering shelter from any Brexit balderdash gamers may encounter ahead of March 28 with a new bunker-based promotion.

Capitalising on the current uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), the gaming operator has created a Brexit Bunker. Launched with the help of former footballer Eric Cantona, the promotion is described as a break from the “madness” of modern politics.

Hunker Down with Paddy Power

Customers seeking shelter have to give reasons why they deserve time inside the Brexit Bunker. By emailing or tagging Paddy Power in a social media post, all entries will be … Read more

BetBright Takeover Was Difficult but Necessary Concludes UKGC

The recent deal between 888 Holdings and BetBright might have upset punters but the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is happy with how it played out.

Seemingly coming out of the blue, 888’s £15 million takeover of the Irish sports betting site saw some customers left out of pocket. As the story broke on March 4, BetBright users were told their ante-post bets had been cancelled.

Even though a full refund was promised, those with ante-post wagers on the Cheltenham Festival were incensed.

Confusion Causes BetBright Backlash

Because ante-post bets are placed well in advance of an event, the odds are … Read more

Placepot Perfection Leaves Cheltenham Festival Regular £182,000 Better-Off

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival is off and running with unexpected results leading to a record payout for one lucky punter.

With an average daily attendance of 65,000 visitors expected over the course of four days, Cheltenham always throws up some interesting stories. This year is no exception as one racegoer has scooped a Placepot worth £182,000.

Placepot Soars at Favourites Fall

At the start of day one, the Placepot pool had soared to almost £1 million. With heavy favourites expected to romp home, thousands of spectators were confident they could predict the outcome of six consecutive races.

According to the

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Casino revenue at 888 Holdings improved by 8 percent last year, helping the online gaming operator achieve record underlying profits.

Publishing its 2018 financial report on March 12, 888’s balance sheet showed a 11 percent increase in adjusted profit before tax. However, while the jump from $78.3 million to $86.7 million was impressive, it was unadjusted profits that really shone.

As per the filing, overall profit before any cost adjustments was up from $18.8 million in 2017 to $108.7 million.

Profits Soar Despite Regulatory Backdraft

Although overall group revenue was down by 2 percent, the underlying earnings are a testament … Read more

Stars Group to Dominate UK Online Gaming Amid Market Disruption

Disruption in the UK online gaming market is perfect for PokerStars according to CEO of the Stars Group, Rafi Ashkenazi.

Discussing the gaming company’s plans for 2019, Ashkenazi said last year’s acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) has given it dominant share of the UK market.

“What we’re seeing is, essentially, the foundation that was laid by the SBG team. We are the largest in terms of market share and leveraging on this customer base is something that allows us to grow faster in the market,” the CEO told investors on March 6.

Profitable 2018 Prompts UK Online Gaming

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888 Riles BetBright Customers As Bets Disappear Following £15 Million Takeover

BetBright customers have been left fuming after having their Cheltenham bets cancelled just 24 hours after 888 Holdings bought the website.

Following news that 888 had taken control of BetBright in a deal worth £15 million, customers have hit back after learning that their ante-post bets have been voided.

Deal Doesn’t Satisfy Customers

Under the terms of the March 4 deal, 888 assumed control of BetBright’s technology. However, it didn’t buy the company’s customer base or any outstanding liability on bets.

A message clarifying the situation was posted on the BetBright homepage the following day.

As well as informing customers

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Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC has called 2018 a “transformational” year after its online assets helped cancel out losses in the UK retail sector.

Commenting on its recent annual report, GVC boss Kenneth Alexander noted that online growth was “very strong” but costs saw the gaming operator lose £18.9 million before tax.

As per the report, net gaming and total sales both increased by nine percent. But despite revenue in both areas topping £3.57 billion and £3.52 billion, acquisition costs and back-tax added £434.2 million in charges to the balance sheet.

Ups and Downs as GVC Evolves

Discounting the unexpected charges, … Read more

Gaming Trends Shift as Mobile Casino Usage Increases

Mobile casino gaming has reached record levels, prompting anti-gambling advocates to brand them as potentially destructive as fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

According to a recent report published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), more than 1.6 million Britons bet via their mobiles. Supporting the latest statistics, the regulator’s Gambling Participation in 2018 summary shows that 55 percent of gamers have gambled on their smartphone or tablet.

More Mobile Casino Gamers than Ever

Expanding on the findings, the research shows that 44 percent of gamers regularly use mobile casino apps. As well as being double what it was four years … Read more