UK Gambling Operators Go On Political Charm Offensive in 2016

UK gambling operators did their best to charm influential MPs amid a review of the betting industry according to recent reports.

Looking back on a year when the government paid closer attention to the betting industry, the expense sheets of certain politicians showed that there may have been a charm offensive in place.

With everything from gambling tax to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) under scrutiny, operators offered up £20,000 of hospitality to various MPs.

Taking the form of everything from tickets to major horse racing events, including the Grand National, to VIP treatment at sports stadiums, this hospitality was … Read more

2016 UK Gambling Industry Wrap Up: Big Winners, Mass Mergers, and More

It’s been another year of fun and frolics in the United Kingdom’s gambling industry filled with excitement and controversy.

From Brexit fears and continued homogenisation of the market to big money winners on long shot betting prospects, British bettors had a lot to keep them occupied over the last 12 months.

Mergers and Movers

2016 didn’t see as many mergers as 2015, but the market did continue to consolidate. In February, we saw Paddy Power Betfair become an official entity with a formal listing on the stock market.

In the hours leading up to the new company’s listing on the … Read more

Free Bet Tax Reprieve for UK Online Gambling Operators

UK online gambling operators received a slight reprieve recently after HMRC decided to revise its stance on free bets.

Back in March, online operators were given a fright after Chancellor George Osborne announced that he would be seeking to apply the 15 percent general betting duty on free bets.

Until now, things such as welcome bonuses and free wagers haven’t been included in the levy operators have to pay on player bets.

A Tax Too Far for Operators

However, with reform on the horizon, Osborne, in conjunction with HMRC, announced that these bets would now be considered in the same … Read more

Yahoo Becomes the Latest Player in the UK DFS Market

Yahoo can now offer daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting in the UK after it was granted a licence by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The company behind the famous search engine is no stranger to the DFS industry with fully operational sites in the US and Canada currently competing with the likes of DraftKings.

However, thanks to the UK’s laws regarding online gambling, it hasn’t been able to offer its services in the country until now.

After reviewing Yahoo’s application, the UKGC granted permission for a licence, which means players can now wager money on a variety of sports, … Read more

Gambling Round-Up: UK Online Betting Leading the Way with £4.5 Billion Haul

The UK’s online betting industry is now a bigger cash cow than the National Lottery and high street betting shops.

According to a recent report by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), online betting revenue now accounts for 33 percent of all gambling in the UK.

Reviewing the period between April 2015 and March 2016, the industry’s Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) hit an impressive £4.5 billion.

The Biggest Player in Town

On top of making online betting the most lucrative sector in the industry, £4.5 billion is more than £1 billion more than the National Lottery (£3.4 billion) and high street … Read more

Minister Hits Out at Bookmakers Association After FOBT Snub

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) continue to cause a rift among the UK gambling community, this time it’s thanks to the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB).

Back in September, the government announced that it would be reviewing the status of FOBTs amid concerns that they could be increasing instances of problem gambling.

As part of the review, a Commons meeting was scheduled to take place in mid-November to discuss the matter.

However, believing that the deck had already been stacked against them, the ABB decided not to attend.

Following the missed session, Culture Minister Tracey Crouch said she was surprised … Read more

British Bettor Wins Big on US Election Thanks to Donald Trump

Donald Trump might be causing a stir across the pond, but his shock win in the US election has earned one British punter a seven-figure payday.

With record betting on this year’s US election, Vincent Tchenguiz decided to have more than a flutter on Mr. Trump. Sensing a power shift in the lead up to the final ballot, property tycoon Tchenguiz wagered £350,000 across a variety of betting exchanges.

Although he wouldn’t be drawn on his feelings on Trump or his election win, the billionaire did say that he wasn’t shocked by the result.

“I’m surprised by how everybody is … Read more

William Hill Takes Sponsorship Reins for ITV Racing in 2017

William Hill will become the corporate face of British horse racing thanks to a £10 million sponsorship deal with ITV.

Back in January 2016, ITV shocked many in the racing world by beating Channel 4 and Sky Sports to win the broadcast rights for the sport in the UK.

Channel 4 has been the home of British racing on TV since 1984. But, following a bidding process, the broadcaster was forced to give up its tenure.

A New Face for Racing

Although ITV’s bid wasn’t made public, it’s believed it was a lot higher than the £15 million Channel 4 … Read more

Gambler Tries to Blackmail Amir Khan with Fake Sex Tape

A gambler’s attempt to blackmail British boxer Amir Khan has failed after it emerged that the alleged “sex tape” never existed.

Hamza Din, who has been described as having a gambling problem and mental health issues, contacted Khan’s management team demanding a significant amount of money in exchange for the sex tape.

Although an actual amount wasn’t specified, Din warned Khan’s team that if they didn’t meet “the price,” then he would hand over the clip to the media.

No Girl, No Tape, No Clue

Unfortunately for Din, there was no “girl” as he claimed and, to make matters worse, … Read more

Brit Poker Player Damon Smith Won £500 Hours before Alleged Bomb Plot

Damon Smith, the teenager suspected of planting a bomb on the London Tube Underground, reportedly won £500 playing poker on the day he carried out his alleged plot.

Following his arrest on October 20, Smith has been detained in custody for what London police officers have described as possession of a “viable device.” Under British Terrorism Act of 2006, the production and distribution of a bomb carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Smith Banks a Win before Arrest

As yet the authorities haven’t formally charged Smith, but forensic teams have been spotted at several of his previous addresses.… Read more