Ladbrokes Coral reveals to meet the financial targets for 2016 despite December slump

Ladbrokes and Coral merger has recently been in the headlines for a mega amalgamation between the two heavyweights of betting industry in the UK which threatened the existence of other operators in the market but after intervention of the regularity body they had to sell more than 400 offline betting shops to create a level playing field for other operators.

Then, it was said that post-merger this venture would be the biggest in UK and righty so Ladbrokes Coral Group has now revealed to have almost touched the targets they set up at the time of merger despite poor sports results in December. This is really surprising since online betting market had seen a slump in December and almost every operator is behind its goals for that reason and if Ladbrokes Coral is saying to have met the targets it is really amazing and shows how dominant they could in the time coming by.

In its update, company informed that proforma group operating profit for the full year is expected to be within range of £275 million (€317.9 million/$339.6 million) and £285 million and it consists Ladbrokes standalone operating profit of circa £101 million and Coral Group standalone operating profit of circa £179 million. Overall the revenues of both the company has seen a significant jump; while Ladbrokes’ revenue has climbed by 17% year-on-year, Coral’s net revenue is up by 13%. Talking about the impressive results, Jim Mullen, chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral, said, “The last quarter of 2016 was one of significant activity with the completion of the merger, good progress on integration along with the necessary shop disposals and a busy sporting schedule.

“While the sporting gods did not look favourably on us in the period, it is pleasing to report that the business continued to perform well and that our full year numbers will be in-line with expectations. It has been an encouraging start to the life of Ladbrokes Coral Group plc; good progress is being made on all the key integration workstreams. We saw continued growth in our digital division with Australia going from strength to strength and further growth in multi-channel sign ups. We remain confident in our plans for 2017 and on delivering the opportunities identified in the merger.”

Digital Sports targets Russian market after a solutions deal with Fonbet

Every sports betting solutions provider is nowadays busy spreading its arms by entering into different regions where it could market its products in association with a local leading operator.

Digital Sports Tech is one such solutions provider who is a known brand when it comes to next generation sports betting solutions and now they have targeted the Russian market with a deal with country’s largest sportsbook operator, Fonbet which happens to be having the biggest share in Russian sports betting market. Under the deal, Fonbet will obviously integrate Digital Sports’ ground-breaking player proposition betting product, Player Props, into its sportsbook which allows users to create and customize their own bets on player performance across a range of statistics and sports in real time. Moreover, the User Interface will also be made available in Russian language- not in English – so Russian bettors could feel a personalized touch whenever they are using the prop.

Talking about the new market they are entering into and if their solutions can help Fonbet grow three dimensionally, Ari Lewski, Executive Director of Digital Sports Ltd, says: “We have had our sights set on the Russian market for some time now, so to be able to partner with the country’s largest sportsbook at such an early stage in our company’s lifespan is a testament to the value Player Props brings.

“Not only do sports bettors want to bet on player performance, they are also seeking a more tailored and individual experience from their sportsbook sites, and our Player Props product ticks both these boxes.”

Likewise, Fonbet CMO, Alexandra Sergeeva also talks about the deal and why they zeroed on the Digital Sports for their solutions needs, he added, “Digital Sports Tech have brought to the market a very innovative and exciting new sports betting product that opens up what we see as a big growth area within the industry – player performance betting. We’ve also been very impressed by their ability to facilitate a quick and painless integration, which has meant we’ll be able to go live with the product early on in Q1 this year.

“We’re really looking forward to offering Player Props to our customers, and in particular giving them the opportunity to customise their own bets on player statistical performance.”

Mandatory Horse Race Betting Levy Introduced by U.K. Government

The UK government ended the horse racing levy dispute between UK bookies and the British Horseracing Authority by replacing the current contentious voluntary system with a mandatory contribution of 10% of the revenues accrued from betting by punters in the UK.

Once online and retail bookmaking firms and other betting organizations have earned the first £500,000 in gross revenue, the levy will kick in.

Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sports, Tourism and Heritage, recently announced that the levy would be implemented from April of this year and will apply to all bookmakers and companies that accept horse racing wagers from British punters.

She went on to say that the current Levy Board will be disbanded and that the Gambling Commission will be given the responsibility of claiming the fees from licensed bookmakers and other betting companies.

The new Racing Authority will distribute the resulting levy income.

Nic Rust, Chief Executive Officer of the British Horseracing Authority, revealed that he was pleased by the government’s decision and that it would restore to racing a return from all betting on their sport at a fair and proportionate rate.

However, William Hill was less enthusiastic about the government move and said that over the past decade the horse racing fraternity has enjoyed significant escalations in media rights income from betting companies and that the levy could be construed as state aid.

Ladbrokes also argued that the magnitude of increases over the past ten years of funds flowing from the betting industry to the horse racing community could soon find the latter “out of friends”.


Sky Betting & Gaming ties up with Qubit to analyses and large volume of data

The biggest problem for some of the biggest online sports betting brands is that how they should keep a watch on millions of transactions they process each day and how they can analyze each of the transactions to add more functionality into them so players could enjoy the betting session even more.

Sky Betting & Gaming is one such sportsbook who currently processes 50 million content updates across its brands each day along with 53 million transactions on busier days, and they have now tied up with Qubit to analyze the behavior of millions of transactions they initiate each day. This will be done using exclusive technology developed by Qubit who is said to be a specialized in context-driven personalized experience and offers support to companies keen to bolster their service offering.

Talking about the growing demand of Qubit technological solutions and how they can benefit their customers explore each and every available opportunity in the market, its chief executive Graham Cooke said, “Demand for our technology in the gaming market is growing massively, as operators focus their attention on improving product experience and increasing player loyalty.

Sky Betting & Gaming interact with about 70% of the UK’s recreational market and by choosing the Qubit platform, which handles 50 billion events per month across our customer base, we’re well matched to deliver personalisation at scale for Sky Betting & Gaming.”

Likewise, Sam Talbot, senior product manager of Sky Betting & Gaming also explained the need of such a solution to process a large volume of data and how they can now sophistically refine each transaction to make players experience even better, he added, “There are a number of challenges such as the huge volume of data, the need to stay in complete control of product stability, and the complexity of single page apps.

“By putting Qubit’s technology through its paces, we were really pleased with the scale, change control options, and integration with our React front end.”

Snooker Player Suspended Six Months after Betting on Matches

Professional snooker player, 40-year-old Alfie Burden, has been handed a six month suspended ban and fined an amount of £5,000 by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association after he was found to have bet on a number of matches over the last ten years.

Burden, who turned professional in 1994, was found to have placed an amount of £25,000 on approximately 50 bets via an online firm during the period 30th September 2006 and 4th February 2010 as well as five bets that involved his own matches – all backing him to win – as part of an accumulator during the period 30th September 2006 and 22nd November 2007.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association also found that Burden had placed 36 bets on snooker matches with another betting operator between 5th July 2013 and 29th November 2016, which included tournaments he was playing in but which did not involve himself.

Burden lost £2,995 during those bets, but that will not keep him out of trouble from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, who handed down the sentence.

The six month sanction imposed by the Association has been suspended in full until 1st January 2018 and will only be invoked if Burden bets on any matches before that date.

Jason Ferguson, Chairman of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, commented on the suspension by saying that it is a key part of any sports integrity strategy that players cannot bet on their sport. He added that Alfie Burden put his career at risk by doing so and it is only through his full admissions and his cooperation with the Disciplinary Committee that he has avoided a career ending suspension.