James Henderson Confirmed as new William Hill Chief Executive Officer


The Board of William Hill PLC has announced that James Henderson, an internal candidate who has been at the bookmaker for 29 years, has been appointed to their Board and will take over from Ralph Topping as Chief Executive Designate as from 1st August, 2014.

Topping will stand down after 44 years with the group, six of which he spent as Chief Executive.

According to Gareth Davis, the Chairman of William Hill which is Britain’s biggest bookmaker, Henderson came out “head and shoulders” on top of a list of approximately 14 “credible candidates” that included external applicants wishing to succeed Ralph Topping.

While Ralph Topping started off as a “Saturday boy” at a betting shop in Glasgow, James Henderson started off his career at the group in November 1985 at a branch of Mecca Bookmakers on Goldhawk Road in West London. Mecca Bookmakers later merged with William Hill in 1988.

Henderson remained with the company ever since 1985 and has taken on many of the roles that Topping himself had held while rising through the ranks. These roles included overseeing the bookmaker’s online business and retail division before he succeeded in getting the top job.

During a video interview, James Henderson revealed that his immediate priorities are to sit down with the team in order to discuss what the future looks like for William Hill, both from an organic point of view, building on the outstanding foundations that they have, but also looking at what opportunities could present themselves over the next two or three years.

New Jersey Attempting New Strategy for Sports Betting


It has been reported that State Senator Ray Lesniak intends introducing a bill that could continue the fight to legalize sports betting in his state by de-criminalising the practice. This follows a recent decision by the US Supreme Court to lower court findings against the attempt by New Jersey to undermine the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the (PASPA), by the implementation of intrastate legislation on sports betting.

According to Lesniak he expects that the U.S. Justice Department will refrain from intervening, just as they have with Washington and Colorado when those states legalized marijuana.

Lesniak intends implementing his de-criminalisation law mainly at racetracks and casinos in New Jersey.

However, it is predicted that Lesniak’s move will trigger an aggressive and litigious response from sports leagues such as the National Football League that has a tough stance on any sports betting outside that which is permitted by the PASPA.

Despite the fact that Lesniak is not new at driving gambling issues through the state legislation he will, nevertheless, need to manage the passage of his bill through both Houses in the state legislature and thereafter persuade governor Chris Christie to sign the bill into law.

In the past, Chris Christie has shown that he is quite prepared to exercise his veto powers if he thinks that it is necessary and Lesniak’s new initiative will possibly bring him into political conflict with the federal authorities.

Christie reacted to the Supreme Court rejection by saying “that’s the way it goes – nothing more I can say – they said no so we have to move on”.

Colossus Bets Signs Up Betdaq as Its First B2B Partner in the UK


It is official: Colossus Bets, the online sports betting company has signed up Betdaq as its first live B2B partner in the UK. Betdaq is a global wagering exchange operator, while Colossus Bets operates the £10,000,000 Colossus, an entity that offers the largest jackpots in football and sports.

Speaking about the partnership, Lewis Findlay, the CEO of Betdaq said, “With the £10,000,000 Colossus on offer every few days of the World Cup, our clients can win £10,000,000 on a jackpot every time England plays, so we are greatly looking forward to providing our betting exchange customers with this proposition which is truly unique and groundbreaking for this World Cup and into next season’s Premier League.”

The partnership is significant because of the timing and the sheer volume of prize pools potentially on offer. It would allow Betdaq to make available to sportsbetting enthusiasts at betting exchanges a prize pool of a total of more than £100 million, or €123.3 million/$168.1 million. This money would be made available during the course of the FIFA World Cup currently in progress.

In a statement, the founder and CEO of Colossus Bets, Bernard Marantelli, said, “With our products, Betdaq has the ability to offer their exchange customers, unprecedented lottery-sized football jackpots and our patented fractional cash-in feature, a world first in betting.”

“Fractional cash-in allows players to bank profits on part of a ‘live’ ticket whilst retaining the remaining part of the ticket to play for a corresponding share of the jackpot prize and should become industry standard given the ever increasing popularity of multiples and in-play betting,” Marantelli added.

Betfair Confirms Highest Recorded Revenue and Profit in 2014

While a number of online gambling companies struggle to capture market share and stay on top, Betfair has done extremely well in 2014. The company confirmed that between April 2013 to April 2014, Betfair has been successful in posting record profit margins. Early results reveal that Betfair had made £393.6 million when compared to the previous 12 months where it recorded £387 million. This was an increase of 2% when compared to the previous year.

Betfair believes that one of the main reasons it succeeded in the last 12 months was because of the innovative products it released along with a creative market campaign that helped promote Betfair’s products and services. The company confirmed that their earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to £91.1 million which is an increase of 78%. Profit after tax also recorded a significant increase from a loss of £49.4 million in 2013 to a profit of £61.1 million in 2014.

In a statement, Betfair chief executive officer Breon Corcoran said: “Our strategy is working. The emphasis on sustainable revenues and our product and marketing investments are paying off, resulting in record revenues and profits. The focus in FY14 was on creating a competitive sportsbook and we are now entering an exciting phase of product development to leverage both our exchange and sportsbook to stand out in a crowded marketplace”.

One of the areas Betfair concentrated on expanding and promoting was mobile gaming and the results confirm that it was a strategic move that resulted in mobile revenue increasing by as much as 70%.

NetBet.fr Teams Up with Alexandre Ruiz


NetBet.fr, one of the leading French online sports book operators, has announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Alexandre Ruiz, the well known French journalist and broadcaster that will see football fans being provided with fresh awareness and information on this exciting game.

The deal, which was set up by SportFive, the international sports marketing agency and part of Lagardere Unlimited, will run for the duration of the 2014 – 2015 sporting season.

Ruiz is the anchor for the BeIN Sports Television channel and has been in charge of presenting and hosting some of the biggest football events for the channel since 2012. BeIN Sports viewers have found that Ruiz’s TV show on European Football “The Sunday Club” has become a very important source of information for them.

Prior to NetBet forming the partnership deal with Alexandre Ruiz, the renowned journalist, it built partnership deals with several football clubs in the Premier League. However, NetBet endeavored to put a new angle on things by forming the partnership with, who they described as a “key figure in French football”.

According to a spokesperson for NetBet.fr, Alexandre Ruiz’s presence as an ambassador for NetBet allows them to highlight their values and the French broadcaster’s precise predictions is bound to bring true added value that their players love.

Ruiz revealed that this approach is a first for him and that he hopes to embody the brand’s core values while joining bettors in their choices as much as possible. Ruiz added that it is his aim to use his position alongside football’s biggest names in order to bring added information to users and to create a link with everyone on the NetBet.fr site.