Ladbrokes Withdraws from Russia, Romania, Finland and Portugal

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Ladbrokes, one of the leading UK bookmakers, has revealed that it has ceased its operations in Russia, Romania, Finland and Portugal due to changes in legislation. Although the decision already came into effect on Wednesday, 31st December, 2014, the bookmaker is giving customers from these countries until Monday, 12th January, 2015 to withdraw their funds and has promised to facilitate their requests.

Ladbrokes withdrew operations in several countries during last year and in October, 2014 pulled out of Canada, Switzerland, Hungary and Norway.

The bookmaker’s withdrawals made from the various countries have been due to the hardships related to regulation in the countries that they withdrew from. Ladbrokes withdrawal from Russia could, however, be tied to the state of the Russian ruble and the backlash on the economy in that country. Economists have predicted a recession in Russia for this year and further with the last two weeks seeing the Russian currency taking extended losses.

Ladbroke’s withdrawal from Romania is probably due to the Romanian government’s new online gaming laws which was passed recently which has raised the licensing fee for online casinos from RON 400,000 TO 448,000 (€100,000) per year.

The bookmaker’s withdrawal from Finland is due to the long and problematic history that it has with the Finnish government regarding their operation in the country. Several strong monopolies control the domestic gambling activity in the country, despite the European Commission decrees about Finland’s Lottery Act not conforming to EU guidelines.

Portugal’s new online gambling laws also threaten to impose high operating costs when it comes into effect this year.

Virtual Sports Gaining Increased Traction at Pinnacle Sports

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NBC has reported that the fast growth for online sports betting companies that have embraced the vertical is a result of the ability to watch, play and bet on virtual sports online, including battle arena-orientated popular virtual offers that include League of Legends and Dota 2.

Player engagement and gambling has increased due to the great improvements in sound effect, graphics and animation technology that have made absorbing online competitions set in large, meticulously rendered backdrops such as stadiums that hold thousands of virtual spectators possible.

NBC was informed by Phil Hudson of Pinnacle Sports that E-sports is definitely their fastest area of growth and that it is quite big in Asia and Eastern Europe but that e-sports is actually a phenomenon all across the world.

Despite the fact that e-sports is currently less popular than soccer or American football, it has attracted over 350,000 bets on Pinnacle’s website last year, making it the company’s eighth most popular sport.

Hudson also revealed that since Pinnacle began accepting bets on e-sports in 2011, the volume of trades placed on video game matches has doubled every year and that the company has consequently hired a team of eight e-sports traders who are responsible for setting lines and wagers.

A spokesperson commented that they do not allow betting on games of a league that the betting player is participating in and that betting against yourself or your own team inevitably leads to disqualification.

The NBC also reported that e-sports has become so popular that talented gamers can now obtain college scholarships and even U.S. visas that was only accessible to athletes such as basketball and hockey players before.

Fruity Kings in Sponsorship Negotiations with Scottish Professional Football League

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Mobile gaming firm Fruity Kings is said to be in talks with The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) with regard to a potential title sponsorship for a cash consideration of £1.75 million per year.

A spokesperson for Fruity Kings has confirmed that there have been negotiations between the league’s Head of Partnerships and a Fruity King broker and also revealed that it is an opportunity for them to position their brand as the focal point of the national game and the most prestigious prize in Scotland.

The Scottish Professional Football League has not, however, confirmed the negotiations and has stated that it is negotiating with multiple firms and that future negotiations will continue.

It has been reported that Scottish football is currently struggling financially, with Rangers yet again being in financial trouble and Mike Ashley, the chairman of Newcastle United being blocked by the Scottish Football Association.

In the event of any new partnership deal for Fruity King it will include the naming rights to the four leagues in Scotland and all the associated rights.

The Commercial Director of Fruity King has revealed that due to media and public interest, he can confirm that they are in talks with Mr. Keith Campbell, the Head of Partnerships at the Scottish Professional Football League with regard to the title sponsorship of the four Scottish leagues. He added that although no deal has yet been agreed, there have been very productive and ongoing talks. He also said that they are keen to establish themselves within British football and that they are working tirelessly in order to achieve their goals.

Daily Fantasy Sports Betting has Impressive Benefits

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The major newspaper in the United States, USA Today, recently carried a large article on the phenomenon of Daily Fantasy Sports.

The article in the newspaper emphasizes the interest of major sports leagues in the USA in daily fantasy sports because of the impressive benefits it generates.

The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB have partnered up with top daily fantasy sports league companies which, according to the article, have business models that rely on fans and attempt to make fast money every day based on player performances in games.

USA Today noted that Daily Fantasy Sports is legal in most states and that its popularity is soaring, especially among young adult males.

The newspaper was told by industry experts that the involvement of the sports leagues could boost television revenues with fans paying closer attention to what is happening in sports.

The NBA is deeply involved with daily fantasy sports giant Fanduel that hands out an amount of $10 million a week in cash prizes. However, NBA players are not allowed to play the games, which are based on real player performances.

Tim Frank, a spokesman for NBA, told the newspaper that it is there policy that NBA personnel are prohibited from participating in NBA fantasy leagues that require payment of an entry fee or award prizes to participants.

Emily James, a spokeswoman for NCAA explained that NCAA member colleges and universities have defined sports wagering as putting something at risk, such as an entry fee, with the opportunity to win something in return. NCAA bars coaches, players and administrators from playing for cash.

Court Deadline Set for New Jersey Sports Betting Submissions

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The US Third Court of Appeal has confirmed that it has scheduled Wednesday, 14th January, 2015 for the state of New Jersey to submit its latest brief in the dispute over New Jersey’s endeavor’s to legalize intrastate sports betting in defiance of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

The NCAA and four pro sports leagues have been given until Friday, 13th February, 2015 to respond to New Jersey’s submission with the state then having a chance to answer their claims on Friday, 27th February, 2015.

In 2013 the Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled for the leagues in their action in lower courts against state legislation approving sports betting.

State legislators thereafter tried to devise a new sports betting law which was passed by the state legislature last June and immediately vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Revisions included the privatization of all sports betting oversight and Christie signed off on the bill which then triggered further litigation by the leagues.

Judge Michael Shipp, who has been ruling against the state in court actions regarding this issue, acted on the league’s application and issued a permanent injunction to prevent the implementation of the New Jersey law.

Adam Silver, the National Basketball Chief, recently called on Gov. Christie to join him in abandoning confrontation with the leagues in favor of lobbying to have the PASPA changed by congress.

The appeal was rejected by Christie who felt that it was senseless for the NBA to fight a court action against New Jersey while lobbying for the cause of the action to be changed by Congress.