Illegal Sports Betting Thrives In Hong Kong As Punters Spend HK$500bn


Macau, which is a ferry ride away from Hong Kong has surpassed Las Vegas a number of years ago and is now recognized as the gambling capital of the world and is home to just about every recognizable gambling company. Hong Kong on the other hand is more known for its sky scrapers than it’s casinos.

Yet, South China Morning Post newspaper reports that illegal gambling in Hong Kong has grown in leaps and bounds and is now officially a HK$500 billion dollar industry ($64.5 billion). Betting in Hong Kong is not illegal but it’s just that the illegal gambling market is much more appealing and lucrative to punters.

The illegal gambling scene in Hong Kong is controlled by the syndicates and covers a wide range of sports betting such as horse betting, football and basketball. The syndicates are far too powerful for local law enforcement to crackdown and break up these illegal gambling rings. It would require the Hong Kong government to formulate a strategy and then execute it to curb illegal gambling in Hong Kong.

The FIFA 2014 Football world cup which is currently taking place in Brazil runs for over a month and is the perfect setup for illegal gambling and sports betting activities to thrive. The expansion of illegal gambling in Hong Kong stifles the growth of regulated and legalized sports betting establishments such as the Jockey Club.

Martin Purbrick, the director of security at the Jockey Club said “We need a strategy that includes the media to highlight the criminal problem, banks to prevent payments to and from illegal betting operators, police to priorities cross-border efforts against operators and a legal betting product range to compete with illegal bookmakers.” Extends Sponsorship Deal for Sunderland PL Football Club


Sunderland Football Club, the leading English Premier League team has landed an extension of its partnership deal with the Asian based online gambling site, TLC188.COM. The renewal of the contract will mean a sponsorship deal from the 2014-15 season to 2016-2017.

Since 2012, the gaming group has been a strong backer of Sunderland, and, as such, the team has taken part in pre-season trips to the Asian continent to spread the brand name. Sunderland also took part in the Asia Trophy pre-season tournament in Honk Kong in 2013.

The strategy director for Mike Chong said: “The Excitement for Premier League football teams such as Sunderland has grown fast in Asia since we signed our original contract and with frequent promotions, we expect to grow both TLC 188 and Sunderland’s international fan bases.”

Also commenting was the commercial director of the Premier League football club, Gary Hutchinson, who said: “We are really pleased to extend a strong partnership and we look forward to exploring new areas of innovation with TLC188 and Sunderland in the future.”

He added that Sunderland and would continue to build on their relationship throughout Asia and the club is becoming extremely popular with a growing worldwide fan base.

Over the years, many top online gambling companies have joined forces with iconic football clubs to ensure maximum brand exposure.

Sportech Defends Its Connecticut Online Sports Betting Rights


Sportech, one of the leading online gambling and entertainment companies with headquarters in the United Kingdom and the sole official licensee permitted to run online and phone sports betting services in the state of Connecticut, is defending its rights as the exclusive operator.

The group issued a statement following the state Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General George Jepsen’s confirmation that they had forwarded “cease and desist” letters to 28 Sports Betting operators, warning them not to serve gamblers in Connecticut with real money wagers.

The letters informed sports betting operators that are based in ten different states that they are required to immediately cease and desist from accepting any wagers placed from within the State of Connecticut.

According to a newspaper quote the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, William M. Rubenstein, had stated that some companies had responded that they would not accept any wagers while others questioned the Connecticut laws and a few said that they are evaluating the order and would respond thereto.

Meanwhile, Sportech announced in a public statement that no other site is regulated in Connecticut or pays the tax that is due to the state. The group added that their operations are closely monitored by the Department of Consumer Protection that ensures that the highest standards of player protection are in place for local residents.

Meanwhile, Sportech has reportedly received approval from authorities to operate a second Sports Bar, Restaurant and Betting venue in Connecticut that is due to be located in Stamford. A multi million dollar Sports Bar was also opened by Sportech in Bradley earlier this year that attracts gamblers from the state as well as across-the-border New York.

Responsible Gambling Ad Launched by Ladbrokes


Leading UK bookmaker, Ladbrokes, has announced that in an attempt to continue its endeavor to promote responsible gambling, the group has launched a new dedicated responsible gambling advertising campaign.

Ladbroke’s ads, which went live on UK television last week, are part of the Ladbrokes Life campaign that was developed by the advertising agency BBH and which launched last month.

The ads are much less promotional than Ladbroke’s products and services with the campaign focusing on authentic peculiarities of Ladbroke’s customers.

The new ad is non-promotional and requests players to “Please Bet Responsibly”. A character, Mr. Brightside, is featured in the ad having a terrific time out with his friends despite the fact that he has been denied a winning football bet due to a linesman decision.

Ladbrokes has made itself heard during the past few months in its support of upgrading responsible gambling measures. This action could possibly be in response to the government’s crack down on fixed odds betting terminals and demands to limit the number of betting shops situate on Britain’s high streets.

Ladbroke’s new ad campaign is one of several measures taken in order to raise awareness of responsible gambling habits and the group was also part of a move to introduce a code of player protection by the Association of British Bookmakers and has set new limits on betting machine software. Twenty per cent of the group’s shop window space also promotes messages of responsible gambling and it has retrained its staff to interact more with customers in an attempt to recognize problematic behavior.

Paddy Power Plans Italian Gambling Comeback

Leading Irish based sports betting group, Paddy Power, has revealed that its business has been slower than anticipated but that it is hoping that the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament will be able to kick start its Italian brand.

According to Peter O’Donovan, the Head of Online at Paddy Power, management was, overall, pleased about the launch and the manner in which it was executed. He added that the success of sports betting on the World Cup by Italian players was bound to determine whether or not Paddy Power manages to break even in the Italian market by the end of the year, as it is hoping to do.

Last month saw 50 per cent of all total sports book being generated through wagering via mobile devices with mobile gambling growing from strength to strength. Paddy Power is, therefore, in a good place with its Italian facing sports betting platform, which also incorporates mobile.

O’Donovan also said that Paddy Power was waiting to see what impact the World Cup will have on the group’s Italian gambling interests.

Paddy Power intends launching a TV advertising campaign in order to raise brand awareness which will be geared towards Italians.

O’Donavan said that the market may not be growing as fast as Paddy Power expects which is due to the fact that its growth is driven by more “spend per customer” instead of more customers but that he was highly confident about the long term prospects of the Italian market.

The first quarter results that was released by Paddy Power this week reveals a 27 per cent year on year decline in the quarter, compared to the same period last year.