Gambling firms Now Exposed over Consumer Welfare Attitude

The Gambling Commission of the UK is working hard to enhance safer and fairer gambling in the industry, in a bid to improve consumer protection.


The Gambling Commission Chief Executive has insisted that they are focusing on making gambling much safer and fairer to all clients. He also goes further to say that the business of gambling should collaborate and invest an equal amount of resources into data, research, and technology to enhance and solidify the protection of their client. This should be given priority just as this company do to create new products, marketing campaigns, and advertising.


Leaders of gambling companies, have been called into action to set the tone and lead in a culture of following the rules for compliance and putting the welfare of the customers first. They should strive in continuously raising the standards for the benefits of their clients.


The gambling firms which fail to comply with the rules risk of being exposed to various sanctions. That includes, hefty fines or eventual withdrawal of their operating licenses indefinitely or for a fixed period of time. For instance, the Gambling company 32Red faced a fine of £2 million for failing to provide protection to a problem gambler. Another gambling firm known as William Hill received a penalty of £6.2 million for breaching the social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations.


The gambling commission is keen on tackling the issue of firms having the ability to spot betting patterns which seem unusual, which could likely be caused by people getting into financial hardships through betting. It could also be as a result of money laundering. The chief executive says that betting firms need to know their customers in such a way that they can know how capable they are to afford the money being used. The companies need to use all the data they have to get to understand their customers well at an early stage. This is to enhance controlling the amount a certain customer can bet with by imposing limits.


Child protection has been the main issue of focus on tackling the gambling problems. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is also part of this revolutionary strategy. It has recently banned some online slot adverts as they looked appealing to younger children. This included some coral gambling adverts which featured animated images such as the leprechaun that particularly showed a high appeal to the teenagers.


The Gambling Commission assumes that, total responsibility has been taken by the Advertising Standards Authority to discipline those who breach the rules of targeting vulnerable customers. Educating the public is an initiative that has been taken seriously by the Gambling Commission. Gamble Aware which is a charity in the industry, orders to provide treatment to the people who have already been affected, as well as do an extra thorough investigation into matters pertaining gambling problems.



River UK Casino Limited Acquires a 70% Majority Stake in Gaming Realms PLC.

The gambling sector of the United Kingdom is set to experience a major shift. The UK gambling giant, River iGaming has established a new subsidiary, River UK Casino Limited which it has used to acquire a 70% majority stake in the Gaming Realms plc.


This takeover encompasses X Factor Games sites, Pocket Fruity, Britain’s Got Talent Games, and Spin Genie over and above the gambling giant. The takeover shall cost £23.1 million, subject to the approvals by the shareholders. At the conclusion of the takeover, the remaining 30% stake and the flagship Slingo brands shall be held by Gaming Realms.


This 30% stake shall be subjected to a call option and mutual put arrangement. This privilege, as per the sales arrangement, shall be exercised on or before 31st October 2020. It shall further be subjected to the uncapped valuation of around 5.5 times the earnings-before-interest-and-taxes of River UK Casino. The entire privilege shall run for the duration of 12 months preceding the 30 June 2020 deadline.


A press release from the company stated that it shall pay out a minimum of £8.4 million to effect the takeover. It plans to spend half of this amount as soon as the deal is sealed and the remaining half progressively on an earn-out basis. It further anticipates spending yet another £14.7 million on the basis of earn-outs on or before August 31st, 2019.


Gaming Realms CEO, Patrick Southon had this to say:

“This sale is indeed revolutionary. This is because it will grant us the leeway to channel all our resources on matters of international licensing as well as the development of newer gaming contents. This shall subsequently place us in a stronger position as to let us generate further profitable growths in the future.”


In all, River iGaming which is the parent company of the River UK Casino Limited expects to make no less than £1m in annual revenue with the new acquisition. This stems from the profitable nature of the particular business. For this to happen, the acquisition shall have to generate earnings-before-interest-and-taxes of no less than £6 million in the 12-month duration prior to 30 June 2019.


For instance, in the financial year ended 2017, Gaming Realms plc made net gaming revenue to the tune of £13.9m. In the same year, its adjusted profit before tax and the corresponding interest amounted to £2.2m.


During the transition phase, the present management team of the business will oversee the River UK Casino till June 30, 2020. At the same time, River iGaming and Gaming Realms plc will jointly raise a working capital loan facility of around £3 million to fund investments in marketing for the business until at least 30 June 2019.


This loan facility shall be repaid in full no later than 30 June 2020. Of the £3 million, £2.1 million shall be contributed by River iGaming with the remaining £0.9 million by Gaming Realms plc.

With regards to this, Gaming Realms had this to say:

“We plan to spend the first batch of the £4.2m of the sales proceeds to develop new gaming contents and enhance the current platforms. We shall also provide a loan of approximately £0.9m to fund the River UK Casino’s marketing budget as stipulated previously.”


This, the company argues, is consistent with its strategy of channeling its resource base on content developments and international licensing. The final resolution to sell the 70% stake, however, rests with the general meeting and is expected to be endorsed on July 18 in London, United Kingdom.


Given the highly lucrative and competitive nature of the online gambling sector in the United Kingdom, we all wait to see just how much impact this acquisition is going to have.




Banach Technology Receives an Investment Boost from Investors for Expanding their Startup

One of the leading betting technology companies in Ireland, Banach Technology, raised a vast $2.55m funds for startups from investors.


Some of the investors that contributed towards the raising of these funds for startups included Cormac McCarty and Patrick Kennedy. Both the investors have served in corporate leadership positions at Paddy Powers. Patrick Kennedy is the former Chief Executive Officer for Paddy Powers, and Cormac McCarthy served in the area of Chief Financial Officer at Paddy Power.


Banach Technology was also backed by investors such as Stewart Kenny and David Power. Banach Technology is a company that provides gambling groups with products, pricing and customer experience systems and has worked with renowned brands such as GVC Holdings.


GVC holdings are the sole owner of BWin and Ladbrokes. Currently, the Chief Executive Officer for Banach Technology is one Mark Huges and has also worked for Paddy Powers serving in the position of Senior Quantitative Analyst and the Head of Quants. Also, the other co-corporate executives for Banach Technologies have a history with Paddy Powers including Rob Reck who is the Managing Director for Banach. Speaking to Sunday Times, the Managing Director for


Banach reported that the funding that they received from investors was by a large extend oversubscribed. Also, Rob Reck stated that Banach Technology was looking forward to hiring more than a dozen employees to work for the company. Banach Technology is to increase the number of their staff from 12 to 30 workers with the inclusion of hiring software engineers and quant mathematicians. Banach Technology is a startup that as attracted shareholders such as the owner for Red Tiger and also an entrepreneur in the field of gaming Nick Maughan.


Banach Technology is a firm that has based their operations in Dublin, and the structure of the corporate leadership is one with extensive expertise in the industry with a good number having worked for Paddy Powers. Banach Technology is a company that is bringing a revolution to the trade of betting. The technology developed by Banach will enhance customer engagement and also improve the operator margin across the board for all channels. It was reported that, the products being provided by Banach Technology are designed around the empowering of customers.


The users will be able to come up with a structured bet that is customized and will feature correlated multiples of the same game. Banach Technology was founded in the year 2015 by an executive team of mathematicians and technologists. The senior management team comprises Mark Hughes who is the CEO and is a Bsc holder in the field of economics and finance having studied at the University College of Dublin. Rob Reck is the Managing Director and holds an MBS in the area of Actuarial Science from the University College Dublin.


Furthermore, Rob Reck has a Bachelor’s in Maths and Mathematical Physics that he obtained from University College Dublin. Alex Zevenbergen is the Chief Technical Officer for Banach Technology, and he holds a BSc in Business and information systems from the University College Cork.


Adrien Lepretre is the Chief Operating Officer for the Dublin based organization and holds an MSc in Quantitative Finance from the University College of Dublin. Also, Adrien Lepretre holds a BSc in Economics that he obtained at HEC Lausanne. Banach Technology is headed for greater heights in the gambling industry, and the executives are focused on expanding their venture. The firm is now focused on bringing on board new and skilled employees with the vision of growing their wings.



An Online Casino 32Red is Facing a £2m Fine after Violating Customer Welfare Procedures

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) filed a lawsuit against a reputable online gambling firm, 32Red after it has failed to protect its customers in what is termed as to protect a problem gambler, money laundering, and social responsibility checks. 32Red was slapped with a £2m fine penalty.


In gambling, customer welfare is a priority factor to consider in their operations. The Gambling Commission presented enough evidence about their case against 32Red. They mainly urged with 22 incidents that clearly could prove that the customer had gambling problems. Their proof was an investigation of the customer dealings as from November 2014 to April 2017 of a customer who had deposited £758,000.


Before any customer deposits any amount to a gambling firm, the firm is supposed to do money laundering, and social responsibilities check as required by the law set via the gambling commission. These checks are not only intended to stop any form of money frauds that would want to get clean via gambling channels but also would help those with gambling problems from losing all their money to gambling.


32Red not only accepted a deposit of £758,000 without doing the proper checks required but also offered some bonuses to encourage the customer to keep on betting more frequently with them. Despite their client having a net salary of £2,150, the client was still able to raise an average amount of £45,000 monthly. According to the 32Red company, the customer cheated claiming a net salary of £13,000 monthly of which, t was still not credible enough to accept those monthly deposits to a gambling firm by law. The customer won a seven-figure digit, but surprisingly he reinvested back to the same gambling firm of which this is an alarming case of problem gambling. 32Red failed in their obligation to take the rightful procedures by reviewing their customers’ financial status and asses the social responsibility in all of their deposits. The customer took more than a month to validate issues concerning his financial position while on the other hand, 32Red could not clearly explain on how the client had acquired that money he deposited to them since the firm failed to fulfill their money laundering procedures on their customers.


The £2m fine accounted for a £1.3m payment that was to go to a Gambling strategy plan that intends to tackle issues on problem gambling, a £709,046 divestment on the financial gain while the rest covered up for the investigation costs, policy improvement and risk management departments.


Kindred who owned 32Red accepted the penalty and pledged that all measures supposed to be done will be implemented to ensure that all customers will be enjoying gambling in a safe and secure environment where no law will be violated. Improvements and changes affecting both the processing and procedures were implemented immediately. These changes included; a review on all current customers profiles against the revised policies, a third party group that helps in anti-money laundering detection and companies in the same platform unified so that they work together toward the same goal in an organized manner.


Richard Watson who was the commission’s executive director said that instead of gambling firms motivating or even convincing their customers to gamble more like the case of 32Red gambling firms are expected to be limiting the amount their customers are dedicating to gambling guided with the specified checks. Other gambling firms like Sky Bet, Tab-corp and William Hill found themselves in the same trap as 32Red resulting to large sums of fines as penalties for failing to prioritize customer welfare on their procedures and operations.




Bingo! Humble Oldham Man took Home £50,000

A whopping £50,000! That is what Steven Bray, a 35-year-old Oldham resident is set to pocket after winning the national Bingo Game Jackpot at Mecca.


The night of Tuesday, 5th June will forever remain etched in his mind since it is the day fate granted him a wish every bingo player lives for- having the right number combination to win the jackpot! Bingo has been a traditional family pastime for Steven, having been introduced to the game by his late parents, seven years ago.


The win was not the first one for Steven, but none of his previous wins was as big as this life-changing jackpot. For the 35-year-old who works as a hire controller for Hire Station, this win opens many doors. He plans to take a holiday to the Maldives, a popular destination that he has always wanted to visit. Clearing his mortgage is also high up on his list of priorities.


When asked how the win will change his daily life, he said: “I work two jobs which keep me extremely busy, so I’m hoping to use the money to take a break from my hectic lifestyle.” He also hopes that some aspects of his life like the relationship he has with the people around him will remain the same. That is why he plans to hold a Thanksgiving party for family and friends.


Despite the absence of his parents, Steven believes his luck when choosing the numbers could be a gift from them. They were avid bingo players, and he would have enjoyed sharing the joy of winning with them. It was actually a bittersweet memory, having lost his dad only last September, to a heart attack – He was aged 69. His mother also died of a heart attack back in 2011 while she was 55 years old.


Asked why he loves bingo, Steven says it provides a sweet escape from daily hassles. “It’s always a good buzz when waiting for the last numbers to be called,” he adds. Playing bingo once or twice a week offers him a chance of meeting new people.


Tony Beverly, the Mecca Oldham club manager was also elated by Steven’s win because it adds to his club’s tally of jackpot winners in the new National Bingo game that started on 30th April. Steven’s win is the 11th. He said: “it is great to see one of our longest standing players win the National Bingo Game. He really couldn’t believe it when we told him there and then that he had won a £50,000 Jackpot.” The new National Bingo game offers various jackpot prizes including £100, £1000 and £50,000 on each game. House prices are also available at every club.


Apart from Steven, everyone at the club also had a reason to celebrate. The party held for members by the Mecca Bingo club on 21st June gave everyone a chance to enjoy a drink, and tuck some buffet as they watched Steven, his sister and some of his buddies receive the giant check on stage. Their optimism that probably some of Steven’s luck would rub off on them was quite apparent.




BetFred First Major Annual Losses

The land and online gambling group, Betfred, has experienced a decrease in the incoming profit for the year that came to a close in September 2017. The profit decreased from GBP 32.4 million as compared to the previous year to a loss of GBP 13.4 million; the company blamed their decrease to goodwill deterioration attributed to increasing costs, digital assets and higher taxation.


Despite a 9.6 percent increase in revenue that rose up to GBP 634.5 million and up to 3 percent earnings at 83.3 million, the company still experienced a loss. Mostly from the retailers, the group turnover was up to 17.5 % at GBP 12.7 billion.


An analysis made on the Betfred group estimated the groups’ online revenue at GBP ninety million on a three percent yearly increment from growing player base. None of the figures had increased by then. They also realized that eighty-three percent of what the group was earning originated from retail operations. The United Kingdom government decided to reduce the highest limit Fixed Odds Betting terminal stakes from GBP one hundred up to GBP by the year 2020; this shall have an effect that may provoke changes in the groups’ earnings. The director of the group requested the government to reconsider this decision for it might lead to huge losses across the industry.


On 25th of June 2018, the Betfred group again reported the same operating loss of £13.4m despite an increase in earnings and revenue. The revenue during the twelve months to September 24, 2017, was still at £634.5m with an increase of 9.6 percent as compared to the previous year. The earnings also had improved by the same three percent yearly up to £83.3m.


The Betfred retail total gambling turnover, Tote, and online businesses rose up to 17.5 percent to £12.7bn. Regulus partners commented that the online revenue of the Betfred group increased by three percent on a yearly basis to £90m; that of Tote increased by twelve percent to £32.4m. These partners also suggested that the Betfred might be set for more challenges in the coming future because of the regulation modifications on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).


The Betfred group experienced an eight-figure loss in its treasury year despite a good revenue gain. The improved revenue came largely through the group’s 2016 October addition of three hundred and twenty-two Ladbrokes Coral betting shops. The company’s Totepoool business also signed a commingling deal with the Hong Kong Jockey Club plus a non-specified rise in their online customer base.


Predictably, the anti-gambling suspects in the United Kingdom’s media played up with the fact the founder of Betfred, Fred Done, decided to take a £10.2m annual dividend just like the previous year. These kinds of media noted that Betfred had announced the previous week that there was a possibility of closing up to nine hundred betting shops and fire up to four thousand, five hundred staff members. This would occur if all the government would execute their plan of reducing the highest limit stake on fixed- odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 up to just £2. Lucky enough the government recently announced that the FOBTs stake reduction would not take place till the year 2020.


The Regulus partners also realized that the 83 percent earnings from the retailers put the company in a particularly hard position given the current government stance. As a result, they suggested that Betfred’s core business would require some structural change.


Recently the director of Betfred gave a decree that his company’s association with racing had been broken after several years of dis-unity between the racing and the betting industry. He also reported a deal with Alizeti Capital as the very first page of their decision to disrobe its Tote holdings.


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Sky Betting and Gaming Makes Its Partnership with IWG Official

On May 22, 2018, Sky Betting and Gaming announced its partnership and latest agreement with Instant Win Gaming (IWG). Following the deal between the two gaming giants, IWG agreed to deliver its full portfolio of games to Sky Bingo.


During the announcement, Robert Proctor of Sky Betting and Gaming cited the company’s delight to partner with IWG, the leading supplier of instant win games globally. The content and commercial manager also added that his company was very impressed with the IWG’s quality of games and the seamless manner in which their games portfolio integrated with the Sky Bingo’s platform.


Good news for Sky Bingo players

The partnership between Sky Betting and Gaming and IWG is great news for lovers of bingo. Sky Bingo is the largest bingo sports book in the UK, and for the first time, the brand is offering IWG suite of games on its site. This includes the popular IWG classic Cash Butter Series.


During the event, IWG CEO, Rhydian Fisher, said: “We’re thrilled to offer our quality portfolio of games through the UK’s largest bingo sports book.”


He also added that the latest agreement between the two companies is an indicator of the growing demand for instant win games. According to him, the partnership also highlights IWG’s strength in developing and supplying online instant win games.


About IWG

Instant Win Gaming is an American based company renowned for its online instant win games portfolio. The company offers branded games to lotteries and gaming brands through commercial partnerships, and last year it won a B2B online lottery supplier of the year award.


Although IWG has more than 12 years experience in delivering comprehensive instant win gaming solutions to customers in America and other regulated markets, its partnership with Sky Betting and Gaming marks its largest stride in penetrating the UK gaming market. IWG will deliver its full game portfolio to Sky bingo players through its Progressive Play Remote Game Server (RGS) network.


What the partnership means for Bingo players

The launch of IWG suite of games with sky Bingo marks the beginning of an exciting journey for bingo players in the UK. Fans of gambling can now play an array of games from IWG’s suite on Sky Bingo’s site and win instant cash prizes. Some of the popular games in the company’s portfolio includes  Super Cash Busters, Crossword Cash, Lucky 7×7, Fast Buck, Gold rush,  Monopoly, Lucky Picks, and Bang for your Buck.