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Showing posts from July, 2010

bwin and PartyGaming merger finally on

Shares in the two firms jumped at least 20% yesterday with the long-awaited announcement of the merger.

Party Gaming, bwin Plan Gambling Merger

PartyGaming PLC plans to merge with Austrian sports-book operator Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, creating the world's largest listed online-gambling business.

The new company will be owned 48.36% and 51.64% by PartyGaming and Bwin shareholders respectively and will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. It would have a combined net gambling revenue of €682 million ($885.6 million) and combined earnings before interest, taxes and amortization of €196 million, PartyGaming said. Shares in PartyGaming jumped 20% Thursday, valuing the company at £1.26 billion ($1.96 billion), while Bwin shares soared 25% on the Vienna Stock Exchange, valuing the company at €1.58 billion.

Jim Ryan, Chief Executive of PartyGaming, and Norbert Teufelberger, co-CEO of Bwin, will run the merged group as co-chief executives. Mr. Teufelberger said his co-CEO at B…

sheer hypocrisy from Victor Chandler

Front page of today's Racing Post - "Chandler ups ante with levy pledge related to exchanges". The British betting industry's no.1 tax and levy dodger, Victor Chandler, who led the move to Gibraltar over a decade ago, has pledged to start paying levy on his offshore business if Betfair gets taxed/levied as he believes is right!

What right does he have to declare himself holier than thou? He currently pays levy on his ONE shop in London and his on-course racing business, which would hold a pittance in turnover compared to his Gibraltar business.

"The whole centre of the problem with the levy lies with betting exchanges," he says. This is the bloke who did a runner to Gibraltar in 1999 to avoid paying tax and levy in the first place. How can the system be screwed because of exchanges when tax-dodgers like him started the avoidance of levy before Betfair was even founded?

"I will make a promise today that if the BHA and the British government make the be…

odd move by French authorities

The whole premise of French protectionism over gambling was to protect the PMU, the local racing tote which funds the local racing industry. The French government have shown their distaste for Betfair and exchange betting from day one, and fixed-odds betting on horse racing for any other operator has not been approved either. So in that case, why would they licence two competing pari-mutuel operators to bet on French horse racing? They won't be allowed shops which will mean pool liquidity can only struggle.

Geny Infos (genbet.fr) was last night granted a licence for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, as was ZeTurf France (zeturf.fr), a company which have 'illegally' tried to compete with the PMU for many years. So they licence a firm which has consistently broken the rules in the past, and yet not Betfair who had made no attempt to target France until the last 18 months or so, before ceasing all activity there to conform with the new law.

Perhaps it's the government&…

German F1 preview

You can read my betting preview for today's race at Hockenheim on PuntingAce.

Season results so far can be found here.

Here's hoping for a bit of rain to spice up today's race!

time for a change!

I was getting bored with the old layout, about time I had something fresh. Now if I could just find the right racing image to use as the background...

Horseracing must face commercial reality

While this article specifically refers to racing in the UK, there aren't many racing jurisdictions in the world that these issues don't apply to. From Global Betting and Gaming Consultants...

UK Horseracing Must Face Commercial Reality

Selected quotes


As we have said before the horse racing industry has wasted money, not allocated resource where it will deliver the best return and has not committed funds to reserves.

Now we have the recession. This one is called the Great Recession and it is causing business to really think about the way it operates and is creating efficiencies previously not considered. A recession exposes faulty business models and those who have not been prudent during the boom are being tested.

We are now in a period where the niceties of life have to be placed on one side. We are beyond politics now; it is the time when all sides have to be unfailingly realistic.

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The problem is that racing many years ago started to believe its own PR that the product was infa…

boxing is fixed - who'd have thought?

And Don King wasn't even involved. Australian boxer Danny Green sought an easy retention of his IBO cruiserweight title, lining up against four-years retired 'boxer' Paul Briggs. Briggs was allegedly paid $200k for the fight, yet went down to a punch most three-year olds would be embarrassed by, just 29 seconds into the first round. And everyone seemed to know about it too - some Australian bookmakers reported the price of R1 KO being smashed from 10.0 to 1.55!

Briggs' 29-second fiasco has bookies fearing a fix

BETTING agencies will today demand that the International Boxing Organisation launch an investigation into the farcical result of Danny Green's title defence in Perth last night against Paul Briggs, fearing a fix.

Green's angry reaction to Briggs's capitulation within 30 seconds rivalled that of the stunned audience's. Briggs went down to a glancing jab that appeared to hit his glove, not his head, and he stayed down for the full count. The fight wa…

abusing monopoly status is sure to interest the EU

Under the EU guidelines/legislation/regulations, EU member states are expected to allow gambling services from other EU members states unless they can prove the reason behind blocking them is social policy - namely protection of locals from the 'evils' of gambling. In countries like the Netherlands, this leads inevitably ends up being protect the local monopoly but ban all others - hardly social policy at all, just the protection of high margins which go directly into the state coffers.

Norway, and much of Scandinavia, attempts the same social policy - outlawing all competition in favour of the local high margin, state-owned operator Norsk Tipping. Studies around the world, in Norway and Australia in particular, have shown that problem gambling is most likely to originate from betting machines - called slots, pokies or fruit machines depending on where you live. In fact, just a few years ago, because 80% of problem gambling cases were coming from these machines, Norsk Tipping u…

common sense prevails over Paddy Power ad complaint

I'm glad this happened because if the wowsers got this one kicked off TV, then humour would never be allowed in advertising ever again.

ASA dismisses Paddy Power ad complaints

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared a TV advertisement for Irish bookmaker Paddy Power that showed a game of football being played between two teams of blind men which ended with a cat being kicked into a tree, despite more than 1,000 complaints from viewers - one of the highest ever recorded by the ASA.

The TV ad showed a game of football being played by two teams of blindfolded men, using a ball which had a bell inside it. One player kicked the ball off the pitch and a cat, wearing a bell on its collar, ran on to the pitch. The referee was about to blow his whistle, when one of the men was shown taking a kick and a thud and a loud cat's meow was then heard - although no contact between the player and the cat was shown on screen (and the cat was shown to be fine afterwards, albeit high…

Monday news sweep

Veteran of the sportsbetting industry, WSEX, is allegedly going down according to Gambling911. Reports of their slow demise have been emerging for a while now, surely there comes a time when you just have to just pay up, and close down?

Australian telco Telstra is said to be discussing acquiring a 25% stake in racing TV network TVN according to sources. If so, that would certainly give them some teeth in resisting the anti-competitive we-wish-we-were-a-monopoly TABCorp-owned SkyChannel. And if the Anti-Competition Council get involved there, the Aus racing & broadcasting sector could be in for a major shake up. The chances of TVN's website getting a decent upgrade from the same replay technology they began with in about 2002? Crappy old Windows Media Player format that continually runs stop-start. Very slim...

Racing NSW still in the dark about technology, but it turns out the Japan Racing Association, supposedly the benchmark of integrity, isn't much further ahead.

And more …

the Betfair float - is it finally here?

Peter Webb is reporting via rumours on SkyNews, that the float is set for the autumn.

There have been rumours around mentioning that period as time for the float... but the same could be said for a long list of dates over the past five years. Stay tuned for an announcement....

Here's more from SkyNews's Mark Kleinman.

It will be a quick turnaround to list as early as September, but in reality, they have been planning this for years, it was only a matter of when.

V'Landys and cronies are fiddling while NSW racing burns

The time of the most stubborn and incompetent racing administrator in the world is coming to an end. Defiantly, he still refuses to believe that a court could possibly rule against him and his policies which were proven in court to be discriminatory, and thus illegal. NSW Racing is being crippled by the amount of ridiculous legal fees this bozo and his board are wasting on cases they simply cannot win.

Contrast this rhetoric as dictated to TABCorp and Racing NSW's mouthpiece, the Daily Telegraph, with this analysis from Bill Saunders, an industry analyst who actually understands the principles of law and negotiation.

The Punters' Show on Racenet had an excellent interview with Andrew Twaits on the subject.

Finally the industry that V'Landys supposedly lives and breathes for has had enough, a vote of 'no confidence' in V'Landys and the Racing NSW board is set to be put forward at next week's board meeting.

Leading NSW trainer Gai Waterhouse said "It is real…

the Harry Findlay case

I've waited until now to comment since his appeal is currently being heard. For those outside UK racing, this is the case where the biggest punter in the UK, one who trades, nearly every race, every day, was penalised for laying his own horse twice on Betfair. Harry owns (or at least did, until the initial ruling was made) a string of horses with various trainers around the country, and most notably is involved in Denman, the champion jumper.

Nobody will disagree that laying your own horse for profit is a bad thing which needs to be heavily punished. However that was not the case here. Both times Findlay had already backed his horse heavily and was reducing his risk by laying some of his outlay back. In both cases, he still wanted the horse to win overall.

Mark Davies has commented about the case today - here.

There are two camps of thought here - 1. that all betting against your own horse is evil and must be struck out, and 2. that one should only be punished if the owner/punter wil…

trader's dream - 1.01 both sides in a tennis match

ATP Bastad - Pere Riba leads 5-2 in the third set, and trades at 1.01.



Peter Luczak fights back and leads 6-2 in the breaker.

Riba fights back and wins 4/6 6/2 7/6 (8)

Images captured at 6-5 in the tiebreak...

Did I lay both players at very short odds? No, but did lay them at 1.52 and 1.11 respectively for a nice profit anyway.

World Cup match-fixing allegations

Back page of the Racing Post today reports that a UEFA investigator has claimed Nigerian players were 'vulnerable to manipulation' - i.e. potential targets for match-fixing at the World Cup.

One would think that was pretty bloody obvious. Based on the political reaction after the World Cup - banning the Nigerian team from major tournament for two years (soon rescinded), it's pretty obvious that the whole system there is a shambles, and thus a team such as that COULD be open to such a thing, especially when their final match had no upside for them - they couldn't make the next round. But the gambling world is extremely tight and well monitored these days. When something is up, it gets magnified exponentially, and there are certain teams & players where the first sign of trouble will cause bookies to switch the match off or slash limits right back. Nigeria is one of those teams.

FIFA and bookmakers have dismissed the allegations as having no substance.

is this really a good idea?

Serie B is renowned as one of the dodgiest football leagues in the world. Any football punter with an eye on Europe will recall numerous end-of-season matches with arranged results - convenient draws played out after club presidents do favours for their mates as teams pull all the strings they can to avoid relegation.

So the last thing you'd think was a good idea is a betting company becoming naming rights sponsor of the league.....


Italy's Serie B rebranded as Serie bwin

July 7 (Reuters) - Italy´s second tier Serie B has been rebranded Serie bwin after a two-year sponsorship deal was signed on Wednesday with Austria-based internet betting firm bwin.

The deal, announced in a Serie B statement, will bring much-needed revenue to a division which has been under severe financial pressure for several years.

Serie B will run its own affairs this season after the top-flight Serie A broke away from the two-division professional league.

low quality events mean dodgy dealings

As I discussed in the previous post about the Levy Board and too many racing fixtures in the UK, when too much of a sport is on offer, the quality suffers. And when the quality suffers, often so does the integrity.

This week we have the ATP event in Newport, a really poor standard tournament, the only one on grass after Wimbledon and it clashes with Davis Cup as well, so few decent players bother and most European challengers would have better R1 matches. So far this week, we've had Richard Bloomfield, a British qualifier ranked outside the top 500, with a 1-10 record in ATP events backed off the map yesterday against Christophe Rochus, a veteran who has been losing R1 of Challenger level events lately.

(Forum extract) "Rochus topping up the pension fund yet again. Bloomfield odds plummeted from evens to 1.25 before the match. $1.4 million matched on betfair, and nearly every bookie pulled the market. Was funny inplay, Bloomfield was something like 1.20 to win 2-0 even while it…

Levy Board in desperate grab for cash

Today's article on the Press Association wire highlights how desperate they are for cash as their levy shrinks....

Levy Board to consult over exchanges

The Levy Board has begun a consultation process relating to the issue of whether certain users of betting exchanges should pay levy on their activities.


While this sounds logical enough, it's completely pointless. This has been examined over and over. Anyone that tries exclusively laying on Betfair won't be living off it. Bookmakers can't do it on-course with higher margins, so how is someone at home going to do it when the prices are always better? Sure, you can lay something they mightn't be able to lay on course, but when you have to lay 5/2 rather than 7/4, that's hardly going to be profitable in the long run.

The two types of Betfair customer who do make money on racing are the new types - ones which aren't taking anything away from traditional betting revenue streams, because they simply weren't there …

trading drunk is a bad idea

Most people will agree that coming home after a few beers, then trying to have a few bets on US racing, or poker, or anything for that matter, is usually destined for failure. But why let it stop at just your own money... why not go the whole hog and do it properly?

Don't Trade Drunk

Most of us have done some pretty daft things while drunk, but I bet you've never accidentally bought over £325m of oil. That's what City trader Steve Perkins did exactly one year ago today, in an evening he will never (be allowed to) forget.

At least he could trade out of it for a relatively small loss, short-term markets/events don't grant you that option.

exchange betting heading to New Jersey racing?

Racing in many states of the US is really struggling. The Off-Track Betting (OTB) of New York is millions in debt (how you can run a monopoly tote at a loss is beyond belief), broadcast rights are a mess, politicians in Arizona thought it was a great idea to ban online betting altogether, Californian racetracks are being sold off to property developers or lobbying to increase takeout rates and trainers who are banned for doping offences in one state can simply up sticks and move to another. With the exception of a handful of tracks, it's a basket case.

New Jersey moves forward with betting exchange plans


This week New Jersey state assembly unanimously voted (78-0) in favour of a bill that would authorise a Betfair-style betting exchange for state residents on horse racing. Like everything in the US, it's restricted by state, but..

"The bill also provides that exchange bets submitted on a given market on the exchange in New Jersey may, under approved conditions, be matched wi…