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Monday roundup

Not got as much time on my hands at the moment, so I'll try to keep the site fresh with a weekly update as a minimum...

Betfair shares break back through the £10 mark as their financial trading arm LMAX flounders. The newly-recruited CEO has gone after just three months; sounds like either a major difference of opinions or a long walk off a short pier. Also leaving is 'Chief Products and Services Officer' Matthias Entenmann. Considering the service these days is the most criticised part of the business from customers and the major shareholders will be looking for scapegoats, my guess is his share options had matured and he decided to jump before he was pushed.

The quest for licensing in Europe continues, and is messy as always. Greece started off with a ridiculous 6% turnover levy and have now switched to 30% GPT, which won't be too popular either, but at least it's manageable in a jurisdiction switching from monopolistic margins. The Greek government has also dropped the suggested 'black' period where prospective licensees would have to shut down their business to Greek clients until their licence was granted.

UK bookmakers are ruing the cost of betting promotions for Cheltenham after all it did was increase their liabilities on winning favourites. It is an incredibly competitive market on the Cheltenham Festival, going Non-Runner No Bet so far out should only force the margins up on each race, but if bookies choose to stay competitive with firms who don't offer NRNB, then how do they expect to profit if any of the favoured runners don't start? Conversely, this Saturday will be the Grand National where every mug punter in the land will have a bet and the bookies will make the SP look so fat even Weight Watchers would give it no chance of survival. If you plan to bet on the National, take a fixed price in the morning (when all the corporate bookies are competitive), not in the afternoon when all the bookies like shortening prices to take advantages of the punters who don't know a thing about percentages.

And finally, the Party Gaming & bwin merger is complete but instead of being called Pwin like some suggested, they've gone for bwin.party.

I'm planning a longer article on the dreadful state of California horse racing pools later in the week, the increase in takeout percentage has not gone down well with punters, as anyone with half a brain could have worked out in the first place...

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