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Showing posts from August, 2011

ACT Gambling and Racing Commission are as bad as the shysters they 'regulate'

Scathing, and perfectly accurate, article about the Sports Alive debacle from a former colleague Matt Fisk. The licensing authority's lame reaction to this has been nothing short of pathetic. The rest of Australia has built up rigid standards in the protection of punters, the monitoring of licensed persons and companies etc and the ACT has let Sports Alive go down the drain with, it is believed, over $1m of punters' funds. This isn't the first firm in the ACT to go down, but it is definitely the biggest. A proper regulatory body would have seen the writing on the wall and found the evidence they needed to suspend the betting licence. Rumours of a class action have been mooted. The ACT GRC really should be held accountable for this debacle - their stamp of approval was on the licence and they ballsed it up big time....

Punter Protection (or lack thereof) in the ACT


As a member of the Australian fixed odds betting fraternity I have always been one to take pride in the way res…

tide turning back against Australian bookie advertising

As mentioned on this blog earlier in the year, Australian sports fans have been overwhelmed this year by betting advertising. That's fine if you love a punt, but if you have to avoid it for various reasons, there really was nowhere to turn. Live odds updates on scoreboards, official websites carrying live prices, and most annoying of all, the repeated paid plugs with live odds read out by the commentators. There has to be a happy medium - enough to interest potential punters but also allow those with no interest to tune out.

MCG Trust tackles sports gambling head-on

A significant blow against the pervasive advertising of sports betting at main venues has been struck.

As Fairfax reported yesterday, the Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust will not renew an agreement with Betfair, which displays updated odds on scoreboards during AFL games. The MCG Trust, which controls a stadium where crowds of up to 100,000 gather, imposed the ban on live odds updates after complaints from members.

It is …

football authorities finally taking their heads out of the sand

Good article from CNN about match-fixing and how stubborn football authorities are finally starting to realise just how big and how widespread the problem is.

Football's match-fixing problem


(CNN) -- It was the highest profile, and most embarrassing, sanction imaginable.

The decision by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to withdraw champions Fenerbahce from this season's Champions League on Wednesday, due to allegations of endemic match fixing and bribery, shocked the football world far outside arguably Europe's most passionate footballing nation.

For Turkish football fans, it's the equivalent of Manchester United being stripped of the English Premier League title; or of the New York Yankees losing the World Series over corruption charges. Last year's runners up, Trabzonspor, will take Fenerbahce's place, but the shock waves remain...


US Open Round 1

Had written this for a client but it wasn't used for some reason...


In Round 1 matches, the Aussie focus will be on Bernard Tomic against qualifier Michael Yani, and wildcard Marinko Matosevic opposing Juan Ignacio Chela again, in a repeat of their Wimbledon R1 clash. Tomic actually trails 1-2 on the h2h, losing both on clay, while his success came in Wimbledon qualifying on the grass. Yani is no slouch, he grinds his way through the challenger circuit with occasional ventures to the higher grade. If Tomic brings his big stage attitude onto court he'll be fine, but I foresee a longer than necessary match. Lay Tomic 3-0 at around 2.6.

The latest young American hope, Ryan Harrison, opens proceedings in Louis Armstrong Stadium against Marin Cilic. This will be an out-and-out slugfest. Harrison is the highest-ranked teenager on the tour, and typical of emerging Americans, relies heavily on his serve. Semi-final appearances in Atlanta and LA early in the North American swing boost…

US Open preview - women

Women's draw


Are we back to Serena domination of the WTA Tour or she is the best one left in a bad bunch? Clijsters is injured again, Wozniacki is proving a dud at number one and every other player on the women's tour seems to have issues. It seems there has never been a more urgent need for some fresh young faces to step forward and really upset the applecart.
With Hurricane Irene surging up the east coast of the US, it's hard to know at this stage just how disrupted the tournament will be, but it's a long, long odds-on that critics will be calling for a roof to be built over the show courts yet again….

Working down the draw this time.

1 - Wozniacki. In the papers more for her lovelife now than her tennis. Is that first Grand Slam win ever going to emerge? Losing first-up to McHale in Cincinnati isn't the way to suggest it will be this time, although she did reverse that result in New Haven, a tournament she always plays well in. Has form here but backing her to w…

US Open preview - men

It's Slam time again which means I've been busy with betting previews. I've been writing these for all the Slams since 2000 with some tasty winners along the way...

Men's draw

Changing of the guard with Djokovic holding the no.1 seed mantle for the first time at a Slam. If his shoulder ailment has gone, then the title is his to lose. But if he isn't full strength, it's wide open. Expect severe disruption to the schedule for the first couple of days until the after-effects of Hurricane Irene peter out completely.

1. Djokovic - his form this year makes him the most dominant man I have seen across all surfaces. 57-2 is incredible, particularly with the most recent defeat being a precautionary retirement due to an ailing shoulder (Cincinnati final). Early rounds should be a breeze, gets harder in week two - Gasquet, followed by Berdych or Monfils. 2.3
32. Dodig - first time seed facing former world #3 in R1. Tough initiation. Beat Nadal in Montreal so can pull a shoc…

SportsAlive? Not any more!

Sad news today of an Australian sports bookmaker going bust. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) website shows that liquidators have been appointed for SportsAlive.

Should SportsAlive have adhered to their licensing conditions, specifically the one below, then all should be fine for punters. However, it sounds like a few guys have been slow paid for a while (this year's not the first time they've had cash flow problems) so it may be that one of them got fed up with it and called in the lawyers. Staff apparently hadn't been paid for a fortnight either.


4. Segregated Bank Accounts
4.1 A sports bookmaker must, for the purposes of the sports bookmaking
business, maintain a segregated sports betting bank account for the
purpose of betting monies received.

For full details of the ACT legislation, where SportsAlive were licensed, click here.

This is a critical test of the strength of Australian bookmaking regulations. Hopefully it won't be long before a…

Centrebet takeover approved by Australian Federal Court

The Sportingbet bid for Centrebet looks to be signed and sealed now with Australian courts giving approval that it doesn't breach any anti-competition laws. So Ladbrokes choose not to bid on Australia's first online bookie, letting Sportingbet buy them out, so they can then take them over....

Interesting concept - surely someone's paying too much along the line?

Centrebet takeover approved by Australian court

Sportingbet’s takeover of Centrebet has edged closer after receiving the approval of the Federal Court of Australia. The news follows last week’s announcement that the takeover had received the backing of Centrebet shareholders. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, London-listed Sportingbet confirmed that the schemes pertaining to the takeover will “become effective” upon the lodging of relevant court orders to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission tomorrow. The suspension of Centrebet shares will follow, with the Australian company s…

possibly the most pathetic excuse for steroid use

The North Korean women's football team has been kicked out of the next World Cup (2015) and all the qualifying events after five players tested positive for steroids at the recent women's World Cup in Germany.

The team doctor, Jong Ae Nam, who claimed that she had used a "Chinese remedy" based on musk deer glands to aid players who had been struck by lightning, was handed a six-year ban from the game as the five players all tested positive for steroids.

It really is la-la land over there....

Spot-fixing slips into society very easily

A disturbing, but unsurprising, report from Pakistan about the infiltration of spot-fixing into the fabric of cricket at all levels. For all the posturing and anti-gambling hysteria from idiot politicians such as Senator Nick Xenophon in Australia, one thing is crystal clear - the more you drive gambling underground, the more crooked it becomes. Simple comparison - how often do you see betting scandals in the UK and Australia as against any part of Asia? Which one of those societies tries to force betting underground? Eastern Europe can also be considered closer to Asia than the UK/Australia because the only form of legalised betting is often via state monopolies with extortionate take-out/tax rates.

Competition, licensing, regulation and education is THE ONLY WAY to handle it. Make all companies operate on normal business principles - look after the customer or they will attempt to screw you over. Keep a tight rein over companies so they always have their finances in order. Condition…

Federer and Nadal looking lacklustre

Poor performances overnight from Nadal and Federer in the Cincinnati Masters. Nadal was beaten in straight sets by Mardy Fish, the most improved player on the tour in the past 18 months since he shed a bit of muscle and improved his court movement, and soon after Federer was comfortably beaten by Tomas Berdych.

With the US Open coming up in just over a week's time, neither player is in great form - do they have it in them to bounce back for the big event, or is this the beginning of the end? I've said before I can't see Federer winning another Grand Slam singles titles, while Nadal started his senior career so early, his body will burn out quicker. Nadal did have massive blisters on his left hand, which can heal at least.

Novak Djokovic just continues on his merry way at the moment, the value might be to find someone each-way on the other side of the draw. I will definitely be opposing the 'top 4 seeds all to make the semis' option - only one of them is any sort of…

Czech team nabbed for match-fixing

Amid all the headlines for Greek and Turkish football, I hadn't seen this one before...

Czech team Olomouc sanctioned for match-fixing

The Czech football association said Thursday it had sanctioned Czech top-flight side Sigma Olomouc with a loss of nine points and a €164,000 for a 2009 match-fixing scandal.

The association's disciplinary committee fined Olomouc for an attempt to bribe Bohemians Prague players with 300,000 koruna ahead of their league game in May 2009 to secure a place in the Europa League.

Sigma's keeper Petr Drobisz, accused of having delivered the money, was handed an 18-month ban and a fine worth 200,000 koruna.


Soft penalty in my opinion - where's the punishment for those in charge of the club who were behind it? Shooting the messenger (or courier in this case) is pathetic.

Has the rogue German state turned chicken?

One German state looked like being the thorn in the foot of the German government and their farcical plans for a online gambling regulatory model. 15 of the 16 states voted for the most uncompetitive licensing system in Europe, but Schleswig-Holstein looked to be the one standing up for German punters, and/or the protocols of the European Union.

But alas, at the last minute, they've not gone through with the decision. Is it to work on a compromise with other German states? Is it because they are scared of intra-German political sanctions? Have they just gone soft? Who knows....


Schleswig-Holstein delays egaming vote at 11th hour


Schleswig-Holstein will decide by September "at the earliest" on whether or not to pass its egaming law, ahead of further negotiations with the other 15 German federal states or Länder over the new State Gambling Treaty.



latest editorial work

Another site taking my rants, raves, expertise and tips - the sports blog for The Tote in Tasmania.

Total Domination

The WTA has been criticised over the years for being dominated by one or two players, and rightly so. Now it’s the men’s turn and it’s very difficult to fathom.

Victory in Montreal left Novak Djokovic with a 53-1 win-loss run for the year and he became the first player to win five Masters Series events in a calendar year, remarkably with three still to play. Ponder that for a moment – one loss in over 50 matches in an era containing two rivals regularly mentioned in GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) discussions. Federer and Nadal haven’t been injured, there hasn’t been a disease epidemic weakening his opponents, players haven’t been on strike – this is a guy fed up with life at number three and laying it all on the line......


Read more at The Tote SportsHub


Coral to finally have a proper crack at the online market

For years Coral have been a lame duck for online betting - average website, mediocre offers, very little promotion etc. Now it sounds like they've finally worked out the High Street is dying and they'd better catch up to their rivals! Judging by the gaming industry job boards, they are have a decent warchest to hire a lot of new people. Although, if Ladbrokes were never that great online, you have to query why they'd hire their former head of online to lead the way...

football sponsorship England v Germany

Bayer Leverkusen announce a shirt sponsorship deal with solar developer Sunpower, one of several deals with renewable energy firms in German football. Bayern Munich have a deal with Yingli, Hoffenheim have one with Wirsol and I've probably missed one or two more...

Meanwhile in England, we have clubs wearing sponsorship logos from 188Bet, 10Bet, 12Bet, 888, 32Red, Bodog, Fun88, Genting Casino, SBOBet, Sportingbet plus other deals with firms like Betfair, Blue Square and others I'm sure I've missed.

German legislation re gambling aside, it says a lot about the state of the respective economies and their outlook for the future doesn't it?


evolution of gambling in Australia

Interesting article here from the Sydney Morning Herald, illustrating the different betting characteristics on racing by state, and on particular sports. This highlights why betting sites need to know their punters and customise their product accordingly. The live betting figures are interesting - I'd have to see figures on how many games are shown live in each code to make a fair comparison. Australian terrestrial TV networks love showing matches on 30min delay so they can squeeze in as many ads as they can. From next year in the AFL at least, all games will be shown live, even in the home city. And about bloody time too!

Brash gamblers still think inside the box


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Nicholas Tzaferis, general manager of Tabcorp's corporate affairs, says, "In terms of race betting, NSW punters have a clear preference for win betting, which accounts for more than half of all money wagered on NSW racing. In Victoria, win betting accounts for 42 per cent of turnover."

Multiple betting, po…

Greece - money please, screw the EU rules

Hardly surprising that the Greek government are desperate to earn more tax revenue via gaming licensing, but with shambolic regulations, it's hard to imagine many firms wanting to get involved!

Greece pushes for fast-track regulation

Greek politicians could agree to regulate the country’s online gambling market as soon as Thursday, despite its existing proposals continuing to contravene EU laws.

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It is now thought the government is considering charging operators around €10m for a five-year licence.

An RGA spokesman told eGaming Review the body and its members within the licensed private gambling industry had broadly welcomed the opening of the market but that it was concerned with “the apparent disregard” of the EC’s notification process and standstill period by the Greek authorities. “The disregard for those protocols and the acceleration of this legislation comes at a time when Greece is receiving significant financial support from the EU,” he said.

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The Remote Gambl…

News summary

Lots going on, but very short of time lately, here's a quick look at what has been going on...

Sportingbet are keen to be acquired by Ladbrokes, but the 'Magic Sign' are nervous about SB's activity in Turkey, one of the strongest regions of their business. If Sportingbet are serious about the sale going through, looks like they will have to sell that part of the company.

The Betfair share price keeps on tumbling, not even the internal buyback scheme can stop the price sliding, sliding away...

The Gold Coast Turf Club is targetting night racing as a way to move themselves up the ladder of Australian racing. Sounds like a positive move, the weather's great up there but when they run their feature Magic Millions Day in January when it is approaching 40C, that's ridiculous. The racecourse does need a serious upgrade to its facilities if they want to become a bigger club, getting into the Friday night rotation of meetings would probably serve them better than being …