Skip to main content

long overdue industry update

Haven't written one of these for a while, so a lot to catch up on, and probably plenty I've missed!

News today that several big wagering companies have to pay back taxes in Spain. Nothing they've been asked for previously, but conveniently at the same the country is flat broke and are in the process of awarding new gaming licences. Purely above board of course, but I doubt the chances of any firm trying to acquire a licence are any better than 50/1 without paying a wad for their earlier business in Spain. Bwin and Sportingbet are the two firms in the news as having to cough up, expect Betfair and numerous others to be tied up in this.

The washup from the Racing NSW court win over Betfair (and subsequent decision by Racing Victoria to follow suit with a turnover-based fee for wagering operators) in Australia has forced Betfair to raise their commission rate for all codes of racing in Australia and New Zealand to be increased to 6.5%. I have also heard unofficially they are discouraging traders from playing on those markets, which makes sense. With racing authorities deeming every wager as a part of turnover, then the customer who trades $1000 to win $5 just costs them money. If they (traders) stay in the market, then the true commission rate is applied in current form would need to be at least 10% to pay their costs. Alternatively, they'd have to bring in an unpopular fee for each bet.

In the States, Betfair appear no closer to emerging with an exchange licence in California or New Jersey, despite government approval. Betfair branding over Hollywood Park racecourse in California is certainly getting their name out there but will the stubborn Horsemen's Group budge in their resistance to the platform? Will they eye the new fee regimes in Australia and demand even more money? Betfair are throwing resources at it, sending racing marketing folk over to do battle, leaving quite a decent job at Hammersmith if anyone is looking...

William Hill chief exec Ralph Topping had to sweat on a very tight shareholder vote on a retention bonus of £1.2m. Perhaps those shareholders would rather hand their money over to those jolly JP Morgan traders who blew £4.4bn recently, further backing up the theory that financial traders deserve no more credibility than the average punter. Yet try telling that to your bank manager when you want to get a mortgage...

Betchoice has now disappeared, Unibet Australia has taken over, and Scandinavian rival Betsson is in the process of acquiring Nordicbet. The big firms continue to get bigger and the smaller ones disappear quickly. Is the only hope for the small book these days to be bought out for a juicy sum?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

It's not just about the Tingle Creek tomorrow at Sandown, there's a Grade 1 Novice Chase amongst the rather decent supporting card. Lining up for the preview is astute NH enthusiast Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

---------------------

Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
Likely going Soft, Good to Soft in places


With doubts concerning the fitness of last year’s Queen Mother Chase winner Sire De Grugy and of the two mile chase king Sprinter Sacre (despite bullish remarks from Henderson) there is a chance for another to step into the limelight. Both have won the feature race of the day, The Tingle Creek Chase and that will more than likely throw a few into the hat. However, I have chosen to take a look at the Henry VIII chase, which was changed to a grade 1 in 2011 and has been won by some nice prospects in the past (Somersby and Al Ferof to name but a few). Let’s hope that a potential Champion Chase contender of the future will feature in this …

Kentucky Derby preview

It's America's big day of racing, where 90% of them will be there to be seen and most won't have a clue what difference Churchill Downs Inc's latest takeout hike does to shaft them on every bet placed. Throw in the standard arguments about race-day medication in the US and the recent New York Times/PETA expose on yesterday's Oaks-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, and racing in North America could be in better health.

Still, it's one of the elite races and great occasions of the world, and stepping up to the plate is Jon da Silva again, @creamontop, with his preview in a very American style. (No I don't understand Brisnet figures either...)

------------------------------

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands

They say you should avoid food additive E-numbers which you can’t with Yum Brands…

Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwid…