Friday, 5 October 2012

industry update

Long overdue this one, so let's see how much I can come up with....

Sportingbet have rejected the takeover bid from William Hill and GVC, suggesting the bid undervalued the company. Doesn't seem like a big surprise given Sportingbet are currently trading around the offer level of 52.5p, having been as low as 26p back in May. This appears to be an action to encourage them to come back with a better offer rather than flat rejection. Meanwhile, the acquisition target's annual figures reported a net loss based on costs acquiring Centrebet and shedding regions of questionable legality such as Turkey, but once again, Australian results were very strong.

The punter who cried wolf when Bet365 Australia wouldn't pay him his 'winnings' of $70k may have bitten off more than he can chew - stewards are now looking into the circumstances of the race where the two dogs who didn't run in the placings for the First 4 bet, including the favourite, had allegedly recently been stabled at the brother of the punter concerned. The guy then spent almost $5000 with Bet365 taking all sorts of combinations on this bet, and it is believed invested some money in the TAB pool as well to inflate the dividend further. Nobody invests that much on an obscure race without something very fishy going on. At the same time, Bet365 Aus were very lax in not preparing their rules to handle such events - they are not new in Australia, and they spent over a year being 'very close' to launching. Perhaps if they hadn't hired the biggest problem gambler within the betting industry to a key post, whose irresponsibility led to major staff turnover before they had even taken a bet, they might have had the time and resources to make their rules watertight....

Italian authorities are again handing out pathetically light penalties for football match-fixing. A 22 month suspended sentence for admitting to accepting $230,000 and scoring an own goal so the other team won? Have they even seized or demanded he pays back the money? Not much of a deterrent is it?

Dodgy footballers are in the news in Britain again, but not for throwing football games. Instead they are being investigated for paying a jockey to pull up horses so they could lay them on Betfair. The biggest name on the list, Michael Chopra, has confessed to a gambling addiction which has cost him in the vicinity of £2m over his career.

UK bookies claim that Tiger Woods' concession on the final hole of the Ryder Cup to give Europe a 14.5-13.5 victory may have cost them as much as £10m. Considering how much bookies have made on Woods since he last won a major, try not to shed too many tears for them.....

Conmen stealing money from people to fund their own lavish lifestyle and betting habits are never far away. Interesting comments in the article about the GRASP group, supposedly a gambling addiction support group.

Some criminals don't just steal money to go gambling, this bloke stole millions from pension funds in order to buy an online bookmaker!

The 'Mecca' of online gambling (sic), Alderney, is introducing requirements for locally-licensed operators to segregate client and operating funds with a monthly reporting system. Sounds great in theory, but if it's anything like Malta, then don't be getting too excited about it...

Bookie-in-a-box solutions are never going to work for companies with no understanding of the industry, it's not a licence to print money and it just gives the industry a bad name when new firms go bust/screw customers. Should firms like Odds Matrix who create such a product be forced to apply much stricter criteria on their licensees?

The wash-up from the SportsAlive debacle has been documented in the Supreme Court, and it's as bad as we feared.... The ACT Dept of Gaming and Racing should never be allowed to grant wagering licences again.

The race-fixing allegations in Victoria have been displaced from the headlines by the two year disqualification of controversial jockey Danny Nikolic over threats made to the Victorian chief steward.

The influence of international bookmakers arriving in Australia is rumoured to be getting rather draconian - at least one leading bookmaker reportedly has all their trading decisions now decided by the beancounters, not the traders and risk managers. Consequently, said book has problems holding onto staff as they get pissed off with the policy of the firm who spend millions on advertising and marketing, boasting about how big and great they are as bookmakers....

And the investigation into the betting affairs of the "Tasmanian punters club" continues to unravel. Once upon a time, and I think the first time I heard of them as an organised group, they were referred to as the Tasmanian Baseball Syndicate, making a mess of some of the Caribbean bookies.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting read. Who was the big problem gambler bet365 hired? How did he effect staff turnover?

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  2. hi Shaun, not someone I am prepared to name, but he is known well enough in the Australian industry that it's not much of a secret. As for how having a Head Bookmaker who is more worried about punting his own money every second of the day instead of training new staff, developing policy etc affects staff morale, I'll leave that up to you...

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  3. Surely it's not who I think it is...does this man put loads of money on short priced favourites by any chance?

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  4. Not that I'm aware of - but it has been a long time since I've worked for a firm taking his bets.

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