Youngsters in UK and Ireland to see wagering limits imposed, UEFA sign a partnership with bwin.
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UK and Ireland
Flutter Entertainment's UK & Ireland arm launched on September 6th a new £500 maximum monthly deposit limit for all customers under the age of 25.The new measure will apply across Flutter’s Paddy Power, Betfair, and Sky Betting & Gaming brands in the UK and Ireland.
Flutter said the limit is based on a recognition that early adulthood is characterised by a range of major life changes. It aims to bring its operations into line with businesses in other areas that recognise this, similar to the way finance and car insurance companies recognise younger customers have a higher risk profile.
The operator said its own research suggested support for the scheme, with 77% of regular gamblers approving additional measures for younger people, while 78% of 18-24-year-olds polled backed the new restrictions.
Ivan Kurochkin’s comments
One of the largest international gaming companies, operating through a multitude of well-known brands across the world, voluntarily limited the maximum size of deposits for its clients in the UK and Ireland, who are less than 25 years old.
The news is extremely interesting because of the initiative to introduce responsible gaming mechanisms that seriously affect the operators' profits that doesn’t often come from the operators themselves (which is generally not surprising).
A good example of curbing the potential reluctance of operators to limit the size of deposits in any way is the regulation in Germany, where legislators limited the size of deposits for all players that use licensed operators. This restriction caused a large amount of negative feedback from the operators, since such a restriction quite seriously affects the financial model for entering the market.
In this regard, it will be extremely interesting to observe Flutter, and find out whether the deposit restriction comes as a voluntary decision or some events (e.g. the review of the UK Gambling Act) influenced the operator's decision to limit its profits in these regions quite seriously.
In any case, this step is a clear example of how a responsible gambling mechanism of limiting the size of the deposits can and should work, however, it is crucially important for such a mechanism to be fine-tuned to cater for both sides of the business — the bettors and the operator alike.
888 Holdings has won the auction for William Hill’s European operations. 888 fended off competition from Apollo Global Management with an over £2bn bid. Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill in a £2.9bn deal, concluding one of the largest gaming mergers in history, but shortly after it looked to sell the British gambling giant’s European assets.
When the sale was first announced, it was expected that William Hill’s European operations would go for about £1.5bn but soon several international sports betting and casino games operators were in the running and things heated up. Earlier this year, it was reported that German gaming group Tipico was involved, alongside other major gaming companies like Apollo Global Management and Betfred. However, after the recent withdrawal of Advent International, the process had become a three-horse race between Apollo, 888, and CVC Capital Partners (working with Tipico).
Ivan Kurochkin’s comments
The news of the sale of the William Hill’s European operations is a logical continuation of the policy of the current owner — Caesars Entertainment, — which was announced when the latter bought William Hill at the end of April 2021.
In addition, this news also suggests that the US gambling market continues to be more attractive to some investors, as we can see by the decision of the owner who acquired William Hill to sell off its European assets despite William Hill's strong presence there. The move reveals that the new owner focuses specifically on the US, not wanting to expand their presence outside.
Given Caesars Entertainment's ongoing policy of boosting their presence in the United States, what’s peculiar about the deal is the fact that Caesars didn’t acquire the William Hill’s US operations separately. For some reason they had to get the whole company only to sell off the William Hill’s European segment afterwards. Let’s see what happens next.
Swiss-based online betting service Sportradar plans to get $500 million in IPO. It said on Tuesday it would offer 19 million shares at $25 to $28 per share in its upcoming initial public offering on the Nasdaq. Based on the midpoint of the range, the company will raise about $504 million. With about 1.1 billion Class A and Class B ordinary shares to be outstanding after the IPO, Sportradar will have a market capitalization of about $29 billion based on the midpoint of the IPO price range.
The company generated $26.1 million of net income and revenue of $478 million in 2020. Sportradar is selling Class A ordinary shares in the IPO. Following the IPO, founder and CEO Carsten Koerl will be the only holder of Class B shares and will hold about 82% of the voting power. Entities affiliated with Eldridge and Radcliff Management LLC agreed to buy $159 million of Class A shares at the IPO price, as part of the deal.
Ivan Kurochkin’s comments
It is not surprising that the growth of the gambling market (including the sports betting) leads to an increase in the market volume of service companies, which are inextricably linked with the industry.
As we can see, the growth of Sportradar is no exception to this rule and we can only welcome their desire and intention to list on the stock exchange thereby multiplying their growth opportunities by attracting additional funding.
It is worth noting that the IPO of a company that supplies solutions for the betting market, supported by such financial giants as J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank, speaks of the confidence of these companies in the further development of the gambling market both in the US and abroad.
On a separate note, it should be mentioned that the IPO of Sportradar is not something unexpected, since rumors of an IPO appeared in early summer 2021. It is interesting that the decision to enter the IPO was announced almost immediately after the news of the deal to purchase Sportradar shares by the public investment company Horizon Acquisition Corp. falling through.
UEFA has announced that it has signed a ground-breaking partnership with bwin to become an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and the newly formed UEFA Europa Conference League, for the next three seasons (2021-24).
bwin has become the first bookmaker to partner with UEFA!
Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said that the company is a great fit for it. “The partnership with bwin allows UEFA to engage more openly with the sports betting sector, giving greater access to market intelligence and support from both a sports integrity and a commercial perspective”.
In parallel, UEFA is investing more in its fight against match-fixing by further developing its internal unit of experts and investigators in the field. UEFA is currently also looking at options to exploit its competitions data for betting purposes in a move to engage further with betting operators and enhance its visibility on the betting market.
A record 45.2m Americans (18 per cent) plan to wager on the 2021 National Football League (NFL) season, according to research released by the American Gaming Association (AGA). Compared to last year, 36 per cent more Americans will place a bet on the league’s games this season. The sharp rise in betting plans this year can be traced to the expansion of legal sports betting options and increased enthusiasm overall for the upcoming season.
Fans in 18 states and Washington, DC had access to operational, legal sports betting at the start of the 2020 season. As the 2021 season kicks off, Americans will be able to place legal sports wagers in 26 states and Washington, DC, with five additional states likely to offer legal sports betting by the end of the season.
While NFL betting is projected to be up across all wagering methods, betting with online sportsbooks is expected to see the largest increase over 2020 while illegal bookies are expected to see the slowest growth. 21.7m American adults will bet on the 2021 NFL season casually with friends, up 31 per cent from 2020, 19.5m will place a bet online (legal and illegal), up 73 percent from 2020 whilst 14.6m will participate in a paid fantasy contest or other type of pool competition, up 69 percent from 2021. A further 10.5 million will place a bet at a physical casino sportsbook, up 58 per cent from 2020 and 6.7m will place a bet with a bookie, up 13 per cent from 2020.