NYX accuses William Hill of “wrongful conduct” as acquisition dispute escalates
In response to William Hill’s threats to block the acquisition of NYX Gaming Group Limited by Scientific Games, NYX has launched legal action against the bookmaker.
Last week William Hill issued a corporate update, voicing its concerns over the deal and signalling its intention to convert its preference shares into ordinary NYX shares, in order to ensure it had had the power to put the brakes on the proposed acquisition.
The NYX board of directors has stated that in spite of the requests of William Hill, due to ‘regulatory and licensing restrictions’ it can’t convert the shares of William Hill into ordinary shares, citing that the conduct of the bookmaker could impact the license of NYX and therefore, it’s currently considering its future options.
Throughout its elongated negotiations with Scientific Games, William Hill has emphasised the need for favourable commercial agreements as a result of the deal, specifically with regards to a copy of the NYX source code. Furthermore, William Hill dismissed the idea that it had sought “anti competitive measures” which could halt the deal.
In response to the public announcement of William Hill, NYX has updated the corporate market, with the decision to file an action lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey. In doing so, NYX has accused William Hill of “wrongful conduct” in its actions, alleging that it violated the New Jersey antitrust act.
NYX issued a statement which said: “The complaint seeks injunctive relief, treble damages and attorney’s fees for violations of the New Jersey Antitrust Act, and also alleges tortious interference with economic advantage, and tortious interference with contract, and seeks punitive damages.”
The statement of NYX follows on from its announcement that it has come to an agreement with Scientific Games for the development of a new sports betting platform for the US market.
Moving forward a shareholder meeting is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on December 11, 2017.
Italy’s Serie A football league suspends 1xbet sponsorship deal
Italy’s top flight football league has suspended a sponsorship deal with a Russian online bookmaker following widespread protestations by government and regulatory voices.
Italy’s Serie A football league recently announced a deal with Russian bookmaker 1xbet’s Curacao-licensed online gambling operation in which the company would serve as the league’s international presenting partner (excluding Asian markets) for the 2017-18 football season.
However, since Italy has a regulated online gambling market and actively blocks the domains of online gambling operators not holding an Italian license – like 1xbet – the deal was met with howls of protest from the country’s Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) gaming regulatory body and the usual crop of publicity-hungry politicians.
Infront, the sports marketing company that facilitated the betting partnership between 1xbet and Serie A, defended the deal, saying 1xbet’s lack of a local license was “of no relevance” to the deal as it only applied outside the country and thus no 1xbet marketing would be visible by Italian punters.
Despite these assurances, Serie A officials announced late last week that they had suspended the 1xbet sponsorship deal, meaning the 1xbet logo will not appear in Serie A promotions in the affected international markets. However, Serie A has so far been cagey as to whether the deal will be canceled outright.
Individual Serie A clubs have routinely inked betting partnerships with internationally licensed online gambling operators, including Philippines-licensed F66-com, which recently inked an Asian betting partnership with league champions Juventus. However, the club’s official gaming and betting partnership is held by Paddy Power Betfair’s Italian-licensed Betfair brand.
Italy’s ADM regulatory agency maintains a large and growing blacklist of international rogues who continue to serve Italian punters without local authorization. Last month, ADM added another 97 naughty names, bringing the total number of blacklisted domains to 6,720, of which at least a couple hundred are 1xbet mirror sites.
1xbet had a couple of its mirrors blocked by Bulgarian regulators this week, while Russia’s Roskomnadzor telecom watchdog generally adds a hundred or more 1xbet mirrors to its online blacklist each month. While 1xbet holds a Russian online sports betting license, its Curacao-licensed operation offers casino, poker and other products that Russian regulators don’t permit.