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Betting latest: Everton favourites to land Allardyce favourite with reported £20m price-tag

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Everton have been installed as favourites to sign Sunderland defender Lamine Kone in the January transfer window, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.

SkyBet have the Toffees priced at 3/1 to snap up Kone, 28, who was signed at the Stadium of Light by Sam Allardyce in January 2016 from French outfit Lorient.

West Ham (5/1) and West Brom (6/1) are also seen as being in the running for the centre-back, who according to the Mirror had a stunning £20million price-tag slapped on his head in the summer.

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Kone is clearly a favourite of Allardyce, who brought him to Sunderland last year.

The nine-times Ivory Coast international played a pivotal role in seeing the Wearsiders avoid relegation that season, scoring two goals in a 3-0 win against Everton in May 2016 to ensure the Black Cats stayed up – preserving Allardyce’s proud record of never suffering the drop.

It seems that the new Goodison Park manager may still be interested in signing Kone for a second time if the bookmakers’ odds are anything to go by, and with Everton’s defence leaking goals this season, it may be an area that needs improving in the next transfer window.

However Kone is struggling to find form and get game time for Sunderland in the Championship this campaign.

He has made just 13 appearances across all competitions since the Black Cats suffered relegation under the charge of David Moyes.

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NJ Sports Betting Ruling Could Boost Online Gambling Industry

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Analysts and experts from the gambling industry in the United States expect online gambling to flourish in the country once New Jersey wins its sports betting case in the Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on December 4 from New Jersey and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association regarding their appeal to rule the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) is one of the many people who believe that a favorable ruling will impact the online gambling industry in the US. He said that if New Jersey wins the case, the those states that have a sports betting market will soon open their doors to the online gambling industry and welcome online poker operators.

David Schwartz, who is currently running the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Las Vegas-Nevada agreed with Rebuck’s. In a statement, Schwartz said,

It makes a lot of sense to offer sports betting over the internet. Once you have the systems for letting people bet on sports in place, it isn't a huge step to permit them to bet on casino games or poker as well



Schwartz also believes that merging sports betting and online gaming will attract a younger demographic: those in their 30s or even younger. Currently, only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalized online gaming. Pennsylvania recently signed its expanded gaming bill and will join these three states sometime next year. New Jersey has so far reported revenues in excess of $250 million from online gambling this year while Delaware earned over $2 million in online gambling profits.

Generating a new stream of revenue is expected to be the biggest motivator for states to marry sports betting and online gaming. According to data from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, up to $60 billion in sports bets are illegally made by Americans each year over offshore sites and bookmakers. Eilers & Krejcik estimates that 32 states will offer sports wagering just within five years of an official ruling, which can immediately create a legal market of more than $6 billion.

If all 50 states opened up to sports betting, up to $15.8 billion could be generated easily. Once the Supreme Courts starts proceedings in December, a ruling can be expected earliest in June 2018. The case will test whether the 1992 federal law that outlawed sports betting in all states except for Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware is unconstitutional. Those opposing the state of New Jersey in this case are the NCAA and professional sports leagues.

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Bookie claims he played alongside Virat Kohli in Delhi, reveals how to fix IPL games

Sobers Joban had also boasted about sending "signals" to players before overs during an Indian Premier League match.

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Perth: While the International Cricket Council said that there is no evidence of the third Ashes Test been corrupted after a British daily claimed that the bookmakers have offered money to fix some parts of the match, it has also come to a light the said bookie claimed that he played now India skipper Virat Kohli in Delhi.

The Sun published purported evidence of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes in the Test which began on Thursday in Perth.


According to The Sun, Joban had stated that he played with Virat Kohli for one of the domestic cricket teams in Delhi. He had also boasted about sending "signals" to players before overs during an Indian Premier League match.The report also stated that Joban could also fix four to five Big Bash League games.

“They are well signalled in advance. In every IPL match the signals are purposely not shown on the live broadcasts,” The Sun report quoted Joban saying as he discussed players’ gestures to indicate a fix.

“I give you a red watch, you wear a red watch. In the IPL five t-shirts will be the full size, five will be half sleeves. A player bowls the over in full t-shirt, that is the signal,” Joban added

“A wide, running in and stopping without bowling, so many signals,” concluded Joban.

ICC anti-corruption unit general manager Alex Marshall launched an investigation after the fixing claims about the Perth Test.

"From my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current test match has been corrupted," Marshall said in a statement. "At this stage of the investigation, there is no indication that any players in this test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.

"The allegations are wide-ranging and relate to various forms of cricket in several countries, including T20 tournaments. We will look closely at all the information as part of our investigation."

Marshall, meanwhile, said police have not been contacted over the claims.

"Nothing has been referred as yet because we are still assessing the information. If we deem that offenses have taken place in countries where match-fixing is illegal then, yes, we will work with the local police and report our concerns and share information to push for prosecution."

Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board offered to cooperate with the ICC investigation.

The Sun said it conducted a four-month investigation, with interviews conducted at hotels in New Delhi and Dubai with two men claiming to be involved in illegal gambling.

"Before match, I will tell you this over, this runs and then you have to put all the bets on that over," a man says in the Sun's undercover video footage.

During the video, information on fixes is estimated to be worth around $150,000.

There is also mention of fixing "four to five" Big Bash League matches.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he spoke with Marshall about the allegations, and wondered why the story was published on the day the third test began.

"There's no substance to these allegations or justification to suspect that this test match or indeed the Ashes series as a whole is subject to corrupt activities," Sutherland told a news conference at the WACA.

"My comments today are based on a briefing I've had from Alex Marshall and I don't think for one moment anyone should believe that we're complacent. The timing is a bit strange, obviously, but I guess I'll leave that to Alex to make judgments on what the reason behind this might be."

The ECB said it was "aware of these allegations and there is no suggestion that any of the England team is involved in any way."

Australia leads the five-match series 2-0 after victories in Brisbane and Adelaide and can regain the Ashes with a victory at the WACA, a venue where England's only test victory was in 1978.

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Gambling Commission to look into self-exclusion after BBC investigation

The result of the BBC investigation is concerning and we will be making our own enquiries into what happened in this case

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The Gambling Commission has pledged to follow up a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation, in which an undercover reporter was able to place a bet in 19 of the 21 bookmakers he visited in Grimsby, despite signing up to the government's multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.

BBC reporter Rob Cave signed up to the scheme for Grimsby and had his name and photograph circulated but went into 16 shops and played on FOBTs before finding one in which he was challenged and asked to leave.

Cave chose Grimsby due to its high number of betting shops, and his investigation has raised fresh questions over the efficacy of the self-exclusion scheme.

Sarah Gardner, the Gambling Commission's executive director, said: "The result of the BBC investigation is concerning and we'll be making our own inquiries into what happened in this case.

"We're determined to drive improvements in behaviour across the industry in terms of the effort they put into reducing gambling-related harm, and it really is getting to the stage where there is nowhere to hide for businesses who don't take this seriously."

She added: "What we would like to see is much more emphasis from gambling businesses on intervening at an early stage before there is a need to self-exclude."

A spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers said in a statement: "This is a disappointing result. However, it was conducted in artificial circumstances, involving a small sample, over a short period of time and the individual concerned was not a problem gambler or previously known to shop staff.

"By its very nature those who self-exclude are normally known to the staff in the shops they exclude from.

"In reality an independent review of the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme revealed that 83 per cent of participants agreed it had been effective in reducing or stopping their gambling activity, and 71 per cent said they have not attempted to use their nominated betting shops since signing up."

The spokesman added: "We accept that the current self-exclusion scheme is not without flaws, however we're continually developing improved systems and seeking to reduce the reliance on staff to recognise those that have self-excluded."

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Liverpool reportedly favourites to sign quality attacker

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Liverpool are the favourites to sign Monaco star Thomas Lemar according to popular bookmakers Betfair.

The Bookmakers have priced Liverpool at 7/2 to secure the services of the youngster in January. Chelsea meanwhile are narrowly behind at 4/1. Arsenal who almost signed Lemar last summer as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez are priced at 6/1.

Lemar is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in European football and played a key role for Monaco last season as they went on to win the Ligue 1 as well as reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

However Monaco may be hesitant to part ways with their prized asset as they have struggled to replicate their form of last season after selling £310 million worth of talent during the summer transfer window.

They finished bottom of their Champions League group and subsequently missed out on Europa League football.

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Bookmakers make Tottenham as favourites to sign promising Newcastle United midfielder this month

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Tottenham have been installed joint-favourites with Everton to sign Newcastle United star Jonjo Shelvey in January, according to the latest reports. According to BetVictor, Spurs and Everton are tied in a two-legged race to acquire the signature of the England international. West Ham and Southampton are also thought to be in the running to sign the Newcastle United midfielder.

The Englishman moved to St. James’ Park from Swansea City in January 2016, for a fee believed to be in the region of £12million but has enjoyed mixed fortunes during his time on Tyneside. Shelvey, 25, has been a mainstay of Newcastle’s first-team this season so manager Rafa Benitez may not be willing to let the ex-Liverpool midfielder leave for cheap.

He has made 14 appearances in the Premier League and has made 10 starts but there have been worries about his discipline. Despite being a crucial member of the Toons’ starting XI since arriving from Swansea, Shelvey’s disciplinary issues have forced Benitez to make do without his services on a number of occasions this season.

On the opening day of the season, the midfielder was shown a straight red card for stamping Dele Alli, which resulted in a three-game ban. The six-time England international has also been sidelined recently due to suspension for picking up his second red card of the season against Everton. As a result, there is an outside chance of the player leaving St.James Park, with Benitez already frustrated.

However, it remains to be seen if a move to Spurs is realistic given the plethora of quality midfield options available to manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino boasts the likes of Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Moussa Sissoko and Christian Eriksen as his midfield options, while academy graduate Harry Winks has also impressed for the North Londoners this season.

It would be tough for Victor Wanyama to directly force his way into the first-team after the Kenyan made his comeback to the team with a second-half substitute appearance in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Swansea after a five-month injury layoff.

Knowing that Spurs’ squad is filled with midfielders, Shelvey could either opt to stay put at Newcastle or decide to go on and play for another Premier League club, provided he gets offers. However, his exit midway through the campaign will be a huge blow to Newcastle though, and it is extremely unlikely that Benitez will actually consider letting his man go for any price of reason whatsoever.



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Internet rumours see bookmakers suspend Rangers relegation markets

Bookmakers have suspended betting markets on SPL football club Glasgow Rangers FC being relegated, as internet rumours circulate that the club faces financial difficulties once again.

Betting affiliate Oddschecker, last night alerted UK media that it had spotted ‘unusual betting patterns’ on Rangers being relegated from the SPL.

Rangers, Scottish football’s most successful club, currently sits third in the league, 23 points clear of bottom-placed Ross County (the SPL relegates one team per season).

In 2012, due to financial mismanagement Rangers entered liquidation. The football club was forced to create a new corporate identity and was further relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish league football.

In its market update, Oddschecker details that it has recorded ‘punters piling in on the massive price of 5000/1’.

The betting affiliate details that bookmakers will no longer take bets on Rangers’ SPL relegation. Scottish news sources are seeking to verify whether there is any accuracy in the rumours of Rangers financial troubles.

“To call it a strange would be an understatement, and Oddschecker sources have confirmed the unusual activity in the betting for Rangers to be relegated, similar to the circumstances the club faced first time around with their financial struggles.”

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Bookmakers report significant upsurge in Cheltenham betting

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The three bookmakers who this week introduced the non-runner no bet offer on all 28 races at Cheltenham reported the move to have had the desired positive impact on festival business.

Sky Bet and bet365 offered the concession on Monday and were joined by Paddy Power on Tuesday.

Pat Cooney, spokesman for bet365, said on Tuesday: “We’ve seen a real upsurge in Cheltenham betting today. The non-runner no bet concession has really galvanised it all. We’ve been non-stop.

“Footpad at 11-8 in the Racing Post Arkle has proved really popular, but the main theme has been the interest in the handicap chases such as the Ultima and Kim Muir – we’ve been inundated with requests.

“There have been plenty of life-changing multiples struck. I would imagine all bookmakers will be doing this by the end of the week.”

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The three bookmakers who this week introduced the non-runner no bet offer on all 28 races at Cheltenham reported the move to have had the desired positive impact on festival business.

Sky Bet and bet365 offered the concession on Monday and were joined by Paddy Power on Tuesday.

Pat Cooney, spokesman for bet365, said on Tuesday: “We’ve seen a real upsurge in Cheltenham betting today. The non-runner no bet concession has really galvanised it all. We’ve been non-stop.

“Footpad at 11-8 in the Racing Post Arkle has proved really popular, but the main theme has been the interest in the handicap chases such as the Ultima and Kim Muir – we’ve been inundated with requests.

“There have been plenty of life-changing multiples struck. I would imagine all bookmakers will be doing this by the end of the week.”

Sky Bet, who were the first to offer the concession on every Cheltenham race, also reported good business.

The firm’s Michael Shinners said: “The switch to NRNB across all Cheltenham races has certainly livened up the markets and, without the fear of losing their stake, punters are proving far more willing to part with their hard earned money on selections where their target is still up in the air.

“The David Pipe-trained Vaniteux has been comfortably the best backed selection in the handicaps and is now 14-1 from 33-1 for the Grand Annual, and 14-1 from 25-1 for the Brown Advisory.”

Paddy Power – like sister firm Betfair Sportsbook and bet365 – had last week gone non-runner no bet on the five biggest races at the festival, in the wake of punters' requests and a confusing season to date capped by a number of shock results over the festive period and several big names meeting with setbacks.

The firm's spokesman Paul Binfield, speaking about the extension of the offer to every festival race, said on Tuesday: “It’s proving popular but the impetus is only just beginning.

“We’ve extended the offer to all races to help out those punters with a nervous disposition after all the shocks of the season so far.”

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Mikel López de Torre takes Jdigital Presidency for changing Spanish market

Spanish industry trade body, La Asociación Española de Juego Digital (Jdigital) has confirmed the appointment of Sportium Digital Director Mikel López de Torre as its new President.

A key leadership stakeholder since 2016, López de Torre has formerly served as the trade body’s Vice President and will replace Jdigital founder Sacha Michaud as leader.

Founded in 2012, amidst the imminent launch of the newly regulated Spanish online gambling market, Jdigital seeks to represent the interests and concerns of Spanish licensed online betting operators and wider industry stakeholders.

Confirming the end of his tenure as JDigital President, Sacha Michaud stated that López de Torre was the ideal incumbent to lead the association, referencing the new leader’s ‘proven track record’ within the Spanish digital market.

A 12-year industry veteran, López de Torre has brought a number of Spanish betting ventures to market, having served as a Betfair digital executive (2006 – 2013) and leading Sportium’s online services and operations since 2015.

Taking over Jdigital leadership duties, López de Torre stated that he would continue the trade body’s groundwork founded Sacha Michaud, but highlighted concerns with regards to sector social responsibilities, likely industry consolidation and developing regulatory transparency for stakeholders.

“Over the next five years, the industry will see further consolidation, something that entails greater responsibility. As a mature industry, we must be aware of the impact we have on society. If we want to continue to build a healthy and transparent industry, we must work toward ensuring monitoring and accountability.” López de Torre detailed

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Football DataCo nets Ladbrokes Coral and Kindred deals

Ladbrokes Coral and Kindred Group join a growing list of licensed betting operators, which includes bet365, Betfred, GVC, Paddy Power Betfair, Skybet and William Hill.

Through these new long term agreements, operators will be utilising match day data for the entire Premier League, English Football League (EFL, encompassing the Championship, League One and League Two and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL, with the Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two falling under its banner), matches across their digital channels.

In addition to this, Ladbrokes Coral will also use the match day data in its retail operations across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

Adrian Ford, General Manager of Football DataCo, said “British football is a cornerstone of betting businesses, with Football DataCo’s high quality data a key component in driving turnover.

“Our agreements with Ladbrokes Coral and Kindred Group recognise DataCo’s intellectual property and the requirement to have a data usage licence”

Football Dataco was formed in 2001 by the professional football leagues in England and Scotland, designed to protect, market and commercialise their official match related data.

Working with the Premier League, EFL, SPFL and a series a partners, DataCo oversees the collection, management and distribution of the League’s official event and performance data worldwide, in addition to also protecting the copyright of still action images from the Premier League and EFL.

Its deal with Ladbrokes Coral follows last week’s news that Ladbrokes has extended its sponsorship with the SPFL to 2020.

The original deal, signed in May 2015, was the most lucrative in the league’s history, worth in excess of £4m across its initial two year period.

Despite the UK firms merger with Coral, the body will continue to be known as the Ladbrokes SPFL.

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Stars Group appoints Andrew Lee as new BetStars leader

Toronto TSX-listed online gambling firm, The Stars Group Inc, has this morning confirmed the appointment of Andrew Lee as new Managing Director of its BetStars division.

Lee the former Managing Director of William Hill Online (2012-2016), will succeed current incumbent Zeno Osskó as BetStars MD, and is expected to takeover the sports betting division’s leadership duties on 29 January.

Confirming the appointment of Lee as Bet Stars MD, Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of The Stars Group detailed; “Andy is an experienced operator with proven credentials of developing an industry-leading online and mobile sportsbook”.

“We expect his appointment will help us achieve our aim of developing our sports betting business into a strong secondary customer acquisition channel to our leading poker business, improve its market share in our top European markets, and prepare it for future geographic expansion”.

A seasoned online betting leadership executive, Lee will be responsible for the performance, and strategic direction of BetStars, a sports betting brand targeting growth in multiple regulated markets. The Stars Group further informs that Lee will be based in the Isle of Man at Stars Interactive Group headquarters.

Commenting on leading BetStars, Lee stated; “I’m looking forward to helping The Stars Group achieve its sportsbook goals by continuing to grow and develop its customers’ experience, reach, and market share within the exciting and growing global gaming market,”

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Bookies suspend betting on X Factor return for Cheryl amid reports

The former judge is a “done deal” to return to the show, one bookmakers has said.

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Bookmakers have suspended betting on Cheryl making a return to The X Factor following reports that she is “in talks” with show bosses.

The singer, who previously acted as a judge on the show from 2008 until 2010 and then in 2014 and 2015, is said to be in line to replace current judge Nicole Scherzinger for this year’s series.

Bookmaker Coral said they will no longer allow bets on Cheryl’s potential reappearance on the ITV show.

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Coral spokesman John Hill said: “As far as we are concerned this now looks a done deal which will delight the punters who have been knocking us over to back Cheryl to make a return to the show in 2018.”

Prior to the bookmaker pulling the plug, Cheryl, 34, was at 4-1 odds to reprise her role on the talent programme.

Ladbrokes are still taking bets, with odds currently set at 4-5 for her to replace Scherzinger.

According to a report in The Sun, X Factor boss Simon Cowell is due to meet with ITV at the end of February to discuss the line-up for the next series.

The newspaper quoted a source as saying: “Cheryl is the top choice and she is keen to come on board.

“But as yet, the conversations taking place have been unofficial, because we can’t begin official talks with anyone until the show’s schedule is agreed.

“The bosses need to confirm how long the series will run for and what time it will air each week.”

The 2017 series saw Cowell and Scherzinger on the judging panel alongside Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne.

Cheryl returned for a brief stint along with Cowell during the judges’ houses stage of the competition.

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Kindred Group steps up fight against corruption in UK sports

Stockholm-listed online gambling firm Kindred Group Plc has strengthened its sports integrity initiatives confirming that it has joined the Sports Betting Intelligence Forum (SBIF) and further signed a memorandum-of-understanding with the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Updating the market, Kindred will work with the SBIF becoming a betting industry stakeholder in developing initiatives to ‘protect sports and prevent sports corruption’.

Established in 2012, the SBIF works with sports governing bodies, betting operators, sport and betting trade associations, law enforcement and gambling regulation with aim of improving integrity standards and monitoring.

Eric Konings, the Sports Betting Integrity Officer at Kindred Group, commented: “Cooperation is key in the battle against betting-related match-fixing, and we actively seek engagement with all parties, especially law enforcement, involved to keep sports clean of these criminal influences. Therefore, we are glad about the opportunity to contribute to the success of the Sports Betting Integrity Forum, and to cooperate with the RFU. It is in the best interest of all parties involved to keep British sports clean from corruption, and we thank both the SBIF and the RFU for teaming up with us”

Further to its update, Kindred details that it will work with England’s RFU, keeping rugby union free and safe from betting-related match-fixing.

Moving forward Kindred operations will pro-actively report suspicious betting patterns directly to RFU. The European bookmaker will further work with RFU stakeholders, on corruption prevention initiatives and educational projects.

Chris Watts, Co-chair of the SBIF praised Kindred Plc’s positive approach to fighting sports corruption and welcomed the operator as new forum partner.

“I welcome Kindred Group to becoming the newest member of the UK’s National Platform. The SBIF supports and coordinates the efforts of its members to developing and delivering Britain’s Action Plan for enhancing integrity in sport and sports betting, whilst keeping pace with increasing complexities and focusing on prevention, disruption and deterrents.”

“With Kindred Group’s global reach, extensive brand portfolio and innovations in the online gambling industry, I look forward to them becoming an active member of the SBIF and making a positive contribution to the delivery of our Action Plan.”

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