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Ladbrokes – Bookmakers face £5m Russia 2018 goalfest torpedo

Entering the last round of FIFA World Cup group matches, UK bookmakers fear a ‘significant payout should Russia 2018’s goalfest continue’.

The tournament has broken the record for the longest stretch of games at a World Cup without a goalless (0-0) draw.

Thus far 32 Russia 2018 matches have been played featuring 85 goals (ratio – 2.6 goals per match). By previous standards, Russia 2018 may not be a high scoring World Cup, but the tournament is yet to deliver bookmakers a 0-0 draw.

Issuing a Russia 2018 update, Ladbrokes details that ‘UK bookmakers stand to lose a staggering £5 million from one special bet taken before the World Cup knockout stages got underway’

According to Ladbrokes, prior to the start of the tournament, the majority of UK bookmakers had priced 40/1 for ‘a goal to be scored in every Russia 2018 group game’.

Yet to play host to a 0-0 draw, UK bookmakers stand to payout a combined £5 million should Russia 2018’s goal-per-game trend continue.

Commenting on World Cup markets, Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We shot ourselves in the foot offering 40/1 for a goal to be scored in every group match so now we’re praying for a 0-0 in any of the next 16 games to avoid a hefty payout before a ball has been kicked in the business end of the tournament!”

Playtech and Ladbrokes Coral team-up for built-in bet slip

Playtech and Ladbrokes Coral have enhanced their burgeoning relationship, with its new built-in bet slip the “first ever sports solution directly integrated into live casino”.

The omni-channel firms new offering will allow customers to follow live odds and action without leaving tables, and will feature roulette operated by sports trained dealers – who are to also provide match commentary for the remaining World Cup game.

Kevin Kilminster, Head of Live Casino Innovation for Playtech, stated: “The new Ladbrokes Coral integrated bet slip is a significant step forward for the live casino experience. Sports fans no longer have to choose between playing roulette and keeping up-to-date with the big events.

“With everything they need to place sports bets fully incorporated into the live studio, it’s a more convenient and engaging experience for the players. This is the first time any provider has delivered a full solution to bring an operator sportsbook offering into the live casino client. Owing to our unique omni-channel capabilities, Playtech is best placed to deliver this type of premium experience for operators.”

Developed with a mobile first approach, available 24/7 and featuring a fully tailored studio, it is detailed that players will enjoy a seamless experience across all devices.

Antonio Ruggeri, Live Casino Product Manager for Ladbrokes Coral, concluded: “Following the highly successful launch of Cheltenham Roulette last year, we’re delighted to be partnering with Playtech again to launch the industry’s first fully integrated bet slip.

“This technology adds a brand-new dimension to our live offering, and is a great opportunity for players who enjoy sports betting to try out the live casino environment without missing out on any of the action. We’re confident the new bet slip will get a great reaction from players during the World Cup and beyond.”

This is the latest sports and live casino crossover developed by the two parties, following the creation of Cheltenham Festival themed roulette room, featuring live streaming of all races, for the Coral brand last year.
Ladbrokes owner agrees $200m deal with MGM Resorts

GVC Holdings confirms 50-50 venture in newly liberalised US sports betting market


The UK owner of Ladbrokes and Coral has sealed a $200m (£152m) tie-up with the world’s biggest casino operator, catapulting it into the lucrative, newly liberalised US sports betting market.

On Monday, the FTSE-listed gambling group GVC Holdings confirmed the joint venture with MGM Resorts, giving both partners a foothold in what is forecast to grow into a multibillion-dollar sector.

MGM – best known for Las Vegas casinos such as the MGM Grand and the Bellagio – and GVC have agreed to inject an initial $100m each as part of a 50-50 joint venture focused on US sports betting.

It would make GVC the lead sports betting and online gambling services provider for all MGM’s casino and hotel properties in the US.

Importantly, the deal will allow GVC and MGM to work together to create gambling/betting ventures within newly sanctioned US states, delivering a range of land-based and digital gambling opportunities.

In May, the US supreme court overturned a federal law that banned gambling on American football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most US states.

That was an eagerly anticipated watershed for Britain’s bookmakers, who have been jockeying for position to gain a strong foothold in the US. They have the advantage of years of experience due to Europe’s more liberal approach to sports gambling, while the common language reduces barriers to entry.

Analysts have been scrutinising GVC’s movements, and those of its FTSE counterparts, Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill. Both used horse racing and sportsbook acquisition to sow the seeds of a solid base from Nevada to New Jersey, where sports betting was already permitted.

Paddy Power Betfair already has 300 US staff and owns the TVG television network, which shows live horse racing – betting on live animals was not banned under the previous legislation.

In May, it bought the US fantasy sports betting site FanDuel, which allows customers to bet on fantasy sports games based on professional American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey.

The 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (Paspa) effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, with the exception of a few states. The result was a thriving underground betting industry that accepts an estimated $150bn in illegal wagers every year, according to the American Gaming Association.

GVC, which also owns the Sportingbet brand and has grown rapidly through acquisitions including the purchase of Ladbrokes last year, had been evaluating opportunities to expand in the US since the supreme court decision.

Gambling employs more than 100,000 people in the UK and contributed £2.8bn to the public purse last year. But the industry was left reeling by the government’s decision earlier this year to slash the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2, and is seeking other opportunities to make money.

In the US, domestic operators have been bracing themselves for what has been billed as the biggest British invasion since .

The supreme court ruling came despite opposition from the Trump administration, major sports leagues and religious groups. One research company estimated that as many as 32 US states would offer sports betting within five years.

Richard Thorp, the business development director at the US consultancy FSB, said: “If US operators want to beat back the Brits, it’s imperative that they move quickly and choose their suppliers wisely.

“The post-Paspa scene which US legislators set still has many unanswered questions – for one [whether] the advertising of gambling will be permitted.”