William Hill to Sponsor AFC Ajax?

There are persistent rumors that bookmaker William Hill has already reached a deal with AFC Ajax to become the football club’s main shirt sponsor starting in 2019 – if the Dutch Senate manages to approve the remote gaming bill before then.

According to unnamed sources, the betting giant also spoke with Dutch Eredivisie clubs PSV and Feyenoord before agreeing a deal with Ajax.


“Pushing the Red Button Did Not Stop the Game”

In a court case that could potentially have an impact on gambling operators, an attorney is arguing that his client, a TV game show participant, did not intend to accept a prize lower than the €5m maximum, despite pressing on a “bid red button.”


DFS Giants FanDuel and DraftKings Cancel Proposed Merger

The proposed FanDuel-DraftKings merger is now officially dead:

“Early Thursday afternoon, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles issued a statement saying he believed it was ‘in the best interest of our shareholders, customers, employees and partners to terminate the merger agreement and move forward as an independent company.’

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins simultaneously issued a similar statement, saying the merger’s demise would allow his company to ‘singularly focus on our mission of providing the most innovative, and engaging interactive sports experience imaginable.’”


US Lotteries Suffering from Decreasing Interest, Increased Competition

Half of US state lotteries have been reporting declining revenues in recent years.

“In 22 of the 44 states with lotteries, revenue declined between 2014 and 2015, the most recent year for which comprehensive numbers are available. Twenty-one states also saw declines from 2013 to 2014. ‘Jackpot fatigue’ — a drop off in lottery play until jackpots get unusually huge — is contributing to the decline, as well as fewer millennials playing, and competition from other forms of gambling.”

Competition from other forms of gambling is likely to increase further. Bet-on-lottery products are the most obvious – and increasingly accessible – alternative.

Following the example of the Kindred Group and William Hill Australia, Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) became the third operator in recent weeks to announce the launch of a lottery betting product in partnership with secondary lottery provider Lottoland.


Google Play to Allow Gambling Apps

Google will allow real-money gambling apps into its Play Store for the first time in seven years, the company told operators last week.

Requests for gambling application sales on the Google Play store will be accepted as of August 2017 in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland. At a later date, the policy change may be expanded to other regions and countries.

Currently, Android users are forced to download apps directly from gambling sites, limiting the apps’ potential exposure to new customers, as well as developers’ ability to push updates.

App developers will have to provide application documents, including licenses for operations in regions where they want to promote their own products.

Some experts believe Google’s decision to open up the App Store to gambling apps could provide enticing opportunities for operators. Others, however, claim the impact on the industry will be somewhat negligible, with more cannibalization than incremental revenue gains.


Other News

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) published a White Paper proposing major reforms to Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework.


Holland Casino is looking to hire an Online Business Analyst.


Nederlandse Loterij is looking to hire a Manager Finance.


PokerStars Casino has become the market leader among online casinos in Italy after just two years in the market.


The second edition of the Gambling Law Review was just published.


Responsible gaming researchers Michael Auer and Mark Griffiths discuss the study they are conducting on behalf of the Kindred Group.


The Irish government has approved legislation which would raise the minimum age to participate in and enter gambling venues from 16 to 18.


Spain is expected to open a third licensing window in Q4 2017, which could be the country’s “last licensing window – at least for a very long time,” with unlimited general and single-vertical licenses available. At present, operators looking to enter the market must do so through the formation of joint-ventures or via mergers and acquisition.


SportPesa has bought itself access to the Italian market with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Italy-licensed operator RCS Gaming. Following the deal, SportPesa will rebrand RCS Gaming’s GazzaBet.it asset to its own name.


Malta-licensed operator Interwetten has announced plans to launch in Sweden in September.


Sky Betting and Gaming (SB&G) and William Hill have teamed up for a £5m responsible gambling campaign that will see the operator use machine learning and predictive modelling to identify problem gamblers.


The World Regulatory Briefing London – Responsible Gambling Innovation will take place on September 12. When over two thirds of the public think gambling is dangerous for family life, is a focus on responsible gambling enough to meet the concerns that people have about it in our society?


Unibet has partnered with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s PGL Major Krakow to live stream over 80 hours of footage and offer betting markets for the event.


Former online gambling billionaire Calvin Ayre pleaded guilty on Friday to a misdemeanor charge, resolving a five-year criminal case in which US federal prosecutors pursued felony charges against Ayre and the company he founded, Bodog Entertainment Group.


Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, which runs four casinos in Monaco, including the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo, will join the European Casino Association (ECA).


Overseas gambling sites will be blocked in China by next year after state-run telecoms operators were told to begin cracking down on virtual private networks (VPN).


India has taken a first step towards legalization of sports betting in the country.