Category Archives: Betting News

Betting on the BBC now fair game

BBC betting

British bookies recently announced that punters will be able to bet on some of the biggest topics relating to broadcasting giant, the BBC.

Bookmakers like William Hill are offering bets on a range of topics including who will be the newly appointed Director General of the broadcaster as well as whether or not the popular TV series Newsnight will be cancelled in 2013. Bets on the director general appointment are already open and popular selections include Ed Richards at odds of 5:4 as well as less popular options like Jeremy Paxman at 100 to 1 and Jonathan Ross at 500:1.

In recent times there has been a great deal of criticism of the BBC and how the organisation appears to be unfit to broadcast the news in an ethical manner. This is largely due to the multitude of slip ups and scandals within the BBC’s higher echelons including the Jimmy Saville saga, false allegations of paedophilia on Newsnight, obviously biased and unfair panorama episodes as well as many senior officials recently accepting unjustifiable resignation payoffs. The latter includes ex-Director General of the BBC, George Entwistle, Director of BBC news Helen Boaden as well as her deputy Stephen Mitchell all exiting under sketch circumstances. Reports confirm that the latter two were “instructed to leave” instead of resigning, while George Entwistle resigning after a 54 day tenure in the Director General position yet still being compensated with a full year’s severance pay.

In the near future there is a great likelihood that other top sportsbooks operators and betting organisations will also jump on the bandwagon and offer an increased range of bets on this and a variety of other relevant topics. It is not only entertaining but also potentially rewarding for players to be able to bet on current affairs and also have a laugh at them and the bookmakers are of course making the best of bad situations and offering some light relief.

While the BBC definitely does have a great deal to answer for, bookmakers offering bets on its affairs are likely to provoke journalistic and even societal criticism, but it is all done in good humour and if you place your bets just right you may even make some serious money out of this.

Betfair Withdraws from Germany over Gambling Tax

Betfair withdraws from Germany

Betfair has been in operation in various countries for over 12 years and offers a betting exchange system which enables punters to bet against one another instead of the bookmaker, but this service will now be terminated for German clientele.

The publically traded Betfair Group recently announced its withdrawal from online sports betting in Germany, citing the 5% turnover tax which has rendered its business in Europe’s largest economy completely unfeasible as the reason for closing operations in this region.

It is not alone in its position on the matter, with many other UK listed gambling organisations crying foul over the exorbitant taxes levied on sports since July this year by the German government.

Betfair has continually argued that it should not have to pay the German tax and due to the fact that no exemption or concessions have been granted and due to the fact that Germany only makes up 4% of its core business, it has decided to withdraw from the market.

According to a statement made by a spokesperson for the group on Wednesday, the Betfair Group is disappointed that German tax authorities have not, to date, been able to agree to an interpretation of the law that would enable Betfair to continue to offer its betting exchange product. As a result, Betfair can see no option but to withdraw its exchange product from the German market.

The group has also stated that contributions from the German market would be minimal after its withdrawal and these would be felt throughout its offering which in addition to a betting exchange also encompasses online casino games, poker and fixed odd betting.

In the wake of the breaking news Betfair shares initially opened lower but recouped the losses to trade 1.8% higher at 765p later the same day.

According to analyst Nick Batram of brokerage Peel Hunt, the group had already predicted a German withdrawal following previous statements by the Betfair Group.

He further added that he and his brokerage believed that there is still much potential to create a much more effective and profitable business, with the unique exchange platform at the cores and as such he has a “buy” rating on Betfair stock.

Betfair’s withdrawal looks to be part of a larger on-going trend with UK bookmakers like William Hill also no longer offering any services to German residents due to the adverse tax laws surrounding online betting.

Bwin.party, another major online gaming entity, also added their voice to the discussion, stating that German tax had contributed to a decline in revenues in the third quarter. As such the company has made serious changes to its business model in Germany, its largest market, by no longer accepting very short-odds bets on sports events there.

London 2012 Olympics “insiders” and athletes subject to gambling ban

London 2012 Olympics

The Daily Telegraph recently reported that the International Olympic Committee will be taking steps to institute a widespread ban on gambling on the Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012.

The ban will be taken as a preventative measure to thwart match-fixing controversies that continually plague sports like football and cricket alike and will apply to all 11,000 participating athletes as well as their coaches and support staff. Furthermore, politicians, VIP’s, accredited journalists and other event “insiders” will also be subjected to the prohibition. So those in the mood to gamble will just have to stick to playing online casino games instead.

The IOC hopes to combat illegal and irregular betting, as well as cheating and match fixing through its newly imposed policy and aims to take a tough stance against these practices and anyone involved in them. According to IOC president Jacques Rogge, illegal gambling and match fixing pose “the biggest threat to the credibility and integrity of sport” and in a statement made at the 123rd IOC session held in Durban this week, Rogge added that protecting the integrity of sport is a priority for the IOC and that in all areas, cooperation with governments was essential to combat anything that stood against this.

As the governing body of the Olympic Games, the IOC holds the ability to strip competitors of their medals and ban them as well as their coaches and support staff from future competition if regulations are breached at any time from 16 July 2011 until 15August 2012. From the tough stance that Rogge is taking, it seems that this is more than an idle threat but where does that leave gambling operators and sports books?

According to Rogge, the Olympic committee is in favour of a system whereby sports book operators will receive government permission to accept bets on the various events and will be awarded with a special operating license to do so and they will work with various sporting bodies and federations to expose threats. The IOC will also work within the regulated gambling sector to help establish guidelines, identify and close loopholes in order to help operators identify any scandals or planned match fixing for teams.

This is an emerging trend in European sports betting sectors where online gambling operations partner with sports bodies to ensure the integrity of the games and promote information sharing thus minimizing cheating and preventing illegal betting patterns.

It remains to be seen whether the IOC will succeed in its bid to crack down on gambling activities, match fixing and cheating within next year’s games but sports analysts believe that sports books will go all out to take advantage of and capitalise on the prestigious event’s major games.

Royal Wedding a Royal Mess for bookmakers

William and Kate's wedding kiss

The Royal honeymoon was over before it began for bookmakers offering special bets on the recent Royal Wedding, costing many a fortune in pay-outs as the highly anticipated day unfolded. 

As previously reported, once Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged, betting on the Royal Wedding began with odds including everything from the wedding date to the dress designer.  Another interesting one was the colour of the queens hat, a special bet that recently cost bookmakers a small fortune when the yellow hat was backed into 8/15 from 12/1 the week prior to the event.  The agony continued for bookies as Kate’s dress was officially described as Ivory, a colour with was also the 8/15 favourite, even the bride’s arrival time at 11:02am had books like Betfred paying out.

William Hill who had offered odds on everything from the length of the bride’s train to Prince Harry dropping the ring have also had to open up the coffers for pay-outs.  In a statement released by the group, spokesman Rupert Adams commented, “We have been on the end of a Royal roasting as almost every favourite has come in and we will be paying out a six figure sum in the next couple of days!”  He further added that, “The only light relief for us was the fact that Philip managed to stay awake and Harry did not drop the ring!”

Royal Wedding Winning Racehorse

A further Royal blow was dealt to sportsbooks offering horse racing odds on the same day when a horse named “Royal Wedding” sped to the finish line in a 12-length victory at 4:1 odds at the nearby Sussex course.  The horses run had been well publicised in the local papers and punters had flocked to the books to place their bets on Royal Wedding in the Royal Wedding day race.  A very subdued David Williams of Ladbrokes commented that Royal Wedding’s win had cost the industry millions.

While a joyous occasion for millions across the globe, the Royal wedding day was definitely nothing but a royal mess for many sportsbooks.  It will definitely be interesting to see if special bets of this nature will continue to be offered in future…but we guess we’ll have to wait for Prince Harry to tie the knot before we get that one answered!