HomeGambling IndustryBoyd in the rumor mill, political betting scandal continues

Boyd in the rumor mill, political betting scandal continues

4 min. read
Alex's weekly roundup.

It has been a bizarre week by any reasonable estimate. More people close to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have been named in a UK Gambling Commission probe over placing a wager on the date of a new general election.

The latest member of the Prime Minister’s retinue to get in the crosshairs of the regulators include one of his bodyguards, who was named in an investigation by the UKGC and who was arrested on Monday. The bodyguard, who will remain anonymous until formerly charged and only if, has been released on bail and reinstated.

Laura Saunders, another member of the Conservative Party, has also been named in a separate investigation by the regulator. She too faces the same allegations of finding out the date of the new general election by her proximity with the Prime Minister and acting on insider information unfairly.

Both new cases come after Craig Williams, a close aid of Sunak’s, was the first to admit he had placed a $130 wager on the possibility of a general election being held in July.

This week in gambling business news

In the meantime, Boyd Gaming has been reportedly looking to table a buyout offer for its larger rival, Penn Entertainment, according to sources close to the matter. The news immediately had an impact on both companies’ stock, although no official confirmation has come to bear.

Penn Entertainment is not necessarily going to engage with the offer, sources told Reuters, which did the original reporting. This week, GiG Media announced that it is going to rebrand to Gentoo Media as the company is planning its separation from Gaming Innovation Group (GiG).

Gentoo Media will focus on the affiliate business and operations and operate independently from GiG, which will remain focused on running the business-to-business and platform division of the company.

New South Wales, an Australian state, is considering raising its point of consumption tax for a third time in nearly as many years. A new proposal, backed by Tabcorp, a local bookmaker, suggests that the tax be increased to 20% from its current 15%.

On problem gambling, upcoming events, and more

Stake.com has teamed up with BetBlocker to enhance its commitment to responsible gambling and help customers get access to tools that will help them stay on top of their gambling habit and self-exclude or access helpful resources.

Speaking of safety, consumers have become increasingly aware of what to expect at casinos. A new forum poll by Casino Guru has revealed that players now prefer to get verified by a casino prior to making their first deposit. This is true for 45% of all players who responded to the poll. Another 18% said that they would rather be verified when they place their first deposit.

For another 23%, the exact time of the verification didn’t matter, and 14% said that they were not interested in playing at casinos that verify players, sticking to anonymous casinos instead.

At the same time, there are a bunch of important events taking place very soon. The SBC Summit Tbilisi is due to convene at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace in Georgia on June 25-26, and the Canadian Gaming Summit has just wrapped up this week.

Industry chatter with insiders

This week we had the opportunity to catch up with quite a few people from the industry, including Casino Guru’s Strategy Lead, Peter Ješko, who spoke at length about the practice of "bonus hunting" and "bonus abuse."

He discussed how Casino Guru helps resolve disputes around bonus hunting and bonus abuse, which are a common reason for contention between players and casino and stated flatly that "when players purposefully try to abuse the system, we side with the casino."

We also spoke with Vladimir Malakchi, catching up on his latest Xanada Investments project, designed to create a new investment culture in the gambling industry where talent is nurtured and spotted early on. As Malakchi puts it, "we strive to discover potential where others may not."

Not least, we spoke with SOFTSWISS Chief Operating Officer Vitali Matsukevich on the opportunities the gambling industry has to harness the power of AI and put it to good use.

Image credit: Casino Guru News

21 Jun 2024
4 min. read
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