The week saw another round of interesting events and we are here to cover them briefly. Fanatics Sportsbook has not wasted any time shifting into gear, with the company launching in both Virginia and West Virginia, using the recently acquired PointsBet assets as a springboard to make sure that it’s moving at a good pace.
The platform is launching amid some major upheavals in the regulated gambling market in the United States. As reported last week, Florida is also looking to introduce sports gambling, and it’s already doing so by way of a new compact that caused a major two-year-long fight in courts. The latest news is that the Supreme Court of Florida has become the latest to give a green light to the Seminole Tribe to operate mobile and in-person sports betting products.
The industry also saw other interesting developments with Jimmy Maymann confirmed as the new CEO of Superbet Group, to step into the position on January 15, 2024. The succession is an important move forward for the group as well, as it prepares to enter its new chapter of growth on a firm foothold, owing to the outgoing incumbent Johnny Hartnett’s unwavering commitment to the business.
Bet365 has also stolen a march on the US market this week, with the operator launching in yet another market in the country with Louisiana, responding to increased interest in sports gambling, as the entire country is more determined than ever to regulate the vertical.
This interest in sports gambling, though, has not always been received well by everyone. KevinDurant, a professional National Basketball League (NBA) player recently vituperated against irate fans who were blaming him for losing their wagers.
Durant condemned such expressions of rage and hatred, arguing that those same people didn’t transfer to him a portion of their winnings when they won. Yet, the incident highlights the issue with fans who continue to pest professional athletes and even threaten to get physical over lost wagers.
Kick, a streaming platform, has revealed a new major partnership, adding UFC star Max "Blessed" Holloway as his latest brand ambassador. The platform itself has been on a tear in signing prominent partners and even encroaching on other platforms’ territory, stealing Twitch stars such as xQc and Amouranth.
This is not the only celebrity this week to be featured in a big company’s advertising efforts either. In fact, Vanessa Hudgens appeared as part of a new BetMGM commercial which focused on promoting the brand’s online casino. "The King of Casino" marketing campaign sought to showcase the potential of the BetMGM Casino as there is definitely a lot of momentum gathering in this vertical.
In the meantime, there have also been some noteworthy developments coming out of the UKGC’s corner. The regulator which oversees the gambling sector in the United Kingdom has posted several important developments.
First, the UKGC is experimenting with a new methodology for collecting information about the industry. The final Step 3 of this experiment has recently been completed, and the data is available, but it’s still not fully finalized and subject to refining.
Regardless, the method suggests that the number of problem gamblers in the United Kingdom is 2.5% of the adult population, higher than the 0.4% cited with the previous methodology.
The UKGC cautions though that this new methodology and the old one are not comparable. On the plus side, a recent report by the regulator has indicated that gambling among children and young people is indeed in decline in the country.
The new numbers suggest that 26% of interviews falling in the target group are still gambling, but these numbers are still lower than the 31% from last year, indicating a general improvement.
The news comes at a great time as Safer Gambling Week 2023 messages generated 50m impressions across social media, the Betting and Gaming Council said. This has been by far the most successful campaign to date, with the campaign enjoying a significant awareness boost.
Speaking of the industry, Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulator, has said that it’s happy with the proposed changes to the Swedish Gambling Act, which will see a bigger onus put on companies to guarantee that AML and KYC standards and safeguards are upheld in full.
In this week’s interview roundup, we caught up with the winner of this year’s First Pitch competition, SnapOdds Founder and CEO Thomas Willomitzer who walked us through his company’s ambition to provide a more fun and entertaining form of sports gambling to audiences worldwide. Gamification is a key part of this.
Not least, SBC revealed more details about next year’s SBC Summit North America that will take place in May. If you are interested in the gambling industry in the region, you should certainly visit.
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