Gambling News in March 2015: Review

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In this article we will look at the biggest gambling news that was reported throughout the month of March, 2015, focusing on global news as opposed to local or national news.

The Number of the Fraudulent

666 Bet has raised a few eyebrows since it was established as few of us have been able to grasp why a betting company would name themselves after a number that is synonymous with Christian mythology, often referred to as the number of the beast. They didn’t do themselves any favours in March when it was reported that one of their directors had been arrested in connection with money laundering and fraud. The sum involved was over $30 million.

Thirteen houses were raided and the equivalent of over $1,5 million in cash was recovered. The gambling licenses of 666Bet were also suspended, and the future looks very bleak for this sports book, which is based in the United Kingdom. How this will affect their many sponsorship deals, which includes deals with many top English football clubs, is anyone’s guess.

Busy Month for 888

888 is one of the biggest gambling brands in the world, with 888 Poker, 888 Sport, 888 Casino and more. In March, 2015, it was announced that they reported a 14% increase in revenue year-on-year, which amounted to a little over $450 million. They are predominantly a UK company and the fact that 44% of their revenue came from the UK reflected this, with over 12% coming from North America. Their profits are increasing in this part of the world though and with more relaxed gambling laws than the US, it seemed that Canada is their main focus when it comes to the Americas.

In March, 2015, the 888 brand also announced that they had secured a sponsorship deal with the World Series of Poker, the biggest poker event in the world. This will see their name plastered all over the 2015 World Series of Poker event, along with the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe, which is less popular but is becoming more so as the years progress. This is sure to help 888’s reach expand further, opening up the Americas even more for them and also increasing their revenues in Europe and the rest of the world.

PokerStars Sponsorship

Sticking with the theme of poker and sponsorships, this month it was also announced that poker giants Pokerstars, who have by far the biggest member base of any online poker room, will be sponsoring the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, often shortened to the APPT. This will help to increase the prize pool of the event and it will also help to increase Pokerstar’s reach in the East. Pokerstars already sponsors some of the biggest live events in poker, as well as running online events such as the World Series of Online Poker and the Spring Series of Online Poker. This is another notch on their belt and one that is sure to go a long way when it comes to increasing their global exposure and their total membership numbers.

Poker is growing in the East and in China in particular, and although they are already available in China, if they can tap into the growing poker market in this country then they will have millions of players at their disposal and the potential to more than double their annual revenue.

Gambling in South Korea is Heading North

You might not think it, but South Korea is one of the fastest growing gambling economies in the world right now. It does not quite have the potential of China, but this is a technologically advanced nation and one that seems to be embracing online gambling in all of its forms. 2015 is actually the 9th consecutive year in which revenues from gambling have increased and reports suggest that the total money generated from gambling in South Korea exceeds $17,5 billion.

A lot of the money comes from casinos and lotteries, but bull fighting and horse racing, among other sports, also attract the gambling dollar.

Fixed Online Betting Terminals

Also known as FOBTs, a Fixed Online Betting Terminal is a terminal that offers electronic versions of popular table games, with the possibility to win and lose hundreds of dollars in a matter of seconds. These games first became popular in the United Kingdom, but they have since become popular elsewhere and are spreading fast.

Other countries should take heed of the issues that the UK has had with these machines although, because as well as fuelling a gambling addiction epidemic, they are also hurting the wealth of high streets. This month it was reported that UK players lost over £1,5 billion, which is over $2 billion, on these machines last year. The population of the UK is twice that of Canada, but if these machines come to our shores and gamblers here lose just half that much, then the effects that has on the economy, and of the individual lives of those losing players, could be severe.

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