Archive for the ‘General Gambling News UK’ Category

Antigua and Barbuda fail to make U.K. white list

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

By Vin Narayanan

The U.K. Gambling Commission has rejected “white list” applications from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Canada and Antigua and Barbuda. The Gambling Commission did not offer any explanation in making the announcement.

In order for an online casino to advertise freely in the U.K. it must be licensed either in Britain, the European Economica Area or jurisdictions on an approved “white list.”

Tasmania recently joined Alderney and the Isle of Man as the only jurisdictions that have been approved for the “white list” by the Gambling Commission. Online casinos with Tasmanian licenses can begin advertising in the U.K. on Jan. 31.

Casino News UK

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Rank rejects Harrah’s swap deal

Monday, November 26th, 2007

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Casino and bingo operator Rank has rejected an approach from U.S. casino giant Harrah’s Entertainment, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday.

Without citing sources, the paper said Rank rebuffed the deal, which saw Harrah’s effectively offer to swap its own UK casinos for a 28 percent stake in the enlarged Rank.

A spokesman for Rank declined to comment, Harrah’s could not be reached for comment.

Rank has seen its shares battered over the last year as a ban on smoking and forced removal of lucrative slot machines has sparked a sharp decline in its bingo business, while a surprise hike in taxes has hit casino profits hard.

Media and analyst reports have linked a string of names to a possible offer for the firm including Ladbrokes and Malaysia’s Genting .

Caesar’s palace owner Harrah’s is in the process of being taken over by private equity funds Apollo Management LP and TPG Capital. It grabbed a foothold in the UK casino market last year when it bought London Clubs International but the tax changes have left a hole in the deal’s finances. (Source: Reuters – Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Quentin Bryar).

Gambling News UK

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BBC show invests in online gaming site

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

LONDON, England — (PRESS RELEASE) — BBC’s reality investment program Dragons’ Den has made an investment in online gaming site Aired on the 22nd of October, Emmie Matthews and Ed Stevens, founders of the site, recieved a £200,000 investment for their gaming site; marking the single largest amount ever awarded on the immesely popular program.

The Dragons’ Den panellists are famous for striking fear into the hearts of the hopefuls who turn up asking for investment. But Dragon Theo Paphitis was so impressed with their project he agreed to invest all the money on his own.

According to Matthews, Paphitis was excited about his investment because: “Theo knows the current and future value of online gaming and sees it as a major growth industry. He invested because of our years of experience in gaming, and because of our track record of success. In fact, Mrs Paphitis plays online bingo all the time so Theo understood the value of the company and its large consumer appeal.”

The winning concept of Gaming Alerts is to deliver up-to-date offers, advice and bonuses direct to the desktop of online gamblers from major online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo sites and online sportsbooks.

Users select their interests, and Gaming Alerts tailors the best odds, bonuses, free bets and freeroll poker tournaments that fit the player’s exact criteria. This tailored-content solution is a convienience for users and a hugely valuable media outlet for online gaming sites.

Dragon, Theo Paphitis said “I am delighted to be working with the Gaming Alerts team, I think the whole concept of proactively alerting users to the best casino bonuses and offers is truly revolutionary and Ed and Emmie have really brought the idea to life, I am looking forward to working with them and realising the potential of the company.”

The founders have an exclusive agreement with technology supplier Skinkers, the market leaders in desktop communication, who are also the suppliers to the BBC and Sky News alerts services.

Stevens said “Gaming Alerts makes money the same way or does – by referring customers or users from our site to operators in exchange for commissions.”

Paphitis has built his fortune on turning businesses into successes. He has transformed Ryman, Contessa, La Senza and Partners the Stationers into successful and profitable retail companies. He now heads up a 350-store chain a group turnover approaching 250m. Theo’s style and knowledge is part of the reason why Dragons’ Den has been such a huge ratings hit since its launch in 2005.

Gambling News UK

Study: Gambling in check for British

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

17 September 2007
by Arnold M Knightly
Las Vegas Gaming Wire

LONDON, England — A gambling study will demonstrate the British casino industry has taken a proactive and socially responsible role in dealing with problem gambling, the new chief executive officer of London Clubs International said Friday.

The study by academics in the United Kingdom hopes to establish a baseline on the rate of gambling and problem gambling in the region.

John Bruns, the newly appointed CEO of London Clubs, believes gamblers know what they’re doing.

“These players have means and they choose to game,” Bruns said. “It’s their form of entertainment. They are not at risk and they are not vulnerable.”

The report by the independent Gambling Commission on the prevalence of gambling is due Wednesday.

Las Vegas-based Harrah’s Entertainment paid $570 million for London Clubs in December, giving it six casinos in England, two in Egypt and one in South Africa.

Bruns, who joined Harrah’s in 2000, replaced Bill Timmins, London Clubs’ longtime chief executive officer, before the acquisition.

Bruns said the pending study could also help clarify what the government plans to do with future casinos.

An independent Casino Advisory Panel, formed after the Gambling Act passed in January, awarded the city of Manchester a “supercasino” with 1,250 slots. However, the House of Lords in March voted against the plan, simultaneously killing plans for 16 smaller casinos that would have been built around the United Kingdom.

Harrah’s Entertainment, the only major Las Vegas-based operator in the region, MGM Mirage and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have all expressed interest in developing large casinos. Harrah’s is developing clubs in Glasgow, Scotland, and the English cities of Manchester, Leeds and Blackpool, to accompany the recently opened Nottingham club.

Bruns assumed his position Sept. 1, coinciding with the opening of a new London Club in Nottingham.

The same day, the Gambling Act of 2005 took effect, replacing most of the region’s gambling regulations, some of which were 160 years old.

Bruns said every day reveals more about the business and political climate in London.

“It’s in transitional times right now,” Bruns said. “We thought deregulation was going to provide a lot of things for the casino industry. It’s turning out to be more like reregulation.”

Adding to the uncertainty are questions about the government of Gordon Brown, who replaced Tony Blair as prime minister in June.

Gaming industry watchers wonder if the government will make sweeping changes to casino licensing laws before general elections are held in 2009 or 2010.

Bruns also said the company is in a “freeze mode” on the issue of open admissions, which was once expected to be lifted with deregulation. Players now have to show proof of their identity before they can gamble at a London Club.

However, the European Union expressed concerns about possible money laundering issues if the requirement is lifted.

Harrah’s is awaiting clarification from the European Union before proceeding with open admissions.

“I can’t think of more exciting times than now to be in London during this discovery stage,” Bruns said. “The question is, ‘What will the business environment look like going forward and how can we compete effectively within that market?’ ”

London Clubs in the U.K. are considerably smaller than casinos in Las Vegas and have licenses for 20 slots, 40 electronic roulette games and unlimited table games.

Gambling News UK 

Gambling adverts on TV as part of overhaul

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

LONDON (Reuters) – Adverts promoting gambling will be allowed on television screens from Saturday, after new laws came into force.

The Gambling Act 2005, which replaces nearly all the existing gambling legislation some of which dates back to 1845, will govern arcades, bingo halls, casinos, bookmakers and remote gambling sites based in the UK.

They will be regulated by a new watchdog, the Gambling Commission, which will have the power to impose fines and prosecute any operator not complying with the rules.
It will be supported by 1,500 licensed local authority officers who will inspect gambling premises.

It is the first time operators will be able to advertise on TV, subject to a voluntary 9 a.m. watershed, though adverts can be shown during sports events.

Questions on phone-in quizzes on TV and radio will be made harder to prevent them operating like lotteries, while bingo clubs will be able to offer rollover jackpots.

The government, in an effort to stave off accusations of encouraging gambling, has made it compulsory for operators to display prominently information about responsible betting and details on how to get help for addiction.

The National Lottery will be regulated by separate bodies.

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said the laws were necessary because previous legislation had not kept up with technological advances which have changed the way people gamble.
“TVs, home computers and mobile phones have become the digital equivalent of a betting slip and casino chip,” he said.

“The government brought in the Gambling Act because most of our laws were nearly 40 years old and these developments were going unchecked and unregulated.”

He said the new “unprecedented powers” would ensure gambling is conducted “fairly, children and vulnerable people are protected and crime is kept out”.

But the Conservative spokesman on gambling, Tobias Ellwood, speaking on BBC radio, questioned whether the act “has the teeth” to manage new types of gambling such as Internet gambling and games that could be sent to children’s mobile phones.

Gambling News UK