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February 6th General news ... Picks Daddy Pro at picksdaddypro.com
VIRTUE FUSION BEST ONLINE BINGO SOFTWARE AWARD
Voted the best by industry members
Playtech's internet bingo developer Virtue Fusion won Best Online Bingo Software for the third year in a row at the Online Bingo Industry Awards in recognition of its best-of-breed products.
Award winners were determined by votes from over three hundred industry delegates and attendees at the Sixth Online Bingo Summit held at the Victoria Park Plaza in London.
Rob Keown-Boyd, Commercial Director, Virtue Fusion said: “Virtue Fusion’s continued success at the Online Bingo Industry Awards further consolidates our reputation as the leading name in the market.
“It is extremely satisfying to have won this award for the third consecutive year, especially as the votes come from key members of the industry itself. We are pleased that once again our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by our peers and will continue to build on this success in the year ahead.”
EVERYMATRIX PARTNERS WITH OLYMPIAN TRADING
Deal provides sportsbetting, gaming and NFL Lines bingo to multiple online brands
Olympian Trading Limited, parent company to IAM Corp who represent multiple online gaming brands including GR88.com and Bulldog777.com has entered into an agreement with gaming software firm EveryMatrix for the provision of its OddsMatrix sportsbook, GamMatrix gaming management platform and RakeMatrix bingo network.
The GamMatrix gaming management platform will enable the seamless integration of third party casino products from Microgaming and CTXM as well as poker from Merge.
The online gaming brands represented in the deal will offer mobile sports betting via the new OddsMatrix Mobile Sportsbook set for launch late July 2011.
Peter Karroll, CEO, IAM Corp said: “IAM Corp is extremely excited to embark on this new adventure and partnership with the EveryMatrix products, working with them not only for the current brands but also for the future IAM Corp clients who wish to enjoy the most efficient and experienced turnkey online gaming operations available anywhere in the world.”
BETFRED THE VICTOR IN TOTE SALE (Update)
A long running race comes to an end
Its official, UK Bookmaker Betfred has acquired the UK Horserace Totalisator Board (Tote) for GBP 265 million announced the UK Government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, this week.
The announcement clarifies the Tote's future to its employees with assurances on jobs and pensions and will benefit racing to the tune of GBP 155 million.
“Most people can’t understand why, in the modern world, the Government should be even a part owner of a bookie,” said Gambling and Racing Minister John Penrose. “So we pledged last year to end years of dithering and resolve the future of the Tote, and today we have done just that.”
A number of undertakings Betfred has agreed to provide include the continued payment of the Levy to racing even if part of the Tote business moves offshore and that the pool betting part of the business will not be sold off.
Among the specific terms of the deal:
- Betfred has agreed to pay a headline value of GBP 265 million for the business. This is comprised of an initial payment of GBP 150 million and deferred amounts, including accrued interest, of GBP 115 million;
- After deductions including debt and pensions, the net equity value to be paid to Government by Betfred is over GBP 180 million;
- The taxpayer will retain over GBP 90 million as its 50 per cent share of the net proceeds of the sale;
- Racing will receive over GBP 90 million as their 50 per cent share of net proceeds from the sale (use of which will be subject to compliance with state aid regulations).
In addition, Betfred has committed to making commercial payments to racing of GBP 11 million to March 2012 and an expected GBP 9 million annually over the following six years;
- The Tote Pension scheme will benefit from a GBP 25 million upfront contribution to the plan; and
- Tote employees will have assurances on jobs and an end to many years of uncertainty.
As part of the sale process Betfred will receive an exclusive seven year licence to operate Pool betting operations on all UK racecourses, one condition of which is a requirement to provide pool betting on every approved racecourse in the country.
Betfred have also publicly committed to the establishment of a Tote Racing Development Board with racing to help run the pool and foster wider collaboration. The Tote brand will remain on all UK racecourses.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt added: “It was a closely fought contest which has ended up giving the Tote business and the racing industry the certainty they have been looking for. Of the GBP 265 million in the headline price only just over GBP 90 million will end up being paid to the Treasury. So this deal has been carefully calculated to make sure that the interests of racing, Tote employees and the Tote Pension Fund were given the greatest possible weight.”
Completion of the sale is subject to consultation with employees and is expected to take one to two months.
UNIBET POSTS STRONG Q1/2011 RESULTS
Company performs well across all its major markets
Malta-based online gambling and betting company, Unibet Group plc delivered another strong quarter in its interim report for the period January to March 2011.
The company's withdrawal from France represented 23 percent of gross winnings revenue in 2010, yet the company still posted a growth of 16 percent in gross winnings revenue during its first quarter 2011 and has shown a gain in market share in the Nordic region.
Key performance indicators for first quarter 2011 include:
- Gross winnings revenue amounted to GBP 37.5 million (Q1/2010: 41.8 million)
- Profit from operations amounted to GBP 11.2 million (Q1/2010: 10.6 million)
- Profit after tax amounted to GBP 10.0 million (Q1/2010: 9.5 million)
- Number of active customers at the end of the quarter was 328,054 (Q1/2010: 379,473)
- Gross winnings revenue for sports betting amounted to GBP 15.4 million (Q1/2010 17.6 million)
- Gross winnings for other products amounted to GBP 22.1 million (Q1/2010: 24.1 million)
- Live betting accounted for 57 percent (Q1/2010: 52 percent) of turnover on sports betting, excluding Free Bets
Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Unibet said: "I am pleased to announce that the first quarter of 2011 was another strong quarter for Unibet were we have continued to perform well across all our major markets fully in line with our strategy.
“In the Nordics the growth year on year was 24 per cent which shows that we are gaining strong market share. The rest of the business has also grown well especially considering that France represented 23 per cent of the gross winnings revenue last year. "
The company's strategy for the next three years will see it re-focusing on core markets such as the Nordics and delivering a profitable growth even as Europe's markets develop and re-regulate.
“I expect consolidation within our industry to develop further, and we continue to evaluate opportunities that enhance shareholder value. Options for controlled growth in new regions are also constantly under review, with Unibet focusing on regions with high potential for long-term profitability,” Tjärnström added.