Monthly Archives: February 2019

Odds for King or Queen of Westeros at the end of Game of Thrones

The final seven episodes of Game of Thrones will kick off on April 14, and let me tell you, I’m excited. After reading the books the show is based on, I could not wait to see how the story turned out. Because George R.R. Martin is too busy counting his money to finish writing the story, we’ll have to depend on the hit HBO show to wrap up the story for us. For those who want to make the show more interesting, we have odds from Bodog on who will finish the show on the throne.

High up in the odds are all of the remaining Stark children. Bran, or as he prefers to be called, the new Three Eyed Raven, is the odds on favorite to be King of Westeros at 2/3 odds. Some theories have it that he and the Night King (10/1) are one and the same, or that he will use his ability to warg to take control of the situation. Considering his impressive abilities, he’s a solid bet, if he decides to give up his day job as a creepy teenager.

The other Stark kids, Jon Snow (6/1), Sansa Stark (8/1) and Arya Stark (18/1) also come in with high odds. They’ve all had very different paths to get to get to season 8, and really good cases could be made for the current King in the North and the classic hero in Jon, or the rising politician in Sansa. Arya seems more likely to go off and become a serial killer, so maybe not her.

Oddsshark has made a case for Gendry (15/1), the alleged bastard son of the late king Robert Baratheon. It would come out of left field to have a character who’s been absent for four season become king, but it also wouldn’t be the biggest twist the story has seen.

MLB signs deal with Sportradar to ensure integrity

Pete Rose might have won a few more bets if he had the same access to data that sports bettors have today. Rubbing more salt in Charlie Hustle’s wounds, Sportradar has announced a new multi-year agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) to provide real time game statistics to media companies and regulated sports betting operators.

The deal also extends Sportradar’s rights to provide audio and visual feeds of games to sports wagering operators.

In exchange for these rights, Sportradar is committing to provide Integrity Services to the MLB. They will monitor games for potential match fixing, and act as an investigation service if anything seems amiss.

“We look forward to utilising our vast global experience as the global leader in the data, AV, and integrity spaces to give fans and partners an unmatched experience,” said Carsten Koerl, CEO of Sportradar.

Bookmaker Awards Russia 2019 event

Russian players and market experts will name the most reliable bookmaker agency in the country

Informational and analytical portal about sports and bookmaker activity «Rating of Bookmakers» launched a public vote to determine the most reliable Russian betting company. Players will also have the opportunity to choose the best bookmaker network, mobile app, cyber sports bookmaker, and brand ambassador. In all, there are 12 nominations on the website.

The second stage will be the voting of the expert jury, which will include Paruyr Shahbazyan, the founder of «Rating Bookmakers», as well as athletes, journalists and experts of the bookmaker industry.

The results will be announced at the end of February during the «BR Awards 2019» ceremony, where presidents of leagues and federations, owners and top managers of bookmakers, famous athletes, bloggers and celebrities will gather.

Espresso Games expands its global reach going live with 1xbet

Milan, February 28th 2019 – 1xBet and Espresso Games have inked a content partnership deal that will enrich the offering of 1xBet with the innovative and player-engaging games and patented slot engines by Espresso Games.

The COO of Espresso Games Flaviano Fogli said: “We are absolutely thrilled to provide our diverse and entertaining games through the formidable 1xBet.  This mutually-beneficial partnership falls right in line with our expansion plan to unleash our products on the global stage.”

About 1xBet

1xBet is on the largest online betting companies in eastern Europe, which offers many additional markets on specific events: European handicap, correct score, run of play, over/under, team to score first etc. They also have a great selection of markets on international games on a club and country level. 1xBet offers singles, accumulators, system and chain bets. 1xBet is built on BetB2B platform that is focused on the opportunity for the operators to tailor their offerings to suit their individual needs. BetB2B enables their partners to personalise their offering and gives an advantage of the most modern technology on the market and a fully operational suite of sports betting and gaming content.

Poker pro hits fourth royal flush after folding at WSOP Circuit event

Kyle Cartwright has the Midas touch when it comes to poker. The professional poker player has already racked up over $2 million playing on the WSOP Circuit and has one WSOP bracelet and eight WSOP Circuit rings. Even when he loses at the felt, which happens to the best of them, he still manages to come out a winner. Case in point, this past Tuesday.

Cartwright was participating in a WSOP Circuit game at the Rio in Las Vegas this week, ultimately finishing in 21st place at the $1,700 NLHE Main Event and taking home $11,913. He tried his luck at the $2,200 NLHE High Roller, only to bust out before reaching the cash. While he had a nice return on investment between the two events, what he did next was even better and might possibly be something the Guinness Book of World Records needs to look into.

After being sent to the rail, Cartwright hadn’t quite expended all of his poker energy and decided to sit down at a video poker machine. Playing five credits per hand, at $25 a pop, he was putting $125 on the line each time the cards were dealt. The gamble paid off, as Cartwright ultimate scored a Royal flush. To ensure he wasn’t accused of talking smack, he posted about it on Twitter, showing a picture of the game screen and commenting, “Guess I got 4th in the main…”

The probability of hitting a Royal flush in straight poker is 1/649,740, or 0.00015%. However, Cartwright hasn’t hit just one big hand. In the summer of 2017, he hit three royal flushes in the same number of months playing video poker, with all of them being Hearts. He also has recorded a fifth, which he found in April of last year. That, as opposed to the others, was not a Heart flush.

Yggdrasil goes live with 888

February 28th, 2019 ­­– The games portfolio of innovative gaming solutions provider Yggdrasil is now live with online casino operator 888 Casino.

Following a successful integration, 888 customers have access to Yggdrasil’s award-winning portfolio of casino slots, including the blockbuster Vikings series and latest releases Cazino Cosmos and Champions of Rome.

Yggdrasil’s games are currently live with 888 in the UK and Denmark and will soon also be available in Sweden.

In addition, the operator can now utilise Yggdrasil’s range of complementary in-game promotional tools, BOOST®, to drive player engagement and retention. 

Prop bets make their way to US-North Korea summit

U.S. President Trump has become a favorite target of prop bets. He has already helped gamblers put some extra money in their pockets through some creative bets, including during a recent address to the United States. Bookmakers allowed gamblers to wager on how many “false statements” he would say or how many times he would verbally stumble, and many bettors came out on top. Trump is back on the books again and this time, the wagers center on the latest summit trying to find peace between the U.S. and North Korea.

Trump is wrapping up the second summit he has held with North Korea’s dictator—or chairman, as he likes to be called—Kim Jong Un. They have been in Hanoi, Vietnam, discussing a myriad of issues from most likely Dennis Rodman’s many tattoos to nuclear disarmament. The latter is one of the topics that has made its way into the prop betting market, with odds being placed on whether or not Kim will drop his nuclear program.

Odds of Kim not eliminating the program are -10000 for implied odds of 90.9%, while odds of his agreeing to dismantle the program sit at +2500. If the country decided to call off its nuke activity, a $100 bet would earn the gambler $2,500. (Spoiler alert: The program continues).

One bookmaker put up a prop bet for whether or not Trump would take fast food to the summit. Odds were +1000 for Yes and -5000 for No. Given his affinity for fast food, chances are good there were a couple of Big Macs or KFC drumsticks on hand.

UK Labour to propose stricter regulations for online gambling

The regulatory environment for online gambling in the UK could get a lot stricter soon. Deputy leader of the Labour party Tom Watson will ask for new laws for online casinos and bookmakers.

The Guardian reports Watson plans to make his request on February 28, and will note that current regulations are “inadequate,” and could lead to abuse and problem gambling. The current regulations stem from the Gambling Act of 2005, passed by Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. Watson will call those laws “unfit for the digital age.”

In his proposals, Watson will want to put a limit on the amount and frequency of maximum bets, specifically in a move to bring online limits closer to those recently set for physical fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

He’ll also call for operators to put in a system to verify players aren’t playing with money they don’t have. This is something that has been proposed before by the Conservative government when they considered banning the use of credit cards as a payment option, for the same reasons.

Mr Green goes live with IWG’s games portfolio

Thursday 28th February 2019: IWG – the award-winning supplier of online, instant win games – has struck an agreement with MRG, which has seen its portfolio of games go live across the Group’s brands.

Mr Green Ltd sites, including flagship brand Mr Green, now have access to IWG content such as the industry-leading Cash Buster Series and many more entertaining releases.

IWG’s portfolio has been made available to Mr Green Ltd following an integration via SG Digital’s Open Gaming System (OGS) content aggregation platform.

The deal marks yet another important commercial deal for the award-winning supplier, with its content already live with bet365, William Hill, 888 and GVC.

Relax Gaming celebrates 5 years of Poker Success with French market entry

Malta, 28th February 2019 – Relax Gaming, the new-breed games and platform supplier, is celebrating 5 years of its award-winning poker product by sharing the news of expansion into the French market together with long-term customer Kindred in the beginning of Q2.

As the only new market entrant for several years, the provider will launch its full poker offering, one that has bucked the market trend and seen continued growth over its 5 year life-time.

Daniel Eskola, CEO at Relax Gaming, said the agreement with long-standing partner Kindred is a significant one in an important market, and that it will demonstrate the potential of the provider’s popular award-winning poker platform for other local markets further down the line.

He added: “We remain committed to the continued delivery of superior quality products to Kindred, but we’re opening the door for product growth further down the line by adding more operators and jurisdictions as demand dictates. Poker has and remains a core product for us and one we know we do well.”

Genting Malaysia survives 2018 by the grace of tax breaks

Genting Malaysia’s revenues might be down, and investments might not have worked out the way they hoped, but profits improved regardless. That’s the news from their recent fourth quarter reporting to the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange.

The operator reported that Q4 profits rose 60.1% year over year in 2018, rising to MYR720.14 million (US$176.7 million). This was despite a 1.5% decline in revenue.

They accomplished this feat thanks to a change in taxes. In January 2019, the casino operator appealed to the Malaysian government for additional tax exemptions. That gambit paid off, and as a result the company saved MYR304.98 million per quarter (US$74.97 million).

Don’t take that for granted though. Japanese brokerage firm Nomura notes that the tax decision is not yet final. They wrote, “Note, however, that the final tax incentive decision of the courts will likely only come by third quarter 2019, so the outcome remains unclear.”

Bloomberry to respond in court over 2016 Bangladesh heist

Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc., the gaming subsidiary of Philippine-based casino company Bloomberry Resorts Corp., is headed to court. The company has received a summons to appear in a civil case in the U.S. tied to the online theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank in February 2016.

The case centers on the theft of the money through an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that was controlled by the Bank of Bangladesh. Millions of dollars were syphoned off and distributed through four accounts at a branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. in Makati, part of Metro Manila. From there, investigators were able to determine that the funds were then moved to a number of casinos in the Philippines, but the trail went cold from there.

Bangladesh Bank has filed a lawsuit over the incident in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Among those named in the suit are Rizal, Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels and 15 other Philippine-based companies.

The suit is designed to “collect the amount allegedly lost by Bangladesh Bank from North Korean hackers who broke into Bangladesh Bank’s systems and sent multiple remittances orders to their account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York…” It asserts that the money was eventually “remitted to alleged fictitious accounts with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, and from where they were transacted, converted and lost, a part of which went through Philippine casinos where they were used to purchase gaming chips and were played in the casino and junket rooms.”

Macau tourist arrivals up in January

Macau saw an increase in tourist arrivals of 9.8% for all of 2018, with 35.8 million arrivals recorded across the 12-month period. Things are already getting off to a good start in 2019 and, if the current pace is maintained, the overall figures for this year will be even greater. This past January, arrives jumped 25% year-on-year.

3.4 million tourist arrivals were logged in January. 1.78 million single-day visitors headed to the city – 41.8% more than in January 2018 – with the average visit lasting just under five hours. That was the same amount of time as was seen a year earlier. This segment made up the majority of the visitation, accounting for 52.1% of all of Macau’s visitors. In January of last year, the segment only accounted for 45.9%.

The overall average of a visitor’s stay was 1.2 days. Compared to the same period last year, this was a decline of one-tenth of a day. The number of visiting spending the night in the city increased 10.7%, reaching 1.64 million and the average length of stay was 2.2 days, one-tenth of a day longer than a year prior.

As is typically the case, Chinese visitation accounted for the largest segment and increased by 29.9% year-on-year. Almost 2.51 million Chinese mainlanders visited Macau in January, with the majority -1.14 million – originating in the Guangdong province. Next was the Hunan province, with around 98,000, followed by the Fujian province, with 79,000. Chinese tourists arriving as individuals – and not part of a tour group – increased 45.2% to just over 1.3 million.

Indiana Senate gives green light to gambling bill

The gambling industry in Indiana is about to expand, but lawmakers don’t want anyone to see it. After the Indiana Senate approved a gambling bill this past Tuesday, politicians are trying to avoid the term “gambling expansion” in favor of the wordy “opportunity to leverage the state’s existing assets.”

The idea is to try and prevent too much attention being given to the controversial measures approved by the Senate with Senate Bill (SB) 552 as it heads to the House. The attempt probably won’t have its intended effect, as House Speak Brian Bosma has already expressed his desire to cut back on the bill’s provisions. After the bill was approved by the Senate, Bosma stated that he was surprised it had been accepted by his fellow legislators.

Among the many parts of SB 552 is a measure that would allow riverboat casinos to head further inland. The state authorized land-based gambling in 2015, but with the general understanding that those operations would remain close to their original locations.

Through the bill, two floating casinos, Majestic Star 1 and Majestic Star II, would be allowed to move from Lake Michigan to dry land, with one possibly going to Terre Haute and the other to Gary. This is where the problem lies – opponents of SB 552, or anything gambling expansion-related, have tried to argue that the measure effectively requires a new license to be issued and are trying to prevent the bill from making it through Indiana’s Congress.

DraftKings reportedly developing standalone mobile gambling app

According to eGaming Review (EGR), DraftKings is said to be considering a standalone mobile casino app. The app would be available for download and use to gambling fans in New Jersey and the gaming media outlet adds that DraftKings “is expected to launch [the app] in the coming months.” DraftKings has not yet issued a statement on the subject.

DraftKings has been in the news a lot over the past couple of years. It entered the U.S. market ahead of its major competitor, FanDuel, and never looked back. The company has been on a mission to take over the online sportsbook market in the U.S. and the launch of a standalone mobile casino will help it further its agenda.

The company already has a DraftKings Sportsbook app in New Jersey, which it introduced in August of last year. In December, it added a casino-style blackjack game to the app, a step deeper into all-things-gambling. With the addition of other games – such as poker, roulette and slots – DraftKings continued to forge deeper into the market and launching a standalone app would be the logical next step.

DraftKings has also become involved with Evolution Gaming, launching live-dealer games. It has shown to be a strong competitor and is probably one of the reasons Sheldon Adelson has become so nervous lately. The site knows it has the ability to shake things up and is more than willing to capitalize on its success. Company co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Kalish told last December, “I think DraftKings is unique in that we attract a real cross section of sports bettors and fans and now iGaming enthusiasts. We have a lot of customers that are new to iGaming and mobile casino who might have migrated from DFS to sports betting and are now checking out blackjack. And certainly we might attract some veterans of the iGaming space.”