Today’s need-to-know news – Friday, January 2

Today’s need-to-know news – Friday, January 2

Friday, January 2, 2015 Totally Gaming

Online gaming operator Unibet has struck a deal to acquire the Bingo.com domain and its related European real-money gambling operations. Unibet, which was already the company’s technology provider, has made a payment of $2m (€1.7m) to Bingo.com Ltd., representing the $8m purchase price less a $6m sale price for Unibet's former investment in Bingo.com Ltd's shares. The deal is a sign of the times, according to Bingo.com chief executive Jason Williams, who said that “smaller firms are finding it increasingly difficult to compete” due to the increasing “maturity” of the online gambling industry...

Another transaction is on the cards at bwin.party, which has announced that it is closing in on a deal to sell its loss-making social gaming unit Win to an undisclosed buyer. The company, which also confirmed that it remains in merger talks with “several parties”, warned that full-year revenues had suffered from a weak gross win margin in sports betting, particularly in December, with sales for 2014 likely to be between €608m and €612m, down from analyst expectations of between €618m and €630m...

It’s been a gloomy start to the year in Macau, where it has been confirmed that 2014 represented the territory’s first decline in full-year casino revenues since records began in 2002. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that revenue fell year-on-year in each of the final seven months of the year to a total of $44bn for 2014, a total drop of 2.6 per cent. Analysts expect revenues to continue to fall until at least the middle of this year, with the share prices of the six largest casino operators losing an average of 39.6 per cent of their value in 2014...

Andy McCue officially took the reins as the new chief executive of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power yesterday (Thursday). The appointment was first announced by the company in September...

Finally, will 2015 be the year of the crypto-currency? Many, including betting and gambling industry consultant Aideen Shortt, have their doubts. However, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the brothers who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s founding, certainly hope so. The brothers have announced plans to sell 20.1 million shares in their Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Nasdaq stock exchange, according to the MarketWatch website. The company will be listed under the catchy COIN symbol.

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