Five things you need to know in gaming today – Monday, February 23

Five things you need to know in gaming today – Monday, February 23

Monday, February 23, 2015 Totally Gaming

William Hill’s Sportingbet Australia subsidiary will this week become the first of its Australian brands to be rebranded under its own name. Sportingbet Australia, which William Hill bought in March 2013, will migrate its customers to Williamhill.com.au, with TomWaterhouse.com and Centrebet set to follow soon. Tom Waterhouse, chief executive offer of William Hill’s Australian operation, said: “This is the exciting first step towards merging three Australian betting brands into one highly regarded, international brand.”

Another bookmaking giant in the news is Ladbrokes, which is set to close more of its UK betting shops according to a report in The Sunday Times. The story claims that Ladbrokes will confirm in a trading update on Thursday a cull of up to 60 shops, meaning the announcement of more than 150 closures in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, bwin.party-owned online gaming venture finance firm NewGame Capital is to sell its 10.5 per cent share in internet gaming products publisher Gaming Realms. The move is part of bwin.party’s plan to offload its non-core gambling assets, with several Gaming Realms board members, including chairman Michael Buckley, increasing their holdings in the company.

Another company seeing a change in its stockholdings is Pinnacle Sports, which has sold a controlling stake to an undisclosed investor. The online gaming operator announced last year that it would be withdrawing from the UK market ahead of new gambling laws. Pinnacles’s advisers said that “it took a buyer with a similar forward looking vision and financial background to bring this transaction to a successful conclusion”.

A row over a Australian Football League (AFL) player betting on the ‘Rising Star’ award in the competition has caused the organisation to launch a review into betting protocols. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, the move comes after North Melbourne player David King confirmed that he placed two bets on Lewis Taylor winning the award, which in turn led to him winning AUS$2,975 (€2,046/$2,320). King denies wrongdoing and says he has not been contacted by the AFL or Victoria Police.

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