Betting Odds & Ends - November

26 October 2007

Mansion Re-Launches Sports Book

Online gambling company this week closed its betting exchange. The firm announced that it will launch a regular sports betting platform with a decimal pricing structure. Mansion recently moved its poker room to the Ongame network. Mansion's online casino operations run on the Playtech platform.

Autonomous Retail

bwin and joint venture partner Betbull have begun work on a pilot retail project targeting the Autonomous Community of Madrid. Details of the project were not given, though the recently installed sponsors of Real Madrid said in a written statement that the project "is intended to show the extent to which bwin's strong brand awareness can be successfully transferred to the retail sector." bwin added that it plans to submit its final license application were underway, and that its first branded betting shop is expected to open in Madrid by Q1 2008.

Bet2Go Gets Better

Mobile odds comparison and betting services provider Bet2Go has added bookmaker Better to its list of clients. Better, which debuted in 2005, joins a growing list of bookmakers, including Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes, in making its products available via the Bet2Go platform. "By joining forces with Bet2Go, we believe we can significantly enhance our potential reach and of course the user experience," said Better's head of online marketing, Matt Pendergast.

UKCC Gives Sportech the All Clear

Football pools operator Sportech has been given the all-clear from the U.K. Competition Commission to proceed with its acquisition of Vernons, giving it nearly 100 percent control of the U.K. market. Sportech Chief Executive Ian Penrose said the company was "delighted" that the lengthy process was at an end, and that it would now focus on concluding negotiations with Ladbrokes. Negotiations between Sportech and Ladbrokes are expected to conclude in the next few weeks.

888 Launches Italian Sports Book

Online operator 888 has launched its first sports book offering in the newly-liberalized Italian market.

According to a prepared statement issued last week, 888's new site,, was launched in conjunction with local partner and market specialist Cogetech.

For now, the site will limit its offering to fixed-odds betting on all national sports events as well as international events of interest, excluding horse races, though at a later stage will include national horse races and skill games.

However, 888 CEO Gigi Levy said the company was anticipating other new games the country's gambling monopoly, the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS), may wish to introduce.

How the Mighty Have Fallon

The corruption trial for fallen jockey Kieren Fallon entered its third week this week at the Old Bailey criminal court in London. Fallon and his five co-defendants are on trial for a race-fixing scam.

The trial, which began on Oct. 8, examines the defendants' involvement in an alleged scheme to defraud Betfair customers during 80 races that took place between December 2002 and September 2004.

All of the defendants, which include Miles Rodgers, who is also charged with having concealed the proceeds from criminal conduct, Fergal Lynch, Darren Williams, Shaun Lynch and Philip Sherkle, have entered not guilty pleas.

Turf War

Turf TV and 30 of its founding shareholder racecourses are countersuing William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, BetFred and BAGS, the bookmaker's trade association, for engaging in anti-competitive behavior. The move comes after BAGS and the four bookmakers last month sued Turf TV and the courses, for breaching competition law by attempting to raise fees charged for race coverage. Both cases will be heard next year. The fight started in April when Turf TV was founded to challenge the position enjoyed by Satellite Information Services (SIS), which has Ladbrokes and William Hill as shareholders, in providing race-day coverage to betting shops.