As 2018 draws to a close, it’s safe to say that the World Cup embodied what was a year filled with highly engaging betting events.
However, this year’s top ten read articles show interest in a wider range of stories published on SBC in 2018.
Celtic Football Club are no stranger to topping leagues, and in 2018, the team’s MotoGP deal topped the list of the most read stories on SBC news for 2018.
Back in October, the Glasgow team joined the fast lane as they teamed up with international road race winners Dafabet Devitt Racing. Both the seven-time SPL winners and the Isle of Man TT team are sponsored by the online betting operator Dafabet.
Celtic were represented at the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix by Hexham-born Dominic Herbertson who had the chance to ride the course on a Kawasaki ZX-10RR Superbike adorned with the club’s green and white hoops. The partnership further promoted the Glasgow club in the Far East where they already have a considerably-sized fan base.
Nigel Quadros’ dos and don’ts on how betting operators can expand their influence in Africa was also popular among readers, as he offered advice on things to consider when looking at business expansion across the continent.
Speaking at the ICE – Totally Gaming conference back in February, Quadro pointed out that cultural factors, operating within a niche and knowing your audience are just some of the factors to consider when looking at whether to operate in Africa.
The piece was the second most read piece on SBC news.
The Betway Group’s £70,000 donation to charity partners the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) proved to be well-received as employees from the gambling operator supported the charity tasked with supporting individual disabled people to be active and stay active for life.
The funds were used by EFDS Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) which was created to support facility providers in making their services more accessible to disabled people.
IFI relies on sponsorship and fundraising to increase opportunities for disabled people to be active in their local areas. Also, volunteering opportunities, that enable more disabled people to take part in events.
The fourth most read article of 2018 was the ManBetX bid to occupy the sponsorship position on the sleeves of Manchester United.
The gambling operator, who had already signed a Premier League shirt sponsorship deal with Crystal Palace, were in talks with the Manchester club after being announced as International Presenting Partner Asia for Italy’s Lega Serie A.
Previously, the Manchester club had only considered one sponsorship deal at a time, but following the introduction of the sleeve sponsorship, this seems to have changed.
The ‘Nobody Harmed by Gambling’ initiative rolled out by FTSE bookmaker William Hill sought to combat problem gambling and foster long-term social responsibility goals within the gambling industry.
The initiative wanted staff to be trained further to recognise gambling-related harms earlier and to include the ‘piloting of mandatory tools’ for at-risk customers. The initiative was dubbed the bookmaker’s most prominent gambling prevention strategy to date.
Presenting Nobody Harmed by Gambling, Lyndsay Wright, William Hill Group Director of Strategy & Sustainability details that William Hill is prepared to cooperate with the widest pool of stakeholders, as the bookmaker tackles an industry-wide challenge, linked to a range of social and cultural factors.
Meanwhile the sixth most read story of the year was software systems enabler for sports betting on the blockchain, Betterbetting, announcing the launch of its ICO public sale for BETR, a digital currency which set out to pave the way towards a decentralised peer-to-peer sports betting system in December of this year.
The Betterbetting team focused on removing the barriers associated with wagering sports bets, and rolled out the currency to create a transparent, fair peer-to-peer system that was not controlled by a central authority.
Number seven on the top read stories on SBC News was Genting Casino’s promotion of responsible gambling initiatives through its partnership with slots education app SlotGuru.
The deal allowed Genting to actively promote the app in its 39 UK casinos as means of educating its customers and endorsing safe betting.
The innovative approach helped the casino operator protect customers before they commit money to betting and to ensure players have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) ruling by the government to cut the maximum stakes from £100 to £2 has rocked the UK gambling industry this year, and GVC Holdings decision to rule out a judicial review of the decision was among the most popular stories of the year.
GVC decided to opt out of a judicial review despite the ruling costing the company £160 million in lost revenues.
In a stock market update, the company said: “As a responsible business, we reiterate our commitment to work closely with the Government and our regulators to ensure that both our retail and online offerings are places where customers can enjoy gambling in a safe and secure environment. In order to achieve a positive and constructive working relationship, GVC confirms that it does not intend to seek a Judicial Review of the Triennial Review decision.”
An undisclosed sum acquisition of mobile and social games development studio Spicerack Media (Spicerack) by Scientific Games Corporation (SGC) was the ninth most read story on SBC News this year.
The move allowed SGC to expand its social gaming footprint as they took over all related assets including popular social game ‘Bingo Showdown’.
Davy Campano, one of the founders of Spicerack Media, said “We are excited to bring our product portfolio into a company with the reputation of Scientific Games. Their interactive business has seen rapid growth over a sustained period of time, and we are proud to be joining such a successful part of the Company.”
Completing the list of the top ten stories for 2018, Toronto TSX-listed The Stars Group also continued their merger and acquisition streak as they confirmed in April that they had reached an agreement with CVC Capital Partners and Sky Plc to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G) outright.
The group set out to form the world’s ‘most valuable, listed online gambling enterprise’ and the acquisition of Sky Bet was described by the Stars Group as a landmark moment in the group’s history.
“We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group,” stated Richard Flint, Sky Betting & Gaming’s Chief Executive Officer.