Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Read on to discover charity donations, a doping scandal and which company has regained its mojo.
The world’s number one bridge player Geir Helgemo has been suspended by the World Bridge Federation, after being found to have breached anti-doping rules when participating in the World Bridge Series, held in Orlando in 2018.
Backdated due to having previously accepted a voluntary provisional suspension, the one-year ban is to be in place until November 20, 2019, Helgamo, a Norwegian national that represents Monaco in bridge events, is also to refund costs of €3,659 for the hearing.
Helgamo tested positive for banned substances Clomifene, a female fertility drug, and a synthetic testosterone, accepting the violation and the provisional suspension pending investigation by the Anti-Doping Panel.
Bridge is subject to WADA’s doping regulations through association with the IOC, but the Norwegian Bridge Federation, responding to the ban, states that it’s “a little strange” that its players must follow the same rules as those in more physical sports, and urges the development of a framework that is tailored specifically to bridge.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 to four charities, as part of its 2018 Gift of Giving campaign, which provides key customers and contacts the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region.
In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions, namely the Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World, with 2018 marking the sixth running of the initiative.
In the 2018 campaign, the charities that received the highest number of votes in each region were Heroes on the Water in the Isle of Man, Teenage Cancer Trust for the UK and Europe, Save the Rhino International for the region of Africa and Médecins Sans Frontières in the rest of the world category.
William Hill could be set to extend its presence in Nevada to a “market leading” 115 sportsbook, after entering into partnership with Penn National Gaming and its M Resort property.
Set to provide bettors with access to “William Hill’s innovative wagering technology, including its award-winning mobile sports betting app and live in-play wagering menu,” the partnership is subject to regulatory approval.
Should the subsequent green-light be issued, the bookmaker expects to assume operations of the Henderson-based entity’s race and sportsbook in May of this year.
Opened in March 2009, the M Resort Spa Casino is situated on over 90 acres, and features over 92,000 square feet of gaming space including 1,900 slot machines, 64 table games, 14 poker tables and its race and sportsbook.
Publishing its preliminary results for the 12 months to December 31, 2018, gaming and betting operator group Paddy Power Betfair reported steady growth despite challenging conditions, not least in its home UK market.
Revenue grew in 2018, to £1.87bn, up from £1.74bn in 2017, with the group reporting strong digital revenues of £948m (up from £898m), combined with an underlying digital EBITDA of £316m (2017: £306m).
In a statement, Peter Jackson, PPB Group CEO, said: “I’m really pleased with the way that the group performed in 2018 in what was a challenging year for the sector with regulatory and tax changes.
“Our collection of challenger brands are well positioned in their local markets. Paddy Power has regained its mojo, taking share following product improvements and some of our ‘classic’ marketing.”