Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Kevin Smith

Sporting Odds & Ends – December 2003

10 December 2003

Ozzy gets sympathy vote from punters

After a terrible ATV crash at his estate in England over the weekend, punters have rallied behind heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne in his bid to get the Christmas number one with his daughter Kelly.

The duo recently released a remake of the Black Sabbath classic Changes. The song was getting little attention until Ozzy wrecked his quad runner last week and broke eight ribs, his collarbone and a vertebra in his neck.

Odds on the Osbourne duet climbing to number one went from 50-1 to 16-1 by William Hill in the days after the accident was announced.

The bookmaker reported a "sudden flood of money" for the father and daughter combination, according to spokeswoman Jennie Prest.

"We were offering 50-1 about Ozzy and Kelly topping the charts, but that was snapped up with punters placing bets of up to £50 a time," she said.

"The pair have been backed down to 16-1 and are fourth favorites and if they have as much support with people buying the record it is a real contender."

Philly takes favorite roll to win Super Bowl

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season in the National Football League, American-based punters and the bookmakers who target them are gearing up for the stretch run into the playoffs.

With the Super Bowl a little more than a month away a new favorite to win the title has emerged in the Philadelphia Eagles.

The team was named the new favorites by Bet365 with 7/2 favorites, overtaking long-time odds on leader Kansas City. The Chiefs' odds were cut to 5/1 after getting shellacked by the Denver Broncos 45-27 in week 13.

Also among the favorites is the New England Patriots who are at 4/1 after a 12-0 shutout win over Miami. Other teams near the top of the list include the Indianapolis Colts at 6/1 and the St. Louis Rams at 5/1.

Betfair inks deal in South Africa

The leading betting exchange in the world, Betfair, announced this week a data license deal with Phumelela - Gold Enterprises, a joint venture between South African horseracing and tote betting operators Phumelela and Gold Circle that controls and manages all media and information rights emanating from the two companies.

The deal is a breakthrough agreement for everyone involved and is the first time Betfair has reached an international agreement for racing data rights. The move also is a clear indicator that South Africa is poised to become a leading racing jurisdiction with its exposure on Betfair.

Betfair also agreed to work with the South African Jockey Club to address any questions of integrity through a Memorandum of Understanding, which will allow access to betting records.

Betfair’s Commercial Director, Tim Levene, hailed the groundbreaking deal as an integral step in the international expansion of Betfair’s business.

Ukbetting announces plans to acquire Oddschecker

Ukbetting announced last month that it was raising approximately £11 million through a placing of 26 million new ordinary shares at 45p each to fund acquisitions.

The online gaming and sports content business said it plans to acquire Oddschecker, the odds comparison service, for up to £4.75 million. The deal comprises an initial £2.75 million in cash and loan notes and a deferred consideration of up to £2 million depending on Oddschecker's performance in the year to June 30, 2004.

Ukbetting said the balance of the funds raised would be used for further acquisitions, to repay debt and for general working capital purposes.

NFL catches the ire of bookmakers with fantasy league agreement

Despite its long and hard stance against the gambling industry the NFL's decision to sponsor its own fantasy league on the official NFL Web site is causing a stir within the ostracized industry.

The fantasy league, which is free to enter and has no money at steak for the winner, is similar to others popular on the Internet where friends gather and pony up their own money on the side to pay to the top two or three finishing teams. Instead of point spreads, fantasy league players 'bet' on individual performances. Winners earn prizes such as a trip for two to the Super Bowl and officially licensed gear.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has defended the policy and said the league still is opposed to gambling.

"We've looked at (the issue) for about five years and analyzed the different shades and variations of fantasy football and have tried to make it very clear that ours does not in any way, shape or form involve the elements that make it viewed as gambling," he said.

That explanation doesn't sit well though with Bob Succi, the director of the Stardust Race and Sports Book.

"Their official position is that they don't condone gambling," he said. "But they know they wouldn't be half as popular if people didn't bet on games. I think the NFL has to realize this. They know it's good for the game. They don't have their heads in the sand. They know what feeds them."

During last year's Superbowl, the NFL refused to run adverts promoting Las Vegas Tourism quoting their policy that, "the league has a long-standing policy against any advertising or promotional activities by players, clubs, coaches or other management personnel that can reasonably be perceived as constituting affiliation with or endorsement of gambling or gambling-related activities."

Finspreads expands offerings on site

Finspreads, one of the first to offer spread betting on the Internet, launched a new website with additional functions earlier this month.

The new site offers instant 'streaming' prices. The price shown on screen is the price punters can deal at. The instant price is available both online and over the telephone.

The site also includes a live AFX news feed and an optional split screen layout - meaning the customer can view live tradable prices and manage other areas of their account simultaneously.

Finspreads also has permanently cut the spread on the Wall Street daily cash to 6 points in hours, and 7 points out of hours.

Finspreads was launched in 1999 and offers contracts on individual shares, stock markets, currencies, metals and commodities. The site is part of IFX Group, an international investment product and services business whose shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

Sporting Odds & Ends – December 2003 is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith