Monthly Archives: June 2016

Brexit Betting Results

Brexit Bets

Betting on the outcome of the Brexit vote which took place last week broke the record for non-sporting events, with gamblers wagering in excess of £120 million and ushering in political betting as an exciting new and potentially lucrative market.

The result of course was rather shocking to most and left some bookmakers celebrating huge profits, while others mourned heavy losses. Here we’ll take a look at how, in addition to changing the world as we know it, affected the bookmakers who offered odds on this political event.

The Betfair exchange accepted close to £80 million while other bookmakers raked in around £40 million in Brexit wagers. Of course, the bookies incorrectly called the result as “stay” and like the pollsters and experts, got it horribly wrong.

Of all the bookmakers, William Hill was the hardest hit in terms of losses. After accepting £3 million in wagers, the company ended up with a net loss of £400,000 when the results were announced on Friday last week. According to William Hill’s media relations director Graham Sharpe, “Very few saw this coming“. He added that more punters must have backed “leave” at William Hill than other bookmakers offering the same bet.

The numbers support Sharpe’s statement. At William Hill, 68 percent of the money wagered was on remain, but 69 percent of the individual bets were on “leave”.

On the other hand, at Ladbrokes the average wager in the Brexit market was £400 to “remain” and just £70 to leave, which heavily skewed the odds in favour of the general prediction that the UK would remain within the EU.

Ladbrokes’ head of political betting, Matthew Shaddick explained that even though the majority of gamblers in the market were wagering on “leave”, this didn’t affect the prices, he added that the amounts of money wagered are what count, with a single £10,000 wager counting the same as 10,000 individual bets valued at £1 each.

Ladbrokes reportedly earned a six figure profit on the market despite calling the Brexit result incorrectly. The company attributes this to smaller payouts being made to successful gamblers, as the majority of players who wagered on “leave” did not bet large values.

Betfred reportedly accepted over £1 million in Brexit bets, and earned a small profit on the market, which it described. Still it describes the outcome as “the biggest ever shock in political betting”, especially after all of the big money was on “remain”.

Coral also took £1 million in wagers but balanced its book in such a way that it would have made profit on either of the referendum’s outcomes.

As you can see from the above, the Brexit result took the betting industry as much by surprise as it did the rest of the world and this shows that the commonly held believe that public sentiment is a reliable indicator, is a flawed principle when it comes to betting.

Yet bookmakers seem unperturbed. As Shaddick from Ladrokes noted, bookies do not offer odds on political events to help people forecast the results, they do it to turn a profit or at least not lose much. He added, “Nobody at Ladbrokes’ HQ will be criticising the predictive powers of our odds, they’ll be looking at the money we made“.

Bookmakers weren’t the only ones surprised and left reeling after the Brexit vote, some rather noteworthy financial magnates like George Soros were too.

George Soros, a hedge fund boss and veritable gambling legend earned his place in the gambling hall of fame, being dubbed “The man who broke the Bank of England” when he bet that the Pound Sterling would fall in 1992.

Soros short-sold more than £7.6 billion in currency at the time, which meant that if his prediction was correct, he’d make money when the Pound’s value fell. The bet paid off and when the UK fell out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and consequently the value of the Pound fell, Soros walked away with a profit of £760 million.

Soros hoped to repeat his good fortune over two decades later on the Brexit vote, but he failed to repeat the feat this time around. According to a spokesperson for Soros, like most prudent investors, Soros put his money on the UK voting to remain part of the EU, and predicted that the Pound would rise as a result. Unfortunately the vote didn’t go the way of the general sentiment but according to sources, Soros’ generally bearish outlook on the markets afforded him profits on other investments.

Soros, now aged 85, warned that the British economy and people stand to suffer significantly in the short to medium term due to the decision to leave the EU. He added that the disintegration of the EU was practically irreversible.

Microgaming’s Mega Moolah makes another Millionaire

Mega Moolah Winner June 2016
Will you be the next winner? Play Mega Moolah now!

It’s official! Microgaming’s Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpot Slot has made the second millionaire for the year, paying out at a massive NZ $10,144,395.82 (£4,926,878.99)!

The lucky millionaire is Rawiri Pou, a 27 year old fast food worker who played Mega Moolah and won the life changing sum on the 17th of June 2016. The win came after Pou deposited $250 at the casino and won NZ$1,500 and decided to use these winnings to extend his game play for a shot at the mega-win on the Mega Moolah slot.

Pou is reportedly still coming to terms with the idea of his newfound wealth which, as with all Microgaming progressive jackpots, will be paid out to him in a single lump sum. At present he has no immediate plans to stop working, but that might change once the money is safely in his bank account.

Unfortunately, unlike the other Mega Moolah winners, Pou’s win does not come without complications as the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is reportedly looking into the matter deeming the multi-million win “suspicious” after receiving notification from the Problem Gambling Foundation.

The Problem Gambling Foundation believes that it is illegal to promote international casino sites in New Zealand and has warned local players to be cautious when playing online. The online casino where the win took place is licensed in Malta, and the Problem Gambling Foundation’s Andree Froude said that the foundation expressed concern that it’s not legal to promote online casinos in New Zealand and turned the matter over to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for investigation.

She incorrectly added that online gambling is unregulated and there are many scams associated with it and so they wanted to warn people to be very cautious.

According to local reports, the DIA has responded to media queries on the matter by saying that the casino in question had not been brought to the Department’s attention, but based on reports of other large “wins” that were in fact lottery scams, the win is being investigated as “suspicious”.

How lottery wins and a legitimate Microgaming jackpot win have anything to do with one another is a mystery and time will tell how the matter plays out. Let’s just hope that Pou is allowed to keep his massive win.

Why you can’t always gamble from anywhere in the world

Betway Mobile Casino
Betway Online Casino
allows you to play from anywhere
in the world provided your sim is registered in a country
where online gambling is legal

Advancements in wireless, internet and mobile technologies in recent years have made online gambling more accessible and convenient than ever before.

You can literally play at your favourite online or mobile casino from anywhere in the world on your laptop, mobile or tablet device…in theory that is.

The reality is that although the technology supports online and mobile game play from any location, laws do not. For example, in the UK you can happily play your favourite online casino games at a number of reputable, licensed online and mobile casinos. Journey to Spain for your annual holiday and you may just have a problem.

Due to the fact that online gambling has not been legalised and regulated in some parts of Europe and most of the US, you’ll find that the majority of providers will not even allow you to login to your existing casino account from these locations. Return home and you’ll have full access once again.

At some online casinos you’ll be able to get around this frustrating “lockout” by simply using your UK Sim card to access the casino apps, as this will give you a UK based IP address. This works at online casinos like Betway (just another reason to sign-up and play at Betway Casino).

Other apps, like the one offered by Betsafe however, geo-target based on your phone’s geo-location, rather than the IP, and in these cases even with a UK sim you will still not be able to access your account until you return home.

In these instances, even contacting customer support will not gain you access to the casinos, as they and you have to comply with the laws of the country you are visiting for the duration of your stay.

So while we can in theory enjoy our favourite pastime anywhere in the world, the reality is that it’s not always possible. Will the laws of every country ever catch up to the UK and allow for legalisation and regulation of online gambling, which actually makes each country richer in terms of tax money earned from online casino operators… we guess only time will tell.

Is watching others play Casino Games your idea of fun?

twitch stream
An example of streaming gaming via Twitch stream.

Online gaming has become such a successful phenomenon over the past few years that it has given birth to a whole new form of entertainment – watching others play games via streaming technology. While this may sound a little crazy to non-gamers, it is a very real trend that is catching on at a rapid rate and leading new technology innovation as it does so.

One only has to look at the PlayStation 4’s streaming function that allows the user to share footage of themselves with other console users as they play. In terms of gambling, online poker was the first casino game to be televised and streamed during the World Series of Poker events which have earned the game a cult fan following of viewers. This has since been followed by eSports and online casino game action.

While gaming was once regarded as anti-social behaviour and gamers were thought of as lonely individuals who sat alone every night playing games, hardly interacting with another soul, online streaming is making it a very social pastime, with many streamers interacting with their viewers via live chat as they play as well as on social media and forums. In fact a recent study has shown that shy individuals are more likely to form friendships through online gaming and social media interaction because these formats eliminate the difficulties some face in social situations.

Not a spectator by nature? Play online casino games for yourself now!

Twitch is a popular choice of streaming platform for many gamers of all genres and boasts a 60 million strong audience each month. The site allows its users to post videos of their gaming sessions (everything from console to casino games) and allow others to watch as a form of entertainment or to preview or pick up tips on playing a particular game.

Some of the professional poker players and even casino affiliates and operators are publishing polished, informative content with a business angle and are attracting massive followings but many publishers are purely players, sharing their experiences for pure enjoyment and the social benefit.

The added benefit of this form of entertainment is that while it may be creepy to lurk around watching people play casino games in land based casinos, especially when it comes to slot machines, the online streaming of these games means that you can enjoy all of the voyeuristic action you want without the weird factor!

Games like online slots are watched to experience games before playing them and also to check out any massive wins enjoyed by other players while online blackjack and roulette are viewed mostly by those looking to learn tips. The live chat and forums associated with streaming platforms allow players to interact with one another, sharing knowledge and advice as they play.

Of course, there are the critics who call producers of the content out for providing “fake” action where players don’t use their own money or play for free when demoing the latest online slot. There are also those who criticize the gamers lack of emotion or financial and odds credibility as they play. Then again there will always be haters.

Nevertheless, game streaming and viewership is clearly an emerging form of entertainment that looks set to expand and evolve as time progresses.