Daily news

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    Czech gaming and lottery giant Sazka Group has put forward an offer of €2.06bn (£1.85bn/$2.31bn) to gain full control of Greek gaming operator OPAP.

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    Sports betting integrity monitoring body ESSA has rebranded as the International Betting Integrity Association. It has also revealed a sharp decline in suspicious betting alerts generated by tennis over the first quarter of 2019, with the total number of alerts across all sports down 26% year-on-year.

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    European regulatory authority Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) has appointed Jorn Starck, executive director of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, as its new chairman.

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    GVC Holdings chief executive Kenneth Alexander has credited excellent operational execution, effective marketing and a good World Cup for helping drive growth in the operator’s 2018 results.

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    William Hill has posted a £721.9m (€840.3m/$955.8m) pre-tax loss for 2018, as a result of an £882.8m write-down of the value of its retail business ahead of maximum B2 machine stakes being cut to £2 from April. Despite this, the operator hailed good underlying progress achieved over the year, with 2018 revenue up 2% year-on-year to £1.6bn.

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    Playtech has reported a 54% year-on-year increase in revenue for 2018, though growth for the year was largely down to the acquisition of Italian operator Snaitech, with the solutions giant’s B2B division struggling.

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    Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has appointed Alexander Haberl as its regulatory development manager

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    Fortbet Holdings, the majority shareholder in Fortuna Entertainment Group, is to launch a takeover offer for the company

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    John Boyle, the founder and chief executive of Boylesports, is reportedly getting set to announce his retirement from the company.

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    The Gaming Standards Association (GSA) has established a new Europe-facing division that will focus on suppliers, manufacturers, online, land-based operators and regulators across the continent.

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    Brendan Hughes, commercial director of Boylesports, has revealed that the Irish independent bookmaker is set to continue its expansion plans by launching into Asia next year.

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    Czech Republic-based operator Fortuna Entertainment has appointed Darren Lovern, formerly head of online sports book at Paddy Power, as its new chief marketing officer.

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    Ladbrokes quarterly pre-tax profits were down more than half on the previous quarter and new chief executive Jim Mullen has said he will bring forward his strategic review of the company to June as he seeks to address key issues affecting the UK's second largest bookmaker.

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    Central and Eastern European online betting operator Fortuna Entertainment has announced that it will not pay out any dividend this year.

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    Spanish gaming group Codere has appointed Alejandro Pascual as the new chief operating officer of its Codere Europe operation.

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    Stars in their eyes

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    The global gambling sector grew 4.9% in 2013 and generated €317.6bn in gross win, a figure that is set to rise to €332.4bn in 2014 and then on to €395bn by 2018, iGaming Business’s exclusive data partner H2 Gambling Capital has revealed in the second of the four data-led articles it is publishing this week.

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    Ladbrokes has refuted claims made in a series of articles published by the Guardian newspaper that business practices on its betting premises were unethical and that it turned a blind eye to illegal activity.

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    France's Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) recorded a 0.2% rise to €1.87bn in gross gaming revenues for the nine month period to the end of September and strong progress in its international activities, although its land-based business in France continued