iGB Diary: The silly season is upon us so let's get into the spirit of things

6 December 2013

It’s always tough thinking of gifts at this time of year but as we’re feeling so generous and with just a couple of weeks to go before the fat bloke in the red suit turns up and dishes out the goodies we thought we’d let you know who’s getting what this Christmas:

Bet365 and the Coates family – aside from a new manager at Stoke City FC it’s difficult to know what to get the family that has it all. Oh we know, and it won’t cost (them) anything: Point of Consumption Tax. Et voila! At least in 2014 they can stop complaining that they’re alone in paying 15% of their profits to the UK taxman every year.

bwin.party – we don’t like picking on people and we should be looking long term, the former industry leader’s strategy might well bear fruit in a few years’ time or so, but boy things really haven’t gone well this year for bwin party; and it’s unlikely there will be much partying at bwin HQ (because, let’s face it, all the PartyGaming guys have gone!). So how about a few barrels of brandy to take the pain away from, as the Queen once famously remarked, an annus horribilis.

Ray Lesniak, New Jersey Senator, and main author of its igaming legislation (even if his other international licence project left us pretty confused): as a golf lover he’d undoubtedly want a new driver but that’s far too boring. He’s had a good year, what with NJ’s launch going pretty well overall, but it’s his project to turn NJ into an international igaming hub that we’ll look to for Xmas inspiration. As would be NJ-licensed operators promote their igaming products to residents in Spain, Italy, the UK or any other market that has regulated its igaming sector in order to avoid seeing its residents bet on sites licensed in Gib, Malta or, er, New Jersey, regulators will love sending him an assortment of their culinary delights: the finest buffalo mozarella form the plains of Campania, some awesome pata negra from the Iberian peninsula and Delboy’s favourite to finish with, a soggy bacon sarnie from the UK. The whole thing topped off with a message full of the festive spirit: “You can come and take our customers’ bets whenever you like Ray (not!).” 

The Treasury – nothing

DCMS – even less

The UK Gambling Commission – er, what do they do again? (Only joking)

The Remote Gambling Association – in the midst of some serious arguments with the Greek authorities about their totally biased, OPAP-loving regulatory approach to igaming, we think the RGA should go all Greek on us: we’ll be getting them a few crates of plain white plates so that when Clive Hawkswood and his comrades down the Xmas ouzos to mark the end of another busy year they can celebrate Greek-style and start smashing them (in frustration at having to deal with those monopoly-lovers in Athens). Or maybe a Monopoly set would do just fine actually (had to get it in).  

Ralph Topping – our favourite CEO in the industry (is he?, Ed); despite undoubtedly being very busy with his reindeer at Christmas (Boxing Day racing is a must you know) an iPad Air is surely going to be vital for @toppingralph to keep tweeting the way he does. And we don’t want him to stop. Also, we’re surprised he hasn’t DM’d his tweets about Hills’ new head of PR (Online), we love the brackets, Jem Maidment. Not exactly the kind of name the Scot grew up with but hey, you’ve got to move with the times. Good luck in 2014 Jem.

Calvin Ayre – Calvin, Calvin, where art thou? Of no fixed abode we hear, so the latest Samsonite is called for.