Betfair is one of the largest online gambling portals that offers products such as online casino, poker, sports betting and financial betting. Its Zero Lounge, in which it offers online casino games with zero house edge, is extremely popular. Betfair has been in the news last week for a number of different reasons.
Betfair has tied up with Jadestone for the latter’s multiplayer gaming network DiceArena. DiceArena offers Internet skill dice games such as Dice Hold’em and Shoot the Moons. Two other dice games Backgammon and Liar’s Dice are expected to be added shortly. DiceArena was launched earlier this year and already boasts of customers of the stature of Bwin, Nordicbet, PAF and Gala Coral. The integration of Betfair to the DiceArena network will take place after summer. Then the 2 million registered customers of Betfair will be able to play the dice games offered by DiceArena. Both, Steve Ives, Managing Director of Betfair, and Andrew Pegler, UK Director at Jadestone, expressed their pleasure on the finalization of this deal. Pegler said, “We are proud of our existing partner portfolio and Betfair represents another top tier operator keen to tap into our supply of next generation multiplayer games.”
The next news item concerning Betfair is not so congenial. Betfair has had to initiate legal action against the Dutch government. It has claimed damages of millions of Euros. The suit was filed pursuant to the instructions issued by the Dutch Ministry of Justice to Dutch banks to stop processing online payments being made to gambling web sites by Dutch nationals. This has resulted in Betfair losing its sizeable Dutch clientele. A formal complaint has also been made to the European Commission by Betfair. The complaint highlights that the Dutch government’s action protects its state owned gaming monopoly in violation of European Commission Laws on the free movement of services within the European Union. Mark Davies, Managing Director at Betfair, released a critical statement on the occasion. He said, “This is a desperate move by the Dutch government to prevent a company that is fully licensed and regulated in jurisdictions across Europe from being accessed by residents in the Netherlands.” He added that this move by the Dutch government served to consolidate its gambling monopoly by keeping prices high, which was against the interests of the Dutch online gambling community. He pointed out that the Netherlands was one of the founding members of the single market.
Betfair also offers online betting on horse racing and the next two news items concern this issue. TVG is a US company recently acquired by Betfair. TVG and TrackNet have entered into a deal that will permit TVG to accept online wagering on TrackNet affiliated horse racing tracks. TVG will also be allowed to stream live videos of races at all TrackNet race tracks. Meanwhile Betfair’s offer to invest Euro 4.5 million over the next three years in Irish horse racing has been rejected by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI). HRI is looking at a contribution of Euro 9 million from Betfair. The talks are still open.