This week in online gambling and betting news hundreds of jobs are being axed at Malta-based NetEnt after their acquisition by Evolution Gaming. The local esports scene in Australia is struggling to deal with the rapidly growing problems of match-fixing and corruption, especially in CS:GO. New York State has approved two new betting options, a high stakes betting option for harness horse races, and a new “Money Dots” supplement to the currently running Quick Draw game from the state lottery. The UK Gambling Commission has issued a new licence to BetConstruct that allows them to offer daily fantasy sports.
Hundreds of jobs axed at Malta-based gaming company NetEnt
After the acquisition of NetEnt by Evolution Gaming this Tuesday employees were sent home and told to expect an email with further information.
The company then began to cut jobs and even shut down their live casino studio in Qormi. The company has not yet confirmed the total number of job losses. However, the national newspaper, Times of Malta, has been informed that a ‘few hundred’ employees will lose their jobs.
NetEnt currently employs around 1000 people all over the globe. Just three months ago the company had stated that they were expanding their live casino studio in Qormi because of an increase in demand for the product.
It does look like job losses were predicted when Evolution Gaming secured approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority in September to acquire the company. In a statement from the Economy Ministry, they committed to finding placements and new job opportunities for those out of work:
“Whilst noting the strong commitment by Evolution Gaming to its Malta operation, the Government, through the Ministry for the Economy and Industry, has immediately started discussions with the relevant entities to facilitate the smooth transition of employees who may be at risk of being laid off as a result of this restructuring.”
Australian esports struggle to deal with match-fixing and corruption
The local Australian esports scene is struggling to deal with scandal after scandal. The insidious problem of match-fixing and corruption has infiltrated the relatively young esports industry.
A recent report from ABC News Australia has highlighted the issues facing the scene. A young semi-professional player, Joshua Hough-Devine, was banned from the sport for 12 months for betting on his own games. In a statement about the ban, he took full responsibility for his actions but also used the platform to speak about the issues and temptations facing young esports players:
“It’s young emerging players like this that are often the target of match-fixers. I’ve been offered like $2,000 a match to throw, but I just don’t take it because it’s just not what I’m about. Like why would I take $2,000 when you have a possibility of getting arrested?”
Many have called for a national governing body for esports similar to Korea’s KeSPA. The lack of institutional support for younger players who may be struggling to stay financially stable makes an offer of several thousand dollars to throw a game very appealing.
It’s likely that the match-fixing problem will get worse before it gets better. We could see a purge of the middle-tier esports players as more and more get caught. In fact, back in late October seven CS:GO players were handed a 12-month ban from the game for betting on their own matches in the Australian Mountain Dew League.
New York State is expanding its betting options
This Monday, New York State approved the proposal for two new betting options that will come into effect in the coming months. They have approved a new high-stakes harness racing option and a new “Money Dots” supplement to the currently running Quick Draw game from the state lottery.
The new harness racing bet will come into effect when the tracks reopen in March of next year and will be called the Super High Five Wager. Anyone betting on the races will have the chance to pick the top five finishers in a harness race. If the order they bet on is correct, they can collect 40% of the betting pool for the bet and if more than one person is correct, they will split 60% of the pool.
The Super High Five Wager will be offered on one race per day of competition and according to John Matarazzo, director of operations at the Saratoga Harness track: “The motivation behind it is to try to generate jackpots”.
There is no set date for the introduction of the Money Dots supplement to the state lottery. However, the details have been made available. In the current Quick Draw game, players can choose from 1 to 10 numbers on a ticket. If their numbers match those drawn from a pool of 80, they can win up to $100 per ticket.
After 20 of the pool of 80 numbers are selected for the Quick Draw, Money Dot will randomly issue values of $5, $10, $20, or $50 to each of the remaining 60 numbers. If you selected the correct Money Dot number, you will be awarded up to $50. Tickets will cost $1.
New UKGC license will allow BetConstruct to offer Daily Fantasy Sports
Under their new UKGC Combined Remote Operating License BetConstruct can now supply their UK partners with fantasy sports betting software.
This niche product has been developed by BetConstruct to bring together a wide range of reliable fantasy data for 5 sport types and 20+ soccer leagues. The UK market will now have access to their full range of fantasy products and sports that includes football, basketball, baseball, American football, and ice hockey.