Hit and Run: UK Gambling Industry Figures Released, Poker Player Sentenced for Ear-Biting Attack, WPT Prague in the Money

Alex Weldon : December 4th, 2015
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The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has released figures showing increased revenue but declining employment in the gambling sector. Also in the UK, a player has been sentenced for biting an opponent’s ear off following a poker-related argument. 888Live is returning to Austria in 2016, while NYX Gaming will hold its inaugural NYX Poker Series in the run-up to Christmas.

Gambling Yield now over £10 Billion in the UK, but employment declining

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) for non-remote, non-lottery commercial gambling amounted to £5.444 billion for the period of April 2014 to March 2015, an increase of 2% over the previous year. Betting (largely sports betting) accounts for the bulk of this, to the tune of £3.25 billion, followed by casinos, which brought in £1.16 billion. The national lottery, meanwhile, made £3.23 billion and all forms of “remote” (i.e. online) gambling put together made £1.45. Putting all these together, gambling in the UK has grown to be worth over £10 billion annually.

At the same time, however, overall employment in the gambling industry has been declining slowly and steadily for the past four years. There are now just under 105,000 people employed in gambling-related professions in the UK, a decrease of over 10,000 since 2011. Casino and remote betting jobs have been on the rise in tandem with growing revenues in those sectors, but are down more or less across the board elsewhere, including in the betting sector, despite its dominant position in terms of gross yield. Hardest hit have been bingo hall employees; there are now only about 70% as many people working in bingo as there were four years ago, although – somewhat surprisingly – the amount of money yielded by bingo has remained essentially unchanged.

PokerNews has done their own breakdown of the numbers here.

If you’d like to pore over the stats in more detail yourself, you can find the document here.

WPT Prague makes the money

The bubble has just burst in the WPT Prague Main Event, with 27 players now guaranteed to go home with at least a min-cash, which should be about €6,375.

The unfortunate bubble boy was Yung Hwang, who managed to get the chips in holding Aces to Pavel Plesuv’s Kings, only to find them cracked on the flop.

Leading the chip counts as of this writing is Pavel Veksler, with just a hair over 1 million. Only two WPT Champions Club members are still standing – Vladimir Bozinovic and Giacomo Fundaro – and both are extremely short-stacked, so it looks like the WPT will find a new champion at the final table on Sunday. One strong contender for that honor will be Steve O’Dwyer, as the #5 player in the world (and #4 Player of the Year) according to the Global Poker Index. O’Dwyer is currently third in chips, with around 600,000.

Quick Hitters

- 888Live is going back to Austria’s Innsbruck Igls – Patscherkofel resort to kick off its 2016 schedule. With the low $400 buy-in and plenty of non-poker activities to take part in – including skiing, naturally – it’s decidedly pitched at a non-professional crowd.

- NYX Gaming, owner of the Ongame Network, is hosting its first NYX Poker Series from December 17-23, with a €200+€12 Main Event and side events running as low as €5+€0.50. NYX has been an Amaya holding since 2012, long before it acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt.

- An English poker player has been sentenced to three years in prison for biting the ear off of another player following a dispute at the table. The victim, Robert Reed, had earlier declined to fight Salisbury, but the latter jumped him when Reed later went out for a cigarette, and Reed’s apparent lack of involvement in starting the fight surely contributed to what is a fairly tough sentence for Salisbury.

- An article in this month’s Harper’s Magazine, which you can read for free as a guest, covers a dealer’s rather depressing experiences in Atlantic City, with suicide as a running theme. A discussion about the article and the problems of gambling addiction can be found on the TwoPlusTwo forums.

Get your daily dose of poker news with the PTP Hit and Run.

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