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World Cup brings surge in women’s sports betting



Bookmakers are revelling in a notable upswing in bets placed on the Women’s World Cup, signalling a significant shift in the betting landscape.

While the volume of bets for this year’s global women’s sports spectacle has surged, a nuanced interplay of factors, including match timings, has led to a dip in betting volumes compared to the preceding European Championship, according to reporting by Reuters.

Prominent betting entity William Hill, now under the aegis of bookmaker 888 (888.L), has reported an impressive 900,000 wagers on the Women’s World Cup, a major international sporting event being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

William Hill’s spokesperson, Lee Phelps, affirmed that despite the relative decrease in bets compared to the European Championship – possibly due to morning kick-off times – the figures still notably outstrip those from previous editions of the tournament.

Entain (ENT.L), the parent company of esteemed brands like Ladbrokes and Coral, echoed this enthusiasm.

The company stated that it had witnessed “exponential growth” in bets pertaining to women’s sports, accompanied by a historic surge in the number of women globally engaging in betting activities.

Notably, one-fifth of wagers for the initial three England matches were placed by female bettors, underlining the burgeoning participation of women in this realm.

Dominic Grounsell, Chief Commercial Officer of Entain, underscored the evolving trend, noting that more customers were embracing novel methods of supporting their favourite teams – and in this case, that meant placing bets.

The World Cup saw a remarkable 200% spike in bets for co-host and semi-finalist Australia, buoyed by the impressive performance of the Matildas.

The women’s sports betting market has displayed remarkable dynamism, with soccer at its forefront.

According to a study by the German Sport University Cologne released in July, soccer has been registering a commendable annual market growth rate of around 20% since 2020.

The study further emphasised that not only has soccer commanded significant betting interest, but the number of female bettors investing in women’s soccer has been doubling year-on-year.

The precedent set by last year’s European Championship underscores the potential of women’s sports as a profitable venture for bookmakers and the broader betting industry.

Notably, Flutter (FLTRF.L) and Entain reaped substantial dividends from the tournament. However, it’s worth noting that Entain did not immediately disclose the precise quantum of bets placed on the current World Cup.

Notably, the previous year’s Euros saw a record-breaking 1.5 million online bets.

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Disney withdraws ads from X amid tensions



Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, faces a turbulent period as he navigates through challenges including activist investor pressure, plummeting stock prices, and declining consumer interest in Disney movies.

Amidst these struggles, Iger has taken a controversial step by publicly announcing the withdrawal of Disney’s advertisements from Elon Musk’s social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter). This move aligns with a broader trend of progressive CEOs distancing themselves from platforms associated with figures like Musk and Donald Trump.

The decision to pull ads from X marks a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. This platform, under Musk’s leadership, aims to transform from a ‘lefty safe space’ to a hub for unrestricted free speech. This pivot includes a commitment to allowing conservative voices and resisting influence from political entities, including those in the Biden administration. However, this transformation has placed Musk, the world’s richest man, in a vulnerable position, drawing intense scrutiny and criticism.

Musk’s situation worsened following his endorsement of a controversial tweet, perceived as antisemitic, suggesting a Jewish conspiracy behind a demographic replacement theory. This incident fueled antisemitic sentiments, especially in the wake of the tragic Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Gaza. Additionally, a report by Media Matters, a Soros-supported organization, accused X of juxtaposing major company ads, like Disney’s, with harmful neo-Nazi content. This allegation led to an advertising boycott, severely impacting X’s financial stability.

At the recent New York Times DealBook conference, Iger openly criticized Musk’s actions and X’s content policies, leading to Disney’s ad withdrawal. While Musk admitted his error, he and his team have countered Media Matters’ claims, accusing them of defamation and filing a lawsuit. Amid these controversies, stakeholders are questioning Iger’s strategic decisions for Disney, especially considering his legacy as a former long-term CEO and his role in shaping the company’s current direction under his successor, Bob Chapek.

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Microsoft’s non-voting board seat in OpenAI revival



Microsoft has secured a non-voting board seat at OpenAI, marking a significant development as Sam Altman returns to helm the organization as CEO.

Microsoft’s new role within OpenAI comes as the tech giant continues to deepen its involvement in AI research and development. While the board seat is non-voting, it symbolizes Microsoft’s commitment to fostering collaboration in the AI community.

This move follows Sam Altman’s recent appointment as CEO of OpenAI, bringing him back into the fold after a brief stint at the helm of the startup in its early days.

With the resurgence of Altman as CEO, and Microsoft’s newfound presence on the board, the question arises: What synergies will this partnership unlock between two prominent entities in the AI domain?

As AI technologies continue to advance, what potential breakthroughs can we expect from this collaboration?

In summary, Microsoft has secured a non-voting board seat at OpenAI as Sam Altman returns as CEO, signaling a deepening alliance in the world of artificial intelligence.

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Elon Musk’s X faces $75M loss as advertisers exit



Elon Musk’s venture, X, is bracing for a substantial financial hit as reports suggest it could suffer losses of up to $75 million by the end of this year.

The turmoil stems from a growing exodus of advertisers, which has sent shockwaves through the company’s revenue streams.

The advertiser exodus appears to be linked to controversies surrounding Elon Musk and his unconventional approach to business and social media. Musk’s controversial statements and tweets have drawn both praise and criticism, but they seem to have alienated a significant portion of X’s advertising partners. Many companies are distancing themselves from the venture due to concerns about brand image and association with Musk’s unpredictable behavior.

This development raises pressing questions about the future of X and its ability to retain advertising partnerships. Can Elon Musk navigate these turbulent waters and win back advertisers? Will X need to reevaluate its strategies and adopt a more traditional corporate image? How might this impact the overall financial health of the venture, and what steps will be taken to mitigate losses?

In the midst of these uncertainties, it remains to be seen whether X can weather the storm and maintain its prominent position in the business world. Elon Musk’s unorthodox approach has often yielded success, but the current challenges pose a significant threat to the venture’s financial stability. As the year-end approaches, observers are closely watching to see how Musk and X respond to this critical situation.

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