The name Federal Golden Ring Ltd. seems pretty self-explanatory. It’s a company which specialises in placing bets through bookmakers. However, there is more to this Irish-owned business than first meets the eye. As it turns out, this name may not actually exist at all. Here’s a closer look at what does FGRL mean in betting.
What Is The Company’s History?
As the name suggests, FGRL was founded in the year 2002. It initially applied for and received a license from Kahnawáto, an agency affiliated with the government of Singapore, to operate a betting shop. Since then, the company has opened more than 30 branches in Singapore alone. The business also has operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, among other countries. Finally, it is worth noting that FGRL is currently looking for opportunities to expand its presence in the Indian market.
How Does The Company Operate?
To begin with, let’s take a quick look at how the betting industry in general works. It’s fairly straightforward, though there are a few peculiarities which make this type of gambling a bit different from the rest. For instance, bookmakers usually require customers to meet a minimum deposit of at least £10 to start with. The rest is usually placed on a parimutuel basis, i.e. each winning ticket carries its own payoff amount. This system prevents certain problems which typically arise from traditional sports betting, such as bookmakers refusing to pay out because they think you’re a scammer. Parimutuel betting also encourages customers to keep playing and trying their luck, because the chances of winning increase with each bet. Another advantage of this form of gambling is that it is totally transparent. This means that customers can easily verify the winnings and losses, for tax purposes if necessary.
Are There Any Specific Regulations And Taxes Which Apply To The Industry?
Yes, there are actually a few regulations which specifically apply to the betting industry. First off, all sports betting operators must be registered with the UK Gambling Commission. Second, they must also be licensed by the UK gambling regulator. Third, all game prizes must be paid in the same manner as winnings – in cash.
There is also a specific form which all UK-licensed sportsbooks must complete. Called Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (AML), the document requests certain details about the company’s finances. Among other things, it asks for the source of all revenue and the method used to calculate gratuity. The form also requires disclosure of any relevant conflicts of interest. Finally, in terms of taxes, bookmakers are automatically registered as gaming businesses, so they must apply for a business license when operating in England and Wales. This is irrespective of whether or not they offer cash awards or discounts. Game providers like Sportradar are also required to pay a special game fee to the Treasury. The fee was initially set at £10,000 per year, and then increased to £25,000 per year in 2019. The money from this tax is used to fund state-sponsored sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics.
What Are The Most Popular Games In Betting?
It’s always tempting to ask about the most popular games in any industry, but in this case the question is a bit more straightforward. After all, bookmakers offer a variety of games beyond the traditional horse racing and football, and these days online casinos have made accessing various games very convenient.
To give you an idea of what games are currently popular in the betting industry, let’s take a quick look at a few figures from Statista. According to the research firm, in 2019, the most played game in the UK was ‘Monopoly Money’, a derivative of Monopoly which is based on the popular game series ‘The Game of Thrones’ (GoT). The report states that there were 4.7 million game plays per week.
Statista also found that the UK Gambling Commission’s 2019 ‘Games Played’ report revealed that ‘Candy Crush’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ occupied the second and third spots on the most played games list. These are both commercially-funded games developed by Candy Crush Ltd. and SEGA respectively. Interestingly, the ‘Wendy’s Wicked Game’ (a variation of the ‘Wendy’s Game’ developed by UK-based Game developer, Playful Corp) came in fourth place on the most played games list.
How Has The Industry Changed In The Past Decade?
For a more detailed insight into the betting industry in the 21st century, let’s take a look at some of its key figures.
In the past ten years, the industry has transformed beyond recognition, particularly since the global financial crisis of 2008. However, as was the case during the last major downturn, from 2007 to 2009, some of the biggest winners have been the bookmakers. As a result, they have acquired a significant share of the market. For instance, in 2019, Coral led the way with a 12% share of the industry. This makes it the clear market leader with 40% of the UK market. William Hill, Coral’s CEO, has predicted that the company will hold on to its crown as the UK’s largest bookmaker, boasting a 30% share of the market, for many years to come.
New market entrants and upstarts, such as Jackpot Pizza and Raffles Enterprises, have also benefited from the weakened pound. These businesses operate on a limited scale, but still offer great opportunities for future growth. The once-strict licensing policies which restricted entry into the industry have also facilitated greater freedom of movement for employees. With more people working remotely and increasingly digital nomads, it’s no wonder that many bookmakers have opened offshore branches to reduce costs. However, the industry continues to be heavily biased towards the UK. It’s probably a combination of favourable Government incentives and low corporate taxes.
What Trends Predicts The Future Of The Betting Industry?
The past decade has seen the rise of eSports and ‘micro-betting’, both of which are gaining popularity. eSports, which stands for ‘electronic sports’, is a form of electronic entertainment that features athletes, gaming professionals, and fans all competing in real-time. In 2019, the eSports industry, including viewership and prize pool, was valued at US$15 billion.
These days, anyone can become an esports pro, and gamers can enjoy high definition broadcasts, live commentaries, and exclusive perks, such as club rooms and dorms at major tournaments. As an industry, esports grew 70% year-on-year in the UK between 2018 and 2019, according to GAP. And it’s not just the UK – the industry grew by 21% in Germany in 2019, and 19% in the US.
What is micro-betting? It’s essentially online gaming where you place a small wager – usually around £10 or less – on the outcome of a sporting event. In many cases, you’ll find these types of games at online bookmakers. However, you can also play them directly on the web. Micro-bettings offer flexibility and convenience to customers, especially during the gaming week. On-the-go sports fans and casual players can now place bets while waiting for matches to begin or after they’ve ended. Thanks to the increased popularity of smartphone cameras, selfies, and social media, micro-betting allows for greater exposure and brand awareness.
The bottom line is that the betting industry continues to evolve and change alongside the rest of the world. While some companies, such as Coral and William Hill, have maintained their position as global market leaders, several others, such as Bet365 and Paddy Power, have endured major setbacks. In some cases, companies have even gone out of business. However, despite the changing landscape, the UK’s largest bookmaker, Coral, has stated that it will continue its course for the foreseeable future.
It’s clear that the industry is now well and truly ingrained in the UK, and it will be fascinating to see how things change in the coming years.