Hipwell and ex-Soccer Bet editor for gambling mag

Former Daily Mirror City Slicker columnist James Hipwell has been hired to edit a new gambling magazine for Dennis Publishing.

The monthly title, scheduled for March, will be aimed at 30 to 40-yearold high-end gamblers and have a strong focus on online betting. Former Sport First and Soccer Bet editor James Eastham is on board as sports editor and Warren Wooldridge is publisher.

Dennis is in the process of recruiting designers and production staff.

The monthly title is expected to cover all sports from football and racing to golf, rugby and poker, as well as featuring lifestyle elements including interviews with key players, winners and losers.

Gambling is said to be the fastest growing leisure pursuit in the UK and Dennis has been looking at the concept for more than a year, having approached Hipwell six months ago to create a dummy.

James Tye, managing director of Dennis’ computing division, where the title will be based, said the readers would be “more James Bond than Andy Capp”.

“We are not expecting this to be a huge launch. It’s not going to be selling hundreds and thousands on the news-stands; it will be much more subscription based,” he said.

According to Tye, figures by William Hill showed that three years ago, 60 per cent of its betting was on horses and greyhounds and that figure had since dropped to 40 per cent due to a growth in online betting and interest in other sports such as football and golf.

Tye said the title’s content would reflect that shift, focusing on the skills required to place the right bet. He said it would be completely different from Soccer Bet, the football betting weekly launched by Talk Sport owner the Wireless Group in July. Despite a £500,000 launch campaign it closed after just two months because it failed to reach its sales target of 20,000.

Tye said the Dennis launch was unlikely to be a pocket-sized A5 format like Soccer Bet, adding: “That was a tipster magazine – this is a skills and strategic magazine.”

By Ruth Addicott

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