Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Gambling Commission has launched an investigation into the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in operators’ settlements with customers after claiming they could breach licence conditions.Guidance released by the regulator states NDAs should not result in consumers feeling that they cannot notify the Commission, other regulators or law enforcement agencies of conduct which might otherwise be reported.Licensees should also notify the regulator of offences set out under the Gambling Act, including breaches of licence conditions or social responsibility codes of practice.The Commission also said it is keen to ensure consumers do not refrain from reporting matters to the regulator because they anticipate a settlement that contains a condition stating they will not complain to the body.In addition, the regulator said operators must ensure consumers suffering with gambling-related problems should be able to freely discuss their gambling history with treatment providers.In a statement, the regulator said: “Some of these agreements may have had the effect of preventing those consumers from reporting regulatory concerns to us, by either excluding disclosure to any third party or, in some cases, explicitly preventing customers from contacting the Gambling Commission.“We recognise that in certain commercial contexts, use of NDAs is commonplace and such agreements, when used properly, can benefit both parties. Examples of appropriate use might include resolving supplier or intellectual property disputes.”The Commission said it would consider NDAs were being improperly used if their effect was to prevent, impede or deter a person from reporting misconduct or a breach of regulator requirements; reporting an offence to a law enforcement agency; co-operating with a criminal investigation or prosecution or making a protected disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.The regulator said it could also take action if it found that an NDA was stopping a consumer from seeking treatment for problem gambling and discussing their gambling history with treatment providers, or if its purpose was to influence the substance of such a report, disclosure or co-operation.“If a customer in the course of negotiating a settlement agreement states that they intend to report a matter to the Commission, we expect licensees will normally be able to inform the customer that they have already self-reported the incident,” the Commission said.“When there is a failure to self-report to us…and there has also been a settlement agreement containing an NDA concluded in relation to the underlying facts, this may be seen as an aggravating factor in any regulatory action the Commission may choose to take.”In recent months, the Commission has taken a number of steps in an effort to enhance its consumer protection efforts and responsibly gambling measures. This year, it will launch a new strategy covering 12 priority actions, ranging from consulting a culture of evaluation to piloting intervention. Regions: UK & Ireland 1st February 2019 | By contenteditor The Gambling Commission has warned licensees that using non-disclosure agreements in settlements with customers could prevent consumers from reporting their concerns to the regulator and place operators in breach of their licence conditions. Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Bingo Poker Bingo Gambling Commission issues warning over non-disclosure agreements Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Denmark iGaming Dashboard: Q1 2019 Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting 31st May 2019 | By Joanne Christie iGaming Business and Ficom Leisure are pleased to present the Denmark iGaming Dashboard, providing revenue and product metrics on the dot.dk regulated market.The regulated igaming market’s run of three consecutive record-breaking quarters came to an end in the first quarter of this year, although Q1’s GGR of €130.2m still represented a 10% rise on the same period the previous year.It was the betting market that dropped off during the quarter, falling 6.7% to €55.5m from €59.5m the previous month. Casino revenues actually rose slightly, increasing to €74.7m from €74.5m the previous quarter.The varying performances of the two verticals took casino’s share of the online market to 57.35%, with slots accounting for the largest portion of this.After slots at 63.0%, roulette was the next most popular game in Denmark at 14.6% followed by blackjack at 12.2%.Interestingly, while mobile accounts for the biggest portion of online play at 56.2%, as the desktop/mobile graph shows, there is a small but steady trend towards more desktop play.Unfortunately, the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden) changed its reporting method this quarter and no longer splits out poker and bingo figures so we’ve had to adjust our graphic accordingly.From this quarter, we have also added monthly self-exclusion figures to Denmark’s ROFUS programme. As can be seen from the chart, the numbers have been steadily rising. In March, the number of people who registered was 18,100, a 32% rise on the previous year.Ficom Leisure also provides exclusive monthly estimates on the Italian online market in the Italy iGaming Dashboard, including operator market shares across casino, sports betting and poker, and on the New Jersey market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard. It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard.A European corporate advisory firm, Ficom Leisure is a specialist in all segments of the betting and gaming sector. Regions: Europe Nordics Denmark Casino & games Tags: Mobile Online Gambling The regulated igaming market’s run of three consecutive record-breaking quarters came to an end in the first quarter, but GGR of €130.2m still represented a 10% rise on the previous year Email Address
Email Address Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 14th June 2019 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Åland Islands-based operator Paf has been named the igaming technology partner of Swiss land-based casino Grand Casino Luzern, as it prepares to launch its online offering this summer.Following an extensive selection process, Paf was chosen as to power the operator’s MyCasino.ch site, providing its technical platform, gaming content and operational support for the roll-out.“This is an excellent opportunity for Paf to bring its know-how and competence in player protection to the Swiss market in the long term,” Paf chief executive Christer Fahlstedt said.“We are very pleased that Grand Casino Luzern has chosen us as a partner. There is a strong mutual understanding behind the partnership and I am convinced that together we will succeed in Switzerland – where only four online gaming licences have been distributed to date.”Confirmation of the deal comes after Grand Casino Luzern had its igaming licence application ratified by the Swiss National Council (Bundesrat) last week. It was one of four venues approved to launch igaming, alongside Grand Casino Baden, Casino Davos and Casino Zürichsee.Swiss gambling regulator Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK) had already approved the application, though awarding of the licence had to be signed off by the Bundesrat.“Paf will be a partner with strategic know-how and the right technology,” Grand Casino Luzern chief executive Wolfgang Bliem said. “They have been pioneers in online gaming and we believe that Paf can give us the experience and innovation needed to establish an online casino quickly in the Swiss market.“Paf has a long history of stable ownership and they are also well known for their responsible gaming, which makes them an excellent partner for us,” he added.While four venues have been approved to launch online casino games, Casino Grand Luzern is just the second to publicly announce a partnership with an igaming service provider after Casino Zürichsee operator Swiss Casinos, which has partnered Playtech.Grand Casino Baden, which also owns Casino Davos, is yet to announce its igaming partner. The Stars Group has said it is in the hunt for a partner in the market,The country’s new gambling laws came into force in January this year, after being approved in a public referendum in June 2018. From July the authorities plan to begin blocking access to unlicensed igaming sites. Paf to power igaming for Switzerland’s Grand Casino Luzern Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Switzerland Åland Islands-based operator Paf has been named the igaming technology partner of Swiss land-based casino Grand Casino Luzern, as it prepares to launch its online offering this summer. Topics: Casino & games Tech & innovation Slots Table games
Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Casino & games Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Spelinspektionen: most Swedish penalties still unpaid The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) has revealed that despite issuing sanctions to licensees on 21 occasions in 2019, Åland Islands-based Paf is the only operator to have paid the sum owed.Paf was fined SEK100,000 (£7,962/€9,469/$10,494) in March 2019, for allowing self-excluded players to access its site. It did not appeal the decision, and has since paid the sum demanded by the regulator. However, none of the other licensees have done so.The first year under the new Swedish Gaming Act has seen Spelinspektionen take action against a number of operators for a range of offences.These run from from failing to integrate with the country’s self-exclusion database Spelpaus to serious deficiencies with anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls – to the extent that Global Gaming had its licence revoked over such issues.In total around SEK117.6m in fines have been levied, with the largest a penalty of SEK19m imposed on Betsson’s Nordic Gaming Group, for repeatedly breaking the rule that limits operators to offering players a single bonus upon sign-up.Paf’s fine, coincidentally, is the smallest levied on an operator, with Legolas.bet fined the same amount for offering odds on sporting events featuring participants under 18.A number have already prevailed in their appeals, with bet365, Betsson, AB Trav och Galopp and Kindred Group having penalties for allowing betting on events featuring underage players overturned.Spelinspektionen noted that the Swedish legal system did indeed allow for appeals against fines.“However, it would have been better if they had tried to understand the purpose of the law instead of challenging the legislation,” a spokesperson for the regulator said.“If there is uncertainty about parts of the legislation, we recommend that the companies choose the safe alternative and do not risk violating the law.”The regulator’s approach to enforcement has come in for a degree of criticism during the year, with operator association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) saying that more clarity was required. It has also claimed that the focus on penalising failings by licensees was only benefitting illegal providers.Spelinspektion, however, has argued that operators are simply “unaccustomed” to its enforcement approach. Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 10th December 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) has revealed that despite issuing sanctions to licensees on 21 occasions in 2019, Åland Islands-based Paf is the only operator to have paid the sum owed.
Iowa’s regulated sports betting market has recorded a 36.4% month-on-month decline in revenue for November, after a rise in handle was accompanied by an increase in payouts to customers. Amounts wagered for the month were up 27.6% from October at $59.3m, with signs that the gap between retail and internet is starting to widen.Total retail handle for the month climbed 24.8% to $25.7m, with online ahead on $33.7m, up 29.9%, the figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission show. However, a total of $55.7m was paid out to customers in November, leaving revenue of $3.6m, compared to $5.7m for the prior month. Retail’s revenue contribution – $2.1m – was once again higher than online, which accounted for the remaining $1.5m. Looking at the individual licensees, the William Hill-powered sportsbook at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino continued to lead the market, with revenue of $1.0m, down 40.6%. This comprised $159,449.60 from its retail sportsbook, and a further $879,136.11 from online.Read the full story on iGB North America. 13th December 2019 | By contenteditor Iowa sports betting revenue falls 36.4% in November Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Race Track and Racino Iowa’s regulated sports betting market has recorded a 36.4% month-on-month decline in revenue for November, after a rise in handle was accompanied by an increase in payouts to customers. Regions: US Iowa Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Horse racing
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Portugal’s online gambling market has seen the strong performance in the first half of 2019 continue into the third quarter, with total revenue up 39.4% year-over-year.iGaming Business and Ficom Leisure are pleased to present the Portugal iGaming Dashboard, providing revenue, product and game metrics on the dot.pt regulated market.The data is updated quarterly following the official release of the figures by Portuguese regulator the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).For the nine months to 30 September, igaming revenue stands at €149.8m, meaning that even a weaker Q4 will see the market comfortably surpass 2018’s full-year total of €152.1m.This was aided by a new quarterly revenue record in Q3, of €54.1m, driven in particular by online casino. Sports betting has consistently been the most popular product in the market until the second quarter of 2019, at which point casino has forged ahead, with its Q3 total of €28.2m representing a 45.4% year-on-year improvement.This was driven by slots, which accounted for 67.7% of total online casino turnover over the three month period. The only other product to account for more than 10% of turnover was roulette, on 13.2%.Revenue from betting still continues to grow, however, and was up 33.5% in Q3. This, however, was largely down to a high win percentage benefitting operators – turnover, after hitting a high of €131.3m in Q1, dropped to €112.1m in Q2, though marginally improved to €114.0m in the third quarter.This was almost all staked on football, which accounted for 77.5% of the total, with a further 16.9% going on tennis. All other sports made up the remaining 5.6%.All data and figures are processed by leading European corporate advisory firm Ficom Leisure, a specialist in all segments of the betting and gaming sector.Ficom Leisure provides monthly figures on the New Jersey online market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard and Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania iGaming Dashboard, available on iGB North America. It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard, on the Danish market in the Denmark iGaming Dashboard, and on the Italian market in the Italy iGaming Dashboard. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 17th December 2019 | By contenteditor Portugal iGaming Dashboard – Q3 2019 Email Address Portugal’s online gambling market has seen the strong performance in the first half of 2019 continue into the third quarter, with total revenue up 39.4% year-over-year. Casino & games Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines Regions: Europe Western Europe Portugal Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Slots Table games
AGS halves losses in 2019 thanks to strong Q4 Tags: Slot Machines 5th March 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Casino & games Gaming technology supplier AGS cut its losses in half for 2019, as revenue increased 6.8% to $304.7m with the help of a profitable fourth quarter.Of AGS’s $304.7m in revenue, $298.6m came from the sale of 4,879 electronic gaming machines, a revenue increase of 44.9% year-on-year and an 11.0% increase in units shipped.A further $10.2m came from table products, up 148%, of which $9.6m was due to gaming operations and a further $639,000 in equipment sales. In August 2019 AGS acquired table games provider In Bet Gaming for an undisclosed fee.AGS brought in $4.9m from interactive gaming, down 38.8%. $3.3m of this came from social gaming and $1.6m from real-money gaming.Read more on iGB North America. Regions: US Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Finance Slots Gaming technology supplier AGS cut its losses in half for 2019, as revenue increased 6.8% to $304.7m with the help of a profitable fourth quarter.
Topics: Finance Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 24th June 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address Evolution Gaming has tabled a $2bn bid for slots giant NetEnt in a deal designed to strengthen their position in the US market.Stockholm-listed Evolution said the ambitious SEK19.6bn ($2.11bn/€1.87bn) offer for the casino game developer signalled its intent to become “the world leader in the online gaming industry”.The offer has been welcomed by NetEnt chairman Mathias Hedlund, who said the combination of his group’s reach in online slots and Evolution’s live casino product would give it greater leverage in expanding markets, such as North America.The offer of SEK79.93 per share represents a premium of 43% over NetEnt’s closing price on the Nasdaq Stockholm Tuesday. It is a premium of 72% compared to the volume weighted average price per NetEnt share during the 30 latest trading days.Evolution said that shareholders owning around 20% of NetEnt have already indicated they will accept the offer, while the board of directors unanimously recommended other shareholders back the bid. Board members who in total directly or indirectly control 8.48% of all shares and 23.20% of all votes in NetEnt have expressed that they intend to undertake to accept the offer.The combination is expected to result in annual cost savings of approximately €30m, compared to the combined cost basis of NetEnt and Evolution as of the first quarter of 2020.Evolution said it will publish an offer document on or around 14 August, with the acceptance period to expire in on 26 October. The transaction is expected to then be finalised on 2 November.“This strategic deal marks a significant step towards Evolution’s long-term vision of becoming the global market leader in the online casino industry,” Evolution chair Jens von Bahr said.“The combination of Evolution’s strong offering in live casino with NetEnt’s leading position in online slots will result in a world class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base.“Furthermore, NetEnt’s established US positioning combined with Evolution’s existing US studios and first-to-regulated-market strategy will put us in a favourable position to capitalise on the on-going regulation in North America.”Evolution said the merger will create a best-in-class B2B provider with capacity to drive the digitalisation of the global gaming industry, noting that 90% of the global casino industry is still land-based.The group added that the US market has a potential to become Evolution’s largest market over time as individual states regulate. The merger of its existing live casino offering through the existing New Jersey studio as well as the planned studios in Pennsylvania and Michigan with NetEnt’s US presence in online slots “will accelerate this development” and fast-track the combined company’s US expansion.The business’ combined revenue for the first quarter of the year was SEK1.75bn (£150.4m/€166.2m/$187.6m), of which SEK1.23bn was generated by Evolution, and SEK517.5m. Combined operating profit would have been SEK728.3m. Evolution said it does not currently foresee that the combination of the companies will have any material impact on Evolution’s or NetEnt’s respective employees.Welcoming the bid, Mathias Hedlund, chairman of NetEnt, added: “Recently, NetEnt has vastly improved its tech and product development capabilities and thereby its growth prospects and at the same time reaching a strong position within the US states that have opened up for online casino.“With this deal, there are unique possibilities to shape a leading global B2B provider of online casino, taking advantage of the market development with continued digitalisation and strong growth, especially in North America.“Evolution’s position within live casino combined with NetEnt’s position within online slots will create a company well positioned to take significant market shares. Through this transaction, a new chapter in the development of more entertaining online casino begins, in the best interest of players, operators, employees and shareholders.”Evolution’s share price is down 9.64% at SEK553.00 per share this morning (24 June), having reached a 52-week high of SEK619.00 earlier. Its current market capitalisation is SEK110.71bn.NetEnt’s revenue increased slightly year-on-year to SEK1.79bn in 2019, with a profit of SEK428.9m, down 25.7%. Its shares are trading up 26.79% this morning at SEK71.00 per share. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Evolution Gaming has tabled a SEK19.6bn bid for slots giant NetEnt in a deal designed to strengthen their position in the US market. Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Evolution makes SEK19.6bn bid for NetEnt
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has warned that age verification controls are not being properly enforced, with a new survey claiming that more than 10% of those aged 16 to 17 have gambled in the past year.The survey saw the KSA poll three distinct age groups on their gambling behaviour: 16-17 year-olds; 18-23 year-olds and 24-30 year-olds. Of the 16-17 age group, the KSA found that 11% of respondents had played scratchcards, making them the most popular game amongst minors. While this suggested a slight rise from a 2016 survey, in which 10% said they gambled with scratchcards, the KSA warned against direct comparisons. It explained that these surveys were conducted using different measures, meaning an increase of more than five percentage points would be more indicative of growth.For this age group, land-based slot machines were the second most popular product, played by 8% of respondents, followed by 7% that bought lottery tickets. A further 5% bet on sports, of which 2% were bets on esports. None of the respondents said they bet on horse racing.While loot boxes that reward players with items that can then be traded are prohibited under the Netherlands’ current gambling legislation, 8% of minors said they had bought loot boxes, while 5% had played social casino games. Casino & games Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has warned that age verification controls are not being properly enforced, with a new survey claiming that more than 10% of those aged 16 to 17 have gambled in the past year. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter KSA warns of lack of age controls for minors The survey also asked minors if they had tried to play certain games, and been asked to verify their age or refused. Among those who tried to play scratch cards, only 5% were refused. For slot machines, this figure was less than 1%.A further 7% of those aged under 18 had tried to buy tickets for the country’s national lottery, the Staatsloterij only to be refused, while this had been the case for 6% playing other lotteries.“There is little age control on playing slot machines and buying scratch cards,” the KSA said. “This is evident from a relatively large share of minors unjustly admitted [to gambling premises] and a small proportion of minors [that were] rightly refused,” the KSA said.“Strict adherence to, and application of, the age limit of 18 years needs to be an important factor for the KSA when supervising providers,” it added.The regulator suggested that a major reason for the high rate of minors playing scratchcards was likely down to adults buying them for those too young to play. It went on to suggest that gaming machines hosted in restaurants were particularly lax with age verification, pointing out that 69% of the underage slot players gambled in restaurants, with a further 31% playing in arcades.The survey also used the lie-bet test, a two-question questionnaire, to determine the percentage of people who may be at risk of gambling problems. The questionnaire asks if respondents have lied to a loved one about their gambling and if they feel a need to gamble more money to get the same feeling.Across the combined group, 2% of minors answered both questions affirmatively.Moving on to young adults – those aged between 18 and 23 years old – the survey found that 44% of the 515 respondents had played the state lottery, making it the most popular form of gambling. Scratchcards were played by 3% of players while 17% played slot machines.Loot boxes and social casino, meanwhile, saw no increase in play among these younger adults compared to minors, with 8% buying loot boxes and 6% playing social casino games.“It can be concluded from this that the handling and application of an age limit works,” the KSA said. “After all, the only explanation that can be given for the significant increase mentioned is that age is checked before participation can be made.”Only 9% said they bet on sports using the state lottery’s Toto brand, while 4% said they bet on sport online with other (unlicensed) operators. Meanwhile, 2% said they played online poker and 4% played online casino.Average monthly gambling spend for this age group was €31.00.Among those aged 24 to 30, of which there were also 515 respondents, 58% had played the state lottery, while 27% had bought scratch cards. A further 16% played slot machines while 4% played online casino games and 3% played online poker.This age group had the highest average monthly spend at €32.30.The results have been publisheed as Denmark’s Gaming Authority (Spillemyndigheden) linked up with VIVE, the country’s National Research and Analysis Centre for Welfare, to carry out its own study into minors’ exposure to gambling mechanics through video games.Online gambling is set to launch in the Netherlands on 1 July, 2021, but Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker admitted last week the launch could be pushed back, after it was already delayed by six months. Topics: Casino & games Esports Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Regions: Europe Western Europe Netherlands Email Address 26th June 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Tags: Mobile Online Gambling
Greek gaming operator OPAP Group has completed the acquisition of a 51% stake in Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot operations more than 18 months after announcing the deal. Regions: Europe Southern Europe Greece Topics: Finance Sports betting Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 7th August 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Greek gaming operator OPAP Group has completed the acquisition of a 51% stake in Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot operations more than 18 months after announcing the deal.Stoiximan will receive an OPAP stake worth €90.2m (£81.5m/$106.1m) plus net cash of €3.0m, as well as earnout payments based on performance.OPAP’s Invest arm will acquire the stake from GML Interactive, a subsidiary of Stoiximan parent company TCB Holdings, and gain joint control of the business alongside two of TCB’s existing shareholders.Following the closure of this deal, OPAP now holds a 69% stake in Stoiximan’s Greek and Cypriot business, but this will increase to an 84.49% stake following the closure of an additional deal announced in April. It also holds a 36.75% stake in its business elsewhere, which operates under the Betano brand.OPAP also said it intends to take steps towards sole control of the Greek and Cypriot operations through a further deal worth €30m. The combined purchase price for 100% of the business would therefore come to €163.4m.The 51% purchase was first announced in January 2019 and was approved by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) in November of that year with later approval from the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition and gaming regulatory authorities. Email Address OPAP completes acquisition of 51% Stoiximan stake Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter