Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. This latest edition looks at a Lottoland and Zeal Network spat, Kambi extending its Pennsylvania stranglehold and UK licensees having a greater responsibility regarding money laundering prevention
The UK Gambling Commission released its latest guidance on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing, titled The prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism: Guidance for remote and non-remote casinos.
Becoming the fourth edition, the regulator says it expects licence-holders to have in place policies, procedures and controls covering the risks that may relate to money laundering and terrorist financing within the 100-page document.
The commission stated: “Using the money in casinos, regardless of the amount, that is the proceeds of any crime, can amount to money laundering if the person using or taking the money knows or suspects that it is the proceeds of crime.
“Money-laundering offences can be committed by both the customer and casino employees, depending on their respective levels of knowledge or suspicion.
“Senior management must be fully engaged in the processes, for a casino operator’s assessment of risks for money laundering and terrorist financing, and must be involved at every level of the decision making to develop the operator’s policies and processes to comply with the regulations.
“Disregard for the legal requirements, for example, turning a blind eye to customers spending criminal proceeds, may result in criminal or regulatory action.”
Kambi now powers three of Pennsylvania’s four live sportsbooks, after the Parx Casino was given the green light to continue its operation after a two-day testing phase.
Patrons of the establishment can place bets via seven teller windows, or at any of the 45 Kambi-powered betting kiosks located within the property.
The betting platform and systems provider is now turning its attention towards Parx owner Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment’s South Philadelphia Turf Club and Valley Forge Turf Club, the former of which is expected to be ready for regulatory testing this week
Max Meltzer, Kambi’s chief commercial officer, praised the organisations latest launch: “We’re very excited to have launched our on-property sportsbook at Parx Casino, a brand which shares our commitment to providing unique and exciting wagering experiences to players.
“Today’s unveiling marks Kambi’s fourth bricks and mortar sportsbook launch in less than three months, and cements our position as the leading online and on-property sportsbook supplier in the burgeoning US market.”
Lottoland Holdings last week made an offer in the region of €60m to €76m for the German business of Zeal Network – which was swiftly rejected by the company for “neglecting the true value of the business”.
The news comes amid a rollercoaster period for the respective boards and shareholders, during which the CEOs have take public potshots in a series of open letters and press releases.
In short, Zeal wants to approve its takeover of Lotto24 at a shareholder meeting on January 18 but Lottoland – which holds a 4.01 per cent interest in Zeal – wants to see the meeting postponed so that it can make an alternative offer that is “in the interests of all shareholders”.
Helmut Becker, CEO of Zeal, said of the rejected proposal: “The indicative offer from Lottoland is an attempt to buy our core German assets on the cheap. It does not reflect the value of our German business.
“At the same time, a sale of our core business would leave Zeal and its shareholders with all downside risks from pending VAT litigation in Germany, and with significant costs from restructuring the rest of the business.
“Our plan to convert Tipp24 into a brokerage business, and to combine it with Lotto24, will create a strong platform for future growth and is far superior to the Lottoland proposal.”
The property that accepted Atlantic City’s first sports wager, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, is to invest in excess of $11m to develop a new bar and sports wagering experience.
Beginning construction on the new venue, which the property anticipates to debut later in the summer, it is hoped that an “entertaining bar experience” and sports wagering will prove to be perfect accompaniments.
Marcus Glover, president and chief operating officer for Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, commented: “Since Borgata arrived in the Atlantic City market more than 15 years ago, we have maintained a steadfast dedication to property growth and development; with our new concept exemplifying this objective.
“We are proud to have been at the forefront of legalised sports betting in New Jersey, and look forward to advancing our product with an innovative gaming and entertainment experience for our guests to enjoy.”