Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this latest edition we take a look at further Cypriot developments, updates in the Chicago land-based scene and online growth offsetting retail decreases for GVC Holdings.
Genting Casinos has become the first gambling company to achieve the Safer Gambling Standard, the social responsibility accreditation for the industry developed by national charity GamCare.
Lauded as the “highest level of award,” the standard intends to recognise operators that go above and beyond the requirements of the gambling industry licensing codes and conditions of practice.
Comprising ten sets of assessment criteria for social responsibility of both online and land-based gambling businesses, the standard is awarded at an entry level and at three advanced levels, designed to give operators a clear roadmap for improvement.
Furthermore, it also reviews organisational policies and procedures, digital and in-person interactions with customers, protections for young and vulnerable people, training and development and the culture of the business regarding its approach to social responsibility.
The Melco Group has debuted the third of four satellite casinos on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, as C2 Ayia Napa officially opened to the public.
Becoming the third such property in stable of Cyprus Casinos, the first and only licensed operator in the republic, it follows similar such openings in Nicosia and Larnaca in December last year.
This comes as Melco continues development of the €550m City of Dreams Mediterranean, scheduled to be open in 2021, located in Limassol, where a temporary property has been in operation for over a year.
C2 Ayia Napa, which like its sister properties is permitted due to an exclusive agreement with the country’s government, is situated in the heart of the resort town, with its gaming area featuring 50 slot machines, operated in accordance with Cypriot legislation and Melco’s responsible gaming program.
Online growth for GVC Holdings has seen the firm report a Q2 three per cent revenue jump, despite double digit declines in its UK retail operation following the recently-introduced £2 limit on fixed-odds betting terminals.
Issuing its latest trading update, the firm saw a sharp 19 per cent second quarter drop take its performance for the first half of the year in the UK retail market to a ten per cent negative.
However strong online growth has been reported, as GVC continues to adapt to the new UK environment, with its gaming and sports segment boosting online NGR to increases of 16 per cent and 17 per cent in Q2 and H1, despite the latter competing against a tough period that included the Fifa World Cup.
Stressing that the organisation was able to secure material market share gains across all major territories, double-digit growth in all major regions included the UK (+19 per cent), Germany (+24 per cent), Australia (+38 per cent), Italy (+19 per cent) and Brazil (+38 per cent).
Chicago’s southern suburb of Crestwood is jockeying into position ahead of a raft of new casino developments that are set to emanate across the state of Illinois.
Following Governor JB Pritzker rubber stamping a $45bn ‘Rebuild Illinois’ action plan at the start of the month, the village is seeking proposals from investors and casino operators for potential construction on a forty acre site.
As part of Pritzker’s multi-faceted statewide ambitions is a significant gaming expansion, with headlines concerning casino proposals in bill SB 690 centred around Chicago, with the Windy City to see construction of its first land-based establishment.
However further properties in Waukegan, Rockford, Williamson County, Danville and the South Suburbs have also been authorised, as well as the introduction of slots at the Midway and O’Hare Airports.
The request for proposals issued by Crestwood identifies the property chosen for development, alongside a promise that it will be construction ready by the close of the year.
With issuance of the RFP, the village has made clear its intention of petitioning for the Chicago south suburban casino license recently approved by Illinois lawmakers, and will use the selected response to petition for a gaming license from the Illinois gaming board.