Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In the latest entry of our regular weekly feature we look at a further UKGC land-based casino failing, Golden Nugget’s continued New Jersey igaming pace and the settlement of a long ongoing lawsuit.
The UK Gambling Commission has issued Silverbond Enterprises with a multitude a penalties, after discovering social responsibility and money laundering failings.
Silverbond received the punishments follows a UKGC investigation into its Park Lane Club in Mayfair, with the land-based casino receiving a £1.8m fine, an operator licence warning and having additional conditions added to its license.
The actions follow a review of the licence held by the firm on February 26, 2016, after which the regulator conducted inspections with the licensee on January 16 and 17, 2018, and March 28, 2018, at the Park Lane Club.
Following the probe the Commission found, with Silverbond accepting, it had breached its additional licence condition due to a failure to complete full enhanced due diligence on its top 250 customers within its customer profiling system.
Furthermore, a breach relating to anti-money laundering and the UKGC’s licence conditions and codes of practice was also found, as was a failure to comply with social responsibility codes of practice.
New Jersey is basking in the glow of a record breaking August, which saw the regions online casinos and poker rooms securing record breaking revenue of $41m, a 65.7 per cent increase from $24.8m.
Golden Nugget Online continues to dominate the competition with almost $14.98m in online casino revenue for the month, with the entity also topping its own previous record breaking $14.89m secured in July.
Resorts Digital, which houses Draftkings, Resorts Casino and the newly formed FoxBet, previously BetStars, and Borgata continue to nip away in second and third, albeit someway back, securing $7.4m (2018: $4m) and $7.1m (2018: $4.6m) respectively.
Land-based casino win climbed to $286.4m, representing a 6.1 per cent boost from $269.9m, helping nudge total gaming revenue forward 16.1 per cent to $352.7m from $303.9m.
Borgata continues to blow away the competition with a 1.5 per cent rise to $71.9m, ahead of one of the newest entrants to Atlantic City in Hard Rock Hotel Casino which saw a 25 per cent increase securing second in the list with $38.4m (2018: $30.7m).
Castle Hill Gaming and Video Gaming Technologies have settled an intellectual property rights lawsuit after two years, with each claiming to have secured the upper hand.
Initially filed in 2017 the case concerned alleged infringements of certain VGT trademarks, trade dress and trade secrets, with the US District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dismissing 19 of VGT’s 20 registered trademark claims against Castle Hill.
Under the terms of the settlement, Castle Hill is to change out, and no longer use the game titles New Money, Arctic Cash, Arctic Ice and Welcome to Nugget Mountain, along with any associated artwork and characters, and any variations of the titles.
Furthermore, as well as the agreement of a $3m payment to VGT, purchased by Aristocrat in 2014 for $1.3bn, the firm is to also remove and no longer use certain machine features and paytables, with all relevant games and machines to be modified by April 1, 2020.
888 Holdings has stressed that the firm remains focused on growing in sustainable, regulated markets, with the US a key focus following Orbit’s New Jersey debut in July.
Profit before tax during the first half of the year ending June 30, 2019, has dropped almost two thirds to $22.2m, representing a 63 per cent decline year-on-year from $60.1m, but the firm is quick to state positivity in its future outlook.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented: “The board continues to believe that 888 is very well positioned for the future as a result of the group’s diversification across products and markets, product leadership, and first-class team.
“Trading during the second half of the financial year to date has been in line with the board’s expectations, with average daily revenue 6 per cent higher year on year representing a 9 per cent increase at constant currency. This has been led by a 24 per cent year on year revenue increase in the UK.
“888 has a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead which will leverage the group’s new product developments and marketing innovation. As a result, the board remains confident that the outcome for the full year will be in line with its expectations.”