Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today we delve into Parx Casino’s response to a Pennsylvania court ruling, an ASA clearance and potential sports wagering in California.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has been praised for delivering “a blow to illegal gambling and a victory for families and communities,” as Parx Casino urges law enforcement to take action.
In a new decision the court has ruled that video game machines manufactured and distributed by the company POM under the name ‘Pennsylvania Skill’ are considered slot machines under the region’s law.
POM had argued that their machines should actually be considered a game of skill and therefore not a slot machine. The manufacture, set up, sale, lease, or ownership of a slot machine for gambling purposes is illegal under the Keystone State’s Crime Code, Title 18 Section 5513, and these machines are subject to forfeiture under the law.
“With this decision, we urge the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Attorney General, police departments and District Attorneys across the state to enforce Pennsylvania law to halt the proliferation of thousands of illegal Pennsylvania Skill slot machines now in convenience stores, bars, restaurants and other establishments in communities across the state,” commented Thomas Bonner, group VP of legal and chief counsel for Parx Casino.
An advertisement for Merkur Cashino has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority after a promotion appeared on the reverse of a child’s bus ticket.
Seen in May and stating “£5 Free Plays on a machine of your choice with this ticket,” one complainant challenged whether the ad was directed at those below 18 years of age through the selection of media or context in which it appeared.
Responding Merkur Cashino, that forms part of the Praesepe Holdings which is subsequently owned by the German gaming and gambling company Gauselmann, stressed that they operate low stake gambling machines in an adult-only environment.
Highlighting a refurbishment of its Cotterridge venue and targeting over-18s in the area, the ad agency, TicketMedia, had also confirmed to them that nationally on the bus routes on which they advertised, 23.1 per cent of ticketed passengers were aged between five and 15 years.
Furthermore, the firm also stressed that the ad would not appeal to under-18s, due to a lack of artwork that would be associated with youth culture, with a banner referencing responsible gambling including an ‘over-18s’ symbol.
A coalition of California Native American tribes are proposing the legalisation, regulation and taxation of sports wagering, stressing that a “strong, well-regulated gaming industry is of utmost importance to California’s tribal governments and the public”.
This comes as it’s stated that a recent statewide survey found that nearly two-thirds of likely November 2020 California voters say they support allowing federally recognised tribes to operate sports wagering on Indian lands.
The group has filed a constitutional amendment for next year’s statewide ballot that will allow Californians to participate in limited sports wagering at authorised locations, including Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks.
“Californians should have the choice to participate in sports wagering at highly regulated, safe and experienced gaming locations,” stated Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.
“We are very proud to see tribes from across California come together for this effort, which represents an incremental but important step toward giving Californians the freedom to participate in this new activity in a responsible manner.”
Aristocrat has seen strong operational momentum across both its land-based and digital businesses, the latter of which came in for particular praise.
The global launch of the firm’s first entry into the computer role player game genre is said to have “contributed to our performance,” as well as providing “valuable insights” that Aristocrat is to utilise to apply to future game launches and genre entry strategies.
Operating revenue on a normalised basis shot up 22.7 per cent to AU$4.3bn (£2.3bn) from AU$3.5bn (£1.8bn), with full-year profit after tax finishing up at AU$752.8m (£397.6m), a 22 per cent rise from AU$616.9m (£325.8m).
Operationally, the group’s key Americas, ANZ and digital businesses grew, with increased and targeted investment in competitive product portfolios, particularly in terms of design and development and user acquisition.
Trevor Croker, Aristocrat chief executive officer and managing director, explained: “Aristocrat delivered another year of high-quality profit growth in fiscal 2019, further extending our track record of share taking and organic momentum, driven by strong investment in talent, product portfolios and marketing across our land-based and digital businesses.”