Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today we take a look at updates in the Netherlands, warnings by the Royal Society for Public Health and a Swedish nationwide awareness campaign.
René Jansen, chairman of the Dutch gaming authority Kansspelautoriteit, has been shedding further insight on the Remote Gaming Act, addressing the licensing procedure, as well as advertising and age verification protocols.
Speaking at a Gaming in Holland meeting in Amsterdam, it was reemphasised that as things stand, the Act will be introduced on January 1, 2021 rather than our original target date of July 1, 2020.
Online gambling operation licences can be applied for as soon as the new law has entered into force, with the market opening up six months later.
Expecting a flood of applications, with close to 200 potential parties recently registering interest, Jansen states that: “We can’t formulate the final licence conditions until all subordinate legislation has been finalised. Subordinate legislation serves to flesh out the details of a new law, which involves elaborating certain aspects, filling in details, and generally crossing T’s and dotting I’s.
“However, these details are often crucial when formulating licensing conditions. There’s no point in us telling you to do things a certain way now, only to change our minds later on.”
Swedish gaming authority Spelinspektionen is launching a nationwide awareness campaign that it hopes will heighten knowledge of the group and the country’s legislation of gaming.
The campaign is the authority’s first since the re-regulation of the gaming market and the change of name from the Lottery Inspectorate at the beginning of the year.
Spread widely across the country for two weeks in late December and early January, it is to be prominently displayed outdoors as well as across print and digital channels.
The campaign budget is SEK 2.5m, a fraction below £200,000, which the authority stresses is “relatively little compared to the gaming companies’ advertising investments”. The campaign runs during the interim days as the price is significantly lower than usual.
“By telling us that the Spelinspektionen exists, what we do and above all why, we hope to make the market safer for everyone who plays,” explained Anders Sims, communications manager at the Spelinspektionen.
The Royal Society for Public Health is calling on increased legislation to curb the gambling industry’s close sporting links, as well as imploring a deeper commitment regarding a perceived normalisation of gambling in video games.
Based on research by Gambleaware, ‘Skins in the Game’ surveyed 1,025 young people between 11 and 24 across the UK, reporting that a majority of young people see both purchasing a loot boxes (58 per cent) and taking part in skin betting (60 per cent) as forms of highly addictive gambling.
The global market of loot boxes, items embedded into games which contain randomised rewards and purchased by 40 per cent of young gamers, is estimated to be worth £20bn, with the UK market alone valued at £700m.
Following the publication of the report the RSPH is calling upon the new Conservative Government to introduce legislation to classify loot boxes and skin betting as legally-recognised forms of gambling.
Pennsylvania sportsbooks set a new handle record after surpassing $1bn in lifetime wagers as the state’s industry celebrated its first birthday in November.
Accepting $316.5m in wagers in November, up 31.2 per cent from October’s $241.2m, as reported by figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The industry is also gaining ground as its online products mature, boosted by the recent online launch of DraftKings, under The Meadows license, and Unibet, under Mohegan Sun Pocono, according to PlayPennsylvania.com analysts.
The launch of poker and two new online casinos in November helped boost Pennsylvania’s gross revenue to a new record as the five entities generated $9.7m, up 98 per cent from $4.9m in October.
The recent debuts, combined with the poker addition, brought wagers of $316.8m, up 58 per cent from $200.2m in October, with poker accounting for $2m in bets. In total online casinos generated $2.4m in state taxes during the month.
Rivers Philadelphia held on to the market lead with $3.2m in revenue on $148.7m in bets, up from $2.5m in October revenue on $85.6m in wagers.