Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we take a look at a UK licence being suspended, a headcount reduction and US impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Betting and Gaming Council has warned that new immigration plans could severely impact the UK’s land-based casino industry, with significant negative implications possible across tourism and night-time economy.
The new standards body advises that the new points-based system, due to be introduced on January 1, 2021, “will damage highly successful parts of the UK economy”.
Via the new requirements croupiers, up to 70 per cent of which across the UK are from overseas, will not qualify as having the specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions necessary.
The Federation of Small Businesses has also warned that the proposed measures will hit hospitality and tourism businesses hard, with the BGC stating that casinos employ over 14,000 people, indirectly supporting another 4,000 jobs and contributing over £300m in tax revenue every year.
Stressing that casinos “remain a hugely important part of Britain’s leisure economy,” it is further emphasised that “a vibrant, modern and world-renowned” sector is a driver for high-value tourism from a variety of global regions, such as China and the Middle East.
An Oregon casino has been forced to shut it doors following a positive case of coronavirus, marking the Beaver State’s third presumptive case of the global pandemic.
With sanitisation underway immediately at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation owned property details that all promotions and events are cancelled until further updates can be provided.
Local media reports that the closure comes as cases in the Pacific Northwest start to mount-up, with Las Vegas gaming establishments said to be bracing themselves for a sharp decline in visitation numbers.
An update provided on the Wildhorse Resort and Casino website detailing the temporary closure explained: “In an abundance of caution, Wildhorse Resort & Casino will close immediately to complete a thorough and deep cleaning as a response to reports of a presumptive positive case of Covid-19.
“Updates will be posted at wildhorseresort.com regarding the reopening schedule. The closure includes the casino, convention centre, hotel, Cineplex, children’s entertainment centre and restaurants. All activities are cancelled including casino promotions and events until further notice.”
The UK Gambling Commission has imposed an interim suspension on the licence of igaming and sports betting operator Stakers due to a number of unstated compliance issues.
Stressing that a review has been commenced under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005, the UKGC has taken the decision to “suspend Operating Licence No 000-050185-R-328112-006 Combined Remote Operating Licence – Real Event and Virtual Betting Casino held by Stakers Limited”.
As a result of the suspension, which has become effective immediately, Stakers is no longer permitted to offer gambling services via its stakers.com website in Great Britain.
The company has also been instructed to facilitate customers accessing their accounts to withdraw funds and advise players not to place any bets through the website.
In a media release the regulator states that it suspects that Stakers has breached a condition of the licence (section 116(2)(a) of the Gambling Act 2005) and is unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities (section 116(2)(c)(i) of the Gambling Act 2005), with a licence suspension pending the conclusion of a review deemed necessary.
The Stars Group has been reducing the headcount of its Dublin hub during a 12-15 month period ahead of a £10bn merger with Flutter Entertainment, reports The Irish Times.
With the proposed combination first confirmed in October 2019, the alignment would “create a global leader in the fast-growing online sports betting and gaming industry” asserted Gary McGann, chair of Flutter.
The Irish publication has, however, commented that over the aforementioned time-frame TSG has seen a steady decline at its Dublin headquarters, located in the Cherrywood suburb, from approximately 330 to a total in the region of 260.
This follows both parties publishing a financial update last week, with TSG reporting final quarter struggles across a number of key markets driven by a tough Q4 for the group’s poker business.
Flutter, meanwhile, maintained confidence of achieving a more diversified global business, with revenue for the firm growing 14 per cent to £2.14bn (2018: £1.87bn) as earnings fell 15 per cent to £385m (2018: £451m).
With a number of Dublin-based workers being put on protective notice with December 2020 mooted as a potential end point, others are being notified that positions are phased out with alternatives subsequently offered.