Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Our latest edition features Norwegian concerns, charity collaborations by Lottoland, Playtech’s UKGC response and American flights.
Playtech has issued a response to the UK Gambling Commission’s prior statement regarding what the regulator labelled ‘systemic failings’ of the company’s PT Entertainment Services subsidiary, following a review of the group’s position led by new interim chairman Claire Milne.
Having previously donated £619,395 in recognition of PTES’ regulatory breaches to charities that are dedicated to reducing gambling related harm as well as supporting education and treatment, Playtech is subsequently increasing the amount to £3.5m. This matches the figure deemed appropriate by the regulator had the PTES business not subsequently been closed.
It is noted that the decision to close its subsidiary “was made prior to the commencement of the Gambling Commission’s investigation as part of a strategic decision to focus the group’s efforts on B2B activities in the UK”.
Playtech has also pledged to donate a total of £5m to mental health and gambling-related harm charities over the next five years as part of its strategy to promote better online health.
The European Gaming and Betting Association has voiced worry after research by the University of Bergen found that Norway’s problem gambling rate is increasing.
Commissioned by Norway’s Gaming and Foundation Authority, the country’s gambling regulator, and surveying 9,000 citizens aged between 16-74, the country’s problem gambling rate was found to have increased 62 per cent since 2015 with 55,000 people currently affected and 122,000 more at risk.
The EGBA asserts that the findings bring into question Noway’s exclusive state-owned gambling monopoly, one of the last in Europe, which has been “long justified on the basis that problem gambling can be better managed by the state rather than private companies”.
Urging a “fundamental” rethink on how the country regulates online gambling, the restriction of consumer choice is pinpointed by the trade association as undermining the overall effectiveness of the nation’s online gambling regulations.
Furthermore, the EGBA also stresses that the situation also deprives the state of valuable tax revenues and leads to Norwegian gamblers playing on foreign websites where they are not protected by the country’s laws.
Stanley Ho, a key figure in Macau’s casino industry transformation over the last 40 years, has died at the age of 98 on Tuesday 26 May.
Considered the godfather of modern gambling in China, Ho had a four-decade monopoly on casinos in Macau and continued to prosper after the Chinese market opened to foreign companies.
Ho was reported to be in a critical condition yesterday, Monday May 25, before the announcement of his death at the Hong Kong Sanatorium hospital in Hong Kong.
In a statement to MacauBusiness.com, Ho’s daughter Pansy Ho, told reporters: “The family of Stanley Ho today, with a very heavy heart, announced that [Ho] passed away peacefully at the age of 98 at around 1:00 pm today at HKSA,” she told the reporters.
“Even though we knew that this day would come, it doesn’t lessen our unspeakable sadness.”
Las Vegas casino owner and developer Derek Stevens is aiming to ‘Keep America Flying’ after announcing plans to give away more than 1,000 free flights to Las Vegas from more than 20 major US cities.
Stevens is set to reopen his own Fremont Street Experience properties The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on June 4, under phase two of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery plan from Governor Steve Sisolak.
The ‘Keep America Flying’ promotion is intended to help stimulate the tourism and airline industries “while reminding the country of the fun to be had in Las Vegas”.
Participants could book a seat by signing up at theD.com on a first come, first serve basis, however the site now stipulates that all available options have been filled.
Participating cities include Denver, Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and many more via Allegiant, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines.
Gibraltar headquartered Lottoland has unveiled collaborations with four charities after launching its first charity focused lotto in the United Kingdom.
Win-Win Charity Lotto will see 20 pence of every pound be donated to the four charities, namely The British Red Cross, Hospice UK, Keep Britain Tidy, and The Marine Conservation Society.
Each bet of the Win-Win Charity Lotto will cost £1 and the jackpot will be fixed at £250,000 for every draw. The game format and results will be based on the popular French Lotto, with draws taking place every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Five balls will be drawn out of a total of 49, with 10 bonus balls up for grabs.
Nigel Birrell, Lottoland CEO, added: “We are delighted to be able to launch our charity lotto betting game here in the UK and are delighted to have these four fantastic charities on board, all of whom support amazing causes.
“The whole team at Lottoland are excited to see the launch of the Win-Win Charity Lotto, it’s something we’ve been working on for some time and absolutely feels like the right step for the business. We believe we’ve found a good balance, as the respective charities will all appeal to a different audience and yet are all equally, immeasurably important in what they do.”