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 New Zealand dropping its COVID-19 alert level, Denmark receiving a warning over proposed tax increases and Betsson announcing its intention to appeal a Swedish fine.
The European Gaming and Betting Association has warned that proposals to increase Danish online gambling taxes by 40 per cent could lead to an exodus of players to the offshore market.
Analysis from H2 Gambling Capital has found that the Danish government’s proposed tax increases for online gambling will reduce the country’s licensed market by 25 per cent.
The examination found that the proposals to increase taxes from its current standing of 20 per cent to 28 per cent on gross gaming revenue in 2021 would lead to a very small initial increase in state tax revenues, but these tax gains will be depleted as growth in the licensed market is dwarfed by growth in the offshore market. H2 concludes that the tax increases would lead to an 80 per cent increase in Denmark’s offshore gambling market.
It was suggested that the exit of consumers would occur because the additional tax burdens for licensed companies will force them to make cost reductions, including less marketing, which will lead to customers being more susceptible to the those activities of offshore counterparts.
Entertainment Laboratories has become the largest shareholder in Global Gaming after making an investment of more than SEK 90m (£7.69m) to take its total ownership to 29.9 per cent.
Following a number of agreements entered with shareholders the latter, Enlabs has secured an additional 11,300,000 shares in Global Gaming for a price of 8 SEK a share, coming in at a total of SEK 90.4m (£7.72m).
Releasing news of the pending acquisition in a media release, Enlabs, which boasts corporate offices in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Malta, Marbella, Minsk and Stockholm, explained: “The shares secured in this latest pending transaction will be paid 50 per cent in cash settlements and 50 per cent with new issued shares of Enlabs based on the average volume weighted price of Enlabs shares traded at Nasdaq First North Growth Market the last fifteen days of trade.
“Enlabs estimates the dilution of these transactions to become approximately 3.5 per cent related to the total number of shares in Enlabs. Prior to these transactions, Enlabs owned 920,028 shares in Global Gaming, making Enlabs total holdings to become 12,220,028 shares representative to 29.9 per cent of the ownership of Global Gaming.”
Genting Casinos are reportedly going to keep three of its UK casinos closed permanently with redundancies expected to be announced across its remaining 29 casino properties, according to union leaders.
Reported on G3newswire.com, the selected casinos are those in Bristol, Torquay and Margate with the operator unveiling plans to its workforce as its attempts to mitigate the loss of revenues following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Genting chief executive Paul Willcock said in a letter: “The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges. This has had a huge financial impact on our business and caused significant uncertainty for the foreseeable future. I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”
GMB, the union for leisure and hospitality workers, expressed concerns that the three closures are ‘just the start’ for the UK’s leisure and hospitality sector.
Online betting and gaming organisation Betsson Group has confirmed it will appeal a warning and penalty fee of SEK 20m (£1.69m) issued by the Spelinspektionen for the sale of games through an unregistered agent and an unauthorised bonus offer.
With both cases deemed as non-compliant with the Swedish gambling legislation, Betsson has emphasised that “the warning, the sanction and the hefty sanction fee come as a surprise”
The group commented in a media release: “The decision will be appealed on both accounts since Betsson AB does not agree with the view that Betsson Nordic Ltd has not complied with the Swedish Gambling Act. Betsson AB is of the view that the vouchers have been offered in line with the applicable law and that Betsson Nordic Ltd has not offered any commercial incentives or benefits connected to the Betsson Mastercard”.
Auckland headquartered gaming and entertainment firm SkyCity Entertainment has issued a further business update after the New Zealand government announced that the county has moved into alert level one as part of its COVID-19 response protocols.
At the new alert level there are no restrictions on mass gatherings and physical distancing requirements have been lifted, but tight border controls are to remain firmly in place.
Accordingly, from today SkyCity’s properties in the country are to recommence events and promotions, with electronic gaming machines and gaming tables to operate as usual without physical distancing requirements. This will see the ‘gaming zones’ implemented during alert level two be removed.
Members of the public will also be able to return to the SkyCity casinos, with restrictions mandated during the previous level meaning that only premier rewards members could gain access to the properties.