Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this issue we take a look at Scottish criticism, UK Gambling Commission action, US responsible gambling and a blockbuster merger.
Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment have confirmed the completion of their long mooted merger, creating the largest casino and entertainment firm in the US.
Boasting more than 55 destinations worldwide, the transaction also enhances Caesars’ position “as the leading regional and destination gaming operator in the US”.
In addition to its global casino property portfolio, including a roster of eight casino hotel properties on the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars owns or operates casinos in 16 states across the US including Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, California and Maryland.
The $17.3bn cash and stock transaction has seen Eldorado previously praise the increased scale and geographic diversification to be felt as a result of the combination, with approximately $500m of synergies expected to be felt in the first year.
The UK Gambling Commission has announced an interim suspension to the operating licence of Genesis Global Limited due to suspicions that certain conditions have been breached.
Commenting that “this is due to a number of compliance issues,” the licence suspension, effective immediately (Monday 20 July 2020), makes it illegal for Genesis Global to offer gambling services via its suite of igaming sites in Great Britain.
Those sites suspended are Casoola Casino, Casino Planet, Kassu, CasinoCruise, Casino Gods, Casino Joy, Genesis Casino, Pelaa, Sloty Online Casino, Spela, Spinit and Vegas Hero.
In a media release documenting the announcement, the UKGC commented: “We have instructed the operator to facilitate customers accessing their accounts to withdraw funds and advise customers not to place any bets through the above websites.
“If a customer has questions concerning their account we advise they contact the operator through the website they have used.”
The Betting and Gaming Council has criticised a perceived u-turn by the Scottish Government regarding the use of gaming machines in bookies following a June 29 reopening.
Betting shops in the country have been ordered to switch off the machines, just days after the Scottish Government announced it was lifting the ban. Bookmakers have been told that their customers must not be permitted usage until further notice.
Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said: “We are extremely disappointed by the Scottish Government’s decision, which directly contradicts what they told us previously.
“Betting shops in Scotland are already under severe financial strain because of the Scottish Government’s refusal to give them 100 per cent business rate relief which is available to other retail businesses, and this is another massive blow.
“I would urge ministers in Scotland to urgently reconsider this baffling decision and revert to the position they had less than a week ago.”
The NFLPA Professional Athletes Foundation has inked a two-year agreement with Epic Risk Management and the GVC Foundation US to create, market, and launch live and virtual educational programs for all members.
Commenting in a media statement that “problem gambling and off-field issues have plagued professional athletes across sports since their inception,” former players will now attend responsible gambling and sports integrity sessions presented by former athletes on an ongoing basis.
Under the terms of the agreement, Epic Risk Management and GVC Foundation US will create the program content, which will be tailored to meet the mental health needs of former NFL players, while the NFLPA/PAF will advertise, market, and coordinate the delivery of the program.
“Problem gambling is often described as a hidden addiction. The signs are difficult to spot, yet the effects can be devastating,” commented Paul Buck, CEO of Epic Risk Management.
“Proactive education offered to vulnerable populations is crucial for curbing problem gambling. We plan to educate former NFL players through motivational talks provided by former professional athletes who’ve experienced the consequences of problem gambling, first-hand.”
Grosvenor Casinos will reopen 44 of its sites in England from August 1 following its temporary closures due to COVID-19, report media outlets.
The casino operator’s branches, part of the Rank Group, will welcome back its guests, having been closed since March, following the government announcement that permitted impending reopenings with the implementation of strict distancing measures.
The news also follows a prior plea made by Matt Rudd, general manager Grosvenor Casino Birmingham, in a blog post via the Betting and Gaming Council, who added his voice “to thousands of others” by asking the government to allow venues to return to action.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that casinos in England can reopen from the start of August, but those in Wales and Scotland will have to wait for their own reopening dates to be confirmed.