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 continuing and concluding lockdowns, a UKGC penalty notice, GVC rebrand and Safer Gambling Week.
The UK Gambling Commission has imposed a series of tougher licence conditions on Boylesports, as well as issuing an official warning and a £2.8m financial penalty, after an assessment revealed a series of money laundering failures.
This follows an investigation undertaken by the regulator, which found that Boylesports Enterprise had breached rules aimed at preventing money laundering on its Boylesports.com and Boylecasino.com websites.
The investigation revealed that the operator failed to have an appropriate money laundering risk assessment in place, as well as discovering that its anti-money laundering policies, procedures and controls were unsuitable and therefore could not be implemented effectively. The probe also revealed that the firm failed to comply with elements of the Money Laundering Regulations.
GVC Holdings has detailed an impending name change to Entain, as well as documenting a vow to withdraw from all unregulated markets, a renewed commitment to sustainability, new technology-driven customer protection, and four key pillars for growth.
Delivering a fresh corporate identity is designed to reflect the group’s ambition to be the world-leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment, and is subject to shareholder approval. The new identity intends to represent a new chapter for the organisation under a re-energised management team.
Furthermore, the firm has also unveiled a renewed commitment to sustainability and growth, as it strives to abide by the mantra that “the most sustainable business in our industry will be the most successful”.
Outlining a strategic focus upon its new Sustainability Charter, the group is focused upon five cornerstones of delivering an exclusive focus on regulated markets, continuing to take the lead on responsible gambling, embedding responsible gambling into remuneration, pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance, and investing in our people and local communities.
Aiming to reduce EBITDA in 2021 by approximately $40m, the Entain Foundation is to also launch with a commitment of donating £100m over the next five years, including a new Pitching In programme that supports grassroots sports.
Nigel Huddleston, minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, and Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, have confirmed the department’s and regulator’s support of Safer Gambling Week 2020.
The annual campaign, which began in 2017 to unite all sectors of the gambling industry and will take place this year from November 19-25, will see over 100,000 staff at more than 9,000 gambling venues and online sites participate.
Safer Gambling Week 2020 artwork for promotional and messaging materials, including posters, web banners, social media collateral, contact cards and leaflets, are available for all participants.
The materials will portray six messages in an attempt to engage with audiences, with each item providing details of free and confidential contact points for further information and advice.
The key messages are:
- Ask yourself… have you carried on past your spending limit?
- Just a heads up… it’s good to set yourself limits.
- Just a heads up… it’s easy to lose track of time when gambling.
- Play smart… know when to stop.
- Remember… friends and family are more important than gambling.
- Remember… gambling is not a way to make money.
The Betting and Gaming Council has welcomed the reopening of betting shops and casinos across Wales, and has urged the UK government to follow suit when its own lockdown ends on December 2.
Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockdown has ended, with a new set of restrictions coming into force. This means that four casinos and 360 bookmakers can re-open for business, which in turn ensures that 2,000 employees can safely return to work.
The standards body backed the science-led approach taken by the Welsh government, which has recognised the extensive anti-COVID measures introduced by the venues and the lack of any evidence they have contributed to the spread of the virus.
In England, all casinos and betting shops are currently closed as part of the nationwide lockdown. However, before this latest shutdown, English bookies were deemed hospitality venues, meaning those in Tier 3 areas had to shut despite the government officially classifying them as “non-essential retail”.
Casinos in England were also ordered to close their doors at 10pm despite implementing a series of anti-COVID measures, including perspex screens, track and trace systems and strict social distancing.
Great Canadian Gaming has documented an impending buyout by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, as the firm’s third quarter performance plummets amid ongoing impacts of the global health pandemic.
Under the terms of the agreement, Apollo Funds will acquire all the outstanding shares of Great Canadian common stock for C$39.00 per share, in a transaction with a total enterprise valuation exceeding C$3.3bn.
Following the close of the transaction, Great Canadian will remain headquartered in Toronto, led by a Canadian management team and with Canadian board members. Upon completion, Apollo also anticipates that certain Canadian institutions may co-invest in the transaction to become equity owners in the company.