Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition, we feature a major IGT divestment, corporate rebrand, Swedish penalties, and a world’s first residential gambling addiction treatment centre for women.
International Game Technology has inked a definitive agreement regarding the sale of its Lottomatica business to Gamenet Group, a subsidiary of funds managed by an affiliate of global alternative investment manager Apollo Global Management.
The firm says that proceeds from the sale of its Italian B2C gaming machine, sports betting, and digital gaming businesses will be primarily used for debt reduction, as IGT focuses the core competency of its global gaming segment as a B2B service provider.
The board of directors of IGT has unanimously approved the transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. IGT expects that the sale will close in the first half of 2021.
The sale price is €950m, with €725m payable at closing, €100m payable on December 31, 2021, and the remaining €125m payable on September 30, 2022. The deferred payments are not subject to any conditions other than closing, and are secured by an equity commitment letter from the Apollo-managed funds.
The much anticipated review of the Gambling Act 2005 has launched, with a ‘major and wide-ranging review’ promised to ensure that laws are fit for the digital age.
The review into the Gambling Act was marked as a key pledge in Boris Johnson’s election manifesto, in which he seeks to ensure that current legislation puts ‘customer protection at the heart of regulations’.
In addition to confirming a raise in the National Lottery minimum age to 18, online restrictions, advertising standards and the powers of the Gambling Commission will be looked at as part of a call for evidence to examine how gambling has changed over the past 15 years. The call for evidence will run for 16 weeks and will close on March 31, 2021
Protections for online gamblers, such as stake and spend limits, advertising and promotional offers and whether extra protections for young adults are needed, will all be explored.
The review will also look at evidence on VIP gamblers, protection of under-aged gamblers and the systems that are in place to report operators in breach of their social responsibility requirements. The Gambling Commission’s powers and resources to ensure it can keep pace with the licensed sector and tackle the black market will also be considered.
The Gordon Moody Association has outlined plans to open the first residential gambling addiction treatment centre for women in 2021, which will be based in the Midlands.
Reaffirming its commitment to support women affected by gambling-related harm, the centre will offer a unique safe environment that will treat 24 women who are severely affected by gambling disorders on an annual basis.
The women will come from all backgrounds and undergo a treatment programme that effectively recognises the wider issues surrounding the gambling.
The centre has received core funding through support from Halesowen-based business InTouch Games, a developer of multiple brands in the mobile gaming sector.
Sweden’s Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen, has issued an injunction and fine to AB Trav och Galopp and Spooniker for breaches of the country’s temporary restrictions.
Gaming companies with a Swedish license are obliged to comply with a series of temporary measures in the jurisdiction, which were introduced earlier in the year in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Issuing its latest update, the regulator has found that players at ATG and Spooniker have been able to deposit more than the maximum permitted amount of SEK 5,000 per week on commercial online games.
“The Spelinspektionen combines the injunction with a fine of SEK 1m for each commenced week that the injunction is not complied with, calculated three weeks from the end of the week in which AB Trav och Galopp and Spooniker Ltd take part in the decision,” the regulator stated in a media release.
Research commissioned by GambleAware, and conducted by YouGov, has found that 20 per cent of black, Asian, and minority ethnic adults surveyed experience some problems associated with their gambling (a PGSI score of 1+), compared with 12 per cent of white adults.
Commenting that ‘ethnic communities are disproportionately impacted by gambling harms and have a higher demand for treatment and support,’ the research is a secondary analysis of a commissioned survey carried out in 2019. Seven per cent of those surveyed were also classified as ‘problem gamblers’ (PGSI 8+).
As well as revealing higher levels of harm, the findings also indicate a greater demand for treatment among ‘problem gamblers’ from minority ethnic communities.
Three quarters of those from minority ethnic communities say they want some form of treatment, support, or advice, compared with 49 per cent of white ‘problem gamblers’.
Potential motivators among respondents for seeking treatment, support, or advice included knowing they could get help over the phone (25 per cent), and knowing it would be completely confidential and free of charge (both 18 per cent).
A higher level of treatment usage within minority ethnic communities, with 71 per cent of ‘problem gamblers’ having reported using some form of treatment, support and advice, compared to 46 per cent of white ‘problem gamblers,’ was also indicated.
Caesars Entertainment has unveiled plans to commence a $325m transformation of its Harrah’s New Orleans property, which will be renamed Caesars New Orleans upon completion.
The renovation and transformation, which includes a new hotel tower, redesigned interior and exterior features, and enhanced culinary and hospitality offerings, is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The plans, which have been presented to the New Orleans Building Corporation, aim to “create a new flagship resort” that embraces the globally renowned brand.
Premier plans for the property, the only land-based casino in New Orleans, including a 340 room hotel tower above the existing casino valet porte cochère, new culinary and hospitality offerings within the casino, additional development of an area on the second floor, and full exterior and interior architectural and design enhancements.
Entain has marked its first day of trading by elaborating on its US and Latin America growth ambitions, in addition to offering further detail on its Sustainability Charter and Advanced Responsibility and Care initiative.
The rebranded GVC Holdings, which first detailed its reinvention intentions last month, aims to deliver a range of measures to build upon the direction illustrated by CEO Shay Segev.
These will be applicable across all countries in which it operates with brands including bwin, partypoker, Ladbrokes, Coral, FoxyBingo and BetMGM.
Entain outlines an objective of seeking Canadian licensure, as well as commenting that the firm anticipates going live in Colombia during the next month.
In the US, where its BetMGM joint venture with MGM Resorts plans to double its reach in three month with five new state additions between October and January, Tennessee has become ‘its most successful go-live yet with revenues already ahead of those in more established states’. The entity plans to reach more than 20 states by the end of 2021.