Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we take at look at the impending completion of a major transaction, lockdown exit anger, casino proposals, and the findings of a pair of surveys.
Caesars Entertainment expects to finalise its impending acquisition of William Hill on Thursday 1 April 2021, with it anticipated that all remaining regulatory approvals are to be finalised in the coming weeks.
The US casino operator’s £2.9bn ($3.7bn) takeover bid of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of William Hill was confirmed in September 2020, just months after the firm secured its long awaited $17bn merger with Eldorado Resorts.
Subsequently, William Hill last week disclosed that Caesars current expectation is that the ‘remaining approvals required to be obtained from the relevant US gaming authorities and the relevant other gaming authorities will be obtained on or about March 23, 2021’.
In light of proceedings, Caesars and William Hill have established a Scheme Court Hearing to take place on March 30, as the final regulatory hearing to sanction the takeover, ensuring the deal’s legal certainty. Should all regulatory hurdles be cleared, both parties anticipate completing the transaction on April 1.
Politicians should not set arbitrary limits on the amount that punters are able to bet, according to 51 per cent of adults in a Betting and Gaming Council, commissioned YouGov survey.
According to the poll of 1,683 British adults, the aforementioned percentage were said to be opposed to limits set by politicians, compared to just 27 per cent who support them.
This comes as the Gambling Commission continues its affordability consultation, amid calls for a limit on the amount that punters can lose in a month. The issue is also expected to be considered as part of the government’s ongoing gambling review.
The YouGov poll also found that 59 per cent of UK adults agree that “if there are too many limits placed on people to bet”, they will shift to the unlicensed and illegal black market, compared to 10 per cent who disagree.
This itself follows a PwC review of unlicensed online gambling in the UK which found a jump in unlicensed operator usage to 4.5 per cent from 2.2 per cent compared to a similar study conducted in 2019, meaning that the number of customers using an unlicensed betting website has grown from 210,000 to 460,000.
GambleAware commissioned research has shown that a large majority of active online gambling accounts in the UK spent relatively low amounts, and were used infrequently, throughout the year, while a small proportion were said to be “used extensively and generated substantial losses”.
‘Exploring Online Patterns of Play’ was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research, and looked at the use of 140,000 active gaming and betting accounts between July 2018 and June 2019.
Undertaken to improve understanding of the online gambling market, seven “major” online operators agreed to supply data to be used in the analysis. It is estimated that these capture more than 85 per cent of the online betting market in Great Britain and over 37 per cent in gaming.
The dataset contained 139,152 accounts, of which 86 per cent (110,211) were used for betting during the one-year study period, with 84,572 used for at least one category of gaming during the same timeframe.
Key findings show that 85 per cent of accounts used for betting spent less than £200 over the period documented, while 90 per cent of gaming accounts had either an overall win or loss of less than £500 for the same period.
The five per cent of online accounts with the highest losses were found to have generated a minimum of 70 per cent of GGY in each of betting, virtual casinos, live casinos, and slots.
Gamesys Group has lauded the delivery of “a record set of annual results,” as sustained operational execution, robust cash generation and strong balance sheet sees the firm assert confidence in its future potential.
Coming against the backdrop of “unprecedented challenges” set by the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue for the year swelled by 75 per cent to £727.7m (2019: 415.1m) primarily due to ongoing growth in Asia as well as a strong performance in the UK.
On a pro forma basis, which assumes that brands have been a part of the group for the entire comparative period, revenue for the year increased 29 per cent to the aforementioned figure from £565.3m.
Breaking this down across the group’s four geographical segments, pro-forma revenue in Asia increased 78 per cent year-on-year to £218.3 (2019: £122.4m).
Casinos in Scotland must be allowed to open and the industry deserves to be treated with parity and fairness, urges Grosvenor Casinos, following an independent study into the venues’ anti-COVID measures.
Undertaken by Dr Lisa Ackerley, it is stated that the establishments should be allowed to safely re-open alongside other hospitality venues when restrictions are lifted in Scotland, after declaring they are “as safe, if not safer” places to visit than pubs and restaurants.
Under current plans outlined by the Scottish Government, casinos would only be allowed to re-open in level one areas, whereas other hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants, can do so in level two.
Following the report, which is based on evidence from an independent assessment, undertaken by Food Alert, in venues including Grosvenor Casino’s Edinburgh Maybury and Glasgow Merchant City, the group is calling on a rethink to avoid hundreds of jobs being lost.
The introduction of a large-scale “major” casino resort is being sought by Chicago, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed that a request for proposal is to be issued during the early stages of next month.
Lauded as an “initiative decades in the making,” the city says that the sole gaming owner’s licence will introduce a new entertainment destination “to the heart of one of America’s most dynamic cities”.
The casino operator will be allotted opportunities across gaming and hospitality, with the option to launch a fully integrated resort with amenities ranging from a hotel tower, restaurants, and spa facilities to parking structures and entertainment venues
Striving to create new employment opportunities for residents and driving economic growth for local businesses and the city overall, the permit ensures that the holder can own and operate a temporary casino for up to 36 months, and a permanent venue thereafter.