Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we look back at renewed Safer Gambling Week commitments, the latest UK reopening’s, a Dutch hope of lessons being learned, and an extension to Sweden’s temporary regulations.
The Swedish government confirmed that temporary regulations implemented on the region’s gambling market will be extended until November 14, 2021.
The rules are aimed at “particularly risky forms of gambling,” and include provisions such as deposit limits for games at online casinos amounting to a maximum of SEK 5,000, with the corresponding loss limit applying to games at ATMs.
It is also mandatory for users to set limits on playing time when playing at online casinos and ATMs, with bonuses offered by licensees who provide online casinos and ATMs only permitted to amount to a maximum of SEK 100.
The mandates, which first came into play on July 2, 2020, and have been consistently criticised by several figures throughout the industry, and were initially slated to expire before the close of the past year.
Crown Resorts unanimously rejected a takeover proposal from the Blackstone Group, deeming the offer an undervaluation and “not in the best interests” of its shareholders.
This would appear to hand the advantage to Star Entertainment Group, which has been requested to provide “certain information to allow the Crown board to better understand various preliminary matters” after tabling a merger offer earlier in the month.
The Blackstone Group, which already owns a little under ten per cent of the company, revised its offer earlier this month to $12.35 per share after tabling a bid of $11.85 each, valuing the group at AU$8bn, in April.
Crown says that it has “carefully considered the revised proposal, including obtaining advice from its financial and legal advisers,” but has determined that the proposal undervalues the firm.
The Betting and Gaming Council, the Bingo Association and bacta are uniting the industry once again in a renewed drive to champion higher standards, with Safer Gambling Week 2021 confirmed to run between November 1-7.
Continuing the annual campaign, which first took place in 2017 under the Responsible Gambling Week guise, the event will see a blitz of safer gambling messages both online and in land-based venues, sparking a nationwide conversation on how to bet responsibly.
Every arm of the regulated betting and gaming industry will come together to encourage staff, customers and the general public to raise awareness of, and to talk about, safer gambling.
SGW aims to provide an opportunity to go even further by encouraging businesses and organisations to start a conversation, not only with staff and customers, but also with their friends and family.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida praised “a historic and mutually-beneficial partnership” that will “positively impact all Floridians for decades to come,” after the state senate passed implementation of the 2021 gaming compact.
The new 30-year compact, which still requires federal approval, includes the provision of state-wide online sports betting in partnership with existing pari-mutuels, with a 13.75 per cent revenue share from tribal operations.
Analysts had earlier predicted that Florida’s retail and online sportsbooks could generate between $8bn and $12bn per year, which it was said would lead to the creation of more than $1bn billion in operator revenue.
Furthermore, the compact also authorises the provision of craps and roulette games at the Seminole Tribe’s properties, and authorises the addition of up to three facilities on its reservation in Hollywood. The 2021 compact also creates a new revenue-sharing agreement with a $2.5bn guarantee in the first five years.
The Betting and Gaming Council praised “a fantastic boost” for casino and betting shop customers, staff and the UK economy, as restrictions are once again eased across the region.
As part of the latest lockdown relaxation, more than 100 casinos across England, Scotland and Wales are opening their doors today (Monday 17 May) for the first time this year.
Returning customers will have to comply with the anti-COVID measures that venues have put in place, such as making use of hand sanitisers, wearing face masks and following social distancing rules.
In Scotland, rules imposed by the Scottish Government mean casinos will close at 10.30pm and are not allowed to sell alcohol. However, casinos in Glasgow will remain closed after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the city was remaining under level three restrictions.
The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, is hoping that lessons have been learned in fellow European jurisdictions regarding online gaming advertisements; vowing that it “will not hesitate” to intervene if deemed necessary.
The comments come a little over four months out from Dutch gambling’s new regulated online gambling marketplace opening up, with the Ksa currently assessing licence applications. It adds that those that meet “all the strict conditions” will begin operations from October 1.
The regulator, which says “the laws and regulations say nothing about the amount of advertising,” cites Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK as examples which “have hopefully taught that the industry itself also has a responsibility”.
This, it says, means not looking for “edges” and to advertise “in an appropriate and responsible manner,” acknowledging “a common interest” in ensuring the proper legalisation and regulation of online gambling.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming is anticipating that 2021 will be a key year for the online gaming firm, as it sets a target of being live in six states by the close of the year.
The comments come as the group documents its performance for the three months ending March 31, 2021, which saw revenue increase 54.2 per cent to $26.7m (2020: $17.3m).
Net income came in at $69.6m (2020: $4.1m), after gains on warrant derivatives liabilities of $81.1m, tax receivable agreement liability of $1.3m and debt extinguishment expenses of $2.2m, including the accelerated amortisation of deferred loan costs and debt premium totalling $600,000 associated with the early repayment of $10.6m of the term loan during the period.
Furthermore, during a timeframe which saw market access secured in Colorado and Iowa alongside Maverick’s Z Casino and Wild Rose Casino, respectively, adjusted EBITDA was at a loss of $3.5m compared to $5.9m from one year earlier.
Licensed gaming companies in Sweden scored revenue of SEK 6.24bn (£529.93m) during the year’s first quarter, which represents a 5.1 per cent increase from the SEK 5.94bn (£504.48m) recorded in 2020.
According to figures released by regulator the Spelinspektionen, the three month period saw online betting and gaming and Svenska Spel’s lottery and Vegas slots record increases of 7.7 per cent and 24 per cent to SEK 3.93bn (2020: SEK 3.65bn) and SEK 1.39bn (2020: $1.12bn), respectively.
Charitable lotteries closed out the quarter less than half of a percentage point down at SEK 858m (2020: SEK 861m), with bingo dropping 15.3 per cent to SEK 44m (2020: SEK 52m).
Restaurant casinos closed out the quarter 88.4 per cent down at SEK 6m (2020: SEK 52m), with the Casino Cosmopol land-based casinos remaining closed throughout the quarter and finished with a nil recording.