Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this latest edition we take a look at a Sydney investigation, GambleAware donations, a Queensland gambling harm minimisation plan and royal commission extension.
The timeline of delivery regarding the final report of the ‘Perth Casino Royal Commission’ into Crown Resorts has been extended to March 4, 2022, following a request from Commissioners for more time to carry out their investigations.
After initially being expected to be delivered in mid-November 2021, the lengthened timeframe follows a request for more time to ensure activities properly serve the public interest, and that it and recommendations fall in line with the state government and public’s expectations.
With the timing of the Victorian Royal Commission report extended from August 1, 2021 to October 15, 2021, the heightened timeline will enable the Perth Casino Royal Commission to ensure findings and recommendations from the state can be fully considered.
A letter sent to John Whittingdale MP by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm received a response from the minister, detailing the DCMS’ awareness of ‘the potential ways in which advertising or marketing may affect different groups’.
In his response to GRH APPG chair Carolyn Harris MP and chair of Peers for Gambling Reform, Lord Foster of Bath on July 12, Whittingdale detailed that the government ‘welcomes research being done in this area’ and is carefully considering all submitted information as part of its ‘Call for Evidence’ to inform the review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
He explained: “While the evidence we have seen does not show a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and the development of problem gambling, we are absolutely alert to the potential ways in which advertising or marketing may affect different groups.”
A gambling harm minimisation plan for Queensland 2021-25 was released by the Palaszczuk Government during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2021.
Representing a four-year commitment to prevent and minimise gambling harm to Queenslanders, families, and local communities, the plan outlines the shared roles and responsibilities for government, industry and community to reduce gambling-related harm in the state.
This includes an emphasis on industry social responsibility and the adoption of technological, collaborative and systemic approaches to the minimisation of gambling related harm.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the Cayuga Nation in its decades-long dispute with the village of Union Springs, New York, over the Nation’s operation of its Lakeside Entertainment gaming facility.
In an almost 50-page judgement, a panel made up of three appellate judges upheld earlier decisions and found that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act governs gambling on reservation lands.
This comes after the National began operating Lakeside Entertainment in 2004, a class II electronic gaming facility in the village of Union Springs, New York, after purchasing a parcel of land and renovating a defunct auto parts store in 2003.
Subsequently, the Nation filed suit against the village, seeking a declaratory judgment that the IGRA preempts Union Springs’ ordinance regulating gambling, which it had repeatedly cited against the Cayuga’s for allegedly violating a prohibition of ‘games of chance’ within its boundaries.
Entain donated £2m to GambleAware, as the charity revealed details of donations and pledges received from those that derive an income from gambling in Britain.
Publishing its industry donation figure for April 1 – June 30, 2021, the independent charity revealed that the total amount of money pledged and received by GambleAware in Q1 as voluntary donations from the gambling industry – excluding regulatory settlements and additional donations – equaled £2.3m.
All UK licence holders are requested to donate 0.1 per cent of their annual gross gambling yield directly to GambleAware. Those companies with an annual gross gambling revenue of less than £250,000 per annum are asked to donate a minimum of £250.
Other leading UK licence holders which have donated substantial sums include Videoslots with £50,000, Star Racing at £20,720.27, SkillOnNet with £11,000 and Play’n GO donating £9,750. Additional donations were also received from One Click of £22,800.91 and STS.BET with £22,000.
Bally’s Corporation is anticipating a better than expected operating performance at its land-based retail casinos and interactive businesses for the three month period ending June 30, 2021.
Issuing a trading update for the second quarter, Bally’s estimates that total consolidated revenue will be in the range of $258m to $268m, with adjusted EBITDA in the range of $80m to $84m.
These figures come in contrast to consolidated revenue of $28.9m and negative adjusted EBITDA of $10.7m which were recorded during the COVID-19 affected second quarter of 2020.
Furthermore, as a result of the performance, Bally’s says that it “does not plan to issue incremental common equity or draw on the previously disclosed Gaming and Leisure Properties commitment to fund the Gamesys acquisition.
“Bally’s continues to evaluate investment options with potential strategic partners and such investment is not necessary to fund the Gamesys acquisition.”
A former employee of Sydney’s Star Casino has been convicted for his part in an illegal betting scam that New South Wales’ Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority says “cheated the casino out of almost A$500,000” in 2020.
Hieu Duc Lam, a baccarat dealer, was captured on CCTV footage colluding with another employee, with footage showing him peeking and memorising a number of cards that were to be used in an upcoming game.
Once Lam had memorised the cards, he would then use a secure messaging app on his phone to inform his accomplice, a player in the upcoming game, of the order. That individual would then participate in the game knowing what cards were coming. The scam netted $467,700 in less than a month.
Lam was subsequently sacked by The Star and convicted of 15 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage in the local court of NSW – Downing Centre.
He has been sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of two years, to be served the way of an intensive correction order that commenced on July, 9, 2021 and will expire on July 8, 2023. He is also required to perform 250 hours of community service work.