Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we look back on Netherlands advertising, a Danish fine, a Yokohama withdrawal for Melco, and a “sudden influx” of calls for GamCare.
Regulators across the globe must unite to “further exploit the opportunities of international collaboration,” Tim Miller, executive director at the UK Gambling Commission, proclaimed.
Making a ‘Regulatory Disruption: The case for international collaboration’ speech at the 2021 International Association of Gaming Regulators Conference, Miller stated organisations need to “significantly ramp up” collaborative approaches.
“However, that need for urgency is here. If there is one lesson we can take from the virus it is that we are all part of a single, global ecosystem,” he commented
“When a virus can spread across the world so rapidly, ignoring international boundaries, it demonstrates just how interconnected all our lives are.
“It shows how an event in one part of the world can have profound impacts in another. And the regulation of gambling is no different.”
Miller stated that this necessity can be evidenced across international institutions, “most notably the World Health Organisation,” which he added “are beginning to see gambling harms as a transnational problem and are looking for transnational solutions”.
The Netherlands Online Gambling Association called for a greater degree of cross sector cooperation and added restrictions when it comes to gambling advertisements in the country.
The industry association raised its concerns at the country’s advertising code, which it says “does not go far enough” despite acknowledging that it is “very good that there is now an advertising code for online gambling”.
“We cannot afford that there will be no protection against too many gambling advertisements. And that last point is exactly what NOGA is so concerned about,” said Peter-Paul de Goeij, director of NOGA.
NOGA also questions a limit of three gambling advertisements per block, which applies only to internet gambling advertisements.
“So, in addition to three advertisements for online gambling, Holland Casino, Gaston and Koning Toto will be allowed to advertise their offline offerings without any restrictions,” de Goeij continued.
Spilreklamenævnet, Denmark’s gaming advertisement board, has ruled against Mr Green regarding an advertisement complaint shown in December 2020 before a family TV show.
Revolving around a commercial for the William Hill-owned online casino operator, which was shown before the Juleønsket Christmas programme on the TV2 network, Spilreklamenævnet ruled by four votes to one, yet acknowledged that when purchasing the advertising space from the network provider Mr Green was informed that it was acquiring air time fitting into the 18+ and 21+ age categories.
In a statement, Spilreklamenævnet noted: “In this case, the gaming provider has not ensured that the gaming advertisement was not aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, and therefore we find that the marketing initiative was in breach of the rules on marketing in the Gaming Act and in the code of conduct for the gaming industry.”
Melco Resorts and Entertainment reaffirmed its commitment to development opportunities in Japan, after the group officially discontinued its pursuit of an integrated resort in Yokohama.
This came after anti-IR campaigner Takeharu Yamanaka’s victory in the region’s recent mayoral elections. Yamanaka subsequently announced that the process would be scrapped.
Yokohama had previously narrowed its field down to Melco Resorts and a consortium led by Genting Singapore, and also including pachinko operator Sega Sammy, which has also expressed its disappointment at having to discontinue its licensing hopes.
Lawrence Ho, chair and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, stated: “Melco has been working on the ground in Japan for over a decade. We firmly believe in the country’s long-term potential and remain committed to exploring opportunities to develop the world’s best integrated resort in Japan. We will be closing our Yokohama office while maintaining a representative office in Tokyo.”
Figures released by the UK Gambling Commission revealed that overall activity in the online market remained “relatively stable” in July.
Publishing further data reflecting on the lockdown easing measures in the UK and how online gambling behaviour is reacting, the report noted that active players stayed steady whilst bets increased by five per cent and gross gambling yield decreased by eight per cent.
Moreover, slots GGY increased by four per cent to £187m during the period from June to July, with the number of spins up by six per cent with the number of active players also seeing a one per cent rise.
GamCare reported that the National Gambling Helpline has received a “sudden influx” in phone calls following Paul Merson’s appearance on Good Morning Britain this week.
Last Tuesday, the former Arsenal and England footballer gave an interview about his gambling addiction, with the charity saying that the uptick in calls demonstrate “how important it is to speak up on issues around gambling”
One caller is reported to have told an advisor that the interview had “hit home,” while another is said to have remarked that it had “resonated with him and made him realise that his own gambling was problematic”.
Furthermore, GamCare reported that it has received over 41,000 calls to the National Gambling Helpline during 2020/21, which represents a nine per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Gaming Realms documented “exceptional progress” during the first half of the year, as the group continues to pursue global growth opportunities, with the US reaffirmed as a key priority once more.
Total revenue during the period ending June 30, 2021, increased 50 per cent from £5.2m to £7.7m, with adjusted EBITDA up 144 per cent £3.1m (2020: £1.28m).
Licensing revenue recorded a 73 per cent uptick to £5.8m (2020: £3.4m) due to an increase in distribution from an expanded games portfolio, with social revenue up seven per cent to £1.9m (2020: £1.8m) driven by a rise in new Slingo content, as well as improved player management and new player engagement features.