Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we look back on Wynn Resorts’ Environmental, Social and Governance Report, Full House Resorts’ and Churchill Downs Incorporated’s casino resort proposals, Playtech’s strong performance, America’s increasingly positive view of the industry and Lottoland’s fine from the UKGC.
Wynn Resorts has issued its Environmental, Social and Governance Report, highlighting the company’s collective pledges and defined goals to decrease emissions and confront the risk of climate change.
Under the direction of CEO, Matt Maddox, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Erik Hansen, the company has committed to reduce or offset all carbon dioxide produced by its operations no later than 2050; to stop and reverse year-over-year growth of operational carbon dioxide emissions by 2030; and to increase its supply of renewable energy produced or procured to at least 50 per cent of total consumption by 2030.
In the report, Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts, remarked: “A truly great company, one founded on the belief that excellence is not just an aspiration but a necessity, and operating in today’s socially and environmentally-fraught world, is called to a higher standard: to take responsibility, not just for our decisions, but for the all future impacts of those decisions. Impacts we ourselves may not live to see, but will have caused, nonetheless.
“Decision-making with careful consideration to the impacts 20 or 30 years from now isn’t just essential, it’s an existential imperative. That is what the future demands of us.”
Full House Resorts has submitted a proposal to the Indiana Gaming Commission to develop and operate a new casino hotel in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The Company’s proposal – a $250m gaming and entertainment destination named American Place – would be developed on 32 acres of land that it currently has under contract.
“Since we first started exploring gaming opportunities five years ago, we have seen how eager the citizens of Terre Haute and Vigo County have been to attract a world-class gaming destination,” commented Alex J. Stolyar, senior vice president and chief development officer of Full House Resorts. “We are excited to propose our revolutionary development to the residents and community leaders who have so patiently waited and supported us.”
Churchill Downs Incorporated has submitted a proposal that will bring about a development of Vigo County, Indiana’s, Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort.
The gaming facility is pencilled in to feature up to 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a 125-room hotel, a TwinSpires sportsbook and several food & beverage offerings.
An economic impact study conducted by economists at Purdue University estimates that the Queen of Terre Haute will generate $190m in annual regional economic impact, including 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.
“Churchill Downs has a 147-year track record of offering extraordinary entertainment experiences and has significant expertise developing premier casino and gaming properties throughout the United States,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of CDI.
“We are proud to offer our vision for this world-class casino, a true destination resort designed to draw visitors and economic activity from across the midwest to Terre Haute.”
Playtech has highlighted the strong performance of its live casino offering as well as positive growth across both North America and LatAm, offsetting the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic across multiple jurisdictions.
Publishing its interim trading results, the group recorded profits of €401.9m, in comparison to a loss of €22.1m in H1 2020, although total group revenue declined by 4 per cent to €457.4m (H1 2020: €476.7m).
Additionally, adjusted EBITDA stood at €124.1m (2020: €109.5m), representing an increase of 13 per cent, with the company describing the overall results as ‘in line with expectations at the start of the year’.
Identifying ‘very strong growth’ for its live casino operations, the group experienced its most significant expansion in the US and Latin America, with revenue from the two continents increasing by 106 per cent to €46.4m (H1 2020: €22.9m).
Playtech CEO Mor Weizer remarked: “I am delighted by our strong strategic and operational progress to date in 2021, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic.
“These results demonstrate the quality of our technology and products, the significant progress made against our strategic priorities, and wider momentum across Playtech’s operations.
“Looking forward, given the strong H1 performance, the momentum in the business and the easing of lockdown restrictions, we are confident of Playtech’s prospects for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.”
New research from the American Gaming Association shows that America’s positive view of the gaming industry continues to grow as the US legal market expands.
Carried from two online polls conducted on behalf of the AGA in the late summer among national samples of 2,000 Americans, AGA’s research revealed that two-thirds of adults view the industry as a positive economic contributor that provides high-quality jobs and 73 per cent support legalised sports betting in their state.
Furthermore, Americans also see gaming as a ‘good community partner’, with almost seven in 10 Americans believing the gaming industry behaves responsibly, and a majority of 57 per cent believing the industry gives back in the communities where it operates.
“We are a committed, responsible partner and economic driver in communities across the country,” said AGA president and CEO, Bill Miller. “Because of this, we’ve risen from the most devastating period in our history and embarked on a record-setting comeback.
“As legal gaming expands to new geographies and verticals, everyone engaged with legal gaming must work together to grow responsibly – our collective success depends on it.”
EU Lotto, the operator of lottery betting and sweepstake firm Lottoland, has been hit with a £760,000 fine by the UK Gambling Commission for anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.
Having concluded its investigation on September 2, the UKGC accused the company of failing to take the Commission’s formal customer interaction guidance into account whilst AML shortcomings saw a lack of effective analysis of bank statements to prove customer’s addresses.
Helen Venn, commission executive director, said: “This case, like other recent enforcement actions, was the result of planned compliance activity. All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take firm action against those who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain.”
Defending his company, Nigel Birrell, Lottoland CEO, remarked: “Lottoland is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of compliance, including its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates.
“The Gambling Commission fine was related to legacy issues around some of our compliance controls which have now been addressed. Lottoland has extensive compliance measures in place and we are confident that our current policies and processes meet all relevant standards.
“Remedial action taken included significantly increased investment in our compliance function, more than doubling headcount, alongside a host of other initiatives including bringing in third party support, enhancing training and a review of key policies. In addition, we recently committed to building our individual processes into an automated system to improve the system even further.”