Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we take a look at a Scientific Games divestment, Bally’s acquisition, DraftKings dropping its pursuit of Entain, and “unsuitable” Crown Resorts retaining Melbourne casino licence.
Crown Resorts is to retain its Melbourne casino licence, despite a royal commission deeming the group to be “unsuitable” on the basis that it engaged in “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” conduct.
Raymond Finkelstein, the commissioner who led the investigation, addressed “disgraceful” conduct dating back many years, adding that it is “difficult to grade the seriousness of the misconduct” as well as that “the catalogue of wrongdoing is alarming”.
However, despite this, one of a slew of recommendations includes not striping the casino operator of its licence as “immediate cancellation of the licence is not in the interests of the Victorian community”.
This, the report says, would cause a risk of “significant harm” to the region’s economy, with the Commission also believing that Crown Melbourne “has the will and the capacity to reform itself so that it again becomes a suitable person to hold a casino licence”.
It has instead suggested, in one of 33 recommendations, that a special manager be appointed to oversee the company’s reform agenda, with the individual in question to operate the post for a two year period.
DraftKings maintained confidence in its long-term growth ambitions across North America, as the gaming, sports betting and DFS operator confirmed that it would not be making a firm offer for Entain “at this time”.
Rumours of the proposition, reported by CNBC to be worth $20bn which would mostly consist of stock, began to surface last month, with Entain subsequently confirming the acquisitive interest.
As a result of this announcement, DraftKings is bound by the restrictions under rule 2.8 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers for six months following this date.
However, the group reserves the right to set aside the above statement and restrictions in rule 2.8 of the code in a number of circumstances, including with the agreement of the board of directors of Entain.
Furthermore, this also may be done via the announcement of a firm intention to make an offer for Entain by or on behalf of a third party, following an announcement of a whitewash proposal or a reverse takeover, or where the takeover panel has determined that there has been a material change of circumstances.
The Swedish government again confirmed that temporary gambling restrictions, which have consistently drawn the ire of many industry incumbents, are to end next month.
The mandates, which first came into play on July 2, 2020, “as a result of the prevailing pandemic,” will end on November 14, 2021, as first confirmed in May.
Alongside the cessation, the government also instructed the Spelinspektionen, Swedish’s gambling authority, to evaluate the temporary gaming responsibility measures to follow up and analyse how forms of gaming and accessibility to the activity develop in the short and long term.
Furthermore, this also includes proposing measures to strengthen consumer protection in the gaming market, in a bid to “counteract public health problems”.
The Spelinspektionen shall, no later than March 15, 2022, submit a partial report on the first part of the assignment concerning the evaluation of the temporary gaming responsibility measures. The assignment must be finalised no later than October 31, 2023.
Scientific Games entered into a definitive agreement with Brookfield Business Partners to sell its lottery business for over $6bn.
Expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, the transaction – consisting of $5.825bn in cash and an earn-out of up to $225m based on the achievement of certain EBITDA targets in 2022 and 2023 – is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Through the acquisition of SG Lottery, Brookfield is set to integrate a subsidiary which maintains partnerships with “approximately 130 government and non-government lottery entities in over 50 countries”, providing turn-key solutions including instant and terminal-generated lottery games, sports betting, lottery systems, retail technology and ilottery.
“Keep up the momentum” was the rallying cry from the Betting and Gaming Council, after the UK Gambling Commission released its quarterly gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence data.
Based on the UKGC’s quarterly telephone survey, conducted by Yonder Consulting, a nationally representative sample of 4,005 participants – aged 16 and over – were interviewed via telephone in December 2020 and March, June and September 2021.
The survey revealed that the overall problem gambling rate has decreased “significantly” to 0.3 per cent of all respondents, compared to 0.6 per cent in the same period last year. Furthermore, problem gamblers aged 16-24 saw a steep drop from 0.8 to 0.4 per cent – totalling 374 respondents out of the 4,005.
Kindred Group reported that its share of revenue from harmful gambling had decreased to 3.3 per cent, as the online gambling group asserted that it’s “determined to contribute to a more sustainable gambling industry across all markets”.
This came after the company set an ambition to reach zero per cent of revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023, amid an ambition to “transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society”.
The share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3 per cent from 4.3 per cent in Q2 2021, 3.9 per cent from the year’s first quarter and 4.3 per cent from Q4 2020.
Bally’s has announced the acquisition of Manchester-based Degree 53, which has been undertaken with a view to advancing the operator’s global omni-channel offering.
Degree 53’s team offers a range of services, including sportsbook and casino mobile app and website development, complex system integration, data feed management, and API development.
The group, which specialises in multi-channel website and personalised mobile app and software development for the online gambling and sports industries, boasts a team of 54 design and technical experts that continue to operate out of its Manchester studio.