Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A Las Vegas casino development, class action lawsuit, Dutch market performance update, and Ontario expectations all feature in our latest sweep of headlines across the past week.
Illegal offering within the Dutch regulated market has been “largely suppressed” since its inception on October 1, 2021, according to Rene Jansen, KSA Chairman.
Speaking of the Dutch Gaming Authority’s recently published 2021 annual report, Jansen pinpointed the reports addendum and stated the decline in illegal casino usage was “exactly the intention of the Koa Act”.
“People who want to gamble online should be able to do so in a safe, regulated environment,” he stated.
“At the same time, the graph shows that on balance since October 1, the total number of hours that consumers spend on gambling sites has been greater than before October 1.
“An explanation could be that the legalisation of online games of chance drew consumers’ attention to its existence. After all, in the run-up to legalisation there was a lot of media attention for online games of chance. And of course there has been a lot of advertising since October 1.
“At the request of the House of Representatives, the minister has now announced far-reaching measures against this. The sector itself has also pledged advertising restrictions.
Australian law firm Slater and Gordon filed a class action lawsuit against Star Entertainment Group for what it called “misleading or deceptive” representations regarding compliance with regulatory obligations.
The filing, says Slater and Gordon, has been made on behalf of investors who acquired shares between March 29, 2016, and March, 16, 2022, who are seeking compensation amid a price decline “by more than 25 per cent, wiping more than A$1bn from the company’s value”.
This came amid an Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority mandated public inquiry that is assessing the group’s suitability to hold a Sydney casino licence.
Thus far, damning revelations have been disclosed that reveal allegations that the group disguised A$900m of transactions, as well as failures over junket oversight and anti-money launcher protocols. This has also led to the group’s former MD and CEO Matt Bekier tendering his resignation.
The launch of private online gambling operators within the Ontario market is expected to bring nearly 1,300 additional jobs to the province.
According to a recent report released by PlayCanada, which tracks the fledgling market, as it stands 1,295 jobs have been added to Canada from the online gambling sector, with more expected to come.
Furthermore, analysts have also stated that online casino “will be a far bigger winner for Ontario” than its sports betting counterpart for the region, which launches its digital ecosystem today (Monday 4 April).
Citing performance figures across the US, igaming is reported as driving 153 per cent more operator revenue and 339 per cent more in tax revenue than sports wagering last year across states where both are legal.
North American igaming services company Pala Interactive confirmed a sale of the business to Boyd Gaming.
The transaction will see NYSE-listed Boyd purchase Pala from its current owners, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, for a total consideration of £170m.
By acquiring the group, Boyd is securing igaming technology including a player management system, casino, poker, social casino and poker platforms, along with integrated sports and a suite of managed services.
Boyd anticipates finalising the transaction in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions such as a regulatory review and approval.
The construction of a fresh $3bn entertainment district, housing a casino, retail, hotel, and 20,000 seat arena, is to break ground in Las Vegas during 2023, outlined the Oak View Group.
The move follows the development, advisory and investment firm acquiring a 25 acre parcel of land on a large 66.5 acre plot, which OVG is not in control of, that is situated adjacent to the planned Brightline high-speed rail station linking Las Vegas with Los Angeles.
The facility, which would lie south of the famous Las Vegas Strip, would feature an 850,000 square foot arena, a casino, a hotel, and an additional entertainment venue amphitheatre.
It is also stated that a focus would be placed on the prioritisation of technology, sustainability, and green initiatives, with the resort also expected to create thousands of permanent and temporary jobs for the surrounding community.
The performance of gaming machine revenue within the Danish market managed to offset the losses from sports betting and online casinos within the first two months of 2022.
Publishing its financial records for January and February 2022, the Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, detailed that Denmark’s total GGR increased by 16 per cent during the first two months of the year to DKK 1.05bn (€141.1m).
Land-based casinos witnessed an increase in revenue to over DKK 31m (€4.1m), all of which was taken in February due to the casino sector opening during that month. The venues were closed during the first two months of 2021 due to pandemic lockdown restrictions.
The biggest driver of revenue for the first two months, however, was slot machines – which recorded a significant increase to DKK 131m (€17.6m), with DKK 22m (€2.9m) in January and DKK 109m (€14.6m) in February.
Gambling.com has seen its year-on-year revenue increase by 51 per cent, as the company lauds an “encouraging” 2022 start as the strongest it has ever experienced.
Publishing its operating and financial results for the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021, revenue for the group totalled $42.3m compared to $28m for the year prior. Moreover, adjusted EBITDA witnessed a 26 per cent increase to $18.4m compared to $14.6m in 2020, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 43 per cent.
Alongside its year-on-year growth, the group revealed that its Q4 revenue “remained consistent” at $10.3m, identical to 2020 figures. Moreover, adjusted EBITDA for Q4 $2.3m, decreasing 63 per cent compared to $6.1m in the same period for the prior year, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 22 per cent.
Casting its eyes into the near future, the company forecasts that total revenue for 2022 will be in the range of $71m and $76m, with an adjusted EBITDA expected to come in at $22m and $27m.