Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Financial performances across 888, Holland Casino, and New Jersey; M&A activity, novel products, and GambleAware investments, all feature in our latest look back at a selection of last week’s headlines.
Regulators and operators across the UK’s online gaming market have witnessed an emergence of “new, novel products” that “do not fit wholly within the definition of gambling”.
Those were the thoughts of Sarah Gardner, Deputy CEO at UK Gambling Commission, when speaking to industry stakeholders at the recent ICE 2022 London expo.
On the day, she outlined that many of the products and their engagements are a potential cause of gambling-related harm that require deeper monitoring.
The main difficulty with these products, according to Gardner, is that they use language that does not make it clear whether a customer is making a bet or not or do not fall entirely – or should not fall within – the Commission’s remit.
“The patterns we see in some of these novel products do not look like that,” she remarked. ”We see consumers ‘investing’ life changing money on a product which they would not if they understood it to be gambling.
“This is something we need to be aware of. Although the product might look different, the potential to cause harm is still present. Collectively, we need to be watchful, we need to take action where we can. We need to talk to each other and share the lessons we learn.”
888 lauded its performance across key regulated markets, as well as that of its casino division, in bringing much optimism following ‘another busy period’ to start 2022, despite recording a series of year-on-year declines.
Group-wide revenue closed the three month period ending March 31 with an 18 per cent YoY drop to $224m (2021: $273m) due to a Dutch cessation of services and lower revenue per active that is said was “driven by the heightened focus on safer gambling”. Average monthly activities dropped eight per cent.
Revenue increased one percentage point when contrasted to the $222m recorded through the past year’s final quarter, which the group noted is primarily attributed to a four per cent growth in actives.
Key regulated markets were reported as delivering “a strong performance,” with sequential growth in Italy in addition to YoY upticks across the US, Romania and Portugal all cited.
This offset a larger YoY decline in the UK due to the effects of market-wide trends, including the impact of increased player restrictions.
Bally’s announced the closing of its purchase of a minority stake in Snipp Interactive in a bid to advance its omnichannel ambitions.
This saw Snipp close a non-brokered private placement with a subsidiary of Bally’s, and enter into two commercial agreements with the group.
Pursuant to the offering, the company issued a total of 25,000,000 common shares to a subsidiary of Bally’s at a price of $0.20 each, for aggregate gross proceeds of $5m.
It was said that proceeds will be used to fund sales and marketing and general working capital purposes. The securities issued are subject to a hold period of four months and one day from closing, expiring on August 15, 2022. The offering remains subject to the final acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Under the terms of the purchase, the casino and entertainment operator is entitled to nominate one director to a Snipp board of directors that is expected to be increased in size to five.
Holland Casino reported a 9.46 per cent decrease in revenue to €304.2m (2020: €333m) for the past year, despite reporting that its online division took a more than one fifth share of the Netherlands’ digital ecosystem.
This decrease is reportedly due to a near three month period towards the start of 2020 that enabled the group’s retail venues to operate without restrictions and record above average revenue figures. In contrast, 2021 saw its casinos remain closed for 168 days due to COVID-19 measures, with various mitigation measures imposed thereafter.
Holland Casino Online, which debuted as one of ten permitted operators on October 4, 2021, three days after the country launched its regulated online gambling space, is said to have contributed revenue of €40.4m.
This, the operator said, comes in at a share of 21.83 per cent of the €185m total online revenue of licensed providers reported by the Dutch Gaming Commission.
New Jersey igaming entities closed the past month with yet another record showing, as the region’s sportsbook surpassed the $1bn mark thanks to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The former surged to $140.7m in online gambling revenue through the month, which was up 23.7 per cent from the previous best of $113.7m in March 2021 and 8.2 per cent from $130m month-on-month.
However, for the first time this performance didn’t also produce a US best, with the $142.7m won by Pennsylvania online casinos and poker rooms during the same month claiming that accolade.
Over the 31 days of March, the Garden State averaged $4.5m in revenue per day, down from $4.6m over the 28 days of February. Ultimately, March’s revenue generated $24.6m in state and local taxes.
Following a pilot period in Scotland, GambleAware invested a further £2.5m into its gambling harms prevention programme to expand the charity’s Gambling Education Hubs across England and Wales.
Tise expansion, which is primarily for practitioners, educators and youth workers, followed an independent evaluation of the GambleAware commissioned Scottish Gambling Education Hub by IFF, which is said to have led to “dramatic improvements” in gambling harms and awareness and understanding.
Concluding its evaluation, IFF found that the Hub improved knowledge and awareness of youth gambling harms and gambling education among practitioners, and reached over 15,800 young people.
The SBC Awards are moving to a new location and a new spot in the sports betting and igaming industry calendar, as the 2022 ceremony will take place in the magnificent setting of the Palau Nacional in Barcelona on 22 September.
The switch from the customary December date in London will see the Awards staged on the final night of SBC’s showpiece international conference and exhibition, SBC Summit Barcelona.