Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we take a look back at the Swedish and Dutch markets, the next North American targets of expansion at DraftKings, a Light & Wonder purchase, and GambleAware reaction to an ASA report.
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling stressed that Sweden’s economy would benefit from easing restrictions that it says “drive players to the black market”.
According to a new report, estimates suggested that the country’s grey and black markets will generate revenues of just over SEK 21bn between 2021 and 2025 if action is not taken to ease restrictions.
Using data from several sources, including the Swedish Treasury, the report said that the country’s gambling licensees employ 4,200 people, with the industry’s contribution to gross domestic product estimated to be at just under SEK10bn (€1.9 bn). Employer contributions and preliminary payroll taxes from the industry amount to SEK 533m annually.
However, if the share of licensed online gambling in Sweden increased from 80 to 90 per cent of the market, more than 460 more jobs would be created, gross domestic product would grow by SEK1.1bn, and an additional SEK 59m in employer contributions and preliminary tax would be paid.
The Dutch Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, found that 37 firms were operating gaming machines without the appropriate licences.
Detailing its investigation, – which probed 290 catering businesses that had gaming machines on their property, chosen at random – the KSA took action against 37 companies who were deemed to be illegally maintaining the product.
In a statement, the KSA, while explaining the licensing conditions for gaming machines, stressed the need for joint cooperation between itself and municipal authorities, observing that the regulator “supervises the operators, the municipalities supervise compliance with the regulations in the presence permit”.
All 37 firms found to be in breach of gaming machine laws were notified by the KSA and told to cease machine operations, except one that the regulator stated it was preparing to “impose an order subject to a penalty” against.
GambleAware believes there is “still much more to be done” to prevent children and young people being exposed to gambling advertisements.
In response to an Advertising Standards Authority report into children’s exposure to TV gambling and alcohol advertising over the past decade, Zoë Osmond, CEO at GambleAware, called for a look into what lessons can be learnt from alcohol advert exposure and applied to its gambling counterpart.
This came after an ASA report revealed that the number of gamblings ads seen by young people had fallen from an average three per week in 2020 to 2.2 the following year.
The report also stated that the exposure drop could be relative to the decline in adult viewership that witnessed a year-on-year decline from 36 per cent in 2019 to 15.4 per cent in 2021.
Light & Wonder bolstered its igaming capabilities further still after maintaining its rapid pace of purchases by welcoming Playzido into the fold.
The company confidently asserted that the move accelerates a vision “of becoming the leading cross-platform global game company,” after the former Scientific Games shed its lottery and sports betting businesses.
The acquisition is designed to accelerate the pace at which L&W can partner with game studios and operators worldwide, as well as provide a faster route to market for studios who do not own their own development platform.
Furthermore, the purchase of Playzido, which was launched in 2018 by Stuart Banks, formerly of Paddy Power and Betfair, sees L&W look to drive further growth across both European and North American markets.
Belgium looks to ban gambling advertising by the close of the year, with companies and platforms to be prevented from using all forms of adverts.
According to De Tijd, by the end of 2022 numerous forms of advertising, including television, radio, social media, street posters, newspapers, or via personalised emails and texts, will be banned, as Federal Justice Minister, Vincent van Quickenborne, included the bill in a draft Royal Decree.
In a press release, van Quickenborne stated: “Gambling is the new smoking. The gambling industry is making more and more profit in our country, all ‘thanks to’ people with a gambling addiction.”
“Gambling advertising is fired at us from all sides every day and encourages these addictions, including among young people. More than 100,000 gamblers show problematic gambling behaviour and a third of them already have serious addictions.”
A potential listing of FL Entertainment on the Euronext Amsterdam, which is targeting a €7.2bn enterprise valuation, was lauded as “a milestone in the history of our group”.
This came after French media mogul Stéphane Courbit ordered for his Banijay, comprising Zodiak + Endemol Shine, venture to merge with Betclic Everest to form the aforementioned group.
The business, which reported combined revenue of approximately €3.5bn and adjusted EBITDA of €609m through the past year, would be listed courtesy of a merger with special purpose acquisition company Pegasus Entrepreneurial Acquisition.
The Amsterdam listing will be led by a cash commitment of €620m in FL Entertainment, the moniker of the combined company upon closing of the transaction, of which €250m has been invested by Financière Lov, Courbit’s investment fund.
Courbit will serve as Chair of the enterprise and French banker François Riahi will assume the position of CEO. Betclic Group will be led by Nicolas Béraud as CEO, with Marco Bassetti to occupy the same role at the Banijay Group.
DraftKings hdetailed an array of impending new market entries, as well as a view that a softening aggression of new market offers, in addition to an overall lowering of promotional intensity, particularly in New York, will see the group “reach the long-term targets that we’ve set out”.
Following the completion of its Golden Nugget Online Gaming purchase, the gaming, sports betting and DFS firm is expected to go live in Ontario in the near future, pending licensure and regulatory approvals.
For the second quarter of the year, DraftKings anticipated that these two actions would contribute revenue of $20m-$25m and negative adjusted EBITDA of $35m-$45m, figures which could swell to $130m-$150m and negative $50m-$70m, respectively, for the full year, assuming a May launch in the Canadian province.
Debuts in Maryland, Ohio and Puerto Rico are being prepared for launch upon receipt of approval from regulators, with Kansas also on the radar after a mobile and retail sports wagering bill passed the legislature and is now pending executive action. California, Massachusetts, and Nevada were also examined by the group.