Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. One Playtech divestment and rejection, GambleAware urges regarding the Gambling Act review, a Dutch regulatory fine, and California sports betting opposition feature as we recap a selection of last week’s headlines once more.
The California Democratic Party last week added its voice to the opposition of a state-wide legalisation of sports betting across the Golden State, after voting to oppose Proposition 27 on the November ballot.
This initiative, which was added last month, would permit an expansion of online and mobile gambling the the opposition says would lead to “a massive increase in problem and underage gambling”.
The Democrats are the dominant party in California and count governor Gavin Newsom, secretary of state Shirley Weber, and attorney general Rob Bonta among its ranks. The party also controls both chambers of the California state legislature.
Prop 27 gained backing to the tune of $100m from Bally’s Interactive, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, Penn National Gaming, and WynnBET.
This latest vote by the California Democratic Party came after the Resolutions Committee unanimously voted to recommend an opposed position one day earlier.
The party went neutral on Prop 26, which would authorise in-person sports wagering at 66 tribal gaming properties as well as four horse racing tracks.
Playtech completed the long-mooted sale of its Finalto financial services division in a $250m all-cash transaction to Gopher Investments.
Finalisation of the over one year-long pursuit has also triggered a break fee of $8.8m which Playtech is required to pay to a consortium that had previously agreed to acquire Finalto in May 2021.
Furthermore, TTB Partners cited “challenging underlying market conditions” as a crucial reason for not following up interest in the company with a takeover proposal.
However, the Hong Kong-based investment group, which gained support from the gambling tech firm’s Director and Chief Executive Officer Mor Weizer earlier in the year, noted its continuing support for the group.
The Dutch Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, detailed the issuance of a cease and desist order against Gammix Limited for the illegal offer of online games of chance.
The regulator stated that if the operator does not stop with its offer then the company “will have to pay a penalty of €1.47m per week”. This could amount to a maximum of almost €4.5m.
The Ksa also noted that during March 2022, via the NordSlot and Rant Casino sites, it was possible to create a player account from the Netherlands, make a deposit and participate in games of chance.
GambleAware issued a plea for the current UK political turmoil to not cause a delay to what “is set to be the most comprehensive gambling review in 15 years”.
The comments come from Zoë Osmond, GambleAware Chief Executive Officer, who is calling on the delivery of a “consistent and sustainable funding model” to ensure long-term stability”.
The independent charity also reiterated its support for a mandatory levy, which it says will “ensure the successful delivery of long-term research, treatment and prevention services”.
In April, GambleAware echoed calls for the introduction of a one per cent levy on gross gambling yield on the industry as a condition of licence that it said could raise $140m per year.
The group asserted that the growing cost-of-living crisis, ongoing financial impact of the pandemic, and shift to online “means there could be an increased risk of people experiencing gambling harms”.
New York state disclosed the collection of $302.3m in mobile sports wagering tax revenue across a less than six month period, which it declared “has far surpassed every other state” as well as early year projections.
This figure, gained since the activity commenced on January 8, 2022, will be directed in its entirety towards elementary and secondary education and grants for youth sports programming, along with problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
Governor Kathy Hochul, speaking after the region’s ninth and final operator, Bally Bet, debuted earlier in the month, praised New York’s effort to “become a leader among states in implementing successful gaming policies”.
According to data disclosed by Hochul’s office, Pennsylvania has collected $265.6m in sports wagering tax revenue since November 2018, while New Jersey’s figure stands at $237.1m since June 2018.
In January, the state projected $249m in mobile sports wagering tax revenue (including $200m in already-collected licence fees) during the fiscal year, with total collections coming in at $361m.
As of April, New York State projects $357m in FY 2023, $465m in FY 2024, $493m in FY 2025, $509m in FY 2026 and $518m in FY 2027.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued C$227,250 in monetary penalties to HR Ottawa for an array of regulatory violations at the Rideau Carleton Casino.
This followed an audit of the gaming establishment, with the move said to have been made “in order to protect the public interest and ensure Ontario’s casino gaming sector operates responsibly and with integrity”.
In total, 36 violations were identified which found that the property had allegedly provided advertising and marketing materials to individuals who had self-excluded from gambling activities.
Repeated failures to implement, follow, and enforce required anti-money laundering policies and procedures were also reportedly discovered, alongside an-address on matters of concern identified by internal auditors in a timely manner.
Furthermore, it was also said that the group had not ensured that staff completed necessary training in important areas like anti-money laundering policies and procedures, nor maintained a compliance oversight function that was not independent of the company’s operations, as is required.
Finally, the probe also alleged that HR Ottawa and the Rideau Carleton Casino venue failed to sufficiently protect gaming systems and data from security vulnerabilities, in accordance with established industry and technology good practices.
Development has officially commented on the $550m Dream Las Vegas, which it is hoped will be “a driving force in the ongoing revitalisation and rejuvenation” of the south end of the Strip.
The venue, developed by Shopoff Realty Investments and Contour, in partnership with Dream Hotel Group, is expected to open with seven experiential dining and nightlife venues, 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a 20,000-square-foot casino, in late 2024.
The hotel and casino is expected to “generate significant tax revenue” and create 4,000 new direct and indirect construction jobs.