Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. An array of M&A action from the likes of Aristocrat, Bally’s and Churchill Downs forms the backbone of our latest headline recap, with a UKGC fine, GAMSTOP social media drive and Danish website blocks also prominent features.
Betfred received a £2.87m financial penalty after a UK Gambling Commission investigation, undertaken between October 2019 and December 2020, found a series of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
The operator, which was penalised in October 2019, runs the Betfred and OddsKing online operations in the region, and also received an official warning for failures at the business.
The licensee is said to have cooperated with the Commission throughout the investigation and took immediate corrective steps to address the identified failings.
Furthermore, the regulator’s review of the specific customers identified during the compliance assessment found no evidence of criminal spend.
Aristocrat made a key stride to accelerate the delivery of the group’s real money gaming ambitions after disclosing a deal to purchase UK-based igaming content supplier Roxor Gaming.
The acquisition of the subsidiary of the privately held London-based Anzo Group is expected to be finalised during the first quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Roxor’s remote game server and publishing technology is intended to drive delivery of Aristocrat’s strategy to grow and scale in online RMG, the aims of which were first outlined earlier in the year. The ASX-listed firm will also gain Roxor’s two in-house game development studios.
Embracing igaming in Indiana could bring between $341m and $943m over a three year period, said the Spectrum Gaming Group after the Indiana Gaming Commission commissioned a study earlier this year.
This would depend on the tax rate implemented by the state, with the lower figure representing a 20 per cent rate while the upper is based on 45 per cent. At 30 per cent, Spectrum suggests that $588m would be received over three years.
Spectrum employed three methods to project Indiana igaming revenue over its first three years based on results in other legalised states, with these being estimated spend per adult, spend as a percentage of gross state product and spend as a percentage of personal disposable income.
It was noted that based on results from the six igaming states, the group “does not expect igaming to negatively impact Indiana casino revenues”.
Moreover, it is said that, if legalised, igaming and online sports betting together create revenue synergies, with the latter signed into Indiana law during 2019.
The Swedish regulator is working towards introducing a B2B licensing system from March 1, 2023, despite current legislative steps still having to be made regarding the process.
Earlier this year, the country’s government submitted a number of proposals, which included B2B licensing, however, this has yet to be fully passed into law.
The Spelinspektionen acknowledged that the requirement for a gaming software licence is “so far only a proposal as the Riksdag has not yet made a decision”.
Despite this, it added that “the Swedish Gaming Authority is working on developing the documentation required for operators to be able to apply for a permit in accordance with the proposed schedule”.
Under the terms of a proposed ‘strengthened gaming regulation’ Bill, it is said that requirements for such licences should be introduced in the Gaming Act as of July 1, 2023.
GAMSTOP reflected on a first self exclusion drive that was undertaken alongside an array of professional football clubs and sports associations, including the Professional Players Federation and the Professional Cricket Association.
The social media activation was organised in a bid to highlight the value of self-exclusion for anyone struggling with their gambling, with the free national online self-exclusion service aiming to harness the power and reach of football clubs’ owned channels.
Under the hashtag #TakeBackControl2022, GAMSTOP, alongside their partners and supporters, reached a total audience of 2.6m through their social media campaign on Thursday 15 September.
The full list of teams supporting the drive include Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Preston North End, Southend , Luton Town, AFC Mansfield, Sutton United, Walsall FC, Oldham Athletic, Dagenham & Redbridge, Swindon Town FC, as well as PPF, PCA and Professional Darts Players Association.
Bally’s Corporation finalised the long mooted acquisition of Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino from Gaming and Leisure Properties and PENN Entertainment for $308m.
The real estate investment trust offloaded non-land real estate assets as PENN unloaded outstanding equity interests, with GLPI to receive a cash payment of $148m for the purchase of the Tropicana property’s non-land assets.
Pursuant to the terms of the original agreement, GLPI retained its ownership of the land and, concurrent with the closing, entered into a 50-year ground lease with Bally’s, subject to extension upon Bally’s achieving a capital investment threshold, for an initial annual rent of $10.5m
As local media outlets reported that the company plans to utilise the property as its flagship operations in the western region of the US, completion concluded an agreement that was first detailed in April 2021.
Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority, blocked the largest single number of websites in its history.
Blocking 82 websites for operating illegal gambling services, including both casino and sports betting platforms, the move was sanctioned by the City Court of Frederiksberg, which already implemented a total of 55 website blocks in 2021, as authorities ramp up its enforcement against unlicensed operators in the country.
Kings Entertainment received conditional approval of the Canadian Securities Exchange regarding the proposed business combination with Sports Venture Holdings.
In a development that was lauded as “an important step,” the acquisition of the parent company of sportsbook and online casino operator Bet99 is said to be “fully aligned” with growth objectives.
Furthermore, Kings Entertainment also announced that it has called a meeting of its shareholders to be held on October 25, 2022, for the purposes of seeking, among other things, shareholder approval of the business combination in accordance with the policies of the CSE.
The board of directors of the company have unanimously approved the transaction, and have recommended that shareholders vote in a similar fashion.
Churchill Downs finalised the acquisition of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in a transaction that was previously described as “an exciting announcement for the horse racing industry” by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
The $79m purchase from Enchantment Holding, an affiliate of Laguna Development Corporation, followed approval by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
In acquiring Ellis Park, which was funded with cash on hand and through the company’s existing credit facility, CDI also assumes the opportunity to construct a track extension facility with historical racing machines in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Ellis Park, which celebrated 100 years of racing this year, features a gaming facility venue with approximately 300 historical racing machines.