Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Performance updates in Denmark and Sweden, a re-embraced UK by the ECA, casino licence suitability in Queensland, another nail in California’s sports betting coffin and an October 31, 2022, deadline in Ontario all feature in our latest rundown of a selection of the past week’s headlines.
The Star Entertainment Group was found unsuitable to hold a casino licence within Queensland, where the group operates two properties, in developments that mirror those already encountered further south in New South Wales.
Shannon Fentiman, Queensland Attorney-General and Minister, made the comments after studying the findings of a report that was undertaken by former Court of Appeal Judge Robert Gotterson.
Fentiman noted that following the review, which examined a broad range of issues, and highlighted “major failings and concerns,” The Star would be afforded the opportunity to respond to the findings through a show cause process.
Gotterson found that the company’s business, whose network includes casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with the licence of the former to be transferred to a near $4bn development upon completion next year, was operated “in a way that is inconsistent with the achievement of the objectives of the Casino Control Act 1982”.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has set an October 31, 2022, deadline for operators and suppliers to end activities in the unregulated market to avoid jeopardising eligibility for registration.
The AGCO began accepting applications for registration in September 2021, in advance of market launch on April 4, 2022, with the authority reaffirming an objective of moving the region “as quickly and as seamlessly as possible” into the regulated space.
The AGCO is looking to end the transition period for unregulated igaming operators and suppliers, and asserted that it has “provided a reasonable amount of time” to join the regulated space.
In order to enable affected operators and gaming-related suppliers “with sufficient time to comply,” the date has been set for these entities to end all activities in the unregulated market.
26 & 27
Polling data from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies appeared to be the latest potential nail in the coffin of both California Propositions 26 and 27.
The latest Berkeley IGS poll of Californians considered likely to vote in the November general election has found each prop is “trailing by significant margins” six weeks before the public gives its final say.
With spending having exceeded $500m across the two measures, the poll found that prop 27, which would permit online and mobile sports wagering outside of tribal lands, is currently facing a majority of 53 per cent against versus 27 per cent for.
Despite trailing by a narrower margin, Prop 26, which would allow in-person roulette, dice games and sports wagering on tribal lands, still sees 42 per cent voters lining up to vote no against 31 per cent that would favour the proposal.
“It clearly shows that the mission has been successful,” noted Anders Dorph, director of the Danish Gambling Authority, after the regulator undertook a ten-year market review of the country’s online gambling ecosystem.
In 2012, online sports betting and igaming went from being subject to a state monopoly to being liberalised, with the DGA stating that data demonstrates that not only has gambling spend increased during that time but that this has duly moved to licensed sites.
From 2012 to 2021 gambling spend at online casinos increased from DKK 1.6bn (£187.89m) to DK 3.3bn (£387.53m), with players’ outlay on betting up 53 per cent during the same time frame that witnessed physical gaming machines record a 59 per cent fall.
Over the course of the 10 years, the total gambling market has increased from DKK 9bn (£1.05bn) to DKK 10.3bn (£1.2bn), which corresponds to a rise of 14.4 per cent.
Paf implemented a lower mandatory loss limit for individuals aged between 18-24 in the latest move made by the Åland-based gaming firm to strengthen its responsible gambling protocols.
This loss limit had been set at €20,000 on an annual basis for all customers, but has now been lowered to €10,000 and is valid for customers across all of the group’s gaming sites. This includes all gaming categories, without exemptions.
This is mandatory, with the maximum not able raised to a higher level. However, the group noted that it can “easily and quickly” be set to an even lower level on a daily, weekly or monthly basis by the player.
The Spelinspektionen conducted a survey of 4,400 Swedes regarding their online gambling habits, which was all centred around how often nationals play on any online gaming site where you can win money.
This highlighted that almost one in three wagers once a quarter, with one in four (26 per cent) doing so once a month or more often and 25 per cent utilising the space each week.
It is reported that the prime reason for choosing licensed entities is safety, security and control (55 per cent), followed by official actors perceived as serious (53 per cent) as well as the fact that they are controlled by Swedish authorities (40 per cent).
However, the most important reason for playing on sites without a licence is bonus offers (32 per cent), followed by being blocked on Spelpaus (26 per cent) and enhanced odds and winning opportunities (25 per cent).
A large majority (77 per cent) said that they would refrain from playing on a site if they knew it did not have a Swedish gaming licence.
The American Gaming Association noted that strong growth over the past two years has positioned the industry well despite future uncertainty, with gaming CEOs said to be positive about the current business situation.
Presenting an outlook for the road that lies ahead, in partnership with Fitch Ratings and prepared by Oxford Economics, three in four CEOs surveyed (76 per cent) expect the pace of wage and benefit growth to continue to increase over the next three to six months.
The survey, conducted between August 30 and September 6, 2021, saw a total of 26 executives respond, with indications that the situation is good (68 per cent) or satisfactory (28 per cent), with most (92 per cent) expecting it to continue or improve over the aforementioned time frame.
More than one third (38 per cent) indicated they expect future conditions to be better, compared to only eight per cent that thought they would worsen.
Despite the widespread positivity, two-thirds (65 per cent) of CEOs responding cited supply chain issues as a factor limiting operations.
United Kingdom-based casino operators are now officially members of the European Casino Association after the group lauded the return following the country’s leave in 2020.
Announced during the recent ECA General Assembly, held by the members on the occasion of the Casino Industry Forum at Casino Baden in Austria, the reintroduction of eight casino operators from the UK was approved.These include: Aspers Group, Crown Aspinalls, Genting Casinos UK, the Hippodrome Casino, Les Ambassadeurs, Mayfair Casino, Rank Group and Metropolitan Gaming.