Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A further Gambling Commission fine, Ksa anniversary update and cessation of services, Entain Q3 review, MGA warnings and Aristocrat rebranding all feature as we recap a selection of last week’s headlines.
The UK Gambling Commission discovered social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at gambling operator NSUS, which is to pay a £672,829 penalty for the infractions.
The operator, which trades as GGPoker and operates www.ggpoker.co.uk, also received an official warning for breaching licence conditions 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 regarding anti-money laundering, as well as failing to comply with social responsibility code of practice.
Social responsibility failures discovered at the online casino included failing to identify customers who may be at risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling.
Furthermore, it was also found that the group failed to interact with customers that it is said “may be at risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling”.
The Dutch Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, has detailed that online gambling provider’s LCS and MKC have discontinued their offerings to Dutch consumers following regulatory action being taken last month.
Corrective sanctions were imposed on the pair in early September by the Ksa after an investigation found that it was possible to create a player account from the Netherlands and gamble on websites of each.
The firm, which also counts the SvenPlay, Lapilanders, Wallacebet and Nucelonbet Casino brands in its stable, was told that it must pay a total of €55,000 per week, up to a maximum of €165,000, should corrective action not be taken.
Two days later, the Ksa continued its fight against the illegal provision of online games of chance to players within the country after imposing a similar order on MKC.
If the firm chose not to adhere, the Dutch regulator noted that it would have to pay a penalty of €28,000 per week or part of the week that could amount to a maximum of almost €84,000.
PENN Entertainment is pursuing a quartet of growth projects which has also seen the operator amend a lease agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties to fund a portion of the project.
This comes as the group looks to relocate its riverboat casinos in Aurora and Joliet, Illinois to land-based facilities, as well as building a new hotel at Hollywood Columbus in Ohio as well as a second hotel tower at the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada.
The first of the projected $850m project will see the group replace the current Hollywood Casino Aurora riverboat property, with a similar undertaking to commence at Hollywood Casino Joliet. Further developments at Hollywood Columbus and Henderson, Nevada’s M Resort will follow.
Entain is on track to secure full-year net gaming revenue of $1.3bn for its BetMGM joint venture after the group’s digital ecosystem was reported to have bounced back from Q2 and H1 struggles in a third quarter update.
With group-wide revenue through Q3 and the year-to-date up two per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, online is also said to have demonstrated “positive underlying momentum” that fell in line with expectations.
Entain also reported that NGR would be up four per cent upon exclusion of the Netherlands, where, the group said, there is a temporary enforced closure of operations due to licensing procedures.
After digital dropped seven per cent through the year’s second quarter and first half, the July to September time frame witnessed a one per cent uptick, however, this still sees the space down five per cent for the YTD.
Through Q3 sports and gaming are up one per cent apiece, with each segment down four per cent and six per cent, respectively, through the year thus far.
The Malta Gaming Authority issued warnings regarding unlicensed operators after the regulator noted that it was aware of “entities operating without an authorisation within Malta” which are “operating illegally”.
Therefore, the Authority has noted that it “informs the public that these entities are not duly authorised” for the provision of gaming services to any person in Malta.
A statement issued by the MGA listed a total of 18 websites as violating regulatory requirements, which included the websites of Casinowin.bet, OlympusPlay.com, ThePokies.net and Jbag888.com.
The warning added that the operators held no licence to operate in Malta, which infringed on the regulatory requirements of Article 13 of the Gaming Act.
Aristocrat Leisure detailed a rebranded real money gaming business unit, with Anaxi charged with achieving the group’s lofty ambitions within the space.
Fresh branding, the company said, intends to support the execution of Anaxi’s build and buy growth strategy, including helping the business continue to attract and retain online RMG talent and foster team culture.
The company’s RMG blueprint was first detailed earlier in the year, when it was said that Aristocrat was to “invest strongly” in building its infrastructure while pursuing M&A, partnerships and talent acquisition to drive its ambitions.
Aristocrat announced the creation of a dedicated online RMG business in February 2022, with Anaxi becoming the third business segment within the group. This will sit alongside Aristocrat Gaming and the Pixel United mobile-first publishing business.
“We are getting even closer to the desired ultimate goal,” commented René Jansen, Chair of the Kansspelautoriteit, after the Dutch online gambling ecosystem passed its one year anniversary.
Looking back at the “milestone” moment, Jansen delved into the findings of a recent report that delivered an update on the progress made during these past 12 months.
The “diverse perspectives” gained through these period reports was welcomed by the regulator, with the Ksa aiming to “walk the right paths that ultimately lead to an – ideally – completely safe online gambling environment”.
“As is known, it took the Netherlands a long time to legalise online gambling; political views on this were and are divided,” Jansen noted.
“Ultimately, a political majority was in favour of creating a safe environment for those people who gamble over the internet. Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people already did that before October 1, 2021, even if it was illegal.”
The Bermuda Gaming Commission granted the self-governing British overseas territory’s first casino licence almost nine years after parliament passed a motion to permit gaming establishments.
The receipt of the accreditation, which came months after Hotelco Bermuda Holding submitted its application, saw the group’s St Regis Bermuda Resort set to become the site of the island’s first casino, subject to a number of “necessary steps”.
Despite acknowledging that “the Commission has determined that the applicant has met the legislative suitability requirements for a licence under the Gaming Act and regulations,” the BGC added that the venue must still “comply with all the legislative requirements to open the casino”.