Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Our latest headline recap includes a slew of financial updates, a potential change in New York advertising, an accelerated exit from unregulated regions for Entain and, first up, a pair of penalty packages that were issued by the UKGC.
Vivaro, trading as VBet, is to make payments in lieu of a penalty package of £337,631 after a UK Gambling Commission investigation discovered “a series of failings”.
Firstly, the investigation, and subsequent regulatory review, found failings in Vivaro’s implementation of anti-money laundering policies, procedures and controls.
The regulator also stated that deficiencies in responsible gambling policies, procedures, controls and practices, including weaknesses in implementation, were also uncovered.
Between 2020 and June 2021 Vivaro was found to be failing to comply with licence conditions and codes of practice regarding the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as those that require operators based in foreign jurisdictions to comply with the money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds.
Staying on the same theme, the UKGC issued a second penalty package of the week and year. This will see TonyBet pay $442,750.
This latest action, which was complemented by a warning, was issued for a failure to disclose fair and transparent terms, in addition to social responsibility and anti-money laundering shortcomings.
The online sports betting and igaming operator will also be required to undergo a third-party audit to assess whether it is effectively implementing such requirements.
Former Esports Entertainment Group CEO Grant Johnson is seeking over $1m in compensation and 200,000 shares in company stock after a lawsuit was filed that alleges a breach of employment.
Johnson, who was ousted in early December, claims that the group terminated his employment “for contrived reasons despite a narrowly defined ‘for cause’ requirement” as well as failing to pay contractually-agreed wages, bonuses and severance.
In filings with the district court of Southern District of New York, it is also alleged that the defendant terminated the employment immediately and “did not provide 60-days notice as per an employment agreement”.
Entain is anticipating a “relatively small” financial impact after disclosing an acceleration in plans to exit unregulated markets that was initially laid out over two years ago.
In November 2022, the then GVC Holdings revealed an ambition to cease services in unregulated jurisdictions where a path to domestic regulation was no longer evident, therefore aiming to derive 100 per cent of revenue from those markets that are nationally regulated. A time frame of the end of the current year was stipulated for this to be achieved.
Subsequently, the group, which is licensed in over 30 countries, is to accelerate this process by leaving the “few remaining markets where there is no clear path to market liberalisation”.
Catena Media voiced delight at core North American operations through the fourth quarter, with it hoped that this and progress with an ongoing strategic review will springboard a solid 2023.
In a Q4 trading update, the firm has projected that total revenue from continuing operations during the fourth quarter will be €27.4m, which would represent a 15 per cent increase from the past year’s €23.8m.
Adjusted EBITDA is expected to reach €10.8m, up 14 per cent year-on-year from €9.4m, with a margin of 38 per cent (2021: 39 per cent).
Looking closely at the anticipated performance across North America, revenue is to reach in the region of €21.5m, a rise of 31 per cent YoY from €16.4m. This would account for 78 per cent of the group-wide total.
New Jersey’s gambling ecosystem surpassed the $5bn barrier in revenue through the past year, and in the process matched an all time high that was witnessed seventeen years ago.
The figure of $5.21m gained during 2022, which represents a ten per cent year-on-year uptick from $4.73bn, stands alongside a figure last seen in 2006. December’s figure increased 12.5 per cent YoY to $454.78m (2021: $404m).
The final month of the year witnessed increases across all reporting segments, as disclosed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, with online casinos and poker rooms up 13.7 per cent to $151.45m (2021: $133.21m).
New York could potentially require all advertisements for gambling and sports betting to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of the activity, should a freshly introduced Bill progress.
Senate Bill S1550, which currently sits in the in committee stage, would require the New York State Gaming Commission to align with the commissioner of addiction services and supports to ensure that all associated adverts state a problem gambling hotline number.
S1550 is sponsored and co-sponsored by State Senator’s Leroy Comrie and Luis Sepúlveda, respectively, and, should it be voted into law, would take effect on the sixteenth day following that date.
The Pennsylvania gambling ecosystem is toasting the success of another record year, with igaming posting a significant increase to nudge along the Keystone State’s overall performance.
Combined revenue across the 12 month period from slot machine, table games, sports wagering, igaming, video gaming terminals and fantasy contests closed at $5.21bn, almost half a billion dollars, or 10.06 per cent, higher than 2021’s $4.73bn.
This was helped by a highest monthly showing to date in ending the past year, with December eclipsing March’s previous best of $462.74m by 3.3 per cent to close the 31 day period with $474.95m. This is up 16.89 per cent year-on-year from $406.32m.
Across the igaming vertical, which maintained a trend of noteworthy increases since 2019’s introduction, revenue across the year closed at $1.36bn, representing a 22.6 per cent uptick YoY from $1.11bn.
The nail is firmly in the coffin for Genesis Global’s Maltese operations after the Malta Gaming Authority suspended the supplier’s licence.
Effective immediately, the sanction was imposed following the news just before Christmas that the gaming firm had closed its operations in Malta, which allegedly resulted in laying off around 140 employees.
The suspension from the MGA will result in Genesis no longer being authorised to carry out any gaming operations, register new players or accept new customer deposits, and must continue collaborating with the Authority.
The European Gaming and Betting Association’s expert group on cyber security gained further key insights through the addition of Napoleon Sports & Casino.
This extra strength also saw the Brussels-based trade association welcome the first operator from outside of its membership to join the group, which facilitates industry cooperation on cyber security matters.
The group, which was launched in March 2022, aims to heighten the standard of cyber security among its members. It provides a forum where operators can share information, expertise, and work together proactively to identify the latest online security threats, resolve potential security vulnerabilities, prevent cyber incidents, and implement latest best practices.