Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A slew of financial reports, white paper comments courtesy of Flutter Entertainment, “statistically stable” problem gambling rate in the UK, Videoslots’ Dutch challenge and funding issued by GambleAware all feature in our latest headline recap.
The UK Gambling Commission revealed that the overall problem gambling rate has remained “statistically stable” at 0.2 per cent in the year to December 2022, compared to 0.3 per cent recorded one year earlier.
In the latest data set released by the regulator, the low risk rate followed suit after recording 1.7 per cent (2021: 1.9 per cent), while the moderate figure saw a “significant increase” to 1.3 per cent (2021: 0.8 per cent)
Following the publication, the Betting and Gaming Council suggested that this demonstrates “further evidence of the positive progress we have made on safer gambling”.
In addition, the industry body also noted these aforementioned figures also “underline our urgent calls for ministers to take a genuinely evidence-based approach to the upcoming white paper.”
The largest fine in the history of the Kansspelautoriteit is to be challenged by Videoslots, which labelled the sanction absurd and accused the Dutch regulator of “acting unlawfully”.
The sum of €9.87m (unlisted by the Ksa at the time of publication) became the latest in a number of financial penalties handed down during the current year, with the operator vehemently denying the allegation.
Videoslots accused the Ksa of “abusing the mystery shopping regime” in applying the sanction, suggesting that the regulator “calculated the fine based on several guesstimates”.
In offering detail on what led to this point, the operator noted that in preparation for a Ksa application in April 2022, the regulator’s logo was “mistakenly visible for a short period of time”. It is noted that it was “quickly removed”.
However, Videoslots added that the Ksa tried to sign-up as a Dutch customer after becoming aware of this, but failed due to the systems put in place. It is also suggested that the regulator accessed the site as a German customer, before making a deposit and sole wager of 20 cents.
Ten organisations across Great Britain were awarded a slice of £2m courtesy of a GambleAware Aftercare Funding Programme.
The initiative, which was first detailed in June 2022, intends to aid organisations that work alongside those with longer-term recovery from gambling harm. The backing is also designed to provide additional support they might need so they can live happy and healthy lives.
Those chosen came as a result of a “rigorous selection process” that involved a panel of experts, including two members with lived experience.
The ten selected were said to have demonstrated how they would work towards helping those that have sustained recoveries from gambling harm.
An energetic World Cup led to Peter Jackson declaring that a galvanised Flutter Entertainment has got its mojo back, as the group’s Chief Executive was quizzed in a 2022 earnings call.
As gaming and sports betting increases nudged revenue forward 27 per cent to £7.69m (2021: £6m), Jackson made a series of reflections that touched on overall regional performances, US listing, Indian uplift and UK white paper.
With regards to the much delayed latter point, Jackson noted that “we’ve made massive strides forward really focused on doing the right thing,” amid a suggestion that its publication would “encourage other operators to pick up the slack and join us”.
Bally’s promised its investors that the company will “play to our strengths” when it comes to its North American interactive division to avoid past mistakes.
Speaking on the operator’s latest earnings call following its fourth quarter financial results, current President of Interactive and incoming CEO Robeson Reeves pledged that the company is “in it for the absolute long haul” and that they’re going to take a “smart approach” to igaming.
Later in the week, Monkey Knife Fight announced a closure of operations as Bally’s looks to turn the tide on millions of dollars of interactive losses that were recently branded “simply unacceptable” by Reeves.
In a social media post, MKF noted that “with a heavy heart, we regretfully announced that Monkey Knife Fight has shut down permanently,” as of the end of February.
“When Monkey Knife Fight was founded in 2018, we wanted to revolutionise the daily fantasy sports game,” said the group, which had risen to prominence and stood behind major players DraftKings and FanDuel.
Vince Sadusky, CEO of IGT, explained how the company will meet its 2023 expectation of double-digit revenue growth for PlayDigital.
After publishing its fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial statement, Sadusky claimed the company was able to achieve all its financial objectives, adding it enters 2023 ‘from a position of strength’ with momentum across all business segments.
Total revenues reached $1.09bn, a four per cent increase year-over-year (Q4 2021: $1.05bn), with PlayDigital growing by 56 per cent to a record $65m (2021: $42m) due to organic growth, market expansion and the iSoftBet acquisition.
Entering 2023, IGT stated it expects revenue between $4.1bn and $4.3bn with its PlayDigital segment predicted to undergo double-digit revenue growth.
Light & Wonder stressed that the group is “excited about our future and see strong momentum continuing” after reflecting on a 2022 that represented a “pivotal year” for the group, according to President and CEO Matt Wilson.
During the quarter, the group saw revenue increase 18 per cent to $682m (2021: $580m), with double-digit increases tracked across all reporting segments of the business.
Gaming operations occupied the lion’s share, courtesy of a 18 per cent uptick to $438m (2021: $372m), driven by a strong content performance and year-on-year growth in the company’s North American installations.
Elsewhere, SciPlay also saw revenue rise 18 per cent to a quarterly record of $182m (2021: $154m), with an Alictus acquisition and strong performance by the core social casino business praised.
The igaming division recorded 15 per cent growth to reach $62m (2021: $54m), however, a $4m hit due to the impact of foreign-currency translation due to strengthening US Dollar was said to have been offset by maintained US momentum and continued investments supporting ongoing growth.