Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. An array of performance updates, financial penalties that spread from the UK to the Netherlands and Pennsylvania, a GambleAware call for barriers to broken down and the closure of FunFair Games all feature in our latest look back at a selection of last week’s headlines.
The UK Gambling Commission maintained its pace of enforcement action through the year after issuing a £7.1m penalty to Kindred Group for a slew of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
This latest sanction handed down by the regulator, cited by the operator in its latest financial report from February, has seen 32 Red Limited, which runs the site of the same name, penalised $4.19m. Platinum Gaming will pay £2.93m in relation to Unibet faults. Each has also received an official warning.
Following this, the group vowed to redouble its efforts to ensure a safe and compliant business. Kindred cited remedial measures taken this far, an increased headcount in its UK compliance and risk management teams and ongoing journey towards zero as ongoing measures regarding this progress.
FunFair Games has closed down after it was confirmed that parent company, FunFair Technologies, has pulled its funding of the games supplier.
In a social media post, Mark McGinley confirmed that the decision had been made “due to challenging conditions in a challenging market”.
The company launched FunFair Games in early 2021, with the studio subsequently labelling itself as “bringing a new genre of multiplayer games to a new generation of gamblers”.
Star Entertainment added to a lengthy list of troubles during recent months after pleading guilty to selling chips illegally at the group’s pair of Queensland-based properties.
As confirmed by Attorney General Shannon Fentiman, the company, which operates Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and the Star Gold Coast, pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Casino Control Act 1982.
This, said Fentiman, who is also Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, related to Section 66 of the Act which prohibits the purchase of gambling chips with a credit card.
The offences were said to have occurred between June 2, 2017, and December 29, 2018, and between March 23, 2022, and April 2, 2022. Sentencing is aside for 2 June 2023.
Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gaming authority, maintained the pace of its 2023 enforcement crusade after issuing a €675,000 fine to Red Ridge Marketing for advertising illegal online gambling.
The Ksa said that the company had already been imposed with an order subject to periodic penalty payments in a bid to ensure that the aforementioned activities would cease. However, this was not the case, so financial action has been taken.
It was said that “various Red Ridge websites” were found to “contain careless and misleading statements about online casinos without a Dutch licence”.
This included the promotion of unlimited playing and betting, negative statements regarding the Cruks self-exclusion system, and “talk about the ‘advantages’ of illegal online casinos for young people”.
GambleAware stressed the need to break down barriers after publishing research that discovered a “higher prevalence of gambling harms amongst minority groups”.
The study from Ipsos UK and ClearView Research, supported by the University of Manchester, highlighted the discovery of a higher rate of problem gambling among those sections of society.
Despite it being found that those from minority groups were less likely to have gambled in the past four weeks than white British majority groups (31 per cent versus 48 per cent ), the research suggested that they are twice as likely to be experiencing any level of gambling harm (42 per cent versus 20 per cent).
It was also found that among people from a minority background, those experiencing any form of gambling harm are also more likely to have experienced discrimination in public, compared to those not experiencing harms (48 per cent versus 32 per cent).
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board handed out igaming related fines that totalled $60,000, in addition to swelling the state’s exclusion list via the addition of two adults for gambling at casinos while leaving children unattended.
The first financial penalty was issued to Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, which came in at $45,000.
This was due to permitting five individuals who were enrolled in the Board’s igaming self-exclusion program to conduct activity via the Barstool Sportsbook.
Furthermore, Downs Racing, operator of Mohegan Pennsylvania, and its Unibet partner, is to pay $7,500 after failing to suspend an account of an individual who had utilised a compulsive gambling tool and requested a temporary suspension of activities.
Finally, Evolution was penalised $7,500 after an unlicensed employee was permitted to deal several games of blackjack in its gaming studio for live dealer online casino.
All of New Jersey’s gaming verticals reported year-over-year revenue improvements in February as the state continued its growth in the second month of 2023.
Data from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement revealed that total gaming revenue – casinos, racetracks, and their partners – was $412.2m for February, a 10.4 per cent uptick YoY compared to the same month last year (2022: $373.3m).
Combined with January’s figures, the Garden State’s total gaming revenue for the year currently stands at $849.1m, a 12.5 per cent rise YoY compared to the same period the previous year (2022: $755m).
Playtech labelled its 2022 financial performance as “excellent” and believes it is “well-placed” for 2023 despite macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties.
Reflecting on the results, CEO Mor Weizer has called 2022 “a year of considerable strength for Playtech”, adding that the group has “continued to deliver” strategically, is “making great progress” in North America, and has also started the new year well.
Publishing its FY2022 financials, the group declared revenues of €1.6bn, a 33 per cent increase year-over-year (FY2021: €1.2bn), “mostly driven by retail reopening following COVID-19 related restrictions, which impacted H1 2021 in many of the company’s main markets, including Italy, as well as its continued growth in regulated B2B markets”.
Pennsylvania gaming momentum was maintained into the second month of the year, with significant online increases helping drive the state forward year-on-year despite a slight drop from January being felt.
The region’s Gaming Control Board has disclosed that revenue from slot machines, table games, sports wagering, igaming, video gaming terminals and fantasy contests closed the 28 day period up 21.6 per cent from $373.67m to $456.83m (January: $464.48m).
Total tax revenue generated collectively through all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was $188.97m during the month.