Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. As the UK government released its long-awaited Gambling Act white paper, Kindred revealed it was looking for long-term strategic alternatives and Evolution kicked off 2023 with robust Q1 revenue.
Following over two years of development, the UK Government has finally published its white paper for the 2005 Gambling Act review with proposals covering stake limits and affordability checks.
On the latter point, the white paper proposed a ‘targeted system of financial risk checks’ that includes a monthly net loss threshold of £125 and a yearly net loss threshold of £500 as the benchmark for initial affordability checks.
Additionally, a higher threshold of £1,000 in losses for one day or £2,000 within 90 days was also proposed.
The white paper also suggested age-restricted maximum stake limits for online slot machines, with either £2 or £4 proposed for 18-24 year olds or, alternatively, ‘an approach based on individual risk’.
The DCMS published the white paper on Thursday morning, covering other issues such as a Code of Conduct for advertising in the industry, a reorganisation of the UKGC and balancing consumer freedom with player protection.
Spelinspektionen has issued a SEK 4m fine (£310,000) and a warning to Betfair International for offering betting on U21 Allsvenskan Swedish football, which is not allowed.
In a statement, Sweden’s gambling inspectorate stated that it “considers the infringement to be serious and has occurred systematically”.
Spelinspektionen added that the assessment had not been affected by the “fact that the bets have been made for low remuneration for Betfair”.
According to the country’s regulations, betting on football may only be offered on the four highest league levels in the Swedish league system.
Kindred Group has declared “encouraging improvements in both revenue and profitability” in the first quarter of 2023, thanks to its core markets performing well to begin the year.
Publishing its Q1 results, Kindred reported an overall revenue from B2C and B2B operations of £306.4m, up 24.2 per cent year-over-year (Q1 2022: £246.7m).
However, while the group is focused on cost optimisation, in tangent with its result, the board of directors announced a review of ‘strategic alternatives’ to maximise shareholder value and the overall value of its assets.
In a statement, the group noted that it will “consider all potential alternatives that can deliver value for the company’s shareholders” including a merger or sale of the company, but no timetable has been set for the completion of its review.
Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund cited a “strong start to the year” as the B2B provider’s operating revenues increased by 31.5 per cent in the first quarter to €429.6m.
Publishing its Q1 interim results, Evolution revealed that 83.8 per cent of revenues derived from live casino games with the remainder made up by RNG-based games, attributing a “strong demand” from customers to the robust performance.
Live casino revenue came out at €360.1m, an uptick of 36.1 per cent compared to last year, while RNG revenues stood at €69.5m.
Carlesund stated: “A strong start of the year at Evolution. Revenues increased by 31.5 per cent to €429.6m in the first quarter, with 83.8 per cent of revenues deriving from live casino games and the rest from RNG.
“The underlying growth drivers for online casino are solid and I am happy with the start of 2023.”
Boyd Gaming has instilled confidence in achieving its full-year corporate objectives following an “excellent start to 2023”.
Publishing its Q1 financial update, Boyd Gaming declared revenues of $964m, up 12 per cent year-over-year (Q1 2022: $860.7m) with net income growing to $199.7m (2022: $162.9m).
Per segment, gaming revenues declined slightly YoY to $664.3m (2022: $668m), whilst food & beverage revenue rose to $71.6m (2022: $63.7m), and room revenue increased to $50m (2022: $42.4m).
However, online revenue – which includes the company’s sports betting partnership with FanDuel, online market access agreements, and online casino Boyd Interactive – had the largest growth YoY, rising by 123 per cent to $122.9m (2022: $55.1m).
Boyd Gaming attributed the online growth to the launch of “sports-betting operations in Ohio and Kansas, continued growth in existing markets, and contributions from Boyd Interactive”.
NorthStar Gaming has announced the acquisition of Slapshot Media, purchasing 100 per cent of the Canadian igaming marketing and managed services firm.
Slapshot Media specialises in providing managed services to Spreads.ca, an online casino site operated by the Abenaki Council of Wolinak, as NorthStar looks to open up the Canadian market to its brand outside of Ontario.
Through the move, NorthStar is set to acquire 100 per cent of Slapshot’s issued and outstanding shares for C$1.8m, payable in 3,272,727 common shares deemed at a value equal to $0.55 per share, subject to customary post-closing adjustments for working capital.
“The acquisition of Slapshot expands our ability to enter new markets faster as we look to introduce NorthStar Bets to consumers across the country,” commented Michael Moskowitz, CEO and Founding Partner at NorthStar.
“We are hyper focused on growing the reach of NorthStar and this strategic acquisition and partnership further positions NorthStar for rapid growth into new markets within Canada.”
Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen speculated that the introduction of three New York casinos could have a major impact on land-based casino properties in New Jersey, and particularly Atlantic City.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Allen highlighted the percentage of visitors it receives from people that live in downstate New York and how the new proposed casino openings in the Empire State will impact business in the Garden State.
“Atlantic City receives 20, 30-plus per cent of its revenue from upstate New Jersey and downstate New York, and there’s no doubt it is going to have an impact on this particular market,” Allen said.
“So you have three or four that are very strong and then I think there’s a question as to what happens in that next level down. I think it’s a concern that if these other casinos don’t perform, then inevitably from a business standpoint, is there vulnerability? I don’t think that changes unless there’s enhancement to the perception of Atlantic City.”