Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. As the financial impact of Ontario’s gambling ecosystem was revealed, multi-million dollar/pound fines and regulatory settlements emerged in Australia and the UK.
Sparking interest on the opening day of the Canadian Gaming Summit, iGaming Ontario published a report into the gambling sector’s impressive impact on the province’s economy, to which it contributed C$1.5bn.
Compiled by Deloitte, the report took a closer analysis of the gambling industry’s impact on the province’s local economy, revealing that the industry has created almost 12,000 jobs for Ontario residents, with around C$900m of the billion-dollar figure coming in the form of wages.
Reacting to the figures as he opened a panel session at the Summit, Canadian Gaming Association CEO, Paul Burns, commented: “It’s having a real impact on the Canadian and Ontario economies. And we have a broad spectrum of operators but also suppliers that have joined this market.”
Elsewhere in the report, the average wages for workers in the gaming sector came out at C$103,000. Impressively, this figure stands around C$30,000 more than the average Ontarian’s wage.
Burns touched on this notion on the Summit panel, stating: “One of the things that the Deloitte report talked about in this building upon some of the infrastructure Ontario had. The human capital, being able to leverage partnerships with other high value-add sectors, the tech innovation that’s already going on here, and obviously, being able to create the marketplace in the first place.”
Videoslots was the latest online casino operator to face financial action from the UK Gambling Commission, which agreed with the firm a £2m regulatory settlement for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
The commission noted that one of the operator’s social responsibility failures included failing to identify customers displaying risk behaviours as potentially experiencing harm because responsible gambling reviews were not performed quickly enough, or as well as they should have been.
One customer deposited £112,225 and lost £58,725 between 21 November 2021 and 7 January 2022, activating several triggers during the timeframe such as gambling for long periods, gambling in the early hours and losses exceeding thresholds based on declared source of wealth.
The UKGC added: “As a result of the triggers the Licensee completed three account reviews (one being as a result of the customer being a top winner) and sent an automated email. However, for this customer, an account review was missed on 8 December 2021 and delayed on 29 December 2021.
“The operator’s approach to interactions set out in their responsible gambling policy and procedures was not implemented as it should have been. The customer not amending their behaviour demonstrates that the interactions, as a result, were not effective in minimising the risk of harm.”
EveryMatrix has lauded the growing success of its CasinoEngine aggregation platform, which surpassed €4bn in monthly turnover in May.
Signalling the platform’s first-ever €4bn month, May also saw the CasinoEngine platform witness over four billion game rounds and produce monthly GGR of €150m, the platform’s highest figure yet.
While it took the company four years to go from one to two billion game rounds, between 2018 and July 2022, it has taken EveryMatrix just 11 months to double that figure of monthly activity.
Stian Enger Pettersen, Head of Casino, EveryMatrix, said: “These milestones showcase our strength and leading presence in the market, the trust our partners have in us and our products, and just how rapidly both our clients are growing, and we are growing as a result.
“A huge thank you to our valued clients who continue to put their faith in us and select EveryMatrix as their trusted provider, while our casino team’s dedication, creativity, and innovative thinking continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the iGaming solutions of tomorrow.”
Paf, an operator based in the Åland islands, has published the group’s yearly performance for 2022, reflecting on a “good year” as it witnessed a 23 per cent increase in turnover to €135m.
The firm attributed this growth to the success of its Boats & Ships division, as the damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic look to be fading away as the sector “recovered a great deal”.
“We are pleased with last year, it is a good result and a testament to our ability to deliver. We are doing much better in Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. In addition, our ship operations have largely recovered,” said Christer Fahlstedt, Paf CEO.
The turnover figure represents a new turnover record for the operator, which also published profits of €44.4m, an increase of 29.44 per cent on 2021’s €34.3m. Temporary reductions in Finland’s lottery tax is said to have contributed around €8m of the operator’s profits.
“Paf’s purpose is to generate funds for the benefit of society and with the strong result we can distribute €33.1m. From the Board’s point of view, we are really pleased with how the employees have managed to perform and develop the company over the past year,” explained Chair of the Board, Jan-Mikael von Schantz.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission fined Crown Melbourne AUS$20m for breaching casino tax obligations, a penalty which has been accepted by the casino.
The Victorian Royal Commission discovered that Crown “improperly claimed tax deductions by including the costs of certain promotional activities as amounts paid out as winnings”.
The commission added Crown had “deliberately concealed” the deductions from the VGCCC’s predecessor, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. These deductions were only discovered when a “document setting out the quantum of unpaid casino tax” was found among “voluminous documents that Crown disclosed to the Royal Commission for other purposes”.
After being contacted about the conduct, Crown accepted it was in the wrong and paid approximately $61.5m to the State of Victoria – $37.4m in unpaid casino tax with a penalty interest of $24.1m.
As a result, the VGCCC has also imposed a fine of $20m on Crown to send “a clear message” to the rest of the casino industry.
The US commercial gaming industry achieved a year-over-year improvement in April revenue, according to the American Gaming Association, as the industry surpassed $5bn GGR for the eighth month in a row.
The AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker has reported $5.41bn in total GGR for April, a 7.8 per cent increase YoY and the 26th consecutive month of annual growth. However, April’s figures were down compared to March’s record of $5.9bn.
Year-to-date, revenue is also 13.8 per cent higher compared to the previous year, standing at $22.06bn.
Per segment, slot GGR was the biggest contributor towards total GGR with $2.99bn, up 1.5 per cent YoY, followed by sports betting with $820.4m, a 55.4 per cent increase, table games with $775m, down 1 per cent, and igaming with $504.3m, a 21.1 per cent increase.
Year-to-date, slot GGR improved by 6.2 per cent to $11.82bn, sports betting rose by 69.1 per cent to $3.67bn, table games grew by 3.8 per cent to $3.28bn, and igaming increased by 22.3 per cent to $1.99bn.
Entain published documents revealing a proposal to bookbuild £600m in new capital, which will primarily be used to acquire 100 per cent of Poland’s largest operator STS Group.
Shares will be offered to institutional investors through an accelerated bookbuild process, while a separate retail offer to common market investors will be hosted on the PrimaryBid platform.
Entain CEE will carry out the STS acquisition in partnership with private equity fund EMMA Capital, which will fund 25 per cent of the offer.
An offer to acquire STS in its entirety has been priced by Entain CEE at PLN 24.80 (£4.73) per share, representing a significant premium of 35 per cent to the six-month volume-weighted average price.
The offer also includes a 28 per cent premium to the three-month volume weighted average price and a 20 per cent premium to the spot price as of 12 June 2023 – a premium that values STS Group at circa £750m.
Spillemyndigheden has declared year-over-year growth in total GGR for the Danish gambling industry in both March and April.
Total GGR in March was DKK 599m (€80.38m), up 14.1 per cent YoY (March 2022: DKK 525m).
Betting GGR rose by 38 per cent to DKK 214m (2022: DKK 155m), gaming machines GGR declined by 6 per cent to DKK 103m (2022: DKK 110m), land-based casino GGR dropped by 26 per cent to DKK 25m (2022: DKK 34m) and online casino GGR rose by 14 per cent to DKK 257m (2022: DKK 226m).
In April, total GGR was DKK 639m (€85.75m), a 4.8 per cent increase compared to the same period last year (April 2022: DKK 609m).
Betting GGR rose by 11 per cent YoY DKK 247m (2022: DKK 222m), online casino GGR grew by 6.3 per cent to DKK 257m (2022: DKK 242m), land-based casino GGR dropped by 8.9 per cent to DKK 32m (2022: DKK 35m) and gaming machines GGR declined by 6.7 per cent to DKK 103m (2022: DKK 110m).
Spillemyndigheden added that the number of people registered to the authority’s self-exclusion programme ROFUS at the end of April was 42,029.