Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. A number of M&A manoeuvres, ad ban discussions in the Netherlands and Australia, Gibraltar’s FATF standing, Glitnor Group’s FIAU fine and much more each feature in our latest headline recap.
The Gibraltar Social Democrats criticised the British overseas territory’s government after the Financial Action Task Force revealed that it would remain on the grey list.
The FATF noted that despite “continued progress across its action plan”, all deadlines to implement each point contained therein had now passed.
Gibraltar was placed on the grey list in June 2022, at the same time as Malta’s delisting was confirmed, when “strategic deficiencies” in AML compliance were said to have been identified.
At a press conference, Marcus Pleyer, FATF Chair at the time, stated that “there are a number of steps that need to be taken by the country” to ensure its removal.
An Australian parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing harms issued 31 recommendations that are said to “apply a public health lens to online gambling”.
Titled ‘you win some, you lose more’, suggestions issued include a blanket advertising ban, comprehensive national harms reduction strategy, formation of a national regulator, a levy on online wagering service providers, a public education campaign, more independent research and improved data collection.
Furthermore, stronger consumer protections also include a requirement for WSPs to verify their customer’s identity before accepting bets, ban on inducements, legislated duty of care and increased crackdown on illegal entities.
Peta Murphy MP, Chair of the Committee, commented: “Australians are the biggest losers in the world when it comes to gambling. We have a culture where sport and gambling are intrinsically linked.
“These behaviours are causing increasingly widespread and serious harm to individuals, families, and communities.”
Glitnor Group faced a €236,789 fine from Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit due to more than 10 legal provision breaches related to risk assessment failures.
The online casino group breached several codes under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations, following a compliance review undertaken in 2019.
One section of the breaches saw the FIAU state that Glintor hadn’t conducted “a thorough consideration of the risks” presented by specific casino and sports betting products that it offers, while also failing to consider risks when “placing reliance on other parties to obtain certain customer due diligence obligations”.
These were accompanied by several failures in key areas, such as customer identification and verification, risk assessment policies and procedures, and understanding “the purpose and intended nature” of business partnerships.
Blackstone is reportedly prepared to listen to offers for half of its interest in Las Vegas’ Bellagio, a little under four years after the US investment management firm purchased the property.
According to Bloomberg News, which could not name sources due to the private nature of the deliberations, Blackstone is considering its options but is, at the current time, not 100 per cent committed to the potential sale.
The New York headquartered firm announced $4.25bn acquisition of the real estate assets of the Bellagio from MGM Resorts International in November 2019, as the latter made further headway into an asset light strategy.
Fanatics saw an improved $225m bid accepted regarding the acquisition of the US business of PointsBet after DraftKings made a play to gazump a deal that was agreed in May.
In response to DraftKings $195m deal, labelled as “a significant premium” by the operator, Fanatics raised its previous offer by 50 per cent ($75m), which was subsequently accepted.
Issuing an update on the M&A race, PointsBet noted that it had facilitated a due diligence process to enable a non-binding proposal to be submitted by DraftKings by the end of the Australian business day on Tuesday 27 June. However, that was subsequently missed.
Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protection for the Dutch Government, stated that having “norm-setting conversations” with gaming operators could be more effective than imposing fines regarding the upcoming advertising ban for Dutch online gambling.
Weerwind’s comments came in response to Dutch parliamentary questions about the enforcement of the upcoming ban on online gambling advertising, set to begin on July 1.
Members of the House of Representatives Mirjam Bikker, Michiel van Nispen and Anne Kuik asked Weerwind if it was true that comments made at the recent Gaming in Holland event by René Jansen, Chair of Kansspelautoriteit, indicated that the KSA would not enforce fines on operators that break the advertising rules straight away, and if that is the right approach.
Playtech and NorthStar Gaming enhanced a strategic partnership via a fresh investment that was charged with ramping up the latter’s marketing and player acquisition strategy.
The funding, which follows a C$12.25m outlay being made into the Ontario-based online casino and sportsbook operator earlier in the year, is designed to support “rapid growth and expansion”.
An initial contribution of C$1.5m will be made by Playtech, with this figure potentially being increased to C$4m, to support the company’s acquisition strategy through the remainder of the year and into the first quarter of 2024.
Betr raised an additional $35m in a recent investor funding round to give the online sports betting company a valuation of $300m.
The Series A2 round of financing, which had an initial closing in Q2 and is scheduled to conduct a finish closing in Q3, was led by IA Sports Ventures, Eberg Capital and Fuel Venture Capital. Fuel expanded its investment size to date from $10m to $20m.
Betting executive Joey Levy and social media personality Jake Paul – both co-founders of Betr – also took part in the investment round via a personal investment and the Anti Fund, respectively.
Existing investors who took part in the round as well included FinSight Ventures, Florida Funders and Aliya Capital Partners.
Groupe Partouche praised continued “momentum” from the final half of the previous financial year after publishing turnover of €215.6m in its H12023 financial report, a YoY increase of 15.2 per cent.
After reviewing the management report of its executive board, the French casino operator, which holds both land-based and online operations in countries such as Switzerland, and Belgium, published the company’s half-year financial statistics from November 2022 to April 2023.
Outlining that the results prove a “return to normal activity” since the pandemic restrictions were lifted earlier last year, the company published GGR of €341m, a 17.6 per cent uptick on H12022’s figures.
Meanwhile, the operator witnessed a 24.6 per cent increase in EBITDA to €42.7m, representing 19.8 per cent of the firm’s turnover, compared to H12022’s €34.2m.