Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. A series of regulatory run-ins that saw Crown Resorts penalised in Australia, UKGC punishing Star Racing in the UK and Flutter’s Betfair falling foul in Denmark, the latest M&A action concerning Entain and XLMedia and a landmark €600m Melco opening in Cyprus all form part of our latest recap.


Star Racing is to pay a £594,000 financial penalty after the UK Gambling Commission discovered anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures.

In addition, the betting and gaming group, whose domains include StarSports and McBookie, which it operates and manages, will receive an official warning and have additional conditions added to its licence. This will require Star Racing to conduct risk based due diligence on the third parties it transacts with.

Among the AML shortcomings identified were having ineffective policies, procedures and controls in place at the time of the compliance assessment.

This, the UKGC noted, permitted customers to deposit large amounts before source of funds information was obtained, in addition failing to analyse such data upon doing so.

Social responsibility failures included not demonstrating an understanding of the impact and effectiveness of customer interactions in terms of the minimisation of customer risk.


A A$450m financial penalty was imposed on Crown Resorts by the Federal Court of Australia after AUSTRAC filed civil proceedings for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

This latest run-in for the operator, the financial regulator said, will serve as “a clear warning” that Australian businesses must possess strong AML and CTF compliance systems and processes.

The order, imposed on Crown’s Melbourne and Perth properties, comes after a joint filing in May for the payment of the aforementioned amount in instalments over two years. The company must also pay costs.

As part of the settlement, Crown admitted that it operated in contravention of the AML/CTF Act, including that the AML/CTF programs at the venues in question were not based on appropriate risk assessments.

Furthermore, the company also did not have appropriate systems and controls to manage their risks, and were not subject to appropriate oversight by their boards and senior management.


Flutter Entertainment’s Betfair International was issued with three orders and a reprimand from the Danish gambling authority, Spillemyndigheden, for breaches of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In the first instance (order A), it is said that the group’s risk assessment procedures did not consider the individual risks connected to the Betfair business model.

The second finding (order B), was issued due to insufficient business procedures for customer due diligence, in addition to written procedures regarding the screening of employees being deemed to fall short of standards.

Order C was handed down due to a lack of evidence that controls have been conducted “with a sufficient frequency” across areas such as risk management, customer due diligence measures, the obligations to investigate, register and notify, record-keeping, screening of employees and internal control.


Entain has forged ahead with its £750m pursuit of STS Group, Poland’s leading bookmaker, after receiving antitrust approval for a transaction that is expected to be finalised next month.

An acceptance period commenced July 14, 2023, which is set to close in mid-August. Completion is expected to occur shortly after that date.

The betting and gaming group’s latest dip into the M&A well received the rubber stamp from the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in the eastern European country.

The purchase is being undertaken by Entain’s CEE unit, which was established in November 2022 and whose ownership is split 75 per cent to 25 per cent between the former GVC and Emma Capital. 


Melco Resorts and Entertainment officially opened the doors of its delayed, multimillion euro City of Dreams Mediterranean on the island of Cyprus.

Hailed as “marking the beginning of a new era for tourism” for the island nation, the property, located in Limassol, represents one of Cyprus’ biggest development projects and “the largest of its kind in Europe”, the company said.

In welcoming the long-awaited opening on July 10, Grant Johnson, Property Manager of City of Dreams Mediterranean, confidently predicted that Cyprus “is now ready to compete across Europe and the Middle East in luxury tourism and large-scale conferences”.

City of Dreams, which represents a total investment in excess of €600m, features a fourteen-storey hotel with 500 guest rooms and suites, over 8,000 square metres of MICE space, outdoor amphitheatre, family adventure park, and variety of dining and retail establishments.

It has previously been suggested that the property’s casino area would be installed with 36 tables and 1,200 gaming machines.


Star Entertainment Group’s Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will become “a tourist magnet”, proclaimed Steven Miles, Queensland’s Acting Premier, following the roll-out of a “double milestone” in the development of the multi-faceted facility.

This saw the third and final section of the venue’s Sky Deck, hailed as the “centrepiece of the world-class Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development” by Miles, be successfully moved into place. This also tops out the five star, 340 room Star Grand Hotel.

Following a recent delay to completion being announced by the group, Kevin Dodt, Chief Operating Officer of The Star Brisbane, labelled this as a “defining moment for the transformational Brisbane project”.

The open-air rooftop 250m long crescent shaped Sky Deck, which the group further praised as a first for the city at the centrepiece of the A$3.6bn project, sits 100m above the Brisbane River.


XLMedia is looking to accelerate its North American betting and gaming push after offloading three European casino assets to Beach Services for an upfront consideration of $4m (€3.62m), representing a 4.7 times multiple on revenue.

The digital media group divested the domains and associated websites concerned Casino sites across Sweden, Portugal and Greece, but will retain its similar business in Sweden and other European jurisdictions.

For the year ending December 31, 2023, the assets generated revenue of $840,000, which accounted for approximately six per cent of the group’s $14.3m total across the year. Gross profit came in at around $750,000.

In addition to utilising the funds to drive the company’s push into the North American digital gambling space, XLMedia is also planning to advance its wider European portfolio. This, it was noted, is currently tracking marginally ahead of management expectations.


Spelinspektionen conducted a survey on Sweden’s online gambling habits, revealing that six per cent of respondents have intentionally played on a website that does not have a gaming licence in the country.

Carried out by Enkätfabriken in May 2023 on behalf of the Swedish Gambling Inspectorate, the survey gathered responses from 3,912 Swedish residents aged 18 or over. This is the third year in a row in which it has taken place.

A screening question was asked where respondents stated if they had participated in online gambling at least once a quarter. Only those that had said yes progressed.

Of all respondents, 14 per cent said that they had participated in online gambling at least once a week, while 31 per cent noted that they had gambled online at least once a quarter.