Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. Half-year performance results from Betsson, female-focused support from GamCare, record tax figures in Pennsylvania and a £3.25m sanction for Betfred all form part of our latest recap.
Due to a series of failures between January 2021 and December 2022, Betfred is to pay £3.25m in a regulatory settlement issued by UK Gambling Commission.
While the commission found failures in the group’s implementation of anti-money laundering policies, procedures, controls and practices, the UKGC also uncovered deficiencies in safer gambling implementation.
In regards to the total payment, which will be used for socially responsible purposes and includes a divestment of £1.05m, Betfred agreed to the publication of related facts and will pay Commission costs.
AML failings identified include poor record keeping and financial alerts being set too high, as well as failing to consistently obtain know your customer and source of funds information.
Customers were found to have staked large amounts without the appropriate KYC being conducted. Examples were provided of three individuals that lost £61,000 over four months, £72,000 within nine months and another that staked £429,222 and lost £120,353 across 11 months.
“In recent years there’s been a public focus on online gambling but this case illustrates how important it is for us to continue our drive to raise standards across the whole industry,” said Kay Roberts, executive director of operations at the Commission.
“Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity enjoyed safely by millions but it is vital that every single operator – either online or offline – has in place effective safeguards to prevent harm or crime.”
Ontario’s online casino regulator iGaming Ontario revealed the province’s performance for the first quarter of the 2023/24 fiscal year, publishing total gaming revenue of C$545m.
This figure signals a 3.6 per cent increase on the Q4 2022/23’s total gaming revenue of C$526m. Elsewhere, total wagers also increased in Q1, reaching $14bn, and the number of operators active in Ontario increased to 46 from Q4’s 44.
Average monthly spend per active player account also improved to $197 (Q4: $174), however, active player accounts dropped below a million by the end of the quarter, falling to 920,000 (Q4: 1.01m).
Per segment, Ontario’s casino games (slots, live and online table games and peer-to-peer bingo) contributed the most towards total gaming revenue ($392m) and wagers ($11.6bn) at 72 per cent and 83 per cent respectively.
Casino operations were followed by betting (sports, esports, proposition and novelty bets) with $138m revenue, $2bn in wagers, and peer-to-peer poker at $15m revenue, $350m wagers.
Betsson reported robust performance across casino and sportsbook verticals in the group’s H1 interim results, witnessing a 27 per cent rise in Q2 revenues to €237m (Q2 2022: €186m).
Reflecting on a quarter that saw the firm withdraw from the Netherlands licencing process, Betsson President and CEO, Pontus Lindwall, highlighted the company’s ambitions to future-proof its competitiveness, touching on a sponsorship deal with Boca Juniors as well as the purchase of Belgian operator betFIRST.
Commenting on these moves, Lindwall stated: “These strategic initiatives together enable a competitive offering in sports betting and casino for the Belgian market. The investment in Belgium resonates well with Betsson’s ambition to deliver long-term profitable growth.”
“The sponsorship, one of the largest ever for Betsson, means that the club’s iconic match shirt will feature the Betsson logo during local and international matches until the end of 2024.
“The collaboration with Boca Juniors strengthens Betsson’s brand and rapid expansion in Argentina and throughout Latin America.”
Through Q2, gross profit increased 37 per cent to €162.5m (2022: €118.8m), net income rose 64 per cent to €48.9m (2022: €28.6m) and EBITDA closed at €67.6m, up 72 per cent to €67.6m (2022: €39.3m). Active customer numbers dropped 10 per cent to 1.11m (2022: 1.24m).
Aristocrat Gaming moved one step closer to acquiring NeoGames after the first round of shareholder voting approved the proposed acquisition which evaluated NeoGames to be worth $1.2bn.
Making up the $1.2bn figure, Aristocrat has proposed to purchase NeoGames at a price of £29.50 per share to represent a 104 per cent premium on the value of the company’s shares in the three months ending May 12.
With a second shareholder vote set to be held, at least 66.7 per cent of NeoGames shareholders entitled to a vote would be needed to approve and finalise the acquisition.
Moti Malul, NeoGames CEO, stated: “We are delighted that the team at Aristocrat recognises the significance of what we have built, and the strategic opportunity to combine our complementary businesses.
“We firmly believe that this Transaction represents a great outcome for all of NeoGames’ shareholders, customers and employees.”
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board published the state’s gambling performance for fiscal year 2022/23 as record tax revenue figures were published, standing at $2.3bn to show a 9.67 per cent increase on 2021/22’s $2.16bn.
For the year, total revenue stood at $5.5bn, an increase of 9.33 per cent on 2021/2022’s previous record-high statistics of $5.04bn.
Throughout the fiscal year, slot machine revenue contributed a total of $2.45bn, a 1.74 per cent increase on the previous year’s figures of $2.41bn. This represents the state’s second highest-performing fiscal year for slot machine revenue, second only to 2011/12’s $2.47bn.
The year also saw an impressive performance in the Keystone State’s igaming sector, which increased by 24.38 per cent to $1.53bn from 2021/22’s $1.23bn. This robust performance led to a tax revenue contribution of $652m.
Other sectors to publish positive results were video gaming terminals, witnessing a 1.28 per cent uptick to $42m, and sports wagering, which recorded a substantial 55.82 per cent increase from $315m (2021/22) to $491m.
GamCare has launched a ‘Women’s Chatroom’ to place a focus on support for females impacted by gambling harm, revealing that 30 per cent of the 40,000 annual National Gambling Helpline users are women.
Following its official launch on July 18, the chatroom will provide women seeking guidance around problem gambling for themselves or for loved ones with lived experience support.
The initiatives will look to tackle feelings of guilt and shame associated with gambling issues as it aims to connect, support and enable the sharing of stories between women with similar experiences.
GamCare’s new chat room will host semi-structured sessions from 7pm-8pm every Tuesday, running for six weeks with each session taking on a different overarching theme.
GamCare support stated: “We understand it can be challenging to take those first steps to get support with your gambling. We know that you might experience feelings of shame, or guilt. Many other women feel like this, you’re not alone.”
While signalling a slight revenue slump from May, New Jersey’s gaming ecosystem has gained a year-over-year increase in gaming revenue for June, coming in at $457.2m.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement statistics showed that Garden State operators recorded a total gaming revenue figure of $457.2m in June, a 13.9 per cent improvement YoY (June 2022: $401.5m), but down compared to May’s $470.9m.
Per vertical, casino operations contributed $241.6m towards the month’s total revenue, followed by igaming with $149.3m and sports wagering with $66.4m.
Casino gaming’s revenue of $241.6m from the state’s nine casino hotel properties is up 5.4 per cent YoY (2022: $229.1m) and compared to May’s $227.3m.
Per game type, slot machines earned June revenues of $182.98m, a 7 per cent improvement YoY (2022: $171.07m), while table games achieved an income of $58.6m, a slight increase compared to the previous year (2022: $58.1m).
Vici Properties-owned and MGM Resorts-operated Borgata reported the most casino revenue during the month with $60.5m, up 11.6 per cent YoY (2022: $54.3m).
Borgata was followed by Hard Rock with $43.3m, down 2.8 per cent (2022: $44.6m), and Ocean Casino rounded off the top three with $34.88m with the biggest increase for any casino during the month at 17.6 per cent (2022: $29.67m).