Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. Record post-pandemic figures from Macau and a successful Safer Gambling Week feature in this week’s round-up, alongside an update on GambleAware’s annual donations. 


Macau enjoyed a historically strong May, as gross gaming revenue reached its highest post-pandemic levels. 

As reported by InsideAsianGaming, total GGR was recorded at MOP 20.2bn ($2.52bn), a 29 per cent increase on the same period last year. 

Furthermore, underlining the upward trajectory of the region, it also saw a nine per cent rise from GGR in April, continuing to build back from a challenging period – fuelled by the lifting of pandemic restrictions. 

It also marks a trend of Macau’s gambling sector, continuing to exceed expectations when it comes to engagement and turnover, as in March, it also enjoyed a staggering 53.1 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. 

In total, March saw MOP 19.5bn ($2.4bn) coming in, numbers that were bolstered by a rising number of visitors in the region – as footfall and tourism continued to grow significantly. 

Speaking to Bloomberg China, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macau Tourism Office, predicted that a total of 33 million tourists will embrace the region this year.


Spain’s Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling has reported a gross gambling revenue increase in the first quarter of 2024, rising by over 15 per cent year-over-year.

Casino revenue was down in comparison to the previous quarter but had improved when compared to Q1 2023 figures by just over 17 per cent.

For Q1, the Spanish authority declared a GGR of €350.69m, up 11.23 per cent when compared to Q4 2023’s €315.29m and a 15.14 per cent YoY improvement.

Deposits for the quarter stood at €1.09bn, a 5.61 per cent increase quarter-over-quarter and a 15.85 per cent uptick YoY. Withdrawals came in at €739.96m, up 0.72 per cent QoQ and 13.9 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.

New accounts came in at 446,586, a 15.21 per cent increase QoQ and a 33.64 per cent uptick YoY. The monthly average of active game accounts was 1,327,575, up 4.57 per cent QoQ and 14.58 per cent YoY, while the monthly average of new game accounts was 148,862, a 15.21 per cent increase QoQ and a 33.64 per cent uptick YoY.

Of the €350.69m GGR, casino operations had the largest share at 47.84 per cent (€167.76m), followed by betting at 42.85 per cent (€150.28m), poker at 8.11 per cent (€28.45m), bingo at 1.19 per cent (€4.19m) and contests with a minimal share (€2,000).

For Q1, the Spanish market had 78 licensed operators – casino: 50, betting: 41, poker: nine, bingo: four and contests: two.

Casino’s GGR of €167.76m is a decline of 2.05 per cent QoQ but a 17.02 per cent improvement YoY. Slots fell by 7.51 per cent QoQ but rose by 14.98 per cent YoY. Live roulette grew by 6.37 per cent QoQ and by 22.19 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.


The Federal Court of Australia ordered SkyCity Adelaide to pay A$67m to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre for breaching the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. 

SkyCity has also been ordered to pay the Australian Government agency’s costs of $3m.

Civil penalty proceedings were commenced by AUSTRAC in December 2022, analysing historical contraventions of the AML/CTF Act during the period of December 7, 2016 to December 14, 2022.

This action stemmed from a compliance campaign initially started by the agency in September 2019.

Last month, SkyCity and AUSTRAC filed joint submissions with the Federal Court, with the operator admitting that it operated in contravention of two sections of the AML/CTF Act.

AUSTRAC stated that SkyCity admitted that its contraventions “made it vulnerable to criminal exploitation, and exposed the Australian community and financial system to money laundering and terrorism financing risk”. 

SkyCity has also been accused of not establishing an “appropriate framework to ensure adequate board and senior management oversight of its AML/CTF programs”.

AUSTRAC added that SkyCity has taken steps to address the issues identified, but the remediation remains ongoing.


According to the Betting and Gaming Council, the number of deposit limits set during Safer Gambling Week rose by 18 per cent in comparison to the same month in 2022, while 54 per cent of players setting deposit limits did so for the first time.

This led BGC CEO and Acting Chair Michael Dugher to describe the campaign as a “powerful advert” for player awareness of safer gambling tools.

There was also a 300 per cent increase for the second year in a row in the number of players actively setting a reality check, while the use of maximum stake limits also rose by 300 per cent. 

In total, 83,242 unique account holders set deposit limits, which is up by 12.5 per cent in comparison to the previous year.

Across social media – X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram – Safer Gambling Week 2023 achieved over 50 million impressions, as well as a 70 per cent increase on the previous year as Safer Gambling Week messages appeared on major social media websites nearly 30 million times. The Safer Gambling Week website also had half a million visits.

Dugher commented: “These new figures show Safer Gambling Week continues to be a powerful advert for increasing use of safer gambling tools in the regulated industry.

“Millions of customers now use safer gambling tools including deposit limits and time outs. This is a pillar of the regulated industry and is in marked contrast to the unsafe, unregulated and growing online gambling black market, which provides no safer gambling support, contributes zero tax and does not support sport.”


GambleAware has revealed the donations it received across 2023/24 as British betting operators contributed heavily to the charity’s total of £49.5m in voluntary donations. 

However, CEO Zoë Osmond has reiterated the message that vital funding for gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes should not be disrupted as services wait for the implementation of the new statutory levy. 

Britain’s largest four gambling operators – bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Entain and William Hill – contributed around 94 per cent of the total figure, donating £46.6m to support GambleAware. 

This figure from the ‘big four’ represents an increase of £3.1m from the operators’ contributions of £43.5m across 2022/23.

Described as essential funding by the organisation, the donations will aid the organisation in encouraging responsible gambling and player protection with public health campaigns, education and training programmes, harm prevention tools, treatment services and research. 

Osmond stated: “While we await the implementation of the new statutory levy, donations from the voluntary funding system are key to ensure GambleAware can continue to deliver the essential gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes we commission.”


Eminence Capital has become the third largest investor in Entain and increased its stakes in the embattled gambling giant to 5.7 per cent. 

Eminence increased its stake in the firm via the acquisition of around 7.1 million shares, which are reportedly priced at around 710p.

Since the start of the year, Eminence has continued to increase its interest in Entain after the investment firm’s boss, Ricky Sandler was named a non-executive director of Entain. 

The US investment firm has also been critical of Entain, specifically when it comes to the group’s acquisition strategy and the lucrative takeover of STS Holdings. 

Before being made an executive director, Sandler had been vocal about Entain exploring the sale of BetMGM. 

The deal continues a trend of equity suitors and private investors circling over the gambling giant eyeing the firm as a potential key opportunity for growth. 

Nonetheless, Sandler and Eminence are limited in being able to purchase shares up to eight per cent, as per the agreement between the two parties.