Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Bet365 has agreed a deal with the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino to launch a sports-betting service in New Jersey.The agreement was disclosed via a letter dated June 25 but published yesterday (Tuesday) by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).The DGE approved the request for the two parties to enter into an agreement through to July 31 and said that the two parties had signed a letter of intent on June 19. The division added that any request for a renewal would be contingent on Bet365 having fulfilled its filing obligations.Bet365 – whose rival William Hill was the first operator to take bets legally in New Jersey last month – has applied for a casino service industry enterprise (CSIE) licence.The Hard Rock Atlantic City casino, formerly the Trump Taj Mahal, reopened a week ago.The casino’s online gambling operation went live on Tuesday of this week, five days after the casino opened.“Our online gaming team has done an amazing job launching one of the most dynamic online gaming experiences in the industry,” said Matt Harkness, president of the facility, according to CBS. “We’re excited to extend the Hard Rock brand beyond the Boardwalk and let casino players (play) across the Garden State.”Six casino licensees operate online gambling in New Jersey: Borgata, Caesars Interactive, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Resorts and Tropicana. Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Sports betting Bet365 set for US launch 4th July 2018 | By contenteditor Bet365 has agreed a deal with the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino to launch a sports-betting service in New Jersey Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US New Jersey
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Bingo Despite the absence of live sporting events caused by Covid-19, Italy’s regulated market proved its resilience last month by managing a performance almost in line with that of last April Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Bingo Poker Despite the absence of live sporting events caused by Covid-19, Italy’s regulated market proved its resilience last month by managing a performance almost in line with that of last April.Though last month’s revenue across all verticals of €157.0m represented a 10% drop on the previous month’s total of €174.6m, it was flat year-on-year, when revenue stood at €157.86m.While sports betting unsurprisingly saw big revenue falls last month, the casino and resurgent poker verticals managed to pick up some of the slack.Casino and slot GGR rose to a record high of €98.28m, an impressive 4.5% rise in a month that traditionally has seen a month-on-month decline from March. On a year-on-year basis, April’s revenue figures represented a 45.8% increase.Online casino market leader Pokerstars increased its share of the market even further in April to 14.17%, up from 12.59% in March. While Sisal retained its second place, its share was flat on the previous month.Sisal’s position may be under threat from the overhauled 888, which has slowly but surely been growing its share of the Italian market. Last month it climbed into third place, taking 7.76% of the market.Though lagging casino revenues by a considerable way, the performance of poker during the sports betting lull has been much more significant in terms of the percentage uplift.After registering a phenomenal 135% rise in March, poker tournament revenue continued to grow in April, rising to €20.57m from €16.10m the previous month.Cash game revenue also increased further, rising to €11.69m from €9.96m in March.Such has been the popularity of poker during the sports betting shutdown that when combined, tournament and cash games had a higher share of the igaming market last month than sports betting – poker stood at 20.55% while sports betting was 13.31%.However, this situation is likely to reverse quickly once sporting events get back under way. And though sports betting revenue has dropped dramatically over the past two months, from an online perspective it hasn’t completely fallen off a cliff as punters continue to bet on the markets that are available.Last month online GGR stood at €20.90m, a more than halving from March’s €49.39m, which itself was a big fall from the €86.68m taken in February.The closure of retail outlets has led to a reshuffle of the market leaders in the Italian sports betting market, with longstanding online market leader bet365 now holding 22% of the overall sports betting market.Betfair’s market share has almost doubled from the 11.3% share it held in March. However, with betting shops in Italy reopening this month, its reign over the combined retail and online market is likely to prove short-lived.All data and figures from the regulator are processed by leading European corporate advisory firm Ficom Leisure, a specialist in all segments of the betting and gaming sector.Ficom Leisure also provides monthly figures on the New Jersey online market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard, Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania iGaming Dashboard, Indiana in the Indiana iGaming Dashboard and Iowa in the Iowa iGaming Dashboard, all of which are available on iGB North America.It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard, and on the Portuguese market in the Portugal iGaming Dashboard. Regions: Europe Southern Europe Italy Italy iGaming Dashboard: May 2020 Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 12th May 2020 | By Joanne Christie Email Address
Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Star Entertainment slips to FY loss as Covid-19 hits revenue 20th August 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group has put a comprehensive loss of Aus$85.4m (£46.6m/€51.7m/US$61.2m) for its 2020 financial year down to the disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to its land-based venues.Statutory net revenue for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 amounted to $1.49bn, down 31.1% from $2.16bn in the operator’s previous financial year.Like many other casino operators around the world, Star was impacted by Covid-19, which forced it to shutter its Sydney and Queensland casinos from 23 March. Prior to this point, Star said, it had been trading ahead of the prior year. Though its Sydney casino reopened from 1 June, towards the end of its financial year, the venue is still subject to a number of restrictions, including occupancy limits, as Australia continues its efforts to prevent a second wave of Covid-19. Its Queensland properties – in Brisbane and the Gold Coast – did not reopen until 3 July, however.The pandemic’s disruption has since continued into the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, with the Sydney casino limited to a maximum of 300 patrons from 24 July. Given the affect the closures had on revenue in the period, Star took a number of steps to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on its bottom line. These included placing staff on furlough, securing new funding and reducing operating spend in the period of closure.Employment costs were down 24.9% to $529.7m, while property costs also fell 20.4% to $64.9m, costs of sales 21.4% to $74.7m, and advertising and promotion costs 22.8% to $82.8m.Other expenses increased 64.9% to $192.1m and depreciation, amortisation and impairment costs climbed 12.9% to $232.3m, but government taxes and levies were 30.6% lower at $377.3m.This resulted in a $77.2m loss before income and tax, compared to a profit of $314.0m at the same point last year. Net finance costs totalling $52.2m meant loss before tax stood at $129.4m, down from a $278.7m profit in FY 2019.Star received $34.8m in tax benefits and also noted an additional $9.2m related to of change in fair value of cash flow hedges taken to equity, but still posted a comprehensive loss of $85.4m, compared to a $192.6m profit last year.Commenting on the results, managing director and chief executive Matt Bekier said the execution of the operator’s long-standing growth strategy continued to plan over FY2020, despite the impact of Covid-19.“Comprehensive actions to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 were implemented, safeguarding staff and customers, securing additional funding, and preserving cash,” he said.“The Star’s business is fundamentally strong, evidenced by the step up in earnings growth from 1H FY2020 into early 2H FY2020. The long-term value uplift from investments in our network of integrated resorts and continuing operational improvements to drive visitation and earnings remain substantial.”Star also published certain normalised results for the financial year, breaking down the performances of its properties across Australia.Normalised results, Star said, reflect the underlying performance of the business, as they remove the inherent win rate volatility of the international VIP rebate business. The results are adjusted using an average win rate of 1.35% on actual turnover, taxes and revenue share commissions – all before significant items.Using this methodology, normalised gross revenue amounted to $1.82bn, while net revenue came in at $1.53bn.Gross revenue from Star’s operations in Sydney stood at $1.18bn, with domestic revenue accounting for $901m of this total, and VIP player revenue $275m.In Queensland, namely the Brisbane and Gold Coast properties, gross revenue for the year was $790m, with domestic revenue at $553m and VIP revenue $235m.Normalised earnings before interest and tax stood at $285m, while net profit after tax and equity accounted investments reached $176m for the year. Casino & games Topics: Casino & games Finance Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group has put a comprehensive loss of Aus$85.4m (£46.6m/€51.7m/US$61.2m) for its 2020 financial year down to the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on its land-based operations. Regions: Oceania Australia
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter A blanket €1,000 monthly spending limit across all operators will apply to all players, but users may apply to have this raised to €10,000 if they set a maximum bet and loss limit. Regulation Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Casino regulation Regulation The German state of Brandenburg has updated its gambling regulations in line with the new State Treaty on Gambling, the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStv), which opens up the online casino market for the first time. Brandenburg updates gambling laws ahead of GlüNeuRStV For the GlüNeuRStV to come into force, however, it must be ratified by 13 of Germany’s 16 federal states. To date only Berlin has publicly announced progress towards this, with Minister of the Interior Andreas Geisel clearing Mayor Michael Müller to sign the Treaty, meaning it only needs to be greenlit by the German capital’s House of Representatives. The updated regulations have been notified to the European Commission, and are now subject to a standstill period running until 22 December. The GlüNeuRStV, meanwhile, was notified to the EC in May this year, and its standstill period, which was extended for a further month, expired on 18 September. The new rules will come into effect on 1 July, 2020, after the country’s Third State Treat expires. However, earlier this month, the country’s 16 Minister-Presidents agreed that operators may be permitted to continue offering online slots, poker and sports betting provided they work to ensure they comply with the terms of the new treaty by 15 October. The state will update its Casino Act of 2007 to clarify that online casino games will be included. Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Germany Regulations for lotteries. sports betting and gaming arcades have also been updated, allowing for small private lottery draws with less than €40,000 worth of tickets sold, and requiring betting shops and arcades to be located at least 500m apart. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 25th September 2020 | By Aaron Noy While not included in the regulatory updates, the treaty also includes a €1 per spin stake limit for slots, which must be offered separately to table games. Live sports betting, meanwhile, will be limited only to match winner and next scorer markets. Email Address
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter All people involved in collating data should undergo live training, which must be repeated if a person has been inactive for 90 days or more. This training should include identifying and reporting integrity concerns. Topics: Social responsibility Sports betting Sports integrity Product & technology Sports betting regulation As such it has set out measures governing three key areas of focus: personnel vetting and training, data collation processes, and data integrity and reporting. The speed, latency and process of transmission must also be set out by the data provider to their operator clients. All data must also be held securely for at least three years, the standards add. The integrity watchdog explained that with a general lack of formal regulation and licensing of the data collation and supply chain, there was a clear benefit to ensuring high levels of accuracy and transparency. Tags: International Betting Integrity Association IBIA Sports Integrity Data Collection “When we started this process I stated that upholding the reliability and credibility of sporting event data was of paramount importance for IBIA members and that the challenges posed by the pandemic had further highlighted the necessity for robust data chains,” IBIA chief executive Khalid Ali explained. Publication of the best practice standards follow a call from IBIA in May for all parties in the sports betting data supply chain to contribute to developing the protocols. Stats Perform, an affiliate member of IBIA, announced in short order that it would be contributing. Sports integrity The standards aim to ensure all data is accurate, reliable and transparent; responsibly sourced in a way that minimises risk, and collated in a way that protects against criminality or misconduct. The data collation process, meanwhile, must make clear the source, accuracy and reliability of data, by marking how it has been generated (ie, in person at a match, or via TV broadcast). “We will also be assisting IBIA in an annual stress test and enhancement of those standards.” “IBIA believes that this is an effective means of achieving an approach which best serves to protect the integrity of sport, its data, betting markets generated by that data and consumers enjoying those products,” it explained. 27th October 2020 | By Robin Harrison The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA ) has published a set of standards setting out protocols for the collection of sporting event data for betting purposes. Any integrity issues must be flagged to all parties in the data supply chain, as well as any other relevant industry stakeholders. Information sharing agreements, or provisions for such agreements, must be arranged with regulatory and law enforcement investigators. Finally, for data integrity and reporting, a detailed risk assessment must be carried out for all sporting events or competitions on which data is collated, with ongoing monitoring and reviews of potential risks. “We call upon all of those parties engaged in the data collation process to demonstrate that they meet these standards and of their commitment to protecting the integrity of the global data supply chain.” IBIA sets out data collection best standards “The association believes that data collation is an important part of the wider sports betting integrity debate and this standards and auditing process, to be conducted by leading independent and internationally approved testing agency eCOGRA, represents the next step in the association’s work in this area,” Ali continued. “IBIA has sought to meet that integrity challenge and has put in place a set of data standards that reflects the minimum expectations of the association and its members.” For personnel vetting and training, it requires all data collection to be carried out by people aged 18 and above, whose identities have been verified, and additional background checks carried out to ensure they are no conflicts of interest. “No data approach is infallible or immune from potential corruption, but measures can and should be taken to guard against such illicit activity and effective controls can minimise the associated risks.” eCOGRA chief executive Shaun McCallaghan added: “Our professional auditing experts have worked with companies operating in both the betting and data sectors, and eCOGRA will seek to utilise that industry knowledge to best effect in the data standards assessment process. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Those that comply with these standards, and are willing to undergo an audit of their data collation processes by testing agency and standards body eCOGRA, will be grated a Data Standards Kitemark.
It comes as the business’ British brick and mortar casinos and bingo halls have once again been forced to close their doors as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), with a new national lockdown beginning today (5 November). Regions: UK & Ireland Tags: Covid-19 Rank Group 5th November 2020 | By Robin Harrison Should Rank proceed with the share sale, it would become the latest British operator to shore up its finances. Flutter Entertainment raised £812.6m by selling 8,045,995 new ordinary shares, at a price of €112.42 each in May, while William Hill completed a £224.0m placement in June. Topics: Casino & games Finance Strategy Bingo Land-based casino Management London Stock Exchange rules allow businesses to raise up to 19.9% of their market capitalisation, which based on Rank’s £337.16m valuation, could see the business raise up to £67.1m. “Such an equity issuance would be intended to strengthen Rank’s balance sheet in this unprecedented trading environment,” Rank’s statement explained. “There can be no certainty that the equity issuance will proceed.” A further update would be provided if appropriate, Rank added. In a statement issued by general counsel Luisa Wright, the operator said its board was continuously reviewing its financial position, and a share placement was being talked over. Management In September Rank reported an 8.2% decline in revenue for the year ended 30 June, with a 22.6% rise in digital revenue helping offset land-based declines resulting from lockdowns in its core markets of Spain, Belgium and Great Britain. The first lockdown, from 23 March, saw bingo halls remain shuttered until 4 July, while casinos were not able to resume operations until 15 August, two weeks later than originally planned. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Rank Group considers equity raise to shore up balance sheet Mecca Bingo operator Rank Group is in discussions with advisers over a potential equity issuance that could provide almost £70m in new funding for the business. It has since withdrawn from the Belgian market, after selling its remaining property in the country, Casino Blankenberge, to Kindred Group in a £25m deal, announced last week.
“He just simply had this outsized ethical concern about people who couldn’t afford it or people that were too young to use it,” Goldstein explained. “And he wasn’t a believer in the technology could stop that. However Goldstein argued that Adelson, who passed away earlier in January, in fact understood and believed in the potential of digital gaming. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 29th January 2021 | By Robin Harrison Regions: China US Macau Nevada New York Texas “He never questioned the viability of it. He questioned the ability to police it properly, the same way he paid people hundreds of millions of dollars last year because he wanted to. It’s an ethical consideration to Sheldon.” There was “nothing concrete” in the pipeline, he added. Instead, the business was “simply looking, learning, observing”. In the operator’s earnings call discussing its fourth quarter and full year results, Goldstein said the operator was exploring a number of options for growth, including expansion in the US land-based market. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Sands’ founder and long-serving chief executive Sheldon Adelson was seen as the highest-profile opponent of online gambling in the US. Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Strategy Land-based casino Online casino Online sports betting Management Management Las Vegas Sands’ new chief executive Robert Goldstein has revealed that the operator is exploring “a few opportunities” to expand into online gambling. Read the full story on iGB North America. “[We] are learning and observing and talking to people. We are nowhere near a decision on that.” “And yes, we’ve looked at digital,” he added. “[It’s] interesting, […] digital is quite a space. And we are exploring opportunities, looking at what might be out there.” Sands exploring igaming opportunities, Goldstein reveals Tags: Las Vegas Sands Email Address
1st February 2021 | By Daniel O’Boyle Under the plan, all of Phumelela’s assets were put up for sale, with net proceeds used to repay creditors. Email Address The business was placed in was placed in business rescue – a form of bankruptcy protection – in May. Evans is still adjudicating claims from potential creditors, so the total amount to pay is still unclear, but per the plan, Phumelela will pay 100% of its ZAR403m debts Rand Merchant Bank, Investec and Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters (MOD) plus 72% of the remaining submitted claims that are determined to be valid. The operator has paid ZAR111.9m to secured creditors Investec and Rand Merchant Bank. A further ZAR14.2m was paid to unsecured creditors, and ZAR82.3m in post-commencement finance to Mary Oppenheimer Daughters, which acquired Phumelela as part of the business rescue plan. Although British operator Betfred also submitted a takeover offer worth ZAR925m, creditors chose to accept the rescue deal from Mary Oppenheimer Daughters. Finance Those with claims that have not yet been submitted may apply for an equalisation distribution of 12 cents per Rand owed. These distribution payments are scheduled to begin on 26 February and will be monthly. Phumelela payments to creditors reach ZAR208.3m AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Finance Sports betting Horse racing Regions: Africa Southern Africa South Africa Tags: Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Group Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter South African horse racing operator Phumelela, which is in the process of being wound up, has paid ZAR208.3m (£40.6m/€46.0m/$55.5m) to its creditors, according to the latest update from business rescue practitioner John Evans.
Topics: Casino & games Finance Land-based casino Full year results 2020 Q4 results 2020 Results 2020 Full House saw revenue fall in almost all areas of its business as casinos had to close in line with state Covid-19 regulations, and since reopening, have been limited to the number of customers they can permit inside. Revenue at the Rising Star Casino Resort in Indiana was down 32.0% to $45.6m, due to a three-month period of closure, while Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel in Colorado, which also closed for three months, saw revenue fall 26.2% to $20.3m. Read the full story on iGB North America. Revenue for the 12 months to December 31 amounted to $125.6m, down 25.1% from $165.4m in the previous year. US land-based casino operator Full House Resorts has revealed that despite its properties having been impacted by novel coronavirus (Covid-19) closures and restrictions in 2020, it was able to post a net profit for the year. Full year results 2020 Casino revenue fell 19.9% to $90.8m, while food and beverage revenue dropped 43.6% to $19.8m and hotel revenue 35.7% to $7.4m. Full House returns to profit despite Covid-19 impact in 2020 Regions: US AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Breaking down the performance of each property, the Silver Slipper Casino and Hotel in Mississippi saw revenue fall 14.6% to $62.5m, after being closed for two months in the spring. Tags: Full House Resorts Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 9th March 2021 | By Robert Fletcher
Rank said proceeds from the sale support its liquidity and future initiatives as part of its Transformation 2.0 programme. M&A The casino’s concession agreement with the city of Blankenberge was renewed in 2018, with a new 15-year operating licence having come into effect in January this year. Casino Blankenberge is one of nine land-based facilities operating in Belgium, and had been owned by Rank since 1998. Tags: Kindred Group Rank Group Casino Blankenberge 1st April 2021 | By Robert Fletcher The sale confirms Rank’s exit from the Belgian casino market, having shut down operations in the municipality of Middlekerke in 2017. Topics: Casino & games Land-based casino M&A Rank Group completes sale of Belgium’s Casino Blankenberge to Kindred AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Under the agreement, Kindred paid £25m (€29.3m/$34.5m) in cash to acquire the business on a debt-free basis. Kindred has worked with Blancas since 2012, with the country’s online gambling regulations requiring igaming operators to have a land-based partner to offer online casino, live dealer games and poker. The agreement, which was announced in October last year, set out that Kindred would acquire 100% of shares in Blankenberge Casino-Kursaal (Blancas), the Rank subsidiary that operates the casino. The Rank Group has finalised the sale of its Casino Blankenberge land-based facility in Belgium and the associated digital licence to Kindred Group. Regions: Belgium Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address