Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we take a look at US sales, Australian casino bans, responsible gambling collaborations, and a fight against illegal online gambling.
Sweden’s ‘Gambling Market Inquiry’ has suggested that a raft of measures should be implemented into the country’s igaming market, after a long-awaited final submittal was made to Ardalan Shekarabi, the minister of social insurance.
With the market facing much criticism from stakeholders throughout the year, the inquiry proposes a ban on daytime marketing for games deemed to be of the highest risk to players, as well as calling for the temporary loss limit of SEK 5,000 (£445), which was implemented earlier in the year, to be made permanent.
Furthermore, it was also suggested that the Spelinspektionen should intensify its work to clarify the duty of care expected of operators, in addition to urging the regulator to develop a model for risk classification that can be used in knowledge-raising initiatives, regulatory work and supervision.
It was also said that more measures to exclude unlicensed gaming from the Swedish market should be introduced, including implementing a licensing system for software providers.
European Lotteries, the European Casino Association, and the World Tote Association have joined forces in a bid to harness the momentum to make Europe “fit for the digital age”.
This follows the European Commission calling for “an ambitious reform of the digital space” after revealing its Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act proposals, which subsequently gained backing from the European Gaming and Betting Association.
The trifecta states that “there has never been a better time to strengthen the fight against illegal online gambling,” which leaves consumers vulnerable as well as representing a key stumbling block in the fight against money laundering.
In an open letter from the alliance on the fight against illegal gambling, it is commented: “The Digital Services Act package foresees a notice-and-action mechanism. Such mechanism will enable all users to notify online intermediaries about potentially illegal online content or activities and to help the latter to react quickly and be more transparent regarding the actions taken.
GamCare, Gamban, and Gamstop have united for the launch of TalkBanStop, a 12-month pilot that debuts today and offers three free tools to help people stop gambling.
Aligning to pledge more help for those struggling this Christmas, the pilot will highlight the benefits of combining free support and practical tools in helping people to stop gambling.
The three key steps and supporting tools are GamCare’s trained advisers on the National Gambling Helpline; Gamban software which blocks access to thousands of global gambling sites and apps; and Gamstop self-exclusion that prevents access and creation of new gambling accounts with all online operators across the UK
The TalkBanStop web address will take users straight to where they can contact each service, as well as offering additional tips on how to block gambling through banks.
Two employees who were tasked with overseeing gaming at Sydney’s The Star have been banned from New South Wales casinos for five years after being dismissed for serious misconduct.
The first, who had worked at The Star for eleven years and admitted to have gambling issues, confessed to frequently placing bets on a phone during work hours in January and February this year.
In the second instance, a games dealer, who was off duty and standing on a balcony with another individual at the time of the incident, was caught on CCTV throwing a bag of white powder over a railing. Security searched the area and found the bag behind some plants in a public area within the casino’s boundaries.
When interviewed by the facility, the dealer would not disclose where the substance came from, only that he found it in his pocket and wanted to dispose of it. He faced court in April this year, charged with possessing a prohibited drug.
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms fell short of a first $100m revenue month, as the Garden State’s sportsbooks set their sights on topping the $1bn barrier in handle.
Online casinos and poker rooms secured $91.8m in revenue for the month, falling a fraction shy of October’s $93.5m but soaring 86.9 per cent year-on-year from $49.1m. The figure produced $13.8m in state taxes.
The pair have generated a record $870.9m in operator revenue during the year, putting the industry just short of the pace to reach $1bn for the year. This has injected $130.8m into state coffers.
New Jersey has also become the first state in history to post a legal sports betting handle of more than $900m, with the $1bn mark now in sight for the region’s online and retail sportsbooks.
New Jersey sportsbooks generated $931m in wagers in November, surpassing the previous record of $803.1m set a month earlier and marking the fourth consecutive month the state has set an all-jurisdiction record for handle. November’s bets produced $6.2m in state taxes on $50.6m in revenue.
Gaming and Leisure Properties has announced the combined $59.3m sale of the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland and Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge to Penn National Gaming and Casino Queen Holding Company, respectively.
Both transactions are expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Via the transaction, PNG, which has praised the market potential that Maryland holds, will take its US casino footprint to 41 properties across 19 states.
Simultaneous with the closing of the $31.1m transaction, GLPI will enter into a new lease with the firm for the real estate assets associated with Hollywood Casino Perryville, for an initial annual cash rent of approximately $7.77m. The lease will have an initial term of 15 years with four five-year extensions.