Richard Flint replaced by Ian Proctor as CEO after CMA approves acquisition by Stars Topics: Sports betting Strategy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Ian Proctor has replaced Richard Flint as the CEO of Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) after the operator’s $4.7bn (£3.6bn/€4bn) takeover by The Stars Group was finally approved today (Thursday) by the UK’s competitions regulator.Proctor, previously SBG’s chief financial officer, will step into a role that had been held by Flint for a decade. Flint will become executive chairman, while Conor Grant, previously director of SBG’s gaming brands, Sky Bingo, Sky Casino, Sky Poker and Sky Vegas, will be the new chief operating officer. Grant will report to Proctor, while both Proctor and Flint will report to Stars CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.The CMA will publish a full explanation of its decision to rubber-stamp the deal next week. However, iGamingBusiness.com understands that there were no conditions attached to the “clean approval” by the regulator, which found “no concerns” after having halted the integration of the two parties in July.Stars, which struck the acquisition deal with CVC Capital Partners and Sky PLC, said that its integration plans, including “the delivery of expected cost synergies”, would now be executed.Ashkenazi has previously said that the takeover would “dramatically improve The Stars Group’s revenue diversity, creating a balanced spread across poker, casino and sportsbook with a broad geographic reach”.Stars also confirmed today that it had appointed Andy Burton as senior vice-president of its global sports platform division, as well as Vaughan Lewis as group director of investor relations and corporate communications.“We believe these appointments position us well to deliver our strategy to become the world’s favourite iGaming destination,” Ashkenazi said.Flint added: “I am confident that the new management structure, which includes an operational board for SBG, will allow us to maintain our unique culture that has delivered success over the years and continue delivering market share gains in the UK online betting and gaming market, building on our position as the UK’s most popular online betting brand.”Proctor was appointed as SBG’s chief financial officer in 2008 after having worked in a number of senior finance roles at Sky since the mid-1990s.Grant, who previously worked for Paddy power, Blue Square and Boylesports, joined SBG in 2010 as the head of sportsbook products and director of products before becoming director of SBG’s gaming brands in 2014. New Sky Bet CEO as regulator clears Stars’ takeover 11th October 2018 | By contenteditor Sports betting Email Address
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 10th January 2019 | By Louella Hughes Sports betting Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter In the third and final video in Kambi’s ‘Freedom’ campaign and in the run-up to ICE, Max Meltzer, chief commercial officer at Kambi discusses the company’s predictions for 2019.The first prediction discussed surrounds regulation, with Kambi believing continued regulation in countries such as the US will prompt operators to review strategy and technology the world over.Meltzer says: “I would say this causes great opportunity, but also causes problems as well for businesses.”Meltzer also details the company’s predictions surrounding the evolving focus on data for sports betting, and in particular how the US market will tackle the challenge.He says: “I think the interesting thing for us as an industry to consider is as the US does launch and do different sports data deals and as that reverberates around the world is ‘are we keeping a level playing field in the way that we distribute sports data, particularly to our bookmakers?”Finally, Kambi predicts that tech firms will increasingly look at entering the sports betting market.Meltzer explains that companies that already have sports assets such as streaming rights, statistics rights or broadcasting rights may look to sports betting as a new revenue stream.The continual development of the sports betting market globally will remain a topic of high interest over the course of the year, and we look forward to seeing if Kambi’s predictions play out.Watch the second video in this series here. Topics: Sports betting Kambi’s predictions for 2019
Bingo Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Bingo Poker Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Wiggin EU regulation roundup – August 2019 In conjunction with Chris Elliott and Beth French of Wiggin LLP, iGB provides a regulatory snapshot of igaming across the EU. Denmark, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands are among those updated for this editionAUSTRIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Licences for sports betting and horse race betting are available for private operators on a regional basis within Austria, whereas poker, casino, bingo and lottery are controlled by the monopoly, Casinos Austria, which has exclusive rights until 2027. Status: The CJEU has held that the Austrian casino monopoly is incompatible with EU law in a number of cases, although national courts continue to reach conflicting decisions on the compatibility of Austria’s current gambling legislative framework with EU law and the position remains unclear. BELGIUM Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery.} Operator type: All products are available to private operators except for lotteries, which are reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider. However, online operators need to partner with a land-based licence holder in order to satisfy a local establishment requirement; alternatively, apply for one of the retail licences that can be extended to cover online. Status: There remain valid arguments that the existing regime is incompatible with Belgium’s EU Treaty obligations. Active enforcement measures against operators and players are in place. On 1 January 2019, a royal decree on the operation of games of chance partially entered into force, introducing restrictions on increases to stake limits. The rest of the provisions, which restrict gambling advertising, entered into effect on 1 June 2019.BULGARIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery (excluding raffles and instant lottery games). Operator type: All products are available to private operators except for lotteries, which are reserved exclusively for the monopoly. Status: Any operator from an EU/EEA jurisdiction or the Swiss Confederation can apply for a licence. The Bulgarian regulator has awarded approximately 28 licences to date, including to a number of international operators. The government has proposed amendments to the country’s gambling legislation which, among other things, would introduce stringent restrictions on gambling advertising. Active ISP-blocking is in place.CROATIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: All products are available to private operators except for lotteries, which are reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider. Private operators can only be licensed to offer online gambling if they obtain a land-based casino or betting licence. Status: It was understood that Croatia would submit new legislation following its accession to the EU in 2013 but attempts on the Ministry to update its gambling legislation have been subject to similar criticism in respect of EU incompatibility issues (including the requirement that only holders of land-based licences can offer online gambling). Regulatory reforms appear to have stalled in the country. CYPRUS Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting and lottery. Operator type: OPAP has a monopoly over lottery operations; sports betting licences are available to private operators. Status: Cyprus regulated online betting in July 2012, although a licensing regime was not established until 2016. ISPs are obliged to implement blocking measures to prohibit Cypriot residents from accessing unlicensed gambling websites. A new betting law, which entered into force in March 2019, replaces the 2012 Betting Law. The provisions of the new law are substantially the same, with minor amends introduced to address EU incompatibility concerns under the previous law (such as the requirement to have a local branch in order to obtain a sports betting licence). CZECH REPUBLIC Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: EU and EEA-based operators are able to apply for licences. Status: The new gambling regulatory regime entered into force in the Czech Republic on 1 January 2017, allowing EU/EEA companies to enter the market. ISP-blocking measures are active in the jurisdiction. Tax rates are reportedly set to increase to up to 30% of GGR for certain online gambling activities from January 2020.DENMARK Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, fantasy sports, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Sports betting, poker and casino licences are available to private operators. Lottery is controlled by the state monopoly. Status: The Danish online gambling regime went live on 1 January 2012. ISP-blocking measures are active in the jurisdiction and the Danish Gaming Authority has been granted an injunction to block operators and suppliers that have been targeting Danish customers without the requisite licence. As of July 2019, a number of player protection measures are understood to have been introduced including a voluntary code of conduct relating to marketing and requirements for players to set deposit and bonus limits. ESTONIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Licences for all gambling products are available to private operators save for lotteries, which are reserved exclusively for the monopoly operator. Status: Operators seeking to accept business from players in Estonia must be issued an activity licence for the type of gambling they wish to offer, then an operating permit to provide the services remotely. A blacklist of operators is maintained and updated by local authorities and ISP and payment blocking is in force. Though some operators argue that the regime is still not compatible with EU law, no notification alleging incompatibility has been issued by the EC since the requirement for licensees to main servers in Estonia was removed. FINLAND Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: All gambling products are under the exclusive control of monopoly provider Veikkaus Oy. Status: Despite the existence of a national monopoly, EC enforcement action was dropped subsequent to various changes to Finnish laws. Active enforcement measures are in place (restrictive marketing for offshore operators in particular) and the new government is exploring measures to further restrict the offshore supply of gambling services. FRANCE Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Private operators can obtain online licences for sports betting, horse race betting and poker. The monopoly has exclusive rights to bingo and lottery. Status: A regulated market since the introduction of a licensing regime in 2010, following which the EC withdrew its infringement proceedings. Law 2019-486, providing for the privatisation of the state-owned operator of France’s national lottery games, Française des Jeux (FDJ), has been published in the French Official Journal. Broader regulatory changes to the online sector expected to follow. GERMANY Regulated gambling products: Schleswig-Holstein, a small northern-German state, regulates sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino and bingo. The other 15 states of Germany currently permit only sports betting and horse race betting. Operator type: Private operators can no longer obtain licences in Schleswig-Holstein under the existing regime, although S-H has approved legislation to reinstate existing licences until 2021 (with operations allowed to continue in the interim). S-H has also introduced a quasi licensing regime for sports betting (intended to be of a transitional nature). In the other 15 states, horse race betting licences are available at a regional level but the position surrounding the 20 available sports-betting licences is still uncertain pending the ratification of the 3rd Amendment Treaty. Status: The main legal framework for gambling regulation in Germany has been the subject of much debate and has been heavily criticised by the EC and interested parties/states within Germany for a number of years. Discussions to reform the existing legislation have resulted in the approval of the 3rd Amendment Treaty on 21 March 2019. The Amendment proposes to remove the limit on the number of sports betting licences and re-introduce a sports betting process. The ban on online casino will remain in place, although there is an exception to the prohibition for S-H. The Amendment still needs to be ratified by each German state by 31 December 2019 before it can become binding law across Germany. The German state of Lower Saxony has taken steps to prevent PSPs from facilitating transactions between German players and online casino operators, and further enforcement action appears likely. GREAT BRITAIN Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: All licences are available to private operators save for lottery, which is reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider, Camelot. Status: Any operator that transacts with, or advertises to, British residents requires a licence from the Gambling Commission. Licensed operators are required to source gambling software from commission-licensed businesses. Remote Gaming Duty has been increased to cover a shortfall in lost tax revenue resulting from a reduction in maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals from £100 to £2. Both changes took effect 1 April 2019. GREECE Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting and lottery. Operator type: All products are exclusively reserved for the monopoly providers, although 24 transitional licences for private operators remain active, with all products permitted. Status: The enabling regulations that implement a Greek online gambling licensing regime are yet to be implemented. In 2012, a ‘transition period’ commenced, whereby the Greek government granted 24 transitional licences to operators, enabling them to keep transacting with Greek residents. The Government has submitted draft amendments to the country’s Gambling Law to the EC approval which, if implemented as proposed, will introduce an open licensing regime for online sports betting, live casino and peer-to-peer poker. The right to permit RNG-based casino games has been reserved to the Ministry of Finance (on recommendation of the Hellenic Gaming Commission). HUNGARY Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Only the state monopolies (Szerencsejáték Zrt. and Magyar Lóversenyfogadást-Szervezo Kft) and local concession companies can apply for a licence. Status: Amendments to Hungarian gambling law came into force on 1 October 2015 and allow only two land-based casinos to hold remote casino concessions. The regulator has since issued fines, a number of which have been challenged, against unlicensed operators that continue to target the market. In June 2017, the ECJ determined Hungary’s gambling regime to be incompatible with Article 56 TFEU. A subsequent ECJ decision in February 2018 ruled against the Hungarian requirement that online gambling operators must have a land-based licence to offer online gambling services to Hungarian citizens, further strengthening arguments that the current regime is incompatible with EU law. The Hungarian Ministry of Justice has stated its intention to continue to seek to enforce the existing regime despite the most recent ruling. A draft bill that would introduce payment-blocking measures was notified to the EC on 15 December 2017, although the bill appears to have stalled. IRELAND Regulated gambling products: Online gaming is not specifically accounted for in Ireland’s outdated legislation and as such is currently unregulated. Operator type: Online betting regulated since August 2015. Status: Ireland has been contemplated updating its legislation, which will create a comprehensive igaming regime, for some time. In April 2019, an inter-departmental working group on the future licensing and regulation of gambling published a report indicating that a reform of Irish betting and gaming laws may finally be going ahead in the near future. Legislative progress is not expected until late 2019 at the earliest. ITALY Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Fully regulated market, although lotteries are the subject of a state monopoly. Status: Remote gambling licences are granted within specific application windows. The last tender process for applications closed on 19 March 2018. On 7 August 2018, the Italian parliament approved a decree which prohibits gambling advertising and sponsorship. The ban took effect on 14 July 2018, although ongoing advertising and sponsorship contracts remained valid until the earlier of their expiration date or 14 July 2019. The Italian communications regulator recently released guidelines for the ad ban with the hope of clarifying its scope. LUXEMBOURG Regulated gambling products: Lottery. Operator type: Monopoly. Status: The general prohibition on gambling appears sufficiently wide to cover all forms of online gambling. MALTA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Private operators can apply for a local licence (except for lottery products). Status: Malta has approved a new Gaming Act that replaces all existing gaming legislation with a single piece of legislation, supplemented by secondary legislation. The Gaming Act, with directives and regulations, is effective 1 August 2018. NETHERLANDS Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Monopoly for all products. Status: On 19 February 2019, the Dutch parliament approved the Remote Gambling Bill, which will introduce an online gambling licensing regime. It is understood that operators that have directly ‘targeted’ the Dutch market will face a two-year cooling-off period before being eligible for a licence. Implementation of a licensing regime will not likely emerge for some time. In the interim, the regulator is expected to continue to implement enforcement measures against operators targeting Dutch players. NORWAY Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting and lottery. Operator type: Online gambling is reserved for the two monopoly providers, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Status: The monopoly has extended its offering to include live betting, online bingo and casino games in an attempt to redirect traffic from unlicensed sites. The Norwegian regulator continues to step up enforcement efforts against unregulated operators, local banks and payment service providers. The government has also adopted measures to stem the flow of gambling supply from offshore, including enhanced enforcement powers to prevent gambling advertising from abroad and ISP and payment blocking.POLAND Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, casino and poker. Operator type: Betting licences are available for companies with a representative in Poland. Casino and poker are reserved for a state monopoly. Status: Legislation enacted 1 January 2012 permits betting. Online gaming (including poker) is no longer prohibited as of 1 April 2017, although the exclusive rights to offer such products are reserved for a state monopoly. Provisions that provide for the establishment of a blacklist of unlicensed operators and ISP and payment blocking came into force on 1 July 2017. The blacklist contains more than 1,000 domain names. PORTUGAL Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Any EU/EEA operator can apply to be granted a licence for online gambling. Lottery games and land-based fixed-odds sports betting remain reserved for a monopoly. Status: A regulated market since 2015. Although operators can now apply for licences, their Portuguese revenue streams are subject to comparatively high tax rates, particularly in sports betting (8-16% tax on turnover). In 2015, the RGA filed a state-aid case with the EC challenging the Portuguese betting tax as breaking EU trade rules. ROMANIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Any operator from an EU/EEA jurisdiction or the Swiss Confederation can apply for a licence. Lottery games remain reserved for the monopoly. Status: The Gambling Law (as amended) introduced a legal framework for a fully regulated online gambling market and requires licences to be held by online gambling operators, as well as software providers, payment processors, affiliates and testing labs. After some delay, the secondary legislation that fully implemented the new licensing regime came into force on 26 February 2016. In December 2018, the Romanian government approved an ordinance which, among other things, introduces a new 2% tax on player deposits for online gambling operators as of 1 January 2019. SLOVAKIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Private operators can apply for licences for online casino as of 1 March 2019 and for sports betting licences from 1 July 2019. Lottery and bingo remain reserved for the monopoly provider. Status: A new Gambling Law came into force on 1 March 2019. The Gambling Law allows private operators outside of Slovakia to apply for licences for sports betting and casino, although sports betting licences will not enter into effect until July 2020.SLOVENIA Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Online gambling must be operated by land-based casinos or lotteries and, as a result, only the monopoly holds online licences in Slovenia. Status: Draft amendments to the Gaming Act were published in 2015, which aim to remove the current local establishment requirement. The proposal, which is yet to be submitted to the Slovenian parliament, was expected to be adopted in early 2019. Whether any amendments will introduce a formal licensing system remains unclear.SPAIN Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Private operators can apply for licences for all gambling products save for lottery. Status: Operators must hold a general licence and a specific licence, both issued by the National Gambling Commission, for each activity. Remote gambling licences are granted within specific application windows. The last tender process for applications closed on 18 December 2018. The 2018 parliamentary budget was passed into law in June 2018, resulting in a reduction to gambling tax effective as of 1 July 2018. The DGOJ has introduced a number of new player protection initiatives. More stringent restrictions on gambling advertising in the country may take effect in the near future. SWEDEN Regulated gambling products: Betting (including sports, horse race, pool, exchanges), casino, poker, bingo and lottery. Operator type: Licences are available for private operators. Status: As of 1 January 2019, Sweden is a fully regulated market. All gambling operators that wish to offer their services to Swedish residents will be required to obtain a licence in order to validly do so (either a ‘betting’ licence or a ‘commercial online games’ licence, depending on the product(s) being offered). Active enforcement measures are in place and the Swedish regulator has already issued a number of monetary fines to licensed operators for self-exclusion and marketing failures.WIGGIN is a law firm dedicated to supporting the media, entertainment and gaming sectors. Its market-leading betting and gaming group provides specialist legal services to an array of gambling industry stakeholders. We advise many of the world’s leading gambling operators and suppliers and also enjoy helping entrepreneurial, interactive start-up businesses. If you’d like to hear more, contact us at [email protected] Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling 31st July 2019 | By Stephen Carter Regions: Europe
Playson secures full approval in Sweden Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Casino software developer Playson has secured full approval in the regulated Swedish market, confirming that its full range of gaming content is now fully compliant and certified in the country. Topics: Legal & compliance Legal & compliance Tags: Online Gambling Casino software developer Playson has secured full approval in the regulated Swedish market, confirming that its full range of gaming content is now fully compliant and certified in the country.Playson completed a security audit following a rigorous testing process across its engineering, integration and product departments, placing its gaming content in line with requirements set out by national regulator Spelinspektionen.The developer is already active in Sweden and its content is live with a number of licensed operators in the country.“Sweden is an important market for us and to have our offering made fully compliant is an important move for the company,” Playson’s compliance manager, Liubomyr Bedratiuk, said.“As an agile provider, we have a strong infrastructure in place that can react quickly to regulatory changes. We are fully committed to working in regulated markets and look forward to consolidating our presence in Sweden over the coming months.” 6th August 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter
Regions: UK & Ireland Topics: Legal & compliance Email Address Glasgow City Council is to stage a summit with academics, third sector, health professionals, youth workers and individuals who have suffered with gambling problems in order to examine related challenges in the Scottish city and develop a new framework for action. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Legal & compliance 30th September 2019 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Glasgow City Council is to stage a summit with academics, third sector, health professionals, youth workers and individuals who have suffered with gambling problems in order to examine related challenges in the Scottish city and develop a new framework for action.The plan was approved at a meeting of the Council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee, where a number of specialist speakers put forward their ideas to reduce gambling harms.The Committee discussed various key factors related to gambling, including the changing landscape of the industry, associated health and financial problems, the rise in popularity of online gaming, increased marketing and advertising spend, and the impact on young people.Following an open debate, the Committee concluded staging a summit would be the most effective course of action, with the aim of developing a whole systems approach to the prevention and treatment of individuals impacted by gambling.Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Councillor Bailie Annette Christie said that Glasgow has a longstanding problem with gambling and as the more traditional approaches are not working, more must be done to tackle related issues.“The gambling sector has changed over recent years and therefore how we tackle the problems that arise from gambling addiction and how it impacts other areas of a person’s life, needs to change too,” Christie said.“We need to treat gambling the same as alcohol and smoking addictions have been treated in the past – as public health problems. We need a new approach and to look at all the different policy areas including health, education, planning, licensing, and financial inclusion that could be used to treat and support people and prevent the harm in the first place.”Other key outcomes from the meeting included a commitment to take steps to learn more about what works in order to limit and prevent harm by exploring best practice examples from across the UK and internationally.The Committee will also advocate for a stronger focus on education and review suitability of educational activities and programmes, as well as review support available to council staff to take account of online gambling and ensure those who are at risk of, or are experiencing gambling harms can to access help.Meanwhile, the Committee also called for closer work with partners to ensure appropriate care pathways that meet the needs of users, and to consider the actions required to facilitate partnership working across a range of agencies to explore the further development.In addition, the Committee said both the Council and Licensing Board should continue to work with the GB Gambling Commission, as well as the Scottish and UK Governments, to look at what more could be done to counteract the impact of clustering of environmental harms.Image: Barnabas Csomor Glasgow to consider proposals for new gambling framework
18th March 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Bingo Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Norway’s gaming authority will allow bingo halls to operate in an online-only capacity, suspending regulations that require a physical draw to take place, as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the sector. Email Address Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Bingo Norway allows online-only bingo to ease Covid-19 impact Regions: Europe Nordics Norway Tags: Online Gambling Norway’s gaming authority will allow bingo halls to operate in an online-only capacity, suspending regulations that require a physical draw to take place, as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the sector.Norwegian gambling regulations state that consumers can play bingo online, but must be linked to games occurring in a land-based bingo hall. However, Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) said it had been contacted by a number of bingo hall operators asking for exemptions from this rule.This follows the shut-down of all cultural, sporting and voluntary activies in Norway, including bingo halls, on 12 March, in order to slow the spread of the virus.Bingo operators may now offer games entirely online. However, games may still only be offered from 10AM to 10PM and with each licensee only able to offer one game at a time. In addition, new players no longer need to register for accounts in person and can now do this online.The rules will be in place until 29 March, but the Lotteritilsynet will continue to review the situation and may keep them in place longer.In addition, the Norwegian government has established a compensation scheme to help businesses, teams, associations and individuals running cultural, sporting or voluntary events mitigate the impact of the shut-down. Worth approximately NOK300m (£23.7m/$25.6m$28.0m), it will provide grants to entities that have lost revenue from ticket sales and participation fees on events that were due to take place between 5 March and 5 April. This will be overseen by the country’s Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Q. Raja, and managed by Lottstift and Norway’s Cultural Council.
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Topics: Sports betting AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter iGB, in partnership with sports data specialist Abelson Info, is providing an updated list of the sporting events taking place each weekday throughout the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Badminton Armenia’s Infinity Cup joins the range of betting options today together with action from Ukraine’s Shuttle Masters Cup.Baseball China’s Professional Baseball League rejoins the fray in the next 24 hours, with the League’s reserves also playing in the coming 24 hours. South Korea’s Baseball Championships continues its pre-season.Basketball Chinese Taipei’s Super Basketball League and Tajikistan’s Northern Cup both feaure matches today.Darts The sport’s remote schedule continues, with the Icons of Darts Live League, A Night at the Darts and PDC Home Tour all taking place. Golf The 1st round of the US Outlaw Tour’s GCU Championship joins the action from the 2nd round of the Cactus Tour’s Longbow event in Arizona.Greyhounds Racing takes place across 15 tracks in Australia, and at Florida’s Naples Fort Myers in the US.Horse racing There are races held at 13 tracks in Australia over the next 24 hours, as well as action at Umaker, Jagersro and Axevalla in Sweden; at Japan’s Tokyo City Keiba and at Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma and Nebraska’s Fonner Park in the US.Ice hockey The only ice hockey matches scheduled are short-form versions, in Russia’s Liga Pro and Comet Division.Table tennis Germany’s Challenger Series enters its second day of action, alongside matches in Armenia, the Czech Republic, Russia and two matches in Ukraine.Tennis Belarus’ Masters League, Russia’s Liga Pro and the International Tennis Series in the US complete today’s round-up. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and all events are subject to change.Abelson Info was set up by Ed Abelson in 2003 to supply the bookmaking industry with the crucial sports data it required as the online betting industry began to boom. Starting with just a handful of employees and even fewer clients, the business has since grown and evolved to accommodate the ever-changing requirements of the industry.We now supply data and technical services to the majority of the top tier bookmakers and platform providers in the UK, along with many of the biggest media corporations and development firms across the world. We have a stellar reputation for delivering top quality data and are always on hand to support customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 28 April: Where’s the action? 28th April 2020 | By Stephen Carter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Sports betting iGB, in partnership with sports data specialist Abelson Info, is providing an updated list of the sporting events taking place each weekday throughout the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
Topics: Lottery Strategy Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 27th May 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address Lotteries after lockdown – Part 1 Many lotteries have reported an increase in online players due to retail shutdowns in place across the world. But will this lead to a permanent shift in player behaviour, asks Joanne Christie.Lottery operators have historically taken wildly different approaches to selling online and consequently achieved wildly different levels of success in the channel. But even those that have put a huge amount of resources into the endeavour have found that largely, retail remains the dominant channel for customers.Partly, this is due to demographics – it is widely recognised that older people are more likely to play the lottery than younger people. And partly it is due to ease of access – in many countries tickets can be bought during a supermarket shop, so people don’t have the same incentive to make the move online as they do with other products.However, the sudden arrival of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has changed things significantly. Widespread lockdowns have made it difficult – in some cases impossible – for players to buy their tickets at retail outlets. This has created a drop in retail sales but also an opportunity for lotteries to ramp up their online player base.In many cases any online uptick won’t be enough to compensate for the retail losses. On the other hand there is a possibility that a significant number of the new online players – some of whom are usually retail players, others completely new players – could add to the long-term revenues of operators.Shift in preferences “Like many businesses, we have seen some impact on National Lottery retail sales – in-store sales typically make up around 70% of our total sales – as a result of the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19,” says Camelot commercial director Neil Brocklehurst. “As part of our measures to support National Lottery retailers, and in line with government guidance, we’ve been encouraging players to only buy tickets in retail if they’re already in store doing an essential shop and to play online instead.“What’s clear right now is that there has been a change in the way some people are playing the National Lottery during this period. Due to the fact that we’ve been encouraging people to play and check their tickets online and on the National Lottery app, we’ve seen a significant increase in people downloading our app and traffic to our online channels.”However, he says it’s too early to say how many of these new online players will remain online, adding that “the UK National Lottery has always been a primarily retail business and we don’t expect that to change any time soon”.Anna Romboli, head of the Tur business unit at Svenska Spel, says she is hopeful of a permanent increase in online play. “We see a rapid digital transformation and an increase in our online player base, and this increase seems to have accelerated due to Covid-19. These are customers that we aim to keep long term.”“It’s very difficult to predict the long-term effect, but right now we can see a decrease in retail sales also here in Sweden, as the Swedes stay at home to a large extent. And since the crisis is on everybody’s mind, the general focus on lottery products isn’t that high.”Others, however, fear that not only will online not make up for the retail decline in the interim but also that the retail decline will prove permanent. Yakir Firestane, director of digital at the Health Lottery, says the lottery has seen a rise of around 10% in online play but a 40% fall in retail play.His worry is that while the online gain may remain, retail will not bounce back. “I don’t think that we will go back to where we were before the pandemic in terms of our retail/online split.“My fear is that the treatment, in terms of the behavioural treatment that people have received by being denied the ability to play in retail for six weeks, maybe longer, is just too long for them to regain old habits. They will have learned new behaviour, which is either they came to us online or they found something else to do with their £5 a week.“I think that our lottery is in a similar position to the newspaper industry. You see about the same drop in newspaper sales, about 30-40%, and yes, you see an increase online, but the revenues are not the same and many fear that the people who have stopped buying the newspaper will grow out of the habit.”Adapt to survive This risk makes it all the more important that lotteries adapt their offerings in the meantime to make sure players don’t get out of the habit of playing.One way the Health Lottery is doing this is via product innovation. “We’ve accelerated our delivery pace, so we launched a new gambling website two or three weeks ago, we launched a new scratchcard – which has the best odds to win £100,000 in Britain – two weeks ago, and we are releasing a new product almost every fortnight, which is significant. We usually release stuff much more slowly,” says Firestane.On the other side of the Atlantic, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission has adopted a similar strategy. “[In April] we started launching two e-Instants a month to ensure there was ample refreshed content for our players,” says Kelley-Jaye Cleland, director of sales and product development. “Previously we only launched one per month, with the exception of the first few months of launch. We anticipate this being a permanent change.”Lotteries have also focused on the accessibility of their products. At Camelot, Brocklehurst says: “We’ve taken measures to make it easier for people who might traditionally play in retail – for example, we’ve lowered our minimum online deposit limit from £10 to £5 to ensure that people who just want to buy a ticket or two play online instead of going out to a shop unnecessarily to do so.”This focus on ease of access has in some cases extended beyond online. For example, in early April Svenska Spel reintroduced proxy play, whereby customers can nominate an individual to place bets or buy lottery tickets on their behalf in retail outlets. It was a move aimed largely at elderly customers and one that has been “very positively received”, according to Romboli.“There will always be a group that prefers the retail experience and also a group that will just not be able to make the move over to online play. However, this group is decreasing over time,” she says.In the Czech Republic, Sazka has taken steps to encourage these elusive older players online. For example, shortly after the Czech lockdown began, it put together online tutorials on how to create an account and how to deposit money, aimed at those aged 50-plus.“We track a KPI which is newly registered [customers] and these numbers since March have doubled. And more interestingly, we clearly see an older audience becoming now an online customer. [These are], of course, regularly a retail customer,” says Sazka chief executive Robert Chvatal.He says this was just one part of its strategy to invest more in attracting additional online customers during lockdown. “Even in the deepest corona times we did not think for a second on the necessity to invest capital expenditures into making our online platform more robust.”So far, Sazka’s investment seems to be paying off. At one point only 70% of Sazka’s Czech retail network was selling products and it’s likely many players stayed away even when they could access retail outlets. However, in a statement released alongside its 2019 annual report in April, the company said Czech GGR year-to-date remained in line with the company’s budget.In fact, in April it said it was slightly above expectations, with a strong online performance making up for any retail loss. “The Czech business is still pretty much delivering what it was delivering last year, which I think is a phenomenal achievement,” says Chvatal.Read part two here. Many lotteries have reported an increase in online players due to retail shutdowns in place across the world. But will this lead to a permanent shift in player behaviour, asks Joanne Christie Lottery AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 9th November 2020 | By Robin Harrison AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Betting and gaming levies for the period came to €16.1m, and after €3.4m in value added tax (VAT), net revenue for the nine months came to €73.5m, down 16.4%. Betclic Everest Group subsidiary Bet-at-home said the summer’s packed sporting schedule positively impacted its performance in the third quarter, though revenue for the year to date remains below 2019 levels. Tags: Bet-at-home This came on total stakes of €636.1m for the third quarter alone, and €2.10bn for the nine-month period (a 13.9% decline). Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Online casino Q3 results 2020 Online sports betting While online gaming was not impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it reported a drop in revenue as a result of tighter regulatory controls, which forced the operator to withdraw from the Swiss market in 2019. However, this is likely to decline in 2021, it warned, as a result of regulatory conditions imposed for Germany’s online sports betting and casino markets. Bet-at-home revenue down in Q3 despite sports-heavy period After €1.5m in amortisation and depreciation charges, earnings before interest and tax were down 15.6% at €21.6m. While €72,000 in financial outgoings saw pre-tax profit fall to €21.5m, a 64.2% drop in income taxes, to €7.1m, resulted in net profit for the nine months to 30 September increase sharply, to €14.4m. Email Address It received a sports betting licence from the Regional Council of Darmstadt last week, and can take advantage of a transition period in which the business can offer heavily restricted forms of slots and poker. Looking ahead, the operator said that while it remains on track to generate between €120m and €132m for the 2020 calendar year, and EBITDA of between €23m and €27m. Bet-at-home noted that it has removed table games and implemented the €1,000 limit for the casino products by the 15 October deadline, as it aims to secure a licence once the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) comes into force from July 2021. Revenue for the nine months to 30 September came to €93.0m (£84.0m/$110.6m), down 12.9% year-on-year. Based on the first half revenue of €62.3m, this suggested the operator generated €30.7m in the three months to 30 September. This will require operators to limit customer spending to €1,000 per month, with limited scope to offer a small number of sportsbook customers higher limits of €10,000 or €30,000. “This significantly increased legal certainty for business operations in Germany, however, means that, from the current perspective, the management board for the Bet-at-home.com expects a decline in gross betting and gaming revenue of around €20m in the financial year 2021, compared to the financial year 2020.” However the sporting cancellations in the first half saw both stakes and revenue for betting fall year-on-year, with customers wagering €303.9m and winning €269.5m, for gross revenue of €34.4m, a 21.1% drop. “From today’s perspective, this results in a decrease in EBITDA of around €13m in the financial year 2021.” Regions: Central and Eastern Europe Western Europe Germany Austria Q3 results 2020 This contributed to amounts wagered on casino, live dealer games, and virtual sports falling 12.4% to €1.79bn, which after customer winnings left gross revenue of €58.6m. Looking at performance by vertical, Bet-at-home said that it benefitted by a number of major sporting events taking place in the third quarter, in what had traditionally been a quieter period for the business. Bet-at-home recorded €1.1m in additional income, while personnel expenses for the period rose to €14.6m. While marketing costs were down 27.1% at €21.4m, and other operating expenses fell to €15.6m, the decline in revenue resulted in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 14.6% to €23.0m.
“Adding live sports will help address a broader audience, bring over more punters and introduce them to this new and exciting world of esports while providing some diversity.” esports betting “This new functionality means they can bet on hugely popular sports such as soccer, basketball and hockey from the convenience of Luckbox – a single and secure platform that now integrates esports and traditional sports betting.” 3rd February 2021 | By Richard Mulligan Email Address Luckbox moves into traditional sports through EveryMatrix deal Quentin Martin, chief executive of Luckbox owner Real Luck Group, said: “Luckbox is a world-leading destination for esports betting, but we know most of our players also love traditional sports. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The agreement, which expands an existing partnership, means Luckbox now offers over 105 traditional sports and will each month present 85,000 pre-match events, 70,000 live events and 450 types of bets. Through the deal, Luckbox customers will also be able to enjoy features such as bet builder and cash out. Luckbox and EveryMatrix started their partnership in 2019 when the former launched into esports betting with OddsMatrix, the supplier’s sportsbook platform. Topics: esports betting Real Luck Group debuted on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange in December 2020 following approval earlier in the year. The partnership incorporates this weekend’s Super Bowl in American football, as well as the forthcoming Australian Open in tennis and rugby union’s Six Nations. Esports-first gaming operator Luckbox has enhanced its offering by adding a range of live sports via B2B supplier EveryMatrix ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Ebbe Groes, group chief executive of EveryMatrix, said: “The team here at EveryMatrix is very happy for Luckbox’s progress. Our partnership has proven to be a success story and our excellence within esports absolutely owes a great deal to working with Luckbox. Companies: EveryMatrix