News

UK Labour Party Suggests Gambling Changes

The UK Labour Party has called for a number of changes in the gambling industry. The politicians are concerned about the health impacts that gambling has on residents across the country, and wants to take steps to prevent problem gambling from spreading.

All of the recommendations follow a year-long consultation on the topic. The Labour Party worked with charities, gambling addiction experts, gaming operators and problem gamblers themselves. Their goal is to reduce the number of problem gamblers across the UK.

A Ban on Gambling Ads

Taking a cue from the Australian government, the Labour Party has suggested that gambling ads are banned during live sports broadcasts. This would also include the showing or mentioning of live odds during the game. It is suggested to be a “whistle to whistle” ban that would stop gambling operators from advertising before, during and after matches.

Lawmakers in Australia have already enacted a similar ban. Gambling operators are no longer permitted to advertise their products during matches. No ads can be shown from 5am until 8:30pm, and the ban was recently extended to online streams.

The idea behind the ban is stop people from associating sports with gambling. It allows spectators to enjoy the game without being tempted to wager on it. This is particularly important with regards to young viewers, who may grow up thinking that it is necessary to bet on sports to be a true fan.

Ban on Credit Card Betting

The Labour Party has also suggested banning the use of credit cards at casinos. Currently, up to £8.6 billion worth of online gambling transactions are made using credit cards. While it is a convenient option for punters, there is the danger that players who are already in debt could dig themselves even deeper.

Additionally, the Labour Party also wants to give players the power to stop their bank from allowing transactions to online casinos. At the moment, self-exclusion is available at gaming sites, but players also have the option of visiting a new casino if they decide that they want to play again. By allowing players to put a stop on transactions from the bank itself, they would be able to get to the root of the problem and not be able to play again so easily.

These plans have received a positive response so far, and many have said that they “hit the nail on the head”. Tackling problem gambling is an important issue, and politicians should also work harder to prevent young people from being enticed by gambling as well. The Labour Party’s recommendations could make an important impact on problem gambling rates across the country, and it is hoped that the government takes them on board.

BetStars Launches in NJ

It hasn’t been very long since American lawmakers deemed it legal for states to license and regulate sports betting services, but gaming operators are already making impressive progress in the market. Several sports betting companies have quickly made their way into states with legalized wagering, the latest being The Stars Group which has launched its BetStars products in New Jersey.

Bringing Mobile Betting to New Jersey

BetStars is working with the Resorts Casino Hotel to bring sports betting to New Jersey residents. The new BetStars app will be available online on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Only players within the state’s borders will be able to access these services.

There are plenty state-of-the-art betting services that New Jersey punters will be able to take advantage of by wagering with BetStars. In-game betting will be available, allowing players to make bets while the game is underway, and early cashouts can be made. Enhanced bonuses and betting products will be launched, as well, providing punters with plenty of extra perks.

Matt Primeaux of Stars Group says:

“We are excited to introduce BetStars to New Jersey sports fans. As one of the largest online gaming companies in the world with millions of customers worldwide, we have successfully launched BetStars in regulated markets across Europe and look forward to expanding and enhancing our New Jersey BetStars offering”.

Legalized Sports Betting in America

The federal government announced earlier this year that individual states would be able to offer sports betting products, as a decision to overturn PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). New Jersey is just one of seven states that has quickly jumped on the betting bandwagon, working on passing laws that allow sports betting to be made available to local players. The other states are:

  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • New York

New Jersey is the first state to begin offering sports betting to its residents, along with Delaware. In fact, within the first month of the expansion, punters in Delaware spent over $1 million wagering on sports.

Pennsylvania is likely to be the next state to have wagering services up and running soon, and West Virginia and Mississippi hopes to have its sports betting operations up during the first few weeks of the NFL season. New York is likely to be the last of the group of legalize sports betting, as a law could be passed in early 2019 that will allow residents to wager on sports.

These seven states are just the beginning, however. It’s likely that other states will begin passing laws and launching sports betting products, once they see just how lucrative the market can be.

 

Dallas Cowboys Strike Up First-Ever NFL Casino Deal

The NFL is quickly coming around to the idea of embracing the legalisation of sports betting in America. Today, the Dallas Cowboys have become the first franchise to sign a deal with a casino after announcing its partnership with WinStar World Resort.

The news comes shortly after the NFL has announced its new regulations for sports sponsorships and advertisements.  After spending decades with an anti-gambling stance, the NFL has decided that it would allow for the promotion of casinos and sports books. Now, the Dallas Cowboys have quickly taken advantage of this decision and struck a landmark deal with one of the biggest casinos in Oklahoma.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, says:

“The Dallas Cowboys take great pride in aligning themselves with the best brands in the world,” Jones said at a press conference. “It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder as partners with such a prominent entertainment brand like WinStar World Casino.”

While few details have been announced about the partnership, it is likely that the deal will include a sponsorship. This means that the jerseys of the Dallas Cowboys will be redesigned to feature to logo of WinStar Casino, in addition to the venue’s branding at the team’s stadium.

There is definitely plenty of money to be made by partnering with an online gaming brand. In the European football markets, teams have made millions by agreeing to sponsorship deals with companies like Betclic and Betfair, and there is plenty for NFL teams to see the same impressive benefits.

While sports betting is still not legal in Oklahoma, the marketing continues to expand very quickly. More and more states are legalizing sports betting, and there’s no telling when Oklahoma will do the same.

A Change of Heart for the NFL

It hasn’t been very long since the NFL announced its plans to change advertising rules. On Monday, the league stated that teams across the NFL would be able to partner with casinos for sponsorship opportunities and that advertisements for gambling establishments would be permitted.

It seems as though the NFL is following in the footsteps of the NBA. The basketball league quickly embraced the legalization of sports betting in America by making MGM its official gambling partner.

It will be interesting to see if any other leagues come forward to show their interest in the sports betting market. The NHL and MLB have yet to comment on the recent developments but we imagine that it won’t be long before other major leagues begin preparing for the sports betting boom that is bound to take place across America.

Gambling Ads Banned During Sports Streams in AU

The Australian government has been cracking down on gambling ads during sporting events on television for quite some time, and now the focus has shifted to online streams. In a recent decision, lawmakers have banned all advertisements that promote gambling during events that are streamed online from 5am to 8:30pm.

No Ads On Any Sports Broadcasts

Earlier this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) stated that any proposed changes could be made to the ban by July 26. During that time, ACMA worked together with the Australian government to come up with amendments that would limit the amount of exposure for gambling operators during live sports broadcasts online. The new laws now that no gambling ads can be shown between 5am and 8:30, and this will take effect on September 28.

Originally, regulations stated that no restrictions would be placed on “low audience” sports channels – which attract under 100 000 users per month. However, this is no longer the case. Gambling ads will be banned across all online channels, no matter how many viewers tune in to watch sports on the sites.

A Plan to Reduce Problem Gambling

The idea behind banning gambling ads across online and television sports broadcasts is to help drive down problem gambling rates across the country, and to prevent young people from becoming interesting in wagering on sports. Problem gambling numbers in Australia are quite high when compared to other countries, and it is believed that is sports spectators see fewer gambling ads they will not feel compelled to wager on the games.

The government also wants to separate the activities of gambling and betting. Problem gambler experts believe that young people who watch sports and see gambling ads may not be able to separate the sport from wagering, thinking that it’s essential to be a true fan. Without gambling ads being played during matches, it is hoped that fewer young people will get involved with betting and other gambling activities.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin says:

“This brings online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services. It creates a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms.”

There will be a test period of 12 months until September 2019. At this time, ACMA and the Australian government will review the ban to determine whether or not the new gambling guidelines are effective in the decline of problem gambling rates. If there is not a significant change, then more revisions will be made to continue to help prevent problem gambling from becoming a larger problem across the country.

Three Online Casino Licenses Awarded in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, things are quickly moving along when it comes to online gaming legislation. Last month was the deadline for operators to submit their online casino applications, and three have already been approved. Mount Airy, Parx and Harrah’s are now the first three venues that have earned approval to operate online gaming activities for players across the state.

Teaming Up With Big Online Gaming Brands

Since none of the Pennsylvania casinos have experience with operating online casinos, they have partnered with other companies to ensure that they can provide local players with quality products. The casino partners will also have to be vetted by Pennsylvania’s gaming authorities to ensure that they are trustworthy and reputable companies.

Parx Casino is working with GAN, a UK-based casino operator that is known for its gaming sites across Europe. The company has plenty of experience in creating online casino games and slots, but has yet to make a big name for itself in the poker world. Consider that Parx is the biggest poker room in Pennsylvania, this will be a great opportunity for GAN to work on its online poker products.

Mount Airy will be teaming up with The Stars Group, which is a full-service online gaming operator. The Stars Group runs online poker, online casino games and online sports betting activities. Together, Mount Airy and The Stars Group will launch PokerStars PA, a gaming site that offers a wide range of gaming products to players across the state.

While Harrah’s has yet to announce its online gaming partner, it is likely that its online poker room will be run by the World Series of Poker. This has been speculated by gaming industry experts, as Harrah’s is associated with Caesars, which runs the WSOP.

With so many big brands entering Pennsylvania’s online gaming market, there is surely going to be some steep competition – and, there are still six more licenses to be granted! Players across the state will definitely be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding where to play online casino games.

A Boon to the Local Economy

The opening up to Pennsylvania’s online casino market will be a huge benefit to the local economy. Not only will it create jobs but it will also generate valuable tax revenue for the state. In fact, it even has the potential to boost the existing land based market, as evidenced by Atlantic City.

Online gaming in Pennsylvania is sure to be a success, and it will be interesting to see how the remaining six operators decide to partner up. There will certainly be several more international online gaming operators dipping their toes into the American market.

 

New Jersey Becomes Home to Live Casino Studio

Live dealer casino games are some of the most popular titles in the market, providing players with the chance to interact with dealers in real time just like they would in land-based casinos. More and more players around the world are logging on to live casinos every day, and Evolution Gaming expects that trend to spread across the United States. That’s why the leading live casino games developer has opened up its first American-based studio in New Jersey.

State-of-the-Art Live Dealer Facilities

The new studio from Evolution Gaming is where live casino games will be broadcasted to players across America. The live dealer table games will be accessible from both the desktop and mobile devices of players in states where online gambling is currently legal, such as Nevada and New Jersey – and, soon, Pennsylvania. It will be the 10th studio of its kind around the world, but the first one to be based in the United States.

There will be ten table games broadcasted from the live dealer studio at first. These are likely to include classic games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat. As time goes on, the studio will accommodate other types of tables, which will likely be more niche titles like double ball roulette and blackjack switch.

Since legalized sports betting is on its way to New Jersey, Evolution Gaming’s live dealer studio will cater to that development, as well. There will be live tables that are dedicated to live sporting events.

An example of a live sporting game is Evolution Gaming’s Football Studio, a simple hi-low card game that is linked to high-profile games. While dealing out the game, the dealer commentates on soccer matches in real time to keep players up to date with all of the exciting sports action. However, since football is not as popular of a game in America as it is in Europe, it is likely that the live sporting events that are broadcasted from the new Evolution Gaming studio in New Jersey will concern sports like basketball and American football.

A Long Time Coming

While the live dealer studio has only opened recently, this move has been in the works for quite some time. It was back in 2013 that Evolution Gaming gained Preliminary Waiver Approval from New Jersey lawmakers, having anticipated that online gambling would become a hugely lucrative market in the states.

According to Martin Carlesund, Chief Executive of Evolution Gaming, the company has been keeping its eye on the American market. So, careful consideration has been given to opening up a live dealer studio in New Jersey, and the venue is likely to be a big success.

UK Government Mulls Gambling Ad Ban

Across the UK, there is a growing concern about the abundance of gambling ads that are broadcast on television. There have been calls for the government for review advertising rules for gambling operators to restrict them from broadcasting commercials at times when children would be watching.

A Call for Improved Gambling Ad Restrictions

In the United Kingdom, gambling advertisements are allowed to air on television before 9pm but only if they are part of a live sports broadcast. These are quite lax restrictions when you considering that many countries don’t permit gambling advertisements at any time. Australia is one country in which gambling ads were once allowed – but the government has recently introduced new rules that bans all ads during sporting events.

The major concern about gambling ads is that they may normalise gambling for young people watching. Children who view advertisements for sports betting during sporting events may not be able to separate the two activities, and they could feel encouraged to take part in gambling. The new rules that the public is calling for aims to reduce this risk.

The most interesting aspect of the issue is that sports betting companies have backed the call for new restrictions on gambling advertisements. Phillip Bowcock, Chief Executive of William Hill, has stated that a change is needed and that government officials should “have a serious discussion about it”. Paddy Power’s Chief Executive Peter Jackson has echoed these sentiments, saying that he’s open to tougher restrictions on gambling ads but a legislation must be passed first to ensure that gaming companies follow the rules.

In Violation of the Advertising Standards Authority Guidelines

Experts at Warwick University have looked into the issue, and they have concluded that the type of live odds betting offers shown during sporting events violate guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The authority’s code states that marketing should not encourage players to gamble by imposing significant time limitations – but the research team found that there were over 60 of these ads played during England matches in the 2018 World Cup.

The researchers noted that technology has changed the landscape of the betting market in the United Kingdom. Previously, football betting was relatively uncommon because punters would have to wager in person or over the phone. Now, players can wager using their phones and computers – with gambling advertisements compelling them to do so.

These are the types of issues that the public wants to UK government to look into. There is certainly room for improvement when it comes to gambling advertisement laws, with a view to preventing young people from being compelled to gamble and adults from engaging in irresponsible gambling behaviour.

NBA, MGM and GVC Join Forces in Sports Betting Market

The sports betting market has seen some major developments this week. In addition to MGM and GVC entering into a $200 million joint venture, NBA has entered into the mix by naming MGM as its official gaming partner.

Bringing International Operators into the US Market

To start out the week, MGM and GVC (operator of leading UK betting brands, Ladbrokes and Coral) announced that they would each be contributing $100 million to a joint venture. Together, the two companies aim to develop innovative sports betting products for players across the United States.

Currently, sports betting licenses are only available to casino operators that are located within the United States. The market is not open to international operators, but MGM has welcomed the first UK betting operator into the country. They will be working together to develop a sports betting platform that will be available to players in states where sports betting becomes legal. Reports state that here is a 25-year commitment as part of the deal. After ten years of working together, MGM and GVC will have the option of buying the other one.

Sports betting will be brand new to American gaming operators, so they will certainly need help from companies that have experience in the market. This is why it is important for local brands to team up with international companies, as they will be able to offer insight about creating successful sports betting platforms that will attract American players.

NBA Enters the Game

Days later, the NBA announced that MGM would be its official gaming partner. This is a huge deal for the sports betting market, as the NBA has never worked with a gaming operator before and MGM has never partnered with a major sports league. Together, they will generate increasing interest in sports betting across the country.

MGM will feature NBA branding on its land-based and online sports betting products. For example, odds boards at MGM casinos will feature logos from NBA teams as well as the league itself. Another important part of the partnership will see the two companies working together to protect the integrity of sports. They will develop data sharing systems that will allow them to ensure that players are able to stay safe while engaging in sports betting activities.

This is a very exciting time for gaming in America. The online sports betting market is developing very quickly with many states jumping on board the trend. Nevada, Mississippi, Delware and New Jersey have already legalized the activity New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have recently passed sports betting bills. With brands like MGM and the NBA promoting the activity, we are sure that many more states will be seriously considering the option of legalizing sports betting.

Rank Group Raises Millions for Charity

The casino market is an incredibly lucrative industry, and it is always great to see gaming executives giving back. Rank Group is putting an inspiring example forward, having recently raised £2 million ($2.6 million USD) for the charity, Carer’s Trust.

Working Together to Make Lives Better

Rank Group has had a partnership with Carer’s Trust since 2014, when the gambling operator started running various fundraising initiatives for the organization. Over the years, Rank Group has participated an organized a number of campaigns to benefit Carer’s Trust, having invested over 8500 hours to raise valuable funds.

The money raised by Rank Group has helped Carer’s Trust in a number of ways. Over 9000 careers have been provided with additional help and support, as the fundraising has allowed for the purchase of essential equipment, more breaks and extra training,

The fundraising efforts of the Rank Group team members and their customers across the country have been phenomenal. Their incredible support has made a vast difference to local unpaid carers.

While Rank Group’s charity campaigns have been varied in the past, the company’s most recent initiative was a harrowing one. Recently, the senior executive team at Rank Group undertook the Bushtucker Trial Challenge, which required them to eat insects and other creepy critters.

About Carer’s Trust

Carer’s Trust is a charity that supports unpaid carers aged 16 and over. Their support is aimed at helping individuals who care for friends and family members who are disabled or frail, as well as those who have addiction and mental health problems.

The organization assists carers across the United Kingdom, providing them with practical help and training, as well as replacement care. One of the most important aspects of Carer’s Trust is that the organization offers carers breaks, which many are in need of when looking after a loved one with an illness.

Carer’s Trust also provides grants to carers, offering them the financial support that they need. There are grants worth up to £300 available that are designed to benefit carers for issues such as breaks, travel costs, home repairs, training and items for the home.

It is truly inspiring to see a gaming operator working hard to benefit such a worthy cause. Rank Group is in good company, as well, as firms like Microgaming and Blueprint Gaming have also launched campaigns to benefit charitable organisations. In the future, it is hoped that more casino and gambling operators will step forward to lend a hand by raising money for charities that help the people that need it the most.

 

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Applications Under Review

The laws have been made, the applications have been submitted and online gambling is finally coming to Pennsylvania. The recent move to permit local casinos to offer games online to state residents will be a huge boon to Pennsylvania, generating more taxes and even helping to bring more business to land-based casinos.

Nine Applications Submitted

Of the 13 casino licensees in Pennsylvania, nine have submitted applications for licenses that will allow them to offer online gambling activities to players. After being reviewed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), they will have to pay a $10 million fee to receive their licenses. The casinos that have submitted applications are:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy
  • Parx in Bensalem
  • Rivers Casino
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
  • Stadium Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort

The deadline for applications closed on Monday, so there are four casinos that will not be able to apply for full online gambling licenses. They can still apply under individual gaming categories for a fee of $4 million each until August 16.

If any online gambling licenses remain unsold by that date, the PGCB will open up applications to international operators. This means that the state could see large companies like Amaya or Rank Group entering the local online gambling market.

Huge Tax Potential

Online gambling in Pennsylvania will be subject to some fairly high tax rates. Once operators have paid their $10 million license fee, they will also be responsible for paying taxes based on the type of games they offer:

  • 15% for daily fantasy sports
  • 16% for table games and poker
  • 36% for sports betting
  • 54% for slots

The Pennsylvanian government will benefit significantly from the taxes generated by online gambling. New Jersey has already set a great example, having generated over $120 million in tax revenue since online casino games were made legal in 2014.

This makes for some very optimistic predictions for the type of tax revenue that the state of Pennsylvania can expect to generate over the course of the next few years. However, industry experts have expressed concerns about the steep tax rates, stating that it could result in higher operating costs and less money spent on innovation.

Still, all of this remains to be seen. There is no telling how residents in PA will react to online gambling and if Pennsylvania casinos will see similar success to those in New Jersey. We will simply have to wait a few months and see how it all plays out in America’s newest regulated online gambling market.