West Virginia Almost Done with Online Gambling & Poker Bill

  • WV clears H 2934
  • Governor signature needed
  • The state’s Lottery to regulate online gambling

West Virginia is getting exceptionally close to signing online gambling into law. All that is needed is the signature of the state’s governor, following a successful passage through all levels of legislature.

West Virginia Can Soon Have Online Gambling

All scaremongering about the Wire Act and the Department of Justice’s high-handedness aside, West Virginia has been pushing towards full legalization of its online gambling industry. On February 12, Delegate Jason Barrett introduced House Bill 2934, which was expedited through the various stop-checks of the legal process in WV.

Minor patches were applied, but no large defiance came. The final approval was secured on March 9 when 78 delegates threw their unanimous support behind the bill with 18 people against and four choosing not to take sides.

WV’s H 2934 has been the quickest legislation to transition from a concept to proposition to now being what is one-signature away from becoming a law. Should the governor ratify the document, WV will be joining four states where online gambling is legally allowed, including Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

What Does WV Legal Gambling Bill Say?

The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Ac allows companies interested in providing online gambling services to do so for a period of five year because re-application/renewal is needed. The license comes at a cheap cost of $250,000 and tax rate of 15% of GGR.

Existing land-based casinos in the state can now – on condition the governor approves the bill – start building their online brands that will be affiliated or borrow the name directly. This includes the following properties:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino
  • Delaware North’s Nitro and Wheeling
  • Justice Greenbrier Resort

All activities will be regulated by the Lottery with the state about to figure out a way to address how to leverage funding coming from the gambling industry to use on public causes. Another issue that remains to be addressed is exercising control over gambling addiction and trying to narrow down its potential impact.

WV is a fairly unpopulated state for the needs of expanding the online gambling industry at a larger scale across the United States. However, the state is also among the first to try and push ahead with legalization of its segment and hopefully fetch extra customers from across the state border, while Kentucky, especially Ohio, and Indiana are still dithering over a decision. Connecticut is also spearheading its own expansion.

WV’s success can serve as inspiration to other states that are debating whether to push ahead with kickstarting their own industries. It’s worth noting that WV had solid political backing and not the history of divide common in other places that have tried to legalize online gambling.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

William Hill and Penn National Team up in Nevada

  • William Hill and Penn National Gaming are about to launch sports betting offer in M Resort Spa Casino
  • Regulatory approval from the NGCB still needed
  • William Hill continues to expand its footprint in Nevada and the US

William Hill and Penn National Gaming have been working together on a number of properties. The latest initiative between the two companies features the M Resort Spa Casino in Nevada. Following an expansion of their existing partnership in 2018, the companies are prepared to work together for the future of the property.

William Hill to Take Control Over M Resort Spa Casino in Nevada

Nevada’s M Resort Spa Casino is located Henderson, not so far from the Mecca of all Western gambling, Las Vegas. The property is about to get even more attractive with William Hill now awaiting regulatory approval to take control over the property’s sports and race books, adding distinct options for sports fans.

William Hill Promises Stronger Profits by 2023

William Hill and Penn National will be launching in May, hoping to provide customers with land-based wagering options as well as live betting and William Hill’s own authentic mobile betting solutions.

With the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) going through the deal and should they clear it, as expected, William Hill will deploy its expertise to provide M Resort Spa Casino with the fetching sports betting that will bring it more customers.

Commenting at the prospect of expanding with M Resort, William Hill US CEO, Joe Asher, had the following to say:

We are excited to expand our partnership with our friends at Penn National to operate the sports book at The M. It is a fabulous property, serving the Henderson and Southern Highlands areas, as well as guests from out of town, and we look forward to bringing our market-leading product to these customers.

William Hill and Penn National Gaming have been working together since August 2018 in a bid to expand their partnership and introduce William Hill’s award-winning sports betting product to Penn’s land-based properties.

It has been part of William Hill’s strategy in the United States to expand by partnering with esteemed brands and land-based properties across the USA. Penn National owns gaming venues in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

With all of these states looking into sports betting and expansion option for 2019, William Hill is well-poised to leverage its expertise and expand into important markets. Despite a small dip in the company’s financial performance, William Hill is well on schedule to achieve a double-digit growth.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

MGA and Spelinspektionen Work on iGaming Regulation

Sweden and Malta are going to collaborate in order to introduce a better control over the iGaming industry, the countries’ national regulators have said.

  • The MGA and Spelinspektionen sign a MoU
  • The regulators will exchange vital information
  • Sweden warns operators to comply with bonus policies

Sweden and Malta Collaborate on iGaming

The Spelinspektionen and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining the terms of a new cooperation.

The partnership will see the national watchdog focuses on exchanging key information across vital areas, allowing them to better enforce regulatory policies as well as uphold industry standards.

The move makes perfect sense since many companies offering iGaming products on the newly-regulated Swedish market also hold Maltese gaming licenses or have their technical hubs operating from the country.

Spelinspektionen Director Camilla Rosenberg commented on the new partnership and the opportunities to achieve better collaboration in the sector:

This is the beginning of a broad and long-term cooperation, and our plan is to initiate corresponding collaborations with more gambling authorities in Europe.

MGA Chief Executive Heathcliff Farrugia was no less enthusiastic about the new opportunity. According to him, the MGA was in a constant process of adding new and trustworthy process to help it carry out its regulatory mandate in full.

The MGA Suspends Bet Service Group License

Mr. Farrugia also noted that the nature of iGaming is increasingly cross-border, which means that regulators will have to find new ways to collaborate and exchange data quickly in order to effectively and efficiently provide guidance and apply penalties where necessary.

“This MoU, signed with the Swedish Gambling Authority, is an important step towards achieving both our respective regulatory goals in vital areas of mutual interest,” Mr. Farrugia explained.

Spelinspektionen and Bonus Rules

With the Swedish national dog looking to expand its efficiency, the Spelinspektionen has been cautioning companies over the use of bonuses. Sweden is taking a very sparing approach about promotional offers available at casinos.

As far as current law goes, iGaming operators may only offer a bonus to their customers the first time they sign-up, with no subsequent offers being permitted. However, the Spelinspektionen has established breach of that provision, prompting it to issue a warning against operators.

There has been also a pushback that the law concerning bonuses was ambiguous, giving some websites teeth to try and color around the lines.

What Will Closer Cooperation Between Malta and Sweden Mean?

Having the MGA and the Spelinspektionen work closely together is an important deterrent against future violation of existing iGaming provisions. If the two regulators work as one, their effectiveness increases while letting operators know that they are under more scrutiny.

Collaboration between regulators is important and it can bring online casino companies in line. In Australia, the country’s watchdog threatened companies operating without a proper Australian license that they would be reported to their respective regulators.

It worked and most of the big brands left along with what was over 30 illegal operators. More regulation is not always a bad thing, especially if done right.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

West Virginia’s House Judiciary Okays Sports Betting Bill

  • West Virginia House Judiciary Committee votes in favor of H 2934
  • The tax rate changes from 10% to 15%
  • WV is serious about expanding online sports betting through independent contractors

The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee has decided not to put a stop to an advancing sports betting bill. As per the new agreement, businesses that want to start running activities in the state will have to pay a slightly steeper tax rate, too.

H 2934 Gets the Go-Ahead in West Virginia

House Bill 2934 is the most advanced hope for sports betting in West Virginia. The bill outlines the tax rate and binding licensing conditions and now the WV House Judiciary Committee has agreed to push the legislation forward.

Originally set at 10%, the new proposed tax law will see operators pay 15% as a result of the renegotiation in the Committee.

However, the Committee didn’t alter any of the other pillars of the bill, including the proposed license fee nor their period.

Licenses will still cost $250,000 (far less than Pennsylvania where they can reach $10 million) and a renewal fee would need to be paid every five years to the amount of $100,000.

A Controlled Expansion of Sports Betting in WV

So far, WV doesn’t plan on pushing with multiple properties state-wide. Legislators want to establish a vibrant industry and make sure that tax revenue is gathered. With this in mind, only four brands would be allowed to operate in the state, including:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Mountaineer Racetrack
  • Casino and Delaware
  • Greenbrier Resort

The bill will indeed focus on land-based operations and try to concentrate power in the hands of the aforementioned, but this doesn’t preclude the existence of other operations.

For example, there will be special licenses for companies that want to pursue online gaming independent of the land-based properties. This will come with a fair priced license and renewal fee at $100,000 each.

The renewal fee will have to be paid every year as opposed to what land-based properties are paying. An interesting addition to the bill is that everyone who wants to be employed in the sector will need to acquire an occupational license priced at $100.

In the United Kingdom, for example, regulators are not hesitating to go after individual people as well as company licenses if they suspect that customers have been mislead on purpose.

The introduction of a license would give business accountability and thus bolster player security. H 2934 is not the only bill presently trying to alter the spots betting climate in the state for the better.

H 2178 was another initiative put forth by Rep. Shawn Fluharty and Joe Canestraro in January. In its outline, the bill tries to change the 1931 Code of West Virginia to allow online gaming and casinos in the state.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Virginia SB 1126 Clears Senate, Sports Betting Odds Better

Virginia’s SB 1126 is the state’s most famed sports betting bill, and it has just cleared the Senate. What this means is that land-based properties will be allowed to apply for licenses and offer the first sports betting opportunities in the state.

The Senate Bill Clears the Last Legal Hurdle

When Dem. Sen. Louise Lucas introduced his bill, he might have suspected how successful SB 1126 would be. Well, all speculation aside, Mr. Lucas has done very well indeed, with the Virginia Senate just clearing the document.

The Bill will also be voted on in the House of Representative later today and the Committee on Rules will try to prepare an action plan regarding the implementation of the document.

Virginia is an interesting beast when it comes to gaming, as it’s willing to accept spots betting as long as certain conditions are met. We previously explained that SB 1126 expects casinos applying for licenses to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 4%
  • A poverty rate of 20%
  • Population decline of 7% between 1990 and 2016

To top it all off, the casino will have to take it to a vote whether a casino can be built or operate, leading to multiple mini-referendum state-wide.

Tribal casinos on the other hand will be admitted in cities that have at least 200,000 people living in them with 24% of all estate tax exempted from property tax. This is quite a few hoops to jump through for the state and would be operators.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

Still, given the wide endorsement of the segment in its current form, it’s very unlikely that any future business owner would remonstrate against the proposed measures.

Speaking of the legal end of things, the taxes that will be collected from the casino sector also seem to be rather mild compared to other places.

Virginia will seek only 10% of the companies’ gross revenue, with the money being divvied up between various funds, including:

  • The Virginia Public School Construction Grants Program and Fund
  • The Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund
  • The General State Fund

Later, there will be another fund, i.e. the State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund, which will help local authorities develop their regions. This outlines the betting climate in Virginia.

Meanwhile, there are two more bills to keep an eye on, including SB 1238 and SB 1356, but at this point they both seem very unlikely to pass given the momentum SB 1126 has gathered already.

Nevertheless, lawmakers are trying to push from all directions towards the ultimate goal – legalizing sports betting, which should be good news for sports aficionados and companies eyeing expansion.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Illegal Gambling Continues to Expand in the Netherlands

  • Illegal gambling in the Netherlands jumps by 20%
  • The industry’s estimated at the same figures as before the increase
  • The government to vote on the Remote Gambling Bill on February 5

Despite its gung-ho position on gambling, Dutch regulators have been unable to curb the rise in numbers of illegal bettors.

The Netherlands See Illegal Gambling Increase

Illegal gambling has been cited as a problem by the country’s regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). In a bid to punish the so-called bad actors, in 2018 the Netherlands decided to go after established brands that have been offering localized betting solutions to Dutch citizens.

William Hill and Betsson have since contested the claims. Meanwhile, illegal gambling has grown by 20%, a Holland Casino report has established. Estimated 1.8 million people are now actively participating in offshore gaming websites.

However, the growing of the market has not occasioned an increase in revenue, with customers apparently practicing responsible gaming. The report put the gross estimate of the market at €600 million yearly.

William Hill to Contest Regulatory Fine in the Netherlands

To qualify as a gamer, a person must have wagered at least seven times in a year. Even though the majority of interviewed people said that they would prefer to wager with a licensed bookmaker or a casino, partly explaining why William Hill and Betsson have been successful in the country, people continue to turn to offshore operators.

In light of the steadily developing (illegal) gaming market, the Dutch government is now potentially missing out on €175 million in tax money every year, given the current levels.

Regulating the Dutch Gambling Market in 2020

The KSA has been calling for the regulation of the market for a while now. In 2018, government officials briefly considered addressing the issue and pushing through with it, but plans have since fall through, with a proposed bill being mothballed instead.

KSA officials criticized the government for failing to act in its full capacity and start regulating the industry as intended. The bill also touched upon on “bad actors”, i.e. casinos that have been offering products to Dutch gamers without permission.

Even brands such as William Hill and Betsson were targeted (hence the litigation). The bill has now been in a sort of limbo since 2016, but the House of Representative is picking up the subject again on February 5.

Fighting Addiction in a Lawless Market

Despite the growing number of gamblers, the level of gambling addicts hasn’t been increasing. According to Holland Casino, the property has been able to actively curb gaming habits spiralling out of control thanks to advanced algorithms identifying customers with unhealthy gaming habits.

Meanwhile, the KSA has been actively seeking to mete out punishment for what it considered illegal activities. The regulator issued nearly $2 million in penalties in 2018, an unprecedentedly high level.

However, in light of the recent findings, the KSA may be coming to realize that applying financial punishment would do little to actually address the bigger question – how does the country gets its people to play with legalized operators.

Passing the Remote Gaming Bill and licensing operators would be the first logical thing to do.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

New York Gaming Commission to Meet on January 28

  • New York Gaming Commission to meet on Monday, January 28
  • Senator Addabbo and Ansemblyman Gary Pretlow firmly support legalizing sports betting in the state

New York is closer to sports betting than ever before. The Empire State’s Gaming Commission is going to hold a meeting on Monday, January 28, in which it will discuss the possibility of legalizing the segment throughout the state.

Is Sports Betting in New York a Possibility

New York has been one of the states looking to introduce sports betting, with the market already ripe for the offer. However, there has been somewhat cumbersome opposition, with bills failing either because of lack of support or too strong opposition, or just no interested lawmaker in sight.

Now, this is about to change, as the New York State Gaming Commission is about to convene on Monday, January 28, and discuss the future opportunities for the state and its would-be industry.

The state’s trepidation is quite understandable as in 2013, New York fought and won a case whereby the state is eligible to introduce sports betting legally, should the federal ban on the activity is repealed. Put simply, New York made it possible to expand commercial casino gambling.

In May 2018, PASPA was defeated by the State of New Jersey, opening the gates ahead of a vibrant market and ample business opportunity. Even that decision, however, some people in New York have come to think, has been too restrictive.

Brushing Up the Existing Legislation

For example, as per the current laws, individuals can only place wagers within the physical premises of a casino, something that many find restrictive. The gathering momentum in favor of a more liberal sports betting industry is palpable.

Lawmakers, including Senator Joseph Addabbo, have seen sports betting as a lucrative and important segment, with the Senator’s commitment having been well-documented.

New York Will Try Again for Poker Legislation

Sen. Addabbo filed a bill at the beginning of January in a bid to push multiple activities in the legal sweet spot, including online poker, online gaming, and understandably – sports betting.

Based on his draft, sports betting activities will be taxed with 8.5%, which is a rather accommodating rate for any new business to kick start their activities. Another interesting involvement has been by Gary Pretlow, member of the NY Assembly, who’s also been looking for new opportunities to advance the state’s gaming industry.

In related news, Madison Square Garden (MSG) might be the first venue to push across the board, adding new segments and betting opportunities, including online, should the industry be legalized in full. While the exact details of the sports betting future in New York are not entirely known, there’s at least some proof to suggest that integrity fees won’t be part of the offer, sources suggest.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

  • Sen. Louise Lucas’ bill gets Senate Committee approval
  • Casinos to pay 10% tax on gross revenue
  • More tax will be paid to the State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund to be established at a later point
  • Casinos will have to pass a city-wide referendum before they can open in their chosen locations

Virginia is gearing up for sports betting. The Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology has passed a sports betting bill introduced by Democrat Sen. Louise Lucas. This is a continuation of the efforts that were announced in December.

Senator Louise Lucas’s Bill Gets the Go-Ahead

Democrat Sen. Louise Lucas proposed a plan for the legalization of the sports betting industry in Virginia, which has got approved by the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

This is big, and it enables Virginia to start edging closer to the ultimate goal, which is to introduce its own sports betting facilities across the state. There’re a few wrinkles to settle first, though. From Connecticut, to Kansas, to Kentucky, states have been on the move, pushing ahead with their own efforts to see their industries through – and now Virginia is all good to go, well – almost.

According to SB1126 (a bill unifying two previous bills, i.e. SB1503 and SB1706) legalizing the industry would be used as a way to curb unemployment and bolster the state’s coffers. The document states that in order to qualify, a city will need to meet a mix of social & economic criteria:

  • Unemployment rate of 4%
  • Poverty rate of 20%
  • Population decline of 7% between 1990-2016

The bill is also pre-emptively targeting the issue of tribal gaming, allowing tribes to operate in any city with population of 200,000 or above. The cities will also have to have already exempted 24% of all real estate from the local property tax.

All Games Coming to Virginia’s New Regulatory Climate

The bill offers details about the industry in full. Spanning 22 pages, all games will be part of the gaming climate, including slots, table games, and most importantly – sports betting. However, the measure to introduce casino will not rest solely with lawmakers.

A city-wide referendum would have to be held before a casino can open. Once a property has been set up, it will have to pay 10% tax on its Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). The revenue will the be divvied up by several state funds, including:

  • State General Fund – the reminder of non-allocated funds
  • Virginia Public School Construction Grants Program and Fund – 50%
  • Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund – 1%
  • State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund – to come later

The last hurdle ahead of the bill is to clear the Senate Finance Committee. Given the solid support among lawmakers, SB1126 is on its way to completely change the game for gaming in Virginia.

All things considered, Virginia is truly surging towards good times for its betting industry, which is only now spreading its wings.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Massachusetts Receives Two New Sports Betting Bills

  • Massachusetts adds 2 more sports betting bills
  • Governor Charlie Baker’s plan seems the most detailed
  • There are at least five bills up for debate in Massachusetts by now

Massachusetts is on the offensive with plans to legalize sports betting. Additional two bills were disclosed just hours ago, bringing the total number of proposed drafts to at least five.

Baker and Rush Join the Massachusetts’ Sports Betting Show

There’s been a lot of endorsement for sports betting across the United States. In places, such as Kentucky, Michigan, and New York, lawmakers and local power brokers have been deliberating the introduction of their own sports betting bill.

All of this in the face of a looming Department of Justice (DoJ) ban on the federal level.

New York has had a string of draft bills which ended up floundering in the end. It all happened in a rapid succession, although Senator Joe Addabbo is now pushing with renewed efforts in the Empire State.

Rosenstein Announces DoJ Opinion Will Take Effect

Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ own lawmakers have not been sitting idly. Governor Charlie Baker and Senator Michael Rush now have the spotlight, having introduced two separate bills.

A Look at the New Legislation

Baker’s bill seems to be ambitious enough, proposing a liberalized market, which will see retail and online sports betting open doors in the state. According to Baker’s proposal, operators would need to set up independent sportsbooks and not lump their activities together with existing casinos.

Licensing would again be left up with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Baker suggests. The tax rates would be quite accommodating, although they would vary based on the type of certification operators are applying for, i.e. online or offline:

  • 10% on gross betting revenue for land-based venues
  • 12.5% on GBR for online operators
  • A application fee of $100,000 will need to be paid along with $500,000 for procuring a license

Baker has also provided estimates for the development of the market upon successful passing of the bill. According to the bill, the state will generate $35 million in revenue for the 2020 fiscal year.

Rushing for Royalty Fees Again

Senator Rush is meanwhile revisiting a familiar concept in his SD.1110 bill. Rush wants sportsbooks to pay royalty fees to domestic sports leagues, a move that has been dismissed by the American Gaming Association (AGA), observers, journalists, and businesses.
Even the sports bodies themselves decided not to press the issue, faced with impenetrable opposition.

Rush’s bill is also quite skeletal although seemingly favourable. An application fee of $100,00 is the only sum that sportsbooks would need to pay to the state, on top of $10,000 every year for renewing their license.

However, Rush’s bill fails to specify anything regarding tax and what properties would be given a chance to run these activities, i.e. casinos vs. dedicated sportsbooks. Meanwhile, there are three more bills up for discussion:

  • Senator Brendan Crighton’s SD 903
  • Senator James Welch’s SD 882
  • Senator Bruce Tarr’s SD 908
  • Sen. Crighton’s bill comes close to Baker’s own plans. As to Se. Tarr, he intends to not legalize the industry so much as to set up a commission which can examine the industry. Meanwhile, Sen. Welch’s entertain the idea of legalize sports betting in the state, but offers little details.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Camelot’s Set For Life to Pay Out £10K Monthly for 30 Years

  • Camelot UK is introducing the Set For Life annuity game
  • Winners will be provided with £10,000 guaranteed monthly income for 30 years
  • The odds of winning are 15,339,390 to one

Camelot UK Lotteries are developing a new draw-based annuity game, which will allow participants a chance to win as much as $13,000 (£10,000).

Camelot UK Introduces New Annuity Game

UK customers of Camelot, one of the leading UK lottery providers and operators, will have an opportunity to participate in a new game, promising to fetch them as much as $13,000 (£10,000). The annuity draw-based event will pay winners the reward monthly, for a period of 30 years, and it seems that it will be one of the latest staple products to hit the lottery vertical.

“Set For Life” is launching on March 18 and the tickets for each event would cost estimated $1.9 (£1.5). Tickets can be purchased through the National Lottery’s website, bought with the help of a mobile app, or snapped up at an official retail outlet as early as March 15.

GiG Teams Up with MegaLotto to Introduce

Players will then choose five numbers from a total of 47 available digits as well as a “Life Ball” which will also carry a number (0-10). Participants who manage to match the five main numbers as well as the Life Ball will be considered winners.

Camelot has also revealed the most likely odds of winning the monthly prize, putting them at 15,339,390:1. The draws will occur twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. To spread awareness, Camelot will also feature “Set For Life” in a new marketing campaign, which will be rolling out ahead of the official launch of the game.

Is There a Shift Towards Annuity Games in the UK?

The popularity of annuity games has been spreading across the United Kingdom, and Camelot’s decision is a direct response to that demand. Nigel Railton, top executive at Camelot, explained the birth of the new game thus:

Annuity games really appeal to a growing number of people who like the idea of winning a prize paid out in regular instalments over the long term, and are very successful in other countries.

Mr. Railton is convinced that “Set For Life” would enjoy the same popularity that the National Lottery does, with the small wrinkle that it might take some time to gain traction. Still, he believes that the game will appeal particularly to the younger demographics as it introduces an alternate way of making a bet.

“It appeals to a different kind of player. There are a good number of people who like the stability of regular monthly payments. – National Lottery spokesperson

The addition of “Set For Life,” achieves another important goal, by diversifying the experience to suit a variety of tastes, play styles and more. Mr. Railton estimates that if the National Lottery is going to continue operating at a profit, it needs to adapt to consumer tastes and while lottery-based games should be in the core, the could be overhauled to better match the expectations of the new generations.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Parx’s Casino Goes Ahead with Soft Launch on Tuesday

  • Pennsylvania’s Parx casino goes ahead with a soft-launch on Tuesday
  • The Turf Club property should be next
  • Greenwood Gaming is planning to release its mobile app very soon while still anticipating license to conduct online betting

Pennsylvania’s Parx casino is launching sports betting operations this week, January 7. The casino is introducing its land-based sports betting facilities, bringing the state’s total such venues to four for the time being. More licenses are being processed.

Parx Casino Arrives in Pennsylvania

Parx Casino is all geared-up to take off its sports betting operations to the next level. The Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment-owned property located in Bensalem revealed last week that it was starting a two-day soft launch of its betting facilities.

The platform chosen for the property is the work of Kambi, one of the best-known companies on the market for sports betting software solutions. The upcoming test is slated for Tuesday January 8, at 2 PM and the event will run through Thursday, January 10.

Pennsylvania Rakes in More Revenue from Slots in December

Parx is not yet to release its entire sports book, launching a demo version of its offer to-be first. If the soft launch goes well, Parx will hopefully see its sports betting property open fully by summer, featuring NFL competitions and in time for the upcoming new football season.

Greenwood Gaming is not restricted to just Parx, though, with South Philadelphia Turf Club also preparing to roll out its own gaming activities. However, the company hasn’t yet revealed any information about when the other property will start operating.

It’s possible for that to happen within the same framework, with Greenwood re-focusing its efforts on the Turf Club once the Parx’s casino launch has been logged in the books as a success. It would certainly make sense to have the property up and running ahead of the NFL season.

Clearing the PGCB License Process

Parx is also preparing to launch its mobile betting application while still anticipating to get the go-ahead from the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board (PGCB) to release its offer online. A shift towards the online market could bring in significant benefits for the casino, possibly biting into the revenue of offshore bookmakers who are still doing rather well even in the newly-legalized sports betting climate in the country.

Meanwhile, several gaming venues have launched their operations so far, including Hollywood Casino, part of the Penn National Race Course and the SugarHouse Casino and River Casino. All of this has been made possible by the repeal of PASPA.

In related news, last Friday, the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) was launched in New Orleans. The event was attended by many high-profile personalities from the gaming world, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie who was one of the staunchest supporters of the legalization of sports betting.

During his speech, Christie noted that integrity fees would be a bad idea and would “reward bad behavior”, although there is little evidence to suggest that, so Christie was simply defending a popular thesis.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Banks in the UK Step Up Gambling Protection Efforts

  • UK banks are stepping up their efforts to protect customers from gambling harm
  • Lloyd, RBS, and Santander are working to allow users to limit certain transactions
  • Barclays has already successfully launched a similar offer for its mobile solution

UK banks are looking into ways to assist problem gamblers by offering support and preventing financial ruin for those most susceptible to reckless gaming practices.

Three UK Banks Come to Aid Gambling Customers

The United Kingdom (UK) will see three of its flagship banks come to the assistance of problem gamblers. The financial institutions will look into ways to install payment-blocking tools which will prevent gamers from making ruining bets.

The financial institutions involved in this project are Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Santander Bank, which are still deliberating how to best introduce monitoring tools that would allow the banks to act quickly and shut down any payment done via debit card when it comes to industries such as gambling.

Previously, Barclays Bank has introduced something similar, allowing customers to limit the amount of money they can place at a gambling website or block such transactions altogether. The measure includes a variety of properties, including:

  • Online casino sites
  • Card rooms
  • Lottery websites
  • Bingo
  • Land-based betting shops

The introduction of these “self-exclusion” tools has not been carved in stone, meaning that the date is still open to debate. However, the banks are moving ahead with thrashing out the details. A Santander spokesperson has commented:

We are working on functionality for debit card holders to turn off a number of broad categories of spend, for example gambling.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has been one of the staunches supporters of self-exclusion, allowing clients to freeze operations carried over their mobile app or banking website and directed at gambling.

The move, the bank estimates, is designed to help people manage their money better and avoid falling into temptation. In fact, the UK government has been toying with the idea themselves.

We recently launched the ability for our customers to freeze their credit cards and set spending budgets using our mobile app, and are always looking at further ways to help customers manage their money. – RBS

The new measures will allow customers to have more control over their financial transactions. More control over any sort of financial dealing, the bank estimates, will also lead to “peace of mind”. In addition, the RBS is planning to assist directly any customer who may need help with controlling their gambling habit.

Similarly, to casinos and NGOs, banks are also stepping their game to create a safe environment that goes beyond the technical execution of transactions. When the measures are introduced, banks may look into how much money of a customer’s total budget is going for gambling, betting and other activities related to the sector.

Barclays Mobile Bank app has already allowed customers to pick from a variety of places where they can block their transactions, including gambling venues, but also food places, such as restaurants, takeaways, pubs, supermarkets and more.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Irish Authorities to Intensify Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Ireland’s long-awaited crackdown on illegal gambling operations has been one of the most discussed topics in the global gaming industry this year. With so much more said than done, the country’s local authorities have decided to expand the crackdown on unlawful gambling activities and unlawful casinos in Dublin despite the fact that a gambling control bill meant to control that very thing has seen hardly any progress for over half a decade now.

Initially revealed in October, the Revenue Commissioners decided to expand its crackdown on some Dublin-based illegal casinos. In fact, according to the country’s finance minister, the process of removal of the illegal gambling machines from various premised had already begun. Apparently, gambling machines that did not have the required operating licenses had spread in Ireland’s capital city and this was becoming even more clear this year and this is what prompted the now intensified crackdown – these illegal terminals violated existing laws that banned the above-mentioned terminals. The casinos offering such terminals had violated a directive of the Dublin City Council as well as some rules that had been imposed by the Revenue Commissioners.

The city council directive mentioned above was established back in 1988 and it stated that gambling licenses cannot be provided in Dublin. This move forced the local casino operators to file applications for amusement licenses, which as per the regulations of the city, are subjected to much lower regulators control.

Is Gambling Addiction in Ireland Getting Out of Hand?

As media reports emerged that a few premises in Dublin that have been offering illegal gambling services have been served with enforcement letters by the Revenue Commissioners but there is something that seems to be even more concerning. According to Irish experts from the Limerick-based Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre, there has been an increase in gambling addiction in the country – it is one of the biggest problems in the country’s gambling sector.

Industry experts believe that there has been an increasing popularity of online gambling among the younger generation and when this is combined with the rather obvious lack of adequate regulation it becomes an even more serious problem. Problem gambling specialists have often pointed out that there are literally infinite opportunities to gamble on the online space and the fact that problem gambling can go on for long makes it very dangerous.

In 2015, the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) commissioned a report that revealed that close 65 percent of adults gambled that year. Keeping this mind, the Revenue Commissioners have in the past few years had to intensify their efforts towards casino industry crackdowns regarding mostly the unlicensed gaming machines.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Delaware’s Sports Betting Results Strong in November

Delaware’s sports betting market has ended November on a strong note, managing to build up momentum ahead of the Christmas holidays and multiply its results significantly.

Delaware’s November Results Go Up

The Delaware legal sports betting industry marked one of its strongest months, with the activities increasing by 151% compared to a month before. The total sports handle went up to $16.4 million, or 11% increase over the period. As to the state itself, Delaware managed to process $1.3 million in pure profits for itself.

  • Delaware won $1.3 million in November
  • The Delaware Park was the main betting venue with 75% of all proceedings
  • By the end of November, the state had won $6.8 million
  • Players won $63.2 million back out of $71 million wagered

Although the proceedings were not evenly spread between venues, the results were still buoyant. Delaware Park drove the majority of the results, with the revenue there hitting $805,285, or 72% of all funds. Delaware Park also saw the majority of wagers placed there as well with 217,776 of all placed bets over the period. In total, there were almost 339,000 stakes by the end of November.

Kansans Debates the Legalization of Sports Betting

So far, Delaware has been joying steady operational results, with the state managing to amass the respectable $6.8 million for itself in terms of profits. Betting only started at the end of June, a month after PASPA was repealed by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

When the activity became legal on June 24, 2018, the total betting handle wagered over the first seven days reached $7 million, the Delaware Lottery Commission reported at the time.

Understandably, the success of places such as Delaware, which have a fairly modest following of gamers and bettors, has inspired more states who are now looking to carve out a piece of the market for themselves by passing bills at home. Presently, several U.S. states are at one stage or another of debating or passing sports betting legislation, including:

  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Washington, D.C which just voted on a bill successfully

Since June, the numbers have been fluctuating, but they have generally kept see-sawing between $14 million and $16 millions in terms of total handle. While the market has its natural restrictions, the state has done an excellent job of cultivating a healthy gaming environment for its betting & gaming enthusiasts.

Delaware’s iGaming Sector in November Slows Down

In terms of overall sports betting, players had committed nearly $71 millions by the end of November, and they won back $63.2 million over the period back. While the sports vertical continued to demonstrate healthy results, online gaming has stagnated.

The results for November put the revenue at $209,235, which was almost unchanged than last year’s results. Unlike other states, where video slots have propped up the bulk of revenue, Delaware owes its own success to video lottery products. Table games generated $68,000 and lastly, online poker rake fees and tournament buy-ins added another $17,894.

The state presently only operates three iGaming venues, particularly because demand for iGaming products seems to be rather low:

  • Dover Downs
  • Harrington Raceway
  • Delaware Park

While Dover Downs managed to collect the bulk of all revenue, Delaware Park saw a significant dip in iGaming interest, with results dropping by half their 2017 levels. In November, nearly 500 new gamers registered their gaming accounts in the state.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

New Jersey Chases Bigger Sports Handle in November

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NJ.com

New Jersey is inching closer to $1bn in total handle since it launched sports betting. An impressive number in itself, the state has come a long way since the activity was introduced officially back in June 14, 2018.

New Jersey Close to the $1bn Threshold

Since it opened to sports betting, New Jersey has been a leader in the United States. Customers from the state have been disbursing generous amounts, wagering a total of almost $331 million in November alone, with the total handle now soaring all the way to $928.1 million, similar to the gambling revenue in the state back in October. At this pace, the $1-billion threshold is not too far around the corner, although the numbers could slow down during the Christmas holidays.

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the total amount of bets went up nearly 27% in November, compared to a month before that. In October, the handle stood at $260.7 million, an impressive amount eclipsing neighboring states in full.

NJ sports betting and casino results.
Monthly comparison of gaming and sports betting results by New Jersey.

In November, the gross revenue stood at $21.2 million, doubling the previous handle for October. September was still by far the most successful month for the state, though, with the handle standing at $23.9 million and surpassing both October and November.

Digital betting stood high in November as well, with 72.1% of all bets placed using a device rather than going to a bookmaker in person. Speaking of bookmakers, DraftKings led all competitors with a total revenue of $7.2 million in November, which outpaced the previous results by almost a 7-percent margin.

The DraftKings Rises

DraftKings‘ revenue is impressive as it accounts for a third of the state’s total, which make it the most grossing bookmakers in New Jersey and the United States. However, the company is being quickly caught up on by William Hill and Ocean Resort, which doubled their own revenue.

November was a history making month for the FanDuel Sportsbook. We doubled revenue versus October and we were the first legal sports betting operator in the United States to pay out future wagers early on Alabama winning the college football national championship. -FanDuel

FanDuel came the closest to challenging DraftKings’ own results, with the bookmaker hitting $7 million, again – double from the October handle ($3.5 million). DraftKings is far from done with expanding its offer. A newly-minted partnership at Resorts Casino in November will also contribute for the good performance of the operator.

FanDuel is also quite happy with the achievements, as the company called it a groundbreaking month. Other companies also had a good go at it, with a number of companies improving on their results, and a few turning a loss:

  • Borgata: $877,835
  • Resorts: $158,332
  • Golden Nugget: $130,874
  • Tropicana: $108,751
  • Bally’s: -$26,557
  • Harrah’s: -$124,260

SugarHouse Sports Book also posted quite the significant sum with the amount reaching $1,521,295 whereas playMGM and 888 Sportsbook have been posting rather more modest amounts. However, this has been a first month for SugarHouse under the Monmouth licenses following the cession with Golden Nugget.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Denmark Q3 iGaming Results Strong Despite Mild Dip

Denmark’s posting a healthy growth in its online sector. According to the country’s national gaming watchdog, the Spillemyndigheden, the market has expanded by nearly 10%.

iGaming in Denmark Grows

According to Spillemyndigheden, the Danish gaming regulator, the country’s iGaming sector has grown significantly, with the market posting increased revenue for the Q3, 2018 at 9.7% higher than the same period last year. Even though there are a lot of challenges to address, such as the moribund land-based industry and gaming machines, Denmark has done well by itself, posting solid numbers.

Compared to Q3, 2017, all sectors of the industry, including betting, casino and land-based counterparts & gaming machines, marked a significant uptick, although the cumulative results were down 0.4% from August. The total numbers stood at £194 million, a not too shabby amount consistent with the results so far.

The 0.4% drop does deserve to be addressed, though. It was occasioned by the significant slow-down in the revenue generated through gaming machines, which has been falling not only in Denmark (where it went down 6.5%), but well across Europe as well. Gaming machines known as Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) could disappear completely from the on-site parlors of casinos as a result of the newly-voted regulation limiting the maximum bet from £100 to £2.

Denmark Diversifies Activities, Notches Up Profit

Sports betting also saw the quarterly results jump quite tangibly. This was occasioned by the inclusion of horse racing, which has been hitherto an avoided market. After the Danske Spil monopoly fell back in 2017 and the majority of operators obtained a license as of January 2018. The competition in sports betting has been vibrant enough to occasion a steady growth, and according to experts, Denmark is far from reaching its full potential yet.

Despite the loss of interest in gaming machines, Danish are still very much keen on placing wagers on sporting events. Online casinos in particular were another source of revenue, with 19.9% increase in the quarter. Slots alone accounted for 63.1% of the total GGR during the period. The good results are also occasioned by the liberation of the Danish market, which has long been cited as one of the most restrictive alongside the Netherlands and Poland.

Competition hasn’t been able to penetrate every sector of the iGaming and betting industries in Denmark yet. Danske Spil still holds full control over lottery activities. There’s no information available with the Spillemyndigheden as of the lottery’s quarterly results, because the segment is reported on annually.

Taking a look at the numbers in 2017, though, the lottery accounted for the highest share of all gaming activities, notching up the respectable 33.7%. This was still slightly lower than the 35% posted a year before, in 2016, but all the same a reassuring number nevertheless.

Another thing that the Spillemyndigheden noted was the increased number of people who have opted for a self-exclusion scheme. Denmark hasn’t got a problem with reckless gambling behavior as in the United Kingdom and the country has been able to bring down the numbers of existing addicts by obliging operators that cater to Danish gamers to champion self-exclusion schemes and offer help lines.

Having manged to eradicate problem gambling and boost revenue, Denmark is one of the brightest example of how the iGaming sector should be run.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.