Buenos Aires iGaming Licensing Process Continues in Full

  • 14 operators formally present their offers
  • Slots Machines SA fails to meet prerequisites
  • Buenos Aires will serve as a litmus test of further gambling expansion

Buenos Aires continues to prepare its iGaming sector for a full-scale launch. Argentina may expand gambling across the country if a good working model is found out.

Buenos Aires Moves on with iGaming Licensing

Argentina is preparing to welcome iGaming companies in Buenos Aires, the capital. The process will cover 14 operators which are now looking to make an entry in the country and specifically in the city. Having mulled sports betting for a while, Argentina is now focusing on digital casino games, with the help of a number of established companies.

Originally, 15 companies were expected to join the registration process, but Slots Machines SA failed to show up any viable offer within the specified deadlines. All 14 remaining operators made a presentation hosted by the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC).

Biyemas, a local operator, has decided to go it solo and not involve other operators, nor any international company. This can be seen as a drawback, as the current pool of participants are all teaming up with a number of companies that have years of experience under their belt.

The full list of local and international partnerships is long and it involves names, such as bet365, 888, and William Hill as some of the most recognizable casino operators in the world. Presently, the partnerships are as follows:

  • Betway and King Bingo
  • Betsson and Casino de Victoria
  • Playtech and Hotel Casino Tandil
  • William Hill and Argenbingo

More big operators are also part of the applicants list. All of them have teamed up with international operators to create a feasible economic model that would let local brands learn from the best and scale their offer as legislation becomes available.

Buenos Aires’ Long-Term Gaming Goals

Buenos Aires and Argentina have the ultimate goal of popularizing online wagering and casino gaming across the country. There has been a strong push from Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal to introduce the activity in the first place.

To achieve this, however, a workable framework will have to be established in the country’s capital so as to replicate its success elsewhere.

This won’t be easy for a number of reasons, not least of which because of the arbitrary non-compliance of some operators. Even in a regulated market, such as the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission, the nation’s regulator, has hit gaming operators with fines have hit over £19 million, pointing to serious shortcomings in the work of iGaming companies.

Argentina has no experience with regulating betting and this leaves the country vulnerable to abuse in the iGaming sector. Buenos Aires will be an important litmus test which must come with lessons for both the government and operators.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Denmark’s Q1 Online Gaming & Sports Betting Revenue Increases

  • Land based properties in Denmark lose 10 per cent revenue
  • Online revenue soars – mobile platforms lead the way
  • Sports betting verticals post 10 per cent increase

Denmark continues to be the safest gambling market in Europe. While upholding the best practices in the industry, Denmark has also been able to drive revenue for the iGaming sector while land-based properties have seen a dip in their revenue.

Online Gambling Revenue in Denmark Climbs Up

Denmark’s iGaming sector has posted good results in Q1, 2019. The market successfully consolidated its online presence, but this came at a cost for brick-and-mortar operators which are now struggling to catch up.

The results for the quarter ending on March 31 have revealed a shift towards online gambling. Danish operators have managed to hit over DKK1.6 billion ($910 million) in the three months since the beginning of the years, which is a 4.5-per-cent improvement year-over-year.

Once again, online operators focused exclusively on sports betting which continued to lead the way, generating 619 million in the first quarter online.

This accounted for almost 40 per cent of the total amount that online gambling generated in Q1. Sports betting also marked the highest year-over-year improvement, accounting for 10.4-per-cent improvement compared to Q1, 2018.

Denmark Shifts Towards Mobile Betting

Mobile platforms have certainly seen a spike in the total use for the purposes of gambling, as betting apps accounted for 53.3 per cent of the total wagers placed in Q1, 2019. Desktop betting remained strong as well, with the total accounting for 27.3 per cent. People who opted to place a wager in person accounted for 21.9 per cent of the total, a still decent turn-up.

Denmark Q3 iGaming Results Strong Despite Mild Dip

Casinos also did well, at least the properties operating online that is. Online casinos managed to amass DKK556 million in the period. Q1 brought nearly a million more in terms of revenue. Once again, online slots remained the most lucrative segment, which has accounted for over 60 per cent of the total revenue.

The improved results come at a time when Denmark has successfully continued to enrol problem gamblers in its national self-exclusion scheme. Denmark is the only country in the European Union which enforces consumer protection practices in full.

Sweden, a new entrant in online gambling as of January 1, 2019, has already had to issue fines to prominent gaming operators and threaten with suspension of license – Betway has been among the affected parties. William Hill, another UK-based betting agency has also acquired assets in Sweden.

Sweden and Denmark remain the most challenging markets in the world of iGaming where rules need to be followed to the T lest regulators decide to issue hefty payments. The fact that revenue continues to grow while regulations tighten is a positive sign for the future of sports betting and iGaming. Meanwhile, Denmark remains one of the safest places to gamble and place sports wagers.

The biggest takeaway of the quarter was that revenue at land-based properties, restaurants and other designated areas fell by 3.6 per cent over the period while the seven land-based casinos in Denmark posted 10-per-cent worse performance over the quarter year-over-year.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

LeoVegas expands with Pixel.bet in the Nordic Countries

Amid the growing Swedish sports betting market, Leo Vegas has decided to expand into an unlikely segment – betting on competitive video gaming or esports.

LeoVegas, Pixel.bet and Sweden’s Promising Market

After acquiring a controlling stake in Pixel.bet, LeoVegas is finally rolling out its esports book in earnest. The newly-licensed Swedish market is the perfect moment for the company to launch competitive video gaming betting.

With a successfully acquired permit from Spelinspektionen, the national regulator, Pixel.bet is arriving in one of the most esports-friendly countries and home of the DreamHack festival.

EveryMatrix Expands Offer with New Esports Markets

Pixel.bet is also planning for the long-term, having cut a five-year licensing deal with the regulator. The offer launched today, on February 26, with the majority of the offer focusing on esports, a still very young segment.

There are inherent challenges to this segment of the industry as well, so following Pixel.bet’s ambitious progress would be like a weathervane for other operators.

Esports Betting and the Challenges Ahead

Esports betting has been growing since 2013. Though the segment wasn’t explored until later on when Betway and Pinnacle entered the market with modest offer, 2018 has been particularly generous for the industry.

At the end of 2017, only 5% bookmakers had registered a profit out of introducing esports. With conventional tactics failing with esports fans, who have turned out to be much smarter and better informed about odds and the winning probabilities, the best companies have been adapting their offers.

Pixel.bet is the result of the rapid expansion of the segment. LeoVegas now holds 51% in the company and they don’t intend to attempt any of the known techniques that have worked for mainstream sports.

There’s no need for bonuses, for example, as esports fans tend to get capricious with anything that may appear to be too complicated or even fraudulent.

Another great boon to Pixel.bet’s offer in Sweden is that esports fans won’t have to undergo the traditional KYC process if they opt for the Pay & Play payment option, which will additionally slash time for everyone.

A Nordic Beginning

Pixel.bet will be focusing primarily on Nordic markets as they tend to be some of the richest, both in terms of purchasing power among the customers there and the fact that all youths play video games in one form or another, although not necessarily esports.

Pixel Digital CEO, Eirik Kristiansen had the following to say commenting on the latest developments:

With this licence we gain the opportunity to offer our product and passion for esports betting to the Swedish market. Moreover, we have added a truly exciting casino experience that we know customers will appreciate.

This springboard in Sweden will also position us for continued expansion internationally.

Meanwhile, LeoVegas’ won top brass has seen reason to invest in Pixel.bet, citing “economies of scale” as one of the main factors for advancing in the company.”

During a year when we focus on strong growth but also on cost efficiency, it is inspiring to see that Pixel.bet are developing well and that we as a group, ” LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman said.

Pixel.bet is also a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), a body that focuses on uprooting match-fixing in esports contests.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Catena Media to Continue Acquiring Big Businesses in 2019

  • Catena will focus on growing organic traffic in 2019
  • The company will seek to integrate existing products better into its core business
  • Growth in the US is happening faster than expected
  • New markets and acquisition also planned for 2019

Catena Media, one of the largest owners of iGaming affiliate businesses, has said that it’s ready to pursue new Merger & Acquisition opportunities, recovering from a slowdown in 2018.

Catena to Continue Expanding in 2019

Catena Media marked a slight dip in its organic performance in 2018, but nothing too serious to dissuade the company from pursuing a course towards growth today.

According to Per Hallberg, Catena executive, the company will now re-focus its efforts on big acquisitions and business opportunities rather than snapping up small chains.

Organic growth may indeed have been a bit slow in Q4, 2018, but Catena managed to notch up $120 million in revenue, over 50% year-over-year. EBITDA hit $54 million, with the company now hoping to pursue a course of growth that would lend it at $100 million by 2020.

Catena has kept busy by mid-2018 when it concluded the acquisition of LeapRate.com and ASAP Italia, marking for the last major deals of the year. During the company’s earning call published on February 7, Mr. Hallberg said:

The process of transitioning from a distinct acquisition strategy to an increased focus on organic growth is progressing and the results have already been favourable, with clear indicators that we are on the right path.

Organic Growth Opportunities This Year

Catena wants to prioritize organic growth as its most important metric in 2019. This makes sense as inflating the numbers might backfire eventually. However, Catena is no where near giving up on pursuing important deals that will secure it better positions in future. Mr. Hallberg confirmed that the company will continue to pursue growth:

Focusing on organic growth does not mean that Catena Media will not make any acquisitions. We will make acquisitions in 2019.

At the same time, he noted that Catena is now focused on achieving more with its existing products, including the integration of new assets into the core business of the company.

Catena’s sales have been growing exponentially, Mr. Hallberg said and new markets, including Japan and the United States.

The defeat of PASPA had also played an important part in this strategy, with Mr. Hallberg now saying that growth in the US market has outpaced any previous forecasts.

However, he didn’t mention anything about the DoJ’s recently reversed opinion on the Wire Act, which will effectively slash the performance in places such as New Jersey, Nevada, and the ambitiously opening-up market of Pennsylvania.

With subscriptions and search revenue increasing, Mr. Hallberg and Catena have big expectations for the future.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

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.

EveryMatrix Expands Offer with New Esports Markets

  • OddsMatrix expands its involvement in the esports betting markets
  • The sportsbook provides parent company EveryMatrix with perfect opportunity to launch into new verticals, comments CEO Ebbe Groes

Esports betting continues to be a large part of the betting industry, which is only know beginning to seriously consider expanding more determinedly into the sector. EveryMatrix has added improvements to its OddsMatrix sportsbook to now accept esports bets.

EveryMatrix Expands Across the US with Esports

Enjoying a relatively sweet spot from a legal standpoint, esports are in a position where bookmakers offering odds on the outcome of video games can cover multiple domestic and international events.

Unikrn, one of the leading companies in the United States, recently acquired a license from Isle of Man effectively allowing it to service esports fans from across the entire country.

Black Ridge Acquisition forms Allied Esports Entertainment

EveryMatrix is following in these steps by streamlining its own offer. Presently, the OddsMatrix sportsbook accepts bets on 50 major esports events, which includes 1,200 pre-match bets and 400 live bets every month. OddsMatrix first expanded in 2013 when it focused on sports exclusively.

Talking about the involvement of his company with esports betting, EveryMatrix CEO Ebbe Groes had the following to say:

The esports revolution has finally begun, and we are pleased to join the commercial breakthrough of esports betting with our newly released esports services.

OddsMatrix, Mr. Groes has explained, has increased Matrix’s ability to expand into new sports and betting markets.

What’s Esports Betting Exactly?

EveryMatrix has become one of the latest betting agencies to actually expand into this new segment. Esports betting works like traditional sports contests, with the slight wrinkle that the disciplines competed in are video games.

There is a number of high-demanding and skill-based video games that people spend mastering months, if not years, with hours of rigorous play day in and day out. Presently, the market for esports on OddsMatrix, includes Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Call of Duty, and others.

With OddsMatrix, we’ve increased our ability to easily add new betting markets and sports. – Ebbe Groes

There are multiple other markets and developing games which are also often featured at the largest sportsbooks, but the size and offer depend solely on the betting agency. Nevada officially signed an esports betting bill in May, 2017.

Esports Betting – New Opportunities, New Challenges

While esports is considered a great market because of the size of the esports industry (expected to be worth over $1 billion in 2019), there are inherent challenges to providing winning betting odds. Here’re several facts that make the undertaking even more complicated:

  • Around 97% of all esports bet are won in favour of the customer
  • Sportsbooks are not as of yet prepared to offer well-balanced odds
  • Gamers are much smarter, as they’ve played the games they bet on for years

Thankfully, esports betting is not a no-man’s land, with an established regulatory body, the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC). However, the regulator is now as well funded properly to address every concern across the board.

Meanwhile, Unikrn is pushing out with exciting new developments, including “skill betting” or “betting on one’s self”. Luckbox, a blockchain-based company, is preparing to launch its official sportsbook in March.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!

Mississippi’s Betting Expands, Coastal Casinos Benefit

  • Mississippi’s win rate hits nearly 15% in December
  • The state rakes in $6.2 million in the form of revenue
  • Sports handle tumbles 6% in the last month of 2018

Mississippi’s Gaming Commission posted strong results for December, 2018. The total sports handle fell to $41.8 million, but the revenue increased several fold from November’s results.

Mississippi’s Sports Betting Handle Hits a Snag but Revenue Grows

Mississippi is isolated from sports betting states. Across the state’s border and beyond lie Kentucky and Missouri which have been making tepid attempts to debate the industry – to no success.

In a sense, Mississippi is mired down in a sports betting desert, but this hasn’t stopped the state from continuing and add to its total revenue.

Casinos had a field day in December according to experts, business leaders, backed by data from the Commission.

According to the latest available data, Mississippi has managed to bring in estimated $6.2 million in December alone.

This was a three-fold increase from November’s $1.7 million. Handled did take a modest setback, falling by 6%, but that was offset by the impressive revenue performance.

In publishing the news, the Mississippi Gaming Commission paid attention to several specific trends, notably:

  • An overall increase in the win rates
  • Expansion and development of coastal properties
  • A strong NFL betting season

Win rate in the state increased to nearly 15%, allowing customers to benefit from their wagers the most. The overall rate was higher than most other states across the United States.

Casino Properties Back in the Game

Interestingly enough, coastal casino properties accounted for a larger percent of the total winnings, bringing in $3.8 million in revenue, a high-performance mark for the state, despite fears that the sector may not be sustainable. Coastal revenue in 2018 increased by 4% to $1.23 billion in 2018 from $1.19 billion previously.

Sports betting also produced interesting results in the period, with NFL bets totalling $4.4 million of the total handle staked on sports betting. Customers frequented 23 separate sportsbooks across the entire state to place their wagers.

Sports betting has also been cited as a palliative for the declining river casino businesses with Mississippi’s gamers seeing a new reason to return to these properties and place wagers.

Despite the renewal of interest, river casinos barely marked an uptick, conceding the bulk of new proceedings to the coastal properties.

So far as Mississippi doesn’t advance plans for online betting state-wide, casino properties should expect to turn a decent profit.

Carmen Thompson

Carmen is our residential reporter always on the move and hunting down the latest scoops and rumours to explore. Nothing gets past her keen nose, especially when it comes to some serious Jelly Bean poker tournaments.

The NHS to Allocate $2.3bn a Year to Fight Gambling Addiction

  • NHS allocates additional funds for fighting mental health problems, including gambling addiction
  • There May tasks Health Secretary with setting up treatment centers
  • Gambling addictions starts at a young age, UKGC commission survey reveals

In the next decade, England will make significant improvements in its spending goals for the treatment of problem gambling behavior throughout the country. This is part of a 10-year strategy introduced by the National Health Service (NHS).

England to Focus on Protecting Vulnerable Gamblers

The National Health Service (NHS) of England has incorporated a new 10-year Long Term Plan which features a provision focusing on problem gambling. The NHS will allocate £2.3 billion a year by 2024, fighting a number of pressing and underfund issues, including the treatment of gambling addiction.

While the United Kingdom has managed to reduce the number of gamblers, the rates of problem gamblers have kept relatively unchanged despite widespread public campaigns highlighting the downsides of the activity.

The NHS initiative will focus on multiple vulnerable groups beyond problem gamblers, including people suffering anxiety and depression and other disruptive mental issues. As part of the ambitious funding changes, such people will have access to 24-hour care.

Gambling Addiction Clinic To Open in Northern England

The move as been welcome by the public and the Department of Health which used the occasion to explain that mental health is becoming an increasing priority when it comes to compiling the budget. According to a spokesperson, the total funds allocated for re-focusing the NHS’ activities will amount to £4.5 billion.

The May Cabinet Stepping Up Health Efforts

Prime Minister Theresa May has tasked Health Secretary Matt Hancock to work out the details about setting-up accessible gambling addiction treatment centers, shortly after the government had a near fall-out with lawmakers over the time table for introducing the bet limit on fixed betting odds terminals (FOBTs), which prompted minister Tracey Crouch to hand in her resignation.

Meanwhile, GambleAware, one of the largest NGOs fighting gambling addiction in the United Kingdom has announced a new treatment center back in November 2018 with estimated value of $1 million. The treatment facility will not be operational until April, 2019, when the FOBTslimits are coming into effect ahead of gambling revenue tax hike in October.

GamCare, another body committed to fighting addiction and helping vulnerable individuals, has also been looking into ways of setting-up more help centers across the country.

Paul Farmer from mental health NGO Mind has said that the $2.3 billion in extra funding for fighting mental diseases has been a most welcome move by everyone in the sector fighting the affliction that is gambling dependency.

Understandably, the problems can be traced to childhood, with the BBC announcing a report, noting that the number of children gamblers has quadrupled within two years, based on a UK Gambling Commission study.

Estimated 450,000 children in the United Kingdom are addicted to gambling practice, making for a worrying read of the entire industry.

Advertising has also been another contentious bone with sports bookmakers agreeing to a voluntary water-shed ban, limiting the number of ads aired before this threshold during live matches.

Carmen Thompson

Carmen is our residential reporter always on the move and hunting down the latest scoops and rumours to explore. Nothing gets past her keen nose, especially when it comes to some serious Jelly Bean poker tournaments.

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.

Pennsylvania Rakes in More Revenue from Slots in December

  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board releases stronger December 2018 slot revenue numbers
  • Slots bring $2.3bn in 2018 for Pennsylvania
  • 2019 will be a test whether the market has been saturated

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued a report outlining a very successful season for the state’s slot operators. Revenue from slot machines jumped by 8% in December 2018.

Slots Revenue Goes up in Pennsylvania in December, 2018

Pennsylvania’s slots profits have increased substantially in December, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has revealed. According to the report, the state has generated 8% more year-on-year revenue from slots.

All 13 properties featured in the report have notched up better results than in 2018, occasioned by the push for legalizing all sectors of the iGaming industry and sports betting across the United States.

The property to benefit the most by the increase was Parx Casino, which grew only 8.25% in terms of revenue, but the total handle hit $35,450,000. The Rivers Casino noted an impressive amount, adding extra $2.76 million on top of what it had earned in December 2017.

Orrin Hatch and Chuck Schumer Deliver the Integrity Act

Valley Forge Casino managed the highest increase compared to the profits it achieved in 2017, adding 18.2% more revenue in 2018. The cumulative amount generated from casinos in December 2018 hit $15 million more than the same month a year before. The strongest results came amid a slight dip in the number of slot machines available, 400-odd fewer than in 2017.

The five properties to rake in the biggest handle posted the following results:

  • Parx Casino – $35,450,000
  • Rivers Casino – $25,830,298
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem – $25,814,799.42
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course – $18,391,456.46
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino – $18,087,428.74

The report also summed up the accomplishments of the iGaming sector in 2018. Slots brought in $2.3 billion in revenue, or 1.4% higher than the results in 2017. The good results come after a slow-down in November when the performance fell 3.5% year-on-year. With the renewed uptick in operations, 2019 may start on a strong note if the market has not already reached its maturity, meaning that the sums will not vary much in the months, and possibly years, to come.

Casinos in Pennsylvania earn $2.3bn in 2018 from slot revenues, the PGCB has revealed.

Pennsylvania’s gambling industry has been developing at a steadfast pace well before PASPA was defeated in May, 2018. The slots have been one of the preferred pieces of entertainment for locals who have been contributing generously to the gaming budget of the state.

The state is also pushing ahead with significant expansion with new casinos obtaining their licenses and preparing to launch in 2019. Overall, Pennsylvania managed to add $385 million to its coffers in 2018 from issuing licenses alone.

The expansion meant a lot for the state’s finances, completely beating the original expectation which put the revenue from legalizing the industry at $100 million. The revenue did continue to grow, though. Each applicant had to pay $10 million to obtain the full-package of gambling products.

In the meanwhile, companies started focusing on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), which will see the light of day in Pennsylvania in 2019.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

The Legal Status of Loot Boxes in Gaming

The most intense criticism of loot boxes came in late 2017 after being stoked by the Star Wars Battlefront 2’s subsequently-revised progression system. For a while after that, it seemed that the conversation had cooled a little with industry working conditions and net neutrality regulations taking the center stage for a while. This was, however, short-lived s regulators from around the worlds began to crack down on the practice citing concerns that the loot boxes were promoting gambling both illegally and to underage people.

This turned the issue from being a mere consumer criticism to a full-fledged legal question. In Belgium, for instance, the government is of the opinion that loot boxes are a form of gambling and should thus be regulated in the same that all other forms of gambling are. Other countries have taken similar stands as well and in 2019 we should expect even more twists in as far this particular issue is concerned.

As it is, much of the legal battle involving loot boxes revolves around concepts of transferability, real money value as well as publisher profits. Transferability refers to the whether or not items offered by the loot boxes are tradeable which would make them commodities in real money transactions. It has been argued that the game publishers are profiting indirectly off the aftermarket value items that are found in the loot boxes offered in their games – this is simply because increased value of potential rewards increases the demand.

The Crackdown on Loot Boxes

The crackdown on various loot box mechanics began in the Netherlands in early 2018 after the country’s gaming authority found 4 out of 10 games it investigated to be in need of a gambling license if they were to continue operating within its borders. This was followed by a number of media reports which named Dota 2, Rocket League, FIFA 18 and PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds as these first wave offenders. Other countries also began to look into loot boxes at about the same time – these included the United Kingdom, the United States, China, South Korea, and Australia.

What Is in Store for Loot Boxes in 2019?

Well, one thing is for sure – even though several governments are regulators are seriously investigating loot boxes, the law is more often than not very sluggish when it comes to catching up with changing realities of the information age. That said, this sluggishness is certainly bound to leave loot boxes in the legal grey area in many parts of the world which might be a problem in the future in case some of the loot boxes do indeed promote gambling.

Carmen Thompson

Carmen is our residential reporter always on the move and hunting down the latest scoops and rumours to explore. Nothing gets past her keen nose, especially when it comes to some serious Jelly Bean poker tournaments.

$250 Million Casino Proposed for Pope County

It was recently announced that a Mississippi-based casino plans to build a $250 million complex in Pope County, something that has been subject to an almost equal measure of opposition and support. In a letter submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission by the Gulfside Casino Partnership, outgoing Pope County Judge Jim Ed Gibson declared his support for casino gaming in the region. Gulfside, during their announcement, revealed that it has plans to build a $250 million resort casino if approved by the state’s gaming regulator – this would be done in three phases and would be completed in mid-2020. This comes just a little over a month after voters in Arkansas approved Issue 4 (currently referred to as Amendment 100) which allowed for expanded casino operations at Southland and Oaklawn as well as new casinos in Pope and Jefferson Counties.

According to Terry Green, the co-owner of Gulfside Casino Partnership, the $250 million casino project will be great for the casino will be great for the county as it will create over 1,5000 new jobs and generated millions of dollars in tax revenue once it goes live. This will greatly improve infrastructure and overall quality of life in the state.

So far, most local elected officials have been the biggest opposers of the proposed casino. Last Friday, Pope County Judge-elect Ben Cross who will be taking office today (January 1, 2019) said he was opposed to the casino being built in the county.

“It is with great discouragement and dismay to have learned of the actions of the current county judge in regards to the casino issue. To have a lame duck official act in total disregard to the express wishes of the residents of Pope County is appalling and a complete affront to our representative democracy,” Cross said in a statement.

Support from the Outgoing Mayor

On his last day in office, Russellville Mayor Randy Horton expressed his support for the proposal to build the 600-room hotel and casino in Pope County despite the strong opposition from some the residents as well as an ongoing lawsuit over another official’s support for the project. Randy Horton who lost his reelection bid joins outgoing County Judge Jim Ed Gibson in supporting the Gulfside Casino partnership which happens to have ties to a group that operates a casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

During his election campaign, Mr. Horton largely dodged making a statement in regards to where he stood on the issue of the casino amendment. This presents a very interesting dynamic since Richard Harris, who defeated Horton in the election, is opposed to the casino plans. Furthermore, the residents of Pope County largely voted against the constitutional amendment expanding gambling but it was statewide approval that counted in the long run.

As per the terms of the amendment, only approval from a county judge or mayor – depending on the location that the casino developer will choose – is required for the casino application to be approved in Jefferson of Pope County.

 

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

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.

MRG and Bethard Ready to Grow in Swedish Market

A total of 21 companies have obtained a Swedish license in anticipation of the full regulation of the iGaming industry. Swedish brands MRG and Bethard have become the latest companies to procure the desired benchmark and join the fraternity of companies ready to launch their operations as early as January 1, 2019.

MRG and Bethard Obtain iGaming Licenses

The Swedish iGaming company MRG has just procured licenses to kickstart online casinos in its home country, with Mr. Green and Evoke Gaming rolling-out the full offer, acting as subsidiaries for the company.

As a result, a number of websites will become operational as early as January, including Mr. Green, Redbet, Vinnarum, Bertil and MamaMiaBingo, with the company clearly diversifying its efforts as early on as it can.

In the official press release, MRG CEO Per Norman expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments, noting that his company was looking forward to provide Swedish gamers with a product that is truly superior.

We are especially happy about the strong emphasis on responsible gaming in the Swedish regulation since Green Gaming has been part of our strategy since the start of the company 10 years ago. – MRG CEO Per Norman

MRG also operates in 13 separate markets, offering highly-polished iGaming products through its subsidiaries. Bethard alone, owns 16 flagship brands and licensed websites, considerably boosting the positions of the company in the sector.

In their own official statement, Bethard cited the company’s founder and executive Erik Skarp who also welcomed the newly-presented opportunity, cheering at the prospect of bringing the company’s products to Sweden.

Sweden is, for many reasons, a very dear market to us and I am personally looking forward to show what we can do in terms of responsible gaming on our home market. Bethard founder Erik Skarp

According to Mr. Skarp, the goal of Bethard is to “be a truly responsible gaming company” and to consolidate its footprint across new and existing markets. With the latest additions of casinos, Sweden now faces 21 licensed companies awaiting to enter the market at the turn of the year.

More Operators Arrive in Sweden

While the MRG’s licensing deals are important, they are far from the only companies to break into the Swedish market. Svenska Spel will be re-emerging in the freshly-regulated market on January 1, hoping to get a head-start on the many other that will follow.

Meanwhile, Bethard has reaffirmed its intentions to stay vigilant of new marketing prospects, including in Germany, where the company has been gaining ground.

Bethard is also planning a move on the Irish market, although the company openly suggests that the newly-proposed Irish tax is a reason for concern. However, the Irish government is likely to go back on the proposed sports betting tax hike, which would boost the amount collected to 2%.

Sweden will have a lot of hard work to do, with the country guaranteeing the safety of consumers and keeping nefarious third-parties at bay. The country’s re-branded Lotteriinspektionen regulator will take care of enacting all new measures.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

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.

One in Five People to Stop Betting If TV Ads Ban Is Approved

Limiting the exposure of people to gambling advertisement may actually lead to a downturn in the number of individuals who actually venture to place a wager, a new poll claims.

No Advertisement Would Mean Fewer Gamblers Study Finds

While the debate surrounding TV and online advertisement rages on, a new poll has emerged to support the “against-campaign” to certain extent. The numbers are much equally spread, though. According to the research, if there were a ban of gambling products during sporting events, fewer people would be tempted to place a wager.

The study was issued on December 6 and carried out by Harris Interactive, an intelligence firm. The report hinted at a newly-agreed deal between UK betting operators and broadcasters, asking companies to phase out their ads voluntarily during all live sporting events.

The findings of the research indicated that 81% agreed with the ban, although these numbers fell down to 66% when the people answering the questions identified themselves as gamblers.

According to the poll, 23% of people said that they would consider staking less money on the outcome of sporting events with another 18% saying that they would consider stopping altogether.

Understandably, gambling companies would bear the brunt of such a measure with revenue more than likely to start dipping significantly. This comes at a time when the entire sector has been buffeted by a number of regulations – from shrinking fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to an increase in the gambling tax, and more.

However, as Mims Davies, the new Sports Minister pointed out, the government was tasked with bringing down gambling harm, not guarantee profits for the bookmakers.

Banning en Masse

Estimated 54% believed that shirt sponsorship should be prohibited and another 53% also said that advertisement around the field should be also stripped out and removed. Of course, this will bite into the revenue streams of sporting bodies as well, which makes the measure more difficult to clear.

The perception of gambling addiction was also interesting. According to the people interviewed, they thought that the statistics indicated an increase in the number of problem gamers. However, this is not entirely true. The number of active gamers in the United Kingdom has fallen, although the level of problem gamers has kept relatively intact.

Now, more adolescent individuals are also exposed to gambling advertisement, with the number raising to 450,000 of children who are not of the legal age to gamble yet having placed a bet a week prior to a survey-interview designed to gauge the spread of underage gambling.

Pushing with more drastic measures to uproot the threat of problem gambling inherent to advertisement, if such is indeed established, would require a united public front. However, as the numbers indicate, there is still division on whether more restrictive measures should be introduced.

The industry needs to do more to demonstrate to the public they care about the lives of their customers.

Harris’ report indicated that while the public would be welcoming the eradication of problem gambling, to the majority of people, the issue remains an ever-present ailment that cannot be simply chucked away.

To change public perception of the industry and bring down the number of problem gamblers, the industry would need to make sacrifices to prove its good intentions.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!

Slovakia Is Close to Signing Gambling Act into Law

Slovakia is edging closer to becoming the next open market for iGaming products in the European Union (EU), following similar moves from Sweden and Poland. While lawmakers have been dragging their feet on the issue, a number of proponents of legalized gambling have been throwing their full support behind a legal framework.

Slovakia to Become a Free iGaming Country

A while back, the Slovakian Ministry of Finance drafted a piece of legislation referred to as the Gambling Act. Following months of debate, the bill has finally cleared parliament, garnering the support it needed all along.

In July, 2018, the bill was submitted to the European Commission, which regulates and approves gambling laws on the territory of the EU. Following a three-month standstill period, the bill now only awaits President Andrej Kiska’s signature to become a law.

The Gambling Act is an important turning point in the history of Slovakian iGaming, transforming the industry from a no man’s land into a regulated market where consumer protection is the guiding principle. Similar changes have been recently passed in other Member States, including Romania and the Czech Republic along with Denmark, which has been posting ever stronger results after the collapse of the Danske Spil monopoly.

On the Road to Regulation and Licensing

The bill will grant iGaming companies in the country a grace period until March 1, 2019 during which all interested businesses will have to obtain their online casino licenses. The first casinos will officially launch on July 1, 2019.

Now that the market is finally opening up, the bill will also reform sports betting and offer fixed-odds betting licenses, allowing companies to apply for a permit starting on July 1, although any business that wants to offer these segments will have to wait until July, 2020 before they can roll out their products.

As most new markets, Slovakia is not hesitant about taxing any operator lightly. A 23% gross revenue tax has been voted for all online casinos, including fixed-odds sports betting and peer-to-peer online games, such as most skill-based titles.

The bulk of the proceedings will be used to create a new regulator, which will be able to oversee the industry and make sure that no consumer protection laws are being violated. While this is good news, Slovakia will most likely go the same path that Denmark and others have walked at first.

In Denmark, Danske Spil used to hold onto most operations for a long while after the country had legalized sports. This monopoly is finally starting to crack year in and year out, but Danske Spil remains a favored son nevertheless.

Slovakia will also support its state-owned gaming operator, TIPOS, while competition is intensifying. If other markets are any indication, however, TIPOS is likely to soon start losing positions to far more competitive and accommodating products brought around by the vibrant competition that the newly-regulated market intends to create.

The legislation also specifies that gambling venues will have to be shut down at least 12 days a year, which is another precautionary measure against gambling addiction. Slovakia has much to figure out and a reliable law is the right way to go about it.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

IG Group Loses 9% Revenue on European Regulations

Gambling regulation in Europe has been toughening up and while some companies have been eager to adapt and push ahead, others, including IG Group, have warned about the plummeting financial results occasioned by excessive restrictions.

IG Group in the Grips of Regulation

IG Group, a provider of investment services, has issued a warning against the mounting pressure that government is putting on all forms of betting, including the company’s own specialty – financial spread betting. As one of the largest entities in the world, IG Group is entitled to an opinion.

According to the latest financial data, IG Group’s six months ended on November 30 has led to an overall 6% drop in revenue. A more detailed report about the financial year ending on May 31, 2019 will be published on January 22, outlining the overall financial direction of the company in light of mounting regulation.

IG Group has been buffeted by a number of decisions and measures enacted by the European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA), particularly with the announcement that binary options would no longer be sold to retail customers. The decision came into effect at the beginning of July, 2018.

As a result, the first-quarter results of the fiscal year ended up 5% lower in terms of revenue compared to the same period a year before. In the period, IG Group saw a growth in the numbers of players who wanted to change their status to “professionals.”, the group specified.

Financial Betting and Dropping Shares Prices

In light of the announcement today, December 4, 2019, 7% of the share value of IG Group has been lost. However, the company is nowhere near giving up. Even a looming Brexit doesn’t seem to scare CEO June Felix.

IG Europe has just obtained a license from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany, allowing it prepare itself for any upcoming disruptions occasioned by a looming Brexit. Meanwhile, the US subsidiary of the group has also been granted the go-ahead from the National Futures Association, and it can now act as a “retail foreign exchange dealer”.

Seventy-nine per cent of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. -IGT Group

Naturally, in the context of a mounting regulation that affects not only the iGaming industry but spreads to financial spread betting, IG Group will have to find a strong foothold that allows it to withstand the ripple effects.

Some measures have already succeeded. In July, IG Group posted 32% stronger profits encompassing the 12 months leading to May, 2018. As the regulatory pressure intensifies, these results are likely to start inching downward. Even though Brexit is likely to be contained, as per Mr. Felix’s confident opinion, the company is still likely to experience some difficulties at first, which will bite into the value of its shares.

The over-the-counter clients in the period also dropped with 4,000 people fewer seeking to use the company’s products. Meanwhile, according to The Times, “seventy-nine per cent of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider,” citing a part of an official IG newsletter with the message about the number of winners demanded by regulators.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

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.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

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.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.