Atlantic City Casinos Are Back in Business After 100+ Days

Slot machines are finally spinning in Atlantic City casinos after exactly 108 days. That’s how long venues in New Jersey were closed down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Atlantic City casinos started reopening on Thursday/Friday in order to get themselves ready for the 4th of July weekend. Things, however, aren’t exactly the same as they were before the pandemic. Casinos are now working at 25% capacity, with no dining, drinking, or smoking allowed within the premises.

Eight Out of Nine Atlantic City Casinos Reopen

Atlantic City, the gambling capital of the Atlantic coast, was a casino-free zone for 108 days. This is the longest the AC casinos were closed since gambling became legal in this part of the USA, back in the 1970s. However, since this week, the state’s government has decided to loosen up its anti-COVID-19 measures and let the casinos reopen their doors to visitors.

New Jersey is another state that has decided to reopen its casinos. Previously, the same was done by several other states, including Nevada, where Las Vegas casinos returned to business about a month ago.

Speaking of Las Vegas, Sin City saw practically all of its casinos reopening the moment the state’s government okayed it. The same is not the case over at the East Coast. In Atlantic City, eight casinos have returned to business, but one still hasn’t.

Hard Rock, Ocean, Resorts, Tropicana, Golden Nugget, Caesars, Bally’s, and Harrah’s – these are the eight Atlantic City casinos that have reopened this week. Borgata is the only Atlantic City casino that has decided not to go with the flow.

Borgata Atlantic City Refuses to Reopen

New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy postponed the decision to resume indoor dining in venues across the state, as well as ban indoor drinking and smoking. This decision was announced on Monday and was met with disagreement from casino officials.

Nevertheless, most Atlantic City casinos decided to accept the decision. Actually, Borgata was the only casino to decide to scrap is reopening place due to this ruling.

Apparently, the casino management believes that reopening Borgata under the current conditions would not be a profitable decision. Borgata Atlantic City is more than just another casino. This venue isn’t just about gambling; it also relies on other leisure activities, which could be smothered by the aforementioned measures.

Miami Casinos Have to Close Down Again

Over in Florida, casinos have been in the business since mid-June, but another suspension is imminent. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has signed a decree that would shut down all the casinos in the area apart from tribal-owned casinos.

This measure comes as a reaction to a dramatic increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases. Florida is one of the first states to loosen up the restrictions, after the initial shut-down back in March. Since May, this state has hosted a number of big sports events, including several UFC fights.

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.

PA Online Slots Record a $38m Revenue Last Month

  • On Thursday, Pennsylvania released its casino revenue data for May.
  • Last month, online casinos in Pennsylvania recorded a revenue of $55,838,789.
  • Revenue from PA online slots accounts for about 70% of this state’s total internet gaming revenue.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released the official revenue figures for May. As expected, online casinos made more money than their land-based counterparts, which has been the case since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. What’s interesting is that PA online slots were responsible for more than two-thirds of the total internet casino revenue in Pennsylvania in May.

The total internet gaming revenue in May was $55,838,789, which is an increase of about 30% compared to April. A big percentage of that money came through video slot games. PA online slots made a revenue of $38,822,857 for casinos, which is nearly 70% of the overall revenue.

Pennsylvania Casinos Report a Total Revenue of Over $55m

Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the US where online casino gambling is legal and regulated. The other two gaming-friendly states are New Jersey and Delaware. West Virginia has also approved online gambling, but internet casinos are yet to launch in this state.

Interestingly enough, Nevada, which is thought to be a gambling paradise, has not made online casinos legal. The reason for this is that legalizing online gambling could have a negative effect on the business of land-based casinos in Las Vegas.

Judging by the experiences from Pennsylvania, the legalization of online casino gambling is guaranteed to bring profits. In times when it’s impossible to go to a real casino, such as a global pandemic like the one we experienced this year, players have no other option but to turn to internet gaming platforms.

As a result, Pennsylvania’s online casinos have recorded a significant revenue increase over the course of the last few months. Each of its nine licensed online casinos has made big profits in May, the leader being Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which recorded a revenue of $17,584,381. What’s interesting is that this casino’s online slots revenue was $15,096,662.

PA Online Slots Brought in Almost $39m

Each of PA online casinos has online slots in the game library. The reason is that slots are the most popular type of casino game. This is why it’s not surprising that PA online slots have made a total revenue of nearly $39m in May.

All the other games combined made about $17m. Those include everything from table games like roulette, craps, and blackjack to lottery-like games like keno.

The popularity of online slots is not unique only to Pennsylvania. Players from all over the United States seem to love these sorts of games. The evidence for this is that most of the internet gaming revenue in Delaware and New Jersey is also created by slots.

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.

Las Vegas Casinos are Back in Business After COVID-19 Hiatus

Las Vegas casinos are back to business after more than two months. On March 17, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the shut-down of all non-essential businesses in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, all of the nearly 140 Las Vegas casinos ended up closed to visitors for nearly three months.

The 2020 Las Vegas lockdown was the only time the entire Strip was shut down since the assassination of JFK. Even in 2017, when the Las Vegas shooting happened, not all casinos and resorts on the Strip decided to shut down.

Las Vegas Casinos Reopen to Public on Thursday

For nearly three months, Las Vegas was a real ghost town. In mid-March, all of Sin City’s casinos closed down, together with bars, restaurants, and even strip clubs. There was one strip club that tried to stay in the business during the lockdown, advertising “coronavirus-free” dancers, but it too had to shut down eventually.

The days of lockdown are finally over in Las Vegas, with casinos starting to reopen as of Thursday, June 4. Business, however, is not as usual. At least, not for the moment being. In order to be allowed to reopen, Las Vegas casinos are required to make some changes.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a plan for casino reopening that every venue needs to adhere to in order to be allowed to operate. Some of the requirements stipulated by this plan include a reduced number of visitors, increased frequency of cleaning, and so on.

Some Casinos Seem to Be Ignoring Social-Distancing Guidelines

Casinos, as well as players, were super-eager to get back to reopen the casino doors. Once that happened on Thursday, the enthusiasm caused people to break some social-distancing rules.

The footage from all over Las Vegas shows that people have been ignoring the new anti-coronavirus rules inside the casinos. Visitors seem to be gathering around in large groups, sitting next to each other while playing slots and other casino games.

The good news, however, is that all the evidence is pointing out that the casino staff has been at top of the game.

Sin City Hopeful of Recuperating from the Crisis

Everyone in Las Vegas seems to be thrilled by the news of casinos reopening. The reason is that the local economy is very reliant on the casino industry. According to the Nevada Resort Association, “no other state depends on tourism at the magnitude as Nevada.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the state, and in particular its biggest city Las Vegas, billions of dollars in damage. So far, it’s estimated that Nevada has lost over $2 billion, with the potential economic damages measured in tens of billions of dollars.

The worst has passed, but now it’s time for the state to get back on its feet. Las Vegas casinos are open once again, but the number of tourists is still very low. The good news is that as the COVID-19 measures are loosening up, the number of visitors is expected to go upwards dramatically.

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.

Nevada Casinos to Reopen June 4 Unless COVID-19 Cases Go Up Over the Weekend

As confirmed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday, Nevada casinos are to reopen June 4 if everything goes according to plan. The only condition is that the number of COVID-19 cases does not go up dramatically during Memorial Day weekend.

Sisolak will hold a news conference next week to confirm the decision to reopen Nevada casinos. The Governor is waiting for the stamp of approval from the health officials. If approved, the casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada will be able to go back to business after nearly three months.

Nevada Casinos to Reopen After Nearly Three Months

Sisolak ordered casinos to lock their doors to customers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on March 17. Since then, Las Vegas has turned into a real ghost town.

Apart from the eerie atmosphere of one of the most vibrant cities in the country, the COVID-19 lockdown caused many other problems. Its impact on the local economy is measured in billions of dollars.

According to a study by AmericanGaming.org, the pandemic has cost the casino industry more than $43 billion dollars, with over 650,000 employees ending up jobless during the lockdown.

Social Distancing Measures in Las Vegas Casinos

Casino owners and employees alike are eager to get back to the job, hoping the gambling business in Nevada will come back to life on June 4. The business will be far from normal, however. At least in the beginning.

Nevada’s plan for casinos reopening implies that the casinos will have to take some serious measures in order to be allowed to go back to work. For instance, casino personnel might be required to do temperature checks on the visitors before letting them in.

Furthermore, all casinos will have to reduce the number of visitors to achieve social distancing. For that, they will have to reduce the number of seats in table games.

As a result, roulette tables that used to have 15+ seats will now have fewer than ten. Craps tables will have about five-six seats. Baccarat tables? No more than four. Blackjack? Three seats.

Nevada Gamblers Curious About Online Casinos

In mid-March, Google Trends recorded a huge increase in search volume for terms like “online casino.”

Nevada Casino Google Searches
Google Trends screenshot

Casino-related searches in Nevada peaked around March 17, which is when Gov. Sisolak ordered the closure of Nevada casinos. A day before, the White House had asked Americans to stay home for a period of two weeks to prevent the spread of the novel virus.

Google shows that Nevada residents have been interested in internet gambling during the lockdown. However, despite their interest, they haven’t been able to actually play any real-money casino games on the internet. At least not without breaking the state laws on gambling.

The thing is that Nevada does not belong to the category of states where online casinos are legal. At the moment, there are only three states where internet gambling is possible – New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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.

Nevada Approves Plan for Casino Reopening

Even though Nevada belongs to those 26 states where stay-at-home orders are still in place, its Gaming Commission has decided to approve a plan for casino reopening. It’s supposed to serve as a guideline for the casino industry once the state looseness its anti-coronavirus measures.

The plan will bring many new changes to the casino industry in Las Vegas. For instance, each of the 441 casinos located within the state borders will have to reduce its capacity by half. Undoubtedly, the measure is going to impact the industry revenue compared to the pre-pandemic era.

However, considering that the Las Vegas casinos have been closed since March 18, even a slight increase in customers would do wonders for them.

Special Anti-Coronavirus Measures for Las Vegas Casinos

Once the Nevada officials decide to end the stay-at-home order for preventing the pandemic of COVID-19, Las Vegas casinos are going to open their doors to the public. It’s already been almost two months since they had to lock their doors, so everyone in the casino industry looks very eager to get back to business.

However, once the lockdown is over, business is not going to be as usual. At least not at the beginning. The Nevada Gaming Commission has come up with a set of policies meant to ensure social distancing inside casinos.

Some of those measures include the following:

  • Every casino to reduce its maximum capacity to 50% of the current number.
  • Blackjack tables to reduce the number of seats from six to three.
  • One roulette table to have no more than four seats.
  • No more than four poker players to sit at the same table.
  • Casino’s cleaning staff to disinfect all tables and seats regularly.
  • Casino personnel to wear face masks and gloves.

Commissioners believe that these sorts of measures should be able to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among gamblers. However, not everyone agrees. There are some who think there’s a need for additional measures.

Indoor Smoking Remains Allowed Despite Pleas

Jennifer Pearson from the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada in Reno was one of those who raised their concerns about the plan for casino reopening. According to her, the plan leaves some crucial questions unanswered.

For instance, she wonders why there aren’t any changes in the state’s laws regarding indoor smoking. Her reasoning is that if smoking is allowed inside the casinos, gamblers would have to take their face masks off in order to have a cigarette.

The public seems to be on her side; however, no policies have been discussed formally by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Still, the chairman of the NGC John Moran has reassured everyone that the guidelines for casino reopening are subject to modifications in the future.

When Will Casino Reopening Start in Las Vegas?

A few weeks ago, Las Vegas mayor called casinos to re-open their doors to the public. Her plea was met with a public backlash as the COVID-19 pandemic was raging at the time in the United States. Several weeks have passed since and American epidemiologists suggest the end of the crisis is on the horizon.

At the moment of writing, there are 19 states that have decided to loosen their anti-coronavirus measures. For instance, Florida has labeled some sports as essential businesses, the result of which is that many large events are going to take place in the Sunshine State, including the UFC 249.

However, Nevada still doesn’t belong to this category of states. However, things are going to change soon, as the state is planning to start working on bringing the life back to normal. The decision of the Gaming Commission to come up with a plan for casino reopening is certainly giving hopes to gambling aficionados that Las Vegas venues are going to go back to work by the end of the month.

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.

William Hill CEO and CFO Remuneration Packages Amended

William Hill CEO, Ulrik Bengtsson and CFO, Matt Ashley, have their remuneration packages amended due to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis and its material impact on the revenue of the UK-based gaming operator.

Reduced Revenue, Freeze on CEO Salary Increase

In line with the update issued by the operator in March that a decline in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization /EBITDA/ to the extent of £110 million for 2020 was expected, CEO Bengtsson would have his annual salary increase suspended, and remain on £600,000 for the year. Even payment of 2019 dividend to shareholders was suspended to retain cash within the company that was materially impacted by having its retail estate closed.

William Hill has lowered Bengtsson’s maximum pension contribution rate from 20% to 5%, to bring it in line with the rate for the general workforce. The lower rate means another £30,000 will go towards a pension for the company’s CEO.

All executives and senior employees, CEO inclusive, have had their annual bonuses and long-term incentive schemes cancelled. For the position of a CEO, the bonus range is between 150% and 200% of salary.

Based on achieving certain business targets, CEO Bengtsson could have been awarded additional shares from the company, through the Performance Share Plan, an option he chose to decline.

200% of CFO Salary in Shares

The remuneration package for Matt Ashley, William Hill’s Chief Financial Officer, includes an annual salary of £450,000, a pension contribution of 5% of salary, and his bonus and long-term incentive plan have also been cancelled. Ashley’s resignation from National Express resulted into share forfeited for him, a loss William Hill will compensate on a like-for-like basis. The new CFO will be required to hold 200% of salary in company shares, a requirement upped from the previous 150% level.

The new CFO took the role April 6, after the initially selected for the job to replace long-time serving Ruth Prior, Adrian Marsh, decided to remain put in his old company, DS Smith, due to the challenges posed by the severe outbreak of the virus and its material impact on the gaming industry.

William Hill expressed its position that the addition of Matt Ashley is important in providing stability for the business and timely in regards to the expected impact on its revenue due to the ongoing health crisis. The company displayed confidence the decision was made to protect the interest of the shareholders and that it did not overpay for its new CFO.

The proposed remuneration packages to CEO Bengtsson and CFO Ashley will have to be approved by the shareholders at the business’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place May 15, 2020.

A year ago the UK-based gambling operator William Hill vowed to double its profit figures by 2023, but in line with the ongoing health situation that brought the gaming industry to a halt, that promise looks like wishful thinking.

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.

Ex-MGM Resorts CEO to Lead Nevada’s Coronavirus Task Force

  • COVID-19 prompts Nevada to shut down casinos and set up a relief task force
  • Former MGM CEO Jim Murren appointed head of the task force
  • Murren’s expertise will help contain the outbreak, Nevada Gov. Sisolak says

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the now-retired MGM CEO Jim Murren has been selected for the job of heading the coronavirus relief effort in Nevada.

MGM’s Former Number One at the Helm of Nevada’s COVID-19 Task Force

Jim Murren will be leading the newly established COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force, announced Governor Steve Sisolak this Sunday afternoon, following the closure of Nevada’s casino for 30 days. According to Gov. Sisolak, the experience that Murren has in a handful of industries will help Nevada’s healthcare system and ultimately lead to containing the outbreak.

Murren became a part of MGM in 2008 and for the past 12 years as CEO. It wasn’t long after his retirement in February that he was appointed a head of the new task force. Gov. Sisolak noted that Murren’s position is unpaid, voluntary and due to start straight away.

Murren’s first job on the list will be to allocate/source all of the useful assets from the private sector that can help in the fight with the coronavirus.

Considering Murren’s vast experience and contacts in Asia and the Middle East, it is expected from him to greatly help Nevada. Murren took part in a COVID-19 tourism industry round table with President Donald Trump and other White House leaders early in March so the announcement of Sisolak came at the right moment.

Gov. Sisolak noted that Murren will help the state receive the needed personal protection equipment, COVID-19 test kits and other essential supplies that the federal government cannot source currently. Sisolak also added: “Jim Murren can open doors that otherwise, I, as governor, can’t open up,”.

Some in Nevada Has Its Doubts About Addressing the Outbreak

Nevada state reaction was mixed as Jon Ralston, an old-timer editor and reported of The Nevada Independent questioned why a gaming insider such as Murren was picked. Ralston deemed that Gov. Sisolak was handling the crisis quite well so far but did note on Twitter that his announcement can face a bit of criticism.

Driven by fear of spreading the virus, states ordered the closing of many businesses and casinos. A lot of US leagues canceled their entire seasons or banned their fans from watching the games live, in person.

MGM did not stand idle by and took action to close all of its Strip casinos in Vegas. Only a few days after this decision, on Thursday, Sisolak ordered a state shut down for 30 days of all gambling establishments.

Murren noted that “There’s nothing more important right now than helping our state and each other through this crisis”. He continued with: “When we defeat this pandemic, I am confident that our state will come roaring back, as we have from the great hardships of the past.”

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.

Betway Fined £11.6M For Failure To Protect Customers

The UK Gambling Commission continues its series of penalty-imposing actions, with the latest operator, Betway, fined a record £11.6 million for failure with regards to gambling addiction protection and player source of funds checks.

The gambling regulator in the UK meted the severe punishment to Betway, after it had found out serious violations in dealings with high-spending VIP clients that meant the operator handled around £5.8 million of suspected criminal proceeds, and the gambling Commission is now returning the money to the victims.

In one of these VIP cases, Betway allowed a customer to deposit over £8 million, in the span of four years, lose £4 million and in the meantime having his account flagged 20 times as a potential risk, only in each of these occasions for the staff to accept the client’s word as evidence of the source of the funds. Even the board of directors of the company, when the case was referred to them, allowed the gambler to continue, with the actual closure of the client’s account happening after the police’s intervention.

Another client was allowed to deposit £1.6 million and lose more than £700,000, in a period of 3 years, despite being unemployed, and Betway failed to verify customer employment status due to reliance on open source information that confirmed the client could afford the losses.

A violation of the customer self-exclusion policy was found when a client made a series of deposits totaling £494,000 into 11 different accounts, after that customer had previously signed up to exclude from gambling, a glaring example of gambling addiction behavior.

Another VIP client deposited and lost £187,000 in just 2 days, without being asked by Betway’s staff about the source of the money.

“The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them. As part of our ongoing programme of work to make gambling safer, we are pushing the industry to make rapid progress on the areas that we consider will have the most significant impact to protect consumers” Richard Watson, Executive Director, UK Gambling Commission.

Betway will pay £5.8 million back to the victims of the crimes committed by its customers, plus another £5.8 million to the Gambling Commission that will be spent to reduce gambling addiction. Betway accepted to pay the penalty and improve their existing processes.

“Betway takes full responsibility for the small number of historic cases which have led to this settlement. We have fully cooperated with the investigation and will take further proactive steps to ensure all recommendations and findings are implemented” Anthony Werkman, CEO, Betway.

The latest imposed financial penalty by the UKGC is almost 4 times the amount of the previous one, the £3 million fine meted to Mr Green, an online gaming company owned by William Hill, and the GC is determined to make the gambling environment safer in times when the society shows sensitivity on the matters.

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 NetGaming Hire Natalya Ovchinnikova – A Clear Sign Of Ambition

NetGaming has hired Natalya Ovchinnikova as the new head of product, with the task to grow the company’s start-up slot portfolio.

Experience On Board

The Malta-based creative casino games design studio NetGaming continues its efforts to further strengthen its senior management team by bringing in more experience in the shape and form of former slot product owner at Yggdrasil Gaming and product manager at NetEnt, Natalya Ovchinnikova.

New Content Every Month

The new head of product will be responsible for the oversight of the production process for the company’s engaging portfolio of slot games, as NetGaming is planning to release new content every month during 2020, a mixture of original and branded content in a premium quality slot catalogue, available in 26 languages and compatible with 41 currencies.

CEO Knows Best

The newly employed Natalia Ovchinnikova is a former colleague of current NetGaming CEO Pallavi Deshmukh, at NetEnt, and he is delighted to be able to add her to his team.

“We are absolutely delighted to have Natalya on board. With a fantastic track-record of achieving consistent results, her extensive and successful industry experience speaks for itself. I am pleased to be working with Natalya again”, Pallavi Deshmukh, CEO, NetGaming.

New Hire Excited

With nearly a decade of iGaming experience under her belt, Natalia Ovchinnikova is the perfect solution for the growing slot product needs of NetGaming and the new employee is looking forward to meeting the high expectations in front of her.

“I am thrilled to be joining NetGaming, an exciting provider boasting an immersive gaming suite and ambitious plans for global expansion. With international growth and high-profile content in the pipeline, this is a company gearing up for major 2020 success”, Natalya Ovchinnikova, Head of Product, NetGaming.

Global Expansion

The creative content designer NetGaming has recently signed lucrative deals for partnership across the world, including the content distribution deal with the provider of online gaming solutions BetConstruct, as well as with EveryMatrix, to gain access to the largest casino content library with more than 8,000 games and 260+ local and global jackpots, the casino aggregator, CasinoEngine.

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.

Spain Posts Decent 2019 Results Despite Slow Q4

  • Spain’s Q4 gaming and betting results drop
  • The country’s industry remains strong in 2019
  • A series of regulations expected to hit in 2020

Spain is seeing an uptick in 2019 gaming and sports betting revenue, despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter and a rapidly intensifying regulation.

Spain Posts Strong 2019 Results Despite Q4 Drop

Unperturbed by the most recent government announcement that online gambling advertisement will come under heavy regulation, the Spanish market grew 7.1% in 2019, even though Q4 produced slightly worse results.

Spain posted a total of $821.5 million in 2019, even though the last three months of the year were fairly challenging. According to the Dirección General del Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), the country’s gambling regulator, sports betting has been the largest incentive the industry saw in 2019. There have been headwinds as well, specifically in the case of several high-profile sports figures accused of match-fixing.

DGOJ recognized the contributions of all verticals that grew over the period, beating year-over-year (YOY) results. Sports betting added an estimated $417.51 million. Spain also saw the so-called real-money contests mark a 170% increase YOY.

While online gambling and sports betting seemed strong, poker and bingo inched down during the period. Both segments saw a tangible decline with bingo operations shrinking 9.7%. Revenue through December 31, 2019 declined by 2.1%.

Interestingly, in-play betting picked up a little in Q4, driving revenue for the sports betting segment, which collapsed by another 29.7% in the last three months of the year, a normal development for that part of the year.

However, roulette results went up in Q4, for example. The segment generated an estimated 24.9% uptick translating to $17.53 million, underlining Spaniards’ appetite for the rather pricey segment that is roulette. All gambling companies bolstered their affiliate operations, investing up to 6.4% more or a total of $12.02 million to gain a foothold following a number of restrictive regulatory measures.

Spain to Tighten Gambling Regulation

Spanish lawmakers have been going gung-ho about gambling in the country. Even though the industry has been shaping as a staple GDP product, regulators and politicians have been paying a closer eye on ongoing developments.

For example, at the end of 2019, the Spanish government approved to limit the size of bonuses new players can receive at EUR 100, around $125. Now, online advertisement is coming under scrutiny with as much as 80% of all advertisement up to be restricted, a new law suggests.

Other countries, such as Italy, have already gone through with a blanket ban, targeting all advertisement in full. Globally, regulations are tightening. The Stars Group recently signed a partnership with GiG Compliance to bring affiliate companies for its poker brand, Poker Stars, in line with specific regulatory norms in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States.

Spain’s quickly-developing market will definitely occasion more scrutiny and with it the need for better self-policing by brands who wish to stay in regulators good graces.

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.

Portugal’s Gambling Revenue Grows for 8th Consecutive Quarter

  • Portugal’s gaming and sports betting revenue continues to grow in Q4 2019
  • Players spend some $941.10 million on games of chance
  • Close to 163,900 people register to bet and gamble over the period

Portugal has posted another successful quarter in Q4 2019 with online gambling revenue climbing to a new high and reaching $72.3 million over the period. The national regulator, Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), reported growth across all main online gambling segments consolidating the country’s position as a developing iGaming market.

Sports Betting Continues to Drive Market Growth

In terms of comparing results year-over-year, Portugal managed to pull 52.1% more in pure revenue in the three months leading up to December 31, 2019. Not only that, but Q4 2019 was also the eight quarter in which the country’s market had only grown without showing any signs of slowing down.

Part of the positive development was also occasioned by sports gambling, which reached $36.88 million, or another 55.0% uptick compared to the same period a year before. Portuguese gamblers put down some $204.63 million in total bets, pushing the results up 67.5% year-over-year.

Football and basketball were the main drivers of sports betting interest in the country with both segments posting some significant improvement. Football, for example, had soared up by 74.6% more wagers compared to Q4 2018. In the meantime, Portugal has also been revving up its efforts to clamp down on illegal gambling.

Casino Products Make Steady Expansion Efforts

iGaming products also contributed a fair bit, pushing the total number of wagers placed up 49.1.% year-over-year. Specifically, players spent$941.10 million on online gambling revenue in the last three months of the year, marking another significant progress or 47.9%.

Slots topped these developments with some 69.0% of all money placed on casino products going in the way of slots over the quarter. Interestingly French roulette was the second most played game, with some 13.6% of the wagers going its way.

This indicates a maturity among Portuguese gamblers who are well aware of the inherent advantages of the game as one of the best-paying versions of roulette. Third came poker, with a 9.4% share of the market.

Poker has been a rather popular pastime in Portugal especially now that PokerStars has been part of the available options since 2016. Not only that, but Portugal is also sharing liquidity with other countries to boost the overall prize pool available for poker tournaments, something that places such as the United States still lack.

The Scope of the Portuguese Market – 12 Operators Active

Presently, the country has 12 approved gaming and betting operators that are active and hold multiple skins. The total number of licenses issued is 20 and the majority of those – 11 – are allocated to games of chances, such as the ones offered at casinos.

In the quarter, some 390,400 people placed a wager online, marking another increase. Estimated 163,900 new registration were made in the country during the fourth quarter of 2019.

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.

Evolution Introduces Speed Blackjack to Slash Waiting Times

Developer of live games, Evolution Gaming, has introduced yet another innovative game to its portfolio, with Speed Blackjack slashing waiting time for players by 30-40%.

Evolution Gaming Debuts Speed Blackjack

On Thursday, Evolution Gaming introduced its latest blackjack live dealer version, Speed Blackjack, adding to a what is already an extensive list of accomplished titles in the segment. Once again, Evolution has found a way to introduce an innovative feature to their game and help it stand away.

While the core principles of the game remain fairly the same, in Speed Blackjack, all players get the option to Hit, Double Down or Split at the same time. The player to act the quickest will be the first to get the next card.

This dealing process will repeat itself until all players are happy with their draw and reveal their hands. Commenting on the news, Evolution Chief Product Officer, Todd Haushalter, has lauded his company’s efforts in the segment.

Mr. Haushalter explained that the game introduces a key difference to any casino product out there. In an official statement, he rhetorically asked ‘why should players have to wait?’ suggesting that Evolution Gaming has discovered a much more efficient way to proceed to playing.

He acknowledged that the game didn’t seek to introduce a new skill-based element, but rather slash the overall waiting time. Evolution ahs been trying to innovate the live dealer segment at a time when many other companies have been happily joining in.

In a similar vein, Evolution released First Person Lightning Roulette and First Person Dream Catcher in 2019, expanding on an already fantastic portfolio of options. Evolution’s emphasis on random number generator (RNG) game that transcend the traditional live gaming segment has won it a reputation for the most innovative company in the segment.

Optimizing the Game and Serving the Player

Players now stand a unique opportunity, the company argues, to slash the overall waiting time by estimated 30-40% times, allowing them to play more or simply play quicker, Mr. Haushalter has explained.

The ‘Speed’ segment isn’t entirely new either with Evolution already having debuted a number of games that are built on the premise of minimizing waiting time. The key difference to the new game is that the age-old rule where decisions are made from left-to-right is now gone and everyone gets to act on their own time.

Apart from working on new titles, Evolution has also been working on expanding into new markets. A recent license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has allowed the company to launch live games with Parx Casinos’ iGaming sites in Pennsylvania.

Similarly, the company teamed up with Penn National Gaming to host live games. Evolution is in the process of setting up a studio in Pennsylvania, boosting its footprint across North America.

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 Guardian: 83% of All Bets Came From 2% of Player Base

  • The Guardian obtains a report showing over-reliance by betting companies in the UK on VIP customers
  • UK Gambling Commission promises tougher measures on the segment
  • In some cases, 83% of all bets came from 2% of the player base

New evidence has surfaced that the UK gambling industry may be over-reliant on problem gamblers, The Guardian wrote citing a report obtained by the newspaper. High-spending VIP customers were the drivers of economic and financial results for companies, the newspaper reported.

More specifically, The Guardian argued that the likelihood of VIP customers being addicts was bigger than that of regular and casual players. In fact, VIP schemes brought in 83% of the deposits, from just 2% of the player base on at least one occasion.

VIP Programs and the Root of All Evil

The report obtained by the newspaper focused on criticizing the methods used by gambling companies to incentivize players into playing. A reward VIP program was designed from head-to-toe to provide players with various incentives, such as free bets, cash backs, and even football tickets.

Stepping into the discussion, the UK Gambling Commission said that measures have been taken to address the issue and correlation between addiction and high incidence of gambling addiction. Specifically, a spokesperson for the Commission had this to say:

Operators must improve their interaction with VIPs and we have challenged the industry to make faster progress to improve how they manage their customers. We have also taken robust action against operators who fail to protect consumers and we will be even tougher if behavior does not change.

The worst case was that of a company which collected 83% of all its deposits from 2% of the customer base. Meanwhile, there were other worrying examples, such as another company that accumulated 58% of all deposits through 5% of its customer base.

A third company scooped up some 48% of all deposits from just 3% of its members, pointing to a growing inadequacy between existing regulatory measures and how VIP customers are protected. With some 47,000 VIP customers in the United Kingdom, at least 8% of them are already gambling addicts, the Commission said.

We Have the Means to Fight Gambling Addiction

One section of the report said that gambling firms are already aware of which customers are more likely to play and spend more, thanks to advanced algorithms. However, there has been no real effort to offer help to individuals who are likely to also be developing a gambling addiction.

However, the Commission has not been without a response on the issue. Several suggestions have been put forward on how to police the VIP segment better so as to avoid gambling addiction. One measure in the report reads that operators must come under more pressure.

Another says that an “industry-wide VIP code of conduct” must be put into place. A third goes even further, suggesting to altogether ban the VIP segment. Similar moves have been undertaken in Sweden where the country’s regulator, the Spelinspektionen, has shown zero policy for gambling products that incentivize further play.

Labor MP Carolyn Harris has gone even further to say: “This report shows how completely reliant the industry is on people with gambling problems and that they are profiteering from them. “ VIP players are indeed the segment that all companies are trying to retain and keep playing the most.

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!

PA Reaps 33% Increase in Sports Betting Revenue in November

Pennsylvania has managed to amass strong gains from the launch of mobile gaming and sports betting, with the amount wagered in November increasing 33% from a month before in October.

PGCB Posts November Results

With Pennsylvania launching online sports betting, the state posted one-third better results in November, amassing over $300 million in total sports betting handle. Mobile betting has helped the Keystone State and specifically business in the state collect unprecedent overall handle.

Specifically, the bets went up to $316.5 million, marking a 31.2% increase from October, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported. Online betting soared to the whopping $266.7 million over the period, marking a nearly 85% increase.

The retail market also grew a little, probably riding on the popularity of the online segment with the month-over-month results rising to $49.7 million in total handle. The retail segment managed to generated bigger gross gaming revenue (GGR) at around $20.6 million, but about $5.9 million was spent on advertising, tipping the taxable GGR to $14.7 million – down from the October’s results.

How Did Operators Perform in November?

Operators posted positive developments in November, including the duo between Valley Forge Casino and FanDuel, one of the leading sportsbooks in the U.S., which pulled ahead with total handle worth $153 million. This was 29.6% higher than the previous month, PGCB data showed. Estimated $5.8 million was taxable account income.

FanDuel and Valley Forge were largely unchallenged. Rivers Philadelphia, the freshly rebranded SugarHouse Casino, amassed $41.3 million, a far cry from FanDuel’s results over the month. The next property on the list in November was $30.5 million with $2 million spent on promotional credits.

DraftKings, FanDuel’s main rival, made its first step into the market, owing to a partnership with Meadows Casino. DraftKings only amassed $18.1 million in GGR over the period.

Online Casino Market Remains Strong in Pennsylvania

Mobile gaming and sports betting have been a major boost for the Keystone State. Online slots revenue grew to $140.3 million up to 19.4% and revenue soaring to $5.1 million, or 28.1% more than a month before.

Table games notched up $176.5 million, proving a segment even more lucrative than the bulwark of all online gaming – slots. Revenue for operators from table games soared to $2.6 million. Another interesting development was poker with Mount Airy and the The Stars Group.

Mount Airy is presently the only operator have spearheaded poker, one of the weakest segments in the United States, but very popular in the offshore online gaming business. The Rivers Philadelphia may have come second in terms of sports betting, but the property definitely turned out to be the busiest venue among online gaming players.

The amount wagered in November reached $64.2 million from slots alone. The second biggest in terms of slots revenue was Penn National Gaming. Interestingly, the state’s video gaming terminals (VGTs) also managed to amass a fair chunk of the revenue, estimated $659,288.

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.

Macau’s GGR Takes a Tumble in November, 7th Time in 2019

Gross gaming revenue in Macau dropped for the seventh time in 2019 in November, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau revealed, posting the latest results.

Macau’s GGR Drops in November for 7th Month in 2019

Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) took an 8.5% tumble year-over-year in November, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported. The regulator specified that the amount generated by the industry was $2.84 billion stood at November.

Previously, revenue dropped in August when it shrunk by 8.6%. This coincided with analyst forecasts who had been expecting Macau to take hits, occasioned by over-regulation, investigations in Australia, and a simmering trade war between the United States and China.

JP Morgan, an investment bank, said that the contraction was expected, but also better than original forecasts. The daily revenue amounted to nearly $88 million a day, the bank confirmed.

The VIP segment was also affected, registering a 13% drop in overall performance. More importantly, Macau posted a year in which the months of declining revenue exceeded those of positive growth. November was the seventh such month in 2019.

Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, a brokerage firm with focus on Macau’s gaming sector, also confirmed the numbers, from falling VIP revenue to overall daily handle. A tightening VISA control from the mainland has also been an issue, as Chinese authorities are now more scrupulous about mainland visitors in Macau.

Meanwhile, brokerage Nomura, suggested that December may bring a modest growth for the gaming hub:

“Assuming December GGR increases sequentially in line with its trailing seven-year median, or up roughly 5 to 6 percent versus November, we estimate GGR for the month should settle around MOP24 billion,” said the institution.”

While Macau has a relative freedom to run its business as it sees fit, mainland China still has a big say in what happens. China President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Macau on December 20, marking the official handover of Macau back to China. Analysts predict that this would curb the growth of GGR in December.

Macau Claims $12bn in Taxes until October

While challenges continue, Macau claimed $11.7 billion in tax revenue from the casino gaming sector in the first 10 months of 2019. Despite several months of drops in the overall GGR, Macau generated 0.4% more handle over the period.

Despite the fairly strong results, Macau’s government has pursued a policy of exclusion whereby gambling revenue is never factored as a reliable source of tying up expenditures for the public purse.

Income is duly redistributed, however. Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong has recently said that Macau will focus on protecting public interest above all else.

Having just stepped into his position, the Secretary is committed to optimizing a number of matters related to the gaming industry in Macau, including the existing gaming concession contracts.

While no details about the future of Macau’s gaming have been revealed, it’s certain that management will be introducing changes.

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.

Trade Group Calls for Liberalization of Austria Gambling Market

A trade group has called for the end of monopoly in Austria, specifically targeting Casinos Austria.

Does Austria Have a Gambling Monopoly?

Austria has called for an end of monopoly in the iGaming sector, and specifically Casinos Austria’s tight control over the industry. The appeal has been made by the leading gambling trade group in the country, The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) .

The OVWG expressed concerns over Casinos Austria’s CFO Peter Sidlo and specifically his participation as a district councillor in Vienna from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO). Not least of all, Mr. Sidlo is also a shareholder in Novomatic, one of the largest developers out there.

Both Sidlo and Novomatic have denied to have benefitted in any way from the councillor’s position and connections in politics.

An Investigation Proving Otherwise

The OVWG acted after the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) carried out raids as part of investigation looking into alleged links between politicians and the gambling business.

Responding to these developments, the trade group said that Austria needs to re-consider how gambling business operates in the country and that Casinos Austria need to lose clout by liberalizing the market and allowing more actors to join.

The OVWG further said:

“On the one hand, this concerns the multiple function of the Federal Minister of Finance as the supervisory authority, licensing body and co-owner. On the other hand, it is an unjustifiable fact that there is only one national online gambling license, which also raises significant concerns about its compliance with EU law.”

Not least of all, Mr. Sildo’s appointment has been perceived as an appointment designed to exploit his connections in politics.

The OVWG also cited Denmark as a great example of how an industry should operate, both in terms of transparency as well as player protection measures. Specifically, the trade group argued that Denmark didn’t limit the number of licenses, for example, but rather, the country introduced very high customer protection and licensing standards in the first place.

Operators Need to be Supervised by the State

The necessity for a more liberal system is to guarantee that competition strives to meet the standards set out by the government, the OVWG has specified.

However, in the absence of high licensing standards, and the power concentrated in the lottery and Casinos Austria, there is little opportunity for a meaningful change to follow.

Earlier, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling that Casinos Austria was at odds with European regulatory measures in the gambling industry. Specifically, the court said that there was a clear absence of a competitive procedure to justify how the company has obtained its license.

While ‘European meddling’ has been a common dismissal of Brussels trying to tell member states how to run their gaming industries, even countries traditionally thought of as protectionists have been liberalizing their markets, including France.

European Union commissioner for financial services, Michel Barnier has long been calling for harmonization of European directives, and gaming is specifically an area where Austria needs to become more liberal in.

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.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Results in October Up

The State of New Jersey has posted its October results for sports betting, generating some impressive figures over the period. The state’s sportsbooks managed to collected a total handle of $487.9 million. Total gambling revenue for the month in the Garden State hit $2.86 billion.

New Jersey Continues to Post Reassuring Gambling Results

New Jersey has managed to rake in estimated $46.4 million in revenue in October, 2019, posting a strong betting handle for the month as well. Sportsbooks in the state scooped up as much as $487.9 million over the period.

The latest figures surpassed results in September when operators reported $37.9 million in collected revenue. More specifically, the revenue was almost 300% higher than the figure posted in September, 2018, marking a tremendous progress since that time.

Meanwhile, total handle also went up and October saw total bets worth $445.6 million placed. This was 87.14% up from October 2018.

Can New Jersey Beat Nevada in Sports Betting?

The big question is whether New Jersey will manage to outpace Nevada’s own pace of expansion. Everyone knows that the Garden State has a slightly more accessible climate, but Nevada has been the world’s chief gambling hub for a while.

Commenting on these developments, sports and gaming analyst Dustin Gouker had this to say:

“If New Jersey is going to pass Nevada during the NFL season, it will be in large part due to the comparative popularity of basketball in the Northeast. In Nevada, football betting is king, and it’s nearly as popular in New Jersey.

Similarly, Mr. Gouker cautioned that New Jersey sports fans were more active compared to Nevada where the casino gambling industry was leading the way.

Meanwhile, there has been very little evidence to suggest that in either Nevada or New Jersey, online poker can gain any momentum, to the disappointment of poker enthusiasts in both states. Even the recent addition of Pennsylvania as an eligible state hasn’t helped.

The Total Handle in NJ in October

Nevada managed to amass $5.1 million and a total handle of $546.4 million. However, New Jersey has outperformed Nevada in every month leading up to September, definitely a promising sign.
New jersey also saw mobile sports bet to dominate all forms of betting. In fact, estimated $417 million worth of bets were placed online. FanDuel and PointsBet dominated the industry in October once again.

Next came Resorts Digital thanks to its multiple partnerships with leading operators such as The Stars Group and DraftKings.

Monmouth Park and William Hill’s efforts placed them third, generating $2.8 million or up 133.8% compared to October 2018.

Online Gambling Going Up

Official data by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) showed great results insofar as online gambling went. New Jersey posted a 69% increase YOY, with the total amount hitting $45.2 million.

In the conditions of an expanding online gaming and sports betting industry, the retail sector register a modest by reassuring growth of 0.8% at $202.3 million. Combined, the total gaming revenue in the Garden State for October hit $2.86 billion.

Big sports such as the NFL, NBA and MLB remain the chief drivers of all activities in New Jersey.

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.

DC Superior Court Rules Against Intralot Sports Betting Injunction

  • DC Court Judge Campbell blocks Intralot betting injunction
  • DC Lottery says plaintiff’s claims were baseless
  • Intralot now has green light for sports betting contract

DC Superior Court blocks injunction against Intralot

The Washington DC Superior Court denied a request on Friday for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked a no-bid contract with Greek-based Intralot. The contract will allow Intralot to manage the city’s planned foray into online sports betting. The decision by Judge John Campbell allows the District to move ahead with the contract, although the lawsuit itself is still pending.

The District’s contract with Intralot had been on hold for several weeks as both sides made legal arguments. The lawsuit filed by Dylan Carragher, a DC resident and the founder of a sports-betting technology business, argued that the $215 million contract over five years with Intralot violated federal law because District officials awarded it without competitive bidding.

The lottery’s deal with Intralot has ruffled feathers for a while, mostly because of the ‘unfair conditions’ under which it was awarded. Councilmember David Grosso was among the first officials to call out the lack of a bidding process in February, describing it as a giveway.

In its response to the request for an injunction, the DC Lottery said that Carragher’s claims were “without basis” and that “the plaintiff falls far short in proving entitlement to such extraordinary relief”, Washington Post reports.

Carragher’s attorney, Donald Temple, said that he was disappointed and that an appeal was in order. “It’s clearly a disturbing opinion and contradicts the case law,” he commented. “The city should be concerned that if the case goes to an appellate court and Carragher wins, it loses the money it has paid to Intralot so far,” he clarified.

Arguing authority

Earlier this year, the DC Council narrowly voted to suspend competitive-bidding rules and allow Intralot, which already held the contract to operate the DC Lottery, to continue running the lottery and to also manage the city’s new online sports gambling.

The lawsuit claimed that by suspending competitive-bidding rules for the contract, District officials violated the Home Rule Act, which established local government in the nation’s capital.

Under the Home Rule Act, the District’s chief financial officer is to carry out his office’s procurement of goods and services but must follow District procurement law. Temple argued that because the DC Lottery falls under the purview of the chief financial officer, the council was not entitled to exempt the contract from the procurement law.

The judge disagreed. “We can spend all day asking whether the council should have done it,” Campbell mused. “But it clearly and unquestionably was within the council’s authority to do that,” he stated.

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement Friday that he was “glad the court has given this the green light.”

“The fact is that we’re going to see sports betting with a mobile application expand among many states over the next several years, and there’s no reason the District should be left behind,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the DC Lottery, Nicole Jordan, said in a statement that the agency is “fully focused on resuming the modernization of the Lottery and implementation of sports wagering in the District.”

Any further attempts by Intralot to launch its sports betting offer will come head-to-head with the suit against the organization. More developments will come in the following weeks.

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.

Germany’s Ads Industry Boosted by Casino Spending

The German advertisement industry has been boosted by a spike in how much casinos have been advertising their bonuses and promotions across various mediums.

German Casino Ads Spending Goes Up

There is a link between how much the German advertising industry earns at home and how many casinos are looking for ways to sell their promotions, a new report has revealed. Advertisement in Germany has been going well with online casinos investing big buck into spreading the word about their current offers.

The data is based on a study by Research Tools, a consultancy firm. The firm simply collected publicly accessible data from AdVision, a media monitoring company and found out that all online operators have collectively spent around $450 million in running ads for their promotions as of May 31, 2019.

These numbers cover the last 12 months. As Research Tools’ report noted, these numbers were driven mostly by online advertisement in the iGaming sector. Specifically, operators have spent estimated $80 million more on promoting their products year-over-year, or 20% based on Research Tools’ assessment.

In other words, private advertisers have been spending more than state lotteries. Moreover, up to 64 brands have promoted gambling products, another increased compared with 47 a year before that. Specifically, it has been Kindred Group’s Unibet-owned operator, Wunderino, to significantly increase its involvement in the country and put more investment in online ads.

German TV Dominated by Casino Ads

The Research Tools’ study also established that TV remained the dominant medium of promotion in the country, with 80% of all advertisement revenue spent on that. Plus, the majority of the ads focused on stressing how “exciting” these offers were.

Brands also reached out to popular athletes to help them promote their product, such as in the case of Oliver Kahn and Diego Maradona. However, such moves have merited some negative attention from authorities, not necessarily in Germany. The study was focused on 500 consumer magazines, 190 specialist journals, 71 radio and 45 television channels, plus a sample of 500 pages.

Yet, Germany’s casino prospects are somewhat dimmer. The country is looking to enforce the Third State Treaty on Gambling which is coming on January 1, 2020 and will see the first official sportsbook in the country launch on June 30, 2021.

Presently, online casinos are operating in a sort of a grey legal area in the state. Furthermore, Germany has already issued recommendations to payment processors to restrict the transaction of money between German citizens and any offshore operator.

PayPal was one of the operators that needs to enforce the measures. The payment processor has had run-ins with authorities in the past, specifically in the United States and over the same issues with not suspending transactions.

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.

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.