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Foreign Casino Tourism is the movement of travelers from different parts of the world with the intention of gambling. Players enjoy a blend of exotic accommodation, entertainment and gaming. This kind of industry facilitates people whose countries have restricted betting and other activities that take place in resorts. Las Vegas, for instance, attracts millions of tourists every year. Most of the visitors have a similar purpose for their trip - to enjoy the multiple resorts and venues for their sport. They are often people coming from countries that have outlawed gambling or placed high taxation rates on them. This is beneficial in earning the state revenue.Popular Destinations for Casino TourismCasino tourism has had a great impact in the areas that have it legalised. These include: Growth in the Hospitality Industry - Due to the need to accommodate the travelers, hotels are developing at a high rate. The competition between the service providers has made accommodation affordable yet of good quality. ii. Increase in trade - Interactions between different people from various cultures leads to exchange of products and ideas. iii. Growth in infrastructure - Development of transport, communication and other facilities is caused by tourism. Negative impacts of casino tourism include an increase in cases of student drop-outs, lack of highly skilled workers since gambling is an easier option.The industry has been faced by several challenges. These include things like insufficient government support - most states have sanctions related to gambling imposed on the people. This causes them to be cautious when diving into the sport. Breach of ethics of casino businesses - many resorts have been reported for mistreating their clients. Incompetent staff who are often unskilled hence handling clients unprofessionally. Lack of cooperation among different industries in the chain. Hospitality businesses conflict with gambling businesses hence lack of harmony. Lack of a clearly stated development strategy has led to stagnation in the industry. Insufficient funds to manage and sustain tourists with their increasing numbers.How does it affect the communities?Casino tourism has had negative impacts such as the fact that an increase in Gambling Returns from gambling are more profitable to the rich. It also has been known to increase in criminal activities. This is due to increase in population and because protection of the locals is neglected when more focus is given to the visitors. It can also increase activities against moral dictations of society, like prostitution, become rampant in areas highly populated by foreigners. Casino tourism has been faced by challenges lately, especially with the increase in online betting activities. However, the business has a way of staying on top due to its authenticity and character.Land-based Casinos are also known as traditional brick and mortar casinos. They have a long history, with gambling houses being recorded in most societies. The first casino in Europe was in Ridotto in Venice, Italy, whilst in the United States, saloons were the early casinos - a place where travelers could meet, drink and gamble. In 1931, the U.S government legalised gambling in the State of Nevada and put the city of Las Vegas on the map as one of the premier destinations for casinos. The most lucrative casino market today is Macau, home to the largest casino in terms of physical size and revenue generated.Land-based casinos in gambling destinations often combine hotels and resorts with casinos, providing a niche type of tourism for gaming enthusiasts and the gambling sector. Running a land-based casino is a complex operation. Particular attention has to be paid to security, as casinos are inextricably linked to crime, with players and staff alike, easily tempted to cheat or steal due to the vast amount of cash on hand. In order to counteract this, many casinos now employ a large security team, and in today's modern era, they are fitted with the "eye in the sky", sophisticated CCTV systems. This dedication to safety also helps to improve trust from the players.Which Casino Games attract tourism?Casinos offer a large assortment of game types, depending on players' preferences. The most popular casino games include slots and table games - blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and the pai gow varieties to name a few. In terms of profitability, baccarat is the most profitable game, generating just under 40% of casino revenue of land-based casinos in Las Vegas in 2017. This is very different from online casinos, where margins are much lower. This contributes to some of the staggering incomes received by casinos, with casinos in Las Vegas alone being a multibillion-dollar market. However, this figure dwarfs the amounts paid out to players, even with multi-million dollar jackpot wins. The largest ever Las Vegas jackpot paid out over $39 million in 2003.The meteoric rise of online casinos is a threat to the future of land-based casinos because of the ever-changing societal norms that make and shakes consumer behaviour. Today's culture of instant gratification and convenience has helped drive the prominence of online casinos. Consequently, land-based casinos must carefully analyse their strengths and weaknesses in order to identify their opportunities and shortcomings. Many brick and mortar casinos will have to develop their businesses as a niche as a venue of entertainment, where people can come together to eat, drink and gamble as in the early days of saloons if they wish to stay in business.
Pai Gow Poker is also known as double-hand poker, and is a version of an old Chinese dominoes game. It uses the standard 52 deck card plus one joker instead of dominoes as used in the Chinese game. The poker game was invented by Sam Torosian, the owner of Bell Card Club in Las Vegas in 1985. Unfortunately for Torosian, he received poor advice and did not patent the game. The game is now hugely popular 30 years after it was invented and is found in most casinos, usually with several different versions available to for players to play. Pai Gow Poker is a simple game to play and is well liked due to it slow pace and low risk, making it popular for an entertaining evening at the casino. The objective of the game is to make two poker hands from a 7 card hand (one 5 card hand and another 2 card hand) that will beat the dealers two hands. The 5 card hand must be of higher value than the 2 card hand, with the 5 card hand being ranked in the same manner as conventional poker and the 2 card hand can either be a pair or no pair. At Casinomir we always list the best casinos with the best bonuses. Once the player has set his hands, the dealer must then reveal his hands, which can result in 3 possible outcomes. The first outcome is the player wins both of their hands and so wins the bet. The second possible outcome is that the dealer wins both hands meaning that the player will lose the bet. The third and final outcome is if the player wins one hand of poker but the dealer wins the other hand. This results in the game being a"push" and consequently money is not exchanged. Should a tie occur, then the dealer will always win that hand. Casinos charge a commission on winning games, which is usually around 5%, whilst other casinos have a flat-rate of 5% just to play. There are different versions of the game that have been created. The most common variations include Pai Gow Mania, Fortune Pai Gow and Emperor's Challenge. A version of the game from Shuffle Master introduced a game with a progressive jackpot side bet, with a seven card straight flush being the winning hand. Thanks to the simplicity of the game and the different available versions, Pai Gow Poker is now a very popular and well-liked game throughout casinos.
Gambling stakeholders are responsible to ensure and maintain a safe gaming environment for players, as well as to comply with a strict set of rules that define several policies and requirements dealing with responsible gambling. Gone are the days when a gambler had to visit a land-based casino in order to play and bet on a few games. Nowadays, online gambling sites and betting sites can be played anywhere in the world, straight from a mobile phone, and the extensive availability of gaming activities has its downsides. Gambling addiction is growing, and what at first seems just like a pastime can quickly turn into a dangerous habit. Online casinos have implemented several resources and measurements aiming to prevent addictive behaviours, providing a variety of self-control and protection tools so players can manage their games in the safest way possible. Online operators developed a series of ethical standards that cope with responsible gambling policies, offering players features like deposit limits, loss limits, time-outs, time limits, and even self-exclusion that aim to prevent and avoid addictive and compulsive gambling. The majority of online casinos created partnerships with independent third-party providers that ensure therapy and counselling for all gamblers in need of help, raising awareness and offering support for those seeking recovery. But responsible gaming is a vast concept and deals not only with possible addictive behaviours from vulnerable players but also with areas like fraudulent and criminal behaviour, information privacy or accurate customer care, paying special attention to underage gambling. That's why online providers have thorough registration processes that ensure that the legal age requirement is complied and laws regarding underage gambling are respected. Assessing customer identity has also a key role in fraud prevention, as online casinos are obliged to implement several policies and procedures concerning money laundering and other fraudulent activities. Providers usually rely on fraud detection technology to block cybercriminals and keep a safe environment for paying customers. The online gaming industry is built on technological advances and stakeholders started to realise that a responsible gaming policy should comprise not only potentially fallible self-control tools managed by players, but also predictive tools that can analyse and identify risk behaviours before they start, giving the possibility to promptly induce players to a healthier environment. The European giant Mr. Green Casino recently implemented an innovative predictive gaming tool, a unique self-help gambling assistant bringing data analytics to the online gambling industry and giving players a vast insight into their risk behaviour. By analysing gaming data, the innovation aims to create a wider safe zone and prevent addiction.
Casino license conditions are terms giving to licensees to follow before they are permitted to operate. These conditions include codes of practice, like compulsory terms needed for financial auditing and reporting, requirements giving by national and local laws, and also more specific details that relate to the premise and the type of gambling service they are offering. Casino license conditions are often designed players safekeeping, to ensure that no law is broken, and to prevent gambling hazard. Licensees must agree to these conditions, and always stick to them at all times in order to avoid getting a financial penalty from the law. If an online casino UK shows its compliance policy, it means that they follow the complete rules and regulation of an authorised regulatory body. The Gambling commissions control gaming activities that are within their locality and also prevent illegal practices like house cheating and biases. They also require online casino application to be just and random, and they watch all offline activities using lottery hosts, bookmakers, and other gambling tools. Compliance is not only necessary with these legal bodies, but also with the local law itself. Casinos are required to always run in accordance with the legal requirements unless they would lose their license and be shut down.
Imagine being able to hit the entire inner wheel of Mega Fortune and win the big jackpot? After this, you go to your player account and see more than £600 000 there! That would perhaps be the best day of your life. On August 1, 2018, a Swedish man wins 61,415 649 SEK on Mega Fortune dreams and becomes the 46th player through the ages that have won the jackpot, Congratulations! The Swedish player became a new at Letsbet and started to play Mega Fortune immediately. After playing less than three hours the lucky Swede won the amazing jackpot. In an interview he says: “This is totally crazy if you ask me! I was on vacation and felt like playing a little just for fun and I didn’t feel lucky. I'm not really sure what to do with the profit except from sharing some of the money with my friends and family” The legendary progressive jackpot game Mega Fortune was launched by the gaming provider NetEnt Entertainment 2012 and has since created the creation of 46 new millionaires around the world. The first winner was a Norman the same year as the launch of the game and then won 92 million. The biggest win ever at Mega Fortune was 2013 when a Finnish student won 180 million! Has the game got your attention yet? It's a completely crazy jackpot game that you can find at almost all of the casinos today and once you've read about the first words of the players, you will understand that they cannot really understand that it's happening. If you are looking forward to winning the next big jackpot from Mega Fortune, you may want to keep in mind that the average winnings are after 10 weeks from a jackpot.
When it comes to creating new millionaires through slots, Net Entertainment is by far the biggest game maker that makes this possible. In their slots like Mega Fortune, Mega Fortune Dreams and of course Hall of Gods you have the chance to become a millionaire. It was a week ago that a young Finnish player sat on the bus and played Hall of Gods at PAF casino with a betting level of € 2 per spin on his phone. The winnings amount was € 2,701,379 with a € 350,000 surcharge from an ongoing campaign to boost jackpots in the Net Entertainment slots. This means that the total profit for the Finnish player amounted to no less than €2,8 million! Net Entertainments Product Manager, Henrik Fagerlund, commented on the profit via a press release in Swedish. We have now got another great example of how NetEnt's games can change people's lives, and the Mega Million campaign will give us even more chances to do that. This game provider have by far created more new millionaires than all the other providers. What is Hall of Gods?Hall of Gods was launched in November 2013 by the game maker NetEnt, which has been inspired by the ancient mythology. Hall of Gods contains cool graphics and a design that really fits into the theme. It gives a fairly simple impression, despite all details, but is not overworked. In the background, we see a viking ship at sea and the giant snake that emerge from the world's ocean. There is no music in the background, but you hear the noise of the sea and wild waves that hit. When you press the spin button, a winning sound and in a win, the sound effects are a bit more dramatic, to make you aware that you won.
Join a winning adventure where you dig up riches deep into the mine together with Snow White’s seven dwarfs in Quickspin's latest slot, which is said to be the most ambitious venture ever - Dwarfs Gone Wild. The major venture Dwarfs Gone Wild went live on June 12, 2018 and is based on the Brothers Grimm's action-packed saga, but focusing on the seven dwarfs and a truly profitable bonus system. One of the casinos that offers Dwarfs Gone Wild in its offer is the new Multilotto Casino, which also boasts a really cool welcome bonus. The newly hatched game is full of entertaining, surprising and exciting features, making it a new player favorite and has sailed up as one of the most popular slots at several online casinos. Of course, all well-known characters from the classic story are featured, and in Dwarf's Gone Wild everybody offers their own enriching character as surprise and reward - extra much if you premiere at Multilotto Casino! Free spins and big wins in Dwarfs Gone WildThe game consists of five reels, three lines and 20 pay lines. As you roll the reels, you have seven different features (one for each Dwarf) plus a Snow White symbol that includes a Multiplier, Spreading Wilds, Throwback Wilds and Full Reel Wilds. Everyone can contribute really big winnings with up to 2,535 times the bet. In addition to the Dwarfs the Magic Mirror provides 300 Snow White symbols and two re-spins as well as the "Golden Minecart Bonus Meter" that will unlock very special (and fun) features in the game. And the more winnings you get the better the multiplier will be.
Mirror Mirror is the new slot machine from NetEnt and the latest addition to the very popular Fairytale Legends series. Of course, you want to try out the new game and now you have the perfect opportunity! 200 cash prizes in the prize poolThe campaign will take place from 27 July until 5 August. You can play on three different slot machines, all included in the Fairytale Legends series. The qualifying games are Fairytale Legends: Hansel and Gretel, Fairytale Legends: Red Riding Hood and a whole new game in the series: Mirror Mirror. Mirror Mirror – New slot machineMirror Mirror was released on July 24th and is the latest addition to NetEnts Fairytale Legends series. The name comes from the magic mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - the story that the game is inspired by. This awesome video slot has 5-reels, 3-rows and 243 pay lines. The slot machine has no less than seven bonus features, which is truly amazing! There's a Mirror Re-Spin where you'll get back when the magic mirror pops up and a whole host of random features like the magic Fairy Magic Re-spin and Fairy Surprise. There is also a Mining Bonus where you break off crystals that give profits down in the dwarf's mine. We at Casinomir would really like to recommend this exciting and innovative slot machine from Net Entertainment. This is probably the best slot machine that has been launched this year in Europe. Don’t forget to use free spins at one of our casinos when you try out this game in order to improve your winning chances.
The market leading game provider NetEnt announced on February 6 that they will develop and launch their first virtual slot machine. Gonzo's Quest is one of the company's most popular titles will be the first slot machine to enter the new virtual world. NetEnt continues to push the digital casino market forward by developing and launching its very first online game for the fast-paced virtual reality market. The use of VR is a growing trend among consumers in many different industries. Research shows that online casino players are starting to look for alternative, more in-depth online gaming experiences. This must be considered a huge step for future online gaming and NetEnt is convinced that VR will have a big role to play in the future of this industry. NetEnt continues to focus on delivering the ultimate gaming experience by taking this first step towards developing an online casino world. This truly is a milestone for NetEnt and the gaming industry. Previously, we have seen casinos like Slotsmillion casino delivering a virtual casino without any success. We, at Casinomir, really hope that NetEnt will be successful in this endeavour. Gonzo's Quest VR will be launched in the summer of 2018 and they have spent a lot of money in advertising for it. Hopefully, the virtual video machine will be as popular as the original version, which means that NetEnt will continue upgrading their casino games. This cool and exciting new technology opens up the doors to new types of free spins online casinos and you can expect revolutionary free spins to market with. A player can be locked in the VR Casino world with their free spins. All in all, we are really impressed with NetEnt and what they are trying to achieve. We wish the all the best luck. If you have a VR-device, make sure that you try out this innovative game when it launches.
As the casino went out into cyberspace, the gaming industry ran great success, but at the same time lost some of its authenticity. Sitting and chatting with other players or with the dealer, being able to wander around the casino's premises until you find the game you want to play, to soak up the atmosphere, it was equally important for some players, which also led to that type of player did not appreciate the new casino experience. With the live casino's entry into the market, this has changed.In a UK live casino you play the same way as in any online casino, with the essential difference that on the other side of the screen it is the living person of a life and not a pre-programmed computer whose sole task is to follow digital rules and calculate odds. When playing at a live casino, you play against a real dealer. The game is often streamed live via webcam and you can chat with the dealer and other players. It's a bit like having a very own avatar wandering around the Las Vegas casinos. When you see something you like, simply ask your avatar to sit down at the appropriate table and, through your instructions, start playing.The very thing about the games that fall under the concept of live casino games is that they should imitate the reality and feeling of sitting at a casino game table as much as possible. All rules are just like the reality of game reality, and you bet or make your gestures through easy-to-understand buttons and controls.To play at any of the live casino games, register on a online casino, just as usual, deposit money and then click on the Live Casino or Live Games menu and then choose which type of game you want play, and then it's just driving. If something is unclear, there are help menus and guides to help you on the path.A calmer alternativeTechnology is still relatively new and needs to be developed before the experience really feels like a first-hand experience. If you want to chat or talk to the dealer, you need a quick internet connection to avoid slowing down the game. But the fact remains that gaming on live casino really gives a more authentic experience of casino games. If you are unsure of game rules or have questions about stake limits, you can quickly and easily ask the person on the other side of the screen. Visiting a physical casino can be both time-consuming and stressful, as UK casinos today are primarily located in the big cities. There is often a stubborn and messy environment on the casino floor and the opportunity to get the same experience from home the living room attracts more and more players to the live casino each week.Games at land-based casinos come with something of a subculture. You are expected to behave in a certain way, dress in a certain way. You are expected to drink alcohol and drink the serving staff. By playing from home you can avoid these social codes and instead focus on your game. You do not have to listen to dull students and bitter casino fans. You do not have to look through long-term co-sponsors outlining the best strategies to defeat the house and nobody will look down on you when you do not dare to take that last card and lose when the dealer defeats you with 19 at hand.Games availableThese are the most popular games for UK live casino players today:Live RouletteLive BlackjackLive BaccaratLive Casino HoldEmMake you selection today and get started playing these exciting games. Live Casino is the latest online gaming game. Game developers and operators seem to keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and always be ahead of development to accommodate customers in ever-increasing competition. We have already seen new technology transform ordinary gentleman into Pokemon monkeys. The gaming market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world right now with annual sales of billions of dollars. The money is also the innovation force. It remains to be seen what the future has to offer. Good luck at the tables!
It has flourished rumors in recent weeks that a certain football star would have signed an agreement with the gaming company Bethard. Earlier this week, we also found that these rumors were true when Bethard went out with the great news that LA Galaxy's latest acquisition, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, becomes Bethard's ambassador. In addition to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's coming out for the company, the former national team will also be part of the game company. Talk about a strong acquisition of Bethard!Previously, Dragomir Mrsic is ambassador to Bethard. The actor will continue the collaboration with the gaming company and, as you will see below, work with Zlatan Ibrahimovic What Zlatan Ibrahimovic is getting for this collaboration does not want to tell Erik Skarp (CEO & Founder of Bethard), but he says that Zlatan deserves a juicy deal, something that was not completely untouched.The gaming company Bethard has been produced as a hard and tough gaming company, something they now want to change. With the help of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bethard will now go against a brand change and become a more "soft" gaming company. In the gaming industry, Bethard is known to offer high odds and has the highest odds on the market when it comes to international and British football!With Zlatan joining LA Galaxy as a non-designated player, he is taking a massive pay cut compared to his previous contracts at Man United and Paris SG. With collaborations such as the one with Bethard, combined with previous career earnings, the pay cut may not affect Ibrahimovic that much. In Galaxy he will join up with the former Barcelona products Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos. The Mexican brothers are together with former Arsenal and Chelsea player Ashley Cole the most well-known names on the Galaxy roster.Ibrahimovic´s first game can be against LAFC, which is a derby in the city of Angels. It will be very interesting to follow the MLS with such a big name as Ibrahimovic joining. Read more about betting options here on Casinomir and stay tuned for more news regarding gambling and sports.
In Japan, the internal affairs ministry said that in October 2018 people will be able to buy popular lottery tickets online according to The Japan Times. According to this news agency these tickets will be able to be purchased for the popular lottery “Jumbo Takarakuji”-series. These games offer a prize of over 1 billion JPY. People can also buy regular Takarakuji tickets and the “Loto”- series. Individuals who want to purchase lottery tickets online will first have to register themselves as members on the website. All the winnings will be wired to the designated bank account of the winners. There should be no possibility for players money laundering. One of the reasons behind this new law is that lottery sales have been decreasing during the last couple of years and to sell lotteries online would perhaps end this negative trend. According to The Japan Times the lottery tickets sold for over 1.1 trillion JPY in 2005 and in 26 it was just 845 billion JPY. In addition to this, around 93% of the tickets are sold via outlets near train stations. Another reason for the decline in sales is that it’s only older people in Japan that buys lottery tickets, younger people want to play online and at the moment you can’t buy lottery tickets online. Seiko Noda, the Internal affairs minister, said she hopes that this new law will attract more than 500 000 new lottery players the first six months.
Take a short break from the thrill at online casinos and check out some real big players instead! We have handpicked the five best casino movies throughout the ages. Watch your new favourite movies today. #1. CasinoThe world's best casino movie is aptly named Casino and it's a name to keep in mind. This is the true story of how the two friends, a mafia handler and a casino manager compete against each other - both in game and love. Under the auspices of Martin Scorcese, and strong actors from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone, Casino is a classic mafia movie that does not leave anyone unmarried. #2. 21However, if you want to learn strategies in card games, you can get a lot of great tips and advice from the movie 21. 21 is based on the true event of how six MIT students won several millions of dollars by counting cards on casinos. With stars like Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and Jim Sturgess in the role list, 21 will catch your attention and prepare you for the next time you visit the game table. #3. The HangoverOkay, you may not learn to play blackjack by watching The Hangover - but you will definitely want to learn! In this American comedy from 2009, three friends wake up from a tortoise in Las Vegas - without the groom! They will be a hysterically fun fight against the clock when Bradley Cooper and his friends will find and get home Doug in time for the wedding. #4. Ocean's ElevenBrad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon. It's just impossible to fail when you have an ensemble of world stars in the list. But that's when the movie is based on a flawless direction with smart dialogues, as you know it will be a hit. In Oceans 11, we get to experience equal parts of comedy and action when a group of accomplices robs three Vegascasinons - at the same time! #5. Rain ManWhat is a list of the 5 best casino movies through the ages without a classic? Rain You may not be familiar with the younger generation, but this 1988 gambling film home made four oscars for: best movies, best director, best original manuscript and best male lead.
When releasing their first full year report since the merger of Betfair and Paddy Power, the company released a growth of 12 % revenu to a total £1.745 billion (US$2.42 billion), much thanks to increased sportsbook revenue. The growth rate was a bit smaller compared to previous years.With tought competition and new regulatory frameworks being some of the reason to the decreased growth, the company are now looking into the future with great hopes. In the report the company revealed the addition of £20 million ($27.7 million) to its £300 million ($416.2 million) annual marketing budget. This will mostly be spent on adversiting.The company is listed on the London Stock exchange and operates under a number of brands, with Betfair and Paddy Power being the most well-known for UK gamblers. The merger between the two companies happened in February 2016. The company operates both online and in retail, through betting shops.Among other ventures, the company has gone into fantasy sports through the aquisition of the company draft during 2017. Also other popular new products such as e-sports and VR Casino are among the popular new products for Paddy Power Betfair. Stay updated here with the latest news from the iGaming world.
The UK company Juniper Research estimates that the whole online gaming business will be worth more than one trillion dollar in 2022. The 2017 research made this claim about five years in the future after looking into the current state of the market as well as the historical development. The current value by the end of 2017 was 620 billion, wheras it is believed to reach the 700 billion mark by the end of 2018.There are a number of factors that are thought to help the rapid development:New technologyNew productsNew market regulationsWith a bigger range of games available and an easier environment for players to play legally and to deposit and withdraw their funds easy and tax-free, the gap between offline and online gambling is getting smaller by each day. Today, over 90 % of all gambling globally is still done offline.With more and more markets including American states getting regulated, the potential player pool for legal online gambling increases. With large countried such as China, India and Brazil yet to do a gambling regulation, there are still plenty of possibility for growth outside the Europe and North America. Make sure to follow all of our news for the latest developments in this trillon dollar business.
South Dakota vote against plans for a new land-based casino in Yankton.Senators voted 23-12 against the plans.The news comes as a setback for casino gaming in the U.S., a country with long-standing constitutions and complex politics threaten offline and online gambling. For some, the continued opposition to online and offline gambling in North America remains something of a mystery. While there are deep-rooted religious and supposedly morale objections to gambling in certain states, this alone does not explain the struggles that certain lawmakers have faced when trying to pass legislation that would legalise specific practices.South Dakota is the latest U.S. state to vote against the expansion of its existing gambling industry, after senators voted against a resolution that would potentially lead to the construction of a fully-functional casino venue in the town of Yankton.In this article, we'll appraise precisely what happened in the vote, and what it says about the gambling industry as a whole in North America.What Precisely have Senators Voted Against?The proposal was brought by the so-called Port Yankton Project, and ultimately called for the construction of a bricks-and-mortar casino as a way of reviving the local community and generating significant tax revenue.More specifically, the initial resolution (known as Senate Joint Resolution 9) called for an amendment to the states' existing constitution that would subsequently allow a gambling venue to be built within the region. If passed, this would have enabled lawmakers to include the construction proposal on a ballot in November, and potentially lead to the casino being built as planned.Despite the proposed financial benefits of the project and its potential to create jobs and prosperity in the region, senators however voted 23-12 against the initial resolution. This has scuppered the project before it ever really got off the ground, and it is not yet known whether the underlying proposal will be revised and revisited in the near-term.Why has this Proposition been Voted Down?Advocates of the proposal have championed its economic benefits at length, while revealing how subsequent tax levies can generate revenues that may subsequently be reinvested into the local economy. Additionally, project leaders also confirmed that there could be room for a hotel and convention centre on the site, which would drive far higher revenues and potentially draw visitors from across the globe.However, South Dakota's state laws currently prohibit interested parties from developing gaming and casino outlets without first having their plans approved by local residents. This is why an initial amendment was required to the states' constitution, and arguably one of the seminal reasons why the proposal failed to pass the local senate.After all, a number of local tribes have already opposed the plans, lobbying local officials and senators in a bid to prevent the proposal from being passed. These efforts would appear to have proved successful, with complainants arguing that the development of a large gaming and entertainment facility would damage their existing businesses and tribal casino outlets.The nature and the level of this opposition makes it unlikely that such a proposal would ever pass muster, even if it was revisited in the future. The fact remains that local lawmakers will loathe to change the constitution or go against the wishes of community-based tribes in the region, regardless of the potential economic and financial benefits.The Last WordThis is typical of the issues facing offline and online gambling in the U.S., where long-standing constitutions and complex politics (along with religious and moral concerns) continue to underpin the widespread opposition of new laws.Attitudes may well change over time, of course, while sustained economic decline in certain regions may make state authorities more receptive to the revenues created by off and online gaming. Project leaders may well need to bide their time in states such as South Dakota, while also building an incontrovertible economic case for building casinos and legalising gambling activity.
The state of Pennsylvania has had a bid for a new mini-casino invalidated by state gaming regulators. It comes after Pennsylvania regulations state that casinos cannot be built within 25 miles of one another. The ban comes as a setback for the state’s gambling industry.A row over the location of a new proposed mini-casino in Pennsylvania has seen a winning bid invalidated by state gaming regulators. The bid by global casino developer Las Vegas Sands Corporation, included the plan to build a fourth gaming venue in the state.The winning bid of $9.9m by LVS would have seen the new mini-casino located on a site in Hempfield Township, close to Mercer County. However, a third mini-casino which is yet to be built, is said to located in neighbouring Lawrence County, an area very close to Mercer County.According to Pennsylvania regulations, under Act 42, category 4, casinos can only be situated in “a specific geographic point established by geographic coordinates in this Commonwealth with a 15-linear mile radius.” The regulations also state that “a Category 4 facility may not be located within 25 miles of another licensed PA casino (Category 1, 2 or 3) except if the location is within 25 miles of the winning bidder’s own licensed facility.”Addressing these regulations in a statement, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said it had been forced to reject the bid which was submitted by Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, a subsidiary of LVS. State regulators are to meet this month to decide as to whether or not they will accept the second unsuccessful bid, which was submitted by Parx Casino.Pennsylvania is currently almost half way through a process of auctioning 10 licences to build mini-casinos, with the auction only open to the state’s 11 casino operators. Each operator can submit bids to open a facility which comprises of 750 slot machines, while licence holders have the option to pay a further $2.5m if they’d like to operate 30 table games on their premises. The first three auctions have raised $112m for the state, with a $50m bid being made by Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association LLC to build a mini-casino in York County. Stadium Casino LLC have bided $40m to build a casino in Westmoreland County and Mount Airy bided $21m for premises in Lawrence County.As yet, following the state’s decision to invalidate their bid, Las Vegas Sands Corporation have not made a statement regarding the matter.
When talking about Las Vegas, you usually divide its history into old and new Las Vegas. The old Las Vegas was largely controlled by the mafia, while the new Las Vegas is ruled by legitimate companies. The true story of Las Vegas is a fascinating story about how a place that has emerged out of nowhere becomes a unique city where mafia and entrepreneurs over the years have been slaughtered over the ruling over a giant flow of money.The early Las Vegas: Bugsy Siegel and the MafiaThe very first chapter about Las Vegas as a playground is written in 1931 when gambling was legalized in Nevada. Certainly, there were already illegal clubs where gambling was run, but without legalization there had been small activities carried out in the hidden. Part of the first chapter in the history of people that was searching for Las Vegas for fun was the workers involved in a large pond building near the city.The story told in the Hollywood movie Bugsy (1991) is that Las Vegas, as we know it today, came after the gangster Ben "Bugsy" Siegel had a vision of a sparkling city in the rugged Nevada. Among other things, Thomas Hull, hotel owner in Los Angeles, had already begun to build his El Rancho, which opened in 1941. At El Rancho there were casinos, restaurants, small shops and a pool. Most of the ingredients of what characterizes a hotel casino in Las Vegas already existed. Bugsy realized the potential of expansion and borrowed the money from the mafia and bought a semi-finished hotel, renamed it to Flamingo and made it a very luxurious hotel ... with an associated casino of course.However, the costs went off and several billions have to be borrowed from the mafia. When not Flamingo became an immediate success and rumors alleged that Bugsy seized a portion of the money himself, he would soon be murdered by his lenders who became increasingly impatient. After Bugsy Siegel's death, Gus Greenbaum was placed by the maffia on the Flamingo leaderboard and the organized crime control over Las Vegas was strengthened. The mafias strong control over Las Vegas would be several decades.The Rat PackBugsy predicted that Las Vegas would attract Hollywood celebrities, both to perform and to frequent the hotels as guests. He was right. Some of the most famous were the so-called Rat Pack which consisted of renowned entertainers where names like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. are most familiar to us today.In the 1950s, so-called showgirls performed on stage for the first time. Female dancers who made a dance number before and after another main number. The women were dressed in elegant gear and in some numbers, they also took off the top to dance topless. Although this has been a movie in Hollywood and, among other things, the Showgirls from 1995 where Elizabeth Berkeley plays a dancer seeking success in the sparkling city.The Las Vegas Strip is called the nearly seven mile long street where most of the major hotels are located. Some of these hotels are not only the largest in Las Vegas but have over the years been among the largest in the world, with some housing several thousand rooms. The street is a glittering monument to the western world's ability to reconcile money with entertainment.Legitimate Companies entering VegasLas Vegas was long controlled by the Mafia, but legitimate companies took over in the 1960s and 1970s after stricter license requirements were introduced. Las Vegas began to become more a destination for families and sumptuous hotels with kitschy dislocations became tourist objects. A place that attracted families and ordinary workers was Circus Circus whose owner went against the power when it did not choose to prioritize high rollers. They would expand their business with several additional hotels. The companies were also extremely analytical and learned to expose Las Vegas to full potential and the money flowed in was getting bigger.Construction boomPerhaps the 1990s meant the real culmination. As a symbol of the beginning of the construction boom on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1990s, Mirage is the best example. Mirage opened in 1989 and was the biggest in size and luxury. During the 1990s, Las Vegas passed Disney World as the place your most tourists traveled, and Las Vegas would pass Hollywood in terms of consumption of entertainment. During this decade, the city's population also doubled.After Mirage, Excalibur built an even bigger casino. Another great hotel was the MGM Grand which, when it opened in 1993, became the world's largest hotel - the amount that was needed to build it was $ 800 million Perhaps the most spectacular project anyway was Luxor, built in the form of a pyramid, the price tag this time was $ 400. The theme of the hotel was, of course, ancient Egypt in Pharaoh's time. It was possible to get around on a river boat inside the hotel around what had been built to mimic the Nile.In the late 1990's, two further hotel casinos were built in Las Vegas, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay, both rising high above the ground, which further increased the level of cost and luxury. Read more about Vegas and online casino gambling here on the website.
The UK Gambling Commission has handed William Hill a big fine of £6.2m after finding out that the famous bookmaker breached anti-money-laundering regulations.UKGC says that this fine could rise even higher if more people come forward. William Hill didn’t do enough to prevent money laundering according to Tim Miller at UKGC. He also said that the fine of £6.2m could rise even more to BBC News. Over ten people were able to deposit money to the bookmaker that was linked with criminal offences. William Hill earned over £1.2m on these players. The fine that William Hill received was the second biggest ever imposed by the UKGC. The largest fine was £7.8m and it was given to 888 Casino. The reason for the fine was according to UKGC “failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money-laundering and social responsibility processes were effective”. William Hill said they have co-operated with UKGC the entire time and that they welcome these investigations. They will also do an independent investigation in order to help themselves with internal processes so that this never will happen again. Many of the criminal players deposited a lot of money without having any income or explanations on how they got the money in the first place. These players also have a criminal past. William Hill says that it’s hard to now as an operator where the players get their money but that they have to get a lot better on this. We can assume that many other big online casinos have the same problem and that there are many criminal players with dirty money that plays each day at many different casinos. One player at William Hill played for £500,000 a yeah with an income of £30,000. This was possible because he stole money from his employer. William Hill will now make sure that this won’t happen again, and other casinos are looking over their processes and regulations. This fine from UKGC is a great signal to all casinos that money laundering and criminal players never should be allowed at online casinos in Britain.
Japan have recently announced plans to limit casino visits throughout the country.Individual casino trips will be limited to 10 per month.The plan comes after statistics revealed 3.2 million Japanese citizens admit to suffering from a gambling addiction.When it comes to enforcing stringent regulatory measures across a host of industries, nations in Asia blaze a trail for others to follow. We recently saw the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading banned in Korea, and while this was motivated by a desire to prevent money laundering it also counters one of the main benefits of utilising digital currency.More recently, Japanese authorities have announced plans to limit casino visits nationwide, in a bid to curb problem gambling and potentially safeguard vulnerable individuals.In this post, we'll look at the ban in closer detail, and ask whether or not it will help the Japanese government to achieve its core objectives.What is the Japanese Government Proposing?The proposal has been formed quite recently, as a response to concerning statistics that have emerged after casino gameplay was legalised in 2016.More specifically, figures released in September last year revealed that around 3.2 million Japanese citizens were suffering from some form of gambling addiction. Many have since opined that this issue has emerged as a result of citizens having far greater access to casino gameplay, and this has promoted the government to take direct action.If the proposal was to be implemented in its current form, the government has announced plans to limit individual casino visits to no more than 10 per month. If we break this down further, up to three visits would be allowed during a period of seven consecutive days, limiting each individual's access to gameplay and theoretically forcing them to tackle any issues with problem gambling that they may have.The ban would apply to both Japanese nationals and foreign visitors, which has raised wider concerns about revenues and the ability of casinos to generate a viable, taxable profit.What has been the Reaction, and will the Proposal be Effective?The government recently presented these plans to lawmakers, in the hope of pushing the legislation through quickly. However, the plan has already met with serious opposition, with the nation's Liberal Democrat Party saying that the proposed restriction is far too prohibitive. This, along with concerns about oppressing the profitability of casinos, means that negotiations will have to continue in earnest if a final plan is to be passed by the two ruling parties.There are also concerns about the introduction of identity cards as a way of tracking casino visits and activity, as this raises huge issues concerning privacy and each player's individual liberties.With these points in mind, it's highly unlikely that the proposed bill will be passed in its current form, with the government's opposition keen on applying less stringent restrictions and offering far greater freedom for those visiting the country. The proposed method of tracking visits and imposing such legislation is also likely to be a significant bone of contention, as it's hard to imagine any progressive, modern government forcing citizens to carry identify cards with embedded tracking software in 2018.From an objective perspective, it's also worth asking whether or not imposing such legislation will prove effective in the modern age. While online gambling is largely prohibited in Japan, those who are motivated enough could look to mitigate the casino ban by seeking out virtual and mobile operators from overseas.Even if this proves to be beyond the means of most gamblers, the issue of imposing a physical gambling ban may also prove tricky. In fact, any potential tracking measure could be successfully circumnavigated by resourceful individuals, and particularly those who are gripped by a gambling addiction.This means that the government may need to relax its proposals if they are to prove successful, while the government should also focus on educating gamblers about the perils of addiction. For now, this will be an interesting space to watch and one that will have a huge influence on the market in the future.
· Yggdrasil announce new deal with GVC.· The deal enables the gaming supplier to enter the Spanish gaming market.· Comes after Yggdrasil announce outstanding financial figures for 2017.After a successful 2017, it has been announced that Yggdrasil will be able to enter the Spanish online gaming market from the second quarter of this year after establishing a deal with GVC. This new agreement means that the company will be able offer its games to the Spanish market and do so in full compliance with the region’s requirements.Yggdrasil’s Q4 financial results revealed that the company saw a 61% increase in revenue for the period, taking in MSEK51.2m. Last year as a whole was positive for the gaming supplier, and the results showed a 95% increase with revenue totalling MSEK169.1m. The impressive figures were dominated by mobile gaming, with totals having reached 59% of the gross game win. The company also released 11 new network games, one operator exclusive game and signed 40 new licence agreements last year, and the new deal for the Spanish market comes just a few weeks after Yggdrasil signed an agreement which would enable them to enter the Italian market.GVC meanwhile has a strong presence in Spain largely thanks to its own leading brand, however now that Yggdrasil Gaming and GVC have joined forces to offer Yggdrasil titles in the market, it’s thought that said presence will only grow stronger in the coming months.Reflecting on the past year as well as what lies ahead, Yggdrasil Gaming CEO Fredrik Elmqvist said:“During Q4 we saw an increase in customers in Italy, and the signing of new and existing customers for another new regulated market for Yggdrasil, Denmark. Our first customers went live in Denmark in February, and we will do a full launch in the country in Q2.“It has been a remarkable 12 months, but I am even more excited about the possibilities and opportunities that lay ahead in 2018. We have a world-class team, an industry-leading product set and the best customers in the business, and we will be building upon this throughout the year and beyond.”Addressing the move into the Spanish market, he went on to say:“Spain has quickly emerged as one of Europe’s fastest-growing and exciting jurisdictions, making it a perfect environment for Yggdrasil’s award-winning slots and promotional tools.“Earlier this week, Spain posted its financial figures for 2017, with online gaming revenue jumping by 38% in the fourth quarter. Revenue during the three months ending December 31 2017, generated €173.3m, up 38% on the corresponding period a year prior. Furthermore, the fourth quarter revenue figures also posted an increase of 23.5% on the total collected in the third quarter of that year. “To enter Spain with GVC, a long-time partner across multiple jurisdictions, will ensure our games are enjoyed by slots fans across the country. Following recent entries into Denmark and Italy, it also underlines Yggdrasil’s commitment to expanding its footprint in Europe’s regulated markets.”Andy Whitworth, the Head of Content and Commercial for GVC echoed Elmqvist’s comments, adding:“Our aim is to offer content from our best suppliers in all of our markets. Yggdrasil’s slots have already proved to be hugely popular with our players elsewhere, so we are delighted to be the first operator to bring that award-winning content to Spain.”
· Intralot pay $240 million for 10-year supply contract with Illinois State Lottery.· The deal comes as 44 jurisdictions have commissioned weekly lotteries to take place in the United States.· Intralot will also roll their technology out into 7,500 retail locations state-wide.Whichever way you choose to slice it, the attitudes to gambling and its respective legislation in the U.S. seems contradictory at best.After all, while just four American states have legalised online gambling during the last decade or so (Pennsylvania being the most recent to push through legislation), a total of 44 jurisdictions have commissioned weekly lotteries to take place. As if this was not confusing enough, we must consider that online gambling is often opposed because of its reliance on so-called 'games of chance' that actually require variable levels of skill, while lottery gameplay is permitted despite being entirely opportunistic in its nature.Still, the lottery bandwagon rolls on in the U.S., with global supplier Intralot having recently made big waves by signing a supply contract with the lucrative Illinois State Lottery. Below, we'll look at this in closer detail while asking what it means for the industry as a whole. With regulations affecting terms such as free spins, we see a lot more things happening in the UK market as well.The Deal – What do we Know?The deal, which was only announced recently, saw Intralot pay $240 million for a 10-year supply contract with the state of Illinois. Signed with Camelot Illinois LLC, the deal will run through October 2027 and empower Intralot to assume responsibility for the operation and management of the lottery within the boundaries of the state.While the brand will operate within the framework laid out by the Private Management Agreement (held between the State of Illinois, the Department of the Lottery and Camelot Illinois LLC), the biggest development here is that they will also roll out their technology across 7,500 retail locations state-wide.Key installations will include a cutting-edge Photon terminal and the Genion, which is a compact ticket checker to determine winners. Intralot will also roll out clerk-operated lottery terminals in busier locations with high levels of footfall, in order to successfully meet demand and higher than average purchase rates.Interestingly, they'll also introduce a player-operated terminal called the WinStation at the Illinois market, in a bid to develop further avenues of self-service and create a more profitable business model.What Does This Mean for Illinois and the Industry as a Whole?This new deal also extends an existing and lucrative partnership between Intralot and Camelot, and one that has boosted profitability and the consumer experience across the globe. According to John Donahue, the CEO of Intralot, they “have been a successful technology partner with Camelot elsewhere in the world, and together will prove to be the right combination for the State of Illinois Lottery in the future”.This will certainly help to meet the rising demand for lottery gameplay in the region, while also creating more efficient service to customers. With these points in mind, the new deal could well help to make the Illinois State Lottery more profitable for key stakeholders, without impacting negatively on the customer experience or requiring players to cough up more.Over time, this could also create a similar template for deals across the remaining 43 states that allow lottery gameplay, particularly as authorities and brands look to leverage technology as a way of satisfying customers and increasing efficiency.
● Mr Green experiences a 28.9% year-on-year rise in revenue.● 2017 saw Mr Green scoop the Corporate Responsibility Provider of The Year.● The online operator set for further growth in 2018 with Live Casino partnership.Following in the footsteps of Nevada Gaming Control Board in the US smashing their own gaming revenue record, Mr Green, the online casino and gaming operator, has announced that 2017 was the company’s most successful year ever, with a 28.9% year-on-year rise in revenue.Unveiling details of its 2017 financial report, the company declared a gaming revenue total of SEK1.192bn, which obliterated the 2016 total of SEK924.5m. Meanwhile, company EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased by a staggering 103%, rising from SEK91.4m in 2016 to SEK185.6m by the end of 2017.Last year was a busy and productive year for Mr Green which saw the company launch its ‘Green Gaming’ tool for players, an idea and feature which won them the ‘Corporate Responsibility Provider of The Year’ title at the Global Gaming Awards London, held earlier this month.The company also expanded its audience reach, launching its online casino in the Danish market, introducing its first online bingo offering to players, and concluding the €7m acquisition of Evoke Gaming in December.During a conference call in which he addressed the company’s strong year, Per Norman, Chief Executive of Mr Green & Co said:“I can now state that 2017 was Mr Green’s most successful year ever. We delivered on our strategy, Mr Green 2.0, our product offering is better than ever and we expanded geographically. At the same time, we implemented a unique, industry-leading tool for Green Gaming. 2017 was a positive year for us, with a growth of 28.9% and a 103% improvement in EBITDA.”This year looks set to further establish Mr Green’s strong place in the market, as the company have announced a Live Casino partnership with gaming company NetEnt at the ICE Totally Gaming 2018 event.Commenting on the future of the company, Norman added:“The new year, through February 8, also started strongly. It is gratifying to also be able to say that Denmark – where we launched the Mr Green casino site on December 28 – had a good start with a strong inflow of customers. “During 2018, we will focus on geographic expansion and integrate Evoke Gaming. At the same time, we will continue to develop our offering and enhance the efficiency of our customer communication. Mr Green celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and it will be another exciting year in the company’s history."
Despite continuing to record growth over the course of the last 18 months, the gambling industry is poised for some more significant challenges in 2018.This is certainly the case this week, with the lucrative bookmaker sector braced for the long-awaited triennial review results into the controversial form of betting referred to commonly as FOBTs (fixed-odds betting terminals) to come into force soon. A true lifeblood of bookmakers nationwide, FOBTs have come under increasing scrutiny among politicians, regulators and government bodies alike.The official review from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) covered a wide range of suggested reforms in this market, with the aforementioned groups are coming under increased pressure to adopt bold regulatory measures that slash the maximum betting threshold. However, despite plenty of chatter around the proposals, nothing has as of yet been formalised. Here's a breakdown of what has been happening so far.What has Happened so far?The influential Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been particularly scathing of FOBTs, labelling them disparagingly as the “crack cocaine of gambling”. It has also pledged repeatedly to clampdown on them, with a reduction in the maximum betting threshold set to have a huge impact on bookmakers' profits.This was enough to send shock waves through the gambling sector by itself, but it's also important to note that the additional pressure from regulatory and government bodies looks set to trigger a significant reduction in the maximum betting threshold. In fact, it seems increasingly likely that the maximum individual stake will fall from £100 to just £2, creating a significant revenue shortfall that will have a detrimental impact on growth within the gambling sector.Similarly, smaller and independent bookmaker chains may be forced out of business completely, while firms across the board have seen their values plunge ahead of the upcoming report. In fact, shares in bookmakers plunged when the news first broke, and this trend could well worsen once the final report has been released and consultation finished.What's Next for FOBTs and the Gambling Industry as a WholeWith the current maximum betting threshold, FOBTs are capable of generating up to £300 per minute from gamblers. According to the most recent figures released from the UK Gambling Commission, this translated into a total FOBT spend of £1.7 billion between October 2014 and September 2015, which in turn accounted for a staggering 56% of betting shops’ profits during this period of time.Simple mathematics dictate that, should the maximum bet threshold of £2 be implemented, profits could plummet considerably, while bookmakers would be forced to fill a huge chasm in terms of revenues. Beyond this, it's estimated that almost half of the 9,000 betting shops would become unprofitable in the worst-case scenario, facing the risk of closure by 2020 if they're unable to mitigate the impact of the new ruling.For now, bookmakers must await the full detail of the final report, as the relevant authorities finish seeking consultation from the industry to cement their final decision. With bookmakers formulating their own response, it's almost certain that we will see some form of formal legal challenge in the event of the betting threshold being capped at just £2.Regardless of the precise findings, the debate is likely to rumble on amid ongoing legal battles inthe near-term, even if the government implements a more balanced reduction that seeks to satisfy all parties involved.
Nevada Gaming Control Board releases figures that demonstrate a 13.5% increase in sports betting revenue during last year.The staggering total amounts to more than $248.8m and has obliterated the previous record set.Nevada is one of only four states in the United States currently authorised to legally offer sports betting to punters.The last 12 months have seen a boom in sports betting revenue in the state of Nevada in the United States. In fact, bookmakers in Nevada have recently set an impressive new state record having taken in a more than $248.8m during the last calendar year.The figures, released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, detail how the state saw a 13.5% increase in sports betting revenue during last year. The 2017 total sailed past the $219.2m achieved during 2016, obliterating the previous record in the process. The earlier record that had been set in 2015 achieved a total that topped $231.8m.The total amount of money bet on sporting events in Nevada also reached a record high in 2017, with the figure rising from $4.51bn in 2016, to $4.87bn - an increase of 8%. This spike means Nevada has seen betting amounts rise for three consecutive years.Speaking to the SportsHandle website, Michael Lawton, Senior Research Analyst at Nevada Gaming Control Board’s Tax and Licence Division, commented on the high sports betting revenues. He said:“There are various reasons that have contributed to the phenomenal growth Nevada’s sports wagering industry has seen over the past eight years. On a macro level, the general health of the sports betting industry in Nevada has never been stronger.“With major networks mentioning point spreads and ‘bad beats’ on their prime time shows, national press stories on expanded Super Bowl propositions along with the unique March Madness experience in Las Vegas, the state continues to see more regional and national tourists (visiting both Southern and Northern Nevada) seek out the sports book when they visit properties.”As one of only four states in the US currently authorised to legally offer sports betting to punters, Nevada’s new state record occurs as sports betting fans await the outcome of a Supreme Court decision. The decision relates to whether or not the Supreme Court deems the Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act of 1992 unconstitutional. If they do determine this act as unconstitutional, it will then be at risk of repeal and a 26 year-old ban on sports betting in the USA could finally be lifted.
Crown Resorts required to commission the sale of land in Las Vegas.Comes after it’s been claimed that offline gambling accounts of 33% of the market share.While the offline gambling industry remains active for now, there's no doubt that it continues to lose both traction and market share to the online market.The UK market embodies this perfectly, with online gambling now generating a peak GGY (gross gambling yield) of £4.5 billion and claiming an overall market share of 33%. A similar trend is in evidence across the globe, with a number of operators being forced to reduce their offline commitments and realign their priorities.In this post, we'll look at the recent experiences of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts and ask what this means for the industry as a whole.What has Happened with Crown Resorts Recently?After previously expanding into international markets, Crown Resorts has recently been required to commission the sale of a parcel of land in Las Vegas, Nevada. This land was listed with resale price of $370 million, with local operators set to compete in order to complete a purchase.Even by itself, this sale may be enough to raise questions over the longevity of the land-based casino market (particularly from the perspective of international brands and investors). This is the latest in a string of disinvestments that the company have undertaken over the course of the last 12 months, with the group focused on realigning its priorities and targeting more lucrative marketplaces.This has proved a painstaking process for the brand, who have endured a difficult time during the last 12 months. The operator sold its CrownBet business for $150 million earlier this month, for example, while they also ended their lucrative partnership with the entertainment brand Melco in May 2017. Then came a significant controversy in June, when 18 of the operator's employees were placed on trial by Chinese authorities on charges relating to gambling.These individuals were later released following pressure from the Australian government in the summer, while the brand came under immense scrutiny as the drama unfolded.The Last Word – Is this an Issue of Geography or a Sign of the Times for Offline Gambling?According to James Packer, the CEO at Crown Resorts, these measures are largely the result of failed expansions into the international market. The Chinese detention scandal was at the heart of these failures, which in turn forced the business to reconsider its long-term strategy and amend its plans for the future.The question that remains, of course, is whether this is solely an issue of failed international investments or also connected to a decline in the offline gambling sector? After all, the failure of these expansion efforts may also have a great deal to do with a decline in the demand for land-based casinos, as a growing number of players make the transition online. This is also a trend that will continue in the future, as operators begin to realign their focus online and ensuring that they dominate their domestic markets.In terms of the most recent land sale, Crown Resorts will pocket a cool $325 million (with a further $45 million going to the majority owned subsidiary Alon Las Vegas Resort LLC). This will mark a watershed moment in the company's future development, while shining a light into the likely portents for the offline casino sector across the globe.
● Game Lounge, a subsidiary of Cherry AB has paid €1m to acquire Slottracker.com.● The purchase will allow Game Lounge to develop new features that allow players to gain more control over their gaming.● There will be an additional purchase consideration of €300,000 if IGSP fulfils certain objectives.A flutter of excitement is making its way through the casino gaming world right now following the announcement that affiliate company Game Lounge, a subsidiary of Cherry AB, has paid €1m to acquire the online casino tracker site Slottracker.com.€200,000 will paid 12 months after the acquisition with a second additional purchase consideration. If IGSP fulfils a certain number of as yet unknown objectives over a period of two years €300,000 will be paid if the seller achieves certain objectives over a two-year period.The program currently works with some of the biggest names in casino gaming and software including MicroGaming, Novomatic, NextGen, Red Tiger and SGI. Slottracker.com is a site that specialises in allowing a player to keep track of every bet he or she makes in casino games, therefore allowing them to carefully analyse which casino works best and subsequently tailor their game-play to their own individual requirements and methodology.The CEO of Game Lounge, Jonas Cederholm, shared the following statement in which he provided details of the deal:“The purchase of Slot Tracker complements Game Lounge’s already strong offering in order to help players find the right casino or other online games. We look forward to working with the people who built Slot Tracker to be able to develop new features that allow each player to gain more control over their gaming.”His comments were echoed by the CEO of Cherry AB , Anders Holmgren, he said:“Game Lounge is continuing to expand its business. Slot Tracker makes it even clearer that the company’s solutions give players access to information that provides an overview, so that players can choose a game more easily based on their own criteria."
Sports and betting data specialist Betradar will sponsor the event.16 awards are up for grabs at the inaugural event.The Global Gaming Awards London take place at the Hippodrome Casino on 5th February.As the inaugural Global Gaming Awards London prepare to take place at the Hippodrome Casino on 5th February, Betradar, the sports and betting data specialists, have been confirmed as sponsors for the event. Betradar sponsors one of the industry’s most prolific events The Global Gaming Awards are one of the industry’s biggest global events and with Betradar (a brand of Sportradar) now on board, the exclusive event is sure to draw huge attention from professionals, fans, and players alike.In a statement, Tobis Brunner, Director of Marketing Operations at Sportradar said: “We are delighted to partner with the Global Gaming Awards London, we feel the focus on integrity reflects our own values perfectly. It’s an honour to be associated with the exceptional brands that have been nominated this year, and we wish them the very best of luck on the day.” The 16 categories of awards will inspire tough competition All categories for the event, including betting shop operator of the year, online casino of the year and corporate services provider of the year are independently adjudicated by KPMG Gibraltar, ensuring that the companies who win prizes on the night are indeed worthy recipients and truly deserving of the honour bestowed upon them.The London Awards launch follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful Vegas Awards, with the UK event having already brought on board its own industry expert nomination panel, with an array of judges knowledgeable in all aspects and sectors of the profession. Big names in the industry and new startups will go head to head as they vie for one of the 16 awards up for grab
Catena Media acquires Dreamworkx for €9.5 million.The deal comes as Catena Media established itself as the leading affiliate site in Germany.The acquisition of Dreamworkx expects to generate around €600,000 in quarterly sales.If there is one trend that unites various sectors within the technology market, it is the prevalence of high value mergers and acquisitions. Incredibly, tech companies announced $500 billion worth of such transactions in 2016 alone, representing the second-highest annual total since the year 2000.The online gambling space is no exception to this rule, as the market's leading players continue to strengthen their positions with considerable investments. The purchase of Dreamworkx Online by Catena Media is the latest deal to impact on this niche, while this will also play a seminal role in shaping the European market in the near-term.In this post, we'll look at the latest development and appraise its likely impact on the lucrative iGaming industry.What are the Terms of the Acquisition?Catena Media confirmed the deal earlier this week, purchasing Dreamworkx Online for a total of €9.5 million. An estimated €4 million of this will be paid through newly-issued shares in the Catena brand, with the remaining €5.5 million being transacted in cash.This acquisition certainly makes sense, with Catena Media already established as the leading affiliate site in the German market and keen to fortify this position. Similarly, the assets owned by the Dreamworkx brand (including financial and sports betting sites such as Sportwettenanbieter.com, Fussballwetten.info and DeutscheFXBroker.de) add tangible value Catena Media's proposition, while helping the company to diversify its interests and revenue streams.In total, Catena expects the assets acquired through the deal to generate around €600,000 in quarterly sales, with a bottom line operating margin in the region of 80%.With spokespeople expecting the deal to be fully finalised by the end of the month, this operator will soon become an official part of Catena's thriving sport division and help the brand to reaffirm its position as a market leader.What Does This Mean for the Catena Media and the Market as a Whole?Make no mistake; this is a genuinely lucrative deal that will benefit Catena Media both in the near and the longer-term.In terms of the former, there's no doubt that the acquisition has been strategically timed, particularly with the summer, 2018 World Cup likely to trigger a surge in online betting activity. By consolidating and strengthening its status as the number one affiliate in Germany, Catena Media will benefit from increased traffic and revenues during this busy period and lay the foundations for further growth in the future.This is where the long-term benefits will come into play too, as the brand will be able to build on the momentum created by this acquisition to achieve sustained growth and ultimately branch out into brand new markets.The Last WordAbove all else, this deal highlights the true nature of the technology and online gambling market in 2018, with strategic acquisitions, mergers and equity sharing deals helping the leading players to strengthen their standing.This is particularly the case in Europe, and the single market continues to establish itself as the dominant driver of growth in the industry as a whole.
● Six months has passed since four countries signed an agreement to share online poker player pools yet only two are ready to share.● France and Spain are ready to go but domestic delays as slowed progress for Portugal and Italy.● Portugal edges closer to a resolution whilst Italy lags behind.Six months after four countries signed a historic agreement to share online-poker player pools, only two nations are ready to accommodate shared liquidity. This could also happen to new casinos in the future.In the face of falling revenues, the European poker industry rejoiced when France, Italy, Spain and Portugal signed the shared-liquidity pact in Rome. Yet coming in to 2018, just France and Spain are now ready to share poker-player pools. Domestic legal wrangling in Portugal and Italy are causing delays and while Portugal edges closer to a resolution, Italy has made little progress in the face of opposition to the move. France and Spain set launch datesSpanish and French regulators both welcomed the New Year by announcing the passing of resolutions to meet the terms of the shared-liquidity agreement. In France, Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) says that jointly-run poker tables will be available to players in both countries. In Spain, the resolution will come immediately into place when the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DCOJ) publishes its official State Gazette of Spain in late January.Both countries’ gambling regulators are optimistic that the agreement will gives poker players access to a wider range of games and will boost the capacity for innovation. This in turn should breathe new life into the ailing poker industry.Italy’s part of the deal in jeopardyIf Portuguese poker has been slow to prepare for its role in shared liquidity, its Italian counterpart is at a complete standstill. In fact, the pact between the four countries has been met with strong opposition from powerful figures in Italy.Giuliano Frostini, Director of Public Affairs at International Game Technology (IGT), is among the loudest opponents of the shared-liquidity agreement. IGT is a huge slot-gaming company with offices in Las Vegas and London, in addition to a large presence in Italy. As a result, the company wields considerable influence. Frostini feels that the rules of the pact are too stringent and will undermine those in Italy, which he believes could restrict IGT’s ability to make profit.Frostini reached out to the Italian government for help and has received backing from Franco Mirabelli. The Italian senator who has voiced concerns about how criminals could use shared liquidity for money laundering. Mirabelli believes that the agreement could also present greater risks for players as rule violations are harder to police across borders.Portugal will join the party eventuallyAfter considerable delays, Portugal’s Assembly of the Republic has at last amended its 2018 state budget to include the costs of preparing for shared liquidity. Despite this, the bureaucratic licensing process is causing further delays as only 11 operators have received the appropriate licenses since the application deadline in 2016. Until Portugal grants more licenses, it may not be able to move forward with its part of the plan.Poker operators ready to goDespite issues in Italy and Portugal, operators are nonetheless preparing to accommodate the cross-border player pool. For example, PokerStars are keeping to a strict timetable and will be ready to launch shared liquidity in France and Spain from the outset. Meanwhile, major delays in Italy have not deterred 888 Holdings or Winamax from preparing to expand their reach into the country.
● Gambling Commission cracking down on operators who are breaching money launder and social responsibility regulations.● 17 operators have been written to and five are at risk of a license review.● There are now an estimated 430k gambling addicts in the UK.The licenses of five gambling operators are under threat due to alleged breaches of money laundering and social responsibility rules. The Gambling Commission has written to a total of 17 operators, five of which are under consideration to see if they require a licence review.This is the latest story to emerge as the Gambling Commission takes steps to assuage ethical and legal concerns about conduct within the gambling industry… Growth signals need for greater regulationThere are now an estimated 430,000 gambling addicts in the UK, so it is clear that a burgeoning issue of social responsibility must be addressed.Indeed, the online sector now constitutes 33% of the UK gambling market and as it grows, further regulation may be required to adequately protect the needs and interests of consumers and the economy as a whole. This goes for old operators as well as new casinos.Be responsible or face heavy finesBack in August 2017, the Gambling Commission fined 888 Holdings a record £7.8 million after the company took bets from 7000 customers with signs of gambling addictions. It also fined Ladbrokes Coral £2.3 million for similar reasons.Last year, the Labour Party’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, launched a party review of gambling policy. Commenting on the Gambling Commission’s warnings that betting firms’ licenses could be revoked, he said: “This serious warning shows many online gambling companies acting as if money laundering and gambling addiction being facilitated on their platforms aren’t their problem. “The Gambling Commission is right to demand immediate improvement. No firm that fails to take its responsibilities seriously should be allowed to hold a licence.” Although Tom Watson’s concerns are with just cause, the signs suggest the authorities are about to make sure this changes for the better…License reviews highlight new hard line While the UK enjoys some of the most relaxed gambling laws in the world, the findings of a recent thematic review are clearly causes for concern. By threatening five operators with closure and writing to 12 others, the Gambling Commission shows it means business when it comes to the wellbeing of its customers.In an official statement, Gambling Commission CEO, Sarah Harrison, stressed that the strategy would help to implement their vision for a fair and safe gambling market. She said: “It is vital that the gambling industry takes its duty to protect consumers and keep crime out of gambling seriously... “The action we are taking to examine online casino operators’ compliance with money laundering and customer interaction requirements is just one example of how we will be relentless in turning that vision into reality.” Reasons for license reviewsThe Gambling Commission has the power to review any licence if it suspects an operator of breaching its terms. It can also review any operator suspected of being unsuited to hold a license, or if the holder is convicted of a crime in the UK or abroad.It is believed that insufficient reporting is a reason for the reviews of the five online gambling operators mentioned earlier in this article. Yet the Commission can also spark a review if the operator is unable to explain what constitutes money laundering for example if they do not appear to understand how the practice takes place, or how criminals profit from the proceeds. As in the cases of 888 and Ladbrokes Coral, a lack of intervention is also a major red flag to authorities.Industry concernsAmong the critics of the Gambling Commission’s hard line is Henry Birch, the CEO of Rank. Mr Birch explained that the industry-wide crackdown had caused Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos to lose visits and profits. Visits to its casinos dropped by 6% in the six months to the 31st December while revenues fell by 2% and operating profits plummeted 16% to £26.1m.Commenting on the increased pressure, he said: “The Gambling Commission generally has put increased pressure on all gambling companies to know exactly who their customers are and where their money is coming from. It is quite invasive if you’ve got customers coming into a casino and you’re asking to find out their financial details.”
Report by the UK Gambling Commission reveals that 25,000 11 to 16-year olds are classified as venerable gamblers.Young gamers are targeted social media and console games by loot boxes and in-app purchases.There are calls for apps to become regulated, with action from the UKGC to be expected soon. In recent times, the UK regulator has become increasingly preoccupied with the concept of problem gambling. There is excellent reason for this too, with a recent report published by the UK Gambling Commission revealing that around 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 are classified as vulnerable gamblers who are being targeted through video games.In fact, young gamers are encountering various forms of gambling through social media and console games, including loot boxes and skin betting. The former are virtual boxes that contain random contents and can be purchased through video games for real money, and they have recently been cited for censorship by Belgium’s Gambling Committee and the European Gaming Commission. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has also raised concerns surrounding the similar practice of skin betting, where children use real money to win a host of in-game items including modified guns and knives. The items can be used and traded accordingly, but the opportunistic nature of skin betting and the exchange of money for prizes with an intangible value remains a serious issue for regulators.Why this issue may go even deeperMost recently, it was revealed that children have been able to access gambling-style apps through Facebook without any appropriate age checks or verification. More specifically, the company behind the rise of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is delivering this apps to a large and unrestricted audience through social media, making children vulnerable to the risk of gambling addiction.This follows a stark warning from the industry watchdog, which claims that up to 60,000 children were either addicted to some form of gambling or immersed in games that expose them to such practices. This latest development certainly represents an evolution of the problem as it includes the publication of social games that involve direct gambling activity. The brainchild of FOBT and casino game development firm Scientific Games, these social games are shared as universally accessible apps through Facebook, while many feature childlike themes involving popular fairytales and iconic characters such as the Flintstones. This seems to reaffirm the notion that the apps have been designed to target children directly, forcing regulators to petition Facebook and ask them why these games have not been removed.Why regulators must take action nowAt the heart of this issue is the Jackpot Party Casino Slots app, which has been developed by Scientific Games and is accessible through Facebook. While the product is not technically defined as a gambling product as money is not won or lost directly on games of chance, it does invite players to buy coins and deploy these on titles that have been heavily influenced by casino gameplay. There’s also a small print disclaimer stating that the game is aimed at people aged over 21, but there is no age verification required, while coins can be bought indiscriminately in a matter of seconds online.Users are also targeted via email, with regular publications highlighting real-time promotions and new chances to win.While features such as loot boxes and skin betting remain part of a grey area that has yet to be categorised as gambling by the UKGC, the publication of tools like the Jackpot Party Casino Slots app is an entirely different state of affairs. After all, there is no doubt that apps of this type have been designed to actively engage younger users, while the use of strong casino themes and pronounced lack of age verification should serve as red flags to regulators. There is therefore ground for these apps to be regulated and potentially outlawed immediately, and the UKGC is likely to take action soon.The last wordThere’s no doubt that regulators need to take action sooner rather than later, particularly with some many young and underage children at potential risk. Regulating social games and apps should certainly be a key focus for the UKGC, while it also important that suspect video gaming features like loot boxes are investigated, classified and dealt with in order to provide clarity to developers.That way, vulnerable gamblers can be protected by the UK regulator can uphold its pledge to safeguard citizens in the short and longer-term.
Critics push the Dutch Gaming Authority to comment on cryptocurrency.There are calls to regulate cryptocurrency investment as a gambling activity in Holland.Kansspelautoriteit ruled that cryptocurrency investment does not come under its jurisdiction.There's no doubt that Bitcoin has endured a chequered history since its inception in 2009, from being described as a fraud by Morgan Stanley to becoming the criminals' choice of cryptocurrency on the Silk Road.Even as Bitcoin has evolved to overcome these challenges, it continues to face opposition from regulators and governing authorities alike. This was certainly the case in Holland recently, when critics asked the Dutch Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit) to comment on cryptocurrency investment and regulate it as a gambling activity.The findings were interesting, while they also served as a blow to those who remain suspicious of digital currencies in the modern age.How Did Holland's Gaming Authority Rule on Bitcoin?Kansspelautoriteit representatives have come under increased pressure recently, with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AMF) having issued a series of warnings in relation to the popularity of Bitcoin and similar currencies. The latest of these focused on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which offers a modern investment opportunity and enables groups to raise funds for diverse cryptocurrency ventures.The unregulated nature of ICOs have certainly captured the attention of the AMF, while it's believed that these vehicles could be hiding untold risks. Similarly, experts have claimed that the practice of offering cryptocurrency tokens could be vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, encouraging Kansspelautoriteit to comment on the issue.After careful review, Kansspelautoriteit confirmed that cryptocurrency investment does not come under its jurisdiction. On the back of detailed research, the organisation found that investing in Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies cannot be considered as a gambling activity, while it offered two key reasons for this. Firstly, the study revealed that it cannot be classed as a game of chance, as investors are not required to compete for prizes or rely solely on opportunism in order to achieve a desired income.Additionally, games of chance and gambling activities prevent participants from exerting a dominant influence over specific outcomes. This principle cannot be applied to cryptocurrency investment of any type, reaffirming the regulator's stance and dampening hopes that further regulatory measures could be forthcoming.The Last Word and the Future for Cryptocurrencies in EuropeWhile it's the job of financial and gaming regulators to collaborate and ensure that citizens are safeguarded at all times, there's a sense that the perception of cryptocurrency in the eyes of fiscal experts remain somewhat outdated.After all, the notion that blockchain (the technology that underpins Bitcoin) creates a virtual environment in which fraudsters can thrive has been sustained for more than a decade, but the same can arguably said of any innovative or decentralised platform. It's also fair to say that Bitcoin has always responded well to moments of adversity, while benefiting directly from fair and carefully considered regulatory measures.This is reflected by the ruling of Kansspelautoriteit, who have clearly adopted a more objective outlook and appraised Bitcoin based on facts and actionable data rather than suspicious and outdated perceptions. Make no mistake; this represents a victory for Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, while it may also set a new precedent for financial and European regulators to follow.
● LeoVegas adds Intellectual Property and Software Limited to it’s recent acquisitions in deal worth £65m.● The purchase comes shortly after LeoVegas acquired assets from Rocket9 Limited.● The deal gives LeoVegas control over BetUK, Slotboss, 21.co.uk and UK Casino.LeoVegas has agreed a deal to buy the assets of Guernsey-based Intellectual Property & Software Limited (IPS) and has recently acquired assets from Rocket9 Limited and an unnamed company. Worth £65 million, the deal gives LeoVegas control of a number of well-known brands, including Bet UK, Slotboss, 21.co.uk and UK Casino.What is LeoVegas?LeoVegas is a Swedish online casino and gaming company, founded in 2011 by Gustaf Hagman (the current CEO). Over the last few years, the company has gone from strength to strength and now boasts annual revenue of €83 million (£74 million). It generated £11.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone which constitutes a rise of almost 50% compared with the same period in 2016.LeoVegas’ business model focuses on acquiring customers through digital data-driven means using smartphones, tablets and (to a lesser extent) smartwatches.The company also launched LeoVentures in late 2017. This division works as LeoVegas’ innovation and investment arm and seeks to develop new technology for use in the gaming industry. LeoVegas’ co-founder, Robin Ramm-Ericson, took on the role of Managing Director for LeoVentures.How is the company financing the acquisition?In a statement, LeoVegas confirmed its plans to finance the IPS acquisition partly with cash. It will also use funds from the debt financing it secured as part of the £60 million purchase of Malta-based Royal Panda last year. Of this £60 million, more than £35 million is subject to a rolling-credit facility.What does the acquisition mean for LeoVegas’ future?As a part of the acquisition, LeoVegas strengthens its relationship with Bede Gaming, whose advanced technical platform it already uses to great effect.The purchase of IPS is LeoVegas’ third in the space of a single quarter, following the acquisition of Royal Panda and Casino Grounds (a casino-streaming service). LeoVegas’ first acquisition of 2018 continues the company’s highly-successful brand strategy, which shows no signs of faltering.IPS is a fast-growing company with high profit margins and its purchase brings with it 85 UK-based employees with a wealth of local expertise. It is a cause for celebration for LeoVegas and a great way for the brand to cement its stronghold in Britain. In fact, the purchase allows LeoVegas to celebrate its seventh year in business by taking one more step towards becoming the UK gaming industry’s leading mobile operator.
Pennsylvania set to play host to flagship casino.Casino will sit in a 30-mile circle which will also connect to Baltimore.It is hoped the new project will deliver more than $200 million for the region when completed.While Pennsylvania may not be renowned as the most glamorous or progressive U.S. state, it is continuing to make national headlines on a recurring basis. More specifically, Pennsylvania is fast emerging as a new fulcrum for on and offline gambling in North America, potentially blazing a trail for other states to follow in the future.So, after recently becoming just the fourth U.S. state to legalise online gambling, Pennsylvania will now play host to a flagship casino on its southern border. There are even plans to build up to 10 mini casinos within the state, as authorities look to leverage gambling as a way of plugging their huge fiscal deficit.With this in mind, the question that remains is whether Pennsylvania can successfully achieve its goals, while also encouraging states such as New York and California to follow suit?How is the Pennsylvania Gaming Market Shaping up?The latest development came after a four-way bidding war, which ultimately the Pennsylvania-based Penn National earn the right to construct and brand the new casino. A final bid of $50 million was ultimately enough, as one of the nation's largest casino operators used all of its experience and resources to edge out the competition.This auction was potentially the first of many in Pennsylvania, with lawmakers keen to tap into the popular and lucrative online gaming market as a way of increasing tax revenues. Even if new sites are made available and further auctions follow, however, the site on the southern border was a coveted one and attracted considerable interest from competing operators. The main reason for this was the close proximity of the location to Maryland, which would offer convenient access to a huge target market and sustainable profits.The casino would sit inside a 30-mile circle that is bisected by the bust Interstate 83, which also connects to Baltimore. So, once licensing requirements are met and the casino has been built, it will be given every opportunity to make a considerable amount of money for its backers.Of course, this announcement followed hot on the heels of significant developments in the online world, as Governor Tom Wolf finally signed an expansive gaming package that formally legalised virtual poker and gambling. Wolf's long-awaited signature represented the final step for the bill to become law, meaning that Pennsylvania became the first state to make this commitment since Delaware back in 2013.While it will take time for the PA Gaming Control Board to establish gaming regulation and issue licenses (which are likely to cost operators around $10 million depending on their precise intentions), it's expected that online gambling may be accessible by the end of 2018. This, along with the reinforcements of the offline casino market in Pennsylvania, will essentially create a new and thriving industry that will boost the region's coffers considerably.The Last WordIn total, it's hoped that this move will deliver more than $200 million per annum for the region, whilecreating brand new jobs and considerable economic growth. Much of this will come from basic poker and casino gameplay, while the revenue potential could increase as new operators compete for licenses and a viable market share.Given the success experienced by Delaware and other states that have legalised online gambling, it surely can't be long for others to follow suit. New York and California are two states that have continued to repel the overtures of operators and campaigners up until now, but the decision of Pennsylvanian lawmakers could well represent the tipping point in the North American igaming market.
An armed gunman was seen fleeing the strip with cash in his hands.The Police have release CCTV pictures of the man and are spending much resources to find him as quickly as possible. The famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino was the scene of a very bold armed robbery this Tuesday afternoon. The Las Vegas police are asking the public for help in order to catch the robber and to retrieve the money. So how did this happen? According to The Las Vegas Sun a lone gunman approached the cash desk in the poker room. After this he fled the premises with an undisclosed amount of cash. Now the authorities in Las Vegas have released CCTV images of the suspect. They want to track down the thief with the public’s help. The famous actor James Woods was a witness of the Bellagio incidentThe Bellagio Hotel is one of the Strip’s best-known casinos. This casino attracts plenty of high-rollers and celebrities. The famous actor James Woods was playing poker at Bellagio when the gunman struck. He tweeted immediately after the incident with details about the robbery. The police are seeking the suspect with the help of the publicThe thief is described as a white man in his thirties. He has an average height and stocky build. He disguised himself with a mask during the robbery, he also had a blonde wig and a black beany hat. The suspect also wore thick glasses and a black t-shirt. After demanding money at the poker desk, the thief fled the premises in a silver Chevrolet with the registration number 37D147 Nevada. The captain of the Las Vegas Police, John Pelletier revealed for the news that another person in the car was involved “against his will”. The police are now looking to trace the suspect with the help of CCTV and the car. The police feel very confident that the suspect will be apprehended within a near future. The stolen money however will most likely never be found, as usual. The Bellagio is considered to be one of the most secure casinos in the world, so this robbery came as a shock.
Now family members in Japan can request exclusion from casinos on behalf of other family members.The lawmakers are being criticized for being too slow to implement anti-gambling laws In Japan, the families of gamblers who have become addicted can now apply for exclusion from all casino services. Other countries are now looking into this solution as well. In Japan, they have had a huge problem with gambling addiction with Pachinko games. They are quite similar to slot machines. The Japan Racing Association has now agreed to take part a new law called “the exclusion scheme” and they will accept applications from family members to ban their relatives. Online gambling and racing are the focus of the authorities right now, the program will of course include the pachinko games as well. The Racing Association in Japan has also confirmed it. They will accept third party applications this week and the law makers are now putting pressure on operators and iGaming groups. Japan prepares themselves for legal gamblingCasino gaming in Japan was recently legalized which is considered to be a major change in the nations approach to gambling in general. This is still a very slow process so no licenses have been approved yet. This new exclusion program shows that Japan is taking huge steps forward for safer gaming in general. None of the anti-gambling laws haven’t been implemented yet since the decision to legalize gambling was taken. Authorities needs to tackle the gambling addiction as soon as possibleA recent study was just published by the Japanese authorities and it reveals that 3.2 million citizens have experienced addiction to gambling in their lifetime. Many of the gambling problems are related to the casino game Pachinko which is an arcade game similar to pinball and slot machines. You can win a lot of money at these machines but also loose everything Japan. Before gambling was legalized these games had no regulations what so ever. Right now, the participation in the self-exclusion program is voluntary from the operators part, but very soon this will be mandatory. No doubt, this new law will help a lot of people with gambling addictions and many other countries might implement this law as well.
The interest in crypto-currencies grows after the value of Bitcoin increases.One third of the millennials are considering investing in Bitcoins.Crypto-currencies are very popular among British millennials. A new British study has revealed that millennials are very interested in gambling with Bitcoins. They are more likely to invest in crypto-currencies than traditional investments such as properties and stocks. The London Block Exchange report says that one out of three people under 35 owns or have plans to own a cryptocurrency in their investment portfolio. Over 57% of the people over 55 says that they will not be investing in Bitcoin or similar digital currencies online. The interest in the blockchain currency has rapidly grown this year thanks to the explosion in value of crypto currencies this year. A couple of years ago an American bought a pizza for 2000 bitcoins. Today the value of one Bitcoin is $17,500, he might regret that decision. One of the reasons why millennials are keener on investing in Bitcoins is that they are more willing to take risks when they are investing. Experts however warns these young investors that this might be a bubble that will burst. Bitcoin is now taken seriously by global investorsCounterparts to Bitcoin like Ethereum and Litecoin are other digital currencies which are generated through something called “mining”. Mining requires an internet connection and a computer so almost anyone can carry it out themselves, it’s really simple. Your computers processing power is used for searching after pieces of code e.g. the Bitcoins and these fragments can be traded just like traditional currency. The amount of Bitcoins that exist are static but you an still find coins on the internet. In 2010 a Bitcoin was worth $0.003 and today it’s worth over $17,500. This increase in value has prompted big investors to start looking at this currency more seriously and the great interest has pushed the value up even more. But is it a risk worth taking? Millennials are quick to embrace new investmentsThe study for LBX with 2000 investment holders surveyed showed that more than half of 55+ people never would invest in Bitcoin. In the age 18-35 almost 33% said that they had a strong interest in investing in Bitcoin. 11% even said that they would invest in Bitcoin this year. No one can tell yet if it will become a good investment or not, we will follow the progress however with great interest.
The Law Commission report recommends regulated betting.To stop the black market India wants to follow UK and regulate the market. A new report has been recommended to the Indian government that illegal betting could be tackled if it became properly regulated. Sports betting in India is currently outlawed. The Law Commission is currently working on a new report to the Indian Government. They want to make a request to the Supreme Court that suggests that allowing sports betting on the national sport of cricket would solve the rising problem with illegal gaming. Many problems with illegal gamblingThere are many related problems with illegal betting such as an illegal sports betting lending market which have led to people getting killed in some cases. It is very hard to prevent online betting so it’s better to regulate is the best argument from the chairman of the LCI Justice BS Chauhan. Their recommendations come after an examination of the issues with sports betting on cricket matches Legal sports betting could slow down the spread of illegal gamblingThe Law Commission estimates that $2 billion USD is gambled illegally in India every year. There are some fears that the illegal betting funds criminal gangs and that they have been made much stronger during the recent years thanks to the money they earn on sports betting. The Law Commission wants to take a part of the income from sports betting and give it to people who need it and good causes. Another fear that the commission has is the game of Cricket itself. The league has already had problems with corruption and fixed games, even if it’s legalized, will these problems disappear? Cricket is the most popular sport in India and the Commission don’t want to ruin it. Tightly controlled gambling marketIf there is to be a legal commercial gambling market within India, the lawmakers are very clear it would be a tightly controlled market. The legalization of games of chance e.g. casino games is very unlikely to happen in the near future. All in all, there are discussions in India and something might happen quite soon there. There are hundreds of online betting sites with legit licenses that could prosper from a new law. We will keep track of everything that will happen in India.
Online poker sees a decline, with a drop of £185 million since 2009The sport constitutes for only 5% of the online gambling marketIn contrast, sports betting and online slots continue to thrive With gross revenues of £1.65 billion between April 2016 and March 2017, the UK’s online gambling industry continues to flourish – but internet poker remains in decline. The gambling industry as a whole has benefitted from the relative lack of regulation in the country. With this in mind, poker’s fall in popularity may come as a surprise. So, what’s the story? Let’s take a closer look… The figuresBack in 2015, iGaming Business asked ‘Where have all the poker players gone?’, and the fact is that online poker has been in decline for a decade. In 2009, online poker revenues stood at £287 million, but data from the Gambling Commission shows this fell to £102 million between 2016 and 2017. By contrast, online slots brought in £1.65 billion, while the sports-betting market generated £1.87 billion in the same period. As a whole, the UK gambling industry grows by a whopping 10.1% each year. Also during this period, the gross gambling yield (GGY) was £2.62 billion. This means that online poker constitutes just 5% of the online gambling market. These figures suggest online poker may be on its last legs as punters flock to slots, bingo and sports betting, all of which many see as more exciting options. What is the industry doing to reverse its fortunes?PokerStars, which boasts a 60% share of what’s left of the global market, decided back in 2015 that it could no longer rely on online poker as its main source of revenue. As a result, it continues to broaden its horizons by introducing new casino games and sports betting. The company used a clever cross-selling approach to advertise its new betting services to its still-massive pool of online poker players. As a result, PokerStars’ parent company, The Stars Group, reported a rise of 12.5% in online poker revenues (which hit £165.53 million this year). Yet while this may look impressive, PokerStars’ casino games and sports books saw an income rise by 48%! Keeping up with changing trendsThe Gambling Commission’s 2017 report suggests that gamblers prefer fun games to those which require skill. This is surely one key reason why poker is losing out and it is therefore down to operators to find new ways of attracting players. Operators like Partypoker and 888poker have continued along a well-worn path and have maintained a decent level of success. But this is arguably because they have the money to advertise on TV and are also able to offer larger jackpots and in-game bonuses to hold players’ interests. So in the future, we may see poker tournaments that introduce a degree of chance in order to follow bingo’s lead and make the card game more fun. The future doesn’t look bright for the global market eitherOptimists may dismiss the Gambling Commission’s data as an anomaly. After all, the UK is a tiny country and not necessarily representative of the state of online poker across the world. However, the UK has one of the largest online gambling markets on Planet Earth, and is home to PokerStars, the number one poker operator in the world. Because both the UK and PokerStars have such a high standing in the world of online gaming, it is safe to assume that their figures reflect the decline – or future decline – of online poker everywhere.
Chris Christie, New Jersey’s outgoing Governor, has taken his long fight to legalise sports gambling to the Supreme Court. The legal battle stems from a disagreement between New Jersey’s voters (who want to introduce sports betting) and professional sports associations (that want it to remain illegal). The background New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, fights to legalise sports gambling in the stateThe fight comes after voters in New Jersey voted to legalise the activity in 2011Christie battles against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) at the Supreme Court Back in 2011, voters in New Jersey voted to legalise sports betting in a bid to tap into what is a $150 billion industry, despite being illegal. After the closures of four casinos in Atlantic City, advocates of legalising sports betting said it would provide a much-needed boost to the state’s faltering economy. However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the country’s four major professional sports leagues immediately sued to challenge the new law. The courts agreed with the prosecution and struck the law down as a violation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). First passed in 1992, PASPA prohibits any state (except Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law" sports betting. However, Christie argues that while PASPA can prevent states from passing laws that legalise sports betting, it cannot force states to continue upholding prohibition when the laws do not apply to every state. The American Gaming Association (AGA), which also supports the repeal of PASPA, estimates legal sports betting could bring in up to $26.6 billion by increasing gross domestic product, creating jobs and bringing in more tax revenues. Christie hasn’t always been in favour of sports gambling, but changed his mind in 2014 when it emerged Atlantic City was in financial trouble. After attempting to repeal key provisions on sports betting at racetracks and in casinos, the courts again ruled against New Jersey. Christie responded by taking the fight to the Supreme Court. “Hypocrites”Lawyers for the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL all refute Christie’s claim that PASPA is forcing New Jersey to enforce the law. However, it says that the state cannot pass any legislation that is “inconsistent with federal policy”. The leagues say they oppose sports gambling on the grounds that it will harm the “integrity” of their sports. Christie retorted by claiming the sports associations “no longer have the moral high ground” and that their opposition rests in their desire to "determine the size of the piece" they could get from potential revenues. By contrast, President Donald Trump is siding with the sports leagues and has urged the Supreme Court to uphold PASPA. Possible knock-on effectsIf Christie winsIf the Supreme Court does find in favour of Christie by overturning PASPA entirely, this could clear the way for sports gambling in every one of the country’s 50 states. However, it’s more likely the Court will issue a more conservative ruling by affirming New Jersey’s repeals. If this happens, Congress will have to step in to resolve the loophole that would appear in PASPA. In an interview outside the courtroom, the Governor said that if the state is successful in this case, the people of New Jersey could start placing bets “within two weeks” of the court’s ruling. If Christie losesIn reference to what he says is a commandeering approach to law, the Governor says that “today it’s sports gaming, tomorrow it’s something else”. This suggests he believes that allowing the federal government to impose its laws on a state that doesn’t want it is a dangerous precedent for its future conduct. The Supreme Court is expected to make its final ruling on the case by June 2018. Odds in Christie’s favourDespite the fact that the President is siding with the sports associations, the odds appear to favour New Jersey in this matter. According to the Associated Press, many Supreme Court justices find Christie’s arguments more appealing than those set out by the opposition to sports betting. In fact, West Virginia and 17 other states are supporting New Jersey on the grounds that Congress exceeded its legal authority when passing PASPA 25 years ago.
According to data from the Gambling Commission, more than one million gamblers in 2016 asked operators to ban them from betting online or in high-street bookmakers. One million of gamblers in 2016 asked for bans across online betting and high-street bookmakers.Around 50% of the UK admit to gambling.GAMSTOP will allow anyone in the UK to self-impose a blanket gambling ban spring 2018. In February this year, the Commission released data showing that nearly 50% of people in the UK gamble. With this in mind, the one million requesting self-exclusion may not seem that great an issue. But while many gamble responsibly, campaigners warn that more and more people in the UK are developing gambling addictions. The fact that the number of voluntary self-exclusions has grown from 30,000 in 2013 to more than one million in just three years shows campaigners may have a point. The figures put further weight on the shoulders of betting operators, some of whom have been hit with heavy fines for not doing enough to spot or prevent problem behaviour. Online-betting platforms face the most scrutiny as they make up more 95% of self-exclusions by problem gamblers. As £4.7 billion was bet online from 2016 to 2017, it makes sense that something needs to be done to ensure it becomes much easier to self-exclude… How it will soon be easier to ‘ban’ yourselfThe status quo As it stands, gamblers must get in touch with individual operators to request exclusion. This means that if they are registered with different operators – which, given the nature of their addiction, is likely – they must go through the same process on each site. The issue with this, apart from it taking time and being tedious, is that it raises the risk of the gambler succumbing – rather than beating - their addiction. New scheme GAMSTOP is a new scheme that allows gamblers to self-exclude through one website, rather than many sites. Created by Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the scheme’s website also sets out the steps users can take to help keep their gambling habits under control. In addition, the site offers specialist advice and provides links to support services for anyone who feels they may benefit from them. This approach was first tried in Glasgow during 2015 and proved a success. Yet GAMSTOP will allow anyone in the UK to self-impose a blanket gambling ban. The scheme is set to launch in the spring of 2018. How many problem gamblers live in the UK? Further research from the Gambling Commission suggests there are around two million problem gamblers in the UK, which constitutes 1.4% of the total number. Meanwhile, 6.4% of gamblers are at risk of developing problems. Does the scheme go far enough? Campaigner Tony Franklin, who once lost everything he owned at the hands of his gambling addiction, says that both the government and betting operators must do more to prevent it ruining lives. Mr Franklin says that, in contrast to other forms of addiction, the issues only become apparent when the “damage is done”. Research does advocate self-exclusion as an effective means of preventing harm to those affected. However, Mr Franklin believes that online self-exclusion scheme is "not enough". In addition to self-exclusion, he also backs “affordability checks” and other proactive measures. The RGA says it agrees that on its own, GAMSTOP is not sufficient as a means of completely curbing gambling addiction. However, it also says that, while well-intentioned, affordability checks are both impractical and “intrusive”. The organisation goes on to state that such measures require a “layered approach” to dealing with the complex nature of the issues at hand. So, what is being done to tackle such a complex and deep-rooted problem? Gambling Commission set to take more action Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s Executive Director, says that with “such growth comes great responsibility”. And in response to the growing popularity of gambling, the regulator intends to ensure operators do more to tackle addictions to all types of betting. But as 33% of the £13.7 billion made by the gambling industry now goes online, it makes sense that the onus will now be on internet betting.As part of a three-year strategy, the Gambling Commission is in the process of discussing proposals to drop the maximum stake on fixed-betting terminals from £100 to £50, or even £2.
The global online gambling market accrued revenues of £34.46 billion in 2016, which lies in stark contrast to the average wage in the West African slums of Monrovia – currently just £342 per year. But while online gambling moguls and residents of Liberia’s capital city may be polar opposites in terms of wealth, Denise Coates (co-owner of Bet365) is making efforts to redress the balance to some extent… The Denise Coates Foundation donated over £200,000 between 2015-16 to OxfamThe move comes after harsh criticism as the founder of the charity and Bet365, Denise Coates, paid herself over £200 million last year 17 projects are said to have benefited from donations from the foundation Charitable donationsAs the co-owner of the Stoke-based company, Coates paid herself a whopping £217 million in 2016. This gained negative attention from some corners of the British media. However, The Denise Coates Foundation donated £262,000 between 2015 and 2016 to Oxfam project Cleaner Living in Liberia, the aim of which is to provide safe sanitation and water to over 200,000 residents in Monrovia. In fact, this is just one of 17 projects that benefit from donations from Coates’ foundation, which gave away a total of £3 million in 2015 and 2016. It’s also worth noting that Coates’ whopping salary is just a small fraction of the £47 billion that Bet365 took in revenue last year. Why Coates stands out among the world’s tycoonsThe tycoons of online betting include Ruth Parasol, who made millions in the porn industry before moving into online betting. Meanwhile, billionaires like tax exile Richard Branson and Celtic FC’s main shareholder, Dermot Desmond, continue to attract controversy over foreign investments allegedly designed to avoid tax. By contrast, Coates doesn’t seem to fit the hedonistic mould of your average billionaire. The mother of five no doubt lives a comfortable life, but her farmhouse is hardly a palace. And whereas many of similar wealth strove to make it rich so they could escape their background, Coates still lives just outside Stoke-on-Trent, where she grew up. Again, unlike Branson and others, Coates is also a private person and still goes unrecognised in public. Down to EarthHaving set up Bet365, with a portacabin as an office, in 2000, Coates continues to resist the urge to move any of her company’s operations abroad. In fact, most of Bet365’s 3500 employees are based in Stoke. Her father and Bet365 co-owner, Peter Coates, said in a 2015 interview that he believes “government should be on the side of the poor, not the rich” and that “well-off people can look after themselves”. Efforts to solve the issue of gambling addictionSome may suggest that Peter Coates’ words are hollow. This is perhaps because they feel the idea of capitalism with a heart doesn’t mesh with a gambling industry that supposedly fuels addiction. Yet while some critics suggest the gambling industry as a whole isn’t doing enough to help those suffering from gambling addiction, it did donate £8 million to research, education and treatment last year. This is a step in the right direction, but the industry could surely do more to help the estimated 430,000 gambling addicts in Britain. The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board is trying to encourage the industry to donate 0.1 per cent of its annual revenue towards treatment for gambling addiction. While this is a tiny fraction of the overall yield, this would have equalled £14 billion in 2016. Denise Coates’ responseIn a statement to Bet365 shareholders in November, Ms Coates said that her company understands its responsibility to keep crime out of gambling and to “minimise gambling-related harm”. She went on to declare that the Bet365 Group is “committed to developing an evidence-based approach” to the issue. The company now works with its “research partners” to look for signs of unhealthy gambling activity and to take steps to help stop further harm. Minimise risk or face heavy finesThe Remote Gambling Association says that due to the nature of certain products, such as virtual roulette and spread betting, the industry was bound to carry on attracting gamblers prone to addiction. In November, The Gambling Commission fined Ladbrokes Coral £2.3 million for its failure to intervene after two of its customers showed clear signs of problem gambling. It turned out that the two problem gamblers not only lost £1.3 million between them, but were also playing with stolen money. Back in August, 888, one of Britain’s online operators, faced a record £7.8 million fine after taking bets from 7000 potential vulnerable customers.
To help celebrate New Orleans’ 300th birthday, The Hospitality Enterprises New Orleans has announced the purchase and renovation of two riverboat casinos. Two new riverboat casinos will be opened in New Orleans next yearHospitality Enterprise have recently announced the purchase and renovation of City of Evansville and Morgan CityThe renovation is in celebration of New Orleans’ 300th birthdayThanks in part to Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (1883), the city of New Orleans is famous for its riverboats. As well as providing a great spectacle, Hospitality Enterprises’ nod to the golden age of riverboat travel will also provide a wealth of on-board entertainment to residents and visitors of the city’s famous French Quarter… Resurrecting the City of EvansvilleIn late October, Hospitality Enterprises announced the purchase of the City of Evansville, which began operations as a casino back in 1995. After falling into a state of disrepair, it is set for a new lease of life in 2018. Before it launches, its first port of call will be Morgan City, Louisiana, where it will undergo a complete overhaul. The floating riverboats need restoring after spending many years vacant and docked in the same spots. As New Orleans’ 300th birthday nears, the growing interest in the city’s history led to Hospitality Enterprises spotting a lucrative business opportunity. The City of Evansville used to be owned by Tropicana Entertainment, a famous casino operator in Louisiana, as well as Indiana, Mississippi and Nevada. Hospitality Enterprises CEO and President, Warren Reuther Jr, said the boat will take the new name Riverboat Louis Armstrong, in honour of one of the city’s most famous sons. When considering the late jazz musician’s role in riverboat culture and entertainment, the new name seems very apt. In his announcement, Reuther said he remembers hearing stories about Armstrong working on the river, aboard one of the Streckfus Steamers, with his trumpet in hand. And the fact that the oldest floating casino will relaunch in the city’s oldest area is another nice nod to a bygone era in time for the upcoming celebrations. The story of Hospitality Enterprises New OrleansThe Hospitality Enterprises New Orleans is a family-owned company with 30 years’ experience in the travel and tourist sectors of the city. Its bus and river tours offer visitors the chance to discover the history of New Orleans, while the company also provides venues for weddings and conventions. Hospitality Enterprises also operates Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, which embarks on twice daily tours around the city. These tours include costumed re-enactments that take “guests on a journey through the history of [New Orleans]”. As a company steeped in New Orleans’ varied culture, there seems no-one better to ensure the new riverboat casinos stay true to their environment and its history, while also giving a great deal back to the local economy. The many adventures to look forward to on the new riverboatsRiverboat Louis Armstrong The riverboat has a capacity of 3000 passengers and will operate as a floating jazz club, restaurant and casino across four decks. The vessel is three times the size of Hospitality Enterprises’ current flagship, Creole Queen, so the riverboats are a canny investment for the company. Riverboat Louis Armstrong will welcome its first passengers just in time for the city’s famous Mardi Gras festival in February. The boat is set to moor at the Creole Queen’s current location on the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and Riverwalk. The second vesselThe company is due to buy its second riverboat, City of New Orleans, and relaunch it in 2018. This second boat was formerly owned by Casino Rock Island, is just under 58 metres long, and 17 metres wide and features three enclosed decks. The City of New Orleans boat could play host to up to 1000 passengers at a time and will hold dinner and harbour cruises. Meanwhile, the much larger Louis Armstrong will spend more time in dock.
Responding to claims that Star Wars: Battlefront II promotes gambling, Electronic Arts (EA) put out a statement last week defending the use of in-game purchases. American video game company, Electronic Arts (EA), issued a statement defending the use of in-game purchasesStar Wars: Battlefront II is the latest game to come under fire for gamblingEA have removed temporary micro-transactions, a move that Lucasfilm and Disney supportIn a recent review, Andrew Reiner calls the game “big, bombastic and fun, [but] diseased by an insidious micro-transaction model”. Meanwhile, the Belgian Gaming Commission announced it would be launching an investigation into the ‘loot boxes’ in Battlefront II and Overwatch (Blizzard). Even French politician Jerome Durain weighed in by writing a letter to ARJEL, his country’s gambling authority, describing his concerns on the subject. So, what’s all the fuss about? Battlefront II allows players to collect credits by completing campaigns. Gamers can then spend these rewards to unlock new items and characters in the game. You might say that there’s nothing new about this. However, the controversy stems from the fact that the items in each loot box are random and allegedly therefore introduce a level financial risk. Players and reviewers also took issue with the way in which earning credits through sheer gameplay took several hours, while EA also placed a cap on the number of credits earned per day. This meant that if you wanted to carry on progressing through the game after earning your daily allowance, the only way to do so would be to buy more. Yet another issue was that many deemed it unfair to include in-game purchases in a title that costs £49.99-£69.99 in the UK, or $60 in the US. What constitutes gambling?For a video game (or parts of it) to be classed as gambling by law, three factors must be in place: consideration, chance, and prize. The consideration element lies in paying money to participate in a game. Chance is any random element that can affect the outcome, and the prizes are the game’s rewards. While the likes of Durain don’t seem to have anything against either video games or gambling per se, their concerns lie in the fact that Battlefront II isn’t subject to the same level of regulation as casino gaming. Why EA says Battlefront II is NOT gamblingBattlefront II may appear to have all the elements of gambling listed above, but as the EA statement points out, the difference lies in how players are guaranteed to receive content that will help them make their way through the game. In fact, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has also stated that the guarantee of a return means games with these types of loot boxes cannot be classed as gambling. EA also says that players are not obliged to buy credits to progress in Battlefront II; instead, they can do so by pure gaming prowess.What could the investigation in Belgium mean for EA?If the Belgian Gambling Commission rules against in-game purchases, it’s possible that EA’s and Blizzard’s games would disappear from sale in the country, while the companies themselves could face heavy fines. The responseEA initially reacted to growing pressure from governments and gambling authorities by reducing the number of credits needed to unlock rewards by 75%, just before the game’s release on November 17. A day before the game became available, EA announced that it would remove the ability to purchase Battlefront II ‘crystals’ - an in-game currency that players could buy with real money, and then use them to buy loot boxes full of purely random items. These boxes still play a part in the game, but players can only unlock them through effective gameplay. Star Wars makers, Lucasfilm and its parent company Disney, support EA’s removal of temporary micro-transactions. Keen to protect their intellectual property, a spokesperson for Lucasfilm said the company supported the move because "Star Wars has always been about the fans” in whichever form it takes. However, gamers haven’t seen the last of in-game purchases. EA says it plans to bring them back following “tweaks” to ensure its games comply better with the wishes of both gamers and the authorities.
If you weren’t aware, the long-standing relationship between football and the gambling industry has come under intense scrutiny recently.The English Football League have agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with Sky Bet.Despite the new deal, it’s argued it has come at the wrong time, with an already tense relationship between football and gambling,The news also comes as Hearts and Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty urged football bosses to review its relationship with sports betting, after developing a chronic gambling addiction during his career.It was just last week that Hearts and Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty urged football bosses to review its relationship with sports betting, after claiming to have developed a chronic gambling addiction during his career. We’ve also seen ministers in Belgium set a new regulatory standard for sports clubs to follow in relation to advertising and sponsorship, while the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is also set to clamp down on adverts during live events.With these points in mind, the news that the EFL had agreed a new title sponsorship deal with Sky Bet has come at the worst possible time. Does English football really have a gambling problem, however, and if so is this type of agreement a symptom of this?What are the terms of the deal and how have the EFL responded?The EFL has announced a five-year agreement with Sky Bet, and one that is scheduled to run from 2019 to 2024. By the end of this term, betting company’s sponsorship of the English Football League will have continued uninterrupted for 11 years, with the brand having established itself as a familiar, household name during this time.While the deal was announced triumphantly, EFL has faced a minor backlash given the increasingly strained relationship between sport and the gambling industry. This has forced the organisation to reassert its commitment to responsible gambling, while senior figures have also signed an “enhanced Memorandum of Understanding designed to help its customers stay in control and gamble safely.”The EFL has also developed the slogan ‘When the fun stops. Stop’ as part of its wider messaging to fans, while ensuring that all players wear sleeve patches promoting responsible gambling during matches. A potential conflict of interests - Could this type of deal come under threat in the future?Of course, there are some that will point to an obvious conflict of interests between the EFL’s responsible gambling measures and the signing of a long-term, lucrative sponsorship deal with one of the UK’s best-known operators. After all, the EFL and its clubs generate huge revenues on the back of such deals, meaning that they profit directly from online gambling. Even allowing for the fact that the UK’s sports betting market is the best regulated in the world, this still creates a juxtaposition that’s hard to ignore.There is also reason to believe that this type of agreement could also come under threat in the future. If the UKGC was to follow the example of Belgium (which it has already done in part by proposing more stringent advertising regulations), it may also look to restrict sports sponsorship deals relating to leagues, equipment and individual teams. It also includes new casino deals online. This would certainly put organisations like the EFL in a difficult position, as they look to balance their social and regulatory responsibilities with maintaining a lucrative sponsor.The last wordSuch measures are a long way off, which means that the EFL can continue to benefit from sports betting sponsorship while also attempting to position itself as an ambassador for responsible gambling.Groups like the EFL and leading sports teams will definitely need to consider their marketing approach in the years ahead, in order to ensure that they do not send mixed messages to fans. They’ll also come under increased pressure from regulators, particularly with the UKGC looking to prioritise the protection of consumers during the next five years.
It’s recently been announced that Pennsylvanian authorities have principally approved a bill to legalise online gambling. This could represent a huge breakthrough in the U.S. iGaming market, which has seen its growth stall since Delaware became the third state to legalise virtual gambling at the end of 2013.Pennsylvanian authorities have approved a bill to legalise online gamblingThe news comes after New Jersey announced record-breaking yearly revenues of over $200 millionUK brands are set to be given the opportunity to negotiate deals with the U.S marketThis is also arguably the ideal time for states to legalise online gambling, as the U.S. market continues to benefit from increased growth and new partnerships.New Jersey recently announced record-breaking yearly revenues, while also revealing that players had claimed a record amount in prizes across both on and offline channels. As well as being beneficial for the people of New Jersey, this may also offer a unique opportunity for brands in the UK. Here’s why:How New Jersey enjoyed a record-breaking yearWith five weeks of 2017 still remaining, online gambling in New Jersey has already passed the $200-million mark. This represents a new high for Internet betting in Atlantic City, which was first legalised back in 2013 as the state became the second to legalise virtual gambling in North America. In total, the state generated $204.2 million in online revenue through October, while showcasing an impressive growth rate of 26.7%.Operators also reported iGaming wins to the value of $20.6 million in October, which by itself represented growth of 23.4%. Interestingly, only online poker saw a decline in the amount of revenue generated, as this game delivered a total of $20.5 million and a fall of 8.1%. This will be corrected over the course of the next 12 month, as New Jersey enters into a liquidity sharing deal with Nevada and Delaware (who are already linked up through a pre-existing agreement.)How can UK operators look to benefit?With Pennsylvania also likely to enter into this agreement once they’re local operators are up and running, UK brands will be given a golden opportunity to partner with the U.S. market. This is something that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) have attempted before, only to fail in attempts to close a deal with its New Jersey counterparts in 2015.With a model now established for such a partnership, and the U.S. market continuing to deliver record-breaking numbers, now is the ideal time for the UKGC to negotiate a brand new deal. Not only would British operators subsequently be able to benefit from increased revenues, access to a global playing pool and new technologies, the UKGC could also add genuine value by lending its renowned regulatory prowess to create a fair, secure and transparent industry that allows other states to legalise iGaming.This would be hugely beneficial for all parties, while the established nature of the UK market could enable regulators to secure a lucrative deal for its operators.The last wordMake no mistake; the sustained growth of online gambling in states such as New Jersey represents a huge opportunity for UK operators. After all, the current trend is for regulatory bodies to pool resources in a bid to boost growth, and it would be hard to ignore a North American partnership that includes four thriving states.It’s arguably even more important for the UK at present, as its EU rivals continue to form similar partnerships while the island nation prepares to exit the union. By being proactive and partnering with the U.S., it could tap into a potentially huge marketplace that it well and truly set to explode!
The British regulator, the UK Gambling Commission, outlined a new strategy that identified protecting the interests of consumers and preventing harm to vulnerable players, as two of its five strategic priorities for the next four years.Gambling Commission have outlined a new strategy that identified protecting the interests of consumers.KGC also pledge to raise the standards in gambling marketing, optimising returns to good causes and improving the regulatory methods that are put in place.The new strategy would help operators to navigate the threat of Bitcoin casinos.The online casino market in the UK continues to evolve at a rapid rate, as new opportunities for growth emerge on an annual basis. There are also a series of new challenges for operators to manage as the market continues to diversify, particularly as regulators strive to create a fair iGaming environment for customers. In this post, we'll explore this is in further detail, and ask what it’s likely to mean for operators in the UK. Prioritising people and the user experienceIn many ways, the approach of the British regulator should come as no surprise, as it embodies the way in which the online gambling market has evolved during the last decade. With security concerns and barriers to entry now things of the past, operators been able to focus on enhancing the customer experience and creating a fair, transparent marketplace. In addition to protecting the interests of customers and preventing vulnerable players from coming to harm, the UKGC is also pledging to raise the standards in gambling marketing, optimising returns to good causes and improving the regulatory methods that are put in place. There are two clear and underlying goals here, namely to enhance the reputation of the iGaming industry and redress the perceived imbalance that exists between operators and customers alike. How will these impact operators?We’ve already seen regulators make strides to implement new strategic measures; such as clamping down on television advertising and proposing to ban marketing promotions during live sporting events. This is the type of dynamic regulation that helps the UKGC to uphold its commitment, while also achieving several of its objectives with one fell swoop. Not only does it tighten and improve gambling marketing practices, but it also protects vulnerable customers from being exposed to emotive, real-time messaging. At first glance, it may appear as though this is bad news for operators, even accounting for the fact that they drive the majority of their promotions online. After all, in-play betting has become a key revenue stream for online bookmakers, by targeting customers when they’re at their most engaged with a sporting event. Despite this, the new ethos of the regulator (and this proposed change in particularly) offers a huge opportunity to like-minded and forward-thinking operators. After all, brands that embrace the idea of safeguarding customers will be able to establish themselves as ambassadors within the industry, while also positioning themselves and people-centric businesses that place a great deal of stock in the customer journey. Taking this approach would also help operators to navigate the threat of Bitcoin casinos, which are helping to create a transparent customer experience that gamblers crave. Similarly, there are talks that blockchain technology may soon underpin the world’s first ‘zero house edge’ casino, establishing a completely fair platform from which players could optimise their chances of winning. The last wordNot everything is always as it first seems, and the new approach of the UKGC provides a relevant case in point. While this may seem oppressive to operators, it affords brands an opportunity to better engage their audience, while also establishing themselves as ambassadors for fair play, transparency and the welfare of individual customers. We should therefore watch this space with interest, in a bid to see which brands prosper and which fail to adapt to the rigours of more intense regulations.
The annual SIGMA conference in Malta is soon coming! Between the 22-25 November you can learn all you need to know about iGaming, share tips and connect with new people. This conference was first launched in 2014 and since the start it has been very successful. This conference is one of the most popular conferences in Europe when it comes to online casinos. This year will be a record year with more attendees, more casinos and more speakers. Here are some important areas: Daily Fantasy SportsLicensesPayment MethodsGame ProvidersSEO companiesVR CasinoCapital & ResourcesBitcoinDisruptive Technology What is SIGMA?SIGMA is a conference organized since 2014 and they are growing rapidly each year. With over 300 iGaming companies based on the little island of Malta this is actually the perfect location for the conference. Here you can get the latest information and the best knowledge within the industry. It is also a very fun conference to attend. This year, the iGaming Village will provide you with three restaurants, six theme-based bars and a couple of lounges where you can have a drink, dinner or maybe enjoy a cigar. Completely free of charge! Who is SIGMA for?Gaming industry vendors & suppliers.Digital Games representatives.Affiliate marketers and manager.Sportsbetting representatives.B2B software providers.Remote Gaming and land based operators.Regulators and related government entities.Digital marketing agency representatives.Legal, financial and consultancy firms.Recruitment agencies. Who Is Involved With SiGMA?120+ exhibitions.40+ affiliate programs.60+ speakers.4000+ participants attending the event and making it awesome! Having fun is part of the scheduleAt the end of the day this conference combines business and pleasure. There are a lot of exciting activities, dinners and parties. This is the perfect way of making new connections and friends. There are initiatives such as football tournaments, poker games, sunset cruise and much more. Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to have a lot of fun and to learn all there is to know about iGaming.
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