Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Strategy Bingo Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Bingo Regions: UK & Ireland The Republic of Ireland Government has set out plans to form a new gambling regulatory authority with the power to issue licences and fines to operators active in the country’s market. Tags: Online Gambling The Republic of Ireland Government has set out plans to form a new gambling regulatory authority with oversight of the country’s online and land-based market. An Inter-Departmental Working Group has published a new report on the issue, in which it focuses on the future licensing and regulation of gambling in Ireland. In the report, Minister of State David Stanton says Ireland is currently applying a “mid-20th century approach” to gambling activities and not taking into account the advances in digital technologies in recent years. Stanton said comprehensive reform of the industry is required in order to bring the market up to date, but this will not be possible without establishing a new independent regulatory authority.Current Irish legislation does not provide for a coherent licensing and regulatory approach to gambling aside from specific legislation governing the country’s National Lottery, the report noted, with oversight for the sector divided between a number of government departments and agencies. This body would assume responsibility for regulation of the Irish market, which would include awarding licences to operators that want to offer gaming services in the country. The regulator would also have enforcement powers, such as the ability to impose fines on operators and suspend or revoke licences. The new authority would also be responsible for the management of a social fund and subsequent disbursement of monies to approved addiction treatment centres and organisations, as well as raising awareness of gambling-related issues, carrying out industry research and running educational initiatives. In addition, the regulatory body would act as the lead Irish agency in European Union and cross-border cooperation in combating betting-related match-fixing and money laundering. It is intended that the authority would be funded primarily from fees and levies on regulated gambling activities in Ireland. “As the gambling industry changes, and indeed as the demographics and motivations of its customers change, so must the State’s licensing and regulatory approach,” Stanton said in the report. “The Working Group is firmly of the view that without a new independent regulatory authority of sufficient scale, the comprehensive reform required will not be possible. “Effective modern licensing, regulation and monitoring of the gambling industry will come at a cost. The Working Group concludes nevertheless that such an authority can in time be substantially self-financing, through income from licence and other fees charged to gambling operators.” The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), the representative body for betting operators in Ireland, has welcomed the new report. Chairperson Sharon Byrne said the new regulatory authority should be introduced as soon as possible. Byne added: “We are hopeful that this will be the final step towards completion and enactment of a Gambling Control bill and independent regulator. Our members have already introduced many of the advertising standards, customer monitoring and customer protection measures recommended by regulators in other countries. “An independent regulator and gambling control bill, will ensure enforcement and compliance by all gambling operators, not just betting shops, which will lead to better consumer protections and support for those who may be vulnerable to addiction.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 21st March 2019 | By contenteditor Irish government to establish new gambling regulator Email Address
Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Horse racing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Council of Europe’s (CoE) Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, also known as the Macolin Convention, is finally set to enter into force from September 1, though concerns remain over its definition of illegal sports betting.Switzerland became the fifth CoE member to ratify the convention, after Norway, Moldova, Portugal and Ukraine. Having ratified the Treaty, the five have committed to complying with the legal framework it sets out to tackle match fixing, including the processes for collaborating with other nations on the issue.The convention also sets out legal definitions for issues ranging from conflicts of interest to illegal betting, and controls to address poor governance and the handling of confidential information.“The entry into force of the Macolin Convention is good news for everyone who values fair play and integrity in sport,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.“The convention is a major step forward in the fight against corruption in sport and has received firm backing from major sports organisations and partners including FIFA and UEFA. I urge all of our member states, and countries around the world, to sign and ratify the convention as soon as possible.”While the Macolin Convention was first introduced in September 2014, it has been fought at every step by Malta, which vetoed the European Commission signing it on behalf of all 28 member states. It therefore required ratification from at least five CoE member states before it could be introduced in any form.Malta’s objections centre around the convention’s definition of illegal sports betting. This is defined as “any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located”.This, Malta argues, would effectively rule that its licensees’ activity in a number of European markets, using their Malta Gaming Authority licence to justify offering their services there, would be considered illegal. It has demanded the convention be amended since its introduction.Alongside the five countries to have ratified the Macolin Convention, 37 countries have also signed it, most recently Croatia and San Marino. By signing the document, states commit to adhering to the terms of the convention, though this is not legally binding. cAustralia is currently the only non-European signatory, though other countries, including Cape Verde and Morocco, are also understood to have shown an interest in doing so.ESSA, which was involved in the drafting of the convention, described the ratification as “a predominantly positive move.“The Convention sets out a range of practical measures to address match-fixing internationally and it has been broadly supported by ESSA and the wider betting sector,” ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali said.“However, there remain hurdles to overcome,” he added. “The definition of illegal sports betting, in particular, continues to present challenges to universal acceptance of the Convention text.” Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Switzerland 17th May 2019 | By contenteditor Casino & games Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino Macolin Convention set to come into force from September The Council of Europe’s (CoE) Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, also known as the Macolin Convention, is finally set to enter into force from September 1, though concerns remain over its definition of illegal sports betting. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address
Regions: Oceania Australia Sports betting 20th September 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter PointsBet launches international racing channel with BetMakers AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Australian sportsbook operator PointsBet has bolstered its horse racing betting services by launching a customised racing channel in partnership with online wagering solutions provider BetMakers. Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Australian sportsbook operator PointsBet has bolstered its horse racing betting services by launching a customised racing channel in partnership with online wagering solutions provider BetMakers.BetMakers’ racing channel will feature customised pricing technology, data display overlays and live streams, with PointsBet customers able to watch more than 2,000 races every week on the operator’s website and mobile app.The channel, which has been fully integrated with PointsBet’s online platform and digital apps, currently streams live coverage of races from the UK, US, Ireland, Mexico and Canada.PointsBet will make the new service available to its customers in Australia.“We are always looking for ways to improve the offering to our clients and now our punters are able to watch and wager on a vast array of international racing events directly from our website and app,” PointsBet’s chief executive Sam Swanell said.Todd Buckingham, chief executive of, BetMakers, added: “PointsBet have built in the customised solution very quickly which is testament to their tech team and how quickly they can get a product to market.”“BetMakers works with rights-holders from around the world to deliver racing content to their contracted operators. Commercially, BetMakers is remunerated by the rights-holders, while the operator has a commercial agreement with rights-holders. It’s easy to understand how this is winning solution for all parties involved.”The deal comes after PointsBet last month revealed a statutory loss after income tax of $41.9m (£3.5m/€38.0m) for its financial year ended June 30, 2019, mainly as a result of expansion costs in the US.PointsBet did not clarify whether the BetMakers racing channel would be made available to its customers in the US in the future. Email Address
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Social gaming operator KamaGames has linked up with Hard Rock International to launch a new social casino application. KamaGames and Hard Rock launch social casino app Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Casino & games Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Email Address Social gaming operator KamaGames has linked up with Hard Rock International to launch a new social casino mobile application.Hard Rock Blackjack features a range of free-to-play casino games from KamaGames’ portfolio, including roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack and slots.The new app also offers a social poker game based on the developer’s Pokerist Texas Poker title, as well as Texas Hold’em Poker and a number of other poker-based titles such as Set Poker and Split Bet Poker.Players will have access to competitive poker tournaments including Sit’n’Go, Shootout, multi-table tournaments and weekly tournaments, in addition to unique party modes and poker game variations.Other features include chat options such as in-game instant messenger, animated emojis and the ability to send gifts to other players using the app, which will be made available in a total of 28 languages.Read the full story on iGB North America. Topics: Casino & games Poker Social gaming 24th March 2020 | By contenteditor
“Spillemyndigheden is an exciting agency that plays an important role in the regulation of the gaming market,” Dorph said. “That is why I’m very much looking forward to the task and the collaboration my many talented colleagues.” Dorph, whose appointment has been approved by the country’s government, previously served as deputy director of the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen). Spillemyndigheden names Dorph as new director Danish Minister of Taxation Morten Bødskov added: “Anders Dorph has an extremely heavy professional profile with broad experience from politically led organisations and cooperation across authorities. I look forward to benefiting from his experience.” Denmark’s Gaming Authority (Spillemyndigheden) has announced that Anders Dorph is to become its new director, with effect from 1 November. Topics: People People moves Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe Nordics Denmark Email Address People moves 30th September 2020 | By Aaron Noy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Image: Spillemyndigheden This month, it was also revealed that StopSpillet, Denmark’s problem gambling helpline, received its 1,000th call from a problem gambler, loved one or professional seeking guidance on reducing play in August. Dorph will replace Morten Niels Jakobsen, who stepped down from the role in August this year in order to become director of the Danish Valuation Agency (Vurderingsstyrelsen), a body responsible for public assessments of land and property values. The appointment comes after the regulator last month reported 19.2% year-on-year drop in gambling revenue in the first half of 2020, after novel coronavirus (Covid-19) slashed land-based gaming and sports betting’s contribution in Q2. Total revenue for the six months through to 30 June amounted to DKK2.70bn (£350.6m/€362.6m/$424.7m).
Tags: Covid-19 Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter BGC attacks government over Lancashire gaming venue closures 16th October 2020 | By Robin Harrison “From the beginning of the pandemic, betting shops and casinos have played their full role in the national effort to tackle this virus. Similar measures have been brought in for the Liverpool City Region, which is also in Tier 3, resulting in its 350 betting shops and six casinos, employing 2,300 people, have been forced to close. The BGC has been fighting stricter measures on gambling venues for months, putting forward a number of compromises that have largely gone unheeded by the government. The three casinos, meanwhile, contribute taxes of £6m a year to the Treasury. “It is therefore hugely disappointing that as they are starting to get back on their feet again, those venues in Merseyside and Lancashire have had the rug pulled from under them by the Prime Minister.” “We understand the government’s need to tackle Covid, but they must balance that with the need to protect jobs,” he said. However unlike Liverpool, Lancashire’s gyms and leisure centres will be allowed to stay open. Dugher also pointed out that this would not only result in the Treasury missing out on tax revenue, but would also hit the racing industry, which was already struggling financially. This, he said, meant it was time for the government to rethink its approach, calling for a better financial package to ensure the venues have a long-term future. The government has placed the county in Tier 3 of its Covid-19 restrictions. This is the highest level of the new tiered structure, and imposes strict social distancing measures for Lancashire inhabitants. Despite the association’s concerns about the impact of a 10pm curfew on hospitality venues, this failed to stop the measure being imposed, while a proposed ban on alcohol sales to avoid closures was also overlooked. Land-based casino As part of these measures, the county’s betting shops – approximately 200 – and three casinos, employing 1,100 staff, have been ordered to shut indefinitely. These shops pay £24m a year in tax, as well as £6.6m to the British racing industry through horserace betting levy and media rights payments. “It means that 3,400 hardworking employees in Merseyside and Lancashire will have to stay at home instead of generating the tax revenue that the Treasury so desperately needs.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Industry standards body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has attacked the UK government after it ordered casinos and betting shops in the county of Lancashire to close amid a resurgence of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country. “But the best course of action remains allowing them to safely keep their doors open and do their bit to help the UK’s economic recovery.” “The simple fact is that there is no evidence that closing betting shops and casinos will slow the spread of Covid-19 and any impact from their closure will be negligible,” Dugher continued. “They have followed the public health guidance to the letter, and in many cases have gone above and beyond what is required of them. Topics: Casino & games People Sports betting Land-based casino People moves Retail sports betting BGC chief executive Michael Dugher (pictured) pointed out that there has been no evidence that bookmakers and casinos had contributed to the spread of Covid-19, adding that all operators had complied fully with public health guidelines. Email Address The inconsistent application of rules in Liverpool and Lancashire, he added, “gives the impression that ministers don’t care about jobs in betting shops and casinos”. Regions: UK & Ireland
Newsagents with betting terminals must also ensure that these machines are switched off for the duration of the lockdown, but will be permitted to remain open for other activities deemed essential by the government. Belgium’s government has announced that the country will again enter into a nationwide lockdown, with all gambling venues to remain closed until at least the middle of December. Email Address Casinos, gaming halls and betting shops had already been ordered to shut from 28 October to 19 November as part of enhanced novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, but this period of closure has now been extended in line with the lockdown order. Non-essential shops and businesses offering personal services will also have to close, while the existing night-time curfew measures and closures of bars and restaurants will continue. Belgian lockdown further limits land-based gambling This will mark the second national lockdown in Belgium this year, with the first having seen gambling venues close in March. Betting shops started to reopen in June, and casinos in the following month. Topics: Casino & games Regulation 2nd November 2020 | By Robert Fletcher Yesterday (1 November), Belgium recorded 16,915 new cases of Covid-19 and 173 related deaths. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Tags: Covid-19 Belgium Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Western Europe Belgium
Tags: Penn National Gaming Rush Street Interactive Churchill Downs Barstool Sportsbook TwinSpires BetRivers Email Address Churchill Downs Incorporated is also gearing up to launch its TwinSpires branded casino and sports betting mobile app and website, which will offer both verticals from the moment the market opens. Read the full story on iGB North America. Operators licensed to offer online sports betting or casino in Michigan have begun releasing details about their products, as they prepare to go live on the market today (22 January) at 12:00 EST. “Michiganders love their home state NBA team and the Detroit Pistons have a rich history, winning the NBA Championship three times,” said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive. 22nd January 2021 | By Conor Mulheir Online sports betting Penn National Gaming, had initially received approval for sports betting only and not online casino, has announced it will launch its Barstool Sportsbook app today, and that online casino products will follow shortly thereafter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Meanwhile, Rush Street Interactive’s offering BetRivers.com, announced alongside today’s launch that it had entered into a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Detroit Pistons. “This partnership combines two organizations that share an unwavering commitment to excellence in providing sports fans with unparalleled experiences, and BetRivers.com is proud to be an official sportsbook partner of this well-respected franchise.” “This is an exciting time to be launching our online Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan,” Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National, said. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Michigan online gaming operators launch Regions: US Michigan Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Online casino Online sports betting Sportsbook “We couldn’t be more excited to officially launch our state-of-the-art TwinSpires Sportsbook and iGaming platform in Michigan,” said Bill Mudd, president and chief operating officer of CDI.
“These results reflect the success of our omni-channel approach, and combining the best of both online and land-based retail betting, with balanced product diversification backed by our committed management teams.” Full year results 2020 However, as operating expenses were up 16.1% to $44.8m, this saw the business’ operating loss widen to $7.5m for the year, compared to $3.0m in 2019. Other major developments for Elys in 2020 included its rebrand from Newgioco, to reflect its shifting focus towards to developing US sports betting market. Elys Game Technology, the online gambling operator and supplier previously known as Newgioco Group, for its 2020 financial year, reported record turnover and revenue for 2020, though rising costs saw the business post a net loss of $9.4m (£6.9m/€7.9m). “I am very pleased to report that Elys not only achieved record revenue for 2020 but also broke through a major milestone by surpassing our half-billion dollar objective—reaching almost $575m in gaming turnover despite the challenges brought on by the global pandemic,” Elys executive chairman Mike Ciavarella said. “We believe that we are very well positioned heading into 2021 to execute our vision of building a premier, end-to-end sports betting solution for European and US gaming operators,” he said. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Players won a total of $530.3m in 2020, with this split $473.8m for online and $56.5m at land-based facilities. “We continue to carefully manage expenses and have a solid balance sheet with over $18.9m of cash as of December 31, 2020, which we expect will be more than sufficient to fund our planned geographic expansion in North America.” Tags: Elys Game Technology Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Online shift helps Elys post record turnover and revenue for 2020 Other expenses, including interest, amortisation of debt discount and loss on the extinguishment of convertible debt, amounted to $1.5m, which resulted in a loss before tax of $9.0m, which was higher than the $5.7m loss posted in the previous year. However, chief financial officer Mark Korb was upbeat about the operator’s prospects for 2021 and beyond. However its online growth saw total turnover reach $574.3m, up 26.5% on the previous year, setting a new full-year record for the business. Revenue for the 12 months to 31 December amounted to $37.3m, an increase of 4.8% from $35.6m in the previous year. This was comprised predominantly of B2C revenue, which totalled $37.1m, with a further $144,764 attributed to its betting platform services and software business. The business said it benefitted from customers shifting online in 2020. This helped online turnover, from its B2C Italian operations, jump 53.9% to $505.4m, with land-based facilities closed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Topics: Finance Full year results 2020 Results 2020 Elys paid $906,644 in income tax, meaning it ended the year with a net loss of $9.9m, compared to $9.3m in 2019. Prior to the name change, Elys also established a new US-facing operating subsidiary with the aim of expanding its sports betting operations throughout the country. 13th April 2021 | By Robert Fletcher Regions: US Southern Europe Italy As such, land-based turnover – again from Italy – fell 45.2% to $68.9m. Email Address
But you could have low RTP games with high ROE numbers that feel like they have RTP that’s over 100%. 6th May 2021 | By contenteditor Slots Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter That also allowed me to explain the cogwheels themselves to new companies that had no understanding at all of how slots work, and to even help out veteran companies that did not even know they lacked knowledge in one specific feature. When I came in to work at my first client after working for Playtech and Playtika, they asked me for something simple. Email Address Playtech and Playtika veteran Guy Hasson’s weekly series on the lessons he learned throughout his career continues. After more than an hour I had not got through the first fifteen features. I prepared a big presentation and started giving them a review of common features. Within a few slides, the CEO and the CTO began an argument that would last through the next hour. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Lesson #5: Rifts within companies They were new to slots (real money) and wanted an overview of what features slots have. That allowed me to get the true basics of how the cogwheels work behind the game itself. Understanding the most basic cogwheels allowed me to invent features I couldn’t in other ways, to explain things to mathematicians later on in my career (although I’m not one) about how things could be done, and to help them when they’re stuck. Lesson #4: Sitting with mathematicians During my three years working for Playtech, I was placed in the mathematicians’ room. I heard them solve three years’ worth of problems on features for more than 80 slot games. I learned how math works, not just from an overview, but digging deep into every problem. That is not a good way to build a company. Big cracks like this have to be dealt with. What I realized now was that the players notice the Rate of Exhaustion and not the RTP. A lower RTP on the same game supposedly means you lose your money faster. A higher RTP means you lose your money slower, on the whole. In a game where every spin wins, you would necessarily lose money less quickly than in other games. The overall RTP was around 97% if I remember correctly, but the player would lose the money so slowly in the first drafts of the math that it looked like the RTP far exceeded 100%. From that point on I researched the average ROE for good games. Then I could even decrease the RTP while increasing the win frequency and keeping the ROE the same. The casino makes money from the ROE, not the RTP and the players enjoy the ROE thinking it’s the RTP. This was the game that made me see where the concept of ROE (Rate of Exhaustion) came to me. Over the next year I found out that in spite of the basic crack within the company about what it represents, the CEO and CTO maneuvered the crack by having each one of them win slow wins over time to advance his own agenda. Lesson #6: The Game where you can’t lose The CEO wanted no fancy features at all, because that was his vision of the company: Simple, easy, fun games. The CTO wanted to slowly build up the repertoire of the company. In Playtech and Playtika I could see clearly that players can tell if you add or subtract 0.5% to the RTP. First lessons in slots: Lessons #4 to #6 Guy Hasson worked for Playtech for three years before becoming Playtika’s content manager, responsible for the content of Slotomania and Caesars Casino. He is now a social slot consultant, specialising in game popularity. Topics: Casino & games Product & technology Slots Tags: First lessons in slots Early in my career I invented a new concept of a game where every spin wins. Needless to say, most wins would be under the bet. That is how slots worked. A mathematician created the math, I hired a graphic designer, and it was done. In any field – not just slots – it is invaluable to understand how the cogwheels work. Invaluable.