Casino & games Huge increase in digital users and revenue for 2018 financial on back of social gaming acquisitions for 2018 The scale of Aristocrat’s rapid digital expansion has been revealed today (November 29) with a near-AUS$1bn increase in revenue, coupled with strong growth in North America, helping the supplier to a 47.7% rise in turnover for the 2018 financial year.With overall sales rising to $3.624bn (£2.08bn/€2.33bn/$2.65bn) for the 12 months ended September 30, digital revenue rocketed by 250% to $1.339bn. The division’s profits rose to $438.2m – up from $158.9 in the previous year.Aristocrat said that the digital segment’s strong results were “significantly enhanced” by the acquisitions of social gaming companies Plarium and Big Fish Games in October 2017 and January 2018 respectively.With Aristocrat also highlighting solid performances from the Cashman Casino and Heart of Vegas offerings, supplemented by the launches of FaFaFa Gold and Lightning Link in the 12-month period through to September 30, the company’s total daily active digital users increased almost five-fold to 8.1 million.Meanwhile the Americas segment – comprising the US, Canada, Mexico and Argentina – now represents 44.7% of Aristocrat’s total sales, in comparison with 12.5% from the company’s traditional home turf of Australia and New Zealand.A 13.7% rise in revenue for the Americas to $1.620bn generated a 16.7% increase in segment profit to $859.2m. Aristocrat said that a 25% expansion in North America of its Class III premium gaming operations – effectively its casino supply business – had resulted from “broadening product portfolios”.This was in contrast to the company’s international Class III segment, which reported a 2% fall in revenue to Aus$210.5m.Aristocrat also posted a big 54.1% increase in design and development (D&D) expenses to $413.6m, with the company’s D&D team now representing almost half of its global employee base.The company expects to increase D&D investment in the 2019 fiscal year, but said that such expenses would remain broadly in line with the 11.7% costs in relation to revenue reported for 2018.Aristocrat’s share price actually fell by nearly 9% on Thursday morning before recovering to close at $25.44 – a marginal 2.6% fall for the day – with analysts citing lower-than-anticipated 9.6% growth of total profit after tax to $542.6m.Bell Direct analyst Julia Lee, putting the market reaction into context, told Bloomberg: “The longer the stock is in an upgrade cycle, the bigger the expectations become. At some point, it just becomes too hard to meet those expectations.”Aristocrat anticipates further growth in its digital business in the 2019 fiscal year, supported by new game releases and a significant increase of about $100m in user acquisition investment. The company’s earnings are expected to be weighted towards the second half of the 2019 financial year due to the timing of digital game releases and corresponding user acquisition investment.“Recurring revenue, including gaming operations and digital social casino, accounted for 65% of group revenues, up from 52% in the prior year,” Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker (pictured) said.“This highlights the progress Aristocrat has made in delivering sustainable earnings and cash flow growth over time, consistent with our strategy and shareholders’ interests.” Email Address Tags: Online Gambling Regions: Oceania US Australia Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Digital expansion drives full-year growth for Aristocrat Topics: Casino & games Finance Social gaming 29th November 2018 | By contenteditor
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Legal & compliance Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Slovakia Amended Gambling Act awaiting presidential approval before licensing window for operators opens in March 2019 Slovakia is just one step away from opening its online gaming market to private operators after the Gambling Act drafted by the Ministry of Finance was approved by the country’s parliament.The legislation, which was submitted to the European Commission in July this year and subject to a three-month standstill period ended October 26, must now be ratified by the country’s president Andrej Kiska (pictured) to come into force.The amended Gambling Act has been designed to reflect regulation in other European Union markets such as Denmark, Sweden, Romania and the Czech Republic, with an emphasis of ramping up consumer protection measures.It proposes a window beginning March 1, 2019 from which operators can submit applications for online casino licences, with a view to launching the market on July 1 that same year. Fixed-odds betting licences, meanwhile, will be available from July 1, 2019, though successful applicants will not be able to offer their services in the country until July 2020. Each form of licence will be valid for 10 years.The market will be overseen by a new, dedicated regulatory body that will be funded in part from the tax levied on operators. This has been set at 23% of gross revenue for online casino, peer-to-peer online games and fixed-odds sports betting.The regulator will also have the power to block access to sites, continuing to use the blacklist, which has been in place since July 2017, and will maintain a national self-exclusion database.Similar to markets such as Denmark, the country’s state-owned gaming operator TIPOS will continue to hold a monopoly on lottery, bingo and instant win games, but will compete against private operators in other online verticals.Alongside the headline amendments, the Gambling Act also tightened up land-based gambling regulations. A proposal to have gaming halls located at least 200 metres apart was added to the Act, while the number of gaming machines permitted in the room of each gaming venue was increased from 12 to 15.The number of days on which gaming venues can open is also restricted, with each location required to shut for up to 12 days each year.Finally, the legislation also classes quiz machines, where players can win money by answering general knowledge questions, as a form of gambling. As a result only casinos will be permitted to host such machines, with bars and restaurants prohibited from doing so.Picture credit: EU2016 SK Slovakia moves closer to igaming market liberalisation Tags: Online Gambling Topics: Legal & compliance 7th December 2018 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter
7th January 2019 | By Robin Harrison Finance Playtech’s taxing times AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter After a painful 2018 drew to a close with new taxes imposed in Italy and a €28m tax bill in Israel, Playtech may be forced to look across the pond for growth, writes Scott Longley Topics: Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter It is to be hoped that Playtech’s management is not superstitious. After two tax-related hits either side of Christmas, those believing bad news comes in threes might suspect that another blow is just around the corner.The Yuletide double-whammy of a gaming tax hike in Italy and an agreement with the tax authorities in Israel that will cost Playtech €28m as a one-off exceptional charge are strictly unrelated.However, it shows how in gaming what has been viewed as the positive of multi-national operations utilising the best talent in the whichever location or domicile best suits can swiftly become the negative of multiple exposures to volatile tax and regulatory environments.Of the two slices of bad tidings, the first is more significant than the second to the long-term prospects for Playtech.The announcement from the Italian government that it would be seeking an additional €770m in taxes from the gaming sector as it attempts to balance its somewhat controversial budget didn’t come out of the blue.As part of a package of measures, the machine sector will be hit significantly with the turnover tax on AWPs rising by 1.35% to 20.6% and VLT turnover tax rising from 6.75% to 7.5%. This will be followed in May by a further increase as machine taxes will rise again up to 20.85% and 7.85% respectively. At the same time the Dignity Decree will come into force which will see a ban instituted on all forms of gambling marketing.The only mitigation for the gaming operators is that will be allowed to reduce their return-to-player in order to partially offset the tax hikes.Bad news for punters then, but ultimately the whole package is worse news for Playtech which in April last year became more fully immersed in the Italian gaming market via the €846m deal to acquire one of the biggest gaming operators in Italy, Snaitech.It remains Playtech’s most ambitious and largest acquisition – and arguably its most badly-timed deal. On Christmas Eve, the company was forced to issue a stock market statement which said the move would reduce the company’s 2019 adjusted EBITDA figure by between €20m-€25m.It set the seal on a dreadful 2018 for what remains one of the premier suppliers in the online gaming world. As Simon Davies, analyst at Canaccord Genuity said, it meant that Playtech ended the year as it started, with a profit downgrade.Make your own bed Though unfortunate, none of this is entirely unpredictable. As Davies pointed out, the Italian coalition government has made plenty of negative comments around the gambling industry and it is in “desperate need of incremental tax revenues.”Such is always the case. The modern history of Italian regulated gaming is littered with examples of opportunistic tax grabs in the wake of (seemingly ever-present) economic fragility. A quick online search will come up with numerous examples from the past 10 years of various gaming sectors either being hit with (or narrowly avoiding) new tax rises.None of this was mentioned in the acquisition document where Playtech extolled Italy “Europe’s largest and growing gaming market, a fragmented market which is relatively underdeveloped online.”As Davies said: “Playtech saw the Snaitech acquisition as a means of increasing its exposure to regulated markets, but in targeting an Italian land-based B2C operator, it has merely introduced a different set of risks. And the tax hikes will more than off-set likely synergies from the deal.”Off the back of the largely Asian and UK-related profit warning earlier in the year, Playtech had already been “materially de-rated” by the market and a lot now hinges on what happens in the US in the early part of 2019 if it is to regain ground.With Teddy Sagi having now departed the share register – pursued by activist investor Jason Ader at Spring Owl – the company will be hoping the way is now paved for Playtech to make a belated entry into New Jersey. Should it receive a B2B license there, Davies said it would be a “positive catalyst” for a business which is in need of some good news. Email Address
The New Zealand government has launched a public consultation to gauge public support for regulating new forms of online gambling.It said that following the current Gambling Act’s introduction in 2003, internet technology has developed rapidly.“In 2003 internet technology was still developing. Social media was in its infancy. Cell phones weren’t yet smart and people connected to the internet using cables,” Minister for Internal Affairs Tracy Martin said.Currently Lotto NZ and the TAB are the only operators permitted to offer gambling products online, though the government acknowledged that an increasing number of New Zealanders were gambling via offshore providers. Around 70% of residents aged 15 and over had gambled, whether online or via land-based providers, in the past year, it noted.While most were able to gamble without experiencing any problems, around 5% of New Zealanders gamble to the extent that it harms them and people around them. A consultation on a new strategy to tackle gambling harms by the country’s Ministry of Health flagged unregulated igaming as a particular threat for young people in the Maori and Pacific Island demographics. Anecdotal evidence suggested that Asian and migrant communities were also negatively affected.This, Martin said, meant changes were needed: “We need to ensure that New Zealanders are safe if they choose to gamble online.“We need to look out for our young people especially, because they are online so much, as well as others vulnerable to gambling harm.”Between 2017 and 2018, New Zealand’s gambling expenditure reached NZD$2.40bn (£1.30bn/€1.43bn/US$1.58bn), an increase of $49m from the prior period, with poker machine accounting for the majority ($895m) of consumer spend. It was followed by casinos, on $578m, then the lottery on $561m.Spend on the TAB accounted for a further $350m, followed by Class 3 gaming, such as society lotteries, on $17m.In looking to expand its igaming market, the government said it had two key options. First would be to either limit or expand the gaming product range offered by Lotto NZ and the TAB. The second would be to expand the range of companies allowed to operate in New Zealand, then introduce controls on the products they can offer.As such, the government has set out four potential regulatory models to update gambling legislation.The first would be to keep the market restricted to Lotto NZ and the TAB, with no changes to the igaming products they could offer. Alternatively, Lotto NZ and the TAB could be allowed to launch new online products to complement their existing verticals.A licensing model for domestic operators, allowing native charitable or commercial operations to move into igaming could also be pursued. Finally, a regulatory regime covering domestic and foreign operators could be implemented, covering all verticals.Under any model, the government would look to introduce a range of social responsibility controls such as self-exclusion, credit card restrictions, restrictions on using public Wifi to gamble and geofencing.The public, and industry stakeholders have been asked to share their thoughts on each potential framework to aid the government’s decision-making process.In addition, the government is seeking views on measures to minimise gambling harms. So far it has set out six potential measures. First is a drive to educate the public on the potential dangers of gambling, and influence operators to comply.Next would be to have the industry fund problem gambling efforts, followed by putting the onus on the industry to self-regulate and put in place safeguards to prevent harmful behaviour. It is also asking for public comment on maintaining the ban on online gambling advertising.Alternatively, the government could take the lead in regulating industry conduct, to better protect players, or hand regulatory bodies the power to enforce the law and gambling licensing conditions.Interested parties are invited to submit comments to the Department of Internal Affairs’ Online Gambling Team by September 30. Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The New Zealand government has launched a public consultation to gauge public support for regulating new forms of online gambling. Members of the public and industry stakeholders are invited to submit comment on four potential regulatory models, as well as harm prevention measures, by September 30. Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Slots Regions: Oceania New Zealand 1st August 2019 | By contenteditor Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter New Zealand launches consultation on igaming regulation Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Italian government seeks to shrink online gaming market Italy’s Five Star Movement-Democratic Party coalition government has set out plans to reduce the number of online gaming licences available in the country from 85 to 50 by 2023.The government revealed plans in its first Budget Law decree, which, published by Italian gambling regulator Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), also includes various other measures for the wider Italian gambling market.For online gambling, licences will be priced at €2m (£1.7m/$2.2m) each and run for a period of nine years, effective from 2023. These licences will cost the same for operators renewing their existing permits or those entering the market for the first time.The application process for new licences will commence in 2021 or 2022, with operators able to pay for the permits in two installments. The first must be at least 50% of the price within 30 days of being awarded the licence, and the second within 30 days of signing the permit.Other changes to the Italian gambling market include a concession whereby the government will permit a maximum of 250,000 slot machines to operate across the country.The government will permit up to 58,000 video lottery terminals country-wide, while gaming points of sale will be capped at a maximum of 35,000. In addition, up to 2,800 gaming halls will be allowed to operate.Confirmation of the changes to the online gaming sector come after the ADM in February approved igaming licences for 70 operators, following a delayed tender process. The final number issued fell significantly below the 120 made available by the government.The Stars Group, William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, GVC and bet365 were among the operators to secure licences. Permits cost €200,000 – significantly less than the price of the new licences – and are due to run until 31 December 2022.Operators active in Italy are subject to strict marketing rules under the so-called Dignity Decree, which has banned almost all gambling advertising since January 1, 2019.Changes to Italian tax law, announced late in 2018, means operators are now subject to higher gambling taxes. Also effective from January 1, tax on online casino and bingo was increased to 25% of gross gaming revenue (GGR), with fixed odds betting tax raised to 24% of GGR.Land-based sports betting operators are now taxed at 22% of GGR, while tax on virtual sports (22%), video lottery terminals (6.75% of turnover) and amusement with prizes (18.85% of turnover) were also increased.Taxes on VLTs and AWPs have since been increased twice, with the 2020 Budget hiking the tax on VLTs to 9% of turnover, and to 23% for AWPs. Email Address Casino & games Tags: Online Gambling Slot Machines Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Slots Regions: Europe Southern Europe Italy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 14th November 2019 | By contenteditor Italy’s Five Star Movement-Democratic Party coalition government has set out plans to reduce the number of online gaming licences in the country from 85 to 50 by 2023.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter African regulatory round-up: Building a picture of the legal landscape Regions: Africa East Africa Western Africa Mauritius Ghana 25th November 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Slot Machines Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Casino & games In the second part of his deep dive into key regulatory reforms being made in a number of African jurisdictions, Law Allianz founder Yahaya Maikori examines developments in a number of smaller markets.Swaziland Located right in the middle of South Africa, landlocked Swaziland has a population of barely 1.45 million people. The country’s industry is regulated by both the Casino Act of 1963 and the Lotteries Act of 1963.There is just one sports betting licence available, which is renewed annually and covers the entire country for both online and retail betting. However, the betting industry in southern Africa is very retail-heavy, meaning that more investment will be required to expand the sector in Swaziland.In 1998, Piggs Peak, one of the country’s land- based casinos, was granted a licence to offer its products online. This roll-out was targeted at South African players, as Swaziland alone is too small to sustain an online market. Given the status of online casino in South Africa, the authorities there didn’t take kindly to this move. They successfully fought it in court, which ultimately stopped the operator from accepting South African players. Players from other countries still remain welcome, however.In 2005, Swaziland shut down its national lottery, Swazi Lotto. However, in 2013, it awarded a 15-year licence to V Slots Swaziland, a subsidiary of a South African conglomerate, to offer lottery games in the country.There are also two slot licences available, one of which was recently cancelled, effectively giving the remaining operator a monopoly. This licence holder currently operates around 300 machines across its gaming halls, though research has suggested there is scope for this number to be increased significantly.Further changes may be forthcoming. In 2018 the Ministry of Tourism issued a request for proposals for consultancies to conduct a review of Swaziland’s gambling laws, though not much has been heard of the process since.Cameroon In 2015, the Senate president presented a draft bill seeking to restructure the gambling sector, with a view to imposing new controls on the industry.This was in response to increased concerns about underage gambling, the industry’s potentially devastating effects on household income, family stability, mental health and loss of revenue by the government.The public hearing included representations from various committees and bodies. However, the process appears to have ground to a halt, with the bill lost in the day-to-day politics. All the while, the vices and illegal activity the government had sought to tackle continue unabated.In the absence of any tangible action, but in furtherance of its mandate, the Ministry of Territory has resorted to a series of consultations with key stakeholders on how to regulate the industry, with a particular focus on an appropriate model of taxation. Casinos and gaming halls are littered all over Cameroon, and the unchecked activities of illegal operators and lack of enforcement present a host of socioeconomic challenges.Although there are no popular local Cameroonian brands, illegal online websites are easily accessible.Sierra Leone In 1969 a lottery bill was passed into law, which saw the Sierra Leone State Lottery Company (SLSL) licensed and empowered to operate all games of chance on behalf of the state.The company has existed since 1969 and originally operated as a monopoly. In 2006 a second lottery operator, Mercury International, was granted a licence by the president at the time, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. This was renewed in 2018 for another three years.The argument in certain quarters is that the president approved the second operator because of SLSL’s failure to deliver on its mandate. Sierra Leone is only just beginning to recover from its years of civil war and is struggling with a weak economy. This has affected internet connectivity, affordability and penetration, which has in turn hampered the growth of online gaming and particularly sports betting which is reliant on good connectivity.Payments have also been a problem. However, as part of its financial inclusion strategy, the central bank has recently licensed the first mobile money operator in the country, which will most likely nudge the growth of the industry along.For now, lottery and pool are the most popular types of gambling and are played predominantly via retail channels. While attempts have been made to also move lottery to mobile platforms, the success – or otherwise – of this initiative remains to be seen.Ghana Until 2006, the principal legislation that governed gambling activity in Ghana was the 1960 Lotteries and Betting Act. This was replaced by the 2006 Gaming Act, which saw the establishment of the Gaming Commission of Ghana (GCG), the body that oversees most of the gambling activity in the country. Lottery, meanwhile, remains under the control of the National Lottery Authority.In Ghana, sports betting is the most popular form of gambling, while the Ghanaian National Lottery contributes valuable funds for good causes in the country through its weekly draws.The land-based casino world is underserved at the moment, with just four mid-sized casino establishments operating in the whole country, two in the capital Accra, and one each in Tema and Kumasi.The GCG issues online gambling licences even though we know that there is no specific remote gaming regulation, and there is currently an embargo on new licences.Early in the year the GCG announced a rebranding as a way of repositioning its role amid efforts to crack down on illegal gambling and tackle issues such as money laundering. However, it has been widely opined in some quarters that the rebranding should have come after reviewing the Gaming Act to give the GCG wider powers for enforcement – especially with respect to remote gaming.The above observations notwithstanding, Ghana is noted for its stable gambling environment – the country has little of the volatility that has hurt the industry in many other African jurisdictions.As far back as four years ago, the GCG toyed with the idea of implementing a central monitoring system and even went as far as inviting bids, but a change of leadership at the organisation may have stalled the process. The CEO has, however, assured stakeholders that the Act will be reviewed comprehensively in future.Mauritius In early 2018, the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Mauritius advertised for consultants to help review its 2007 Gambling Act.From the terms of reference, it was evident that Mauritius was aiming to position itself as the Malta or Alderney of Africa. The strategy isn’t that far- fetched when you consider that its 1.3 million population does not provide enough of a market on which to build a viable industry.The country is seen as a tax haven with over 44 tax treaties signed with other territories. This could make it a no- brainer for global operators looking to leverage the tax advantages to expand into African markets.Though the consultancy contract was awarded on schedule, it somehow got scuttled during its implementation and the law has remained essentially the same since it was passed in 2007, albeit with minor improvements.Yahaya Maikori is the senior partner of Law Allianz, a leading African gaming and entertainment law firm. He also co- founded Global Gaming Group, a business that has advised regulators, companies, and startups across key markets in Africa’s growing gaming industry. Email Address In the second part of his deep dive into key regulatory reforms being made in a number of African jurisdictions, Law Allianz founder Yahaya Maikori examines developments in a number of smaller markets. Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports betting Slots
Topics: Casino & games Finance Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 11th December 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Study: NJ online gambling created 1,851 jobs last year Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter New Jersey’s online gambling industry created 1,851 jobs in the state and brought in $52.3m in taxes in 2018, according to a new report from iDEA Growth, the iDevelopment and Economic Association.Between 2013, when online casino launched in New Jersey, and 2018, the igambling industry brought in $259.3 million in tax and created 6,552 jobs, worth $401.0m in wages, iDEA’s figures suggestThe report also said that regulated online gambling in New Jersey has been a great success for consumer protection by bringing a previously offshore industry onshore from a gray market into a structured environment.“The results of this report demonstrate the economic, regulatory and consumer safeguard wins that mobile gaming and betting offers a state,” Jeff Ifrah, founder of iDEA Growth, said. “80% of sports betting wagers are already placed on mobile devices or online. When bets are done legally and in the proper regulatory framework, everyone wins.Read more on iGB North America. New Jersey’s online gambling industry created 1,851 jobs in the state and brought in $52.3m in taxes in 2018, according to a new report from iDEA Growth, the iDevelopment and Economic Association. Regions: US New Jersey Tags: Online Gambling Email Address
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Kindred hit with SEK100m penalty fee for Swedish bonus violations Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Kindred Group has been warned by the Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) and issued the operator with an SEK100m (£8.4m/€9.2m/$10.1m) penalty fee for offering unauthorised bonuses and lotteries without a licence to players. Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliates “Kindred is of the opinion that the Swedish Gambling Act adopted on 1 January 2019 has been vague in areas related to commercial activities and thereby creating unnecessary ambiguity,” the operator explained. “Kindred welcomes more clarity in these areas and continues to improve its operations to ensure full compliance.”It noted that its consumer protection processes had been audited by igaming testing agency eCogra, with no issues flagged. 18th March 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Legal & compliance Email Address Kindred Group has been warned by the Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) and issued the operator with an SEK100m (£8.4m/€9.2m/$10.1m) penalty fee for offering unauthorised bonuses and lotteries without a licence to players.The regulator explained that checks on the operator’s Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspelare, Bingo and iGame sites revealed a number of unauthorised bonuses.While Swedish regulations state that players can only be offered a bonus upon sign-up, Kindred had offered promotions around customer acquisition, poker, casino tournaments and cash draws, as well as a loyalty programme for online bingo in March 2019.When questioned on this by Spelinspektionen, Kindred said these did not constitute bonuses as they did not contain financial incentives and were instead more of an in-game mechanic.A second round of checks in May and June that year uncovered offers such as free spins, free online bingo games, free bets, and rewards for playing poker. Kindred then removed these offers, and noted that the free spins promotion was out of date, and could not be activated by customers.It then had to answer further questions on the bingo promotions and loyalty programme, submitted by Spelinspektionen in September 2019.Not only did the regulator consider the bonus violations to be serious, but it also noted that the prize draws it offered were not covered by its betting and gaming licences in the country.“However, since [Kindred] has amended its offer, and it is assumed that in future the company will not violate the rules on bonus offers or offering games that are not covered by its licence, Spelinspektionen considers that a warning alongside a penalty fee is a sufficient intervention,” it said.It said the SEK100m penalty had been determined based on regulations stating that the penalty fee should not exceed 10% of a licensee’s turnover. Considering the number of violations, and the fact these relate to both bonuses and unauthorised lotteries, coupled with Kindred’s high turnover, Spelinspektionen said this had resulted in a high penalty fee.Kindred, meanwhile, said it had initially interpreted what constitutes a bonus differently to the regulator, and from spring 2019 had adopted a more restrictive approach to promotions.However, it said it would appeal Spelinspektionen’s decision to obtain judicial guidance on how the legislation should be interpreted. In the meantime, it pledged to continue following strict guidelines based on the regulator’s warnings and penalty fees.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Regions: Oceania Australia Australian lotteries and gaming giant Tabcorp has completed the sale of new shares to institutional investors through which it raised AU$371m, and now aims to raise a further $229m from retail investors.Announced last week, the operator aims to raise $600m in total through the accelerated entitlement offer, with the proceeds to be used to pay down existing debts, with the ultimate goal of reducing its gross debt to EBITDA ratio and improve its credit rating.The first tranche of fundraising saw institutional investors purchase 114m new shares, priced at $3.25 apiece. Approximately 97% of eligible shareholders took up the entitlement opportunity, with the remaining shares sold through a shortfall bookbuild, priced at $3.70 per share.Retail investors will now have the opportunity to subscribe for one new share for every 11 existing ordinary shares in the business, also priced at $3.25 each. This will run from 28 August to 10 September.Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said last week that the business would look to reduce the gross debt to EBITDA ratio from 3.0 to 3.5x, to 2.5 to 3.0x. Its dividend payout ratio will be cut to between 70% and 80% of the operator’s net profit after tax.“This is expected to strengthen Tabcorp’s balance sheet, provide greater financial flexibility in uncertain times, and provide additional credit metric headroom for covenant and rating purposes,” Attenborough said at the time.Tabcorp expects total proceeds from the retail offering to reach $229m. The combined proceeds of the institutional and retail offers would reduce Tabcorp’s debt to EBITDA ratio from 3.8x to 3.2x, and leave the business with $1.50bn in undrawn bank facilities, the operator noted.Last week the business reported a 4.8% year-on-year decline in revenue for its financial year ended 30 June, 2020, after a marginal rise in lottery revenue failed offset declines from its wagering and media, and gaming services divisions. The business swung to a loss for the year following a $1.09bn write-down in the value of these two divisions, resulting in an $870m net loss. Topics: Finance Lottery Sports betting 24th August 2020 | By contenteditor Finance Tabcorp raises $371m from institutional share sale Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops
Regions: US Iowa Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group has announced the launch of its online and mobile sportsbook in Iowa, through its partnership with Boyd Gaming. Sports betting Email Address Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group has announced the launch of its online and mobile sportsbook in Iowa, through its partnership with Boyd Gaming.Customers can register for the online and mobile sportsbook at Boyd’s Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque or Northwood Iowa, though this will only be required until January 1 next year, when Iowa will allow players to register online or in-app.After signing up, users can place wagers across professional football, basketball, baseball, golf, mixed martial arts, soccer and tennis.FanDuel’s online and mobile sportsbooks operate via the PlaySports platform from International Game Technology (IGT).Read the full story on iGB North America. 4th September 2020 | By contenteditor FanDuel launches online sportsbook in Iowa with Boyd Gaming Topics: Sports betting