AGA slams federal sports betting proposals

first_img20th December 2018 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The American Gaming Association (AGA) has issued a stinging rebuke to Senators Chuck Schumer and Orrin Hatch after the pair launched a bipartisan effort to push through federal regulation for sports betting.Late Wednesday (December 19) the Senators introduced the The Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018, which would require states to submit their planned sports betting regulations to the Department of Justice for approval.States would only be able to have their legislation approved for three-year periods, after which they would have to submit a renewal application.“This bill is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem, representing an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry, which is currently one of the most strictly regulated in the country,” AGA senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane said.Slane said that around 4,000 public servants were already working in the field of gaming regulation, including sports betting. She noted that more than $500m had been invested in ensuring the integrity of commercial casino operations, with a further $822m spent on tribal gaming regulation in 2015 alone.“These state and tribal regulators have decades of experience effectively overseeing gaming operations within their jurisdictions.”She added that other areas addressed in the Senators’ bill, including the mandatory use of official league data and the establishment of a National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse, should be decided through negotiations between private businesses and cooperation between jurisdictions.“In the mere six months since the US Supreme Court paved the way for legal, regulated sports betting, significant developments on both of these fronts have already occurred without any federal involvement,” she explained.However Slane did concede that efforts should be taken to tackle the illegal sports betting market in the US. This, she pointed out, would pose the biggest hindrance the the success of the legal market.Consumer rights advocacy body Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE) echoed the AGA in its dismissal of the need for federal oversight.“Like the Music Man showing up in River City, the US Senate is now striking up the band to commandeer the post-PASPA landscape on sports gaming, dictating terms from Washington that should be left to the individual states to determine,” CASE vice president Gerard Scimeca said.“The legislation proposed today by Senators Hatch and Schumer is more Washington overkill and entirely unnecessary,” he explained. “By preemptively forcing heavy-handed rules onto the gaming industry before the market is given a chance to take shape, this hasty piece of legislation risks stifling the tremendous opportunity for economic growth, job creation, and additional tax revenue that sports betting can provide to the states.“It further eliminates consumers from the equation, forbidding them from having the choice to determine the licensing and regulating standards that work best within their state borders.”He urged Congress to hold off on imposing “short-sighted and impulsive legislation” before the sports betting market had time to develop.However the proposed legislation did attract support from some quarters, namely the professional sports leagues. While so-called integrity fees have been excised from the proposals, all licensed operators would be required to use official league data until December 2024.“The Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act reaffirms the long-standing commitment of Congress to protecting the integrity of American athletics,” National Football League executive vice president Jocelyn Moore said. “We appreciate the bipartisan leadership demonstrated by Senators Hatch and Schumer in bringing forth this commonsense legislation, and we urge its swift enactment.”The US Tennis Association, meanwhile, cited its experience of sports betting in other markets in claiming that the bill’s approach of formalising cooperation and regulation across the country would help uphold sporting integrity.The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) hailed the tenet of the bill that reallocates $5m from the existing sports wagering excise tax (on 0.25% of total handle) to be used to prevent and treat gambling addiction. This, it noted, would mark the first time federal funding had been granted to the treatment of problem gambling.“NCPG believes these measures are a great first step to addressing problem gambling across the country,” the Council’s executive director Keith Whyte said. “These essential programs will improve public health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of gambling addiction.” Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Tribal gaming AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter AGA slams federal sports betting proposals Casino & games Industry body dimisses bill to impose federal regulations on sports betting as “a solution in search of a problem” Email Addresslast_img read more

EGBA calls for Portuguese igaming tax rethink

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Finance Legal & compliance Sports betting Slots The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called on the Portuguese authorities to review the country’s online gaming tax rate following reports that as many of 75% of players gambled via unlicensed sites in 2018. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 10th April 2019 | By contenteditor Regions: Europe Western Europe Portugal Email Address Casino & games The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called on the Portuguese authorities to review the country’s online gaming tax rate following reports that as many of 75% of players gambled via unlicensed sites in 2018.The claim that three-quarters of players are flocking to illegal sites comes from a survey conducted by Lisbon’s Universidade Nova and business intelligence specialist Qdata, which notes that this represents a 10% year-on-year increase on 2017.The growth in illegal gambling came despite the country’s gambling regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) ordering 338 unlicensed sites to withdraw from the market in 2018, with criminal proceedings launched against 13 operators.The EGBA blamed the growth of the illegal market on the country’s high igaming tax rates, which see operators face a 15% turnover tax on revenue up to €5m, then a further 15% our revenue above €5m for gaming and bingo. Sports betting operators, meanwhile, pay an 8% turnover tax on revenue up to €30m, then 8% on revenue over €30m.A plan to shift to a flat tax of 25% of turnover was proposed for the country’s 2019 budget, only to be removed in October 2018.“[The] current Portuguese tax regime for online gambling is discriminatory because it applies a more favourable tax for some operators, whilst others have to pay a much higher tax based on a broader tax base,” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer explained.He said that while there were few restrictions in terms of product or the number of licences available, applying for a Portuguese licence was much less attractive for igaming operators due to the tax rate.Haijer noted that only one EGBA member held a licence in the country, and while others were interested in entering the market, they would be more likely to apply if the tax regime was amended. Currently just 10 operators have secured licences in the market.“If the tax rules do not change then Portuguese consumers will continue to find more competitive gambling products with websites that are not regulated and licensed in Portugal and do not pay tax in Portugal and might expose Portuguese players to inadequate consumer protection safeguards,” he said.As a result the EBGA is calling for a shift to a flat, revenue-based tax model, which would bring Portugal in line with the majority of other European jurisdictions.“This would encourage more companies to get a licence for the Portuguese market and increase the share of existing Portuguese players who are playing within the regulated online gambling environment in Portugal,” Haijer said.In 2018 Portugal’s igaming market saw revenue grow 24% year-on-year to €152.1m (£131.2m/$171.4m), with €78.9m coming from sports betting and €73.3m from casino and bingo. iGamingBusiness.com’s Portugal e-zine from October 2018 offers a more in-depth analysis of the current state of the market. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines EGBA calls for Portuguese igaming tax rethinklast_img read more

Interwetten scores new partnership with VfL Wolfsburg

first_img Online gambling operator Interwetten has agreed a new commercial partnership with German Bundesliga football club VfL Wolfsburg.Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that the agreement will come into effect from the start of the 2019-20 season, with Interwetten to serve as the team’s official sports betting partner.The operator will benefit from branding placement on pitchside LED advertising boards and various other surfaces inside the team’s Volkswagen Arena home stadium.In addition, Interwetten will gain access to a range of hospitality benefits and facilities at Wolfsburg home matches.“Sport is an essential driving force for us and one that we support through a variety of sponsorship deals,” Interwetten board spokesperson Dominik Beier said. “In VfL Wolfsburg we have managed to find a very interesting partner.“What brings VfL Wolfsburg and Interwetten together is the desire to work in an innovative way, develop new products and constantly move forward.”VfL Wolfsburg managing director Michael Meeske added: “We are delighted to have acquired an international partner of real note in the German-speaking sports betting market in the form of Interwetten, whose offer really sets the standard in the sector.”Image: Ungry Young Man Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 6th August 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Online Gambling Marketing & affiliates AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Online gambling operator Interwetten has agreed a new commercial partnership with German Bundesliga football club VfL Wolfsburg. Interwetten will serve as the team’s official sports betting partner. Interwetten scores new partnership with VfL Wolfsburg Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Germany Email Address Topics: Marketing & affiliates Sports bettinglast_img read more

Building on a platform partnership

first_img Building on a platform partnership Tech & innovation AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Establishing a brand in a new market without prior experience is always a challenge, but through collaboration with existing companies, products and services can be more effectively delivered.This was the experience of Darko Gacov, founding partner at Singular Group, when Singular developed its early product offerings with Adjarabet.The relationship between the two companies preceded the eventual partnership by some time. Prior to his time at Singular, Gacov explains, he was the chief of operations at Adjarabet.At the time Gacov moved to Georgia, Adjarabet was an established retail brand, a slot club, and the owner had the idea of starting an online business – a project which Gacov led.“It became a really successful company in a short time. There was a monopoly in Georgia at the time with the whole market share. Three months after Adjarabet entered the market, we secured 51% of the market share.” Developing an online offeringEven though the growth was impressive, Gacov said Adjarabet faced certain technological challenges: “We had a genius team and fantastic marketing, but the technology was blended in such a way that there was no flexibility.”Knowing that they needed to find a way to alleviate the weight on the operational engineering team, as well as empower the creativity of the marketing department to get ahead in the market, Gacov began exploring the options in platform provision.“This is how I was introduced to the founders of Singular, who at the time were doing core and mobile banking solutions as well as social media games. Slowly over time, I saw that they had a great understanding of technology and delivery, so we discussed three projects for Adjarabet and they over-delivered on already short deadlines.“The products were complex, too – one was a fantasy football, a poker dice game and backgammon. In three months, they delivered the solutions and they were operational.”At this point, Gacov began working closely with the team at Singular, with the goal of eliminating legacy technology and embracing newer, flexible and hands-on operationally solutions.He continues: “From scratch, we made a 360 degrees gaming solution, starting with the player account management platform, then the sportsbook and poker, covering the retail segment. It was a whole igaming ecosystem.”In 2012, Singular asked Gacov to become a partner, after the owner of Adjarabet gave Gacov his blessing to enter the role. Up until 2015, Gacov covered both positions at Adjarabet and Singular, before leaving the former to pursue his career at Singular full time. Symbiotic growthToday, Singular provides a comprehensive gaming platform, sportsbook and live casino with an immersive playing mode. Singular has a strong partnership with more than 50 suppliers, providing integrations of 7000+ games into the platform.Gacov says: “Singular’s differentiating factor is the flexible and scalable solutions customised to the specific needs of each operator. There is no one size fits all.The individual approach creates a personalised experience and generates added value for each operator.”Gacov says that while both companies had their own goals throughout the growth, it was a symbiotic partnership that allowed them to take what they needed while supporting development.“Both sides were aware of the possibilities when it came to challenges of growing together as well as the huge benefits.”Starting with the challenges, Gacov says: “Even though most operators share or at least have a vast intersection of how they do business, every operator will have their own way. Either because of who is heading departments, or company culture, or even as a result of the regulators in certain jurisdictions.”“If we focussed solely on Adjarabet, we may have built on limitations that aren’t applicable to other operators. We were aware of this from the get-go, and that’s why we did a lot of research analysis and a lot of consulting work from people who had worked with different operators and B2B providers.”The advantages, on the other hand, lay in Adjarabet’s rapid growth and ability to constantly feedback to Singular’s developments: “We were doing a lot of advanced things prior to the rest of the industry from marketing and promotionperspectives, and all of this testing gave us a lot of validation into which ways we should go forward, and we had really agile release cycles.”Adjarabet’s CEO, Archil Kakhidze echoed this: “I think the main reason of the fantastic growth of Adjarabet with Singular in CIS region is due to the flexibility and speed of delivery.“IPO companies are much less likely to grow in the developing regions because of bureaucracy processes and inability to fast scaling, and that is the niche where Singular can and should win.”Touching on Paddy Power Betfair’s recent acquisition of Adjarabet, Gacov says: “Currently we have not been impacted by this acquisition – the team at Paddy Power Betfair are incredibly knowledgable and established, and we’ve naturally discussed the due diligence of the solution.“The conclusion of this was Paddy Power deciding to continue using Singular’s products, and I believe there is a great result from this for us, which was positive feedback from Paddy Power.” iGaming Business speaks to one of Singular’s founding partner to learn more about the company’s journey in igaming Email Address Topics: Tech & innovation Platform Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 28th October 2019 | By Josephine Watsonlast_img read more

Webis slips to full year loss as customer spending drops

first_img Tags: Race Track and Racino Webis Holdings, the parent company of WatchandWager, has announced a loss of $930,000 (£718,820/€844,335) for the 12 months to 31 May 2019, after the loss of a large wagering syndicate led to a significant year-on-year decline in customer spending.Turnover for the full year amounted to $47.3m, down by 13.2% from $54.5m in the previous year, while the total amount wagered by customers fell by 70.4% to $136.4m.Webis put the sharp drop in bets primarily down to the loss of a large wagering syndicate, as previously reported in October of last year. Webis said that this had a particular impact on business-to-business turnover from the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the French PMU.However, Webis noted that the loss of the syndicate now means it no longer has the risk factor of a reliance on one particular group or agent. In addition, the reduction in business had no impacted on its worldwide licences and content.In terms of business-to-consumer, Webis said it adjusted its strategy whereby it has a lower marketing spend, as well as some reductions in data feeds and other products. Webis said despite less marketing, player numbers during the period were up by 16%, while costs fell.Webis also noted its presence in the US, saying that it holds an array of licences to take bets in various states. The company said its US growth and expansion is “critical” to its future performance.This was helped by its operations at the Cal Expo racetrack in California, which ran 47 race meets between November 2018 and May 2019. Webis, which renewed its licence at the track in August, noted that there were no equine fatalities relating to racing activities incurred during the meetingsLooking at geographical performance, North America racetrack operations were the main source of income, with turnover standing at $44.8m, down 10.8% on last year.Advance deposit wagering performed best in the US, turning over $1.5m for the year – a year-on-year increase of 16.5% – while UK operations turnover stood at $692,000 and Asia Pacific $273,000.In terms of spending, operating costs were down 5.1% year-on-year to $5.3m as Webis felt the benefit of cutting back on marketing in its B2C segment. Webis said it expects costs to reduce again in the current financial year as it continues to manage costs across its operations.However, such was the impact of the syndicate loss – with Webis saying this had a negative impact of $800,000 on gross margin for the period – that it slipped to a loss of $930,000, compared to a profit of $103,000 in the previous year.Gross profit was down 19.2% from $5.6m to $4.5m, while operating loss totalled $889,000, down from a profit of $143,000 last year.“It has been a mixed year for our core US-based business, WatchandWager.com, over the financial year reported, with a reduction in amounts wagered, and an overall loss returned, but against that a significant strengthening of our licensed USA position in the increasingly expanded world of USA regulated gaming,” Webis non-executive chairman Denham Eke said.“Despite the loss reported, the board is overall satisfied with the performance over the year reported for our three core business units.“Equally importantly, and as shareholders are aware, the company, as an Isle of Man owned operation, still occupies a unique advantage in the US, with our array of US licences, banking, settlement and general business operational skills.” Webis slips to full year loss as customer spending drops Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Financecenter_img Topics: Finance Sports betting Horse racing Webis Holdings, the parent company of WatchandWager, has announced a loss of $930,000 (£718,820/€844,335) for the 12 months to 31 May 2019, after the loss of a large wagering syndicate led to a significant year-on-year decline in customer spending. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 28th November 2019 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

Right to the Source: Episode 2

first_imgRegulation Regions: US Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 10th June 2020 | By Aaron Noy Topics: Legal & compliance Licensing Regulation Join us this week as we hear from data guru, Josh Hodgson, at H2, who will be talking us through this week’s covid tracker, while Ed catches up with preeminent lobbyist and industry commentator in the US gambling space, Bill Pascrell III, from the Princeton Public Affairs Group.center_img Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Podcast: Play in new window | Download Right to the Source: Episode 2last_img read more

Golden Nugget seals Michigan access with Ojibwa Casino

first_img Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: US Michigan Casino & games Golden Nugget Online Gaming, the online subsidiary of the Golden Nugget chain of casinos owned and operated by Landry’s Incorporated, has sealed a market access deal in Michigan. Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Tribal gaming Golden Nugget seals Michigan access with Ojibwa Casino 16th July 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address Golden Nugget Online Gaming, the online subsidiary of the Golden Nugget chain of casinos owned and operated by Landry’s Incorporated, has sealed a market access deal in Michigan.The operator, which is in the process of spinning off from Landry’s and listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange, has partnered the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, operator of Ojibwa Casino.This facilitates the launch of the operator’s online casino and sportsbook in Michigan. The operator is in the process of expanding beyond its core market of New Jersey, where it has carved out a market-leading position in online casino.The business is also eyeing a move into Pennsylvania’s igaming market early in 2021.“Golden Nugget Online Gaming is thrilled to partner with the Ojibwa Casino to provide casino players in Michigan with a premium online casino and sportsbook experience,” Golden Nugget Online Gaming president Thomas Winter said.“Players in Michigan will be able to appreciate our award winning product offering and exceptional customer service from a nationally recognised and trusted brand.”Read the full story on iGB North America.last_img read more

EC to probe Ladbrokes’ Belgian virtual sports rights

first_img EC to probe Ladbrokes’ Belgian virtual sports rights Email Address The European Commission (EC) has launched an investigation into the Belgian Gaming Commission’s decision to allow GVC Holdings’ Ladbrokes brand to offer virtual sports in the country, while refusing similar requests from other licensees.The probe has begun following complaints from two gaming operators, lodged in March 2019, that claimed the exclusivity granted to the brand amounted to illegal state aid.Ladbrokes, which operates 300 betting shops throughout Belgium via the GVC subsidiary Darby, has offered virtual sports in its retail estate since February 2014, and online since March 2015.However, at this time there was no defined regulatory framework for virtuals, and this was used to justify rejecting requests from rival operators to add the games to their portfolios between 2015 and 2016.Despite saying to these businesses that they could not offer virtuals until specific regulations were developed, the Belgian Gaming Commission allowed Ladbrokes to continue offering the games. It was not until 2017 that a more concrete plan was put in place to regulate virtuals, treating them as a form of slot game in retail outlets, and limiting losses to €12.50 per hour.This, the complainants allege, amounted to an exclusive right to the vertical, without any financial returns to the Belgian state.“The measure may have distorted competition and the Commission has doubts that it complies with EU State aid rules,” the EC said. “The Commission will now investigate further to determine whether its initial concerns are confirmed.”The Belgian state, the complainants and other interested parties will now be invited to submit comments on the case to support the inquiry. Casino & games The European Commission has launched an investigation into the Belgian Gaming Commission’s decision to allow GVC Holdings’ Ladbrokes brand to offer virtual sports in the country, while refusing similar requests from other licensees. 3rd September 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Slots Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Slot Machines Regions: Europe Western Europe Belgium Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

Buzz Bingo hands new senior roles to Mansour and Shaves

first_imgMansour will join Buzz later this month having previously served as chief executive of Bragg Gaming, where he had been serving as chief executive before leaving the business last year. “Stevie has done an incredible job taking Buzzbingo.com from an idea to one of the UK’s leading online brands in just over two years,” Matthews said. “I am excited about what Stevie can deliver for us in his new commercial group role. Meanwhile, Buzz Bingo has also appointed Shaves, currently its chief digital officer, as its new chief commercial officer. Topics: Bingo Management British bingo operator Buzz Bingo has appointed Dominic Mansour as the new chief operating officer of its digital business, with current digital chief Stevie Shaves shifting into the chief commercial officer role. “We operate in a highly competitive, fast-moving sector but one in which Buzz’s omni-channel opportunity gives something unique,” Mansour said. Prior to this, Mansour had a spell as senior vice president for South Europe at PokerStars and also as managing director at Full Tilt. Buzz Bingo hands new senior roles to Mansour and Shaves Bingo Email Address Buzz Bingo chief executive Chris Matthews added: “Dominic coming on board with his exceptional sector and leadership experience will be crucial in driving the next phase of digital growth for Buzz.”center_img Replacing Jamie Queen, who is set to leave Buzz at the end of January, Shaves will head up bingo, slots and food and beverage product development, as well as partnerships, procurement and driving Buzz’s omni-channel strategy. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter “I’d also like to thank Jamie for his hard work and considerable achievements and wish him luck in his new ventures.” The double appointment comes after Buzz Bingo in October last year also named Harry Lang, the founder of marketing consultancy Brand Architects, as its new marketing director. 6th January 2021 | By Robert Fletcher AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland “I know after more than 20 years in this industry, all over the world, we have the ingredients to really succeed and grow. I’m really looking forward to bringing my experience to Buzz and to work together to drive the business onto the next stage.” Tags: Buzz Bingolast_img read more

Macau GGR up 58% in March to MOP8.31bn

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Figures released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau of Macau show that gross gaming revenue (GGR) from March in the jurisdiction was MOP8.31bn (£750.5m/€882.1m/$1.04bn), up 58.0% from March 2019. Macau GGR up 58% in March to MOP8.31bn Finance Major operators in the region saw revenues plummet last year, with Sands China revealing a $1.52bn (£1.1bn/€1.29bn) loss for the year after its revenue dropped by 80.8%. Cumulatively, that gives the special administrative region a GGR of MOP23.64bn since the beginning of 2021, which still leaves the year down 22.4% on the MOP30.49bn brought in by the end of March 2020. The majority of the revenue generated between January and March 2020, MOP22.12bn, was made in January, prior to the closures of gaming venues from February as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which saw Macau’s gaming industry hit a standstill for the majority of the year. Email Address Melco Resorts and Entertainment, meanwhile, made a $1.26bn loss as its full year revenue was reduced by 69.9%.center_img Regions: Macau Tags: Macau Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The figure also gives March the highest revenue figure in 2021 so far, up 13.6% on the MOP7.31bn generated in February, and 3.5% higher than the MOP8.02bn recorded for January. GGR for the region declined by 79.3% in 2020, amounting to MOP60.44bn compared to MOP292.46bn in 2019. Topics: Finance Land-based casino 1st April 2021 | By Conor Mulheirlast_img read more