Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. This week’s edition looks at tax changes to the UK betting market, as well as a significant anniversary for GamCare.
After a successful Responsible Gambling Week, GamCare emphasised to CasinoBeats that “there has certainly been a change in the landscape of the gambling industry since” its formation.
The industry charity was speaking on the eve of its its 21st anniversary next month, outlining how its adjusted to the industry’s evolution the group’s CEO Anna Hemmings detailed: “In the last 10 years alone, we have supported well over a quarter of a million people affected by problem gambling, via the National Gambling HelpLine and a variety of treatment interventions across our network.
“We’ve also trained thousands of people to better identify the signs that someone is experiencing gambling-related harms, and signpost them to the support they need, and our Youth Outreach Programme has already reached more than 4,600 young people and 1,100 professionals supporting them. We’re now expanding this to cover more areas of Great Britain.”
European online bookmaker bet365 has forged its first US-centric sports betting expansion, forming a partnership with Empire Resorts Inc.
The operator has entered a 20-year agreement with Empire, which will see the online betting group become lead digital and land-based sports betting services provider for the ‘Resorts World Catskills’ casino in upstate New York.
At present, Resorts World Catskills is one of only four commercial casinos properties operating within New York State, with the premises holding the closest proximity to Manhattan.
The Empire alliance sees bet365 gain a significant strategic foothold within New York, a jurisdiction predicted to become one of the state’s largest betting markets (dependent on pending regulation).
Manny Pearlman commented on the growth: “Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market,” said Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts, Inc.
“bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York. This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”
Former Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher and three-time UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year Peter Schmeichel have been confirmed as hosts for this year’s SBC Awards, held on Tuesday 4 December at the stunning HAC Artillery Garden.
The ‘Great Dane’ lifted the Premier League in five of his eight seasons with Manchester United, as well as three FA Cup’s and a League Cup, before captaining the side to Champions League glory as the final part of the club’s infamous 1999 treble winning season.
Schmeichel will be available for meet and greets throughout the evening, while there will be a Q&A on stage before the start of the awards, in which Gallacher will be asking the questions for Schmeichel to answer about his career.
Schmeichel commented: “It is a pleasure to be associated with the SBC Awards, an increasingly important indicator of the highest performing companies in sports betting – a sector that continues to play a significant role in the world of sports, and particularly football.”
Last week, much disruption and opposition from leading Tory MPs led to the government announcing it will bring forward the date of the maximum stake of FOBTs being cut, now set for April, 2019.
As it looks to fill the inevitable economic void left by FOBTs, the government has also announced it will bring forward the rise in remote gaming duty tax to April. Online casino tax is set to increase from 15 per cent to 21 per cent.
In order to give the industry a period to transition and minimise it from potential job losses, the reduction had originally been scheduled for October, 2019, however culture secretary, Jeremy Wright confirmed the anticipated U-turn with a written statement.
“The government has been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern, but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition.
“Parliament has, however, been clear that they want this change to be made sooner. The government has listened and will now implement the reduction in April 2019.”