Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today we focus upon charity initiatives, live casino growth and a self-exclusion violations.
Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has taken further action for violations of self-exclusion rules, with AG Communications the latest to fall foul within the Scandinavian nation.
Implementing its national register, titled Spelpaus.se, when the new gaming act came into force on the first day of 2019, it became mandatory that all gaming companies with a Swedish license join the national self-shutdown scheme.
Placing strong consumer protection as an integral part of the new regulation, individuals who join Spelpaus turn off from all licensed games in the country that require registration, with organisations also unable to send direct mail to those who have turned off.
The Spelinspektionen details that it was contacted by individuals who had been able to play on AG Communications brands, despite having registered for self-exclusion, which 30,000 chose to do during the period to April 1.
Initiating an investigation, it was found that AG Communications, which provides games via its flagship Karamba casino as well as 12 other brands, was guilty of not having a functioning connection with Spelpaus, and received a penalty fee of SEK 3m (£247,000) as well as a warning into future conduct.
Striving to debut further initiatives as it tackles “the issues of gambling related harm head-on,” the group has outlined a four point plan to drive efforts further still.
Firstly a commitment to invest one per cent of gross revenue to research, education and treatment by 2022 is detailed, with GVC to also establish a new independent trust, with the aim of making charitable contributions to fund treatment of problem gambling.
Stating that Manchester’s Leon House has been targeted as the first preferred recipient, the group has also vowed to help customers struggling with gambling, by introducing GamBan software free to any individual showing signs of problematic play.
Furthermore, GVC has also committed to unilaterally ending all football shirt sponsorship deals with UK teams and banning perimeter board advertising at football grounds, “to allow sporting fans to watch their favourite teams without seeing any incentives to bet”.
Evolution Gaming is aiming to leverage 2018 investments to help drive a year of significant growth, as the company sticks to a previously announced target of expanding at a faster rate than the total European live casino market.
Stressing that “live casino has grown strongly in recent years and is expected to continue to be among the fastest-growing gaming segments in the coming years,” the company has seen revenue for this year’s first quarter climb to €79.3m, a 54 per cent increase from €51.6m.
Seeing EBITDA rise to a 64 per cent increase to €35.9m (€22m), Evolution has also praised a roll-out of a record number of titles, particularly Monopoly live which has “been off to a historically strong start both in terms of player counts and gaming revenues,” and is quickly becoming one of its main attractions.
Furthermore, amongst the significant events of the quarter, Evolution has seen several customers go live during the quarter, namely DraftKings in the USA, Canada’s Lotoquebec and the Swedish duo of, Svenska Spel and ATG, as profit for the period soared 73 per cent to €28.6m (€16.5m).
Isle of Man-based casino software developer Microgaming is celebrating a year since its PlayItForward initiative launched a dedicated space for employees to nominate and vote for worthy causes.
Resulting in excess of £50,000 being raised in charitable donations, the organisations corporate social responsibility programme, which is in its fifth year, continues to support communities in areas such as health, charity, education and sport.
In April last year the firm unveiled its employee-driven charitable voting scheme, aimed at driving engagement with the programme, which has attracted over 4,000 votes to date.