Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we feature a SEK 100m Swedish penalty, an igaming scam in Australia and Pennsylvania increases ahead of distinct uncertainty.
Dutch Gaming Authority Kansspelautoriteit has followed a warning announcement earlier in the week by cautioning that advertising by operators, such as those labelled ‘corona-free gambling,’ will be regarded as a penalty enhancing circumstance.
The Ksa asserts that the extra alert to those who it states “are trying to take advantage of the current situation,” is a necessary step as it sees that illegal providers, both online and physical, are attempting to “entice consumers with terms such as ‘corona-free gambling’ and variants”.
Reiterating that offering the possibility of gambling via the internet is prohibited in the Netherlands, increases in fines from the usual starting amount of €200,000 will amount to a minimum or €50,000 for the aforementioned adverts, however this could rise further.
The potential to impose a heightened fine will depend on the nature and amount of the recommendations, with illegal providers of physical games of chance also penalised more heavily if they promote their offer with references to the current situation. The same goes for advertisers, such as affiliate and review websites.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a scam alert warning individuals to be wary of suspicious emails or SMS messages claiming to be from online gambling websites offering credit or in-game bonuses.
The independent Commonwealth statutory authority believes the scam is widely circulating after an investigation identified in excess of 6,000 email and SMS reports since the start of this year.
Commenting on a “particularly nasty and widespread scam which attempts to prey on people with gambling problems,” the ACMA shares that the most common sites these messages claim to come from are offshore gambling sites Roo Casino, Pokie Spins, Bonza Spins and Syndicate Casino.
Fiona Cameron, an ACMA authority member, says that the group has identified a significant spike in reports about the emails and SMS scams, which attempt to lure people into clicking on links by promising offers of free upfront credit or free spins.
Pennsylvania sports wagering has reported a series of records during February, but uncertainty lies ahead with every major US sport suspended indefinitely and gaming operations on pause with land-based casinos being ordered to hit pause.
Total revenue across the state surged 13.7 per cent year-on-year to $304.3m (2018: $267.5m), it follows the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board ordering the immediate closure establishments that remained open amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Keystone State’s online casino and poker rooms jumped 39.6 per cent month-on-month from January’s $13.9m to a record $19.4m, generating $672,097 per day throughout the period and yielding $4.7m in tax.
Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino Resort finished top of the total tally with revenue of $6m, as well as leading the igaming table games charts with $4.8m. Rivers Casino Philadelphia was below with $4.7m, as well as leading the slots revenue chart with $3.1m.
The Swedish Gambling Authority has issued a SEK 100m (£8.3m) to the Kindred Group after its Spooniker subsidiary was found to be non-compliant with the country’s new Gambling Act.
Regulator Spelinspektionen asserts that following a review in March 2019, Spooniker’s websites were found to offer “several different unauthorised bonuses” as well as offering games, namely lotteries, that are not covered by the company’s licence.
Issuing the penalty fee, it was commented that the size “shall not exceed ten percent of the license holder’s turnover,” however, a higher sum was deemed necessary due to the nature of the violation and number of infringements.
Detailing the infractions, the Spelinspektionen commented that it “considers that the violations committed by Spooniker Ltd are serious. However, since Spooniker Ltd has made a correction and it is assumed that in future the company will not violate the rules on bonus offers or offer games that are not covered by the license, the Spelinspektionen considers, however, that a warning together with a penalty fee is a sufficient intervention.”