Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we take a look at third quarter financial performances, a $350m casino debut, GamCare concerns and licence revocation.
Gambling support charity GamCare has found that fewer gamblers are seeking support during lockdown, after releasing a report documenting the performance of its services during periods of heightened restrictions.
The National Gambling Helpline, operated by GamCare and available 24 hours a day over the phone or via one-to-one live chat, showed that despite lockdown exacerbating existing anxieties surrounding finances and isolation amongst gamblers, an ability to seek help was limited amid struggles for privacy.
These concerns also drove an increasing switch to live chat as opposed to phone calls, with this channel offering more discretion if families or housemates are in close proximity.
It was added that many people contacting the Helpline have not yet spoken to their loved ones about what they are going through, and were seeking advice on how to broach the subject.
The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal has rejected SafeEnt’s latest appeal against its licence revocation, upholding the decision by the regulator to withdraw the permit for commercial online gambling and betting.
Global Gaming, of whom SafeEnt is a subsidiary which runs the igaming entity Ninja Casino alongside spellandet.com, will not lodge a further appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court – as is a permitted course of action.
The court judged that the company “has during the current time violated provisions in the Gaming Act on deposit limits for online games, customer contact, bonus offers and measures against money laundering”. Due to this, it says that there is reason for intervention under the Gaming Act.
Overall, the board of Global Gaming commented that it “welcomes the fact that the ruling has now been announced, and a consequence of this is that clear and distinct conditions for Global Gaming’s future operations now also exist”.
On June 17, 2019, the Spelinspektionen revoked the licence of Global Gaming’s SafeEnt subsidiary related to the provision of betting and commercial online gaming in Sweden.
Following the conclusion of several days of discussions between local leaders and the government, Greater Manchester has become the first region to have the highest level of COVID-19 restrictions imposed.
The lockdown measures, which come into force at 00:01am on Friday, will see betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres, and soft play areas close, alongside all pubs and bars unless they are serving substantial meals.
Those concerned must also not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden, or in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public spaces, as well as being urged to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level and staying overnight in other parts of the UK.
As a result it is expected that 400 betting shops and 12 casinos that employ 3,000 people will be forced to close their doors. The Betting and Gaming Council has previously estimated that these businesses contribute £80m per year in tax, while betting shops pay in the region of £12.5m in the form of levy and media rights payments.
Newly rebranded live casino specialists Evolution has praised another strong quarter, as the firm lauds geographical expansion ahead of potential completion of its NetEnt transaction.
The offer, which is contingent on all necessary approvals from relevant authorities, saw its acceptance period extended recently to November 20, 2020, due to an ongoing investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority into whether the proposed acquisition would lessen the competition in the region’s igaming market.
“During the fourth quarter we look forward to closing the deal with NetEnt. We see a fantastic potential in combining the two companies and continuing to deliver the best playing experiences for players across the globe,” noted Martin Carlesund, CEO of Evolution.
The update comes in the firm’s latest financial report, which saw third quarter revenue increase 48 per cent to €140m (2019: €98.7m) as the firm slowly gets back to pre-COVID levels in table numbers. The rise primarily derives from increased commission from existing customers and, to a certain extent, from new customers.
Profit for the quarter came in at €79.38m, representing a 100 per cent increase from €39.77m, as EBITDA also surged 87 per cent from €48.47m to €90.72m.
Las Vegas Sands says that it continues to make progress in recovery efforts across each of its operational markets, as the casino resort developer and operator again voices optimism at the eventual complete recovery of travel and tourism despite a series of Q3 declines.
The firm, which asserts that its greatest priority remains the safety and security of team members and guests and support for local communities in Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas, also reaffirms a strong balance sheet positions it to invest in future growth opportunities.
Making the comments in the company’s latest quarterly financial report, net revenue finished up at $586m, representing an 82 per cent decrease from $3.25bn, as EBITDA swung from $1.28bn to -$203m.
Operating loss for the reporting period to September 30, 2020, stands at $610m, compared to a profit of $899m a year earlier, with net income dropping from $699m to a Q3 loss of $731m.
The Quapaw Nation’s $350m Saracen Casino Resort is hosting its grand opening today (Tuesday 20 October), promising a Native American venue that delivers “first-class amenities and first-class personalised service”.
The grand opening of the Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas, located resort follows last week’s soft launch, which saw state and community leaders granted a sneak peak of the facility.
As reported by local media outlets, and according to Arkansas state law, revenue generated at Saracen Casino Resort will taxed 13 per cent on the first $150m in net gaming revenue and at 20 per cent when exceeding that figure.
In terms of allocation, 55 per cent will go to the state and the Arkansas Racing Commission, with the city of Pine Bluff and Jefferson Country gaining 19.5 per cent and eight per cent respectively.