Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we look back upon an impending Las Vegas debut, a pair of Swedish updates, increased financial expectations in New Zealand, and Genting Singapore reaffirming its Japanese aspirations.
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling rejected a proposal from Sweden’s ministry of finance which aims to introduce a requirement for special moderation in the marketing of games.
In the memorandum, it is suggested that the requirement for moderation in the marketing of games to consumers in the Gaming Act be changed to a requirement for special moderation.
The ministry of finance says that the proposal has been tabled with a view to strengthening consumer protection, and would enter force on July 1, 2022.
Responding to the proposal, Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS, said that advertising from licensed incumbents forms “an important function” for a safe and secure ecosystem, with black markets warning once again issued.
The European Gaming and Betting Association voiced concerns at Italy’s proposed online gambling licensing regime, as well as asking authorities to notify the European Commission of its new draft law.
This comes as work continues on a new tender for online gambling concessions, which would limit the number of licensees in the country to 40 and increase fees to at least €2.5m from 2023
Furthermore, licensing fees would also be determined through an auction process rather than through a fixed licensing fee like in other European countries. The proposal would take effect from 1 January 2023, at the end of the current licensing term, and apply for nine years.
In addition to reminding the Italian authorities of its duty to notify its proposal to the European Commission, the EGBA also stated that the propositions would be “a major barrier to a well-functioning market”.
As of October 1, all business verticals within the UK gambling sector will experience an increase in licence fee costs.
Confirmed by the UK government, the DCMS published its response to a consultation launched on January 29, examining the funding structures of the UK Gambling Commission. The consultation has proposed that DCMS increase licensing fees across the board, in order for the UKGC ‘to cover its costs and address its regulatory challenges.’
In its analysis of the UKGC, DCMS pinpointed an increased investment needed to improve the Commission’s staff training and overall expertise as a regulatory agency governing a high-risk sector.
Within its response, from October 1, 2021, the DCMS outlined an increase in annual fees for remote operating licences by 55 per cent, a rise in all UKGC licence application fees by 60 per cent and changes to simplify the fees system, including removing annual fee discounts for combined and multiple licences.
Additionally, it is also set to increase annual fees for non-remote operating licences by 15 per cent, with the implementation being delayed until April 1, 2022.
Genting Singapore confirmed its five consortium partners, as the group aims to secure approval to gain one of three integrated resort licenses up for grabs in Japan.
Competing alongside Melco Resorts and Entertainment in Yokohama, the company has named the Japanese firm’s of Sega Sammy Holdings, Sohgo Security Services, Kajima Corporation, Takenaka Corporation and Obayashi Corporation, as partners on the potential project.
Genting updated that its Yokohama IR bid submission has been “carefully considered” and approved by its board of directors after reviewing the investment proposal put forth by management.
Based on the group’s proportionate shareholding interest in the IR project, the company’s investment amount will be less than 100 per cent of its market cap.
The Administrative Court in Linköping overturned a Spelinspektionen judgement issued to Betsson Group in June 2020, after finding that the regulator had “no basis” for handing out a warning and a penalty fee.
The Swedish Gaming Authority issued a warning and penalty fee of SEK 20m (£1.69m) to Betsson Nordic for the sale of games through an unregistered agent and an unauthorised bonus offer, with the online gambling group immediately signalling an intention to appeal.
For a period, vouchers from Betsson could be purchased at Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven, with the Spelinspektionen believing that these therefore acted as gaming agents without being registered, which is contrary to a provision in the Gaming Act.
However, the Administrative Court found that the situation is not covered by the Act’s provisions on gambling agents, saying that “the sale of the vouchers does not constitute the sale of gambling, the receipt of bets or the mediation of winnings”.
Resorts World Las Vegas documented its vision of redefining the traditional gaming experience, and introducing the “most technologically advanced casino and gaming operations” when its doors swing open on June 24.
The venue will be driven by mobile technology and cashless wagering, in a move which has been praised as a “tremendous opportunity” to further the digital transformation of the consumer experience in gaming.
Partnerships have been secured alongside the likes of Konami Gaming, Sightline, NRT Technology, Genesis Gaming and IGT, with the property to offer 117,000 square feet of gaming space featuring over 1,400 slot machines, 117 table games, a dedicated poker room and 30 poker tables, plus high-limit areas and a sportsbook.
Casinos across New York were permitted to return to 100 per cent capacity, after Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted with immediate effect.
This comes as 70 per cent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series, which the state says has seen the rate of cases plummet.
The state’s health guidance and New York Forward industry specific guidelines, including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing, are now optional among commercial settings.
SkyCity Entertainment Group updated its financial guidance for the year, following what the group calls “stronger than expected recent trading”.
Subject to no property closures being imposed prior to 30 June 2021, SkyCity expects FY21 group normalised EBITDA of between $247m-253m, and FY21 group normalised net profit after tax of between $84m-88m.
The company updated that it has “continued to see strong performance from its local gaming businesses in New Zealand, particularly from electronic gaming machines, and consistent performances from both SkyCity Adelaide post opening of the expansion from December 2020 and the offshore online casino (SkyCity Malta)”.
However, its tourism-related businesses in New Zealand and South Australia continue to be impacted by ongoing international border closures, excluding the Trans-Tasman border which re-opened on 19 April 2021, but are benefitting from positive domestic tourism, particularly on weekend and holiday peaks.