Month: August 2021

GC imposes £1.8m fine on Park Lane Club operator

first_img Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter GC imposes £1.8m fine on Park Lane Club operator The Gambling Commission has hit Silverbond Enterprises, which owns London-based private members’ club and casino The Park Lane Club, with a £1.8m fine for failings in its social responsibilty and anti-money laundering processes.Silverbond’s troubles with the Commission date back to 2016, when the regulator initiated a review of Silverbond’s licence, which resulted in the imposition of additional licence conditions to address money laundering failures.Following the review, the Commission conducted further inspections in 2018, in which it was discovered that many of Park Lane Casino’s top 250 customers did not receive enhanced due diligence checks.According to the Commission, Silverbond’s internal compliance team had correctly identified advanced due diligence checks were needed, but casino staff allowed the players to continue to play. It was also found that Silverbond did not provide details of how money laundering checks were to be carried out, and that the company had failed to retain accurate records of activities from the Money Laundering Reporting Officer.In total, 491 customers activated financial triggers requiring enhanced due diligence to be completed, yet for 61 of these customers, these checks were not completed.Further failures were noted in customer interaction. The Commission uncovered cases including a customer displaying violent behaviour – including threatening staff – a customer asking for his winnings to be transferred to his personal bank account to prevent him playing further and a customer asking to increase the maximum amount that could be deposited by cheque.The regulator noted that there was “insufficient recorded detail or rationale of whether the customer was suffering gambling related harm” in each case.In May 2018, the Commission informed Silverbond that it was commencing a review of its operating licence, and having considered the information gathered during the review, has opted to impose a £1.8m fine, a warning and further licence conditions.The conditions include a regular training needs analysis of all staff, to ensure that all staff undertake outsourced anti money laundering training and to ensure that an independent audit of the current top 250 customers is carried out by external auditors within the next six months. Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Regions: UK & Ireland The Gambling Commission has hit Silverbond Enterprises, which owns London-based private members’ club and casino The Park Lane Club, with a £1.8m fine for failings in its social responsibilty and anti-money laundering processes. 11th September 2019 | By Daniel O’Boylelast_img read more

GC clarifies scope of credit card gambling ban

first_img The Gambling Commission of Great Britain has explained how its ban on gambling with credit cards will affect remote lotteries, as well as confirming that the prohibition will extend to the use of credit cards to fund e-wallets. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Payments Topics: Legal & compliance Lottery Tech & innovation 29th January 2020 | By contenteditor Regions: UK & Ireland GC clarifies scope of credit card gambling ban The Gambling Commission of Great Britain has explained how its ban on gambling with credit cards will affect remote lotteries, as well as confirming that the prohibition will extend to the use of credit cards to fund e-wallets.The ban will affect wallets such as PayPal, with the Commission noting that the providers will be able to put measures into effect to prevent credit card payments for gambling.However, it added, gambling operators will ultimately be responsible for only accepting e-wallet payments where it is satisfied that the provider will take action to prevent payments by credit card once the ban comes into force on 14 April.Much of the onus will fall on operators, such as by using a card’s Issuer Identification Number (IIN) to verify whether a card is credit, debit or prepaid, and have these transactions blocked by the payment processor or acquirer.The prohibition covers online gambling and retail betting, with credit card betting in land-based casinos and gaming halls already banned. The Gambling Commission explained that this includes remote society lottery, remote ancillary lottery and remote external lottery manager (ELM) licensees as well.In practice, the Commission said, this means that all of these licence holders will not be able to accept any form of payment that uses a credit card, including for subscription services. Customers that use credit to pay for any sort of lottery subscription service will have to select an alternative payment method for these offerings.However, it added, non-remote society lottery and non-remote external lottery manager (ELM) licensees will not be subject to a ban. This means they will still be able to purchase society lottery tickets by credit card in retail outlets, or via door-to-door sales.Announced alongside the credit card ban was the news that the national self-exclusion system Gamstop must be offered by all remote gaming licensees from 31 March. For lottery operators, this will only apply to those that offer online instant win games (IWGs), and only in relation to these products, meaning operators will not be required to block access to draw-based games.“It is only operators that are offering online IWGs that need to participate in Gamstop,” the regulator said. “The sale of physical tickets via remote means is not included in the code provision for online multi-operator self-exclusion.” Legal & compliance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Industry 2020 predictions: part six – regulation

first_imgLegal & compliance Last year saw the rapid expansion of sports betting across the US, but also a number of regulatory and advertising clampdowns in Europe.As the new decade gets underway, industry experts share their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. In part six, our final installment, we hear from regulatory experts.Interviewees Jason Chess, partner and co-head of the Betting and Gaming group, Wiggin David Clifton, Director, Clifton Davies Consultancy Yahaya Maikori, partner, Law Allianz Mark Balestra, US special counsel, Segev LawWhat were the defining developments or events of 2019? Jason Chess: The major event of 2019 was the Gambling Commission’s statement (in its Enforcement Report 2018/19) that most of the British public have a maximum of £499 monthly disposable (or “discretionary”) income and that this amount should be logged by operators as a “benchmark” for the possibility of “gambling-related harm”. The principle that operators should be held liable for how much of a person’s freely disposable income they choose to spend in any given manner finally consigns to the grave the libertarian Blairite approach to gambling.David Clifton: From a regulatory viewpoint, the good news from 2019 was watching major operators within the UK industry finally and convincingly demonstrate that they are absorbing safer gambling principles into the heart of their business models. There is still a long way to go though, plus a legislative review, and life is not going to get easier for a long while yet. Stateside is where the major excitement has been taking place from a sports betting perspective. Long may that continue and I remain hopeful they will avoid similar regulatory problems to those encountered on this side of the Atlantic in recent times.Yahaya Maikori: Across Africa there have been some disruptive developments – the tax imbroglio in Kenya and the propriety rights claim by Western Lotto against the remaining lottery operators in Nigeria are most noteworthy. In the Nigerian case, Western Lotto Nigeria Limited, a recently licensed operator, sought a court order stopping other operators from running Ghana Games in Nigeria based on its alleged exclusive licence agreement with LMC VAS Ghana, owner of Ghana Games. If Western Lotto has such rights, then it is a great strategic move given that Ghana Games dominates the Nigerian market and has been played since time immemorial. In Kenya the 20% betting tax has upturned the market, leading to the withdrawal of its biggest operators, SportPesa and Betin.Mark Balestra: In the US, the year’s defining event – the Supreme Court ruling striking down PASPA – actually took place in 2018. While it was big news when it happened, its impact was felt throughout 2019, during which the number of states with legalised sports betting climbed. Opinions vary on the potential impact of the DoJ’s opinion letter issued in late 2018 extending the Wire Act’s reach beyond sports betting, but it is notable that the expansion of legalised online casino and/or poker appears to be stalling.How do you see these continuing to shape the igaming space in 2020? JC: The regulator, under assault from the press and – let me be fair – encouraged by far too many historic industry own goals, is in clear peril of reverting to the traditional British approach to gambling, which is that it is a moral vice needing to be controlled, particularly in relation to the poor.DC: Let’s place our trust in the GC to carry the flag for the UK industry to ward off the doom-mongers and naysayers who forecast staking limits, advertising bans and yet more red tape strangling the life and innovation out of the sector. Let’s be optimistic too – surely 2020 might be the year for Germany and the Netherlands to finally launch their igaming space race.YM: The Nigerian case has opened up a new vista in the gaming industry; I doubt that the shallow legal framework can adequately resolve this matter beyond the country’s intellectual property rights laws. It’s a clear argument between rights ownership and anti-competitive strategies, which won’t be resolved easily. With the Kenyan tax matter, I think that the industry will remain in limbo unless the regulator evolves other strategies to address their concerns, which centre on the dominance of foreign ownership and the prevalence of gambling addiction.MB: It is possible that by the end of 2020, more than half of the states will have legalised sports betting. Conflicting Wire Act opinions may continue to hamper the growth of igaming. The federal ruling setting aside the DoJ opinion as it applies to the New Hampshire Lottery has exposed the volatility of the DOJ’s position, but it is a lower court decision that the DoJ interprets as narrowly applicable. The department’s forthcoming actions (or lack thereof) after its self-imposed grace period on enforcing the opinion comes to an end could indicate how things will unfold.What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for the sector in 2020? JC: 2020 will see further demands for stake limits as well as restrictions on VIP and loyalty programmes. Dangerously, a viscerally moralistic and hostile press is beginning to develop an understanding of the industry, something that will allow the journalists to skate around in silence the massive improvements in customer care that have been made and isolate points that offer scope for further attack.DC: I hate to say it, but the biggest challenge may just be how on earth we avoid more of the same for yet another year.YM: In 2020, as the industry further deepens, poor regulation will continue to throw up disruptive challenges.MB: The Adelson-backed opposition to interactive gambling will continue to influence policy. While a new federal prohibition is doubtful, the Adelson initiative could have a negative effect on expansion to new jurisdictions. In areas of growth – namely sports betting – states have a tendency to overshoot on revenue expectations, and the backlash of the inevitable underperformance could negatively impact expansion to new states.Related articles: Industry 2020 predictions: part one – operators and suppliers Industry 2020 predictions: part two – finance Industry 2020 predictions: part three – marketing Industry 2020 predictions: part four – people Industry 2020 predictions: part five – technology and innovation Industry 2020 predictions: part six – regulation 7th February 2020 | By Joanne Christie Email Address Regions: Africa Asia Europe LATAM US Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling As the new decade gets underway, industry experts share their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Today we hear from regulatory specialists Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more

Svenska Spel cancels dividend and furloughs land-based staff

first_img Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden 31st March 2020 | By contenteditor Svenska Spel cancels dividend and furloughs land-based staff Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Sweden’s former gambling monopoly Svenska Spel has announced a series of measures to help the business mitigate the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, including cancelling a proposed dividend and furloughing the vast majority of its casino staff.The operator’s online subsidiary, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino, established ahead of the country’s igaming market opening from January 2019, is also affected, with 45 of its 135 employees shifted to part-time working.This, it said, was due to sports betting activity grinding to a halt as a result of sporting events around the world being suspended.The biggest impact will be seen on its land-based business, with all four of its Casino Cosmopol-branded venues shuttered last week (27 March), alongside all restaurant casinos, after the Swedish government banned gatherings of more than 50 people.This will see 800 of Svenska Spel’s 900 land-based staff across the casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Sundsvall and at its head office furloughed until operations can resume. The operator is preparing to negotiate with trade unions on providing short-term work for the employees affected.“We are implementing these measures to adapt the business to the current situation, and are doing so with the utmost care for our employees,” Svenska Spel president and chief executive Patrik Hofbauer (pictured) explained.“Our hope is to be able to quickly resume full operations and staffing when the situation improves,” Hofbauer added. “But right now we do not know how this situation will develop, or how long it will last, and therefore it is necessary that we take steps to ensure a sustainable business.”Finally, Svenska Spel’s board of directors has opted to withdraw its recommendation for an SEK850m (£68.0m/€76.9m/$84.3m) dividend to be issued to shareholders.This was proposed following the publication of the operator’s 2019 results, which revealed a 2.4% year-on-year decline in revenue to SEK8.58bn, with net profit for the year dropping 40.0% to SEK2.48bn.Unlike almost all other European countries, Sweden has to date resisted introducing stringent social distancing measures, and its schools, bars, restaurants and shops all remain open. A restriction on gatherings of more than 500 people was in place until last Friday (27 March), when this was revised down to 50 people, while home working is being encouraged. Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games People Sports betting Strategy Sweden’s former gambling monopoly Svenska Spel has announced a series of measures to help the business mitigate the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, including cancelling a proposed dividend and furloughing the vast majority of its casino staff. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Email Addresslast_img read more

Lottery growth offsets igaming decline for Danske Spil in Q1

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Danish gaming operator Danske Spil has reported a marginal year-over-year increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2020, with declines in its igaming and gaming machine arms mitigated by growth in its lottery business.Revenue for the three months to 31 March rose 0.8% to DKK1.23bn (£147.5m/€164.8m/$179.6m), of which DKK640.4m came from its lottery arm, Danske Lotteri Spil.However the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic impacted its igaming division Danske Licens Spil and its gaming hall arm Elite Gaming, as well as forcing a write-down in asset values that hit the operator’s bottom line.Revenue for Danske Licens Spil was down 0.8% to DKK511.3m, which the operator blamed on the suspension of all major sporting events from mid-March leading to a decline in sports betting. However Swush, its daily fantasy sports brand, reported a slightly increased contribution, of DKK2.1m.Denmark was one of the first countries to implement a nationwide lockdown from 13 March, and this resulted in Elite Gaming’s Q1 revenue falling 18.7% to DKK75.3m.The sporting suspensions and closure of land-based outlets then had a knock-on effect on Danske Spil’s tax contribution and retailer commissions. Taxes paid to the state were down 6.7% to DKK138.1m, while commission payments declined 12.5% to DKK153.1m.Other costs related to the gaming business fell marginally to DKK77.5m, leaving an operating profit of DKK860.4m, up 5.0%.Danske Spil saw personnel costs rise marginally, with other external expenses growing to DKK173.8m as a result of increased investment in its IT infrastructure, though the decline in gaming tax and commissions saw profit before financial items rise 2.8% to DKK542.1m.
A sharp rise in financial costs hit the operator’s bottom line, however. Total finance related costs rose to DKK31.8m, compared to DKK1.0m in the prior year, which was blamed on fair value charges in its securities portfolio. This, Danske Spil noted, was due to the uncertainty created by Covid-19 impacting the stocks and bonds market.Once income tax payments totalling DKK112.2m were factored in, the operator’s net profit for the quarter therefore fell 6.4% to DKK398.1m. Lottery growth offsets igaming decline for Danske Spil in Q1 22nd May 2020 | By contenteditor Finance Topics: Finance Lottery Sports betting Email Address Regions: Europe Nordics Denmark Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Danish gaming operator Danske Spil has reported a marginal year-over-year increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2020, with declines in its igaming and gaming machine arms mitigated by growth in its lottery business. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more

Fruity Crown by Playson

first_img Fruity Crown is a new addition to the Funky Fruits games portfolio from Playson. This 4×5 video slot with 100 pay lines features royal Crown as an Expanding Wild symbol. All fruit symbols land in stacks, topped with Red Sevens which pay the highest payout. Two type of Scatter symbols, Diamond and Gold, pay regardless of pay lines if 3 or more land on the reels. This new funky slot is sure to appeal to the vast audience! Fruity Crown is a new addition to the Funky Fruits games portfolio from Playson. This 4×5 video slot with 100 pay lines features royal Crown as an Expanding Wild symbol. All fruit symbols land in stacks, topped with Red Sevens which pay the highest payout. Two type of Scatter symbols, Diamond and Gold, pay regardless of pay lines if 3 or more land on the reels. This new funky slot is sure to appeal to the vast audience!You can play a demo of this slot here! Fruity Crown by Playson Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Slots Casino & games 22nd June 2020 | By Aaron Noy Email Addresslast_img read more

IGT splits business into two units in operational overhaul

first_img Email Address Casino & games IGT splits business into two units in operational overhaul Gaming solutions giant International Game Technology (IGT) has announced a new organisational structure that focuses the business on two key segments.The new, structure, which is designed to provide greater responsiveness to customers and players, sees the business broken into autonomous global gaming and global lottery segments.This, the supplier said, would help IGT become more effective and competitive in providing products and solutions to address opportunities in each market segment, as well as harmonising best practices across B2B and B2C channels.Furthermore, it added, the restructuring would reduce complexity and allow for a more efficient organisation.“A simplified organisational structure grounded in our core competencies creates a stronger, more focused IGT,” IGT chief executive Marco Sala explained. “We have always maintained a customer-first mentality and are positioning ourselves to meet ever-evolving needs in a dynamic, global marketplace.“Global product segments enable us to leverage our extraordinary talent, unique insights as both an operator and service provider, and economies of scale to continue delivering unrivalled gaming experiences and create value for all stakeholders.”Previously the business was split into four separate operating units: North America gaming and interactive; North America lottery; International and Italy.Its new structure sees Renato Ascoli, previously chief executive of IGT’s North American business, become global gaming CEO. Fabio Cairoli, meanwhile, has been named CEO of the global lottery division, having served as chief of its Italian unit prior to this.Each will oversee a unit with all key operating capabilities and autonomy, covering product management, sales, technology, and research and development, supported by centralised corporate functions.Ascoli’s new division will consolidate the North America, International and Italian B2C gaming duties including PlayDigital, sports betting and Italian gaming operations. B2B functions coming under its umbrella include sales, product development, manufacturing, operations and services.For Cairoli, all lottery businesses including the North American segment are now under his control, including sales, product and technology.Both will report directly to IGT CEO Sala in the new roles, alongside Walter Bugno, who moves from his role as CEO of the International unit to a position overseeing new business and strategic initiatives. This new corporate function will be responsible for leading business development in new jurisdictions, and expanding the supplier’s full product range into existing markets.The new structure comes into effect today (1 July), and IGT will report its financial results under these segments from the third quarter of the 2020 calendar year. The upcoming first half and second quarter results, meanwhile, will be reported in line with the legacy structure. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img 1st July 2020 | By contenteditor Gaming solutions giant International Game Technology (IGT) has announced a new organisational structure that focuses the business on two key segments. Topics: Casino & games Lottery People Sports betting Strategy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

GiG to take Latvia’s Admirālu Klubs online

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Product & technology GiG to take Latvia’s Admirālu Klubs online The new digital offering is expected to launch next year.  “Gaming Innovation Group is well established throughout the iGaming industry as a reliable and trustful technology partner with a history of success working with land-based operators like ourselves,” the operator explained.  Admirālu Klubs has established a leading position in the land-based market, operating gaming halls across the country, and now aims to expand its presence online. This, it said, would be aided by its strong brand recognition and market knowledge, supported by GiG’s technology and expertise in taking land-based partners online. Companies: GiG Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has sealed a long-term contract that will see it power a new digital offering for Latvian land-based gambling operator Admirālu Klubs. “GiG is very pleased to be supporting Admirāļu Klubs entrance into the online gambling space for both casino and sportsbook,” GiG chief executive Richard Brown said. “They have a large and successful retail network across the Baltics, and provide some of the highest quality retail gambling arcades in Latvia. Tags: Gaming Innovation Group Admirālu Klubs The deal will see GiG provide its platform, sportsbook and front-end development services for the operator roll out online betting and gaming in the regulated Latvian market, through a three-year contract.  Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Online casino Product & technology Online sports betting Product & technology “Online gambling has a high growth in the market and we are excited to expand further our reach there.”  “We are pleased to have them supporting our digital transformation and online player acquisition strategy as we expand our operations through the regulated Latvian online casino and sports betting market.”  Latvian igaming revenue grew to €15.5m in the third quarter of the year. The year-to-date total is down just 6.2% year-on-year despite the online market being shut down between April and June after the country went into lockdown as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Regions: Baltics Latvia 13th November 2020 | By Robin Harrison Email Addresslast_img read more

Gambling Commission defends decision not to suspend Football Index licence earlier

first_imgHowever, after Football Index said it would take its platform offline to restructure and relaunch the business, the regulator ultimately took the step of suspending its licence. However, the Commission said that BetIndex holds customer winnings in a trust account. It has been given assurances by the operator’s solicitors that payments have been suspended to allow customers’ entitlements to be calculated. “We know from experience that the suspension of a license can, of itself, trigger or hasten the financial decline of an operator and put customer funds at risk,” the Commission explained. “We were satisfied that on 11 March suspension was the only regulatory option left available to us.” Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The Commission said it commenced a review into Football Index parent BetIndex on 20 May, 2020, as a result of concerns about the business. This review saw an accountant and barrister look into BetIndex’s finances as well as the “complex legal questions over the appropriate regulatory framework”. However, it said there was no grounds to suspend its licence at this time. It pointed out that the move could have worsened the business’ financial plight, and in turn put more customer funds at risk. The Gambling Commission of Great Britain has revealed that stricken operator Football Index had been under review for almost a year, though it originally saw no grounds to suspend its licence. The Commission said it only turns to suspension as a last resort, as outlined by British legislation. Gambling Commission defends decision not to suspend Football Index licence earlier “That is why we will always consider whether there are steps short of suspension that can still deliver the right regulatory outcomes and address the risks that consumers face without accelerating the financial collapse of a business.” It did add that the courts would have final say over how BetIndex funds are distributed and so these assurances may not be guarantees. While player account funds are held in the trust account, Football Index’s terms and conditions said that funds invested in players on the platform have no such protection, as these were considered sums at risk.center_img Earlier this week, Neil McArthur stepped down as chief executive of the Commission, with immediate effect. A Commission spokesperson told iGB his decision to leave was not related to Football Index. This has prompted Leigh Day Solicitors to announce that it is considering representing these customers in a group claim against the operator. This action is being supported by gambling reform campaign group Clean Up Gambling. 19th March 2021 | By Daniel O’Boyle Regulation This came in the wake of the operator making significant changes to its payout system, claiming that its previous dividend structure was unsustainable. “The assurance the Commission has is that the funds in the trust account will not be distributed to any creditor other than customers,” it explained. “However, its ability to distribute immediately to customers, and if so which customers, is likely to be subject to the directions of the court rather than the Commission.” It added that it has also received assurances that player funds won’t be used to pay other debts, though it pointed out that courts may have a final say in this area. There have been widespread concerns that customers may lose money held in their Football Index accounts. Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting Regulation Sports betting regulation Leigh Day said these players had been “misled by the platform and failed by the Gambling Commission”. Tags: Football Index AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more

Chalkline to expand offering into lottery and casino

first_img Topics: Casino & games Online casino Online lottery Tags: Chalkline Sports Chalkline Lotto-style sports games, fixed odds lottery, real-money jackpot games, social casino sports, and virtual currency games are all expected to be live by the end of the second quarter of 2021. Supplier Chalkline Sports today announced an expansion of its betting platform, which will see it include lottery and casino games going forward.  23rd March 2021 | By Nosa Omoigui Email Address Read the full story on iGB North America. The rebrand, which will see the company change its name to Chalkine, is part of the supplier’s strategy to consolidate its place in an emerging North American market – an area where it has been establishing itself since 2019.  Chalkline to expand offering into lottery and casino Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more