News In Brief: July 18-July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022
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Legal online casino games will become available for the first time in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

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Nova Scotia Approves Online Casino

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Nova Scotia on Thursday (July 21) became the seventh Canadian province to offer legal online casino gaming when access to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) online casino was extended to Nova Scotians for the first time.

ALC offers online lottery games, bingo and sports betting in the four Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Until Thursday, however, online casino games were only available in New Brunswick.

In an interview with CBC News, Nova Scotia finance minister Allan MacMaster said the decision was made because residents of the province are able to access online casinos based outside Canada.

“It exists without us and if we have a presence, well at least maybe we can protect people and recoup some of the money that’s leaving our province,” he said.

Online casino games are already offered by lottery corporations in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. In Saskatchewan, an online gambling platform will be launched later this year by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s PlayNow on behalf of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

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Swedish Minister Cites Channelisation Gains

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The Swedish minister in charge of gambling said the government has “regained control” of gambling by keeping players in the regulated market.

Channelisation averages about 87 percent across the licensed market, which is a “direct and clear effect” of the licensing system introduced in 2019, minister Ardalan Shekarabi said on Wednesday (July 20).

He cited the curbs on deposits imposed as part of COVID-19 restrictions and steps taken to fight match-fixing and unlicensed gambling.

The government also recently submitted measures that would toughen a requirement for “moderation” in marketing, license gambling software companies and give more powers to the Swedish Gambling Authority.

The new measures would take effect on July 1, 2023

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More Applications Received For Ohio Sports-Betting Licenses

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A total of seven operators have now applied for so-called Type C licenses to operate sports wagering kiosks at Ohio bars, restaurants and other retail establishments, according to an updated list of applications published on Wednesday (July 20) by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC).

The OCCC published a list on Friday evening of applications filed prior to a July 15 deadline, but that did not include those received later that night. The seven applicants for Type C licenses are Intralot, Elys, Green Bear Gaming, Skybox Sports Network, Iron Gate Gaming, J&J Ventures and Gold Rush Amusements.

Other updates to the list include an additional application for a retail sportsbook submitted by Lori’s Roadhouse near Cincinnati, as well as various other submissions by sports-betting suppliers.

The OCCC is required to issue at least two licenses for Type C kiosk-based wagering, with two kiosks permitted per facility unless regulators approve additional terminals. Kiosks can only offer certain types of wagers and may not provide for in-play betting.

Separately, the OCCC on Wednesday updated its FAQs for sports betting and said it would be launching a website where operators will be able to upload their house rules, responsible gaming plans and other required documentation starting August 1.

The agency also said it would publish a catalogue of approved wagering events in the fall and would provide more information regarding qualification criteria for specific sports and bet types on August 1.

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Lottery.com Shakes Up C-suite After Overstating Cash Balance

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Lottery.com, an Austin, Texas-based lottery broker and information site, has accepted the resignation of Matthew Clemenson, its chief revenue officer, effective immediately as the latest executive to exit the business after revealing it “overstated” its cash balance.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company confirmed it has hired outside council to investigate the situation after Lottery.com revealed on July 6 that it overstated its cash holdings by approximately $30m.

Lottery.com also terminated the employment of its president, treasurer and chief financial officer Ryan Dickinson earlier this month, naming Harry Dhaliwal as interim CFO.

“The company, in consultation with its outside advisors, is currently validating its preliminary conclusion, assessing any impact on previously issued financial reports, and has begun to institute appropriate remedial measures,” according to an SEC filing.

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European Ad Code Gets Thumbs Up

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The self-regulatory advertising code adopted by members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has been given a positive review by a Brussels-based independent review body.

The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) said that the responsible advertising code “is a solid basis for responsible advertising and EGBA members already apply most of its measures”, the trade group said.

The findings come from monitoring EGBA members during the delayed FIFA Euro 2020 tournament in Summer 2021.

The EASA said the code could be strengthened through clearer and better delivered responsible gambling messaging during ads, the explicit mention of age limits and better age-gating on social media profiles.

“We’re pleased with the monitoring results and the progress our members are making in promoting responsible advertising. We thank EASA for their critical but constructive approach,” said Maarten Haijer, EGBA secretary general.

“The industry must get serious about responsible and measured advertising, especially with the World Cup coming up later this year, otherwise the pressure of advertising restrictions will continue to pile on,” he said.

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Nigeria National Lottery Touted To Make N1bn Monthly

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Nigeria’s federal government launched its first-ever National Lottery game on July 18 in a bid to raise more state funds and, it says, better protect consumers.

George Akume, the minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs, praised the launch of the Nigeria National Game, saying it will also offer “significant employment opportunities”.

"Most concerning is the proliferation of unregulated foreign games in Nigeria and export of revenues due to heavy patronage by Nigerians. It is apparent that Nigeria needs its own national lottery brand,” Akume said.

Lanre Gbajabiamila, director-general of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), who with Akume has long envisaged the game's launch, predicts that Nigeria’s large population of more than 200m will ensure its success.

The NLRC estimates that the game will generate up to N1bn (€2.4m) a month.

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Mernov Confirms Corporate Origins

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The first company to be awarded a German online virtual slots licence, Mernov, has officially confirmed it is a joint venture between Gauselmann and Novomatic.

Both its suggestive name and the location of its corporate headquarters implied the operator was a tie-up between the two European gambling giants, but in a press release on Monday (July 18), the company confirmed its shareholders are Gauselmann Group and Novomatic subsidiary Greentube.

"Our technology partners and now shareholders Gauselmann and Greentube were of crucial importance for obtaining our approval," said Florian Werner, managing director of Mernov.

“Gauselmann and Greentube gave us significant support with their know-how during the complex processes involved in obtaining the permit,” he said.

Mernov launched on the German market in June, via its websites JackpotPiraten.de and BingBong.de.

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Hong Kong Jockey Club Breaks Volume Record

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has broken its annual seasonal turnover record, reporting HK$140bn ($17.8bn) in volume for the completed 2021/2022 season, or a 3 percent increase over the previous season.

As land-based gaming segments across Asia struggle with new waves of coronavirus infection, the HKJC has been an outlier, reporting uninterrupted earnings at its two racecourses despite tough attendance restrictions.

The latest season included 88 meetings, 836 races and 281 simulcast races overseas, generating a 2.8 percent increase in betting duty to HK$14.1bn, the HKJC said in a statement on Saturday (July 16).

“Through the collective efforts of our participants and Club staff, combined with our dedicated COVID testing capacity as well as a vigorous tracking and tracing system, we were able to provide exciting stay-at-home entertainment for hundreds of thousands of racing fans at a time when social distancing was integral to the health and welfare of our city,” CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

Other records were broken in World Pool simulcast volume, as a result in part to extra fixtures. The club reported increases of 82 percent and 60 percent in World Pool turnover and commingling, respectively.

The HKJC has also announced a record prize money increase to HK$1.62bn for the next season.

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Legal online casino games will become available for the first time in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

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