News In Brief: September 13-September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021
Back
A William Hill unit is under orders from the Swedish regulator, Michigan and New Jersey continue to profit and MGM expected to be confirmed as Osaka IR choice.

Title

Sweden Orders William Hill Unit To Verify Player IDs

Body

The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) has ordered a William Hill unit to re-register and re-verify many players’ identification to make sure they live in Sweden.

The authority ordered Evoke Gaming to verify that players registered between January 1 and July 31, 2019 live in Sweden, in accordance with gambling laws.

Evoke has until November 9 to report what measures it has taken or intends to take to rectify the problem, the authority said this week.

When the country’s online gambling licensing regime took effect on January 1, 2019, operators were required to verify IDs to meet legal standards.

They also need to ensure that a player is not currently registered with Spelpaus, the national self-exclusion programme.

Evoke allowed existing customers to manually confirm details, a method that the regulator considered insufficient.

Evoke operates the sites redbet.com, vinnarum.com, bertil.com, mamamiabingo.com, williamhill.com and williamhill.se.

Mr Green acquired Evoke Gaming in early 2018, and Mr Green was subsequently acquired by William Hill in 2019.

William Hill itself was acquired earlier this year by Caesars Entertainment, and 888 Holdings has a £2.2bn agreement to acquire William Hill’s non-US operations, which would include Sweden.

Last month, Mr Green was fined 30m Swedish kronor (€2.96m) for breaches of duty of care requirements that the regulator called serious.

Title

UK Research Group Sets Up Dedicated Gambling Unit

Body

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is launching a "Gambling Policy and Research Unit".

The unit will consist of a team of specialists with a mandate to “develop and rigorously test methods and approaches to significantly reduce gambling harms”.

“The UK is already the largest regulated gambling market in the world. Our vision for the Gambling Policy and Research Unit is to make the UK gambling market the most safely regulated in the world,” the BIT said.

Over the past four years the BIT has partnered with the likes of HSBC, Monzo, bet365 and charity GambleAware to show how behavioural insights can reduce gambling-related harms.

Title

New Jersey, Michigan See No Summer Slowdown In Online Casino Revenue

Body

New Jersey and Michigan retained their statuses among the most lucrative online gaming markets in the world in August, according to statistics released by state regulators on Thursday.

Monthly internet gaming revenue as reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement was $113.2m, up 29 percent from August 2020 and representing the sixth straight month of revenue above $100m.

In Michigan, internet gaming gross revenue in August was $97.2m, the highest monthly total since the state’s first online casinos went live in January. August was the first full month since the Michigan Gaming Control Board approved the launch of live-dealer online casino games.

MGM/Entain joint venture BetMGM remained the largest online casino operator in both states, accounting for almost 41 percent of internet gaming revenue in Michigan and more than 30 percent in New Jersey.

The two states, by far the largest U.S. online gambling markets along with Pennsylvania, also reported revenue from online sports betting for the final month before the new NFL season.

Michigan’s online sportsbook platforms recorded total gross revenue of $15.9m, or $7.6m following promotions and other deductions, from handle of $192.3m.

Monthly online sports-betting revenue in New Jersey was $48.2m from handle of $612.9m.

Title

Osaka Committee Approves MGM Consortium As Casino Partner

Body

Osaka will confirm the MGM Resorts International consortium as its partner in a joint city-prefecture campaign for one of Japan’s three possible integrated resort (IR) licences, the Nikkei Shimbun reported on Thursday (September 16).

The Osaka Prefecture IR Business Selection Committee on Thursday approved the MGM-ORIX Corp consortium application, the daily said.

The report said the joint campaign intends to submit its licensee proposal to the central government by April. The central government’s deadline for nationwide applications is April 28.

The MGM consortium is the only surviving bidder in Osaka following the early withdrawal of international rivals Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts & Entertainment, among others.

Title

Swedish Minister Rebuffs Calls For Lifting Casino Limits

Body

Swedish gamblers need a “gradual transition” before COVID-linked online casino restrictions can be removed, a spokeswoman for the minister in charge of gambling said.

Last week, the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) asked the government to lift pandemic-linked restrictions on online casino on September 29, in line with the government’s decision to lift most such constraints on that date.

Instead, rules calling for 5,000-kronor weekly deposit limits will be lifted on November 14.

But the decisions came in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which recommended not removing the restrictions earlier, spokeswoman Hanna Kretz told VIXIO GamblingCompliance, speaking for minister Ardalan Shekarabi.

“The risks of developing a gambling problem will not disappear just because other restrictions are being removed on 29 September,” she said. “There will be an adaption period which requires a gradual transition.”

“The Swedish government is following developments carefully and will provide information on the continuing need for temporary responsible gambling measures at a later time,” Kretz said.

Title

Interpol Raids Illegal Betting Ring

Body

International law enforcement agency Interpol says it has taken part in police raids across Asia and Europe targeting illegal gambling firms that have seen $7.9m seized and 1,400 arrests made.

Interpol coordinated efforts across 28 countries as part of Operation SOGA VIII and said it had damaged illegal gambling networks that are used to make money and launder cash internationally.

Most arrests took place in Hong Kong, which police said included the alleged kingpin of a triad-run betting operation.

Monitoring betting during the recent European Championships football tournament was a key pillar of the investigation, said Wong Wai, head of Hong Kong Police’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau.

Title

Maryland Accepts Sports-Betting Background Check Applications

Body

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) on Tuesday began accepting applications online from the 17 land-based entities specifically named in the state’s sports-betting law for background investigations.

Criminal and financial background investigations are required for all applicants seeking a retail sports wagering license, the MLGCC said in a statement.

Although these investigations typically take several months, the MLGCC is planning to accelerate the launch of sports wagering operations by implementing alternative licensing standards, as permitted in the sports wagering law.

“We anticipate that some of the 17 specified locations may be able to start taking sports wagers late this fall or early this winter, in time for the NFL playoffs,” said Maryland lottery and gaming director John Martin. “We’re actively working to expedite the process.”

The specific 17 locations include Maryland’s six casinos, five off-track betting locations, three professional sports stadiums, two bingo halls, and Pimlico Racecourse and Laurel Pace Racetrack sharing a single license.

Maryland’s sports wagering law requires businesses to complete a four-step process to be licensed. First, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) reviews applications and makes initial suitability determinations of the applicants.

Then the MLGCC conducts criminal and financial background investigations and makes qualification determinations of the applicants. The SWARC will award licenses to qualified applicants, and finally the MLGCC will issue the licenses that allow businesses to begin sports wagering operations.

In addition to the 17 locations that were specified in the law, the SWARC is authorized to conduct a competitive process to award up to 30 additional Class B licenses to brick-and-mortar locations and up to 60 licenses to mobile sports wagering licensees.

Title

American Gaming Association Announces Hall Of Fame Classes

Body

The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced its 2020 and 2021 classes, with the six inductees being recognized for their contributions to the gaming industry.

Last year’s selections and inductions were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Class of 2020 includes: James Maida, president and CEO of Gaming Laboratories International; Jeffrey Silver, a former Nevada regulator and gaming attorney with Dickinson Wright; and Mark Yoseloff, retired chairman and CEO of Shuffle Master.

The Class of 2021 includes: Jeremy Jacobs, chairman of Delaware North; Jim Shore, general counsel for the Seminole Tribe of Florida; and Knute Knudsen Jr., IGT global business development and tribal ambassador.

“Each of these pioneers has left a unique, indelible mark on our industry,” Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Under their leadership, tribal gaming has boomed, professional sports leagues have embraced sports betting, and the gaming industry is thriving despite the challenges we’ve faced over the past year and a half,” Miller added.

Title

Card Payment Rules To Change In Lithuania

Body

Lithuania’s government plans to amend the country’s gambling law so that venues can accept card payments for the first time.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance confirmed to media outlet LRT that credit and debit cards would be accepted for land-based gambling in the near future, on the grounds that they present a lower money laundering risk than cash.

"Amendments to the law are currently being prepared, which would establish the possibility to pay with a bank card at the place of gambling in order to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing," the spokesperson said.

Title

Brazil’s Congress Renews Gambling Focus

Body

Arthur Lira, the Speaker of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, has formed a working group of ten lawmakers to help craft legislation on expanded gambling in one of the world’s largest untapped markets.

A congressional working group is a temporary panel of lawmakers charged with making legislative recommendations in specific areas. The gambling panel’s work will be completed within 90 days, according to reports.

News of the new working group has come just a few days before the lower house of Congress’ tourism committee is set to hold a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss potential legal frameworks for gaming.

Witnesses at the hearing include a senior lottery official within Brazil’s Ministry of Economy, along with representatives of the Brazilian Jockey Club, the Brazilian Resorts Association and the Legal Gaming Institute that advocates for a broad expansion of gambling.

The economy ministry earlier this month also hosted a webinar on the potential regulation of casino-resorts in Brazil, which featured panellists from Hard Rock International as well as GLI.

The three moves are the latest indication of possible momentum for gaming expansion after many months of very little progress in Brasilia.

Two separate bills to authorise casino-resorts are currently pending in the Senate and are due to be considered along with a broader initiative that was authored in 2016 by a former senator who recently became the chief congressional liaison of President Jair Bolsonaro.

A pair of gambling bills were approved a few years ago by different committees in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies but never received a vote on the floor of either legislative body, in part due to disagreements over whether to limit expansion to casinos or also include bingo halls, video-bingo and traditional “jogo do bicho” numbers games.

Title

New GeoComply Data Suggests Record Legal NFL Betting

Body

The company that verifies U.S. mobile gaming customers are where they say they are reported a record number of transactions over the first weekend of the National Football League (NFL) season.

GeoComply Solutions said Monday it recorded 58.2m geolocation transactions across 18 states and the District of Columbia from Thursday night, when the NFL season began with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeating the Dallas Cowboys, through 7pm EST on Sunday.

That represents a 126 percent increase from the same period of the 2020 NFL season when GeoComply processed 25.8m transactions.

“Preparing for this NFL season has been a process that began before the end of last season, and we expected high volumes, but what we have seen has surprised us nonetheless,” Lindsay Slader, managing director for GeoComply, said in a statement.

The data also found that New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Illinois were the states with the highest volume of transactions.

Slader said the level of demand across new markets, such as Arizona, indicates that consumers have long waited for the option to legally place a sports bet.

Arizona, which launched last Thursday, posted more than 6.1m geolocation transactions from more than 271,000 newly created accounts.

“Arizona is showing that there is pent up demand for sports betting in the western part of the U.S.,” Slader said. “The state has catapulted near the top as the fourth largest state for transactions, in just its first weekend.

“We haven’t seen anything quite like it,” she added.

Title

Nebraska Casino Gambling Rules Still Being Written

Body

Nebraska lawmakers may have overwhelmingly approved gaming implementation and appropriations bills that included a framework for casinos, but it will still be several months before any of those new casinos can be approved as state regulators finish crafting more specific regulations.

“We are still in the process of creating rules and regulations,” Tom Sage, executive director of the Nebraska State Racing and Gaming Commission, told VIXIO GamblingCompliance on Monday.

Sage said regulatory officials “hope to have these presented to the Racing and Gaming Commission at a public hearing around November 1.”

Once the commission approves the rules, they will have to be approved by Governor Pete Rickets and Attorney General Doug Peterson, both Republicans, before being officially recognized by the secretary of state’s office.

As of Monday, it remains unclear when the formal application process will begin. Sage said he is not able to predict when casino gaming will start in Nebraska.

The commission oversees regulation and enforcement of sports betting and casino gaming at licensed racetracks. Voters in November approved three measures to legalize casinos and tax gaming at 20 percent.

Title

Penn National Acquires Minority Stake in PointsBet

Body

About two months after Penn National Gaming acquired Canada’s Score Media and Gaming, PointsBet said the Pennsylvania-based gaming company has acquired a minority stake in its company.

In a regulatory filing, the Australia-based gaming company revealed that Penn’s Penn Interactive Ventures division owns 16.5m shares, or 6.27 percent of the voting equity.

The filing with Australian regulators indicates a value of $35m Australian dollars, or about $26m. PointsBet launched in 2019 in the United States and now operates in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois.

The company also created PointsBet Canada after the Canadian federal government signed off on a bill legalizing single-game wagering in the country.

The one-page filing did not address Penn’s potential future interest in the online gaming and sports-betting company.

Title

Connecticut To Launch Sports Betting, Online Gaming In October

Body

Governor Ned Lamont said that Connecticut has received federal approval for proposed revisions to its state-tribal gaming compacts to allow sports betting, online casino gaming and other new forms of gaming in the state.

Lamont said the U.S. Department of the Interior had signed off on the amendments to the gaming compacts between the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. As of Friday, the proposed revisions to the compact had not been published in the Federal Register.

“This critical step in the process of modernizing our landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Lamont said in a statement.

Lamont said the federal approval means state-regulated online sports betting and online gaming should launch in October, although retail sports wagering may commence earlier than that at tribal casinos on reservation lands.

The updated gaming compact allows the two Indian tribes to offer retail and mobile sports betting, along with online gaming. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe will partner with DraftKings for sports betting, while Mohegan is partnering with FanDuel.

Lamont in May signed a sports betting and online gaming bill. The measure also allows the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to offer retail and mobile sports betting, as well as limited internet lottery games.

The General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee last month approved emergency rules for sports betting and online gaming. Permanent regulations are expected to be approved during next year’s legislative session.

Title

AGTech Announces Takeover Of Macau Pass

Body

Chinese lottery services and hardware provider AGTech Holdings is set to acquire Macau’s mobile payments provider Macau Pass in a HK$778m ($100m) deal.

AGTech, an Alibaba Group and Ant Group subsidiary, said in a Hong Kong bourse filing on Friday that the deal would “create tremendous synergies to the Group’s existing business, particularly for the mobile games and entertainment and supply of non-lottery hardware businesses, as well as broadening the revenue base of the Group”.

It said Macau Pass is a “well-established and leading payment service provider in Macau with strong position across the payment card, e-wallet and acquiring services”.

However, the acquisition would not expand AGTech’s lottery interests into the Macau market, instead focusing on non-lottery hardware such as point of sale terminals.

Body

A William Hill unit is under orders from the Swedish regulator, Michigan and New Jersey continue to profit and MGM expected to be confirmed as Osaka IR choice.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.