Delaware’s regulated iGaming market grew by 44 per cent in September 2021 as total wagers reached $26.0m.
The year-on-year growth followed improved performances by all three licensed operators in the state, with Delaware Park seeing the biggest growth as iGaming wagers increased 71 per cent to $11.1m.
Dover Down’s iGaming wagers rose by 21 per cent to $7.8m during the month, while Harrington Raceway’s iGaming wagers climbed 36 per cent to $7.1m.
With $25.2m paid out in winnings in September, the three operators generated combined net revenue of $794,644, a decline of 5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Video lottery net revenue increased by 10 per cent to $671,886, offset by a 46 per cent drop in table games net revenue to $95,625 and a 47 per cent fall in poker rake and fees to $27,134.
Harrington generated the highest net revenue in September at $276,605, an increase of 36 per cent year-on-year, comprising video lottery net revenue of $237,544, table games net revenue of $33,492, and poker rake and fees of $5,569.
This was just ahead of Delaware Park’s net revenue of $261,370, which fell 20 per cent versus a year ago and comprised video lottery net revenue of $199,782, table games net revenue of $46,150 and poker rake and fees of $15,438.
Dover Downs’ net revenue fell by 17 per cent year-on-year to $256,669, comprised of $234,559 from video lottery, $15,983 from table games and $6,128 from poker rake and fees.
The three licensed operators recorded 973 new registrations in September, with 451 new registrations at Delaware Park, 335 registrations at Dover Downs and 187 at Harrington.
China’s two state-owned national lotteries struggled for growth in August 2021 as total lottery sales decreased to RMB32.61bn (€4.37bn).
After seven consecutive months of year-on-year growth, lottery sales declined by 6 per cent in August as Welfare Lottery sales fell by 14 per cent to RMB11.45bn.
Sports Lottery sales also fell in August, declining 2 per cent compared to a year ago to RMB21.16bn.
In August, a total of 10 Chinese provinces saw lottery sales increase compared to the same period last year, with the biggest growth achieved in Xinjiang, Sichuan, Henan and Hunan.
For the first eight months of 2021, total lottery sales in China increased by 27 per cent to RMB247.29bn, with the start of the comparable period last year impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Welfare Lottery sales were up by 3 per cent at RMB90.41bn during the period, while Sports lottery sales grew 47 per cent year-on-year to RMB156.89bn.
Sports betting and iGaming operators FanDuel, DraftKings and Rush Street Interactive will soft-launch their new online offerings in Connecticut Tuesday.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) authorised the soft launch Friday, allowing the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe to begin online wagering operations with their respective partners.
The Connecticut Lottery has been authorised to begin online sports wagering within the state in partnership with Rush Street Interactive, with the soft launch limited to 750 players.
The Connecticut Lottery will initially offer bets online during limited hours from Tuesday (October 12) through to Friday, followed by a 24-hour cycle through the rest of the seven-day soft launch period.
The Mohegan Tribe and online partner FanDuel, as well as the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and partner DraftKings, will soft launch both iGaming and sports betting, with iGaming initially limited to just over 100 DCP-approved games.
The tribal operators and their online partners will also be limited to 750 players during the soft-launch period and the same time restrictions as the Connecticut Lottery, with live dealer and peer-to-peer online casino games excluded from the soft-launch.
“We appreciate the hard work of our licensees and their teams, as well as the team at DCP, for their diligence in ensuring these platforms are compliant with the regulations approved by the legislature,” said DCP commissioner Michelle H. Seagull.
“As long as no issues arise, we have told the licensees they may move forward with the 7-day soft launch required in the regulations. Once the soft launch is complete, online gaming will open statewide.”
The launch of online sports betting comes less than two weeks after FanDuel and DraftKings opened their respective retail sportsbooks in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, and less than six months after online sports betting and iGaming legislation was signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont.
Sweden’s investigation into match-fixing and unlicensed gambling has been extended by three months and expanded to include money laundering threats.
The investigation led by Swedish Chamber of Commerce director general Gunnar Larsson was due to submit a report to the government by June 30, with that deadline now extended to September 30 to allow Larsson to develop a comprehensive proposal to combat the threats posed by illegal gambling and match-fixing.
He will also now investigate money laundering threats and develop rules for imposing penalties on licensed gambling operators for any violations of the Money Laundering Act.
“The current investigation will propose solutions to enable effective supervision of illegal gambling and strengthen the work against match-fixing,” said Sweden’s social security minister Ardalan Shekarabi. “These issues are of great importance for a sustainable gaming market. It is therefore important that the investigator has enough time to develop well-elaborated proposals.”
Florida expects to generate as much as $6.0bn from gaming over the next decade through a new compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The compact is valid for a 30-year term and gives the Seminole Tribe the right to operate slot machines, table games, sports betting, fantasy sports, raffles and draws, and any new game authorised by Florida law.
This includes wagering while physically present at one of the seven existing gaming facilities on tribal lands in Florida, and online sports betting and fantasy contests through servers located on tribal lands, with the state receiving at least $2.5bn during the first five years of the compact.
“This historic compact expands economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation, and bolsters the fiscal success of our state in one fell swoop for the benefit of all Floridians and Seminoles alike,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“Our agreement establishes the framework to generate billions in new revenue and untold waves of positive economic impact. I would like to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their collective commitment to modernizing the gaming industry in the state of Florida and setting the bar for the rest of the nation.”
“The Seminole Tribe of Florida is committed to a mutually-beneficial gaming compact with the State of Florida and looks forward to its approval by the Florida Legislature, the Seminole Tribal Council and the U.S. Department of the Interior,” added Marcellus Osceola Jr., chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
“The Tribe wants to express our sincere thanks to Governor DeSantis, Senate President Simpson, House Speaker Sprowls and many others who have worked hard to negotiate a historic agreement that cements our partnership with the state for decades to come.”
The compact also allows the Seminole Tribe to partner with a platform provider for sports betting and enables the state’s pari-mutuel wagering operators to participate in the new activity as agents of the tribe.
It will also allow the tribe to renegotiate with the state 36 months after the effective date of the compact to allow all covered games to be made available through the internet.
Germany’s new State Treaty on Gambling has cleared its final hurdle and will come into force as expected on July 1.
The treaty was ratified by the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt on Wednesday and is expected to secure approval in the last remaining state, North Rhine-Westphalia, by the end of this month.
The successful ratification process ends years of regulatory uncertainty in the German online gambling market by authorising and regulating online sports betting, slots and poker.
“This is the beginning of a new age of gaming regulation in Germany. After sports betting, the federal states are now rightly regulating further online games of chance in order to finally control what is happening on the market,” said Mathias Dahms, president of the German industry association DSWV.
“The new State Treaty on Gambling is an important step towards modern regulation, but there is also a need for improvement. We consider the state databases for the complete monitoring of all consumers to be extremely questionable from a data protection point of view. The fact that particularly popular live bets should be allowed on football and ice hockey games in the future, but possibly not on handball and tennis, completely misses the expectations of customers. Adjustments will have to be made here soon. We place our hopes in the new authority, which will shape and objectify the gambling policy debate in the future.”
Dahms added that the biggest challenge for operators in the newly regulated market will be the high tax rates set by state and federal governments.
“The federal states want to tax all stakes on virtual slot machine games and online poker – including stakes made with previous winnings. The tax rate of 5.3 per cent on the stakes is far too high in an international comparison. This makes the game considerably more expensive for the customer, with game credits used up more quickly,” Dahms explained.
“In the end, only the black market profits from this. No other country in Europe taxes the stakes in virtual slot machine games, but always the gross gaming revenue – the actual revenue of the gaming provider. In this way, Germany is taking the wrong direction in tax policy.”
The government of Sweden is once again proposing to extend the temporary limit on online casino deposits under the guise of Covid-related consumer protections.
The temporary restriction limiting online casino deposit limits to SEK5,000 per week first came into force in July 2020 in response to the perceived risk of increased problem gambling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and was subsequently extended to the end of June 2021.
The government now wants to keep the deposit limit in place until November, when Sweden’s emergency pandemic law expires.
“We see that the spread of Covid-19 is still high in Sweden,” social security minister Ardalan Shekarabi said Friday. “The current situation entails great risks for consumers in the gaming market. We therefore need to act to reduce the risks for the most vulnerable consumers.”
A second extension would prove controversial, given that there has been little evidence of an increase in problem gambling during the pandemic, while the government’s own research has shown an increase in the number of players abandoning the regulated market in favour of unlicensed online gambling websites with fewer restrictions.
“I have previously stated that there is nothing as lasting as a political promise of something temporary,” said Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS).
“The government seems unaware that their own expert authority, the State Treasury, just over a week ago stated that the leakage from the Swedish gaming market to the unregulated gaming market is alarmingly high. The leakage for online casinos is particularly high, where as much as every fourth gaming krona is played outside the Swedish licensed market.”
“To extend restrictions that are disapproved by gaming consumers is to ask for continued cancer for the channeling into the licensed market when it comes to online casinos,” Hoffstedt added. “Thus, Swedish gaming consumers will lose out on the consumer protection that the Swedish Parliament has decided will apply in our country. It is provocative that the Swedish government in a rhetoric about caring for the consumer in practice does the opposite and hurts the Swedish gaming license market with its strong consumer protection.”
The proposed extension of the deposit limit to November 14 is subject to a consultation ending on May 3.