News

13
Sep

Danish regulator hails success of StopSpillet gambling helpline

The regulator says the helpline is meeting requirements and reaching its target groups but that more awareness was needed.

Denmark.- The gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has reported the results of a study into Denmark’s gambling helpline, StopSpillet, which it launched in 2019. It said the results showed that the helpline was reaching its targets and meeting requirements.

The study shows that 87 per cent of callers are men and 35 per cent men between the ages of 18 and 25. It found that half of callers began gambling before they were 18, which the regulator said backed up other research that had found a correlation between gambling at an early age and developing an addiction.

The regulator added that many callers had experienced gambling-related harm for an extended period of time – two-and-a-half years on average. As for the types of gambling, 62 per cent of callers used online gambling, compared to 26 per cent who tended to use land-based gambling. Other types of gambling accounted for 12 per cent.

Men spent the most money on gambling – DKK13,200 (€1780) per month on average. Women callers spent an average of DKK9300 per month but spent more time gambling, citing 30 hours per week compared to an average of 19 hours per week for men.

As for callers who made contact because relatives were experiencing gambling-related harm, 66 per cent of callers were women, with women aged 46 to 55 the largest group.

The regulator said: “The study shows that gambling problems are generally increasing, both among adults and young people. The figures in the survey indicate that more people could benefit from knowing about and using StopSpillet.”

Spillemyndigheden has confirmed that it will be involved in a new initiative against money laundering in the country. Led by the Ministry of Justice, the strategy will also involve Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority, Bar Council and the Danish Business Authority.

The Money Laundering Secretariat and Police Intelligence Services have identified currency exchange and money transfer, high-value goods, neo-banks, cryptocurrency, the gambling sector and some areas of the non-profit sector as those that pose the greatest risk for money laundering and terrorist financing.

In July, Spillemyndigheden reprimanded the online gambling operator Casumo for breaching the Danish Money Laundering Act through failings in its risk assessments. The regulator found that until March 11, Casumo did not have adequate identification and risk assessment of customer types.

Its risk assessments also failed to include separate identification and risk assessment for different types of products. The operator also failed to identify and risk-assess delivery channels as required because it had no risk assessment of its mobile app.

12
Sep

New York online sports betting handle reaches $872.2m in August

The sports betting handle came in below the $1bn mark for the second straight month.

US.- New York’s online sports betting handle came in below the $1bn mark for a second month in August. Players spent $872.2m, which was 8.9 per cent higher than the $800.8m wagered in July. Gross gaming revenue was $99.6m, up 35.3 per cent from $73.6m in July.

Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group remained the market leader with $46.6m in revenue from $374.6m in bets, ahead of DraftKings ($25.9m in revenue from $244.5m in wagers). Caesars Sportsbook recorded revenue of $12.7m from $117.6m in bets. BetMGM registered $8.8m in revenue and a $73m handle and PointsBet $2.5m from $23.8m.

Rush Steet Interactive registered $2.2m in revenue from $26.5m in player bets, Wynn Interactive $492,014 from a $6.7m handle. Resorts World recorded $352,785 in revenue and $4.5m in wagers. In its first full month in New York since launching in mid-July, BallyBet posted $97,502 in revenue and a $1m handle.

Lotto.com expands to New York, Texas and Colorado
Lotto.com expanded in the US and is now available in New York, Texas and Colorado. Customers can order official state lottery tickets, either online or at one of three locations. Previously, Lotto.com was only available in New Jersey, where it launched in June 2021.

In each state, players can visit the Players Café to purchase lottery tickets and scratch cards. In New York, the venue is located in Manhattan’s West Village, while the Texas Players Café is in Cedar Park and the Colorado venue is located in Edgewater. Players can purchase tickets for games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

12
Sep

GambleAware reveals plans for UK National Gambling Treatment Service

The responsible gambling charity plans to revamp the helpline.

UK.- The industry-supported responsible gambling charity and grant making body GambleAware has published its commissioning intentions for the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS).

It said it plans to revamp the helpline and introduce more integrated regional services, more support for residential treatment and more cooperation between service providers and local partners.

The NGTS is a network run with GamCare and Gordon Moody. It offers free support and treatment for those experiencing gambling harm, those at risk and those affected by others’ gambling behaviours. Together, the participating organisations provide telephone, online and face-to-face support.

However, the network’s future was put in doubt when the NHS said it would no longer accept funding from GambleAware, citing concerns about its neutrality. And late last year, GambleAware said it was concerned about the low takeup of the NGTS.

Now a new plan has been published following a strategic review that included experts, treatment providers, lived experience representatives, local authorities and the NHS. GambleAware says the resulting outcome framework and delivery model will enable the delivery of “more targeted support to greater numbers of people in need”.

Chief commissioning officer Anna Hargrave said: “We are excited to announce our new commissioning plans which will build on the success of our current prevention, support and treatment programmes.

“In the context of rising costs-of-living and increasing numbers of people at risk of gambling harm, we want to ensure our commissioning strategy can respond to the changing environment and the needs of the most vulnerable communities and groups.

“We have built up a wide pool of expertise and knowledge around gambling harms from years of working with our partners and we will continue to use this insight to improve and inform our work and ensure we are able to make a lasting impact to people’s lives.”

10
Sep

West Virginia sports betting and igaming markets grow in August

West Virginia saw a sports betting handle of $33.9m and $327.6m in online casino handle.

US.- Both the West Virginia online gaming market and sports betting market had significant rises in both revenue and handle for August compared to July according to the figures released by the West Virginia Lottery.

The igaming handle showed a 18.2 per cent rise compared to the previous month. The handle was $327.6m, up from nearly $277.3. for July. Revenue in August for West Virginia was $10.7m representing a 27.1 per cent increase from the $8.5m in the July revenue report.

Some of the most popular West Virginia online casino platforms include Caesars Casino Online, BetMGM Casino Online, FanDuel Casino Online, and DraftKings Casino Online.

5
Sep

Italian media watchdog issues warning on gambling ads

AGCOM has warned that media and affiliate owners must abide by the rules in Italy’s Dignity Decree.

Italy.- The media and communications watchdog AGCOM has issued a warning to both foreign and domestic media and affiliate companies over gambling ad rules in Italy’s Dignity Decree. AGCOM noted it was fully authorised to penalise foreign media owners following European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings in favour of state agencies’ authority on gambling adverts.

The agency issued the warning after imposing a record €750,000 fine on Google due to gambling content shown on YouTube video channels. AGCOM found that YouTube had breached Article-9 of the 2018 Dignity Decree, which prohibits all gambling advertising, both direct and indirect, from being shown to Italian audiences.

It held YouTube liable for not taking action to remove the prohibited content distributed on its platform by a third party, namely the Malta-based affiliate marketing agency Top Ads Ltd. The agency chastised YouTube for authorising Top Ads as a verified partner, which meant its channels could post gambling content without scrutiny.

Top Ads itself was fined €700,000 for posting prohibited content promoting gambling offers on SpikeSlot.com across five separate YouTube Channels.

AGCOM said “This is the first measure taken by the agency against a video hosting service provider for allowing the distribution of banned advertisements for games with cash winning.

In July, Google updated its content guidelines for how ads are displayed in search results on its eponymous search engine. Gambling operators and affiliates will no longer be able to use a format that Google terms Rich Results to mark up products in search results.

The change applies as of this month as part of a wider policy on the listing of “high-risk products“, which also covers firearms and other weapons, tobacco, vaping and recreational drugs. The Rich Results function allows advertisers to instantly display certain product information such as price, availability and star rating on a product’s keyword search results.

Meanwhile, an Italian MEP has sought clarification of the EU’s position on esports events after Italy’s customs and monopolies agency, ADM, which regulates gambling in the country, closed down three esports venues in April.

He fears the ADM’s actions may hinder free-market competition between companies from different EU states. The ADM’s clampdown, which has been dubbed LAN-gate, has been criticised by organisers. They say it was triggered by Sergio Milesi, chief executive of Italian amusement arcade operator LED SRL, in a bid to stifle competition while the company prepares to launch its own venues.

3
Sep

Gambling addiction bodies form new global support network

Better Change, Gordon Moody and Mindway AI are creating new global support network for problem gambling.

UK.- Three organisations have announced a new collaboration to create a global support network for problem gambling. UK treatment provider Gordon Moody will be joined by Better Change and Mindway AI.

Gordon Moody described the collaboration as a “unique partnership to offer a new level of protection and support to the gambling industry through a new global network”. It said the network would provide support on responsible gambling for both players and operators and would be a one-stop shop for gambling industry stakeholders about gambling-related harm.

Part of the project will be a customisable online learning platform for operators to use with staff. Bespoke modules will be available.

Matthew Hickey, CEO of Gordon Moody, said: “Demand for our services has risen significantly this year with applications rising by 123%, demonstrating that we are committed to tackling gambling addiction together and ensuring our service users access the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time.

Better Change Founder, Victoria Reed, commented: “Working with like-minded organisations is something Better Change have always prided themselves on. We believe that to really impact individuals and make gambling as safe as possible for all, collaboration is key.

“The decades of experience Gordon Moody has in treating gambling harm, coupled with the expert technology and innovation from Mindway AI, is perfectly complemented with Better Change’s consultancy and industry experience, allowing us to truly deliver tangible change in the industry and we can’t wait to grow and develop a global network.”

Mindway AI CEO Rasmus Kjaergaard added: “We see industry collaboration between different types of organisations as a critical part of our mission to empower gambling operators to enhance player protection. This is the exact reason why we agreed to join this global network initiative, adding our sophisticated RG solutions and services to the network.”

Meanwhile, GamCare is looking for a new trustee to expand its reach ahead of the UK’s expected shakeup of gambling regulations. The charity, which runs the UK National Gambling Helpline, is looking for a candidate with lived experience of gambling harm and in-depth knowledge and experience of either public affairs, regulation or clinical expertise.

GamCare said it aimed to broaden the diversity of its board to improve decision-making and keep up its momentum.

2
Sep

BMM Testlabs grants the First Compliance Certification in the blockchain industry to Chainlink VRF

Chainlink VRF has received the GLI-19 compliance certification through BMM Testlabs.

Press release.- BMM Testlabs, the longest established and most experienced private independent gaming testing laboratory in the world, announced today that Chainlink VRF, the blockchain standard for verifiable randomness in gaming and NFTs, has received the GLI-19 compliance certification through BMM Testlabs.

Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function) is the blockchain industry’s most widely adopted random number generator (RNG), enabling smart contracts to access random values without compromising security or usability.

VRF is used for minting NFTs, randomizing in-game features, and much more. Since it first launched, VRF has served a cumulative 7.9 million randomness requests.

VRF V2 launched in February 2022, reducing transaction fees and empowering smart contract developers to build the next wave of provably fair and scalable NFT and gaming applications.

Maria Romero, business development manager for iGaming at BMM Testlabs, commented, “As one of the first certifications in the blockchain industry, BMM is paving the way for companies developing blockchain-based gaming solutions to become certified in a secure and compliant way that was previously unavailable.”

By using this certified random number generator for iGaming applications, developers can rely on the security best practices built into the Chainlink VRF offering.

This ensures that the randomness is both verifiable and tamper-proof using a trust-minimized approach, reducing the potential for human error.

BMM Testlabs’ EVP & CTO Travis Foley Appointed to IAGA Board of Trustees
BMM Testlabs, the world’s original gaming test lab and product certification consultancy is pleased to announce that Travis Foley, Executive vice president North America and chief technology officer, has been appointed to the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) Board of Trustees.

Travis Foley commented, “The IAGA has provided a forum for discussing key issues that affect global gaming since its foundation in 1980. I am very honoured to be recognized among the leading industry attorneys, senior executives, financial advisors, regulators, consultants, and academics that represent the IAGA Board of Trustees.”

2
Sep

Germany issues online slots licence to Solar Operations

It’s the ninth online slots licence for Germany’s new regulated igaming market.

Germany.- A ninth online slots licence has been granted in Germany, going to Solar Operations Limited which will operate at Sonnenspiele.de. The licence was granted by the Saxony-Anhalt state administration office, which remains responsible for licensing until the end of this year.

It’s the latest licence to be issued following a licence awarded to Jokerstar last week. Jokerstar’s licence was notable for the company being a newcomer to the scene. Germany’s tight regulations and high tax on online slots rate mean that so far most licensees have been connected to well-established land-based gaming operations.

However, according to Solar Operations’ website, its directors include Simon Ellul Sullivan and Jeremy Camilleri. Sullivan is a director at GGC Malta, which bought the Sonnenspiele.de domain name last year. Camilleri is the managing director of Gauselmann’s Merkur eSolutions and Solis Ortus Service Ltd.

Online slots in Germany
Germany’s new online gambling legislation came into force on July 1 last year, introducing a tight regulatory regime for slots with a €1 stake limit and a 5.3 per cent tax on turnover. Licensing has been slow, with the first online slots licences not issued until earlier this year.

The first operator to receive a licence was Mernov, a joint venture between Merkur and Novomatic that has since changed its name to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Glücksspiel (DGGS). Licences followed for Tipwin and Mybet in June. The state of Saxony-Anhalt has since said that it has approved another nine operators but didn’t name them.

Saxony-Anhalt’s State Administration Office remains responsible for online slots and poker licensing until the new regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL – The German Federal States’ Joint Gambling Authority) takes over on January 1, 2023.

With its licensing process taking so long, some eight applications have been withdrawn – including that from Kindred’s Unibet which has turned its back on Germany for now due to the slow licensing progress and the tight restrictions in the regulated market. Only one application has actually been rejected by the office.

The State Administration Office recently said it had referred 25 online gaming operators to the public prosecutor’s office for offering gaming without a licence in the last year. It said it had checked 871 websites and investigated 148 cases of illegal gambling and 90 cases of illegal gambling advertising.

Meanwhile, the GGL has already taken over enforcement duties, taking steps to begin to block IP addresses and payments to unlicensed operators. The regulator also plans to devise an early detection system for gambling harm and to create a centralised complaints and whistleblowing system that the public will be able to use to report gambling “irregularities”, advertising violations and suspicions of illegal gambling.

1
Sep

Jackpot Software invests in modern and attractive games without leaving the classic aside

The games will be developed for North America, Europe and Latin America, according to their laws.

Press release.- Jackpot Software is recognized worldwide for classic slot games that have delighted generations of users, such as Fusion Sevens and American Payday. In the Bahamas, for example, the favourite games are Bahamas Bucks, Flaming Seven and Smash Cash. But now, in addition, the company is investing a lot in new games, with modern and attractive graphics.

It’s true that Jackpot Software’s online games revive the great classics, bringing to the virtual the possibility of enjoying old-school casinos, but there’s news coming.

According to Billy Duran, the company’s International Director of Operations, “Customers love the classics, of course! But now we’re developing a visually appealing catalogue that has loads of prizes, bonuses and jackpots that they will love the same! The new releases will be even more attractive”.

The latest generation of games, another step by Jackpot Software to consolidate itself as a leader in the gaming market, will be developed to be enjoyed in many countries – according to the legislation of each place – in North America, Europe and Latin America.

31
Aug

Ontario igaming revenue for first three months hits CA$162m

IGaming Ontario has released its first public report on market performance since the market launched in April.

Canada.- iGaming Ontario (iGO) has released its first public report of market performance since the Ontario igaming market launched on April 4. The report covers the first full quarter of market operations, ending on June 30. Revenue for the period was CA$162m from wagers of $4bn.

There are 18 operators active across 31 gaming websites and 492,000 active players. Players have spent an average of $113 a month. Operators include US giants such as DraftKings, and Bally Bet, international groups such as Entain and local operators like North Star.

iGO chairman Dave Forestell said: “Our aim is to be the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and these positive results are an early sign that we’re on our way,” said “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.”