News

23
Mar

DENMARK EXPANDS IGAMING BLACKLIST AND BLOCKS 55 NEW DOMAINS

Denmark’s Gambling Authority (Spilllemyndigheden) has added 55 new online gambling domains to the country’s growing blacklist of unlicensed operators.

The ruling will require internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the 55 domains, the highest number to be simultaneously blacklisted since the Authority began blocking sites in 2012.

It marks the seventh time that the Authority has gone to court to block illegal websites that offer online betting, casino and lottery games to Danish players without a licence. The latest ruling brings the number of blocked sites to 145 in total.

“One of our most important tasks is to protect players from illegal gambling,” said Spilllemyndigheden director Anders Dorph. “At the same time, we must ensure that the providers who are licensed to offer games in Denmark can run their business under orderly conditions.

“The record high number clearly shows that there is a need for the targeted effort, and we will therefore maintain the increased focus in the future.”

The latest additions to the regulator’s iGaming blacklist include online casino brands such as starcasino.be, easybet.com, royalspinz.com and spinia.com.

The list also features online sports betting brands dafabet.com and justbet.co, as well as 23 skin betting sites including csgetto.win and ggdrop.one.

The latest case was brought to court by ISPs who argued that websites could only be blocked if the regulator could prove that Danish players had actually played on the sites in question.

However, the court backed the Authority’s current practice, which sees the regulator assess whether a website offers games to Danish players without permission, and requests the website to stop offering the illegal games. If this does not happen, the case goes to the City Court.

The ISPs have appealed the ruling before the District Court.

22
Mar

SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR APPROVES SPORTS BETTING BILL

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed legislation to authorise sports betting at licensed casinos in Deadwood.

The legislation was signed into law Thursday following the November referendum in which voters approved an amendment to the Constitution of South Dakota to authorise sports betting.

It allows the 19 gaming venues in the city of Deadwood to offer retail-only sports betting to advance deposit wagering account holders, subject to authorisation by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming.

Deadwood is home to a population of less than 2,000, although this number swells considerably during the summer months as tourists descend on the registered National Historic Landmark.

16
Mar

DELAWARE IGAMING OPERATORS ACHIEVE ANOTHER RECORD MONTH IN FEBRUARY

DELAWARE IGAMING OPERATORS ACHIEVE ANOTHER RECORD MONTH IN FEBRUARY Delaware’s regulated iGaming market continued its strong start to the year with another record performance in February 2021. The state’s three licensed iGaming operators saw total amounts wagered continue to grow in February, soaring 122 per cent year-on-year to $21.9m. With $21.2m paid out in winnings, this generated record net revenue
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15
Mar

NEIL MCARTHUR STEPS DOWN AS GAMBLING COMMISSION CEO

Britain’s Gambling Commission has confirmed the departure of CEO Neil McArthur after nearly fifteen years of service with the regulator.

McArthur joined the Commission in 2006 and was general counsel before rising to the role of chief executive in 2018.

During his tenure as chief executive, the Gambling Commission has gone through a significant period of change as it equips itself to meet the challenges of regulating a rapidly changing and increasingly digital gambling market.

McArthur has overseen the strengthening of protections against gambling harms through the banning of gambling on credit cards, through enhanced age verification checks and, most recently, through new requirements to build in protections to the design of online products.

He has also led moves to ensure that those impacted by gambling harms have their voices heard in the Commission’s decision making, culminating in the recent establishment of the Lived Experience Advisory Panel.

“I am proud of everything the Gambling Commission has achieved during my 15 years with the organisation,” said McArthur. “We have taken significant steps forward to make gambling fairer and safer and I know that I leave the organisation in a strong position to meet its future challenges. With a review of the Gambling Act underway now feels the right time to step away and allow a new chief executive to lead the Commission on the next stage in its journey.”

Gambling Commission chairman Bill Moyes commented: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Neil for his many years of commitment and service to the Gambling Commission. A lot has been achieved during his time here and Neil can rightly feel proud of the organisation’s progress during his tenure as chief executive.”

The Commission will shortly begin the process of recruiting a new chief executive for an interim period. This will allow the successor to current chairman Moyes, whose term of office ends later this year, to appoint a permanent chief executive.

While that recruitment process is ongoing, deputy chief executive Sarah Gardner and chief operating officer Sally Jones will jointly become acting CEO of the regulator.

11
Mar

BELGIUM LOOKS TO PAYMENT BLOCKING AS GAMBLING BLACKLIST EXPANDS

The Gaming Commission of Belgium is working to increase its cooperation with the country’s financial institutions in an effort to combat unlicensed online gambling.

The Commission is working on an agreement with financial services industry federation Febelfin to facilitate payment blocking against unlicensed operators as the country’s blacklist of illegal providers continues to grow.

The Gaming Commission has added 18 new domains to its blacklist so far this year, including 11 new additions this week.

This week’s additions are all Curacao-licensed websites and mostly operated by Equinox Dynamic N.V, with Paris Saint-Germain betting partner 22bet the most high-profile operator to be blacklisted.

ADDITIONS TO BELGIUM IGAMING BLACKLIST IN 2021
Domain Added
en.ggpoker.com 26/01/2021
winadaycasino.eu 26/01/2021
magicalspin.com 26/01/2021
casinojoka.com 26/01/2021
cbet.gg 26/01/2021
loot.bet 26/01/2021
vipstakes.com 26/01/2021
macaucasino.com/fr 08/03/2021
montecryptoscasino.com 08/03/2021
m.22bet.com 08/03/2021
orientexpresscasino.info/fr 08/03/2021
spintropolis.com 08/03/2021
casinosuperlines.com 08/03/2021
casinosuperlines.net 08/03/2021
reeltastic.com 08/03/2021
nordicasino.com 08/03/2021
lafiestacasino.com 08/03/2021
thisisvegas.com 08/03/2021

9
Mar

ONLINE GROWTH DRIVES IOWA SPORTS BETTING MARKET IN FEBRUARY

Iowa’s licensed sportsbooks collected total wagers of $143.6m in February 2021, with online wagers now accounting for more than 87 per cent of the total.

Continuing their strong start to the year, Iowa’s 18 operational sportsbooks saw wagers soar by 152 per cent year-on-year, with online sports wagers climbing 231 per cent to $125.2m, offsetting a 4 per cent decline in retail wagers to $18.4m.

Total payouts during the month amounted to $135.9m, generating total sports betting net receipts of $7.7m, a significant increase on the $755,334 total in February 2020.

IOWA SPORTS BETTING HANDLE: FEBRUARY 2021 (US$)
Online Retail TOTAL
Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo 21,578,779 277,132 21,855,912
Diamond Jo Dubuque 20,844,497 516,525 21,361,021
Wild Rose Jefferson 18,817,645 177,559 18,995,203
Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino 15,950,836 929,857 16,880,693
Diamond Jo Worth 7,524,401 4,182,380 11,706,781
Wild Rose Clinton 10,859,502 199,330 11,451,646
Wild Rose Emmetsburg 8,827,568 156,481 8,984,049
Ameristar II 851,877 4,470,142 5,322,019
Catfish Bend Casino 4,972,935 257,910 5,230,845
Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs 2,581,038 2,247,763 4,828,801
Rhythm City Casino 2,492,169 543,121 3,035,290
Lakeside Casino 2,240,081 791,485 3,031,566
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort 2,492,169 532,354 3,024,523
Isle of Capri Bettendorf 2,195,180 362,349 2,557,530
Hard Rock Casino 894,420 859,746 1,754,166
Grand Falls Casino Resort 565,224 1,154,240 1,719,464
Q Casino 465,202 560,825 1,026,027
Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel 672,111 177,523 849,634
TOTAL 125,218,448 18,396,722 143,615,170
For the second consecutive month, there was a new market leader in the state as Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo collected wagers of $21.9m, ahead of Diamond Jo Dubuque’s $21.5m and Wild Rose Jefferson’s $19.0m.

Former market leader Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino was the fourth biggest operator with wagers of $16.7m in February, comprising $16.0m from online and $929,857 from retail, while Diamond Jo-Worth booked wagers of $11.7m during the month, ahead of Wild Rose Clinton’s $11.5m and Wild Rose Emmetsburg’s $9.0m.

In terms of online handle, the biggest operator in February was Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo (and partner William Hill) with wagers of $21.6m, ahead of Diamond Jo Dubuque (and FanDuel) with $20.8m, Wild Rose Jefferson (and partners DraftKings and BetRivers) with $18.8m, and Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino (and William Hill) with $16.0m.

The biggest retail operator was Ameristar II with wagers of $4.5m, ahead of Diamond Jo Worth’s $4.2m and Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs’ $2.2m.

Overall, licensed operators paid out $520,444to the state in taxes during the month, an increase of 431 per cent compared to February 2020.

8
Mar

BAVARIA SET TO IMPLEMENT ONLINE GAMING MONOPOLY

Germany’s second most populous state has elected to adopt a state-controlled monopoly for online casino games.

The State Lottery and Casino Administration of Bavaria will hand the online casino games monopoly to state-owned Lotto Bayern, which is also the sole land-based casino operator with nine casinos in the state.

The government of Bavaria has justified the move by arguing that house-banked games pose a significant risk of manipulation and can therefore only be safely operated by the state-owned casinos.

Germany’s new State Treaty on Gambling comes into force on 1 July, regulating online sports betting and casino gaming for the first time. Sports betting will be regulated at the national level, while individual states are free to choose whether to allow online casino games and the number of licenses available.

NetEnt
The law to enact the state monopoly in Bavaria was notified to the European Commission last week and is subject to a standstill period expiring on 2 July.

The monopoly is expected to benefit Scientific Games, which currently provides lottery and sports betting solutions to Lotto Bayern.

1
Mar

NEVADA GAMBLING REVENUE DECLINES FOR 11TH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

Nevada’s regulated gambling market contracted again in January 2021 as total gaming revenue fell by 27 per cent to $761.8m.

Gaming revenue declined year-on-year for the eleventh consecutive month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the market recorded growth of 11 per cent compared to the previous month’s $683.7m total.

Revenue from slot machines declined by 22 per cent year-on-year to $526.5m in January, accounting for 69 per cent of total revenue, while revenue from Table, Counter and Card Games fell by 36 per cent to $235.4m, with the most popular games being Blackjack ($55.0m), sports betting ($52.4m) and Baccarat ($28.9m).

Sports betting revenue soared by 160 per cent compared to a year ago thanks to the availability of sporting events, from January sports handle of $647m.

American football accounted for the bulk of January’s sports betting revenue at $25.6m, with basketball contributing $22.2m, ice hockey $1.7m, Sports Parlay Cards $1.1m and other sports $2.3m, offsetting negative revenue from baseball.

Race Books contributed a further $2.3m in revenue during the month, a decline of 17 per cent versus January 2019.

In the past twelve months, Nevada’s total gambling revenue has fallen by 37 per cent year-on-year to $7.60bn, with slot machine revenue falling 34 per cent to $5.27bn and revenue from Table, Counter and Card Games 44 per cent lower at $2.33bn. This includes a 12 per cent drop in sports betting revenue to $295.0m and a 33 per cent decline in Race Book revenue to $25.6m due to cancellations in the early part of 2020.

23
Feb

MICHIGAN ONLINE SPORTS BETTING AND IGAMING MARKET TO LAUNCH FRIDAY

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has authorised nine operators to launch online sports betting and iGaming in the state on Friday.

The state gambling regulator has approved the state’s first online offerings to go live on 22 January, with authorised operators including DraftKings, William Hill, Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook, Churchill Downs Inc’s TwinSpires, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel and Wynn.

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting,” said MGCB executive director Richard Kalm. “Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos.

“Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”

Kalm said that the days between authorization and launch will give the operators and platform providers additional time for testing and adjustments before operations go live.

The MGCB expects to authorize additional operators and platform providers in the coming days and weeks as agency staff review other submissions to ensure they meet the state’s regulatory requirements.

“We want the public to have confidence when they place wagers, and our agency has required the providers to prove they meet Michigan’s standards, which are designed to protect the participants,” Kalm said.

MICHIGAN’S AUTHORISED OPERATORS
Tribe/Casino Operator Gaming Type Offered
Bay Mills Indian Community DraftKings Online Casino/Sports Betting
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians William Hill Online Casino/Sports Betting
Greektown Casino Penn Sports/Barstool Sportsbook Online Sports Betting
Hannahville Indian Community TwinSpires Online Casino/Sports Betting
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Golden Nugget Online Gaming Online Casino/Sports Betting
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Rush Street Online Casino/Sports Betting
MGM Grand Detroit BetMGM/Roar Digital Online Casino/Sports Betting
MotorCity Casino FanDuel Online Casino/Sports Betting
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Wynn Online Casino/Sports Betting

18
Feb

RECORD DECEMBER FOR ILLINOIS SPORTS BETTING MARKET DESPITE RETAIL CLOSURES

Illinois’ regulated sports betting market grew for the seventh consecutive month in December as total wagers reached a new high of $491.7m.

Despite the closure of all retail sportsbooks during the month due to COVID-19, total wagers were up 9 per cent compared to the previous month.

The state’s five online sportsbooks collected $324.5m in wagers on professional sports in December, with $167.2m wagered on college sports and a further $37,545 on motor races.

ILLINOIS SPORTS BETTING HANDLE: DECEMBER 2020 (US$)
Online Retail TOTAL
Casino Queen 195,431,892 — 195,431,892
Par-A-Dice Gaming 144,445,143 — 144,445,143
Midwest Gaming & Entertainment 111,216,418 — 111,216,418
Hawthorse Race Course 32,043,420 — 32,043,420
Elgin Riverboat Resort 8,583,662 — 8,583,662
Alton Casino — — —
HC Joliet — — —
HC Aurora — — —
TOTAL 491,720,535 — 491,720,535
Casino Queen and its partner DraftKings continued to lead the way as the state’s market leader for sports betting with online wagers of $195.4m during the month.

This was ahead of Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice Casino and partner FanDuel, which generated online wagers $144.4m in December.

The next biggest operator was Churchill Downs Incorporated and Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers Casino Des Plaines (trading as Midwest Gaming & Entertainment), which saw online wagers from BetRivers.com reach $111.2m.

Hawthorne Race Course and partner PointsBet collected online wagers of $32.0m, while Caesars Entertainment’s Grand Victoria Casino and its partner William Hill (trading as Elgin Riverboat Resort) took in wagers of $8.6m.

Gaming & Leisure Properties’ Hollywood Casino Aurora and Penn National Gaming’s Argosy Casino Alton and Hollywood Casino Joliet booked no sports bets in December due to the retail closures.