MGA ‘embracing innovation’ with Sandbox Framework

first_img Framework addresses virtual financial assets, tokens and ITAs Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter MGA ‘embracing innovation’ with Sandbox Framework The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published its new ‘Sandbox Framework’ as part of an effort to place the regulator at the “forefront of gaming regulation” by exploring new technologies.The new framework covers the acceptance of virtual financial assets and virtual tokens, as well as the use of Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITAs) within the gaming sector.The MGA intends to split the framework into two phases, the first of which will commence on January 1 with the regulator accepting applications for the use of VFAs and virtual tokens as a method of payment.During the second phase, the framework will be extended to cover applications to use ITAs within the key technical equipment of licensees, coinciding with other related developments from the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.The regulator expects the framework to run until October 2019, but this could be partially or wholly extended. The framework is also open to changes, based on feedback and updates.MGA chief executive Heathcliff Farrugia (pictured) said: “The MGA’s strategic mission is to be at the forefront of gaming regulation whilst embracing innovation.“This, coupled with the rapid rise in interest from gaming operators to incorporate VFAs and DLT into their operations, were the main drivers behind the proactive approach taken by the Authority to issue a Sandbox Framework for the use of these technologies within a controlled regulatory environment.“This Framework is intended as a live document and will therefore be subject to feedback and potential updates during its duration, whilst also keeping in consideration any technological or regulatory developments which may occur.”The move comes as the MGA prepares to take on more regulatory powers, as set out under new gaming law that was approved by the Maltese Parliament earlier this year.The MGA’s powers to intervene will be strengthened, while the act will formalise the role of the MGA’s Player Support Unit as a mediator between aggrieved players and operators. In addition, the act envisages new processes for criminal and administrative justice in the country. Regions: Europe Southern Europe Malta AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Payments Topics: Strategy Tech & innovation 5th October 2018 | By contenteditor Strategy Email Addresslast_img read more


Let the games begin

first_img Joanne Christie asks whether DraftKings and FanDuel will be able to maintain top billing once the global big guns enter the US 23rd October 2018 | By Hannah Gannage-Stewart AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Latest figures from New Jersey show DraftKings and FanDuel leading the way in sports betting revenue. But will the DFS behemoths be able to maintain top billing once the global big guns enter the fray? Joanne Christie reportsAfter New Jersey’s second full month of sports betting figures were released in mid-October, some commentators posited that New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement director David Rebuck might have overplayed things somewhat with his teaser the previous week that the figures would be “stunning”.Yes, the market almost doubled, but the number of operators more than doubled and many would argue the market’s growth was simply in line with expectations.But while opinion may be divided on the use of superlatives, there’s no room for debate about who’s leading the way online — the two big daily fantasy sports providers are the clear early winners. It’s likely the majority of Resorts Digital’s digital sports betting revenue of $8.5m came from the DraftKings skin, and FanDuel pulled in $2.8m as a skin of Meadowlands Racetrack.The DFS operators eclipsed the offerings from both US land-based casinos and European skins by some distance – the next best performance was Golden Nugget’s Playsugarhouse.com with $620,000. So what’s behind their early gains, and more importantly, will they continue to lead the way?Perfectly positioned The success of DraftKings and FanDuel doesn’t seem to have surprised anyone, given their huge databases and prominent brand advantage in the US.“They have the biggest brands in America — although they haven’t been sports betting before there’s not a lot of difference between sports betting and fantasy sports in a lot of consumers’ minds,” says Middle Friday’s Andy Clerkson, a consultant helping firms enter the US.“I think they were always going to take the initial plunge and spend more than any new entrants into the market because they have already got their companies set up and ready to go.”It’s also likely there’s something of a defensive element. “There are a huge number of DFS players who were only playing DFS as a proxy for sports betting,” adds Clerkson. “It is critical that DraftKings and FanDuel try to retain their audiences and try and grow them through sports betting.”However, Benjie Cherniak, president at Don Best Sports, says while he also foresees some migration from fantasy to sports betting, he thinks fantasy will remain popular. “I think that fantasy is going to always have a place in the US market because it is so ingrained culturally in the US populace, it has been around for so long. I don’t think fantasy will disappear.”DraftKings and FanDuel are undoubtedly concerned with keeping hold of their existing players if they transition to sports betting, but given daily fantasy itself only captured a relatively small portion of both sports bettors and fantasy players, the bigger goal will be to attract new players.One industry veteran with experience on both sides of the Atlantic divides these new players into two groups: younger, completely new sports bettors; and sophisticated sports bettors who’ve been betting offshore or with a local bookie in spite of the legal position.He predicts the DFS sites will scoop up a lot of those in the former group thanks to their brand and trust advantage, but that they will have a more difficult time pulling in the latter. Here comes the competition Partly, that’s because those betting illegally will be tougher to bring into the regulated market, particularly if they do not perceive it offers the same value as the offshore market. And partly, it’s because many other operators will also be vying for these players.While DraftKings was first off the mark in New Jersey, it has since been followed by a number of US and European operators and there are more to follow. Thus far, none have been as aggressive in their marketing as DraftKings and FanDuel but many think this will change.“I think it is going to be a massively competitive market,” says Clerkson. “I think DraftKings and FanDuel are doing what they need to do, which is try and press their early advantage by already being established because they are going to find they are in a whole different world very soon. They’ve had the market to themselves on fantasy sports but that is not going to be the case for sports betting.“The history of sports betting in the UK was that the biggest brands didn’t keep the top spots once the others came in. Bet365, Paddy Power and Sky Bet obviously took enormous market share from William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral.”However, the industry veteran says he’s not sure this analogy holds up. “In the UK Bet365 and Sky Bet were the young upstarts that came in and chewed away at the incumbents, which were slow-moving. It’s the other way around in the US. You’ve got these fast-moving, crazy tech companies that are well funded.“DraftKings in its DNA is definitely born out of that US technology-focused, grow-at-all-costs, don’t-sit-around, get-something-to-the-customer mentality. It is definitely a technology company.”The issue of whether European companies will be providing something suitable for US audiences or simply putting out versions of their existing offerings and hoping for the best has of course been debated at length, but it’s worth remembering that both DraftKings and FanDuel are running their sportsbooks largely off European platforms at the moment.This reliance on platforms might turn out to be a disadvantage once Europeans with more proprietary tech move into the frame. Cherniak says European providers will certainly need to bring something to the table to counteract their lack of brand positioning in the US.“Companies that have been very successful globally are coming into the New Jersey space. The prime example would be Bet365, which has a skin and is going to be entering the market at some point, and then you also have the Kindred Group,” he says.“These companies have significant brand names in Europe as well as other parts of the world, but they are virtually unknown in the US so it will be interesting to see how they differentiate themselves in the US. Will it be via what some perceive to be superior product offerings or will it be via a unique marketing technique?”Of course a couple of them have a head start, namely William Hill with its multiple land-based deals, and Paddy Power Betfair with its acquisition of FanDuel. Although DraftKings is in front for now, there are many who think the combination of Paddy Power Betfair’s expertise and FanDuel’s marketing will in time prove to be an unbeatable combination.Whether the DFS operators can retain their lead in New Jersey remains to be seen, but it’s sure to be a closely watched market — particularly since many see it as indicative of how things will play out in other states. Topics: Sports bettingcenter_img Let the games begin Tags: Online Gambling Sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more


Gambling.com to use Stockholm listing as springboard for US

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Gambling.com to use Stockholm listing as springboard for US 4th December 2018 | By contenteditor Finance Tags: Online Gambling Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Gambling.com group chief executive Charles Gillespie claims the company’s listing of €16m (£14.2m/$18.2m) in senior secured notes on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange will enhance the digital marketing services provider’s credibility as it seeks to expand in the US.Gambling.com, which has been granted approval to list on the exchange today (December 4), said that the notes will have a fixed interest rate of 10.5% and, with a three-year tenor period, are due to mature on October 22, 2021.The bonds have been tradable over-the-counter – without the supervision of an exchange – since their issuance in October, prior to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority’s approval of the listing.Speaking to iGamingBusiness.com, Gillespie said a number of transactions had taken place prior to the listing on Nasdaq Stockholm, with the new approval set to broaden the company’s portfolio of investors.“By listing the bonds on Nasdaq, the securities become standardised and can appeal to a broader range of investors. For example, some investors have investment mandates that specifically limit them to only listed securities,” he said.“To be a Nasdaq-affiliated issuer, then the company must meet some fairly high standards. Furthermore, the company has put in place the foundation to do more corporate finance activity with Nasdaq down the road.”The company’s framework limit is set at €25m, which provides room for the possible future issuance of a further £9m in notes. However, Gillespie added that there are currently no plans for additional listings.Gillespie previously said that the bond issue will allow Gambling.com to focus on operational execution instead of fundraising, with the aim of supporting the company’s expansion plans in the US.Last week, Gambling.com relaunched Bookies.com as a US-facing service featuring tips, reviews and news, some nine months after acquiring the website.Gillespie believes there is an “enormous opportunity in the regulated online gambling business” in the US, with Gambling.com one of the latest affiliates to join the fray. The likes of Catena Media, BettingExpert and RakeTech have all made a number of acquisitions designed to gain a foothold in the market.  Email Address Topics: Finance Strategy Marketing services provider approved to list €16m in senior secured notes, with funds to be used for expansion in the USlast_img read more


NI betting shop trade group backs FOBT stake cut

first_img Tags: OTB and Betting Shops 25th January 2019 | By contenteditor Legal & compliance NI betting shop trade group backs FOBT stake cut Regions: UK & Ireland Major Northern Irish bookmakers McLeans and Toals have become the latest operators to voluntarily cut their maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2.The pair are members of trade group Northern Ireland Turf Guardians’ Association (NITGA), which has now recommended operators should follow the rest of the UK in reducing the amount that can be wagered on the B2 machines by April 1.McLeans has around 60 shops in Northern Ireland, while there are approximately 50 Toals properties in the country. Therefore around 230 of the approximately 300 shops in Northern Ireland have agreed to cut maximum stakes, with fellow NITGA members Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power having already announced the change.NITGA, which represents around 280 shops in Northern Ireland, told iGamingBusiness.com there is an expectation that all its remaining members will follow suit, but that it cannot force businesses to conform.It added that many of its members are planning to enact the stake reduction but are still working on the technological changes to make it possible.“We have been consulting with our membership over the past number of months and operators, including A McLean Bookmakers, Toals Bookmakers, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill and Paddy Power have confirmed that FOBTs within their betting shops will align with the £2 maximum stake,” a NITGA spokesperson explained.“We are aware that other operators are in the process of exploring how they too can implement the reduced stake and we expect all bookmakers will adopt the £2 limit.”Earlier this week, Belfast City councillor John Kyle called on Toals, McLeans and Sean Graham to cut their maximum stakes. Sean Graham, which has around 20 shops and is not a NITGA member, has yet to confirm if it will cut stakes.NITGA said there are approximately 620 FOBTs currently in operation in Northern Ireland bookmakers – generally equating to two per shop.It added that most income is still generated by traditional over-the-counter betting with income from FOBTs accounting for less than 20%.While the rest of the UK is bound to bring FOBT maximum stakes down from £100 thanks to legislation passed at the end of 2018, Northern Ireland’s gambling industry is regulated by the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and not the Gambling Act 2005. This had effectively made it exempt from the maximum stake cut, before the country’s bookmakers took action. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Legal & compliance Around 230 of 300 betting shops in Northern Ireland have now committed to voluntarily reducing maximum FOBT stakes to £2 after McLeans and Toals become latest to confirm change Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more


Multilotto details Swedish in-store venture with Direkten

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Multilotto details Swedish in-store venture with Direkten Email Address Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden 18th March 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Lottery Tags: Online Gambling Lottery Online lottery betting provider Multilotto and Swedish convenience store chain Direkten have joined forces to launch a new in-shop gaming platform. The service will now be rolled out in 30 shops across the country. Online lottery betting provider Multilotto and Swedish convenience store chain Direkten have joined forces to launch a new in-shop gaming platform.Operating in collaboration with Spelombudet Norden AB, the platform has been rolled out at 30 Direkten stores across the country.In-store terminals will now allow consumers to place bets on major lotteries from around the world, as well as access a range of casino games.“We are very excited about this campaign as it gives us a chance to reach players who would normally interact with betting in-store rather than online,” Multilotto Swedish country manager, Niklas Fagerström, said.“Considering Direkten retail coverage across Sweden, this will offer Multilotto a great market and our players an unprecedented choice when it comes to betting on the biggest global lottery jackpots.”Direkten CEO, Svante Törnqvist, added: “Multilotto has a great product that suits our in-store offer very well, and at the same time it is continuously being asked for by our customers.”Multi Brand Gaming Limited, which operates the Multilotto.com site, is licensed to operate in the recently regulated Swedish market.last_img read more


NJ igaming and sports betting revenue dips in April

first_img New Jersey has reported a month-on-month decline in both sports betting and online gaming revenue for April, after the state was boosted in the previous month by the March Madness collegiate sports series. Total gaming revenue for the month amounted to $265.4m (£205.4m/€236.7m), which is down from $294.0m in March but up on $214.4m in the corresponding month last year. Land-based casinos continue to be the main source of income by some margin, generating $207.6m in revenue in April, up 8.4% year-on-year. Slots win was up 6.1% to €144.9m while table games win also increased 14.3% to $62.7m. Online gaming revenue rocketed 58.9% year-on-year from £23.0m in April 2018 to $36.6m. However, this is down from the record €39.1m that was made in March of this year. Slots and table games remain the gambling activities of choice for most players, with revenue up 64.2% year-on-year to $34.9m, whereas online peer-to-peer (poker) revenue slipped 5.3% to $1.67m. Golden Nugget maintained its place at the head of New Jersey’s igaming market with revenue of $13.9m in April, up 70.3% from $8.1m in the same month last year. Resorts Digital followed in second on $7.1m, up 97.6% year-on-year, and then the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on $5.5m. Meanwhile, sports betting fell from a record $31.7m in March to $21.2m, partly because the previous month benefitted from the hugely popular March Madness. Meadowlands, working with Paddy Power Betfair’s FanDuel division, remains some way out in front with sports betting revenue of $12.1m. Resorts Digital and its partner DraftKings followed in second with revenue of $4.7m, while Monmouth Park and William Hill ranked third with $2.6m. Ocean Resort fell just short of the million-dollar revenue mark in April, ending the month with $837,730. For the year-to-date, through to the end of April, total gaming win in New Jersey stood at $1.03bn, up 27.3% on $809.3m at the same point last year. Online gambling revenue was up 52.4% year-on-year to $141.1m, while sports betting win, which does not have a comparative total, totalled $84.4m. Casino & games NJ igaming and sports betting revenue dips in April Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US New Jersey Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 15th May 2019 | By contenteditor Email Address New Jersey has reported a month-on-month decline in both sports betting and online gaming revenue for April, after the state was boosted in the previous month by the March Madness collegiate sports series. Tags: Online Gamblinglast_img read more


Infinity Battle by NetGaming

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Casino & games Join our heroes, The Blue Bolt and Green Archer, in their attempt to thwart the plans of the evil Firestrike! Use the powerful Mask of Mystery to trigger the rewarding bonus features, win big and maybe, even save the world… AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Infinity Battle by NetGamingcenter_img 10th December 2019 | By Aaron Noy Topics: Casino & games Slots Email Addresslast_img read more


Danish problem gambling helpline reports year-one figures

first_img Danish regulator Spillemyndigheden has revealed that its problem gambling helpline received 722 calls during its first full year of operation, more than initially expected. Regions: Europe Nordics Denmark Danish problem gambling helpline reports year-one figures Danish regulator Spillemyndigheden has revealed that its problem gambling helpline received 722 calls during its first full year of operation, more than initially expected.Some 57% of people who called StopSpillet, which launched in January 2019, had acknowledged that they had a gambling problem or had concerns about their behaviour.Relatives of people suffering with gambling problems were responsible for 39% of total calls, while the remaining 4% came from professionals. Men accounted for 87% of the calls made to StopSpillet.“Compared to other types of addiction, compulsive gambling is not immediately visible and may be hidden for a long time to the outside world,” StopSpillet’s head of division, Linda Lomborg, said. “This emphasises the need for a helpline such as StopSpillet, offering confidential conversations about a problem that can be associated with a lot of guilt and shame.”When players contact StopSpillet, they were also asked to take a compulsory test to rate the severity of their gambling problem. The scale ranges from zero to nine and a score of between four and nine indicates a degree of problem gambling.According to Spillemyndigheden, the 240 consumers that took the test had an average score of 6.3, which the regulator said indicated that the service has been assisting players that needed the most help.In terms of the type of gambling that consumers were concerned about, of the 690 people that passed on this information, 67% cited online gambling as their primary problem. In comparison, land-based gambling at casinos, betting kiosks and gaming machines were the main source of concern for 33% of these callers.Players who contacted StopSpillet were also asked about the age at which they first started gambling, and based on the responses of 326 consumers, some 47% were under 18. A further 37% were aged between 18 and 25 when they gambled for the first time.In December last year, Spillemyndigheden launched a new campaign to promote the StopSpillet programme and also announced plans to expand the initiative with the addition of a new chat feature on the website, allowing users to speak with an online advisor. 6th February 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Strategylast_img read more


French casinos to reopen today

first_img French casinos to reopen today Casino & games Email Address 2nd June 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casinos in France will reopen today (2 June) after a shutdown that started in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).center_img Casinos in France will reopen today (2 June) after a shutdown that started in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).Casinos in ‘green zones’ – administrative departments where risk of transmission is low – will be permitted to reopen, while those in the ‘orange zone’ (where there is a higher risk of transmission) will have to remain closed. All of France except for Paris and the surrounding administrative department Ile-de-France are classed as green zones.Operators will be required to take measures to ensure social distancing measures are in place on-site, to prevent transmission of Covid-19.Groupe Partouche said it would reopen all 38 of its casinos in the country, but will only make slot machines and electronic games available. These machines will then be spaced apart with a plexiglass screen between each machine, while the machines will be regularly disinfected.Table games will be available at a later stage, the operator said.All customers and staff will have to wear masks, while staff will receive extra training on protective measures against the virus.Groupe Barrière, which operates 33 properties across France, said that digitalisation has been a major focus in its casinos, in order to limit interaction between staff and patrons. In addition, it said it had reorganised its gaming floors in order to make physical distancing easier.While most venues will reopen, its properties in Paris and Ile-de-France, in the orange zone, will remain closed for the time being.“The gradual reopening of the majority of our establishments is great news for our group,”  Dominique Desseigne, president and chief executive, of Barrière said.“Faced with this health and economic crisis that affects all sectors and particularly that of tourism and leisure, our employees have mobilised, each in their own way, to bring their expertise and innovative ideas to implement new health protocols and anticipate the new expectations of our customers in our hotels, restaurants,bars and casinos.”Today, we want to take an active part in the economic recovery of tourism in France and be a player in the return to conviviality and serenity. Our only mission: we take care of everything, especially you.” Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be made available throughout both operators’ premises.Casinos in Switzerland, where Partouche also operates, will reopen on 6 June.Casinos in the Netherlands are set to reopen on 1 July, while those in Bulgaria reopened yesterday. Casinos in Austria reopened on 29 May. Regions: Europe Western Europe France Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & gameslast_img read more


France Galop cautiously optimistic of racing’s recovery

first_img France Galop, the governing body for the country’s flat and steeplechase racing sector, says that while proceeds from betting on racing will be down year-on-year, it has been encouraged by growth in the sector from June onwards.This growth, it noted, had prompted horse race betting operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), which France Galop co-owns alongside harness racing organiser Le Trot, to raise its full-year profit forecasts.As of 16 August, France Galop said, stakes were down almost €1bn (£902.6m/$1.18bn) from 2019 – a decline of around 22% – with gross gaming revenue €335m behind the prior year. This was down to the suspension of French racing, which shut down from 17 March, and did not resume until 11 May as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).However, from 1 June, the sector had enjoyed something of a turnaround. For every week since, staking surpassed 2019 levels, and beat forecasts set by PMU in April.As a result the operator has raised its projected net profit for 2020 to €640m. While this is €120m behind its pre-pandemic forecasts for the year, it represents an €182m improvement from its updated projections from April.In related news, France Galop will look at raising the prizes and bonuses to be distributed to owners, trainers, breeders and regional racetracks. With many struggling financially as a result of the Covid-19 disruption, there are plans underway to increase the €187m set to be distributed to the sector.This sum represents a 27% decline on the prizes and bonuses distributed in 2019, but is also €6m above the pool set aside for this purpose by France Galop prior to the resumption of racing.While the France Galop board unanimously agreed to look at making more money available, this will only be done retrospectively and subject to a number of conditions. First, PMU will have to present a budget for 2021 that allows distributions to return to 2019 levels of €256m, while still remaining in the black.France Galop, meanwhile, must be able to turn a profit for 2020, which in turn means that PMU must achieve its revised profit target of €640m.The decision to raise money retrospectively was down to the “extremely volatile” nature of horse racing betting activity amid the ongoing pandemic, the governing body explained.“Revenue forecasts remain very fragile as long as the virus is actively circulating, which has prompted directors to be cautious,” France Galop said. “Indeed, the slightest disruption of activity can very quickly result in a loss of several millions.”The board will also look to provide tailored support for regional racetrack operators, looking to tackle the specific issues they face, which will be coordinated by the racecourse association Fédération Nationale des Courses Hippiques. This body will meet on 15 October to discuss actions to be taken. Finance France Galop cautiously optimistic of racing’s recovery France Galop, the governing body for the country’s flat and steeplechase racing sector, says that while proceeds from betting on racing will be down year-on-year, it has been encouraged by growth in the sector from June onwards. This growth, it noted, had prompted horse race betting operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to raise its full-year profit forecasts. 25th August 2020 | By contenteditor Regions: Europe Western Europe France Topics: Finance Sports betting Horse racing Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more