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LeoVegas reshuffle as LeoSafePlay becomes standalone unit

first_img Topics: People People 10th July 2018 | By contenteditor LeoVegas reshuffle as LeoSafePlay becomes standalone unit AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter LeoVegas has established its LeoSafePlay responsible gambling initiative as a standalone business unit and reshuffled its management team, with Richard Woodbridge set to arrive in 2019 as the company’s new chief operating officer.LeoSafePlay, an external site from LeoVegas.com, was launched in November as a platform to offer customers services to encourage responsible gambling. LeoVegas said today that Rikard Ljungman will leave his position as chief commercial officer in order to focus entirely on responsible gaming and LeoSafePlay.“LeoSafePlay will be run as a separate business unit in order to create the best conditions for the next generation responsible gaming system based on machine learning,” the company said.Woodbridge, who will join on January 9 next year, will assume Ljungman’s commercial-related duties in Malta.He will join the company from his role as chief operating officer of retailer Ellos Group, having previously served in the same role at e-commerce company Nelly.com.“Richard’s background and personality are a perfect fit for LeoVegas as we continue to focus on growth and sustainability,” said group CEO Gustaf Hagman, who underlined the company’s financial targets of achieving €600m (£531m/$705m) in revenue and at least €100m in earnings before deductions in 2020.“Overarching responsibility for operations is growing increasingly important now that we have some 750 employees, of whom 400 are based in Malta.“LeoVegas is a data-driven company in which we use a number of key metrics to further improve ourselves and increase our productivity. This has become even more crucial as we have begun acquiring companies and working with multiple brands.”LeoVegas’ current chief operating officer, Marcus Nylén, will remain in position until Woodbridge’s arrival. However, he will leave the group management team to focus on his role as head of LeoVegas’ global expansion, because his wife Louise is to assume the newly-created role of deputy CEO of mobile gaming. She was previously the company’s chief marketing officer, but the role will now be split across several positions.“Louise has been with LeoVegas and based in Malta since 2013, holding the position as CMO since 2015,” Hagman (pictured) added.“In that role she has built up a data-driven and effective market team that is responsible for LeoVegas’ customer acquisition and global brand-building. Much of the approach in this work can be used across a broader front in the company.”The reshuffle has come two months after Stefan Nelson was installed as the company’s new chief financial officer. Regions: Europe Nordics Southern Europe Sweden Malta Tags: Online Gambling Roles change for Woodbridge, Ljungman and Nylén as responsible gambling initiative becomes standalone entity Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Peter Naessens to lead EU gambling standardisation project

first_img Peter Naessens to lead EU gambling standardisation project Belgian Gaming Commission advisor to spearhead efforts to develop standardised reporting framework for EU member states Topics: Legal & compliance 23rd November 2018 | By contenteditor Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) advisor Peter Naessens has been selected to lead a project to create a standard reporting framework for gambling in all European Union member states.The wide-ranging project is being carried out at the behest of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), and aims to develop a uniform set of reporting protocols for all licensed operators.By having all member states collect the same information from their licensees, CEN aims to ensure regulators can gather data that ensures a high level of consumer protection and operational transparency.It also believes that standardised reporting will keep gambling fair, as well as helping with the detection and prevention of fraud and betting-related match-fixing.Currently regulators oversee gambling activities in their jurisdiction by having licensees submit reports, allowing them to gather data on areas such as levels of participation, revenue generated and tax owed by operators. What data each licensee has to provide is currently down to each country’s individual regulatory body.However, Naessens told iGamingBusiness.com that the ultimate goal was not to set uniform regulatory standards across the European Union.The standards developed through the project will be developed for use by member states on a voluntary basis, which could be made mandatory as part of each country’s own legal framework for gambling.“We will start from scratch, trying to find a good structure and scope of application, and after that will address the standard or set of standards itself,” he explained.Naessens was chosen to lead the project over Gaming Standards Association (GSA) European managing director Mark Pace. However, the GSA is likely to remain heavily involved in the project, having already devised an international reporting standard, though this is not currently recognised by the European Union.To develop a Europe-specific solution, Naessens will work alongside gambling regulators from other jurisdictions, as well as operators, industry associations and service providers. The project is being overseen by CEN Technical Committee 456, which is chaired by Claire Pinson, head of European and international affairs for French regulator L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en line (ARJEL). Pinson was named head of the committee in June this year. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Legal & compliance Email Addresslast_img read more

Svenska Spel looks forward to online casino debut

first_img State-owned operator eager to compete on “equal terms” after iGaming licence award Svenska Spel is eager to debut its online casino in Sweden after being named among the first licensees for the re-regulated market.The state-owned operator has today (November 30) been awarded permits to offer both online gaming and sports betting from January 1 by regulator Lotteriinspektionen.The company has held a betting monopoly in Sweden for more than 20 years, but the terms of its licence meant it was unable to compete with unlicensed online rivals offering products such as online casino and poker.Speaking to iGamingBusiness.com, Helene Cedertorn (pictured), Svenska Spel’s chief compliance officer, said it is now eager to face new licensed rivals such as Bet365 and Unibet, who will also offer betting and casino, on “equal terms”.“We are of course happy to have been awarded licenses,” Cedertorn said. “It means we can continue our preparations for the new Swedish gambling market according to plan, and that we will finally be able to compete on equal terms.“It also means that we will have licences for games that we have not previously been able to offer to our customers, such as online casino and horse race betting.“Above all, the new gambling legislation means we are at last getting an orderly gambling market in Sweden. We will have a level playing field for gambling operators, increased revenues for the state, and clear rules to protect customers against excessive gambling thanks to stronger and better consumer protection.”Svenska Spel has lost market share in recent years with many believing the popularity of online casino has been key to the rise of its unlicensed rivals.Meanwhile, Kindred is also finalising its preparations for its January ‘launch’ in Sweden after it was awarded gaming and betting licences.Dersim Sylwan, general manager (Sweden), said the company is “well prepared for the new licence market, both from a technical, compliance and commercial point of view.”He added that the company is also determined to “give back to society” through sponsorships and other initiatives, citing its new SEK1.8bn (€172.9m/$200.1m) partnership with Svensk Elitfotboll through which it will become the main sponsor of the country’s top two football leagues for 12 years from 2020.“Even though this is a great day for us, we strongly believe the Swedish customers are the big winners in the new licence market that will lead to improved player safety, product offerings and overall gambling experience,” Sylwan told iGamingBusiness.com. Svenska Spel looks forward to online casino debut Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Topics: Casino & games Tech & innovation Email Address 30th November 2018 | By contenteditor Casino & games Tags: Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

Leading UK operators set out plans for safer gambling environment

first_img GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Sky Betting and Gaming have followed up plans to increase funding for problem gambling treatment and safer gambling by setting out a plan of action to create a safer gambling environment. The centrepiece of the plan is the commitment to raise the current voluntary contribution towards funding problem gambling from 0.1% to 1% of gross gambling yield by 2023, as announced in June. The operators said that this tenfold increase will reach a contribution of approximately £60m (€67.1m/$75.7m) per year by 2023, with plans to maintain this level going forward.The initiative, developed in partnership with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), also see the operators contribute 0.1% of their GGY directly to GambleAware each year, to support its existing treatment commitments and to continue its independent research programme.“This is an unprecedented level of commitment and collaboration by the leading companies in the British betting and gaming sector to address gambling-related harm and promote safer gambling,” Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson said.“The whistle-to-whistle advertising ban was a good start, now we are funding a significant expansion in treatment and we continue to work on a number of areas of collaboration and best practice. Our aim is nothing less than a step change in how we tackle gambling-related harm.”Funds will primarily be used to support treatment, with the five operators having already committed to spending £100m over the next four years. They will work with the DCMS, the Department for Health and Social Care and providers of existing services, with the aim of quadrupling the numbers of those accessing treatment from 2.5% to 10%.The operators have also agreed to increase safer gambling messaging across their advertising, support dedicated campaigns and review the content of all marketing, advertising and sponsorship. This will include using technology to divert messages away from problem gamblers.In addition, the operators will share more data to help protect problem gamblers from experiencing further harm. This builds on the launch of GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, and its land-based equivalent.Each brand has committed to reporting publicly on the progress of commitments set out under the initiative. This will be published in their annual assurance statements to the Gambling Commission, including confirmation of the payment of the 1% voluntary contribution.“This initiative should ensure that the necessary reforms to protect the young and vulnerable particularly with the growth of online gambling will be rooted in independent research – on everything from online gambling harms to associated suicide,” said Lord Chadlington, the Conservative peer who has been a leading advocate for safer gambling measures. “That evidence base should also be used for education and for treatment.“We must be certain that through the consultation process, a means is secured for the funds to be administered and the programmes evaluated, independent of the contributing companies and the gambling industry as a whole,” he explained.William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock added: “There is an unprecedented level of agreement among leading companies that now is the time for the industry to step up to the plate and ensure we play our full part in addressing the issues surrounding gambling related harm. “Our hope is that this begins a new era of cooperation within the industry and between the industry and experts, charities, government and the regulator to promote safer gambling and minimise the risks.”Marc Etches, chief executive of GambleAware, has also welcomed the move, saying it is essential that there is sufficient funding to provide for treatment and support for both problem gamblers and for those who are ‘at risk’, particularly the young and vulnerable.Etches said: “Customers should be able to gamble in a safe environment, where help and advice is readily available at the point of need. “It is vital that we work closely with the commission, government and other organisations to ensure that operators continue to focus on making gambling products safer, and that treatment and support is properly funded alongside other initiatives including the Safer Gambling campaign, Bet Regret.”Image: Max Pixel Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Leading UK operators set out plans for safer gambling environment GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Sky Betting and Gaming have followed up plans to increase funding for problem gambling treatment and safer gambling by setting out a plan of action to cerate a safer gambling environment. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 2nd July 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Finance Strategy Email Address Regions: UK & Ireland Financelast_img read more

New French gambling regulator moves closer

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address 6th March 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Casino & games L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has moved a step closer to replacing l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) as France’s principal gambling regulatory body, following the publicaton of a decree setting out its key functions and responsibilities.A decree formalising the transition of power came into effect on 4 March, with ANJ to officially become the country’s new regulator once it meets for the first time. ANJ will act as a single body to oversee gambling in the country, including online gambling, casinos, horse racing in Paris and lottery games. Predecessor ARJEL had only been responsible for regulating France’s online gambling market.Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, who had been serving as state councillor for France’s National Commission for Data Protections, will oversee the new organisation as president, as revealed last month.ANJ’s establishment was first announced in October last year, ahead of privatisation of lottery monopoly La Française des Jeux (FDJ). This was completed in December last year, raising €1.89bn (£1.65bn/€2.14bn) for state coffers.According to the decree, the ANJ will take over responsibitilies previously held by ARJEL, such as licensing and enforcing sanctions on licensees. As president, Falque-Pierrotin will be responsible for overall operations of the ANJ, while the new organisation will continue to publish any major regulatory decision and rulings on its website. She will lead an eight-person board, whose members will serve for terms ranging from two to six years.  L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has moved a step closer to replacing l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) as France’s principal gambling regulatory body, following the publicaton of a decree setting out its key functions and responsibilities. Tags: Online Gambling Regions: Europe Western Europe France New French gambling regulator moves closerlast_img read more

PA gambling revenue halves in March amid Covid-19 shutdowns

first_imgCasino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 17th April 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Video gaming PA gambling revenue halves in March amid Covid-19 shutdowns The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) saw gambling revenue in the state more than half in March due to the widespread shutdown of casinos and postponement of sports events as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.Revenue for the month – comprising land-based table games and slots, online casino, sports betting, fantasy sports and video gaming terminals – amounted to $153.5m, down by 51.5% from $316.3m in March 2019. The monthly total was also 49.6% lower than the $304.3m recorded in February this year.The PGCB noted declines across all verticals, with the exception of online casino, which has remained unaffected by the pandemic. Sports betting also saw growth, despite many sporting events having been postponed or cancelled, significantly limiting betting options for punters.The biggest drop came in the land-based casino sector, after casinos were forced to close from March 17, to slow the spread of the virus.Read the full story on iGB North America. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) saw gambling revenue in the state more than half in March due to the widespread shutdown of casinos and postponement of sports events as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Tags: Online Gambling Video Gaming Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Pennsylvania Email Addresslast_img read more

Casino growth offsets sports decline for Catena in Q1

first_img Catena Media has reported a 2.3% year-on-year increase in revenue for the first quarter in its preliminary results for the period, despite the sports betting arm of its business being impacted by the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic.Revenue for the three months to 31 March totalled €26.7m (£23.3m/$29.0m), up from €26.1m in the corresponding period last year.Catena said its casino segment was responsible for 61% of revenue during Q1, with sports representing 33% of overall revenue and financial services 6%.The affiliate giant said that the casino segment performed well during the period, with traffic and new depositing customers both higher than in Q4 of 2019.In terms of sports, despite this segment suffering, Catena said it continued to work with key operators to promote sports events that are still running, while increased focus was put on converting traffic from a number of sports-related sites into casino revenues.In terms of financial services, Catena said that this area of the business continues to show positive momentum, but as with casino and sports did not provide figures at this time.Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding exceptional costs rose 15.2% from €11.2m to €12.9m. EBITDA was also up by 11.6% from €11.2m to €12.5m.Though Catena did not go into further detail about its performance in Q1, it did note that it did not make any major investments during the quarter, with the contingent earn-out liabilities amounting to €7.1m as of 31 March.In addition, Catena revealed that it had cash and cash equivalents of €19.3m and a net interest-bearing debt position of €143.2m at the end of the quarter.The figures are unaudited and based on management accounts, with Catena due to publish its full first quarter interim report on 20 May.“Our business remains strong and I am happy to see that revenues in the first quarter increased compared to last year and that April has continued to develop well, despite weaker performance from the sports segment,” Catena’s chief executive Per Hellberg said.“Our measures to improve cost-efficiency – especially during these difficult times – allowed us to increase profitability by 15% compared to last year. Further, it makes me proud to see that our employees continue to achieve great things while working remotely.”Last month, Catena reported a 5.7% year-on-year increase in revenue for the two months to 29 February, saying it anticipated further growth amid the pandemic through increased uptake of casino products.However, the affiliate giant also noted that gaming authorities have suggested or enforced temporary restrictions on operators during the outbreak. Sweden will impose a SEK5,000 weekly deposit limit from 1 June, while Veikkaus will reduce its monthly and weekly loss limits to €500 from 1 May. Spain has also imposed additional restrictions on gambling advertising during the pandemic, and Portugal’s parliament aims to limit igaming in some form to protect players under lockdown.While these limitations may have a short-term impact on average player values, Catena said this will be mitigated by an increase in player numbers. Earlier this month, Catena opted to put its membership of affiliate trade association Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) on hold, though it said it remains open to joining in the future.The business had agreed to join RAiG – which was founded in May 2019 – in December 2019, but Catena spokesperson Åsa Hillsten told iGB that it opted not to go through the vetting process for members for the time being. Topics: Finance Marketing & affiliates Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Catena Media has reported a 2.3% year-on-year increase in revenue for the first quarter in its preliminary results for the period, despite the sports betting arm of its business being impacted by the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic. 29th April 2020 | By contenteditorcenter_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Casino growth offsets sports decline for Catena in Q1 Tags: Online Gamblinglast_img read more

SunCity narrows H1 losses despite revenue decline

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 1st September 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter SunCity narrows H1 losses despite revenue decline Casino & games Casino junket and integrated resorts operator SunCity Group has reported a 69.5% year-on-year decline in revenue for the first half of 2020, though fair value gains related to its convertible bonds significantly reduced the business’ net loss for the period.Revenue for the six months to 30 June declined to RMB93.7m (£10.2m/€11.5m/$13.8m), of which contracts with customers accounted for RMB77.4m, and revenue from leasing properties the remaining RMB16.3m.The vast majority of SunCity’s first half revenue came from Macau, which accounted for RMB62.5m of the total, down 74.4%. A further RMB10.9m was generated in Vietnam, where the business is providing management services for the new Hoiana integrated resort; RMB1.2m from Cambodia, and RMB2.8m from property leasing in China.This decline in revenue resulted in cost of sales falling 74.2% to RMB65.8m, leaving a gross profit of RMB28.0m, down 45.8%.However, SunCity’s pre-tax losses were significantly reduced, falling from RMB1.26bn to RMB204.9m. While the business recorded a RMB333.2m loss due to fair value changes in investment properties, as well as higher losses from joint ventures and rising administrative costs, this was mitigated by gains on the fair value of derivative financial instruments.This related to the company’s convertible bonds, which increased in value by RMB588.2m, having seen their value written down by RMB1.07bn in H1 2019. After an RMB81.2m income tax credit, SunCity’s net loss for the first half came to RMB123.2m, compared to a RMB1.25bn loss in H1 2019.This surpassed the projected RMB108m net loss the company said it was anticipating last month.“It was undoubtedly a tough first half of the year as [the] Covid-19 pandemic has been bombarding all parts of the economy – travel bans, businesses halt, stock markets dwindle,” SunCity chair Alvin Chau Cheok Wa said.center_img Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Regions: Asia China Vietnam Macau Casino junket and integrated resorts operator SunCity Group has reported a 69.5% year-on-year decline in revenue for the first half of 2020, though fair value gains related to its convertible bonds significantly reduced the business’ net loss for the period.last_img read more

BGC: Overly strict legislation would put sport at risk

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter In a submission to an inquiry conducted by the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the BGC noted that a variety of sports – including horseracing, snooker, football and rugby league – have relied on payments from the betting industry as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic limits other revenue streams. BGC: Overly strict legislation would put sport at risk Sports betting “The industry’s importance to these popular national pastimes shows why it’s vital that the Government gets the balance right, and does not drive punters towards the illegal, online black market, who have no interest in supporting sport either at a grassroots or national level.” “The sectors would not exist without the sponsorship, levies and media rights payments paid by the betting sector, and so too there would be no product to bet on,” the BGC said. The industry body also noted the value of sponsorship agreements, repeating the English Football League’s recent point that gambling sponsorship provides £40m annually to its clubs. It added that betting sponsorship is worth an additional £10m per year to snooker and darts. Tags: BGC Covid-19 Topics: Social responsibility Sports betting CSR Horse racing Sportsbook AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter UK industry body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has highlighted vital funding provided by members to the world of sport – and argued legislators must keep this in mind when reviewing the country’s Gambling Act. “Some sports are living on a knife-edge because of the ongoing ban on spectators, so the funding provided by our members is even more important than usual,” Dugher said. Regions: UK & Ireland 18th November 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Dugher continued by arguing the industry’s support of sport should be kept in mind as the Government prepares to announce a review of the 2005 Gambling Act. He claimed that an overly restrictive act that drove too many players towards unlicensed operators would limit the industry’s ability to provide this support. “The financial impact of the pandemic has been keenly felt by a range of sports, and I’m delighted that the betting and gaming industry has been able to step in to help out,” BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said.  As one example of such payments, the BGC highlighted GVC’s ‘Pitching In’ project, which has provided “millions of pounds” for lower-league football clubs without an agreement for the clubs to advertise GVC brands. “We welcome the Government’s imminent gambling review, which will examine the financial relationship between sports such as football, rugby league, horseracing, snooker and darts and betting operators,” he said. In addition, it pointed to the long-standing “symbiotic relationship” between the betting industry and horse and greyhound racing, with the racing industry receiving around £200m from betting shops. Finally, Dugher pointed to licensees’ decision to pay additional fees on existing racing streaming and data deals until 2 December, in order to make up for lost revenue for the racecourses during the latest lockdown in England. Email Addresslast_img read more

FanDuel expands NBA presence with Detroit Pistons deal

first_img Regions: US AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter FanDuel expands NBA presence with Detroit Pistons deal Read the full story on iGB North America. Topics: Sports betting Marketing The deal comes ahead of FanDuel’s planned launch in Michigan, which is set to open its regulated sports betting market next month or early in 2021. 30th November 2020 | By Robert Fletcher Tags: FanDuel Pistons Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter FanDuel has already launched retail betting at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel, and the Pistons will now also work with the casino to provide fans with giveaways, exclusive viewing parties and other experiences. National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise the Detroit Pistons has signed up a second gaming partner of the day, pairing up with Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group. FanDuel will also be able to use official Pistons marks and logos, as well as gain access to a mix of marketing assets, including in-arena signage and activations, television and digital advertising, and TV and radio presence. Under the agreement, FanDuel will serve as an official sports betting partner of the Pistons. Marketing Email Addresslast_img read more

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