WatchAndWager renews Cal Expo license

first_img WatchAndWager renews Cal Expo license Sports betting Webis Holdings’ advanced deposit wagering (ADW) business WatchandWager has renewed its license with the California Horse Racing Board to conduct harness racing at the Cal Expo racetrack in Sacramento. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Sports betting 28th August 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Webis Holdings’ advanced deposit wagering (ADW) business WatchandWager has renewed its license with the California Horse Racing Board to conduct harness racing at the Cal Expo racetrack in Sacramento.The licence runs from the start of the 2019-20 harness racing season on 9 November until the 47-race season ends on 25 April, 2020.The company – which has operated Cal Expo, California’s only harness racetrack, since 2012 – also noted that it is in advanced negotiations with Cal Expo to secure a significant extension of the contract to operate racing at the track.WatchandWager has also recently renewed its parimutuel wagering licenses to accept wagers from residents of New York and Washington, and is currently in the process of renewing its parimutuel license in Kentucky.Read more on iGB North America. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

The importance of aggregation

first_img Despite fierce competition, Relax Gaming chief product officer Simon Hammon believes there are still opportunities for smaller studios to disrupt the market leaders – but only with effective game distribution.The healthy explosion of new game providers onto the market has accelerated over the past 12-18 months, loosening the grip of large suppliers yet further and putting their share of pocket under pressure.With this increase in competition, the landscape within which suppliers thrived a few years ago has changed dramatically. M&A continues as a driver for expanding market presence and diversity of content, with the benefit of consolidating core competencies, but this is no longer the only end goal for small studios.Comprehensive distribution agreements that offer rapid and extensive market penetration, with fair and transparent commercial terms, can provide a critical path to success in their own right. Good strategic partnerships are now the major drivers of success, particularly where the chosen route to market reduces the period of pre-profit investment.Sea of content There are still many barriers to entry for start-up studios going it alone, from the heavy overheads associated with any tech industry, effective cashflow to pay for operations to critical regulatory commitments. The list of potential hurdles is extensive, and operators now have a huge amount of content choice each month with upwards of 70 game releases vying for launch promotions and positioning.In this landscape, the main issue for smaller providers is how to gain that initial player visibility and the subsequent stickiness of their games. Working with aggregation solutions can provide wider market opportunities and remove a lot of the entry burdens – but the content must do the rest.For small studios to cut above the noise they need support to showcase innovation. Being nimbler and more agile can serve as an advantage against established suppliers which have seemingly reduced quality on the larger scale by releasing skins or mechanical mishmashes of previous successes.Ironically, in a sea of content with highly perceptive end-users, the imitation strategy is allowing small developers that offer something different to quickly carve out market share. Aggregation provides a quick and efficient route to market with sales and compliance support and significant cost reductions, allowing studios to focus on what they do best – developing games.Picking and choosing Finding the right aggregation partner is therefore a critical path in any growth strategy. Aggregators have the keys to open much needed doors for studios regardless of the size of their portfolio, so they need to ensure that their partner is like-minded in terms of business approach and quality. The market is already full of those who reproduce the same type of content.For a partnership that will work to optimise business efficiency and deliver value to an aggregator’s integrated customers, both parties must share the same long-term vision of what they want to achieve – particularly in terms of content strategy.In the last few years it has become increasingly difficult for studios to form direct relationships with operators. Without experienced aggregation platforms, many suppliers simply would not hit the critical volumes to drive interest in a direct integration and reach markets or operators on their own.But equally, what happens when a studio reaches significant scale and decides to go it alone? An aggregator that tries to pin down a supplier even when that ultimately stifles the studio’s growth is not offering a partnership. When a studio reaches a good market share, they need options to help them to grow their independence in any way that aligns with their business strategy – whether it be commercial, compliance or technical.An aggregator should not hamper the growth of the studios it fosters in their early days. One that supports and realises the growth ambitions of a studio is one that will maintain a longstanding partnership.Effective content distribution requires transparent and fair commercial terms that provide studios with the tools they need to reach significant scale. Consolidation will always be a driving force in an industry as saturated as the online casino market, but with the right aggregation partner, the odds of making the big-time independently can be significantly shifted in a studio’s favour. The importance of aggregation Despite fierce competition, Relax Gaming chief product officer Simon Hammon believes there are still opportunities for smaller studios to disrupt the market leaders – but only with effective game distribution. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 31st October 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Topics: Casino & games Strategy Slots Casino & games Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines Email Addresslast_img read more

Romanian parliamentarian slams regulator

first_img Email Address Casino & games 6th November 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Romania Dumitru Mihalescul, member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, has called for tighter gambling regulations in the country in a parliamentary question to the head of the country’s National Office for Gambling, Marius-Sebastian Ionescu. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Dumitru Mihalescul, member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, has called for tighter gambling regulations in the country in a parliamentary question to the head of the country’s National Office for Gambling, Marius-Sebastian Ionescu.Mihalescul said he was not opposed to gambling itself, but was strongly against the way in which the industry has been allowed to operate in Romania, which he said allowed it to exist in areas where children will be exposed to gambling.“Personally, as an entrepreneur, I am a strong supporter of any private initiative whose purpose is regulated in accordance with the goals of Romanian society,” Mihalescul said. “Unfortunately, however, the poor regulation of the organisation of gambling in Romania allowed this type of business to develop in the proximity of schools or even within blocks of stairs.”Mihalescul asked three questions to Ionescu regarding the regulation of gambling in Romania, the first of which concerned whether the National Office for Gambling had proposed any legislation to prevent gambling around schools and public spaces.Mihalescul’s second question concerned whether there were any effective measures in place to prevent children from gambling online.“You know very well that the only filter against access to minors on the Internet is a question like ‘Are you over 18?’ — a restriction that can be avoided even by a 7 year old,” Mihalescul said to Ionescu.The third question asked whether it would be appropriate to confine gambling to specific, tourist-heavy, regions of the country.The question was provided in written form and has not yet received a response, though under Article 111 of the Romanian constitution, the National Office for Gambling — as a government body — must provide a response. Tags: Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Romanian parliamentarian slams regulatorlast_img read more

Online powers Portuguese gambling growth in Q1

first_img Growth in online gambling outpaced a decline in land-based activity in Portugal in the first quarter of 2020, as total revenue grew 8.4% to €131.8m (£114.4m/$143.2m).Online gambling revenue grew by 47.5% to €69.8m for the three months to 31 March.This revenue figure was the highest ever for a quarter in Portugal, overtaking the previous quarter’s €65.4m, and also marked the first time that online gambling brought in more revenue than its land-based equivalent.Slightly over half of this total came from online casino, at €35.3m, which grew 56.5% to overtake the revenue from sports betting, which itself grew 39.2% to €34.5m.This growth in sports betting revenue came despite a 19.6% decrease in amounts wagered to €149.1m. Just under three quarters of bets (74.7%) were placed on football, with Portugal’s Premeira Liga the most popular competition for betting, earning 11.4% of all sports stakes, or 15.2% of football bets. Basketball followed with 11.1% of bets, with tennis (9.1%) and ice hockey (2.5%) following.Casino stakes, meanwhile, grew by 12.7% to €960.8m. Slots were by far the most popular online game, accounting for 69.8% of stakes. Roulette followed at 12.6%, while 6.4% was staked on blackjack.The Portuguese government took in €20.8m in online gambling taxes, up 40.1% year-on-year.The number of new online players in the quarter increased 25.8% to 157,400. However, the number of self-excluded players also grew, by 47.1% to 52,100.The number of online players aged 18-24 declined from 29.9% to 23.3%, while the 25-34 age group remained the largest, increasing from 33.3% to 38.4%. The 35-44 demographic moved into second with 23.8% of players, while 10.1% were aged 45-54, 3.2% aged 55-64 and 1.1% aged 65 or older.Of all Portuguese online gamblers, 41.2% gambled only on sports, 39.4% only on casino and 19.4% on both.Revenue from land-based casinos and slot arcades fell 17.5% to €62.0m. Of this total, €51.0m came from gaming machines, an 18.3% year-on-year decline. The remaining €11.0m came from land-based casinos, down 12.6%.Among casino games, American roulette saw the largest decline in revenue, falling 42.1% to €2.8m. Baccarat revenue, on the other hand, grew by 52.1% as the game became the largest source of revenue for Portuguese casinos, bringing in €3.3m.Blackjack revenue grew by 2.1% to €2.3m while Banca Francesa revenue fell 22.4% to €1.6m.The shutdown of casinos in Portugal in March, in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19,) contributed heavily to the decline in revenue in the land-based sector. After taking in €27.5m in revenue in January and €25.2m in February, Portuguese land-based casinos and slot arcades took in only €9.3m in March.Earlier this month (8 April), Portugal’s Parliament passed a bill requiring the government introduce some kind of restrictions on online gambling, which could go as far as banning it entirely, while the country remains locked down. Tags: Online Gambling Slot Machines Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 30th April 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Slots Casino & games Online powers Portuguese gambling growth in Q1 Growth in online gambling outpaced a decline in land-based activity in Portugal in the first quarter of 2020, as combined revenue grew 8.4% to €131.8m (£114.4m/$143.2m). Regions: Europe Western Europe Portugallast_img read more

Racing steering group launches new LGBT+ training scheme

first_img25th June 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Horse racing Tags: Race Track and Racino Topics: Sports betting Horse racing Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) has announced a new initiative that will deliver training to improve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual plus (LGBT+). awareness and inclusion within the British horse racing sector. Regions: UK & Ireland The Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) has announced a new initiative that will deliver training to improve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual plus (LGBT+). awareness and inclusion within the British horse racing sector.Developed by the DiRSG’s dedicated LGBT+ sub-group, the e-learning module will now be included in the mandatory licensing courses at the British Racing School and National Horseracing College.The new module will also be available via the Racing2Learn portal and made accessible to anyone involved in the racing industry.The DiRSG, an organisation founded in 2017 to enhance diversity in British horse racing, said it established its LGBT+ sub-group after research showed that many people in the sport who identified as a sexual minority did not feel comfortable ‘coming out’ at work.Further action is planned for later in the year, including creating a new LGBT+ network for role models and allies to share their experiences with anyone in the racing sector that needs support.Annamarie Phelps, chair of the British Horseracing Association (BHA), one of the founder members of the DiRSG, hopes that the new training module aims to help members of the LGBT+ community feel more comfortable at work.“I hope it will give everyone in racing the confidence to address questions about how to engage and embrace our current and growing LGBT+ community, and allow everyone in racing to be their true selves whether at work or having a great day out at the races,” Phelps said. Racing steering group launches new LGBT+ training schemelast_img read more

XLMedia forecasts revenue decline in first half

first_img Email Address 23rd July 2020 | By contenteditor Affiliate marketing services provider XLMedia has said it expects to post a year-on-year drop in revenue for the first half of 2020, primarily due to Google de-ranking a number of its websites and also the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Finance Tags: Online Gambling Affiliate marketing services provider XLMedia has said it expects to post a year-on-year drop in revenue for the first half of 2020, primarily due to Google de-ranking a number of its websites and also the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. XLMedia forecast that revenue for the six months to 30 June would amount to approximately $27.5m (£21.6m/€23.8m), which would represent a drop of 35.3% from $42.5m in the same period last year.Trading in Q1 was stronger than the second quarter, with revenue of $15.6m, due to a normal period of trading before the de-ranking in late January and the impact of Covid-19 not being felt until the middle of March.Analysing the forecasts, XLMedia referred to the impact of Google changing the rankings for some of its sites in January of this year. At the time, XLMedia said the move led to a significant decrease in traffic that would hurt its revenue, with 23 of the impacted sites premium revenue generating assets. XLMedia has now revealed that monthly revenue is currently running around $2m lower than before the de-ranking, with the vast majority of this dropping through to the bottom line.“The company has been, and will remain, focused on re-ranking these sites,” XLMedia said. “For the last six months, the company has been raising the quality of the content on the sites to make it more relevant and engaging.“This included user-generated content, enhancing the offerings for a more targeted audience, assisted by data science, and migrating to an outsourced platform, which enables it to benefit from the accelerated innovation provided by an open-source community. “The managed re-ranking process will begin in August, when the first sites are resubmitted to Google.”According to XLMedia, if a website were to have the manual penalty removed, it would take around six months for it to deliver 50% of the original revenue level, and up to a further 12 months to return to the level before the de-ranking.In terms of Covid-19, XLMedia’s global workforce has been working remotely since March 2020, with some staff only recently returning to the workplace. The provider said it has been able to “seamlessly” implement remote and flexible working measures, with no impact on short-term productivity.XLMedia said the impact of the pandemic was felt the most within its sports and personal finance assets, mainly due to the shut down of sports events and lower levels of activity in credit card issuance and investments.Though XLMedia said the pandemic “generally benefitted” websites dedicated to casino and gaming, unlike some competitors that reported significant upside, it was unable to take full advantage due to the Google de-rankings.An expected lower revenue performance is likely to impact other results for the first half, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBTIDA) set to total around $3.5m. This would be 81.2% lower than $18.6m last year, though the 2019 figure was adjusted to exclude share-based payments.However, despite these forecast declines, XLMedia said its balance sheet remains strong, with cash balances at the end of June expected to total $27.9m, down by 35.3% from $43.1m at the same point past year. The provider said that this was helped by a focus on cost management and the recently announced a reduction in employee numbers.“While financial performance in the first six months was disappointing, XLMedia continues to make good progress on its transformation agenda and the delivery of its strategic priorities,” XLMedia said.“Alongside this, we are prioritising removing the penalties imposed by Google on some of its premium sites. Combined with recent encouraging signs of increased activity in sports and personal finance, this would provide an increasing level of confidence in our ability to grow revenue and profit in 2021 and beyond.”XLMedia also pointed to a number of other significant developments towards the end of the period, including announcing its intention to consider the disposal of some or all of its Finnish casino assets.The provider said it has no requirement to sell assets, but any disposals could help rebalance its asset portfolio, and will now consider expressions of interest for the assets.Also in June, XLMedia announced the appointment of Ken Dorward, formerly of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, as its new president North America.After the end of the half, completed a buyout of 101GreatGoals.com, a global football media publisher offering news content, live streaming of sport and betting tips for football fans.In addition, the provider transitioned its corporation tax residence from Cyprus to the UK, in a move it said reflects the shift in senior management control, with the CEO, CFO and COO now based in the UK.“XLMedia remains a strong business and a leader in its industry, with a clear strategic vision and the operational and financial strength to deliver it,” the provider said.center_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Finance Marketing & affiliates XLMedia forecasts revenue decline in first half AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

Tab NZ exceeds expectations in first month with $32.1m GGR

first_imgThe operator – which launched in August succeed the Racing Industry Transition Agency, itself a successor to the New Zealand Racing Board, in an overhaul of New Zealand’s racing industry – saw turnover rise 14.9% year-on-year to NZD$208.2m (£106.5m/€117.3m/USD$137.1m), 10.5% above budget. Of the 10 most popular betting events in the month, three, including the two most-bet events, were matches in Super Rugby – New Zealand’s main rugby union competition – and the remaining seven were in Australia’s leading rugby league competition, the National Rugby League. The Winx Stakes at Randwick was the largest source of turnover for horse racing. The second stage was the passing of the Racing Industry Bill, which was filed in December last year, and passed the New Zealand legislature in June 2020, a month later than expected due to the pandemic. Finance Tab NZ exceeded expectations and its predecessor’s performance in its first month of activity, achieving year-on-year growth in turnover, revenue and profit in August. 29th September 2020 | By Aaron Noy Sports turnover rose by 36.0% year-on-year to $71.7m, thanks in part to the high volume of sporting events in August. Racing turnover grew 10.1% from 2019 to $136.2m, with domestic racing bringing in stakes of $54.0m and international racing $82.2m. On this total, Tab NZ made $32.1m in gross revenue, up 9.7% from budget and 5.0% from 2019.  TAB NZ said its analysis suggested a major reason for this may have been that many customers who bet on overseas racing while domestic racing was suspended because of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) have now started betting on both domestic and international racing. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The operator said a combination of high betting margins and good cost management helped it surpass expectations. Regions: Oceania New Zealand Its operating expenses, meanwhile, totalled $9.7m, down 21.1% from 2019 and 0.2% below budget. In May, RITA cut 230 jobs including 150 permanent staff at the Totalisator Agency Board in order to provide annual cost savings of more than $11m. It said it had “no alternative” but to make the layoffs. Tab NZ was created in a two-stage legislative process, the first of which saw the Racing Reform Act implemented from 1 July, 2019. This saw the Racing Industry Transition Agency established as the New Zealand Racing Board’s successor and a new point of consumption tax levied on offshore bookmakers. The vast majority of the operator’s profit was came from betting, at $11.9m, 22.7% above budget. It made an additional $1.4m in gaming profit, 26.3% below the budgeted contribution, and made an expected $500,000 loss in racing integrity unit payments. “The board is encouraged by the trading performance for the month however it remains cautious at this early stage of the season on the ability to meet full year projections,” it said. “This is given the ongoing uncertainty presented by Covid-19 and the potential for further disruption to domestic and international product supply.” Tab NZ said total gaming revenue was down 26.3% from 2019 to $2.0m, due primarily to lockdown measures in Auckland, with all non-Auckland sites in line with budget. It added that following the reopening of retail venues in the country’s largest city, “retail turnover in Auckland returned, almost immediately, to pre-lockdown levels”. It did not detail betting revenue, but this would leave $30.1m of non-gaming revenue. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tab NZ distributed a total of $11.5m to New Zealand communities, up 7.5% from budget. Of this total, $9.7m was Tab NZ’s fixed contribution, while it paid a further $1.3m in the Betting Information User Charge (BIUC) and $500,000 towards the betting levy repeal. The operator also noted that it saw around 94,000 customers during the month, a number that is comparable to a typical November, when the Melbourne Cup, NZ Cup and during some years Rugby World Cup are all major sources of betting activity. Email Address The Tab NZ board said that, despite the success in August, it would exercise caution about the year ahead due to the continued threat of the virus. Topics: Finance Tab NZ exceeds expectations in first month with $32.1m GGRlast_img read more

888 to launch Control Centre interface to protect players

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Responsible gambling It is to be rolled out for British customers first, with additional, localised versions for 888’s offerings in other markets to follow over the coming months. 19th November 2020 | By Robin Harrison 888 chief executive Itai Pazner explained that the first phase of Control Centre would focus on making its player protection tools more visible. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 888 Holdings is to begin the roll-out of Control Centre, a new customer-facing interface that will sit across the igaming operator’s websites and act as a central hub for players to monitor their play. This would then be complemented by additional safer gambling features, which are due to be integrated over the coming months. “We are committed to continually investing in our teams and technology to prevent gambling-related harm and we are confident that this innovative feature will offer customers new levels of data and clear, transparent insights that will help them to stay informed and in control.” Control Centre will be accessible at the top of each of the operator’s websites. center_img Tags: 888 Holdings The announcement of its launch coincides with the beginning of Safer Gambling Week, which kicks off today (19 November). Topics: Social responsibility Problem gambling Responsible gambling Regions: UK & Ireland “Our business rests on ensuring our customers are empowered to make safe and responsible decisions about their gambling,” Pazner continued. It will present customers with tailored data on their activity, as well as access to the operator’s safer gambling tools, so that if unhealthy patterns are flagged, they can immediately take preventative action.  888 to launch Control Centre interface to protect players Email Addresslast_img read more

Playtech signs online casino and VLTs deals with Norsk Tipping

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The VLT deal, meanwhile, will see Playtech deliver its range of VLT games to Norsk Tipping’s terminals located throughout Norway, while the two parties will also work together to create unique custom content for consumers in the country. 8th December 2020 | By Robert Fletcher “We are confident that Playtech’s proven VLT and online casino expertise in a wide range of regulated markets will continue to provide great value for Norsk Tipping and support us in the delivery of our overall content strategy,” Norsk Tipping’s head of gaming operations Hans Erland Ringsvold said. Playtech has signed agreements to provide Norwegian state-owned operator Norsk Tipping with its online casino and video lottery terminal (VLT) products. The new online casino agreement will enable Norsk Tipping to access Playtech’s range of titles from game studios including Origins, Quickspin, Vikings, Rarestone and Ash. “These new agreements are also a testament to our strength in games content for online casino and VLT retail markets, including the highly regulated and responsible-gaming oriented markets of Norway and the Nordic region.” Customers will only be permitted to lose up to NOK7,500 (£642/€707/$857) each month when playing KongKasino, eFlax, Bingoria and Yezz, while the maximum daily loss limit for these games has been cut by 50% to NOK2,000. Product & technology AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Playtech Norsk Tipping The deals, which have been signed following two public procurement processes by Norsk Tipping, will further extend a long-term strategic partnership between Playtech and Norsk Tipping. The new deals come after Norsk Tipping last week reduced the maximum monthly loss limit on its high-risk games by 25%, as part of a number of temporary measures that will run throughout December and January. Playtech has supplied online casino games to the operator since 2016, as well as VLT platforms, games, terminals, and services since 2003. Topics: Casino & games Land-based casino Online casino Product & technology Regions: Nordics Norway Playtech chief operating officer Shimon Akad added: “We are excited to continue supplying our strong roadmap of content to Norsk Tipping as part of developing a market-leading, modern and responsible online and retail game offering to their players. Playtech signs online casino and VLTs deals with Norsk Tipping Email Addresslast_img read more

Pennsylvania sets revenue record as casinos re-open in April

first_imgRead the full story on iGB North America. Finance Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Q1 results 2021 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The state of Pennsylvania generated gaming revenue figures of $404.1m (£284.9m/€331.0m) for April, a massive 776.2% increase on the same month last year when casinos were closed due to coronavirus restrictions and slightly ahead of the record set in March. Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Tags: Pennsylvania Retail slot games were the best performing in terms of revenue bringing $201.3m and retail table games were the next best at $77.8m. The online counterparts of both formats experienced significant growth: Online slot revenue increased 129.2% to $62.6m, and online table revenue was up 812.0% to $26.3m. 18th May 2021 | By Nosa Omoigui Regions: US Pennsylvania Pennsylvania sets revenue record as casinos re-open in Aprillast_img read more