Lockdown, casino projects and Swedish troubles: The week in numbers
Each week,CasinoBeatsbreaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Today, we take a look at a UK lockdown pledge, Swedish troubles, third quarter financials results and new casino developments.
LeoVegas has addressed a “favourable development” in most of its operational markets during the year’s third quarter, lauding a growing customer base as numerous regions score double-digit growth year-on-year.
Lamenting a “troubling” Swedish market, the online gambling operator also acknowledged that it expects to receive nationwide licences in Germany once they are available. The country, which is expected to implement its new licensing system during 2021’s Q2, generated approximately 17 per cent of the group’s total revenue during the third quarter.
Elaborating on difficulties endured in the Swedish market once again, Gustaf Hagman, president and CEO and LeoVegas, explained: “In Sweden we are seeing a troubling development in which the unlicensed market continues to grow unhindered. A growing number of operators without licences are actively targeting Swedish players, including those who have been barred by the self-exclusion tool Spelpaus.”
Jdigital has warned of a potential black market uprising, after expressing a number of concerns following the passage of the ‘Royal Decree of Commercial Communications of Online Gambling Activities’.
Issuing a statement in response to the green-light being issued, Jdigital says that it is “more probable” that an increase in illegal gambling that may occur after approval on the Royal Decree was awarded by the cabinet in Spain.
Suggesting that the Royal Decree is “discriminatory, unfair and disproportionate,” the group says this is especially so “in a market in which online gambling is a legal activity and already highly regulated”.
Jdigital pinpointed a problem gambling rate that it says “has remained stable” at 0.3 per cent of the population between 15 and 65 years of age since 2015, as indicated by the National Plan on Drugs.
Restricting all traditional advertising mediums to licensed operators, Jdigital warned that Spain’s coalition government will leave society’s most vulnerable groups and at-risk consumers to be directly targeted by black-market actors, leading to an inevitable increase in gambling addiction.
The Betting and Gaming Council has reaffirmed its 10 point pledge, first outlined in March, which are designed to protect staff and customers as the second national lockdown commences across England.
Outlining the standards expected of BGC members at the time of the UK-wide lockdown earlier in the year, the unveiling followed concerns being raised that the closure of betting shops and casinos could lead to a rise in problem gambling online.
BGC members have once again signed up to the 10 pledges, which include an increase in safer gambling messages, the active promotion of deposit limits and welfare checks for staff.
This is in addition to the operators’ existing pledge that at least 20 per cent of TV and radio advertisements should be safer gambling messages, which follows on from the whistle to whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports broadcasts, and action to further prevent under-18s from seeing betting adverts online.
Scientific Games has aligned its third quarter performance to ongoing adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with disruptions primarily felt in the company’s gaming business unit.
Third quarter revenue for the US gaming tech firm came in at $698m, a decrease of 18.3 per cent from $855m, with Scientific Games lauding strategic investments made in the digital space as well as portfolio breadth.
On a segmented basis, the company’s gaming division saw Q3 revenue plummet 49 per cent to finish up at $231m (2019: $454m), as disruptions resulted in continued reduced operations of casino operators in various jurisdictions globally. Subsequently, over 90 per cent of domestic casinos have reopened.
The firm’s lottery segment saw revenue increase ten per cent to $241m (2019: $220m), driven by domestic instant tickets and international product sales, as SciPlay surged 30 per cent from $116m to $151m.
Arizona’s newest casino is officially welcoming guests after the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort opened its doors last week, citing an ambition of raising the bar at such establishments in the area.
Owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the new 166,341-square-foot facility replaces the original Fort McDowell Casino that initially opened in 1984 as a bingo hall.
Eight years later, the Yavapai Nation says that it “successfully held off the attempts of federal agents to seize their slot machines, protecting their right to operate a casino on their reservation and provide livelihoods for their tribal members”.
In addition to offering a full complement of slot machines, tables, bingo and gaming amenities, the casino also features a variety of dining establishments, event venues, Native American design elements and other attributes designed to maximise comfort, safety and enjoyment.
Rush Street Gaming has vowed to deliver a strong economic engine for the commonwealth and the local community, after its $300m casino resort project in Portsmouth, Virginia, gained the approval of voters.
Becoming the latest addition to the firm’s portfolio of gaming and entertainment venues, the latest approval follows precertification being issued by the Virginia Lottery Board in July.
Following the green-light being awarded by residents in the November 3 referendum, Rivers Casino Portsmouth is pencilled in to debut two years after the firm receives a gaming license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The $300m casino project planned for Victory Boulevard will bring 1,300 permanent jobs and 1,400 temporary construction jobs to the currently vacant site.
Furthermore, the latest Rivers casino entity will boast a hotel, indoor and outdoor concert venues, conference space and multiple restaurants, as well as a gaming floor that will feature a variety of slots, table games, a poker room, and BetRivers sportsbook.