No Illegal Software Found in Confiscated Slot Machines
The criminal division of the Dutch Revenue Service (FIOD) has found no illegal software in the gaming machines that it confiscated during a raid on two arcade halls in the Dutch towns of Castricum and Heeze.
However, the operator of the two arcade halls, who was suspected of having installed special software to illegally divert players’ winnings to the operator instead, is still suspected of tax evasion.
Who Gets a Bigger Slice of the Pie? The Question behind the Forthcoming Dutch Lottery Market Reorganization
Last week, the Dutch government released a report that it had commissioned on the financial consequences of a number of scenarios for a Dutch lottery market reorganization. Gaming lawyer Alan Littler of Kalff Katz & Franssen summarized the report as follows:
“The recently published report by SEO makes clear that future policy choices by the government will shape the lottery market and determine who gets a bigger or smaller slice of the pie; the state itself, players, good causes or the lottery operators themselves.
In one respect, the horse has already bolted given the recent introduction of an open licensing process for good causes lotteries (Article 3 Wet op de kansspelen). Several decades ago the Nationale Postcode Loterij was a disruptor to the then established lottery market, and today the unanswered question is whether the new entrants can have a similar impact. Not only will that depend, in part, on future policy choices but also upon the scope for innovation and the new products new entrants introduce. This is most certainly a long-odds game.”
Thousands Celebrate Gauselmann’s 60th Anniversary
The family-run, East-Westphalian gaming company Gauselmann Group celebrated its 60th anniversary in a spectacular and unique weekend of celebrations from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 September.
More than 2,500 guests attended the anniversary festivities on Friday and Saturday evening. During the day, several thousand people visited the huge tented village in the north field behind Gauselmann’s production facility in Lübbecke. Photographs of the celebrations can be viewed here.
Australian Court Case Challenges Slot Machine Design
A former poker machine addict is suing slot machine manufacturer Aristocrat and James Packer’s Crown Resorts, Australia’s largest casino operator. The court case is focusing on the “misleading” design of a particular slot machine:
“‘Australia has strong consumer protection laws,’ said Tim Costello, of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, supporting the lawsuit. […]
At the core of the case will be three key claims. The first is to do with the uneven spread of symbols on Dolphin Treasure’s five spinning reels.
On each reel there are many symbols. There are the standard 9s, and 10s; Jacks and Queens; Kings and Aces. Then there are turtles and treasure chests; octopuses and seahorses; and pictures of fish, starfish and sunrises.
While each of the reels appears to be the same size, the first four reels in fact have 30 symbols, while the fifth, and last reel to stop spinning, has 44 symbols, making it harder to win on the final reel.
This […] encourages the perception that gamblers have had ‘near misses’ when they lose.
Additionally, the symbols in Dolphin Treasure are not evenly distributed across the five reels, so the symbols do not show up the same number of times on each reel.
Neither of these features, it will be argued in court, is made clear to punters.”
Mr Green Launches Responsible Gaming Tool
Online operator Mr Green presented its new predictive Green Gaming tool, which aims to give customers unique opportunities to gain insight into their risk behavior.
Green Gaming requires customers to complete a survey to indicate what they consider healthy and unhealthy gambling behaviors. The answers will then be compared to the players’ actual gambling habits.
“It should feel safe to play at Mr Green, and Green Gaming has been a part of our business strategy since the foundation in 2007,” Mr Green co-chief executive Per Norman said. “Now, we are asking our customers to put on the seat belt and set the controls.”
A video presentation further explaining Green Gaming can be viewed here.
The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.
- Eurocoin Gaming is organizing two open days on 13 and 14 September at its headquarters in Waalwijk, the Netherlands. All gaming industry representatives are welcome!
- Starting on September 18, a three-day Casino Marketing Academy course aimed at land-based casino professionals will kick off in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The course director is Arjan Korstjens. A review of an earlier Casino Marketing Academy course is available here. Members of the GiH community who are interested in attending this course may claim a 10% discount by emailing Willem van Oort.
- For the second consecutive year, Kindred Group, together with the Foundation for Social Welfare Service, hosts the Responsible Gaming Conference in Malta on 20 September 2017. The conference will bring together leading academics, researchers, gaming operators, psychologists, regulators, authorities and treatment agencies under one roof to discuss the important topic of responsible gaming.
- Registration for the 2017 Excellence in Gaming conference, which will be taking place 30 October-1 November 2017 in Berlin, is now open. This year’s edition will feature an Open Space: “No speakers, no moderators, no predefined topics, no imposed structure, closed doors, full confidentiality, and […] ‘honest conversations.’”
- On 24 November, Malta’s largest iGaming conference SIGMA’17 will feature a session on regulatory developments in the Netherlands, moderated by GiH founder Willem van Oort. Conference registration is open. Gaming in Holland and Leaseweb invite SIGMA’17 attendees to join us for drinks on Thursday, 23 November 2017, starting at 7:30 pm. Places are limited, so please reserve your place today by registering here.
- ICE Totally Gaming returns on the 6-8 February 2018 to ExCeL London. ICE is a unique gathering place for all the major gaming players including operators, regulators, and more. This year, Gaming in Holland will also have a stand!
Nederlandse Loterij Posted Revenues in Excess of €1 Billion
Nederlandse Loterij posted revenues of €1,103m in 2016, while Holland Casino reported €608m in revenues, according to the Dutch government’s annual report detailing the results of all state holdings. Nederlandse Loterij, the Netherlands’ largest gaming company, contributed €91m in dividends to the state’s coffers; Holland Casino added €35m.
In related news, Holland Casino’s H1 2017 revenue grew to €309 million, an increase of 2% compared to the same period in the previous year, the company announced yesterday. Growth was achieved by higher average spending per visit (+ 6%), even as the number of visitors declined slightly (-3%).
Online gambling sites accounted for one-third of Belgium’s licensed gambling market revenue in 2015, according to new statistics from the state gaming regulator.
Marketeer Arjan Korstjens explains why casino marketing could use more innovation.
The Van der Valk Hotel in the city of Heerlen that is currently being rebuilt following a major fire, will get a casino.
After a very long delay, the tender for the award of new Italian online gaming licenses is expected to be launched between the 18th and the 25th of September 2017.
Investigations into Malta’s gaming sector could soon be stepped up in the wake of an anti-Mafia probe, which uncovered a €2 billion money-laundering operation, and European Union-wide legislative changes.
888 has announced plans to launch its poker product in Italy in an effort to take advantage of the forthcoming European liquidity compact and the firm’s evolving poker product.
A Portuguese land-based casino operator, Casino Portugal, has been issued the country’s ninth online gambling license. However, of the nine online licenses the local regulator has issued to date, eight are shared between four companies, indicating limited interest among operators to enter the Portuguese online market.
Over the last few months, the UK gaming industry has increasingly come under fire for causing a disproportionate amount of social harm. Not all criticism, however, has been equally justified.
The UK media exhibit an “anti-gambling agenda,” according to Gibraltar’s gambling commissioner Phill Brear.
Affiliate company Better Collective has completed its first UK acquisition with the purchase of CasinoLounge.co.uk for an undisclosed sum.
International Game Technology has signed a multi-year extension to its licensing deal with Caesars Entertainment. Under the new agreement, IGT will retain the rights to represent Caesars, Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, Rio, Flamingo, and Horseshoe brands in the lottery industry across the US, Canada, and Europe.
According to investigative report issued by the Australian government, the illegal gambling market in the country is worth up to A$1bn.
The long-running merger of Australian gambling giants Tabcorp and Tatts is now expected to be completed before the end of the year.