Nederlandse Loterij Objects to Proposed Increase of Land-Based Sports Betting Tax

Nederlandse Loterij has started a public lobby against the bill to increase the gambling tax rate for land-based sports betting to 29% of GGR – the same rate as for online sports betting. Currently, only winnings of €450 or more are taxed at 29%.

The proposed tax increase will mean the end of De Toto as it currently exists, Nederlandse Loterij CEO Niels Onkenhout warned. “It doesn’t require higher mathematics to calculate that De Toto will no longer be able to turn a profit. Even though we are a state participation, we are also a for-profit company. Eighteen different charity organizations will miss out on their share of De Toto’s revenues; and many small retailers will be losing crucial sales.

In related news, State Secretary of Finance Menno Snel has responded to written questions tabled by the Permanent Committee for Finance of the Dutch Lower House regarding the proposed tax increase.

In his response Snel also mentioned that the long-awaited Remote Gaming Bill is expected to effectively come into force on July 1, 2020.

 

Mr Green CEO, Spanish Regulators, and Ceuta Tax Officials to Speak Gaming in Spain Conference

Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO of Mr Green Ltd., has confirmed his attendance at the upcoming Gaming in Spain Conference.

Mr Kärrbrink will give a presentation on “Why responsible gaming makes business sense.”

Ceuta Officials to Offer First-Hand Details on Favorable Local Tax Regime

Additionally, officials representing the Spanish autonomous city Ceuta will attend the GiS Conference to provide a detailed explanation of the significant new tax breaks that are available to iGaming companies based in the North African enclave.

Located only 20 kilometers from the Spanish mainland, Ceuta is an excellent base of operations for iGaming companies looking to profit from a special tax regime. With a number of important new  tax breaks in place, the city has the potential to become an attractive alternative to post-Brexit Gibraltar.

Full Agenda Now Available

The event’s agenda is now available on the conference website.

When & Where

The 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference will be held November 7-8, 2018, at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.

Includes Behind-the-Scenes Stadium Tour

Registered conference attendants will be offered the opportunity to participate in a behind-the-scenes stadium tour of Wanda Metropolitano, host venue of the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final, followed by business drinks and a networking dinner.

 

William Hill Offers €271m to Acquire MRG

William Hill announced today that it has tabled an offer of SEK2.82bn (€271m) to acquire Mr Green & Co (MRG).

The SEK 69 per MRG share offer is a 48.5% premium on its closing price.

The Board of Directors of MRG has unanimously recommended William Hill’s offer for acceptance by shareholders. Current shareholders owning 40.04% of the total number of issued shares and votes in MRG have already undertaken to accept the offer.

Philip Bowcock, CEO of William Hill PLC:

“This proposed acquisition accelerates the diversification of William Hill, immediately making us a more digital and more international business. MRG will provide William Hill     with an international hub in Malta with market entry expertise and strong growth momentum in a number of European countries. William Hill will move from a single brand to a suite of brands that can maximize growth opportunities moving forward in new and existing markets.”

 

MRG CEO: “Business as Usual in the Netherlands”

MRG group CEO Per Norman said its Mr Green brand continues to operate normally in Holland despite receiving a €312,500 fine from the Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) in September, EGR Intel reports.

“It’s business as usual in the Netherlands,” Norman told investors during the firm’s Q3 results last Friday.

“We are following the guidelines from the KSA, apart from geo-blocking. As far as we understand no one else has geo-blocking.”

 

UK Raises Remote Gaming Duty to 21%

The UK government will raise its remote gaming duty from 15% to 21% from October 2019, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in Monday’s Budget.

The increase will be implemented at the same time as the cut to FOBT stakes to help make up the tax shortfall for the Treasury.

City analysts projected a 20% remote gaming duty rate would cost UK operators £180-200m a year.

Remote Gambling Association (RGA) chairman Clive Hawkswood said that with tax levels as high as 25% having been mooted last week, the 21% figure is “encouraging.”

“We can debate whether it’s fair, but it’s about mid-range of expectations,” Hawkswood added.

 

Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • Join EGR Global’s Breakfast Briefing on “Changing the culture around gambling – consumer and industry behaviours” on 2 November in London.
  • The 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference, which takes place 7-8 November, in Madrid, is your single stop to stay informed of the increasingly attractive opportunities offered by the booming Spanish online gaming market. Click hereto register.
  • On 14 November, trade association VAN Kansspelen will hold its annual members’ meeting. The members’ meeting will be followed by a product presentation, showcasing the latest innovations in land-based gaming products.
  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.

 

Senate Committee Tables Last Round of Written Questions on Remote Gaming Bill

The Permanent Committee for Justice and Security of the Dutch Senate has tabled what is presumably the very last round of written questions on the Remote Gaming Bill.

It seems of particular interest that senators representing political group CDA still do not seem convinced of the need to regulate online gambling and continue to express what appears to be thinly-veiled hostility to the bill.

The support of CDA will be necessary for the bill to pass the Senate.

However, MPs representing CDA in the Lower House, despite their initial opposition, have reluctantly committed to supporting the bill, which usually means that the group will also support the proposed legislation in the Senate.

 

Other News

The municipality of Amsterdam has announced plans to open its land-based casino market to new market entrants from 2021 onward.

 

Working alongside Spanish gambling regulator DGOJ, La Liga’s integrity unit has reported 39 suspicious betting alerts during the 2017/18 Spanish football season, which resulted in nine criminal court cases prosecuting match-fixing offenses.

 

Gibraltar has decided to launch a political offensive aimed at preventing gambling companies moving to Malta once Brexit has occurred.

 

Swedish state-run operator Svenska Spel reported falling revenues (-2.3%) and profits (-2.2%) in Q3.

 

Svenska Spel also entered into an agreement with online casino supplier NetEnt.

 

Kindred Group’s gross winnings revenue amounted to GBP 230.7 (193.6) million for the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 19%, and GBP 657.5 (513.4) million for the period January to September 2018.

 

Mr Green Group posted an increase of 44% in year-on-year revenue from January to September 2018, rising to SEK 1,239m ($135m).

 

Online casino supplier NetEnt has reported Q3 revenues of SEK 449m ($48.9m); a growth of 11% year-on-year.

 

Kambi has reported a 39% rise in Q3 revenues to €20.5m, driven by the football World Cup, growing customers and a healthy 8.6% operator margin.

 

Kindred Group and its brand Unibet have launched a campaign in Belgium to raise awareness of responsible gambling. Watch the commercial here.

 

Online lottery betting operator Lottoland has been dealt a setback in Germany after a court ruled that the company had no legal right to operate in the country.

 

The executive of the Principality of Andorra has confirmed that it will review the complaint placed by Casinos Austria, Genting Group, Partouche France, and Grupo CIRSA against the issuing of the nation’s sole casino license to regional enterprise Jacs SA.

 

Albania’s parliament passed laws that will ban online betting and prohibit other forms of gambling from the end of this year.

 

Caesars Entertainment becomes first gaming company to sign deals with both an NBA and NHL team.

 

888 has agreed a deal to sponsor the New York Jets, despite NFL rules forbidding the advertising of sports betting sites.

 

A lottery player from South Carolina is the sole winner of a Mega Millions $1.53bn jackpot; a record for a single-win jackpot in the US.