ZEAL Shareholders Approve Lotto24 Takeover

ZEAL Network’s shareholders have voted to approve its takeover offer of Lotto24. Shareholders voted 60% in favor of the required capital increase. Dutch charity lottery Raffld is owned by ZEAL subsidiary Lottovate.

Dr Helmut Becker, CEO, ZEAL, commented: “Our plan to reunite ZEAL and Lotto24 offers a fantastic opportunity for sustainable growth and creates significant value […] The combination of ZEAL and Lotto24 will create the leading private digital lottery broker in Germany, setting us up for strong growth in Germany and internationally.”

Lottoland, which holds a 5.5% stake in ZEAL and publicly opposed the proposed merger, said it was disappointed by the decision. Lottoland CEO Nigel Birrell: “The Lotto24 shareholders are the only ones that will benefit from this transaction; the transaction is value destroying for Zeal shareholders.”


Swedish Regulator Warns Newly-Licensed Operators

On Tuesday, Sweden’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen announced it had sent a letter to the 65 companies approved to operate under the country’s new gambling regulations, warning the recipients that it had received many complaints from Swedish consumers.

Several Swedish-licensed operators, including Betsson, bwin, Interwetten, Videoslots, Betsafe, Nordicbet, Intercasino and PlayOjo, had all sent marketing messages to players who had previously self-excluded.

The regulator promised to act against the licensees who fail to meet the requirements set by Swedish gambling legislation.


Upcoming Events

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

  • Part of the larger ICE 2019 Conference, ICE VOX will feature sessions on the regulatory issues surrounding advertising and marketing, as well as the application of artificial intelligence in event prediction and responsible gaming.
  • Betting on Sports America is the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • The GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2019, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 1 May, 2019, at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendence at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2-4 July 2019 in Barcelona.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) is officially calling for speakersfor its 2019 Annual Conference to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019. Submissions are due by 1 February.


Netherlands Gaming Authority Opens Public Consultation on “Supervisory Agenda 2019”

On Monday, the Netherlands Gaming Authority published its draft Supervisory Agenda 2019, which outlines the regulator’s strategy for overseeing the Dutch gambling market. Stakeholders are invited to respond to the draft document by February 11.

In the document, the regulator admitted that imposing fines on illegal online operators has had little impact: “In a number of cases, fines have not been paid. Such unpaid fines are difficult to collect if providers are based abroad.” Also, many Dutch consumers remain unaware that online gambling is currently illegal, the Gaming Authority added.

Despite these difficulties, the regulator said it will continue to look for “innovative ways” to reduce illegal online offers as much as possible.

Frank Tolboom of Dutch legal firm Kalff Katz & Franssen told EGR Intel that the complaint was designed to put pressure on politicians to expedite the legislative process. “[The Gaming Authority] wants new tools to tackle unlicensed operators – these tools can only be provided once the new law has entered into force.”

In the mean time, the regulator may continue to focus on intermediaries like affiliates and payment providers, Tolboom said.

Tolboom: “We don’t think that the KSA will stop with issuing fines, however. Fines can remain unpaid but act as an important ‘stick’ since fined operators will not be eligible for a license at market opening.”


Other News

A lucky winner of Holland Casino’s Mega Millions Jackpot took home €1.917.457,10.


Holland Casino Utrecht published a video impression of it millennial-focused “Experience Zone.”


Nederlandse Loterij is looking to hire a social marketeer.


Holland Casino is looking to hire a Guest Relations Manager.


A legal fight appears likely after the city council of Belgian municipality of Oostende awarded the 15-year operating license of its local casino to a new operator.


William Hill has hired Betsson’s former Netherlands country manager Patrick Jonker as its new International managing director (MD).


William Hill expects its 2018 profits to come in 15% below the year before, despite its expanding US market opportunities.


Paddy Power Betfair is being investigated over how it handles gamblers’ data by the Irish privacy watchdog.


French gaming operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has reported a 4.4% year-on-year increase in amounts wagered by players in 2018, with the operator bolstered by increased online sales and sports betting activity.


Four tennis players are currently being held in French custody, suspected of helping a gambling syndicate and fixing hundreds of professional tennis matches.


Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus is set to cut some 400 jobs after revealing plans to end table-gaming activities in restaurants and switch focus to its digital business.


The Greek Gaming Commission (EEEP) has given the industry just ten days to respond to its proposed online gambling regulations after publishing an updated list of rules.


GVC Holdings shares rose after the Ladbrokes operator said it outperformed expectations in 2018.


GVC Holdings has pulled its Bwin and PartyPoker brands from Switzerland after apparently failing to reach a deal with a local casino partner.


The governance of embattled Bolsa Madrid gambling group Codere SA, are reviewing all financing options as the company embarks on a “three-year corporate transformation plan.”


The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said it will “explore opportunities for innovation” when awarding the next UK National Lottery license.


The US Department of Justice (DoJ) will wait 90 days to implement its new opinion on the Federal Wire Act.