Coronavirus Outbreak Wreaks Havoc on Gambling Industry

The global coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global gambling industry. In the Netherlands, all hospitality businesses, including casinos and amusement centers, are faced with mandatory closures until at least April 6.

Foreign casinos, for example in Las Vegas, are now being closed as well.

The betting industry is hardly doing better as most sports events are being canceled. In another blow, the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship is being postponed until 2021, while it remains uncertain whether the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be held as planned.

Major operators, including GVC, Flutter, and William Hill have issued profit warnings.

Unsurprisingly, gambling stocks were in freefall by the end of last week.

“Investors apparently did not believe the most optimistic scenario, which has online casino operators benefiting from players quarantined or working from home, bored and unable to visit their local bookmaker shop for entertainment,” VIXIO GamblingCompliance noted.

 

Netherlands Gambling Authority Modifies Fining Policy for Land-based Gaming Machines

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has published a new fining policy for unlicensed operators of land-based gaming machines.

Henceforth the size of the fine will depend mainly (and cumulatively) on the number of unlicensed gaming machines that are being operated by the offending firm.

 

German States Agree on Historic Online Gambling Reform

During last week’s prime ministers’ meeting in Berlin, the sixteen federal German states have adopted a new State Gambling Treaty that will fully regulate the country’s online gambling market from July 1, 2021.

Although the reforms will not be as far-reaching as some stakeholders hoped, the agreed regulatory changes will nonetheless be very consequential for the global remote gaming industry, as Germany is potentially Europe’s largest online gambling market.

A comprehensive overview of the proposed changes is available here.

Gaming in Germany Conference rescheduled to May 28

Due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Gaming in Germany Conference, originally scheduled for March 24-25, has been postponed until May 27-28.

The conference agenda is available here.

Stay informed of the latest developments with free webinar and country report

Even as the COVID-19 outbreak has made it more difficult to discuss and exchange views in a face-to-face setting, the topic of German gambling reform remains of paramount importance to the remote gaming industry.

Gaming in Germany will organize at least one webinar before the rescheduled Gaming in Germany Conference takes place.

The first webinar – with input from Dr Jörg Hoffman of Melchers Law and VIXIO GamblingCompliance – has already been scheduled for next week, on March 25 at 15:00 CET.

Register now!

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • Tune in on 31 March for the webinar Bonus Abuse Exposed – Insights from a Former Professional.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2020, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 22 April, 2020 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
  • The European Gaming & Amusement Summit, an entirely new event exclusively focused on land-based amusements and gaming, originally scheduled for 12 – 14 May in Dublin, has been postponed until a later date TBA.
  • CasinoBeats Malta, which takes place 22 – 24 June, will bring together 1,500 senior-level attendees from operators, suppliers and regulators to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the online casino sector.
  • EASG 2020, the 13th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, will take place in Oslo from 8 – 11 September. This year’s edition will focus on international differences in regulations and operations, as well as different approaches toward prevention, and treatment.
  • Betting on Sports America, the largest dedicated sports betting trade show in the world, returns to Meadowlands, New Jersey from 1 – 3 December.
  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 7 – 9 December. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

 

Netherlands Gambling Authority Announces “Strict Action” against “Corona-Free” Illegal Online Gambling Offerings

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has warned unlicensed online operators using the coronavirus crisis to promote their online offerings now that land-based casinos and amusement arcades are being shuttered.

Netherlands Gambling Authority Chairman René Jansen said: “We have noticed that illegal online operators are trying to take advantage of the current situation. That is unacceptable.”

“We have observed that consumers are being enticed to make use of so-called ‘corona-free’ offering. This is completely objectionable. Both the operators and their advertisers can count on our keen attention.”

“Contemptible actions such as these will weigh heavily when we will consider a future license application.”

 

Other News

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has postponed its public information sessions on the Dutch national exclusion register CRUKS.

 

In anticipation of the opening of the German online market, Gauselmann Group has expanded its digital presence by acquiring a “significant majority stake” in platform provider Bede Gaming.

 

Swiss authorities have expanded their country’s online gambling blacklist.

 

Revenue of Finnish monopoly operator Veikkaus fell 4% in 2019 as it continues to lose GGR to foreign operators.