UK Online Gaming Overtakes Both National Lottery and Retail

With revenues of £4.5bn, the UK online gaming sector made up 33% of the country’s entire gambling market in the period between April 2015 and March 2016, surpassing both the National Lottery (£3.4bn) and retail bookmakers (£3.3bn), according to figures released by the UK Gambling Commission.

Within the online segment, online casino (£2.6bn) significantly outperformed online sports betting (£1.6bn).

Gross gambling yield of the total UK gambling market was £13.6bn in the twelve months ending on March 31, 2016. During that period, the sector employed 104,896 individuals, a slight (1.5%) decrease from March 2015.

 

Behavioral and Normative Feedback Effectively Change Online Gambling Behavior

Responsible Gaming researchers Michael M. Auer, who spoke at the 2015 Gaming in Holland Conference, and Mark D. Griffiths published two new studies, based on the observed behavior of a large number of Norwegian online gamblers.

The first study finds further evidence for the hypothesis that personalized behavioral feedback (limit-setting tools, pop-up messages, and personalized feedback) can enable behavioral change in gambling.

The second study demonstrates that caution is warranted when using self-report data relating to the amount of money spent gambling in studies that are totally reliant on self-report data.

 

German Telecoms Association Calls for Fundamental Changes to Remote Gaming Legislation

Germany’s association of telecommunications and media businesses (DVTM) has called on the country’s State Prime Ministers to continue work on a revised Interstate Treaty on Gambling by developing a practical framework for the oversight of remote gaming.

According to the DVTM, a series of studies and surveys need to be carried out to ensure “the implementation of European market-compatible and sustainable regulations.”

“We can present concrete proposals for implementation by means of concepts, models and a specific industry code,” DVTM chair Renatus Zilles said. “The necessary knowledge is already largely available.”

 

Amaya-Owned PokerStars Expands into Social Gaming

Besides picking up a Portuguese online casino and poker license, Amaya-owned online gaming brand PokerStars has also launched a social gaming app that offers free-to-play poker, casino and slots.

The launch appears to be part of an effort to expand beyond PokerStars traditional customer base and to garner interest in the operator’s full casino service.

In a comparable move, German gambling firm Gauselmann AG recently launched a Netherlands-facing social casino website: merkur24.nl.

Meanwhile, company founder and former CEO David Baazov is persisting in his $6.7bn offer to take Amaya private, despite news that one of his alleged financial backers “didn’t even know what Amaya was.” Baazov has reportedly secured new backing for his takeover bid.

Regardless of the success of Baazovs bid, investing in Amaya appears to be a worthwhile move, according to this analysis by Seeking Alpha.

 

Playtech Founder Sells 12% of Playtech Shares, Cashes in £330m

Playtech founder Teddy Sagi has sold 12% of Playtech shares for for 850 pence per share. The price at which the shares were sold is just about over 7% lower than yesterday’s market close of 919 pence per share.

After the sale, Teddy Sagi’s interest in Playtech will still amount to 21.6% of the company’s shares.

 

Ladbrokes Coral Investigating Takeover of Australia’s Largest Betting Firm

Britain’s biggest bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral is reportedly planning an audacious multi-billion pound bid for Australia’s largest betting company, Tabcorp, as Australian state governments have been considering stricter control of online gaming.

Tabcorp, however, says it remains committed to a proposed tie-up with fellow Australian firm Tatts.

 

Netherlands Gaming Authority: “Foreign Fines Easier to Hand out Than to Collect”

Unlicensed online operators, or other firms which violate Dutch gambling legislation, face administrative fines of up to €810,000 or 10% of yearly revenues.

There are, however, very few agreements with other countries in place that actually allow for the collection of such administrative fines in foreign jurisdictions, the Netherlands Gaming Authority’s Chairman of the Board, Jan Suyver, warns.

The regulator is therefore calling on government and legislators to introduce measures to remedy this situation.

Otherwise, the Netherlands Gaming Authority is well-prepared to enforce the country’s gaming regulation, Suyver said. For instance, by seeking to disrupt payment transfers between unlicensed operators and customers.

The Gaming Authority’s spokesperson Martijn van de Koolwijk reiterated the necessity of taking steps to address the issue of collecting fines in foreign jurisdictions in this radio broadcast.

 

Other News

Yesterday, the Netherlands Gaming Authority launched the previously announced public tender for an exclusive five-year horse racing and harness racing totalizator betting license.

 

Dutch lottery operator Postcodeloterij not only contributes to good causes, but also to “innovative” start-ups with limited commercial viability, according to Quote.

 

The Netherlands Gaming Authority filed a cease and desist order against a local slot machine operator whose gaming license had expired.

 

Holland Casino and ROC Zadkine, a school offering intermediate vocational education, have jointly established the Holland Casino Academy.

 

Following a competitive bid process, Sportech PLC’s Racing and Digital division has been awarded a five-year contract to provide pari-mutuel betting technologies and services to Tote Ireland.

 

Malta-based daily fantasy operator Oulala is now looking to expand globally, company spokesperson (and speaker at this year’s Gaming in Holland Conference) Jure Rejec writes.

 

Online lottery provider ZEAL Network has launched a new investment arm to provide finance and support to start-ups seeking to disrupt the lottery market.

 

Greece-based OPAP, Europe’s fourth-biggest betting firm, has been hit hard by a retroactive austerity tax, causing its Q3 profits to tumble 40%.

 

Religion and gambling have the same effect on your brain, a new study from the University of Utah shows.

 

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