Sportech Fails to Find Buyer; Outlook Worsens

UK betting operator Sportech, owner of the single Dutch tote betting license, saw its shares lose over half their value last week after announcing that nobody wanted to buy the company.

“Whilst the Board engaged in detailed discussions with interested parties during the course of the Formal Sale Process, it has concluded that these discussions were unlikely to result in an offer for all or a material part of the Group that it would be able to recommend to shareholders. As a result, the Board […] confirms that it has closed the FSP and terminated all discussions with interested parties,” the company said.

Furthermore, the company warned that its 2017 earnings would come in “below expectations” at around £6.5m due in part to “write-downs of old stocks and doubtful debtors.”

 

VAN Kansspelen Updates Quality Norms of Problem Gambling Awareness Courses

Trade association VAN Kansspelen and GGZ Nederland, an organization of mental health and addiction care providers in the Netherlands, have updated the quality norms of their problem gambling awareness training courses offered to amusement arcade employees.

Providers of games of chance in the Netherlands have a legally mandated duty of care for their customers, which includes having the ability to recognize indications of problem gambling and, if necessary, to refer customers to mental health professionals.

The updated quality norms were created under supervision of the Netherlands Gaming Authority.

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • On 28-29 March, Novomatic subsidiary Eurocoin Gaming will be welcoming visitors to its “Open Days Experience” at its Waalwijk office.
  • The next Slot Academy training course takes place 10-12 April in Leiden, The Netherlands. Download the course agenda here.
  • The GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2018, celebrating excellence in the field of regulatory compliance and responsible gambling, will be hosted at The Sheraton Grand Hotel, London – 18 April 2018.
  • It’s Better Live! Join us for the 2nd Annual Live Gaming Summit in Barcelona, which is bringing together providers, operators, experts, and other stakeholders to discuss the latest developments in the live gaming industry on 26 April, 2018 at Casino Barcelona. Check out the event’s website for more details, or contact Willem van Oort at willem@vanoort.com.
  • Sweden is on the verge of launching a fully-fledged licensing system for online gaming. Will the country become a new hub for the remote industry? Find out at the iGaming Summit: 26 April, 2018, Stockholm.
  • Early bird tickets for the Gaming Summit, the conference of the German slot machine industry, on June 14 in Berlin are now available.
  • In 2018, the iGaming Super Show, EiG and Amsterdam Affiliate Conference come together as iGB Live!, a consolidated three brand event. The first edition of iGB Live! will take place 17-20 July 2018 at The Amsterdam RAI.
  • The International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) will be organizing their annual autumn conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 5-7 September 2018.
  • The 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues is now scheduled for 11-14 September 2018 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta, Malta.
  • The 2018 edition of Blockchain Live will feature eight conference stages, including one focused on gaming and gambling. No less than 3,000 attendees are expected to gather in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London on September 26, 2018.
  • The Lisbon Affiliate Conference will take place on 17-20 October 2018 and is expected to bring together the key stakeholders in the iGaming affiliate industry.

 

Senate Committee Asks Gov’t for Timetable on Remote Gaming and Casino Reform Bills

The Permanent Committee for Justice and Security of the Dutch Senate has asked the government to indicate when it will be able to respond to questions which were submitted almost a year ago regarding the remote gaming bill and casino reform bill.

The Committee further requested that the government would indicate which adjustments – if any – it intended to make compared to the bills as originally proposed.

The Committee also said it will be expecting an answer before March 30.

Both the remote gaming bill and casino reform bill have passed the Dutch Lower House and are currently awaiting further debate in the Senate.

 

Other News

Jan Suyver and Henk Kesler have been reappointed as chairman of the board and member of the board of the Netherlands Gaming Authority for a period of six months.

 

ZEAL’s Dutch-licensed “experience lottery” Raffld will go live with an early access version “in a couple of weeks.”

 

An employee of Waternet, Amsterdam’s drinking water supplier, stole 1.5m from his employer to finance his online gambling addiction.

 

Parliamentary secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation Silvio Schembri has announced a motion to be presented in the Maltese parliament concerning the introduction of a new Maltese Gambling Bill, which will repeal all the existing gaming legislation, replacing it with a single act of parliament.

 

The Malta Gaming Authority is planning to develop a national self-exclusion register as part of its overhaul of the country’s Gaming Act.

 

The UK Gambling Commission is recommending that the stake levels on FOBT gaming machines be cut to £2 for slots-based games and £30 for non-slots games such as roulette.

 

Google has moved to ban adverts that promote contracts for difference (CFD) products, binary options and financial spread betting from its platforms. The ban will also impact cryptocurrencies and related content, including initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and trading advice.

 

The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWB) has spoken out against the government’s plans to block foreign online gambling sites.

 

Kindred Group and Betclic have become the latest operators to receive shared online poker liquidity licenses from French regulator ARJEL.

 

Karolina Pelc, casino director at LeoVegas, looks at what the industry can do to close the gender gap.

 

A small number of online player accounts with the UK National Lottery have reportedly been hacked.

 

The Stars Group has reported an 8% rise in Q4 revenues to $360m (€291m), with the firm hailing the continued impact of its Stars Rewards scheme and improvements to its sportsbook product.

 

Central and Eastern Europe-facing operator Fortuna Entertainment has reported an 87% increase in 2017 revenues to €305m.

 

888 Holdings reported a 4% year-on-year rise in 2017 revenues to US$541.8m, driven by strong double-digit growth from the operator’s sports betting division.

 

UK racecourse-led pool betting project, Britbet, has set a firm launch date for 13 July, following news its chief rival the Tote has secured major new investment.

 

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has expressed concern that TV commercials for betting services shown on foreign TV stations are in breach of Irish broadcasting codes.

 

The Australian federal government will introduce a ban on betting advertisements during daytime live sports broadcasts that will come into effect from March 30.

 

Private equity investor Nordic Capital Fund IX has struck a deal to acquire online payments provider Trustly. Trustly’s instant withdrawal feature is operated by a number of online gambling operators including Global Gaming’s Ninja Casino and Cherry Group’s ComeOn.

 

Manchester United star striker Zlatan Ibrahimović could face disciplinary action from the UK Football Association, relating to his involvement with Malta-based operator BetHard Group.

 

The Stars Group has entered into a partnership with gaming company Sugal & Damani to support the launch of its PokerStars brand in India.

 

Ladbrokes Coral’s and Cirsa’s Spanish-language joint venture, Sportium, has been awarded Colombia’s ninth online gambling license.