Newsletter - Belgian new player sign-ups tripled during EURO 2020 ...and more!

European Commission rejects re-establishment of Expert Group on Online Gambling

In response to a letter sent by Netherlands Gambling Authority chair René Jansen on behalf of fourteen national gambling regulators, European Commissioner Thierry Breton (Internal Market) reaffirmed the European Commission earlier conclusion that an expert group on online gambling was no longer viable due to European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisprudence finding that gambling regulations were primarily a national competency.


“At this stage, our Directorate General does not intend to reverse this decision and to reinstate the Expert Group on Gambling Services under its responsibility,” Breton wrote.


This means that while the EU is in the process of overhauling its digital business framework, there will not be, for now, a single body to specifically represent online gambling stakeholders.


Bet-at-home revenue falls 8.8% due to new regulations in Germany

Bet-at-home has pointed to Germany’s new gambling regulations as the cause for an 8.8% year-on-year drop in revenue in H1 2021.


Bet-at-home began operating under its newly issued German sports betting license in February. As a condition for obtaining this license, the operator was also required to start offering its casino products in accordance with the provisions of Germany's (then-future) State Gambling Treaty, which finally entered into force on July 1, 2021.


These regulations include a ban on virtual bankholder games, such as roulette and blackjack, and a €1 per spin stake cap on virtual slot games.


During a recent Gaming in Holland/Gaming in Germany webinar, market analysts Scott Longley (Clear Concise Media) and Gavin Kelleher (Goodbody Stockbrokers) already discussed the challenges of Germany's new online gambling regulations for (future-)licensed online operators.


“ICE London could move to mainland Europe”

Clarion, organizers of ICE Gaming, will soon start considering a potential move to mainland Europe for the annual trade show, according to Alex Pratt, Group Managing Director.


“We are the custodians of ICE and if the market wants us to move the show – we will move the show,” Pratt said in a wide-ranging interview on the long-term future of the trade show.


However, such a move would only occur in 2024 at the very earliest. Even so, Clarion would prefer to keep the show in London. “Moving an event of this size is a logistical nightmare and isn’t necessarily going to deliver a better event,” Pratt added.


Pratt also discussed the current outlook for ICE 2022, as well as various plans and initiatives to keep ICE at the global forefront of gambling trade shows.


Upcoming events

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

  • Kindred Group will host the 6th annual Sustainable Gambling Conference on 5 October. The event will take place online and is free to attend.

  • Get ready for the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference, which will take place 25 October at the Grand Hyatt Berlin.

  • SiGMA Europe has been rescheduled to 16 – 18 November, 2021.

  • The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.

  • ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been scheduled to take place 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Belgian new player sign-ups tripled during EURO 2020

A report from Belgium's gambling regulator shows that almost 100,000 new online player accounts were registered with licensed online operators during EURO 2020 – triple the number of sign-ups during a regular month.


497,047 people used licensed sites during the tournament, resulting in almost six million participations. Men under 40 were most heavily represented among active gamblers.

Players bet more when the Belgian national football team were playing.

New player sign-ups fell significantly below pre-tournament averages after EURO 2020 concluded.


"These figures confirm beyond any doubt that a football event such as EURO 2020 is a major draw for (new) bettors and, furthermore, that it is extremely important to constantly and clearly emphasize the need to gamble responsibly,” said Magali Clavie, Chair of Belgium's Kansspelcommissie.


Other news

Tombola, the UK's largest online bingo operator, is preparing to launch in the Netherlands as soon as possible.


Testing outfit Trisigma has appointed Esther Ballart to the new position of Managing Director.

Tipico has joined the race to acquire William Hill's non-US activities.


The Italian Football Federation has urged the country’s government to suspend a ban on gambling sponsorship in football in order to help the sport recover financially from Covid-19-related losses.


Greentube has taken its games portfolio live in Ukraine with First Casino.


Åland Islands-based gaming company Paf has acquired the two Swedish licensed gaming brands Speedy Ltd and Speedy Originals from Hero Gaming.


Scientific Games has completed the acquisition of gaming content studio Lightning Box.