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Compliance Updates

UK committee to introduce lottery changes

Niji Narayan

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Photo credits: www.alamy.es
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The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the UK has recommended changes in the country’s lottery system. The PAC in its latest report has pointed out that lottery profits allocated to good causes are failing. The committee blamed Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, for its shortcomings.

The report showed that payments made to the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) have totalled £37 billion since its creation. However, in the 2016–2017 period, the money available decreased 15 per cent as ticket sales fell 9 per cent.

PAC said that the problem is that Camelot experienced a 122 per cent profit increase between 2010 and the end of 2017, but the returns for good causes to the NLDF only increased two per cent during that period. The Committee blamed the numbers on the fact that fewer people are buying draw-based games, and the introduction of a 59-ball lottery that sentenced a decrease in overall sales.

The PAC said that the 2012 renegotiation with Camelot was too favourable for the company and that “it isn’t comfortable with Camelot’s profit growth in recent years compared to the returns to good causes.”

Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “Raising money for good causes is one of the founding principles of the National Lottery but this objective is under threat. It would be a sad and significant loss to many deserving organisations and individuals if that funding, which has amounted to some £37 billion since 1994, should dissipate as a result of inaction now. Our report lays bare the need for a concerted effort from Government, the Gambling Commission and Camelot, a monopoly supplier whose profits more than doubled in seven years while returns for good causes grew by just two per cent.”

On the flip side, a Camelot spokesman said that they noted the contents of the report and will continue to work with the Gambling Commission, DCMS and the National Lottery distribution bodies to maximise returns to good causes. “During the third licence period, annual returns to good causes have been, on average, 30 per cent higher than under the previous licence. We’ve already seen some encouraging signs that the initiatives from the strategic review that we carried out last summer are working and are confident that we have strong plans to get The National Lottery back into growth. The National Lottery has been, and continues to be, a massive success, around 60 per cent of UK adults currently play National Lottery games and, to date, we’ve made over 4,750 millionaires.”

Compliance Updates

Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment Combo Gets UK CMA Clearance

Niji Narayan

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The Stars Group Receives UK Competition & Markets Authority Clearance for its Combination With Flutter Entertainment
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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has unconditionally cleared the combination of The Stars Group with Flutter Entertainment following CMA’s Phase 1 review under the Enterprise Act 2002.

The Stars Group and Flutter had signed a contract that allows an all-share acquisition of The Stars Group by Flutter pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.

The Stars Group and Flutter continue to work carefully for completing the acquisition, provided the contract gets approval from a small number of other regulatory bodies and certain approvals by each of Flutter’s and The Stars Group’s shareholders.

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Compliance Updates

Red Rake Gaming continues its regulated market focus with Belarus

George Miller

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Red Rake Gaming continues its regulated market focus with Belarus
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Player-focused casino games developer Red Rake Gaming, based in Spain and Malta, is delighted to announce its newest regulated market, Belarus. Red Rake Gaming made the move due to the demand from its clients and the response of their game content in the region.

Belarus introduced regulations in 2019 with operators required to obtain the relevant licenses ahead of a potential closure for non-regulated operators scheduled to take affect from 1st April 2021, 2 years after it introduced the licensing framework.

A selection of the top performing games will be made available to the Belarus licensed operators which include its records breaking Super12Stars – the non-stop, action packed slot which combines feature games and bonus rounds from all its predecessors in the Super series of games, all of which are firm favourites in the region. Additional titles from the diverse portfolio include Million 7 – giving players a million ways to win, The Asp of Cleopatra, Ryan O’Bryan and Mysteries of Egypt, to mention but a few.

Delivering into regulated markets is at the heart of Red Rake Gaming’s growth strategy, and our latest market entry represents a superb opportunity for the company to further its reach in Belarus.

Nick Barr, Managing Director for Red Rake Malta, commented: “We are continuing our commitment to driving our regulated market strategy and Belarus is the first new market for 2020, with more markets in the pipeline. It is important to Red Rake Gaming that we continue to support our clients in new markets strategies. Our games have been notably well received in the region, and we are looking forward to continuing to grow with our clients and delivering the finest games to the Belarusian players.”

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Compliance Updates

Gambling Compliance tracker reports record breaking quarter for regulators

George Miller

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Gambling Compliance tracker reports record breaking quarter for regulators
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Online gambling regulators were busy in the first quarter of 2020, issuing a total of in excess of £25m in fines to just five online gambling operators between January and March.

This is a huge increase over penalties issued in previous years. Online gambling compliance tracker GamblingIndustryFines.com tracked a total of over £16m in fines doled out to iGaming operators for the whole of 2019.

The first fine of the year was issued in January by the Malta Gaming Authority – a £2M fine for Blackrock Media for “servicing unauthorized transactions”.

GVC Australia was up next on Valentine’s day – receiving a fine for £106k after two GVC brands, Ladbrokes and Neds – were found guilty of offering betting bonuses to people who opened new betting accounts – contrary to Australian law.

The same month, Mr Green was on the receiving end of a £3M fine from the UK Gambling Commission for systemic failings in its measures to stop money laundering and problem gambling.

The UKGC issued Betway with a record £11.6m fine in March as a settlement for accepting stolen money from high spending “VIP” customers, some of whom were displaying clear signs of gambling addiction.

The final regulator fine of the first quarter went to Kindred Group when Spooniker Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kindred Group received a warning and a sanction fee in the sum of SEK 100 million (USD 9,5m/£8.5m) by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) for offering customers financial incentives which are in breach of the new gambling legislation.

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