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Government of Ireland to set up independent statutory gambling authority

George Miller

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Government of Ireland to set up independent statutory gambling authority
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A new gambling authority will be given power to impose a levy on all licensed gambling facilities, under new laws planned by the Government.

 

In a significant policy shift, the Government has decided to set up an independent statutory authority instead of having a gambling control office within the Department of Justice.

The new body will also have powers to enter and seize documents and computers from licensed operators for any suspected breaches of the new legislation.

Outlining the plans on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton said he hoped the legislation might be enacted by the end of the year.

The Minister said the new authority will be given powers to grant licences and to have oversight of how operators comply with the legislation.

Mr Stanton said the authority would be able to seek background checks and reports from the gardaí on any persons applying for licences to operate a gambling facility.

On the issue of so-called “secret shoppers” – getting people to access gambling facilities undercover – to assess if they are complying with the law, especially age limits, the minister said the new authority will be able to do this.

I have no difficulty with that at all, I would encourage it,” he said.

The levy, the details of which will be decided in the coming months, will be used to establish a separate Social Gambling Fund that will be used to help provide treatment for problem gamblers and also to fund research into problem gambling.

Mr Stanton said the legislation is quite technical and will need to take account of the growth in online gambling and virtual casinos.

Originally, it was intended to limit the number of casinos to 40 and to cap the number of tables in any one casino at 15.

According to Mr Stanton, this will now have to be revisited particularly in light of technology advances. A working group is due to report on various options by the summer recess.

It is also intended to have limitations on advertising of gambling, especially with regard to young people.

But, he said, there are some challenges in this area as many TV channels providing gambling services were beamed into this country from overseas.

However, the Minister said it might be difficult to ban gambling operators from engaging in sports sponsorship as many clubs rely on this source for funding.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Industry News

Modern Times Group Publishes its Financial Results for Q2 2019

Niji Narayan

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Modern Times Group Publishes its Financial Results for Q2 2019
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Modern Times Group MTG AB (MTG) has published its financial results for Q2 2019. MTG continued to deliver on its strategic direction with sales growth of 14% in its two verticals – esport and gaming. The esports Owned & Operated (O&O) sales segment rose by 15% and the gaming sales increased by 19%.

“At MTG, we believe that esports and gaming are the future of entertainment. That is why we partner with and invest in the best entrepreneurs, most promising publishers and leading brands in these industries. And there is a good reason for this; the number of gamers worldwide is expected to grow to 2.9 billion in 2022, up from 2.4 billion in 2018 – and the global esports audience is expected to grow to 645 million by 2022, up from 395 million in 2018. Games – whether played in the home, by the commuter on the go or in an esport arena by a professional esporter – represent a major commercial opportunity,” Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, President and CEO of MTG said.

“As we conclude and report the second quarter in 2019 we see strong improvements in both our esport and gaming verticals. We deliver a record high adjusted EBITDA margin of 29 percent, and we continue to be one of the most active VC players in the landscape through our VC fund, with three new investments made in the quarter,” Jørgen Madsen Lindemann added.

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Asia

COA Urges PAGCOR to Consider Closing Casino Filipino-Manila to Prevent Further Losses

Niji Narayan

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COA Urges PAGCOR to Consider Closing Casino Filipino-Manila to Prevent Further Losses
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The Commission on Audit (COA) has expressed its concern over the P2.113 billion aggregate net losses incurred by the Casino Filipino Manila Bay of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

COA has noted serious lapses in PAGCOR’s implementation of the school building project dubbed “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan,” noting that 457 classrooms financed through a P714.496 donation by the firm have not been completed.

“Aggregate net losses of P2.113 billion incurred by CF (Casino Filipino) Manila Bay for five consecutive years cast doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern and the said condition was not disclosed in the Notes to Financial Statement (FS) as required,” COA stated in 2018 annual audit report for PAGCOR.

The Casino Filipino-Manila Bay has not been earning profit for a five year period, from 2014 to 2018, COA revealed.

“As presented in Table 9, the existence of adverse financial conditions for five consecutive years of the CF-Manila Bay casts doubt on its ability to operate as a going concern,” COA said.

COA urged PAGCOR to “devise realistic development plans and strategies to generate sufficient funds” or consider closure of the CF-Manila Bay to “avert continuous losses.”

Reacting to the COA’s observation, the PAGCOR management blamed “disintegration of the income-generating satellites from CF-Pavilion, opening of competing integrated resorts and gradual reduction in the number of table games and slot machines” for the deficit.

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Gambling in the USA

Mississippi Sports Betting Revenue Increases in June 2019

Niji Narayan

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Mississippi Sports Betting Revenue Increases in June 2019
Photo Source: nola.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Mississippi Gaming Commission has reported an increase in sports betting revenue with $1.6m, for the month of June.

Coastal casinos generated $709,901 from $9.0m wagers. Revenue was up month-on-month from $626,283 in May, but wagers were down from $11.0m.

Baseball remained the most popular sport to bet on at coastal casinos with consumers spending $5.8m on betting. Basketball followed with $1.5m in total wagers for the month.

Casinos in Mississippi’s northern region posted collective revenue of $549,847 in June off $4.3m in wagers.

The gap between baseball and basketball betting was also evident in the north, with baseball ahead with wagers of $2.2m compared to basketball on $696,070.

Central casinos remain some way of the pace in terms of sports wagering after posting collective revenue of $113,920 from $823,939 in bets during June. This represents a significant fall on $305,494 in revenue and total wagers of $2.5m in May.

Baseball remained the most popular sport to bet on at casinos in the central region. A total of $1.1m was wagered on baseball in June, ahead of basketball with $852,527.

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