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Regulatory Woes to Weigh on UK Online Gambling Growth, Says New Report From GamblingCompliance

Zoltan Tundik

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A cascade of regulatory pressures is set to slow growth in the UK’s online gambling market over the next few years, according to a new report published today by GamblingCompliance.

The report, “UK Online Gambling: Data Forecasting & Market Shares”, projects the UK market will swell to £6.42bn in total annual revenues by 2020, compared with £5.24bn in 2017, growing at an average rate of 7 percent over the next three years. Since 2013, annual growth has been more than double that rate.

Onerous new regulatory requirements, including more rigorous due-diligence checks and affordability tests, are expected to weigh on online casino operators in particular, with multi million pound fines in store for companies found to have deficient player protection standards. The report is being published less than a week after UK Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed an increase in taxes on online bingo, casino and poker games from October 2019.

“Next year’s hike in the rate of remote gaming duty from 15 to 21 percent adds to the mounting regulatory headwinds and enforcement actions which are challenging traditional operating models and the reliance of operators on high-spending VIP customers,” said Daniel Stone, GamblingCompliance’s head of data content and the report’s author.

“We nevertheless expect the decelerating UK market to grow by over £1bn in absolute terms between 2017 and 2020, cementing its status as the largest regulated online gambling market in the world,” Stone added.

In addition to future market-size projections, the report includes exclusive estimates on the market shares held by operators in the UK’s online betting and gaming sectors.

The report finds that bet365 was the UK’s largest online gambling operator by total revenue in 2017, as the Stoke-based group overtook former market-leader Paddy Power Betfair during the course of the year.

bet365 also extended its lead as the UK’s largest online sports-betting brand by a clear distance, pulling away from Sky Bet, Betfair and William Hill in a market dominated by seven major brands owned by five different companies.

In the UK’s more fragmented market for online gaming, Ladbrokes Coral took the top slot in 2017, followed by Sky Bet, William Hill and bingo specialist Jackpotjoy.

The GamblingCompliance report provides a forensic review of trends in the UK market at a time when consolidation has reshaped the gambling industry. Earlier this year, Ladbrokes Coral was acquired by GVC Holdings, while Sky Betting & Gaming was bought by PokerStars-owner The Stars Group.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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MGA to sign deal with Guardia di Finanza

Niji Ng

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MGA to sign deal with Guardia di Finanza
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The Malta Gaming Authority has revealed plans to enter into an agreement with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza to share intelligence with investigators of both the countries for more effective tackling of illegal gaming activity.

The agreement is expected to be signed in a few days. The deal is proposed after a recent investigation revealed Malta’s role in a multi-billion Euro money-laundering scheme and resulted in the arrest of 68 people and the seizure of over €1 billion in assets across Europe.

The investigation, which was done in cooperation with Eurojust, the Maltese authorities, and their European counterparts, was led by the prosecutors of Bari, Reggio Calabria and Catania, and coordinated by the Italian National Anti-Mafia and Counter-Terrorism Directorate.

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Italy nabs online gambling mafia crew

Niji Ng

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Italy nabs online gambling mafia crew
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The Italian police have arrested 68 men in connection with the running of massive online betting racket after an international combing operation, which involved more than 800 police personnel. The police seised assets worth more than €1bn. The mafia’s operation was spread over 12 countries.

The groups arrested had been making deals with businesses in the online betting world, providing them with facilities to recycle large quantities of money through illegal parallel circuits on betting platforms in exchange for promotion and protection.

Some of those who had been arrested own Rolex watches and Ferraris and used to eat in posh restaurants and indulge in gambling in Las Vegas.

Federico Cafiero de Raho, the Police Unit’s Head, commented: “We can see from ongoing investigations how the mafias work together in different sectors. We still need to establish whether there is a fixed leadership or if the deals change depending on the territories involved.”

Goods and cash were apprehended in Albania, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, the Isle of Man, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, Serbia, the Seychelles and Switzerland.

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Swiss Casinos forges partnership with Playtech for online launch

Niji Ng

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Swiss Casinos forges partnership with Playtech for online launch
Photo Source: techfinancials.co.za
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Swiss Casinos, a major land-based casino operator in Switzerland, has signed a partnership with Playtech, the premier gaming software development company based in Isle of Man, for the launch of its online casinos.

The move is significant as the Swiss market will host iGaming for the first time from January 2019.

According to the newly passed Swiss legislation, only the land-based casino operators in the country will be eligible for the licence to run iGaming facility through their online channel from January.

“We are extremely excited to have found an internationally experienced and innovative partner in Playtech,” Swiss Casinos Group chief executive Marc Baumann said. “We will now be able to offer our customers in Switzerland an attractive iGaming offering.”

Playtech chief operating officer Shimon Akad added that his company was pleased to have partnered Switzerland’s leading casino brand.

“Playtech has a long history of success in cooperation with leading brands in the world’s most important gambling markets, and we are looking forward to a long and successful partnership with Swiss Casinos,” he said.

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