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Several markets remove covid-19 restrictions – Sweden are doing the opposite

George Miller

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Several markets remove covid-19 restrictions - Sweden are doing the opposite
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Authorities in Spain and the UK are now choosing to remove the temporary covid-19 restrictions. The restrictions on these markets were introduced two months ago and were linked to the marketing of games. In Sweden, new restrictions are now being introduced instead.

“These are examples of two regulated markets where authorities and players in the gaming market work together to achieve a sustainable and healthy gaming market in the long term. The fact that both Spain and the UK now return to the normal regulatory framework is in line with how the outside world relieves previous restrictions in connection with covid-19. We now also see that many sports competitions are resumed, and the football leagues start again,” says Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO.

“Unfortunately, despite criticism from several directions, Sweden is moving in the opposite direction and facing temporary restrictions. There is a great risk that this will erode Swedish regulation even more. Copenhagen School of Economics has carried out an independent report which indicates that the black market can amount to as much as 50 percent when introduced. It is far from the authorities’ goal that wants to limit the black market to 10 percent“, Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO continues.

Spain
Spain has for a time introduced a temporary marketing ban on gambling.

UK
For a period of six weeks, the largest gaming companies in the UK (those that are BGC (The Betting and Gaming Council) members) have voluntarily opted to restrict advertising on TV and radio to only feature a safer gambling message rather than promote their products. Advertising restrictions are now being lifted, however there is still a voluntary agreement for operators to dedicate a minimum of 20 percent of their advertising on TV and radio to safer gambling throughout the period up to and including 31 August 2020.

Sweden into temporary restrictions
As of July 2, Sweden will impose temporary restrictions on, among other things, online casinos that extend until the turn of the year 2020. The restrictions include a deposit limit of SEK 5,000 per week and licensees, and only one bonus, in the form of a welcome bonus, which may amount to a maximum of SEK 100.

Responsible Gaming
Regardless of the world situation and business cycle, LeoVegas puts its customers’ safety first. LeoVegas works with several customer tools that are used in the form of setting deposit and loss limits. The company actively helps customers with this and continuously informs them about playing responsibly. In a digital world, everything is measurable and LeoVegas works proactively, using algorithms, to detect trends in unhealthy behaviour at an early stage – before gambling becomes a problem. During the covid-19 period, LeoVegas see no tendencies for problem gambling to increase.

“The Swedish Gambling Authority notes that Spelberoendegruppen (the Gaming Addiction Group) has not noticed any change in the number of contacts and the Spelberoendes förening (the Gaming Addict’s Association) notes an increase in people who state trot as a source of problem gambling,” concludes Gustaf Hagman.

Industry News

Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play

Niji Narayan

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Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play
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Gaming Realms has signed a licensing agreement with Pragmatic Play to produce Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gaming Realms is to license market-leading brands from Pragmatic Play’s expansive game portfolio, including Sweet Bonanza and Wolf Gold, to create Slingo games.

Michael Buckley, executive chairman of Gaming Realms, said: “This licensing partnership with Pragmatic Play opens up a range of cross-sell benefits to both parties. The collaboration between two organisations with a key focus on content innovation in the digital space is truly exciting.

“Pragmatic Play creates engaging and immersive gaming content that fits perfectly with Slingo; we’re hoping this announcement should excite both operators and players.”

Yossi Barzely, chief business development officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Creating memorable gaming experiences is a priority for us and Gaming Realms has an excellent reputation through its Slingo portfolio.

“We have an extremely positive feeling about the potential for Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games and are eager to see this partnership realise its potential.”

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Latest News

Betway and Surrey CCC announce partnership

George Miller

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Betway and Surrey CCC announce partnership
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Global online betting and gaming company Betway and Surrey County Cricket Club are proud to announce their new partnership agreement.

As one of the leading counties in English cricket, Surrey showcases some of the best international and English cricket talent at the globally renowned Kia Oval. Producing the likes of Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Jason Roy, this announcement will see Betway gain access to Surrey CCC talent.

The agreement will also see venue branding at all domestic and international matches, as well as the bookmaker’s logo on all Vitality T20 Blast shirts.

Joining Betway’s impressive cricket portfolio which already includes Cricket South Africa, Cricket West Indies and Kevin Pietersen, this announcement solidifies the brand’s status as the leading online bookmaker within cricket globally.

Anthony Werkman, CEO of Betway said: “We are extremely happy to be announcing our partnership with the Surrey County Cricket Club. It enforces our continued commitment to cricket and we can’t wait to watch the team compete in the Vitality T20 Blast, LV= Insurance County Championship and Royal London One Day Cup.”

Kevin Pietersen, Brand Ambassador for Betway said: “It’s great to see Betway and my old county Surrey going into partnership. I had a great time at the Oval. The atmosphere there is fantastic and always helps to make the cricket an exciting spectacle.

“Surrey are competing for three different county titles, as well as hosting the fourth match of a blockbuster Test series between England and India. It looks set to be a memorable summer of cricket.”

George Hampson, Head of Corporate Sales at Surrey County Cricket Club and The Kia Oval, said: “As we look forward to a hugely exciting season at The Kia Oval we’re very happy to be partnering with Betway, one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative betting companies.”

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Australia

Star Entertainment Submits Proposal to Merge with Crown Resorts

Niji Narayan

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Star Entertainment Submits Proposal to Merge with Crown Resorts
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Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has submitted a conditional, non-binding, indicative proposal to merge with Crown Resorts.

According to details released via the ASX, the proposal values Crown’s shares in excess of AU$14 per share – exceeding the value put forward by competing bids in recent weeks which value Crown at closer to AU$12 per share.

Those competing bids include a revised offer from American multinational private equity and hedge fund giant The Blackstone Group, received over the weekend, which increases its bid from an original AU$11.85 per share to AU$12.35 per share.

US global asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management L.P. has also proposed a AU$3 billion offer to acquire the 37% stake in Crown currently held by James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings.

However, Star has outlined its case for a merger, with the offer representing a share exchange ratio of 2.68 The Star shares per Crown share with a cash alternative of AU$12.50 per Crown share for up to 25% of Crown’s issued share capital.

“Based on recent trading values of The Star and the substantial value that would be unlocked by a merger, The Star estimates its pro forma share price to be more than AU$5 per share, implying potential value of the Scrip Consideration in excess of AU$14 per Crown share,” it said.

The Star said it believes a merger represents a “compelling value proposition for all shareholders by creating a national tourism and entertainment leader with a world-class portfolio of integrated resorts with enhanced scale and geographic earnings diversification, significant balance sheet strength and free cash flow generation.”

It would also allow for AU$150 million to AU$200 million in cost synergies per annum with an estimated net value of AU$2 billion.

“A merger of The Star and Crown would result in significant scale and diversification and unlock an estimated AU$2 billion in net value from synergies,” Star Chairman John O’Neill said.

“With a portfolio of world-class properties across four states in Australia’s most attractive and populated catchment areas and tourism hubs, the combined group would be a compelling investment proposition and one of the largest and most attractive integrated resort operators in the Asia Pacific region.”

According to Star, a merger would also open the door for potential sale and leaseback opportunities on some of the group’s enhanced property portfolio – leaving the door open for the likes of Blackstone and Oaktree to acquire assets in the future.

Crown said it has not yet formed a view on the merits of the proposal and will commence an assessment process on its merits.

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