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UKGC Publishes Data Showing the Impact of Covid-19 on Gambling Behaviour in May 2020

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UKGC publishes Compliance and Enforcement Report
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published further data showing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on gambling behaviour.

 The data reflects the two months of full lockdown in April and May and was collected from the largest online operators and the YouGov Covid-19 tracker. It builds on data published by the Commission on May 12 and further data published by the Commission on June 12 with the Commission issuing updated guidance to operators in May which included the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

 The latest data is consistent with the first two sets and also highlights an increase in real-event betting and sports betting, partly due to the return, in May, of top-flight football through the German Bundesliga.

 Overall participation has decreased but some engaged players are spending more time and money gambling on certain products. Overall average spend per active customer increased by 17% in May, compared to April.

 A key component of the guidance issued to operators in May was the instruction to prevent reverse withdrawal options from June onwards. The data gathered throughout May showed significant usage of operator reverse withdrawal functions, suggesting that the Commission’s updated guidance was both appropriate and timely, and will ensure consumers are better protected from harm during the lockdown period.

Australia

Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley to Step Down from Star Entertainment Board

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Two non-executive directors of the Star Entertainment Group have announced their intention to step down from the Board.

According to an ASX announcement by the company on Friday following another damaging week of public hearings – part of a regular review into Star’s suitability to retain its casino license for The Star Sydney – non-executive directors Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley will both stand down in the coming months. Pitkin will step down “by the end of the financial year” and Bradley “in the coming months”, the announcement said, with other changes expected to occur in due course.

Having largely dodged scrutiny in recent years while Crown endured an inquiry in NSW, home to Crown Sydney, and Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia, home to Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, Star now finds itself treading a familiar path as it fights to save its reputation.

In Friday’s ASX filing, Star said it “notes the evidence in relation to Board renewal given in the public hearings in connection with the review of The Star Sydney being undertaken by Mr Adam Bell SC.

“As advised on 1 April 2022 in announcing the appointment of interim Executive Chairman John O’Neill AO, the Board acknowledged the need for accelerated Board change and would embark on a program of renewal in a timely manner. The Board is also mindful of the need for stability in this transitional period.”

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eSports

Global Esports Tour 2022 Season Heads Around the World with a $1M+ Prize Pool

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Following the success of the 2021 Season, the Global Esports Tour returns for its second season, with Dubai kicking off the 2022 Season of the professional esports tournament. The GET will commence this June 9-11 as part of Dubai’s EMG 2022 Esports Festival, organised by the Esports Management Group (EMG).

The GET comprises a series of competitions staged across key global cities throughout the year. Each tournament stage will showcase a unique esports title. The first of this year’s GET series will be played on CS:GO. The GEF has established a total prize pool of $1 million+ this season.

“With more than 500 million fans for our inaugural Global Esports Games in Singapore in December, the second season of the Global Esports Tour 2022 is set to be epic as players, athletes and fans return to live events around the world. We are hyper-focused on presenting powerful opportunities on the best stages in the world as the GET 2022 is locked in for our #worldconnected community to meet, play, compete and connect live in person,” Paul J. Foster, CEO of the GEF, said.

Following the recently concluded Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai kicks off the GET world tour across key global cities this year and will be the first of a series of global esports events in the GEF 2022 calendar.

The GEF #worldconnected community will head to Birmingham on August 6-7, 2022, for the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championships; and Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games in December.

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Industry News

Genius Sports Reports First Quarter 2022 Results

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Genius Sports has announced the financial results for its fiscal 2022 first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

Highlights

  • Delivered Group Revenue of $85.9m, outperforming first quarter outlook by 10%.
  • Group Adjusted EBITDA of ($2.9m), exceeding first quarter outlook by 42%.
  • Reaffirmed 2022 Group Revenue and Group Adjusted EBITDA outlook of $340m and $15m, respectively, and 2023 outlook of $430m to $440m and $40m to $50m, respectively.

“Our strong first quarter is a result of successful execution. We began 2022 with a comprehensive Investor Day, outlining our strategic plan and underlying assumptions supporting our financial outlook. Our financial and operational achievements in the quarter demonstrate our ability to deliver on that plan and increase our competitive advantages through unique and proven technology,” Mark Locke, Co-Founder and CEO of Genius Sports, said.

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