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ECA Says European Casino Revenues Down 50%

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ECA Says European Casino Revenues Down 50%
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The European Casino Association (ECA) has said that the European land-based casino sector has been hard hit by the pandemic.

ECA this week released statistics that show a devastating year for the bricks-and-mortar gambling industry through a poll of members.

The European casino industry was closed for an average of 136 days in 2020 and most operators have been closed for the first quarter of 2021. Seventy percent of casinos are currently shut down, with some exceptions this year, including Luxembourg, Spain and Monaco, but with restrictions.

The industry lost an average of over 37% of normal operating days last year and revenues have fallen by over 50%. The majority of ECA members do not have a clear schedule for the official reopening in 2021. Before the pandemic members employed 70,000 staff in their 900 casinos, an employment number that is likely to fall to 50,000 when reopening is allowed.

ECA chairman Per Jaldung said: “This is the deepest trough the European land-based casino industry has ever experienced. The financial impact of the pandemic on the land-based casino sector has been extreme and these numbers show the economic realities of Covid-19 on the European land-based casino sector.

“Some casinos have closed permanently and many casino employees have lost their jobs. We are under no illusion that the industry can return to ‘business as usual’ any time soon. We are, as a matter of fact, very far from business as usual.”

Restricted opening hours, maximum occupancy and amenity limitations, social distancing protocols, restricted gaming offers, protective measures including plexiglass, masks and on-site testing are just some of the hurdles that the land-based casino business is currently facing.

Country to country variations in the restrictions and mandates have also been compounded by regional variations within national borders. These restrictions are the next major challenge for a sector that the pandemic has hit the hardest.

ECA secretary-general Hermann Pamminger said: “Guests want to visit casinos again. The relaxation and tightening of numerous lockdowns in 2020 demonstrated the ability of the land-based sector to safely and responsibly return to business.

“Guest registration has enabled quick and practical social distancing measures and casinos have implemented comprehensive hygiene initiatives, far exceeding local requirements, ensuring that our guests feel comfortable and safe.

“Our industry is part of the service and tourism sector in which we employ a large number of highly trained and motivated people. The closures affected 130,000 direct and indirect employees, not only across our gambling facilities but also in our restaurant and entertainment areas.

“Our employees cannot wait for the day business is back to normal and they can once again welcome guests to their casino and entertainment venues, but our industry continues to need support to achieve this during an extraordinarily challenging period.”

Industry News

CT Gaming Introduces “Tournaments” Module

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CT Gaming’s Casino Management System has been a cornerstone of the product offerings for nearly a decade. It has continuously evolved to meet the industry’s and the client’s changing needs. One of the most exciting recent developments is the introduction of a separate module dedicated to tournaments.

The new feature represents a significant advancement in the company’s capabilities and offers a range of benefits for both operators and players. The tournament module enables a variety of competitive formats, allowing for dynamic competitions between players, software applications, gaming machines and even specific games. This flexibility means operators can create and manage tournaments tailored to their unique audience and strategic goals.

For players, the tournament module enhances the gaming experience by introducing an element of competition and excitement. It encourages engagement and loyalty by providing opportunities to compete for prizes and recognition. The ability to participate in tournaments adds a new layer of interaction, making the gaming experience more immersive and enjoyable.

Additionally, the module’s integration into the company’s Casino Management System ensures operators can easily track and manage tournament activities. This includes real-time monitoring of player performance, automated scorekeeping and detailed reporting on tournament outcomes. Such features not only streamline the management process but also provide valuable insights that can be used to refine future tournaments and promotions.

The implementation of this module underscores CT Gaming’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the gaming industry. By continuously enhancing the Casino Management System, the company aims to provide its clients with cutting-edge tools that drive engagement, optimise operations and ultimately contribute to their success. The company believes that this new module will be a game-changer for the clients, offering them a powerful new way to attract and retain players while setting a new standard for competitive gaming experiences in the casino environment.

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Industry News

Kambi charts over 20 years of sportsbook evolution with the “Kambi Founders’ Story”

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Kambi charts over 20 years of sportsbook evolution with the “Kambi Founders’ Story”
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Interactive resource recounts the Kambi journey from inception to becoming the world’s leading sports betting supplier

Kambi, the world’s trusted sports betting partner, has launched the Kambi Founders’ Story, an interactive resource outlining the company’s journey to becoming the industry’s leading sports betting supplier.

Featuring interviews with key figures from throughout the company’s history including Co-founders Kristian Nylén and Anders Ström, as well as Kambi Sportsbook MD Erik Lögdberg, the Founders’ Story charts more than two decades of Kambi’s history, from the halls of Sweden’s Karlstad University to milestones such as creating history by processing the first legal online bet in the U.S.

The Founders’ Story also charts the evolution of the sports betting industry, taking in landmarks such as the dot-com boom and the birth of live betting to the broadening influence of the B2B sportsbook model.

Officially founded in 2010 and gaining independence in 2014 with its listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm First North, Kambi has gone on to become the foremost provider of sportsbook technology and services to the regulated betting and gaming industry, with partners including BetPlay, LeoVegas, Kindred Group, Rush Street Interactive and Paf, Kambi’s first partner signing back in 2010.

Kristian Nylén, Kambi CEO and Co-founder, said: “Kambi’s journey is unique within the sports betting sector, and as I step up to the Board of Directors and welcome incoming CEO Werner Becher, I am pleased to be able to look back with pride and share it with the industry through this Founders’ Story.

“The business has grown from an idea between university friends to become the clear leader in its field, and as the Kambi Group continues to enhance its delivery with an expanding range of modular services including AI-driven odds feeds, front-end UX and esports, it is a journey that is only just getting started.”

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Cryptocurrency

Betting on Crypto: How Crypto Casinos are Driving Mainstream Adoption

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Betting on Crypto: How Crypto Casinos are Driving Mainstream Adoption
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Author: Scott Major, CCO, Transact365

In the digital age, two revolutionary trends are converging to reshape the landscape of financial entertainment: cryptocurrencies and online gambling. At the forefront of this intersection are crypto casinos, innovative platforms that are not only leveraging blockchain technology but also driving the widespread adoption of digital currencies.

By integrating digital assets into an engaging and familiar activity like gambling, crypto casinos are introducing a wider audience to the practical uses of blockchain technology. Conversely, the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies is attracting more users to online gambling platforms, expanding the reach of such platforms to tech-savvy individuals who prioritise privacy and decentralisation.

Crypto Casinos: Pioneering Adoption

Crypto casinos represent a new frontier in the gambling industry, leveraging blockchain technology to offer players a secure, transparent, and decentralised gaming experience. By accepting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, these platforms provide users with unparalleled privacy, faster transactions, and lower fees compared to traditional fiat currency casinos. This alignment with the ethos of decentralisation and financial sovereignty inherent in cryptocurrencies has attracted a growing number of tech-savvy users and early adopters to the world of online gambling.

Moreover, crypto casinos are not just leveraging cryptocurrencies; they are actively promoting their adoption. In fact, crypto casinos are expected to become more mainstream by the end of 2024.  Players who may have been previously unfamiliar with digital assets are now acquiring and using them for entertainment purposes, thereby integrating cryptocurrencies into their everyday lives. This increased exposure to cryptocurrencies through gambling fosters a deeper understanding and acceptance for their utility and benefits beyond the gaming sphere. Therefore, as cryptocurrencies gain wider acceptance, more traditional gamblers are likely to explore crypto gambling options. This trend could expand the market share of crypto casinos within the overall online gambling industry.

The Ripple Effect: Cryptocurrencies and Online Gambling

Cryptocurrencies are also revolutionising the online gambling industry by addressing long-standing challenges related to payment processing. One of the critical barriers for traditional online casinos has been the inefficiency for certain underbanked sectors and at times costliness of payment solutions –  exacerbated by stringent regulations and geographical limitations. Cryptocurrencies circumvent these hurdles by offering a decentralised payment method that operates across borders with minimal fees and swift transaction times.

An efficient payment solution is paramount to maximising the synergy between cryptocurrencies and online gambling. Crypto casinos have capitalised on blockchain technology’s ability to facilitate instant and secure transactions, ensuring seamless deposits and withdrawals for players worldwide. This efficiency not only enhances the user experience but also expands market reach by attracting players from regions where traditional banking systems may be unreliable or inaccessible.

Harnessing Efficiency for Growth

By streamlining financial transactions through blockchain technology, crypto casinos are able to offer competitive advantages that resonate with today’s digital-first consumers. This includes faster payouts, reduced transaction fees, and heightened security measures that inspire trust and confidence among players.

The rise of crypto casinos is not merely a trend but a transformative force that is propelling the adoption of cryptocurrencies and reshaping the online gambling industry. By embracing blockchain technology and user-friendly crypto and local payment solutions, these platforms are fostering a symbiotic relationship that not only benefits both industries but most importantly the customers alike.

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