BGC: Compulsory Affordability Checks Threaten Regulated Betting and Gaming Industry, Warns Major Report by EY
Britain’s regulated betting and gaming sector has urged Government to publish a White Paper that delivers for business and punters, after a new study showed affordability checks are already hitting revenues.
Research by EY for the Betting and Gaming Council confirmed the sector remained robust despite the pandemic and was now weathering the energy crisis and cost of living crisis.
However, the enforcement of tougher affordability checks, have contributed to reduced revenues, the study said.
The report backs up recent polling which showed nearly 70% of people who place a bet said they would be unwilling to allow regulated firms to carry out compulsory affordability checks to prove they can afford to wager.
According to EY, despite the external pressures facing all businesses, which have been exacerbated by affordability checks, BGC members’ total Gross Value Added contribution to the UK economy was £7.1bn.
Meanwhile the industry supports 110,000 jobs on high streets, in hospitality and in global tech powerhouses.
The contribution to the Treasury from regulated betting and gaming remained significant at £4.2bn annually.
Across the industry, overall Gross Gambling Yield – total revenues after winnings have been paid but before costs are deducted – was slightly up on 2019 despite massive global volatility.
A new White Paper setting out new laws for the Gambling Industry is expected within weeks. In expectation of Government limits on spending, BGC members have already started applying more stringent checks, which are hitting revenues.
The EY study, noted: “Online GGY has declined since mid-2021, probably reflecting the re-opening of physical venues, the introduction of affordability checks on online, and the decline in real household incomes.”
The decline in the online regulated betting and gaming sector as a result of factors including the impact of affordability checks could push customers to the black market, the study warned.
The EY study, said these pressures, “could in turn lead to leakage to the black market, i.e. operators offering remote (mainly desktop and mobile) gambling products that do not hold a UK Gambling Commission license for remote gambling.”
European countries applying tough sanctions on betting, including restrictions on stakes, blanket affordability checks and curbs on advertising, have witnessed an increase in black market betting.
Norway’s black market now accounts for over 66% of all money staked, in France it is 57%, while in In Italy 23% of money bet is on illicit sites.
The figures have prompted renewed calls from the BGC to end the uncertainty presented by the Government’s delayed review of gambling laws, and ensure any new regulations put industry on a sustainable foundation for future growth.
CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher said: “The UK’s regulated betting and gaming sector is a genuine global leader. Some 22.5m adults enjoy a wager, on the lottery, on bingo, on any number of sports, online and in casinos.
“Our members pump billions into the economy, support the Treasury with more billions and support over one hundred thousand jobs.
“But this contribution is never guaranteed. This industry needs to thrive if it is to maintain its status as a global leader.
“As ministers consider the regulatory framework for this industry, they should stop and think, and ensure the decisions they make support a sustainable future.
“This is a sector that is ready to invest, on hard-pressed high streets through bookmakers, in tourism and hospitality through world-class casinos and online where our tech giant members are looking to increase the number of apprentices they hire.
“We urge the Government to find an evidence-led, balanced White Paper that protects the vulnerable, allows the vast majority who bet safely to continue to do so, and crucially allows business to thrive.”
The Government has promised a White Paper outlining a review of current Gambling legislation within weeks.
The industry standards body, the BGC, has launched 20 standards and initiatives since it was established three years ago to drive up standards.
Michael Dugher added: “This industry is serious about safer gambling, and it’s encouraging that the rates of problem gambling among UK adults remains low by international standards at 0.3 percent.
“We want to see technology used to ensure checks on spending are carefully targeted towards the vulnerable, not the vast majority who show no signs of harm.
“But without Government clarity on affordability checks, our members are concerned they are driving frustrated customers to the unsafe, unregulated black market.
“These sites have none of the safer gambling tools employed by our members, do nothing to protect young people, don’t invest anything in the sports we love like horse racing, rugby, darts and football and crucially don’t contribute a penny in tax.”
Week 13/2023 slot games releases
Here are this weeks latest slots releases compiled by European Gaming
Spinomenal has announced the eagerly awaited launch for its festive edition of a crowd favourite – The Book of Easter Piggy Bank. This high volatility game will take players on a luxury-filled Easter egg hunt like they’ve never seen before! The all-time favourite game has returned just in time to bring some fun and excitement to the Easter holiday. Players will join in on a thrilling hunt for lavish Fabergé eggs, raiding the Piggy’s bank of riches! This vibrant slot game takes easter egg hunting to the extreme.
Pragmatic Play, takes to the lake to net more fish-themed bonuses as it adds to much adored franchise with Big Bass Hold & Spinner™. Played across 5×3 reels, Big Bass Hold & Spinner™ reopens its tackle box to reveal familiar symbols alongside a laid-back atmosphere set by an upbeat soundtrack as the franchise’s friendly fisherman returns to guide players through big wins.
77 Sunset Strip captures the rad vibe of the 80s and combines it with Wilds, Expanding Reels, Free Spins and the studio’s innovative Instapots feature. Players can banish the winter blues and head to the warm, sunny climes of Miami, Florida, in the latest neon-themed online slot spectacular from Live5. 77 Sunset Strip InstapotsTM has it all, from Free Spins to Expanding Reels and the studio’s innovative Instapots feature.
Swintt is taking players on a journey through ancient Egypt with the potential to experience wealth and prosperity in Book of Shai, the latest slot release from its SwinttGames portfolio. Shai is the legendary Egyptian god of luck, and players will be hoping he’s on their side as they play their way through this 5×3 reel, 20 payline slot that has an RTP of 95.90%.
Armadillo Studios is proud to announce the official launch of its sweetest new slot, Hot Hot Honey, a game that brings back fan-favourite features in a new and refreshing way. Hot Hot Honey is a 5×3 row, high volatility slot available in 96.02%, 94.03%, and 88.24% RTP versions, featuring our bee trio the Anna sisters, who have banded together to provide enough hot honey to satisfy everyone’s appetites.
Greentube, is reopening its book of classic tales once more, this time bringing an aquatic favourite to life in Diamond Tales™: The Little Mermaid. This variable volatility 5-reel, 40 payline slot, created in collaboration with Intellectual Property owner RoyalCasino Denmark, has players aiming to win a maximum of 50,000x their stake by way of several bonus features, including the Snap Drop and Diamond Tales™ features.
Gaming Realms, a leading provider of mobile-focused gaming content, takes to the high seas in latest buccaneer-themed title Slingo Pirate’s Treasure. Played across 5×5 reels, randomly generated numbers are present on the matrix. During each spin, five numbers are drawn, and if matched to those on the game board will mark their position. A line of these marked numbers is required to create a Slingo.
Yggdrasil, the leading publisher accelerating iGaming innovation, has rolled out its egg-citing Easter hit, E-Force. Inspired by different popular action movie characters, the title transports players to the world of Easterville, where some rough and ready rabbits are primed to defend their village while picking up some big wins in the process. The 3×5 slot features reels packed with numerous different rabbits with their own fighting style, while various coloured eggs are also present on the grid.
AvatarUX has released its first Irish-themed game, Pop O’Gold™, featuring new and exciting mechanic – StickyPop™. StickyPop™ is a variation of the innovative supplier’s hit mechanic PopWins™, and sees winning combinations remain on the reels while an entire new set of symbols tumble from above. Each reel can increase from three to five symbols high in base play and seven in free spins. When no new sticky symbols are possible, the spin ends.
Soft2Bet is excited to announce that a celestial deal with leading game developer Pragmatic Play, will facilitate the creation of the sequel to the world-renowned, heavy-hitting game “Gates of Olympus”. Soft2Bet’s teams have been navigating the underworld to bring their partners and players something truly unique, a game made by the Gods and kept under the protection of Hades himself.
Habanero, has released its latest title, Legendary Beasts, a fiery slot featuring mystical characters. Played across 3×3 reels, the new slot adds a twist to the classic gameboard with splitting symbols, which can divide into two or four parts, creating additional ways for players to win. Adding to the atmosphere are the game’s symbols comprised of animated dragons, tigers, and phoenixes as well as magical coins, in keeping with the Oriental theme.
Push Gaming, returns to the legendary Cluster Link mechanic and popular characters, in its latest wild release Giga Jar. Played across 7×7 reels, familiar symbols from the studio’s hugely successful Jammin’ Jars series return in their own spin-off slot, highlighting the success of its proprietary games and the value of careful character development in its imaginative and engaging slot offering.
Players will have a cracking time when they play REEVO’s latest new slot Eggs with Legs ahead of the holidays. This 5-reel, 5-payline Easter egg-stravaganza is the ideal Springtime slot where players can seek out huge wins and hidden surprises in a game packed full of bonuses, prize boosters and respins. Featuring Additives (+50, +150, +750 and +1,000 your stake) and Multiplier (x2, x5 and x10) symbols that pay on winning lines; up to seven Respins.
Wizard Games has cast a line in search of big bites in new launch Bring In The Fish. The 5×3, 20 payline slot marks the slot studio’s latest foray into the hugely popular fishing genre of titles, providing an angling adventure that is packed full of features. The Golden Fish Collect Pots acts as a collect option throughout base play, with at least three landing required to trigger a win.
GAMOMAT, one of the leading independent software developers for slot games, has released its fabulous new title, Vegas Fruits. Dive into the truly special Las Vegas feeling to experience world-class entertainment that Vegas Fruits brings. GAMOMAT is very pleased to announce the launch of Vegas Fruits, a classic-style fruit game that is expertly designed to bring fun to all.
Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is set to get hearts racing with its newest release, The Red Queen™. Drawing players into a captivating world full of dynamic characters, including the white rabbit, kooky hatter and the Red Queen herself, this fantastical slot is a feast for the senses across 5×3 reels and 20 paylines.
One of Blueprint Gaming’s most loved slots returns with a sparkling array of new ways to win in Luck of the Irish Mystery Ways Fortune Play. The popular Irish-themed title’s charms run right through every section, from the base game where matching three symbols or more on adjacent reels awards a win, to the Money Spins bonus round. The Luck O’ The Irish Mystery symbol boosts play too – not only revealing any symbol at random, including the Money Spins symbol, but also revealing extra versions of the same symbol for more ways to win.
Wazdan, the innovative games provider, has released its latest slot Mystery Kingdom™: Mystery Bells, which sees the introduction of a new lucrative feature. The eerie new hit opens with a 4×3 grid, which features 12 independent reels, and invites players to spin and trigger the bonus round to launch any wins. The gameplay doesn’t include payout in the base game, instead four bonus symbols of any type are required to land on the middle row to activate the Hold the Jackpot round.
Stakelogic’s latest big-action slot sees players join the Spartans as they fight back against a zombie invasion with the help of an arsenal of bonus features. It’s the epic battle that we’ve all been waiting for – Spartans Vs Zombies MultipaysTM. Players will find out who comes out on top in the latest slot release of the same name from in-demand slot developer, Stakelogic. Spartans Vs Zombies MultipaysTM sees players join the Spartans as they take on super-powered zombies.
Put some Spring in your step with Triple Eggs 100 – arriving just in time for Easter! The latest Classic Series from Hölle Games is a 5×4, 100 payline treat and full of Eggs, Rabbits, Chicks, and other themes for the season. Egg-citing! While the name might be a cheeky nod to a particular film franchise, this game is a lot more entertaining, and players will actually give a cluck. With Stacked Wilds and an eggs-cellent Scatter payout of 30x, they can win up to 2500x their stake.
Red Tiger has launched a dystopian, post-apocalyptic video slot where welding race cars together is the way of life. In Wrigley’s World, players can join the namesake mischievous goblin in a race for victory. Beaten-up, rusty canister Wilds fuel the excitement in this slot, and may topple onto Reels 2, 3, and 4. Up to 5 Wilds may land on each spin, and each Wild adds a 2x Ways Multiplier to players’ potential wins.
Life just suddenly got so much better. The legendary Mr. Vegas is back and bringing the ultimate Vegas experience to players’ fingertips. With five reels and 60 paylines, Mr. Vegas 2: Big Money Tower™ delivers a feature overload with Stacked Mystery Symbols, Free Spins, a Pick Bonus and the innovative Big Money Tower for gold, silver or bronze winnings. The sequel to Mr. Vegas™ – one of Betsoft’s most popular releases of all times – Mr. Vegas 2: Big Money Tower™ takes our handsome hero back to the high rollers’ casino for some serious action.
Kasinopartio: Finland Next To Regulate The Casino Market
The casino industry has always been subject to strict regulation and in most countries the state was the first to take care of offering casino games to its citizens. Due to international and national pressure, many countries have opened their monopolies to foreign operators. Finland and Norway are still two exceptions with state-owned casinos being the only ones entitled to offer gambling products.
In its Q3 2022 interim report Finnish state owned Veikkaus reported that it would no longer be able to cope with the growing competition from international online casino operators, as it has been losing its market share at an increasing pace. According to the company, the government needs to open the casino market to offshore operators. Research done by Kasinopartio show new gambling regulations seem to be in the making favouring international casino brands.
Parliamentary Elections 2023
Parliamentary elections are coming up in Finland on April 2nd. Regulating the casino industry is not considered one of the main topics, but the positions in the political field are clear. Right-wing conservatives are ready to open the casino industry to competition, and among the smaller right-wing parties, the Swedish People’s Party is also on the side of allowing competition. Amongst left-wing parties, we find the Social Democratic Party, which won the 2019 elections, and has also unexpectedly changed its position after Veikkaus’ 2022 output, open to discuss a potential opening of the online casino industry. The smaller left-wing party, the Left Alliance, is still in favour of the current monopoly.
“All major parties clearly have the will to open the Finnish online casino market, so the elections are not expected to change this. The only thing likely to be affected by the upcoming elections is the schedule for the new regulation to come into force. With this in mind, it seems that after the formation of the government, it will take another 2-3 years for the new regulation to enter into force. Most likely in 2025 or 2026, the Finnish gambling market will have opened up for competition.” Kasinopartio in an official statement on the Finnish online gambling market
As different countries in the EU have opened their gaming markets in recent years, diverse case studies wait ahead. Since a new government still needs to be formed in Finland, the details of the expected change in the gambling monopoly are still to be discussed. What seems certain, however, is that Finland is willing to learn the best lessons from the processes of other countries. The Finnish online casino experts of Kasinopartio believe that Finland will use neighbouring Sweden as an important source of inspiration. Online gambling has been legal in Sweden since 2002. The Swedish gambling law went through major changes between 2002 and 2018 leading to the online casino and sports betting market to open up for private companies.
How Gamers are Putting the Future of Fun Front and Center
By Roobet Co-Founder Matt Duea
Growing up playing video games, I remember it well: the days when those in the mainstream thought being a ‘gamer’ was pretty much synonymous with being an awkward, basement-dwelling loner.
But times have changed and let’s face it – gamers aren’t exactly pariahs anymore. Esports tournaments like the League of Legends (LoL) World Championships rake in viewers in by the millions – a few years ago, more people watched the LoL final than the MLB and NFL championships combined.
This is nothing new. Gaming has been a huge part of mainstream culture for years now. But over the pandemic, something switched – people who’d never even owned a PlayStation began to realize the value of online entertainment as they sought out new ways to relax and socialize. In 2022 alone, the industry generated over $180 billion in revenue – worth more than the Hollywood and music industries combined.
One offshoot from the gaming world is blossoming into a powerhouse of its own while promising to stay true to its roots in gaming culture: online gambling and digital casino. It constitutes a huge portion of this multi-billion-dollar industry, generating around $63.5 billion just last year.
At Roobet, we’re powered by Zillennials – our unique perspective has reshaped the world and we’re applying it to our product strategy every day. A shift from bricks-and-mortar to online just makes sense in the gambling world and it’s clear how necessary the move to the digital marketplace was. Betting online combines the excitement of a modernized catalog of casino games that you can play with your online Discord buddies from around the world.
We’re a generation of world-travelers who grew up online and built a network of friends spanning far-flung reaches of the globe, thanks to the close proximity of chat rooms, video game lobbies, social media and Reddit. So, when we came of age to gamble for the first time, we did it in a real casino – and to be honest, it’s not that ‘social’ of an experience.
Most adults go to the casino for a shared experience with friends. For some of us, watching a friend gamble is just as – sometimes more – fun than gambling ourselves. For a generation that’s increasingly ‘location agnostic,’ bricks-and-mortar casinos just aren’t the best option. Traditional casinos’ promise of glitz is often a dimly-lit, smoky place, full of strangers, an hour’s drive away. Add to that the pressures of learning games in public – and well, playing from home on a smart TV with your mates on the couch starts to sound a hell of a lot more appealing.
So, casino went online. And as it did, gamers welcomed a greater sense of convenience and personalization. Casino became more accessible, more exciting and players were liberated in the process. Based on their individual wants and needs, players gained a new freedom to choose whether in-person gambling or online casino met their needs best.
The industry has thus been transformed and now online casinos can offer so much more than those in the mainstream believe to be possible. Simple slot machines and blackjack games are quickly becoming a thing of the past, supplanted by modern permutations of age-old classics that go viral on a whim. And with the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, players now have even more options for secure and convenient cash-in and cash-out methods, which are nearly instant with virtually no disruption.
Roobet is one of the world’s fastest-growing crypto casinos. And while we push ourselves daily to offer the most entertaining games, the most fluent gameplay and to support our interactive, thriving community – our core offering is fun. And we take fun seriously.
I mean, we’re the only biggest casino to be run by a digital kangaroo. Because it’s not just the games themselves that are responsible for the industry’s meteoric rise in popularity. But the gamers who make up our dynamic digital communities and an online culture that puts fun and safety first and foremost, have fundamentally altered perceptions of how we see gambling and its place in society. It’s not the shady and taboo endeavor that it once was: it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s a new way for adults to interact with friends from anywhere across the world.
Crypto casinos like Roobet operate on serious tech and are powered by some of the most innovative and forward-thinking minds in the industry. As a brand, we consider every aspect of the player experience. At a minimum, we provide industry-leading games, best-in-class bonuses and rewards and we foster a sense of community that you just can’t find anywhere else. Players can connect with each other and engage in a more immersive and interactive way. And with our communities sprawling across social platforms, the experience isn’t confined to just our website.
But we want to push beyond that. As gamers, we’re problem-solvers by nature. And gaming is about challenging the norm and pushing beyond what others perceive us to be capable of – because we know that the mainstream is always chasing to keep up with us.
It’s no longer solely crypto enthusiasts who use crypto casinos but a new generation of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed digital natives who know the value of crypto, blockchain technology and are excited for the direction that gaming and the web itself is headed.
So, we develop new products every month that provide players with new ways to interact with the brand, which aren’t just limited to gambling. We have our fingers on the pulse and work alongside some of the biggest names in entertainment to lend us their expertise on what really makes people tick. And we work around the clock to make it happen.
We’re not just a casino. We’re pioneers of online entertainment and defenders of fun on the digital frontier. Yet again, gamers are ahead of the curve – and take it from us – we’re going to revolutionize digital entertainment for the better.
Week 13/2023 slot games releases
Kasinopartio: Finland Next To Regulate The Casino Market
How Gamers are Putting the Future of Fun Front and Center
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