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BGC Wants UK Chancellor to Rethink “Stealth Casino Tax”

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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the Chancellor to rethink a stealth tax on land-based casinos.

Under measures announced by the Treasury, Gaming Duty Bands applied to U.K. casinos have been frozen again and will not rise with inflation, effectively creating a £5m annual tax increase across BGC land-based casino members.

There were hopes the freeze, first announced in March, would be abandoned, providing a much-needed boost to a sector which is struggling with rising wages and energy costs plus high inflation.

Currently casinos, a vital pillar of the tourism and hospitality sector, employ more than 10,000 people catering to over 16 million customer visits every year. They contribute £300m annually in taxes and an estimated £800m a year Gross Value Added to the economy. But some have struggled to rebound from the pandemic and the current tough economic headwinds, which has seen closures and job losses.

In 2005 there were 160 casinos in the UK – now there are 117. Four casinos have closed in recent months, including Genting owned Crockfords in Mayfair, the oldest casino in the country.

In 2019 casinos employed 13,600 people, which has dropped to less than 10,200 now, a 25% reduction.

Betting and Gaming Council CEO Michael Dugher said: “Freezing Gaming Duty Bands is a stealth tax which has the potential to slow recovery and weaken future growth.

“Removing it would have provided a welcome boost for the land-based casino sector at a crucial time.

“Instead, the decision to maintain the status quo represents a missed opportunity for companies ready and able to generate jobs and investment across the country.

“Right now casinos, which play such a vital role in the tourism and hospitality sector, are waiting for the modest but mission critical policy changes announced in the White Paper.

“It seems short sighted to maintain this stealth tax while failing to make changes that will allow casinos to hire and grow. The BGC urges a re-think so Gaming Duty Bands can be moved with inflation at the next opportunity.”

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MGA Games launches its Seasonal Collection starting with, Jokers Lovers

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MGA Games, a leading company that specialises in developing localised slot games for worldwide operators, has finally launched its much-awaited Seasonal Collection. As announced in the previous edition of the MGA Games Day, the company has prepared an array of new features for 2024, which includes the introduction of a new collection of slot games on globally recognized and celebrated dates.

One of these new slot games, Jokers Lovers, is presented in February, the month of love and Valentine’s Day. The 5-reel slot game invites players into a romantic and mysterious world with the Joker characters as the main protagonists. It promises to be an enjoyable experience for all players who try it out.

With 243 prize combinations, Jokers Lovers immerses players in a world of entertainment, where the classic casino symbols, such as fruits and letters, are mixed with the Jokers Wild and Free Spins symbols, to create exciting winning combinations.

In addition, the slot game features the new, Wild Night, which, randomly, turns up to a maximum of 4 reels into a Wild symbol.

The game features Free Spins that come with explosions and a prize multiplier that increases with every reel spin win, going up to a maximum of x5.

With dynamic gameplay and charming design, this new production is destined to make players fall in love.

 

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Germany Becomes Latest Jurisdiction to Partner with TPD

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Deal with German Tote sees race tracking and data monetisation available across thoroughbred and harness tracks in Germany

German Tote has selected Total Performance Data (TPD), the world’s leading live horse racing data provider, for race tracking and data monetisation across all 19 thoroughbred racecourses and several harness tracks, starting at Berlin’s Hoppegarten for the beginning of its turf season in late March.

German Tote recognises the numerous ways in which horse tracking can enrich the sport, with live running orders displayed on racecourse big screens a significant aspect of its appeal. TPD is also tasked with providing data feeds and in-play odds to bolster engagement and betting turnover.

In addition to showcasing live race graphics, German racing punters will gain insights from state-of-the-art sectional timing and stride data that TPD delivers.

The deal means that renowned races such as the Deutsches Derby and the Grosser Preis von Berlin will now join prestigious events like the Dubai World Cup, Ascot, the St Leger, Melbourne Cup and Breeders’ Cup within the comprehensive racing data portfolio of TPD and follows the news of the recent announcement of the merger between TPD and Australasia’s largest live racing data company, tripleSdata.

“After a careful review and trials of different systems, like many others, we chose TPD,” the Managing Director for German Tote, Riko Luiking, said. “It has a great system, significant experience and represents value for money. We have also been impressed with its hardware partner, GMax, who is already underway and expecting to have all 19 racecourses live by August.”

“We’re so pleased to welcome German Tote and German racing after over a year of work between both teams,” the Chief Executive Officer for TPD, Will Duff Gordon, said. “It’s important to produce in-race performance metrics to boost interest in German horse racing, especially its classics, with breeders, punters and horsemen ready to act on the content.

“On the back of our recent merger with tripleSdata, it’s great to keep up the momentum as we surpass 120 worldwide racecourses.”

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Issuance of Common Bond Loan

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The Athens Stock Exchange welcomed today representatives of the Management team, senior executives, and partners of INTRALOT on the occasion of the commencement of trading of its corporate bond on the Main Market of the Athens Stock Exchange. INTRALOT’s Chairman and CEO, Sokratis Kokkalis, declared the commencement of trading by ringing the traditional bell.
Mr. Yianos Kontopoulos, CEO of the Athens Exchange Group, welcomed INTRALOT’s Management team and highlighted the company’s successful Public Offering, from its entry into the Parallel Market of the Athens Stock Exchange in 1999 to the present day: “INTRALOT’s journey to the Athens Stock Exchange began 25 years ago, in November 1999, when the company was listed on our Parallel Market with a market capitalization of approximately €220 million. Today, with a market capitalization of €720 million, it is one of the companies listed on the Main Market. Since last November, INTRALOT has been included in the composition of the FTSE/Athex Mid Cap Index with the highest participation (12.2%) among the 20 companies in the index. With the successful completion of a €135 million share capital increase in October 2023 and today’s issuance of its €130 million corporate bond, INTRALOT is demonstrating its confidence in the important role the stock market can play as a lever to raise capital for business development.”
The Chairman and CEO of INTRALOT, Mr. Sokratis Kokkalis stated: “INTRALOT is a company that produces technology in Greece and has been operating successfully for many years in a highly competitive global environment, including the US, where we have had a strong presence for twenty years. I would like to thank the Greek investment community that participated in the recent Bond Issue and everyone who contributed to this success. Our company is moving forward, focusing on growth opportunities and strategic partnerships that leverage our extensive experience and proven next-generation technology in a digital world.”
On her part, the Vice-Chair of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, Mrs. Natassa Stamou, noted: “During its 25 years on the Athens Stock Exchange, INTRALOT has always confirmed the value of being listed on the stock exchange, using the financial tools available and raising capital through the issuance of shares and bonds for the benefit of investors and the market. INTRALOT’s outward-looking
approach and presence in various jurisdictions highlights and promotes the potential of raising capital in Greece. The successful issuance of its bond is further evidence of INTRALOT’s strong confidence in the Greek economy and market.

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