Month: August 2021


Playtech offloads Plus500 stake


first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Playtech offloads Plus500 stake 7th September 2018 | By contenteditor Topics: Finance Playtech’s decision to offload its 9.99% stake in online trading platform Plus500 is “no surprise”, considering the company’s efforts to refinance its debt to fund its takeover of Snaitech, according to analysts.Playtech said in a regulatory filing this (Friday) morning that the sale would realise gross proceeds of approximately £176m (€196m/$228m), which would be “used for general corporate purposes and debt reduction”.Yesterday, Plus500’s five founders revealed plans for a share sale worth £145m at the same price of £15.50 per share, halving their shareholdings to about eight per cent due to a “desire to diversify their investments whilst raising funds for personal reasons” and “in response to significant demand from a small number of institutional investors”.The announcements yesterday and today were completely unrelated, with the transactions involving different brokers, iGamingBusiness.com understands. The identities of the buyers of the stakes previously held by the five founders – Alon Gonen, Gal Haber, Elad Ben-Izhak, Omer Elazari and Shlomi Weizmann – as well as Playtech, have not been disclosed.Analysts at Goodbody Gaming & Leisure reacted to today’s news by saying: “This morning’s announcement will come as no surprise.“To recap, ahead of its upcoming refinancing of c.€1bn of debt to fund the Snaitech deal, Playtech had adjusted gross cash of €563m on the balance sheet at the end of H1 2018, of which c.€350m is potentially available to reduce the quantum of debt needed and it had been suggested that the Plus500 stake could be sold to further reduce the level of debt required.”Goodbody added that the final details of the Snaitech refinancing plan are “expected in the coming months”.It emerged at the end of August that US investor Jason Ader had spent more than $100m over the course of a few weeks to increase his stake in Playtech to almost 5%, amid ongoing reports that he is seeking to challenge corporate governance at the firm.Earlier last month, Playtech reported a 38% year-on-year drop in adjusted net profit on a constant currency basis to €83.3m in the first half, while earnings before interest and deductions also dropped 13% to €145m.Analysts at Regulus Partners reacted to the financial update by saying that the Snaitech takeover had added “significant legacy and regulatory risks”.Playtech’s acquisition of Snaitech, Italy’s biggest sports betting company, was finalised at the start of August.Plus500’s share price has surged this year by more than 90 per cent and earlier this week the company was elevated to the FTSE 250 index of the London Stock Exchange due to its rocketing value.However, despite a 147-per-cent surge in revenue for the first half of 2018, Plus500 warned investors that its “exceptional” performance through to the end of June was “unlikely” to be repeated.In 2015, a proposed buy-out of Plus500 by Playtech was halted after the latter was unable to address “certain concerns” that had been raised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.center_img Proceeds will help to refinance company’s debt to fund Snaitech takeover Finance Tags: Spread Betting Email Addresslast_img read more


Tennessee Lottery targets retail growth through IGT renewal


first_img13th December 2018 | By contenteditor Regions: US Tennessee AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Lottery Tech & innovation Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresscenter_img Tennessee Lottery targets retail growth through IGT renewal The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has extended its partnership with International Game Technology (IGT) as it seeks to attract more players to its retail network across the US state. The seven-year extension to June 30, 2025 will see IGT to provide the Lottery with its GameTouch 20 terminals and additional Keno-To-Go products. GameTouch 20 is IGT’s latest self-service lottery vending machine and units will now be placed in Tennessee Lottery retail locations statewide. Additional self-service lottery machines and Keno monitors and video controller units will also be installed at lottery retail sites. In addition to the new technologies, IGT already provides the Tennessee Lottery with lottery central systems, data centre operations, network and field services, retail sales and support, call centre and marketing services.“By installing the GameTouch 20 terminals into some of our biggest retailers in the state, IGT is helping us expand our sales footprint and attract new players with its latest innovations,” Tennessee Lottery president and chief executive Rebecca Hargrove said. IGT has been working in partnership with the Lottery since 2004, helping the organisation return more than $4.7bn (£3.7bn/€4.1bn) to educational programs in the state over that time.The supplier is looking to further consolidate its presence in the US lottery market through a new initiative with William Hill, which will see it offer lotteries a full service solution for sports betting, should their respective states move to legalise such activities.This arrangement followed the two companies securing the sports betting contract for the Rhode Island Lottery in August.Image: Jamie Lottery Extended deal covers installation of GameTouch 20 terminals and Keno-To-Go productslast_img read more


New Hampshire sports betting bill advances to Senate


Email Address Regions: US New Hampshire Legal & compliance 20th March 2019 | By contenteditor New Hampshire is a step closer to regulated sports betting after a bill that would legalise such activities in the state advanced to the Senate. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops New Hampshire is a step closer to regulated sports betting after a bill that would legalise such activities in the state advanced to the Senate.The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed an amended version of House Bill 480 by a vote of 269-82, with the bill now moving forward to the Senate for further discussion.Should the bill come into law, consumers would be able to place bets at various retail locations across the state, as well as via online and mobile platforms. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission would be responsible for regulating the market.The current version of the bill does not clarify how much the licences would cost, nor the level of tax sports betting operators would face. However, a fiscal note on the bill suggests sports wagering could generate up to $7.5m (£5.7m/€6.6m) in revenue during the first year of regulation.Among the amendments approved by the House this week include a limit of 10 retail sportsbooks in the state and the establishment of a council for responsible gambling.An amendment also clarifies the prohibited events where sports betting would not be allowed. This covers any collegiate sports event that takes place in New Hampshire, as well as any high school sports event sand amateur contest where the competitors are under the age of 18.Sponsors are hoping to pass the bill on or before July 1 this year, with plans in place to launch a request for proposal process for contracted sports betting agents on January 1, 2020.If the process progresses as expected, the first legal sports bets in New Hampshire could be placed on or around July 1, 2020.The progression of the bill comes after New Hampshire last month launched a legal challenge against the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) revised opinion on the Wire Act, claiming the new stance is not faithful to the text, structure, purpose, or legislative history of the legislation.Filed on behalf of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, the lawsuit states the stance is beyond the DoJ’s powers to enforce, and demands a declaratory judgement setting out the rights of all parties involved, and to an order vacating and setting aside the 2018 opinion.The DOJ initially ruled that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting in 2011, which was used as a legal basis for state lotteries launching online sales, and states such as New Jersey regulating online casino and poker.However, this stance was then changed in a revised opinion published by the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel in January this year, ruling that the Act covered all forms of gambling.Image: Hollis1138 Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting New Hampshire sports betting bill advances to Senate read more


Rise Project eyes IPO after rebranding as Atemi


first_img Rise Project eyes IPO after rebranding as Atemi AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Strategy Online gaming affiliate Rise Project has rebranded as Atemi and revealed plans to pursue strategic acquisitions, with a view to listing on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the coming months.Headed up by industry veteran Richard Skelhorn, Atemi this year launched its new sports betting comparison business, which has already grown media spend to more than £50,000 (€55,708/$62,911) a day.Atemi is investing more funds into the channel to help strengthen its position in the market ahead of the new English Premier League football season, which is due to kick off next month.Aside from the sports betting vertical, Atemi offers various services across casino and bingo, working with clients such as Bet365, Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill.“We are taking an important step in the progression of our company, Skelhorn said. “We have held positive talks with a number of UK investment partners who are supportive of our vision to expand our business globally and beyond gaming.“June was another record month for us and as much as we are really pleased with our continued organic expansion, we believe with the support of the capital markets we can rapidly add scale to the business, in particular further our investment into non-gaming verticals.Prior to founding Atemi in 2015, Skelhorn ran Mandalay Media Group, which he sold to JPJ Group PLC, formerly Intertain, for £60m in 2014.Skelhorn did not go into detail as to the types of acquisitions that Atemi will be looking at over the next few months, but reiterated a commitment to working in line with regulations across all markets.“As regulations become more onerous in every market, operators need to work with affiliate partners they can not only trust but also provide the strongest ROI at scale,” he said.“In their relationship with Atemi, operators have access to the very highest quality customers at a capped acquisition cost and they remain safe in the knowledge we are fully compliant from a marketing standpoint.” 3rd July 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Tags: Online Gambling Online gaming affiliate Rise Project has rebranded as Atemi and revealed plans to pursue strategic acquisitions, with a view to listing on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the coming months. Strategy Email Addresslast_img read more


Certifications in new markets


first_img Email Address Tech & innovation Valli Fragoso has 14 years of experience in the gaming industry, working at all levels and paving her way to leadership roles in the last few years. Valli worked as head of games at Bet365 prior to starting her latest role as chief product officer with Pragmatic Solutions.Whether it’s a new market or an established one, expanding into new territories is an exciting development for operators and suppliers alike.For Pragmatic Solutions, this month has seen them operating their platform in the UK – a strategic step that Valli Fragoso, chief product officer at Pragmatic Solutions, sees as bursting with opportunity.She says: “If you look at platforms or any other products similar to platforms, there’s always fierce competition. Everybody wants to get there first and make a good impression. In these cases, companies should be able to quickly make decisions and be agile in terms of how they adapt to the regulatory and technical requirements.”When it comes to platform provision, Fragoso says, this agility is even more relevant. For example, if the platform an operator is using is expansive and changing one part impacts all of the other brands labels, it will be a much more challenging project.However, she adds: “If the platform is similar to ours, where we have a modular approach, each piece can be individually developed on its own. In those cases you can enter the market much quicker than everybody else. I think it’s very important to be able to be quick, have a strategic drive and make any technical or regulatory changes much faster.”“Everybody has to monitor ongoing regulatory changes and prepare themselves, anticipating something changing rather than waiting for it.” Expanding servicesThe significance of Pragmatic Solutions’ operating with clients licensed in the UK, Fragoso says, is quite large: “As the years have gone by, and especially in the last three years, the percentage of mobile internet users has increased from about 48% to 63%. and the UK is in the top 20 countries in this respect.”Fragoso continues, saying that long-standing companies extant in these markets are very common, but with that longevity comes significant challenge when adapting to new regulatory environments and new technological developments.“Take, for example, William Hill or Ladbrokes – all of these companies have been around for a long time, but started at a stage where there was probably one brand promoting a lot of their games. What happened at that time was that companies built up where desktop was the main device where a user would play.”“These older operators are the ones we usually target, as they are planning to migrate from desktop to mobile or they’re just coming into a market and don’t know where to start.”This challenge highlights the importance of having a platform that is modular and agile, says Fragoso, enabling operators to tailor the service to their needs.She notes: “That’s what drives us into these markets: there is a lot of potential from both old and new companies, everyone wants to be there in the biggest markets.”Pragmatic Solutions’ expansion does not stop there, says Fragoso. The platform is currently in the process of finishing certification proceedings in Denmark, and are awaiting an announcement for their Maltese licence, too.“We also plan to go into Italy and Spain in the very near future. By the end of Q4 we plan to have the remaining markets certified and ready.”“Our platform is mostly driven by our clients – if they ask for additional features for some reason, we actually enable these. Our internal roadmap will be focussed on extending into new markets and getting additional clients.” Sustainable scalabilityFragoso says there are several key capabilities a platform needs to have to support modern igaming the world-over, including scalability, configurability and agility. These pillars form the foundations of Pragmatic Solutions’ platform, she adds.“We are able to scale based on the number of customers each supplier gets, and are also able to use one single wallet across verticals. Additionally, we have CRM features, which are quite popular in the market these days – allowing us to support operators running tournaments, leaderboards, scratchcards, etc.”The most important thing, she adds, is that they have the ability to connect the platform to the front-end through APIs.“If someone has to go in and manually configure something every single day, it’s not as productive as when you can trigger something using an API. We have about 250+ APIs which an operator can integrate.”Looking forward, Fragoso says there is a lot to come for the platform: “We are waiting for a lot of confirmation from our side with regards to development. We are also automating all of our testing processes as much as we can, as well as a few other features in the back office.” In light of the recent news of their certification in the UK and Sweden, we spoke to Pragmatic Solutions to discuss the importance of these markets Regions: UK & Ireland Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img 19th August 2019 | By Josephine Watson Certifications in new markets AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Tech & innovation Platformlast_img read more


RWA dismay as Tasmania confirms 15% PoC tax


first_img The Tasmanian Government has announced that it will introduce a new Point of Consumption Tax on wagering from 1 January, 2020, but Responsible Wagering Australia has criticised the move saying it could harm the racing industry in the Australian state. Following consultation with industry stakeholders, the Government has set the PoC tax rate at 15% of the net wagering revenue of betting operators, but will exclude the face value of free bets provided to punters. The Government said the rate is consistent with most other jurisdictions in the country and also added that there will be a tax-free threshold of AUD$150,000 (£82,538/€92,120/US$101,253) in betting turnover. Legislation to bring the new tax into effect will be introduced in the Tasmanian Parliament next month. According to the Government, the new PoC tax could help bring in an additional AUD$5m in revenue each year, with the net benefits of this to be shared with the local racing industry. However, the Responsible Wagering Australia has said the move could instead have a negative impact on Tasmania’s racing industry. Hon Nick Minchin AO, chairman of Responsible Wagering Australia, said he is disappointed with the decision to introduce what he described as “one of the highest taxes on wagering anywhere in the world”. He said the 15% rate is almost double that introduced in Victoria, while in South Australia, where the rate is also 15%, the state’s racing industry has been badly affected. “The 15% Point of Consumption Tax introduced in South Australia threw a handbrake on that state’s racing industry and has almost brought it to its knees,” Minchin said. “Prize money has been cut, field sizes have shrunk, participants have fled interstate and jobs have been lost. “Starting off a much lower base, the Tasmanian Government has today put that same handbrake onto Tasmanian racing and thrown its future into massive uncertainty. Minchin also pointed out that the Tasmanian Liberal Government will be taxing taxing Tasmanians at a higher rate than any other Australian state. “The evidence is now well settled when it comes to the deleterious impact of these punitive taxes on racing and jobs,” Minchin said. “That is why it is so disappointing the Tasmanian Government has ignored the evidence and decided to hit ordinary Tasmanians with this new tax.”Image: Chuq 8th October 2019 | By contenteditor Finance The Tasmanian Government has announced that it will introduce a new Point of Consumption (PoC) tax on wagering from 1 January, 2020, but Responsible Wagering Australia has criticised the move saying it could harm the racing industry in the Australian state. RWA dismay as Tasmania confirms 15% PoC tax Topics: Finance Legal & compliance Regions: Oceania Australia Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more


San Manuel Casino to sponsor Raiders’ new Las Vegas stadium


first_img Regions: US California Nevada Email Address Topics: Casino & games Strategy Casino & games San Manuel Casino to sponsor Raiders’ new Las Vegas stadium AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The California-based San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will sponsor the Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium, as well as the Raiders NFL franchise, after the team’s 2020 move from Oakland to the city.The band will also be designated as a ‘founding partner’ of Allegiant Stadium, which will host the Raiders from 2020 and is currently home to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’s (UNLV) college football team.“We are pleased to have San Manuel Casino as a founding partner of Allegiant Stadium” Badain said. “Together we remain aligned in our dedication to providing our fans with the best in-class experience.”The band operates San Manuel Casino in Highland, California and Loren Gill, chief executive of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, said the Raiders’ popularity in Southern California would ensure the deal would be a success for the band.Read more on iGB North America. 15th October 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more


Fox Bet named official partner of Philadelphia 76ers


first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Fox Bet has become the first online sports betting brand to partner with an NBA team, agreeing a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.The deal will allow for exposure on 76ers social media assets and courtside advertising space, as well as custom promotions.The Stars Group-owned brand will also sponsor game replays posted on the 76ers Twitter account and will be the presenting partner for the 76ers radio game broadcast on sports radio station 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN).“To have the opportunity to tie the FOX Bet brand to one of the most iconic sports franchises in NBA history is absolutely thrilling,” Robin Chhabra, chief executive officer of FOX Bet, said. “This agreement connects us with an extremely passionate local fanbase in a unique way.”Read more on iGB North America. Fox Bet named official partner of Philadelphia 76ers Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Marketing & affiliates Sports betting 26th November 2019 | By Daniel O’Boylecenter_img Marketing & affiliates Regions: US Pennsylvania Fox Bet has become the first online sports betting brand to partner with an NBA team, agreeing a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Email Addresslast_img read more


Camelot offices shut after employee diagnosed with Covid-19


first_img11th March 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter UK National Lottery operator Camelot has been forced to shut its head office after an employee was diagnosed with novel coronavirus (Covid-19), but stressed that this would have no impact on operations. Lottery Topics: Lottery Peoplecenter_img Email Address UK National Lottery operator Camelot has been forced to shut its head office after an employee was diagnosed with novel coronavirus (Covid-19), but stressed that this would have no impact on operations.An employee, who recently returned from Thailand, was diagnosed with Covid-19 and is now receiving medical advice.As a result, Camelot told iGB that it had closed its head office in Watford, north of London, in line with Public Health England advice to carry out a deep clean of the premises.“We hope to re-open the office as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the operator said. “However, many colleagues have the ability to work from home, and The National Lottery will operate as normal and draws will happen as planned.”Any staff member that was in direct contact with the affected employee have been advised to seek medical advice via the NHS 111 helpline, and to contact their manager of they begin to feel unwell.“Our priority is the health of our employees and we are keeping them fully informed of developments, as well as providing them with advice in relation to coronavirus,” the spokesperson added.In related news, MGM Resorts has shuttered New York’s Yonkers Raceway following the death of a track employee from Covid-19.“We just learned that an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association, working in the racing office of Yonkers Raceway, located next to the racetrack and paddock, tested positive for the coronavirus before passing away,” the operator said. “His death was announced today by New Jersey officials, as he was a resident of the state.“We believe the last time he was on the property to be approximately eight days ago. We offer our condolences to his family during this difficult time.“As a result of this development, the racetrack will be shut down as of this afternoon, and we have asked employees who worked in the immediate area to self-quarantine,” it continued. “We will continue to coordinate with and follow the guidance of health officials and support them in their response and prevention efforts.”These developments are the latest sign of the Covid-19 outbreak hitting the gambling industry. Italy’s land-based sector has largely been shut down as a result of the lockdown protocol implemented by the country’s government. Camelot offices shut after employee diagnosed with Covid-19 Regions: UK & Irelandlast_img read more


ITIA reports decrease in unusual betting reports


first_imgThe ATP Challenger 80 had five alerts. Four of these reports came from ATP World Tour 250 events, played by the highest-level players on the tour, while the remaining events were from Challenger and Futures events. Regions: Europe The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has reported a decrease in suspicious betting reports in its latest quarterly report, with 23 matches flagged in the first three months of 2020. 9th April 2021 | By Nosa Omoigui Tags: ITIA Sports integrity The ITIA’s report stated: “Unusual betting patterns can occur for many reasons other than match fixing – for example incorrect odds-setting; well-informed betting; player fitness, fatigue or form; playing conditions and personal circumstances. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Russia’s Sofia Dmitrieva and Alija Merdeeva received lifetime bans, while Venezuela’s Roberto Maytín and Slovakia’s Barbora Palcatova also received hefty penalties. center_img “Where analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the ITIA conducts a full, confidential investigation.” 10 alerts came from the ITF M15 Mens – World Tennis Tour, as well as two apiece from ITF M15 Women’s tour and the ATP Challenger 50. The agency has handed out several sanctions for match fixing in 2021. Topics: Sports integrity The ITIA received 23 match alerts (indicators that inappropriate conduct may have occurred) between January – March 2021, compared to 38 from the same period last year. ITIA reports decrease in unusual betting reports AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more