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Casino IRs: Europe’s missed opportunity

Ten years ago, the severity of the financial crisis and its accompanying recession focused governments’ attention on the need to create jobs, diversify their economies and find new sources of tax revenues. One avenue explored by several jurisdictions was gambling and, in particular, integrated casino resorts. Integrated casino resorts are attractive to governments because they create jobs (both in their construction and operation), attract investment, boost tourism and contribute tax revenues. The recession did cause some radical rethinks about certain government’s attitudes towards gambling. Not least of these was in Cyprus, which was particularly badly hit by the financial crisis. The Cypriot administration had previously refused to consider legislation introducing land-based casinos with then President Christofias (2008 – 2013) publicly stating, “There will be no casinos in Cyprus while I am the president. Casinos are an expression of corruption and [...]

June 24th, 2019|

Technology assists casinos’ social responsibility

Facial recognition technology is helping casinos to enforce the exclusion of customers who have registered as problem gamblers.  When a person identifies themselves as a problem gambler at a casino, they will complete a form and submit to having their photo taken so that staff can identify them in future.  Failure to do so can cause the Gambling Commission to penalise the casino with heavy fines or even censure on the licence. But customers wishing to deceive the system can choose various disguises to cover their identity. Casinos from New Zealand to the UK are employing facial recognition systems to prevent problem gamblers from entering the premises when they have already self-excluded.  One system in an Australian casino caught a problem gambler trying to enter the building in disguise, not once but twice. Aspers Casino in the UK has 3,000 [...]

May 29th, 2019|

GBGC Interactive Gambling Report 2019

The 2019 edition of the GBGC Interactive Gambling Report is available now. The trend for local licensing continues and in 2018 the percentage of revenues earned under local licences (excluding state lotteries) increased to 56%, having passed the 50% mark in 2017.  With further licences becoming available in jurisdictions such as the US, Germany and the Netherlands over the coming years, locally licensed revenues are forecast to account for 62% of global interactive gambling by 2022.

May 28th, 2019|

Cyber risk keeps cash useful

Until recently cash was on its way to becoming obsolete in Sweden.  According to the Riksbank Payment patterns in Sweden report the number of Swedes using cash as means of payment “in the past month” has declined from 85% in 2014 to 60% in 2018.  Amongst the 18-24 age group the percentage is around 45%. Incredibly, up to 4,000 Swedes have implanted microchips in their hands, allowing them to pay for rail travel and food, or enter keyless offices.  It is argued that cash is the fuel for money laundering and tax evasion, so governments encourage people to go cashless. But going cashless leaves many in society at a disadvantage.  However, according to the Sunday Times, the country that pioneered the cashless society is having second thoughts.  What would happen if a foreign power decided to cyber bomb the payment [...]

May 28th, 2019|

Special Enquiry on gambling

The House of Lords Liaison Committee looks likely to create a special inquiry committee to investigate “the social and economic consequences of the gambling industry”. At first glance, the inclusion of the term “economic” in the brief seemed like an opportunity to explore how many jobs the gambling sector creates, how much tax it pays and how many companies it keeps in business through the supply chain. It could also look at the lost economic opportunity of the super casinos and the tourism and jobs they would have created in the last decade. Or the gambling sector’s economic contribution during the recession of 2008-2009 when it was one of the sectors still taking sports sponsorship and renting high street premises. But no, the list of suggested topics the committee might consider includes the usual suspects: The economic cost of gambling [...]

May 28th, 2019|

Variation in FOBT fallout

The reduction in FOBT B2 maximum stakes to £2 has now been running for a few weeks and operators are reporting a substantial drop in revenue, although it varies from region to region around the UK. • London and the south of England down 48% • North down approx. 35% • Midlands down approx. 45% • North West down approx. 45%. In the regions where betting customers like B3 gaming content shops have fared better than areas such as the South of England. The traditional working men’s clubs of the north picked up most of their revenue from slot play and this popularity of the traditional slot has caused the B3 content of the FOBTs to be a bookmaker’s life saver. The larger staking shops are likely to see a drop of total shop income in the region of thirty [...]

May 28th, 2019|