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Finns flock to work in Online Casinos in Malta

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It is quite well known that Malta is one of the most sought-after-places for online gambling. The reasons are not exactly rocket science. Friendly government regulations and favourable tax regimes are what attract gaming companies to this tiny island.

What is less known though is the number of Finnish citizens working in the gaming companies in Malta?   Apart from Finland, other European countries such as Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic do not allow any commercial online gambling operators and the government hold monopoly on the lottery and actual and virtual casinos. Some of the European countries, UK, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, and Estonia, have a fully or partly deregulated online gambling market.

Malta has over 300 companies in the gaming sector, employing around 12,000 people. Among those who have moved there are at least 400 Finns. Malta has thus been called “The Silicon Valley of Casinos.”

While only Veikkaus, PAF (Åland equivalent of Veikkaus) and Finntoto are allowed to offer online and offline gambling to the Finnish population, there are up to 100 international sites offering Finnish language gambling sites. Veikkaus and Paf also operate actual casinos and plenty of slot machines in Finland.

Finland’s slot machines for gambling situated in public places are exceptional for Western countries. As the cashier at a till hands over a coin as change, many Finns advance to the slot machine by the entrance in a routine-like manner to try their luck. In other Western countries, such a habit is very unordinary.

“In other countries gambling machines are usually situated in casinos, restaurants, and bars, whereas in Finland they are a part of people’s everyday life in shops, kiosks and petrol stations,” says development coordinator Tapio Jaakkola from Gambling Clinic (Peliklinikka), specialised in gambling addictions.

A valid argument offered by the government in regulated countries is preventing gambling addiction and the resulting financial crisis to individuals by limiting the amount people can gamble and on the other hand recycling the profits to the society for good causes. Veikkaus and PAF return the majority of their profit to culture, sports, research and other social causes. The third argument is the reliability of the gambling operator. Government-owned companies do not cheat.

Same could not be said about commercial online gambling sites and because of the vastly unregulated international market and difficulty of control, there is no guarantee that sites could be reliable. Several services such as Kantacasino.com have tried to solve this problem by star ranking and auditing online gaming sites based on reliability, the number of games available, offered bonuses, and user-friendliness of sites.

According to the Ministry of health of Finland, 2.7 per cent of Finns in the age group of 15–74 suffer from gambling problems at different levels. That is 110,000 Finns. Gambling problems are three times more common among men than women (men 4.7 per cent, women 1.6 per cent). The change of the age limit (K-18) in 2011 has significantly reduced gambling within the group of young males. Gambling among girls was rarer already before the amendment. There are several different sites offering help and information for people with gambling problems, such as Pluuri, Gametalk and Peli poikki.

Source: helsinkitimes.fi


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DraftKings to Open “DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts”

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Construction Underway to Offer Premium Retail Sports Betting Experience at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City

Resorts Casino Hotel, the first casino hotel in New Jersey, today announces that construction is near completion on the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, slated to open by late November 2018, pending approval from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. In partnership with DraftKings, the global sports technology and entertainment company and New Jersey’s leading online sports betting platform, the retail space will feature a best-in-class customer experience for sports fans in the Garden State.

“We are proud to partner with an industry leader in sports betting and open an innovative sports betting experience that only DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts will offer,” said Mark Giannantonio, President and CEO, Resorts Casino Hotel. “Once completed, the new on-property retail space will bring an immersive and entertaining gaming experience for our guests and sports fans alike, ensuring the best sports betting scene in Atlantic City.”

Marking another major milestone for Atlantic City’s first casino hotel, the new DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts will feature multiple sports and wagering options, such as live, in-game betting with five windows and 12 kiosks, offering multiple opportunities for sports fans to place their bets. Additionally, the space will offer ultra-high-definition video walls, a VIP area, comfortable stadium-style seats with chargers, and a full bar with food and beverage service and bar top electronic slots.

“We’ve been working for months with the team at Resorts to make sure the DraftKings retail sportsbook meets the highest bar for quality and customer experience,” said Matt Kalish, Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of DraftKings. “We are tremendously excited to launch our first physical presence in the state with such a trusted partner, and to service their loyal patrons.”

For more information on the new DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, please visit resortsac.com/sports-betting.


Source: European Gaming Media

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Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Releases October 2018 Index

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The AGEM Index decreased in October 2018. The composite index finished the month at 452.16 points, a decline of 40.87 points or 8.29 percent, compared to September 2018. The AGEM Index reported a year-over-year decrease for the first time after 36 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. The AGEM Index decreased by 23.18 points, or 4.88 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

During the latest period, two of the 13 global gaming equipment manufacturers reported month-to-month increases in stock price. Eleven manufacturers reported decreases in stock price during the month.

The major stock market indices saw declines during the month. The S&P 500 reported a month-to-month decrease of 6.94 percent to 2,711.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 5.07 percent to 25,115.76, while the NASDAQ decreased 9.20 percent during the period to 7,305.90.

Positive contributors to the October 2018 AGEM Index included the following:

  • Astro Corp. (Taiwan: 3064) contributed 0.10 points due to a 15.92 percent increase in stock price to NT$ 18.20.
  • TransAct Technologies (TACT) reported a 2.08 percent increase in stock price to $14.70, contributing 0.04 points.

Selected negative contributors included the following:

  • With its stock price falling 6.82 percent to AU$ 26.50, Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) contributed negative 16.39 points.
  • Crane Co. (CR) reported a 11.50 percent decrease in stock price to $87.04, contributing negative 9.67 points.

 

AGEM October 2018 Index
Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. Source: Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers

 

AGEM October 2018 Index Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers – Source: Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers

 

Scientific Games (SGMS) recently released its financial results for the third quarter of 2018. On a year-over-year basis, revenue increased 6.8 percent from $768.9 million to $821.0 million. Net losses, however, also increased from $59.3 million to $351.6 million due to $338.7 million of restructuring and other charges, as well as an unfavorable verdict in a legal matter. Despite increased losses, consolidated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (consolidated adjusted EBITDA) increased by 8.9 percent from $299.0 million to $325.7 million on a year-over-year basis. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA margins also improved on a year-over-year basis, increasing from 38.9 percent to 39.7 percent.

PlayAGS Inc. (AGS) also released its third quarter financial results during the last month. Total revenue increased by 33.8 percent on a year-over-year basis, growing from $56.4 million to $75.5 million. Revenue growth is attributable to sales growth in the Canadian market and continued demand for the Orion Portrait and Orion Slant cabinet. Total adjusted EBITDA also increased by 14.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, growing from $29.4 million to $33.6 million, which was primarily driven by revenue growth. Total adjusted EBITDA margins decreased to 44 percent from 52 percent a year prior. This was primarily related to lower-margin equipment sales making up a larger portion of the company’s revenue than before.

Agilysys Inc. (AGYS) announced financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2019. Total net revenue increased 13.5 percent on a year-over-year basis to a record $34.2 million from $30.1 million. Net revenue increased due to growth in third-party hardware sales and the increased number of customers. Gross profit also increased on a year-over-basis by 15.5 percent from $15.4 million to $17.7 million, and gross profit margins increased from 51.0 percent to 51.9 percent. Gross profit margins increased due to decreases in costs of goods sold for professional services and support, maintenance and subscription services. Cost of good sold did increase, however, for the products themselves.

TransAct Technologies (TACT) also released its financial results for the third quarter of 2018. Net sales increased by 2.0 percent, growing from $15.5 million to a $15.8 on a year-over-year basis. Total sales growth is primarily attributable to growth in the company’s Casino and Gaming segment, which experienced a 63 percent increase in domestic sales and a 58 percent increase in international casino and gaming sales. Gross profit increased 6.7 percent on a year-over-year basis from $7.5 million to $8.0 million, and gross profit margins increased on a year-over-year basis from 48.4 percent to 58.5 percent, which was attributed to a larger portion of higher-margin products in its sales mix and a lower share of lower-margin lottery printers in its sales mix.

The AGEM Index
The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) produces the monthly AGEM Index that comprises 13 global gaming suppliers throughout the world. A total of eight suppliers are based in the United States and are listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or OTC market, while two trade on the Australian exchange, one on the Tokyo exchange, and another trades on the Taiwan OTC exchange. The index is computed based on the month-end stock price (adjusted for dividends and splits) of each company and weighted based on approximation of market capitalization. Market capitalizations for manufacturers trading on foreign exchanges have been converted to US dollar-equivalents as of month-end for comparability purposes. The AGEM Index is based on a 100-point value as of January 2005.

About AGEM
AGEM is an international trade association representing manufacturers of electronic gaming devices, systems, lotteries, and components for the gaming industry. The Association works to further the interests of gaming equipment manufacturers throughout the world. Through political action, tradeshow partnerships, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM and its member organizations have assisted regulatory commissions and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a positive business environment.

AGEM Index
The AGEM index and overview is prepared by Applied Analysis (AA). AA is a Nevada-based advisory services firm providing consultation services for public and private entities. The company utilizes extensive experience in economics, information technology and finance to provide a wide range of services, including urban economic consulting, financial advisory services, market analysis, public policy analysis, hospitality industry and gaming consulting, and information system and technology consulting.

AGEM Membership Roster

AGEM Gold Members: AGS, Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocrat Technologies, Everi, International Game Technology (IGT), Konami Gaming, Merkur Gaming, NOVOMATIC Group, Scientific Games and Sega Sammy Creation
AGEM Silver Members: Action Gaming, Aruze Gaming America, Betson Enterprises, Casino Technology, Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), Gaming Partners International (GPI), Inspired Gaming, JCM Global, Ortiz Gaming, Quixant PLC, Suzo-Happ Group, TCSJohnHuxley, TransAct Technologies and Zitro
AGEM Bronze Members: Abbiati Casino Equipment, Ace Systems Mx, Alfastreet, Amatic Industries, APEX gaming, Atlas Gaming, Astro Corp., BetConstruct, Bingotimes Digital Technology, Cammegh Limited, Century Gaming Technologies, CG Technology (CGT), Cole Kepro International, DR Gaming Technology (DRGT), Euro Games Technology (EGT), Exacta Systems, FBM, Galaxy Gaming, Gamblit Gaming, GameCo, Gaming Arts, Gaming Support, Glory Global Solutions, Grand Vision Gaming, Incredible Technologies, Interblock USA, Jackpot Digital, Jumbo Technology, Matsui Gaming Machine Co., Metronia, Patriot Gaming & Electronics, PDS Gaming, RCT Gaming, Spintec, Table Trac, Weike Gaming Technology, Wells-Gardner Technologies, Win Systems and Worldpay Gaming
AGEM Associate Members: 3M Touch Systems, Adlink Technology, Advantech-Innocore, Agilysys, ArdentSky, Arrow International, Asimex Global, Atrient, Automated Cashless Systems, Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI), Axiomtek, BDO USA, British Group Interactive (BGI), Capco, Carmanah Signs, Catapult Global, CDC Gaming Reports, CMC Trading Engineering (International) Ltd, Comer Holdings, Comtrade Gaming, Cooper Levenson, Deloitte LLP, Digital Instinct, DiTronics Financial Services, Dominode, Duane Morris LLP, E4 Gaming, EFCOtec Corporation, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Elite Gaming Technology, Fantini Research, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, Fox Rothschild, G2 Game Design, Gambling Compliance, Gamesman, Gaming Capital Group, GAN, Ganlot, Gary Platt Manufacturing, Gasser Chair Company, Genesis Interactive Technologies, GET IN Global, Global Gaming Business (GGB) Magazine, Global Gaming Group (G3), Greenberg Traurig, GSL Gaming Group, House Advantage, Howard & Howard, Impact Display Solutions, Intel, IPS, James Industries, James Industry Research Group, Jones Walker, JP Morgan Chase, KEY-BAK, Kiron Interactive, Kontron, Lazcano Sámano, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, Lightstone Solutions, Majestic Realty, Millennial Esports, NanoLumens, Nanoptix, Olsen Gaming / Spectronix, Outpost Creative, Patir Casino Seating, Plus Studios, Portilla Ruy-Díaz y Aguilar, Posiflex Business Machines, Proforma GPS, Regulatory Management Counselors (RMC), Rising Digital, RMMC, RSM US LLP, SAP, SCA Gaming, Sightline Payments, Southco, Southwest Manufacturing Services, Spin Games, StylGame USA, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Talent Associates, The Bright Group, The United States Playing Card Company, Touch Dynamic, Tournament One, TOVIS, TraffGen USA, Veridocs, Wells Fargo, Yogonet, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) and Zebra Technologies

For More Information, Contact:
Marcus Prater, Executive Director
P.O. Box 50049, Henderson, NV 89016-0049
702.812.6932 |


Source: European Gaming Media

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Empire Resorts and bet365 Forge Strategic Alliance to Offer Sports Betting and Online Gaming in New York State at Resorts World Catskills

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  • Collaboration Between New York’s Premier Integrated Commercial Casino Resort Destination and World’s Largest Online Sports Betting Operator Positions Resorts World Catskills as Leading NY State Sports Betting and Gaming Destination
  • bet365 to Invest up to $50 Million to Become Empire Resorts, Inc.’s Second Largest Shareholder
  • Kien Huat Realty III, Ltd. Commits up to $126 Million Investment via Convertible Preferred Stock

Empire Resorts, Inc. (NasdaqGM: NYNY) (together with its subsidiaries, “Empire”) and an affiliate of bet365 Group Limited (“bet365”) today announced a strategic alliance to develop a physical and online sportsbook in New York State at Resorts World Catskills, New York’s newest and largest integrated commercial casino resort destination with closest proximity to Manhattan. Empire and an affiliate of bet365, the world’s largest online sports bookmaker, entered into a 20-year agreement (the “Sports Wagering Agreement”) to offer retail sports betting, an online sportsbook and online gaming at Resorts World Catskills if and when permitted by applicable law. Under the Sports Wagering Agreement, Empire and bet365 will establish New York’s premier sports betting and online gaming option. This agreement provides for the companies to share profits 50/50 after bet365 recoups its start-up and other costs.

In connection with the Sports Wagering Agreement, an affiliate of bet365 will acquire up to $50 million of Empire common stock at a price of $20 per share in two tranches, making it Empire’s second largest stockholder.

Additionally, Kien Huat Realty III, Ltd. (“Kien Huat”), Empire’s largest stockholder, has committed to purchase up to $126 million of convertible preferred stock, with a conversion price of $20 per share. The investment by bet365 and the commitment by Kien Huat strengthens Empire’s financial position and underscores Kien Huat’s view of the potential for value creation in Empire’s Resorts World Catskills.

Resorts World Catskills is one of only four commercial casinos in New York State currently authorized by statute to offer retail sports betting pending the promulgation of regulations. Resorts World Catskills is ideally positioned to offer sports betting with the expertise of bet365, which is ranked No. 1 in sportsbook revenues globally with annual revenues of over $3 billion and No. 1 in the EGR Global Power 50 rankings from 2010 to 2017. bet365 operates a highly successful in-play betting product with a scalable and growing mobile platform.

“Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market,” said Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts, Inc. “bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York. This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”

The alliance provides bet365 access to the New York State sports wagering market, which, according to market estimates by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, is expected to be the single largest market jurisdiction for sports betting in the United States other than California, with projections for more than $1 billion in annual revenues from sports betting within five years of legalization.1 Following the announcement of a market access deal in New Jersey earlier this year, bet365 is well positioned for sports betting expansion into New York State.

“This landmark agreement, which combines Empire’s gaming operating skill with our expertise in providing best-in-class online sports betting, allows bet365 to tap into what we believe will be one of the most significant online and sportsbook markets in the United States,” said Simon Betteley, President of Hillside (New York) LLC, a bet365 affiliate.

The alliance with bet365 is the next phase of Resorts World Catskills’ growth, including the addition of a new hotel with two dining and entertainment venues by the end of the year. In 2019, two additional hospitality venues are expected to open at the destination resort in which Resorts World Catskills is located. The Kartrite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, and a Rees Jones redesign of the well-known Monster golf course will debut in the second half of 2019.

Following its initial investment, which closed today, an affiliate of bet365 will own approximately 4.9% of Empire’s outstanding common stock. Pursuant to the Sports Wagering Agreement, the parties expect to use the bet365 brand and online consumer facing sports betting and digital platform.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP and Fox Rothschild LLP acted as legal counsel to Empire Resorts, Inc. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP acted as legal counsel to bet365 Group Limited.


Source: European Gaming Media

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