Read the latest in Dutch and international gaming news.
Fire Destroys Holland Casino Groningen
Early Sunday morning, a devastating fire completely destroyed the Holland Casino branch in the Dutch city of Groningen.
“It is a black day for Holland Casino Groningen,” a company spokesperson said. “Fortunately, there were no casualties and all alarm systems worked as intended. Thanks to the quick response of the emergency services, more destruction was prevented.”
As of yet, it is unclear how much cash money, if any, was destroyed in the fire.
The casino operator has already announced it will be looking for a new location in the city. In the mean time, some of the staff that is employed in Groningen will be transferred to the nearest Holland Casino branch in Leeuwarden.
The Groningen branch of Holland Casino, which opened in 1988, has had an eventful history.
Bookmakers Win Big on Mayweather-McGregor Fight
Bookmakers won big in the early hours of Sunday morning as Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor, despite around 80% of punters backing the Irishman to pull off the upset.
A Kindred Group spokesperson stated the fight entered the firm’s top 10 highest ever events in terms of turnover.
Paddy Power’s Lee Price said: “It was the biggest betting event of the year.”
Betway’s Head of PR Alan Alger commented on the event: “The bet count throughout Saturday was similar to if a major football final was taking place that evening.”
“Some of the early rounds for McGregor had liabilities that would have produced a record loss on any market we’ve ever offered. Thankfully, in the end, we couldn’t have picked a better outcome. It was one of the busiest and most profitable events in the history of the company.”
Regulatory Uncertainty Could Drive Further UK Gambling Industry Consolidation
British gambling groups could be preparing for a fresh round of consolidation as the industry braces itself for further regulatory crackdowns from UK authorities, The Financial Times observed in response to the failed merger talks between GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral.
Online gambling group GVC Holdings approached Ladbrokes Coral in recent weeks with a takeover offer worth as much as £3.6bn to create one of the world’s largest betting companies. However, the UK government’s prospective review of FOBT wagering, made it hard for GVC to make a straight-up offer for Ladbrokes Coral.
The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.
- On 12 September, the World Regulatory Briefing London 2017 will take place at the OXO2 conference center. WrB London 2017 will focus on responsible gambling politics, technology, and commercial strategy. The event’s latest agenda is available here. UK Gambling Commission Executive Director Tim Miller previews his appearance at WrB Responsible Gambling Innovation here.
- SBC Events’ Betting on Sports Conference is set to take place on 12-15 September at the Olympia Conference Center in London. The conference will feature an impressive 165 speakers across 44 sessions and focuses on everything related to sports and betting, including leadership, legislation, marketing, innovation, and “super affiliates.” Members of the GiH community are offered a 25% discount if they use the promotional code GIH25 when registering.
- Eurocoin Gaming is organizing two invitation-only open days on 14 and 15 September at its headquarters in Waalwijk, the Netherlands.
- On 24 November, Malta’s largest iGaming conference SIGMA’17 will feature a session on regulatory developments in the Netherlands, moderated by GiH founder Willem van Oort. Conference registration is open. Gaming in Holland and Leaseweb invite SIGMA’17 attendees to join us for drinks – including Dutch beers – on Thursday, 23 November 2017, starting at 7:30 pm. Places are limited, so please reserve your place today by registering here.
- Registration for the 2017 Excellence in Gaming conference, which will be taking place 30 October-1 November 2017 in Berlin, is now open.
Mounting Concerns over UK Problem Gambling Rates
Last week, the UK Gambling Commission published the comprehensive survey Gambling Behaviour in Great Britain 2015.
Notwithstanding some alarmist messages in the UK media, problem and at-risk gambling rates had remained essentially flat (p. 52):
“Looking at problem and at-risk gambling, rates were similar to those published in 2012. In 2015, approximately 0.8% of adults in Great Britain were estimated to be problem gamblers (according to either screen) and a further 3.9% were either low or moderate risk gamblers according to the PGSI. Taken together, this means that one in twenty adults (5%) experienced some difficulty with gambling in the past year; the same as observed in 2012.”
Nonetheless, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has said that the industry must do more to tackle issues related to problem gambling. “Whilst overall problem gambling rates in Britain have remained statistically stable, our research suggests that in excess of two million people are at-risk or classed as problem gamblers, with very many more impacted by the wider consequences of gambling-related harm,” Tim Miller, executive director of the UKGC stated.
In response, Labour MP Carolyn Harris has been calling for maximum stakes for online gambling: “Non-problem gamblers wager £14 when they bet, whereas problem gamblers bet an average of £98. On this basis, a huge proportion of revenue is derived from problem gambling. This is unsustainable, so the government must look at the maximum stakes online once they finally reduce the maximum stake to £2 on FOBTs in October.”
“The Netherlands Gaming Authority has never tolerated illegal online gambling,” the regulator’s CEO Marja Appelman emphatically stressed in a recent interview.
Peter-Paul de Goeij, MD of recent licensee Lottovate, discusses his company’s experiences with the Netherlands Gaming Authority, as well as the planned roll-out of a new lottery product in the Netherlands.
Sportech, holder of the sole Dutch tote betting license, reported year-on-year growth across a number of key financials for the six months to June 30.
Four Dutch players who were suspected of being involved with match-fixing have been cleared by the Finnish football association.
Lead generation company Catena Media, which recently ran afoul of the Dutch gaming regulator, has been approved for listing on Nasdaq Stockholm.
Holland Casino is looking to hire a Senior Communications Advisor.
Austria’s government has proposed allowing internet service providers to block the domains of websites deemed to be breaking local laws, a category that could include internationally licensed online gambling sites.
Worldwide gambling software services supplier Playtech has announced a higher-than-expected 25% rise in its year-on-year profits for the first six months of 2017. An earnings call transcript with Playtech CEO Mor Weizer is available here.
Cherry AB has reported a 241% jump in online revenues in Q2 to SEK437m, thanks largely to the acquisition of operator ComeOn in 2016.
Bet365 has acquired the bankrupt data technology firm Bash Technologies.
Mobile-first operator LeoVegas has entered into a partnership with the German Handball Bundesliga top-tier club competition.
Betway will sponsor the ESL Pro League, which the longest running in professional CS:GO, for another season.
Following Season 1 and a successful launch in China, the Global Poker League, a team-based poker competition, now sets its sights on India.