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Luckia, the Spanish gaming operator awarded Colombia’s eighth online gambling license

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Luckia, the Spanish gaming operator grabs the eighth online gambling license issued by Columbia, while another online licensee became an epicenter of some unwanted attention through a tennis player who should have known better.

Colombia’s Coljuegos gaming regulatory body announced on Thursday about the awarding of the eighth online gambling license to the Spanish operator Luckia’s local subsidiary, Luckia Colombia S.A.S. This is since the country liberalised its online market in late-2016.

In association with National Corporation of Entrepreneurs of Luck and Chance Games (Cornazar), Luckia already owns a retail sports betting operation in Colombia. The new Luckia.co website has been approved to offer both sports betting and ‘luck and chance’ games, although its website currently displays only a splash screen featuring the Spanish phrases ‘stay close’ and ‘soon’.

Luckia’s new online license holds a  validity for five years and costs the company COP 11.2b (US$3.9m), making it the priciest of all eight Coljuegos’ online deals to date. The next highest license fee was the COP 10.9b paid by local operator Colbet, last October.

Coljuegos President, Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo said Colombia’s licensed sites had registered nearly 213k customers as of last December, and that 95% of these customers were deemed to be active.  Coljuegos anticipates to have 20 online licensees taking wagers from Colombian punters by the time the FIFA World Cup kicks off this summer, Hidalgo added.

Meanwhile, one of Colombia’s first licensees finally had the official launch of its site last week. To boost awareness, Corredor Empresarial’s BetPlay brand launched a promo campaign it dubbed MiPasión and enlisted the help of a number of figures from the world of sport, including Mario Yepes, former captain of Colombia’s national football team.

But the campaign went a bit awry after Colombian doubles tennis player Robert Farah tweeted, then quickly deleted, a photo of himself on a gym’s exercise bike holding his mobile, on which the Betplay site was displayed. The photo was accompanied by text promoting Betplay, concluding with Farah saying “I already bet, you too.”

It is unclear what formal relationship Farah has with Betplay, but tennis has always had an uneasy relationship with betting, reflected in stats that show the sport consistently ranking highest among incidents of suspicious betting patterns. Best stick to football tie-ups, guys.

Source: calvinayre.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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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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DraftKings joins hands with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort

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US-based DraftKings has signed an agreement with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Mississippi to officially open DraftKings at Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook. The new facility will start functioning on 16 November 2018. The sportsbook will transform Scarlet Pearl’s existing PRL Bar into a multi-screen betting and social destination for sports lovers.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, whose leadership has a high bar for quality and a forward-thinking approach to sports betting; a perfect fit for DraftKings,” said Matt Kalish, Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of DraftKings. “We’re excited to bring and offer an innovative sports betting experience to sports fans in one of the largest and most competitive gaming markets in the U.S.”

DraftKings at Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook will offer a superior customer experience that includes the opportunity to wager on dozens of sports. In addition, the sportsbook will soon offer live, in-game betting with three windows, giving sports fans a variety of ways to place their bets. Pending regulatory approval, the sportsbook will incorporate on-site kiosks and an on-premise mobile app.

 “We are excited to introduce DraftKings, a ‘New Way’ to game for our current and future guests,” Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort CEO LuAnn Pappas said. “Our collaboration with DraftKings is an opportunity for us to continue to set high standards on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and give our players a new home for sports betting.”

Directing the Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook team will be Nicholas “Nico” Sfanos, who previously ran sportsbooks for Station Casinos throughout Nevada.

 

Source: 5StarMedia


Source: European Gaming Media

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Aragon and Catalonia officials visit Zitro Games

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The high officials of Aragon and Catalonia have visited the facilities of Zitro Technological Campus in Barcelona. The visiting team was headed by the Interior Justice Director of the Government of Aragón, Ms. María Ángeles Júlvez León, and the Tax and Gambling Director of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Ms. Natalia Caba Alba. They were accompanied respectively by the Head of Authorisation and Sanctions Service Ms. Elena Pérez Aparicio and by the Gambling Deputy Director Mr. Amadeu Farré i Morel. The team examined the manufacturing process behind each product in detail.

Forming an exceptional entourage, and accompanied by Johnny Viveiros Ortiz, founder of Zitro, Manuela Jiménez, Vice President, Sebastián Salat, CEO, Marta Cuesta, Product Director, and Cristina García, Director of Institutional Relations, the authorities have visited the different departments which are located in the Zitro Technological Campus, where software development, video bingo and video slot game design and Zitro Interactive applications are carried out.

The campus, which is fully devoted to Research + Development + Innovation activities, also has state-of-the-art video and sound recording studios, as well as a plant that’s dedicated to the manufacture and quality control of Zitro and Bryke gaming machines.

Johnny Viveiros Ortiz said that “we are very grateful to the authorities for their interest in learning about our Technology Campus and we are very proud to show them our Factory of Ideas in detail, where Zitro’s great team turns them into unique experiences for players around the world, using the most advanced technology on the market.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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