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‘No pokies’ Nick Xenophon goes for ‘some pokies’, but does his gambling policy go far enough?

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‘No pokies’ Xenophon goes for ‘some pokies’, but does his gambling policy go far enough?Reading Time: 3 minutes

SA-Best, led by high-profile former senator Nick Xenophon, has announced its gambling policy ahead of next month’s South Australian election. Xenophon has backed away from the “no pokies” policy that characterised his earlier approach to gambling reform. However, the evidence behind his party’s proposed suite of measures is reasonably strong.

What’s in the policy?

Key aspects of SA-Best’s proposal are:

a five-year plan to cut poker machines numbers in South Australia from 12,100 to 8,100;

  • a reduction in maximum bets to A$1, from the current $5;
  • a reduction in maximum prizes from $10,000 to $500;
  • removing particularly addictive features such as “losses disguised as wins”;
  • prohibition of political donations from gambling businesses; and
  • the removal of EFTPOS facilities from gambling venues.

The policy would also empower the state’s Independent Gambling Authority to implement and evaluate these proposals.

The policy is targeted at commercial hotel operators; clubs, “community hotels” and the casino are exempt from the reduction provisions.

There are also proposals to cut trading hours from 18 to 16 per day, with the introduction of a seven-year pokie licence for venues, from January 1, 2019. Increased resources would go to counselling and support for those with gambling problems.

Notably absent from the policy is the introduction of a pre-commitmentsystem, which would enable pokie users to decide in advance how much they want to spend. Along with $1 maximum bets, this was a key recommendation of a Productivity Commission inquiry in 2010.

The policy has attracted the expected response from the gambling industry. The Australian Hotels Association argued the changes would “rip the guts” out of the gambling industry and attack the “26,000 jobs” it claims the industry directly creates.

Does evidence support SA Best’s policies?

We’ve known for some time that reducing maximum bets is likely to reduce the amount wagered by people experiencing severe gambling problems. This in turn reduces the harm they suffer.

Reducing maximum prizes reduces “volatility”, meaning pokies may have more consistent loss rates.

Reducing access to pokies is also an important intervention, since easy access is a key risk factor for developing a gambling problem. Reducing the number of machines, and the hours they are accessible, support this.

However, very substantial cuts in pokie numbers are needed to meaningfully reduce harm. A cut of the magnitude SA-Best proposes may not be sufficient to prevent those with serious gambling habits from readily accessing pokies. This is because pokies are rarely fully utilised at all times of the week.

Removing easy access to cash has also been identified as an important harm-reduction intervention. This had a positive initial effect in Victoria (especially among high-risk gamblers), when ATMs were removed from pokie venues in 2012.

The harms associated with gambling generally affect far more peoplethan just the gambler. The most recent study, from 2012 indicates that 0.6% of the SA adult population is classified as at high risk of gambling harm, 2.5% are classified as at moderate risk, and another 7.1% at low risk.

Based on census data, this equates to about 8,000 South Australians experiencing severe harm from gambling. Another 33,100 are experiencing significant harm, and about 94,000 are experiencing some harm.

However, each high-risk gambler affects six others; each moderate-risk gambler affects three others; and each low-risk gambler one other. So, the problems of each high-risk gambler affect another 47,660 South Australians. These are children, spouses, other relatives, friends, employers, the general community via the costs of crime, and so on.

Another 99,300 are affected by moderate-risk gambling, and another 94,000 by low-risk gambling. All up, this amounts to 241,000 people.

Of these, 190,000 are affected at high or significant levels. These harms include financial disaster and bankruptcy, divorce or separation, neglect of children, intimate partner violence and other violent crime, crimes against property, mental and physical ill-health, and in some cases, suicide.

Most gambling problems (around 75%) are related to pokies, and by far the greatest expenditure goes through them. Nothing has changed in this regard since the Productivity Commission identified this in 2010.

In this context, SA-Best’s policy has substantial justification.

Does it go far enough?

The South Australian Greens, like their counterparts in Tasmania and the Tasmanian Labor Party, want to get all pokies out of pubs and clubs. They argue gambling’s social and economic costs are far in excess of the benefits.

For Tasmania, the costs of gambling can be estimated at about $342 million per year. This is more than three times as much as the total tax take from all gambling in the state.

A similar calculation for South Australia suggests its overall costs of problem gambling are more than $1.6 billion per year. This is more than four times the total taxes from gambling the South Australian government derived in 2015-16 ($380.3 million).

With a cost-benefit ratio like that, some strong measures could well be called for. Xenophon says the proposals encapsulated in his party’s policy are the start. However, Tasmanian Labor has set the new benchmark for pokie regulation – removing them entirely from pubs and clubs.

It is remarkable that a party traditionally in lockstep with – and substantially supported by – the gambling industry has adopted such a position. Perhaps the harms have become too much to ignore?

How these policies might be implemented, amid the resistance they will face from a well-heeled and often-influential gambling industry, presents an intriguing prospect over coming months.

 

Source: theconversation.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event

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NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London eventReading Time: 1 minute

 

The sports betting technology provider NSoft will be showcasing its comprehensive suite of products including a full Sportsbook platform, Virtual games and the latest innovations in AI solutions at ICE London 2019.

NSoft’s Self-Managed Pre Match application is fully integrated into Seven Platform and gives the betting operators full autonomy of sports events creation, odds management and risk management. Except for already supported option of importing Betradar Unified Odds Feed, the customer has the ability to manually create any sport, tournament, market and event, as well as to resolve the markets.

The upcoming ICE London 2019 is the only B2B gaming event that truly brings together the international online and offline gaming sectors. During this event, held from February 5 to February 7, 2019, NSoft’s focus shall be on promotion of new products and comprehensive business solutions.

NSoft team is performing the latest product polishing before presenting it to the industry’s leading stakeholders. This year we shall be hosting you on our stand with impressive design and demo zones.

Don’t miss out on the chance to find out more about NSoft’s products. Please meet us at Stand S1-260. Book a meeting with our team or contact sales@nsoft.com.

 


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event

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PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market

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PointsBet into the legal New Jersey betting marketReading Time: 1 minute

 

PointsBet has launched its online sports betting platform in New Jersey, had become the ninth operator to enter the legal New Jersey sports betting market. PointsBetting is essentially a high-risk form of spread-betting that rewards players with more money.

The company explained how PointsBetting works: “If a user bets $10 on the over, and the total ends 10 points over, that nets users $100. Stop-loss settings are able to be set by a bettor if they wish to limit their win and loss position. Users will still be able to make fixed odds wagers, which give a simple win-or-lose scenario.”

New Jersey residents can access PointsBet in web browsers via PointsBet.com or by downloading the PointsBet mobile app for Android or iOS.

Johnny Aitken, PointsBet US CEO said: “We’re extremely excited to bring PointsBet’s premium and game-changing sportsbook and signature betting options to the US.

“By offering some of the world’s sharpest betting offers and prices, we have the back of all sports bettors, no matter how sophisticated they are, and we’re serious about offering a one-of-a-kind VIP betting experience.”

PointsBet is also partnered with Tioga Downs Casino in New York and will launch sports betting operations in New York if the state moves to legalise sports betting.

 


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market

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FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development

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FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its developmentReading Time: 2 minutes

 

FDJ Group announced €15.8 bn in player stakes in 2018. FDJ distributed €10.7 bn to players, a return rate of nearly 68%, an increase close to 1 point over 2017.

Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FDJ Group said “The continued growth in player stakes reflects the good execution of our FDJ 2020 strategy around areas such as innovation and digital, enhancing the appeal of our games and distribution channels. 2018 has been characterised by numerous successes, notably Mission Patrimoine games, illustrating FDJ’s redistribution model. These results underpin our ambition to anticipate changes in the gaming and entertainment sector to increase the Group’s leadership with richer and innovative gaming experiences”.

 The FDJ 2020 strategic plan aims at accelerating the Group’s digital transformation to fuel its development. In 2018, the group got benefited from increase in digitalisation of all games. This success confirms our strategic goal of reaching 20% by 2020. This digital growth was driven by online gaming as well as electronic player stakes at points of sale.

ParionsSport sports betting posted strong gains in player stakes. FDJ is one of the Top 10 sports betting operators worldwide. Player stakes recorded during the World cup reached €333 m, an increase of +75% over the 2014 event, mostly attributable to the French team’s performance. The overall trend remained strong, with +8% growth in non-World Cup player stakes.

ParionsSport also signed major four-year partnerships with four leading French football clubs (Olympique de Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco, and FC Nantes), and launched the “Parions Club” challenge with each of them, giving the top punters in each club a VIP treatment in stadiums or at points of sale, in addition to their winnings.

Player stakes in lottery, instant lottery and draw-based games, grew 1.1% to €12,770 m. Player stakes on instant lottery games (scratch-card games in point of sale and digital) continued to grow, +3.2% to €7694 m.

Digitalisation drives growth in all lottery games, whether instant lottery or draw-based games. On-line lottery games were up +12% thanks to the steady increase in new players, with close to 1.9 million players at the end of 2018, and very frequent marketing events in the online gaming portfolio, with a launch, a relaunch, or a modification every week.

In 2018, FDJ stopped charging rent for point of sale equipment and started paying commission on promotional and free coupons. This year, a new commission structure has been introduced, with different rates across the various product lines and price ranges. In this context, net commissions earned by FDJ retailers were €785 m in 2018, up 5.7% on 2017.

After internalising its sales force and setting up its own logistics, FDJ has completed its business transformation and has direct control of its network.

The Group has continued to make substantial investments in points of sale, specifically in technology and equipment.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development

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