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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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Casino Cash Trac Named on Inc. 5000 List For Third Consecutive Year

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TULSA, Okla.Aug. 17, 2018 – Casino Cash Trac (CCT) is excited to announce that once again it has been ranked on the Inc. 5000 list. Inc. magazine announced that Casino Cash Trac ranked No. 1044 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies with an outstanding three-year sales growth of 470%.

Led by CEO Kurt Williams, Casino Cash Trac joins an elite group of companies which have been honored three years in a row. Of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000, only one in four percent have made the list three times.

“It is truly an extraordinary accomplishment for the company. To be selected three years in a row is remarkable and I thank our employees and customers for trusting our vision,” says CCT’s CEO, Kurt Williams.  “Our teams continue to deliver the best Casino Audit System (CAS) across the country and it is amazing to work with such a talented group of individuals.”

The Inc. 500 award underscores the value of CCT’s offerings and validates their strategy of providing a cutting edge solution accompanied with extraordinary customer service.

“It is an incredible achievement to be listed among the nation’s fastest-growing companies yet again. For CCT, this honor is a direct reflection of our commitment to push ourselves to get better every day. We are thankful for the employees we have, the clients we work with and the trust they put in us every day to help them streamline their operations,” says CCT’s CRO Wanor França.

About Casino Cash Trac

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Casino Cash Trac is the creator of Casino Insight™, an award-winning suite of transactional, reporting, and analytical tools designed to streamline and automate cage operations, revenue audit processes, and operations analysis. Casino Insight™ offers full integration with most casino management, food & beverage, and hotel systems, as well as most cash dispensers, kiosks, and other bank machines.

Since developing Casino Insight™ in 2012, Casino Cash Trac has helped over 130 casinos across multiple states and countries to maximize productivity and efficiency while minimizing paper waste and manual processes that are prone to human error.


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Wazdan goes wild with one of Europe’s fastest growing casino companies

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Friday, August 17; 2018, Malta – Slots pioneer Wazdan has inked a deal with GoWild Gaming to provide the innovative operator with Wazdan’s full portfolio of slots, which have been attracting attention across the igaming industry all year. GoWild is a leading online gaming operator. The jungle-themed gaming brand has been leading expeditions through the wilds of the internet since 2008.

The GoWild platform currently features over 1,500 games from more than twenty carefully selected software providers including Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution, Scientific Games, Yggdrasil, iSoftBet, Play’n GO, and now Wazdan. In addition, the platform has a sophisticated CRM system enabling GoWild to personalise promotions and content in an unprecedented manner to boost retention and customer loyalty.

Wazdan’s portfolio of over 110 HTML5 slots for desktop, tablet and mobile incorporates the Unique Wazdan Features, that include the world’s first Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode and Unique Gamble Feature which deliver outstanding player engagement and casino revenue.

Upcoming games from Wazdan include the eagerly anticipated Mayan Ritual™, a slot that explores the mystery of the lost ancient culture of the Maya; Black Hawk Deluxe, a magic and fantasy game with ghosts, skeletons and a treasure-filled castle; and, Los Muertos™, a game which celebrates the unique Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and will be released in time for Halloween.

Anthony Berningham, Director of Gaming Content at GoWild, said,”With best-of-breed content from all the leading providers on our platform, we feel the fit with Wazdan is excellent. Their world-class technology and games help to expand the gaming experience further which is why we wanted to bring them on-board. It’s our desire to provide our players with the best gaming experience possible with deals like this one.”

Head of Sales at Wazdan Andrzej Hyla said: “Our games bring a new dimension to casinos as they seek to deepen player experience and to unlock the potential of added-value built-in to technology tools like the Unique Wazdan Features. We are absolutely delighted to be joining GoWild’s platform and supporting GoWild’s ambition to provide access to the best gaming content on one platform.”

So far in 2018, Wazdan has signed with some of the biggest names in the industry including EveryMatrix, Videoslots, SlotMillions, Tipbet, Iforium, iSoftbet, Evenbets, Groove Gaming, Globalplay, Tipbet, Rabbit Entertainment, SoftGamings, and now Go Wild Gaming, amongst others. For further information visit www.wazdan.com

 

ABOUT WAZDAN:

Wazdan is a popular game producer, developing innovative casino games that deliver original, fun and truly omni-channel player experience. Offering an extensive game library of over 100 HTML5 slots, table games and video pokers, Wazdan is gaining popularity on the iGaming market thanks to the great quality of their games, interesting themes and engaging gameplay. Wazdan’s game portfolio consists of such popular titles as Great Book of Magic Deluxe, Magic Target Deluxe, Valhalla and Wild Guns and soon will extended with new amazing slot games, including Los MuertosTM, Mayan RitualTM and Captain FlyntTM, among others. Wazdan releases new, exciting titles on a regular basis and equips them with Unique Wazdan Features: innovative Volatility LevelTM, exciting Unique Gamble Feature and mobile-friendly Energy Saving and Double Screen Modes. Wazdan holds a number of  European trademarks including for their world’s-first Volatility Level TM. Their extensive portfolio of clients includes some of the top gaming operations in the industry. The company is headquartered in Malta and holds licenses issued by the UKGC, the MGA and complies with Curacao regulations. Furthermore, their games use the RNG certified by the NMi, which ensures reliable, fair and secure gameplay. Wazdan’s Sales Team is showcasing their products at SiGMA in Malta from 28 to 30 November.

 

For more information on this press please contact Ogilvy Malta on 00356 99207677 or edwin@ogilvymalta.com


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reports July Monthly Fantasy Sports Contests Revenue

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HARRISBURG, Pa.Aug. 17, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today posted on its web site the July Fantasy Sports Contests revenue report. The report provides a breakdown on fees collected from the play of Pennsylvania participants, Fantasy Sports Contests operators adjusted revenue, and the tax revenue due to the Commonwealth, and can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.

Tax revenue is derived through a 15% assessment on adjusted revenue reported by the Fantasy Sports Contest operators, and is deposited into the Commonwealth General Fund. In total, tax revenue generated during July totaled $131,728. Seven of the Fantasy Sports Contest operators reported tax revenue due.

Fantasy Sports revenue and tax revenue for each of the providers for July 2018 is displayed in the following tables:

Fantasy Sports Contest Provider

Fantasy Sports
Contest Adjusted
Revenue

State Tax

Due

DraftKings

$437,108.24

$65,566.24

FanDuel

$427,451.31

$64,117.70

DRAFT

$8,760.00

$1,314.00

Fantasy Draft

$1,737.19

$260.58

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

$1,627.97

$244.20

Sportshub Technologies

$1,236.16

$185.42

Boom Fantasy

$264.06

$39.61

Full Time Fantasy Sports

$0.00

$0.00

Fantasy Football Players Championship

$0.00

$0.00

Total

$878,184.93

$131,727.75

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, along with oversight of new gaming initiatives created through amendments to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act recently approved by the signing of Act 42 of 2017.

The Commonwealth’s casino industry currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos.  These facilities collectively employ 17,000 people and annually generate approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvaniahomeowners.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

CONTACTS: Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey
(717) 346-8321

 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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