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PARX CASINO persuades the Keystone states regulators to confine the number of IGOs in the state

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In an effort to confine the number of Interactive Gaming Operators (IGO’s — aka skins) that can establish shops in the State of Pennsylvania, Parx Casino Bensalem, the largest casino complex based in Pensylvania owned and operated by the Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment (GGE), persuaded the regulators of the state.

Parx: One skin per certificate holder

As per a  letter discovered by Gambling Compliance Research Director, Chris Krafcik, on January 30th, GGE  beseeched the keystone state’s  Gaming Control Board (paywall) to confine specifically each incoming internet gambling certificate holder (understood to be the land-based casinos that currently possess a license to conduct brick & mortar business in PA) to one skin per establishment; and that all branding should directly correlate to the main license holder.

GGE argued “The contrary scenario — whereby a Certificate Holder can have unlimited skins with it bestowing the ability to operate with any number of Interactive Gaming Operators (“IGOs”), some perhaps in partnership with third-party Qualified Gaming Entities and utilising the third party’s brand — creates a sublicensing regime that essentially transfers licensing authority from the PGCB to the Certificate Holder.”

In addition, GGE clings to the belief that the Board “should require that any branding associated with those skins match the brand of the Certificate Holder’s commercial casino operating under its PGCB slot machine license.” The entire email correspondence from GGE to the Gaming Control Board is available here.

The mandates suggested by GGE would essentially block sub-licensees (such as PokerStars, Betfair, and WSOP) from marketing their brands in Pennsylvania while locking-down the state’s future iGaming market in favour of a handful of large casinos with major brand power and customer databases in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino would, of course, be a primary beneficiary of such a policy, as it is the long-standing revenue leader in the PA brick & mortar casino industry.

Parx Casino is joined by Hollywood Casino Grantville, parent company Penn National, in its view that Pennsylvania should not adopt a similar strategy to neighbouring New Jersey, where iGaming revenue has consistently risen as more IGOs have entered the picture.

Response from iDevelopment and Economic Association

The iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA – which encompasses iGaming power brokers such as The Stars Group, GVC Holdings (parent company of Party Poker), Resorts Interactive and Tropicana Entertainment) has responded to GGE’s lobbying efforts with its own communication to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Not surprisingly, iDEA points to the current New Jersey iGaming model which has provided clear benefits for the health of the industry as well as Garden State residents through additional tax revenue.

“By allowing multiple skins per license, Pennsylvania will encourage robust competition among operators,” iDEA states in its letter to the PGCB.

“To compete with larger casinos, smaller casino operators might partner with both poker and table game operators under separate skins to provide innovative products under larger brand names,” iDEA adds. “Without the availability of multiple skins, they would be unable to do so. That competition and innovation will result in higher revenue for the state and greater satisfaction for players.”

 Thoughts and analysis

There is truth to iDEA’s arguments, as the allowance of multiple skins does encourage competition, ultimately resulting in a healthier environment for both operators and players. In New Jersey, there’s been a clear appetite for more sites than there are casinos, with brands such as Betfair and Play Sugar House gaining significant market share, all while bolstering the revenue of smaller Atlantic City brands.

In Pennsylvania, limiting the number of skins will be highly discouraging to smaller casinos, as the licensing fee to become an iGaming certificate holder for slots, table games, and poker is set at an outlandish $10 million (or $4 million per vertical). It is hard to foresee lesser land-based casinos getting too excited about paying this exorbitant amount for just one or two sites, especially for online gambling services that offer slots, which will be taxed at an unprecedented 54 percent of Gross Gaming Revenue.

Not to mention, if the sites are required to be self-branded, big brands like Parx will have a built-in advantage at launch, further discouraging smaller brands from taking a shot. This will be a shame, as smaller brands have proven more successful than the top dogs in New Jersey over the long haul — a fact we assume Parx is well aware of.

Ultimately this feels like a power grab from Parx, who will be a reluctant participant in the iGaming industry, and is looking to protect its industry-leading brand by all but preventing its competitors from entering the space.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will have the last say on this developing story as Keystone State residents anxiously await the 2018-2019 rollout of real money internet gambling.

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Russian Online Casinos Supply the Donbass Separatists

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Russian Online Casinos Supply the Donbass SeparatistsReading Time: 1 minute

Pro-Russian separatist groups of the Donbass War (Eastern Ukraine) receive material funds from illegal gambling business, states a recent article published in the Russian Sobesednik magazine. According to article, part of the illegal profits of the online casinos is used to finance the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

As reported by GC Alor analysts, the black turnover of these Russian online casinos is around 200 billion RUR (2,725,065,200.00 Euro). The Majority of these online casinos are registered in foreign administrations, like Azino777 being registered in Curacao.

As experts say, many online casinos are physically based in Ukraine, where the legislation is slightly more loyal than Russian. It is allowed, for example, to develop gaming software for third-party customers. Lucky Labs company, which is linked to the online casino “Vulcan”, operates in Ukraine as software developer.

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, which conducted searches at the office of the company lately, Lacky Labs also controls the websites of CasinoX and Joycasino. The company’s office is big. It is a 4-storey building designed for 150 people. There is also a basement area where there is a kitchen and a dining room, a gym.

Lucky Labs was founded by two Russians. Because of the sanctions imposed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, now they are not allowed to enter the country. However, Lucky Labs continues to exist. Now the company is registered by an Ukrainian citizen.

If some of the profits of illegal online casino go to pro-Russian patriotic purposes, it becomes clear why Roskomnadzor does not block their Internet addresses. The correspondent of “Sobesednik” managed to access the mentioned online casinos without any obstacles, using no VPN or “mirrors”.

 

Source: sobesednik.ru


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Play’n GO ‘Slots’ Into 1st Place!

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Play'n GO 'Slots' Into 1st Place!Reading Time: 2 minutes

Company celebrates EGR victory with Slot Provider of the Year Award

 

June 22, 2018 – Play’n GO were honoured at the EGR B2B Awards on Wednesday (20thJune) as they took home the highly coveted Slot Provider of the Year Award, beating out some strong competition.

The awards, held in London’s prestigious Hurlingham Club, “celebrates and rewards the very best service suppliers in the online gaming industry” and Play’n GO were honoured to have been nominated in numerous categories including Innovation in Mobile and Best Multi-Channel Supplier.

Play’n GO were recognised for their remarkable offerings in the slot market over the past year including innovative games such as Viking Runecraft, Sweet Alchemy and Moon Princessas well as many other popular titles.

CEO Johan Törnqvist was delighted to pick up the win, and believes it is a reflection of the company’s hard work.

“It’s an honour to pick up such a sought-after award, especially with the level of competition in the category. As a company we work hard to put out the finest, most entertaining, offering to our partners in the market, and winning this award is a testament to that. We have consistently been recognised in the industry for the innovative products we release and it’s our job not to rest on our laurels, but to continue innovating”

 

About Play’n GO

Play’n GO is an award-winning supplier of high quality gaming content to many of the world’s leading casino brands.  Its genuine omni-channel solution can be tailored to suit the needs of individual online and land-based partners, regardless of geographical, regulatory, or market-specific requirements. Its games are developed in HTML5 to provide an enhanced user experience on all devices and operating systems. These are complemented by superior back-office administration tools which provide expansive reporting and marketing capabilities, ensuring operators are equipped to provide the ultimate gaming experience. The supplier’s extensive portfolio was recently recognised by the award of the IGA Slot Provider of the Year 2017 title. Play’n GO currently hold offices in Sweden, Malta, Hungary, and the UK. Please visit http://www.playngo.com for more details.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Poland: Accepted Changes In Taxes, Including Gambling

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Poland: Accepted Changes In Taxes, Including GamblingReading Time: 1 minute

Poland’s lower house (Sejm) has voted down five Senate amendments to a comprehensive amendment to several tax bills, including gambling.

The adopted amendments may be applied retroactively, which is to the income earned from January 1 2018.
Gamblers will be treated in a uniform manner after the changes.

Adopted by the Sejm on May 10th of this year extensive amendment to the Personal Income Tax Act (PIT), the Corporate Income Tax Act (CIT) and the Act on flat-rate income tax on certain revenues earned by natural persons; that all winnings on machines will be exempt from PIT, the tax relief for creators will be extended to the next creative professions, the real estate income tax will be larger. This applies to provisions adopted last autumn and effective from January 1st 2018.

Unlike the regulations adopted in autumn, the amendment assumes for example, that participants of legal gambling will be treated in a uniform manner. Regardless of whether the games are organized by casino operators or a company performing a state monopoly in this area, which would be Totalizator Sportowy. In line with the provisions changed by the Sejm and approved by the Senate on Thursday, winnings in slot machine games, card games, dice games and cylindrical games – regardless of which legally operating entities organize them – will be exempt from personal income tax.

In the remaining scope, the rules of taxing winnings (in numerical games, cash lotteries, mutual bets, etc.) are to remain unchanged in relation to the provisions currently in force. Pursuant to the amendment of October 27th 2017, winnings in gambling are subject to a l0% PIT tax on winning if their one-time value of winning exceeds PLN 2,280 (528 Euro).


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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