Bingo Email Address Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling PokerStars finished 2018 as top dog in Italy’s largest online segment of casino, claiming 9.6% or €6.82m of the €710m GGR generated by licensed operators, according to estimates exclusively provided to iGB by Ficom Leisure. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter PokerStars finished 2018 as top dog in Italy’s largest online segment of casino, claiming 9.6% or €6.82m of the €710m GGR generated by licensed operators, according to estimates exclusively provided to iGB by Ficom Leisure.Italy’s online casino and slots market grew by 25% year-on-year in 2018, on the back of a 29% year-on-year increase in 2017.Double-digit growth from online sports bettng, up 14% from 2017 to €640.9m, saw the market top the €1.5bn mark for the first time, having smashed the landmark €1bn barrier just two years ago (see first chart below).Ficom Leisure’s Christian Tirabassi said: “The Italian online gaming and betting market continues its upward trend in 2018 with €219m growth over 2017 amounting to €1.53bn, which represents a 17% year-on-year growth.“Casino & slots and sports betting are still the main GGR drivers on the online market with market shares of 46% and 42%, respectively.”Bet365 finished the year atop the country’s remote betting market with 16.4% market share, fighting off the challenge of Planetwin365 which emerged in the first half of 2018. The multi-channel operator ended the year in second place with 14.7%.The Stoke-headquarted giant also finished the year with 7.1% share of the country’s total regulated betting market, despite not operating a retail business there.“The sports betting market upward trend has also persisted, leading to a GGR of €1.48b, 57% of which from landbased and 43% from online/mobile,” Tirabassi added.PokerStars predictably headed the country’s dot.it poker market with 63.3% of the tournament revenue and 40.1% of ring games, although both segments saw a year-on-year contraction, tournaments down marginally 82m from €83.2m with the more fragmented cash games market down 7% to €65.2m.Scroll down for the full 2016-18 interactive dashboards, followed by operator market shares for 2018 across casino, sports betting and poker.All data and figures are processed by leading European corporate advisory firm Ficom Leisure, a specialist in all segments of the betting and gaming sector.Ficom Leisure also provides monthly figures on the New Jersey online market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard. It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard and on the Danish online market in the Denmark iGaming Dashboard. Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Bingo Poker Italy 2018: Bet365 and Stars head €1.5bn market Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 10th January 2019 | By Stephen Carter Regions: Europe Southern Europe Italy
Casino & games 8th April 2019 | By contenteditor Scientific Games puts social spin-off plans into motion AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Strategy Social gaming SciPlay Corporation, the social gaming subsidiary of Scientific Games, has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of a minority interest in its business.The number of shares that will be offered nor the price range for the share are yet to be determined though, it has been confirmed that SciPlay has applied to list its Class A common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ‘SCPL’.Should SciPlay proceed with the offering, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, J.P. Morgan Securities, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co., Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, would act as book-running managers for the offering.Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Wedbush Securities Inc. would also act as co-managers for the proposed offering.The supplier first revealed plans to spin off its social gaming division in November last year, saying at the time that the IPO would allow it to “provide greater flexibility to pursue additional growth initiatives” and “unlock additional value” for its shareholders. It said that proceeds from the offering would be used to pay down the company’s net debt, which stood at $9.1bn (£6.97bn/€8.10bn) at December 31, 2018.The move comes after Scientific Games in February revealed a year-on-year rise in social gaming revenue for the 12 months to December 31, 2018. Revenue for this area of the business grew 14.9% to $415.9m.Digital revenue more than trebled to $269.6m, helping push overall revenue up 9.1%, despite a marginal decline in gaming revenue – down 0.7% to $1.8bn.However, Scientific Games still posted a loss of $352.4m for 2018, up 45.4% on the previous year, as operating costs grew at a similar rate as revenue during the year. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter SciPlay Corporation, the social gaming subsidiary of Scientific Games, has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of a minority interest in its business.
Regions: UK & Ireland In Part 2 of his dissection of the state of online bingo, affiliate-turned-operator Phil Blackwell looks at ways the the sector can restack the odds in its favour Saving online bingo: Part 2 Tags: Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Strip bonuses and wagering requirements to limit tax exposure You can’t be taxed on bonuses if you don’t offer them. At MrQ, we have a single real money wallet for players with a welcome bonus of free tickets to a free bingo room and genuine free spins.We are not exposed to the expenses that accompany large match-deposit offers, but instead limit our liability to the value of the spins only, assuming positive GGR.“Keep what you win” is a far stronger proposition than “keep what you wager”, but it does require marketing to overcome player expectations of large bonuses and uncover this nuance, especially in a long list of affiliate sites.Other recently launched no-wagering bingo brands include Playtech’s Buzz Bingo and the entire Dragonfish Real Bingo Network, although the latter does cap player winnings.Build a brand with real USPs A renewed focus on retention is an obvious and overlooked answer to rising acquisition costs and taxes. If you do manage to get players to your brand without a bonus, you’ll want to give them reason to stick around.The white label nature of the online bingo industry is not set up to excel in the realms of originality and brand building. Identical software and welcome offers presented by different names and logos is nothing more than painting the same car a different colour.The boom of white label bingo sites allowed smaller operators to quickly and easily make money online with little regard for the quality of the product ultimately being sold.It is, of course, not easy to create new software from scratch, especially for small- to medium-sized bingo operators, but the market is agnostic to the challenges of individual businesses.At Lindar, we built MrQ with a small team of under 20 people and benefited from our flexibility and ability to react fast. Retaining this while continuing to scale will almost certainly be more difficult, but the success of other proprietary brands such as Tombola and Mfortune suggests that it is not impossible.In fact, it might be essential. Paying more in one area can be balanced by paying less in another. If existing brands fail to react, we could see an emergence of new operators into the industry similar to the rise of challenger banks in finance like Revolut, Tide and Monzo.Standalone bingo platforms offer the chance for operators to develop real and authentic brands, supported by unique and progressive concepts, with the added benefit of paying less commission to third-party integrations. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd if you’re not outstanding.Diversify into new markets and territories It’s no secret that the majority of bingo sites find their best player value on slots. From an affiliate and PPC perspective, it is more expensive to acquire slots and casino players directly than it is to attract bingo players and later migrate them to instant games.The same logic can be applied to other products too. Lottery, for example, is bingo’s bigger brother with obvious crossover in game mechanics, if not payout. Lottery players are also cheaper to acquire.The rush to diversify product offering is already happening with casinos and the rapid inclusion of sportsbooks to traditionally non-sports websites. One of the first big brands to do this was Mansion Casino in 2018 with MansionBet, more recently followed by 888’s acquisition of sports betting platform, BetBright, for £15m.Diversify acquisition sources Another way to balance costs and maintain ROI is to expand a brand’s range of traffic sources to incorporate or increase exposure on cheaper channels.This could leave more expensive affiliates especially at risk should increased taxes make existing high commissions less profitable than they were before.One of the most cost-effective (and most complex) player sources is SEO. Although frequently mistaken as ‘free’ traffic, SEO does require considerable effort, diversity and investment from brands looking to take rankings seriously.Sites that already rank well for high-volume keywords may be best placed doubling-down their spend on organic search instead of increasing budgets for PPC.A couple of years ago I wrote another article in iGB Affiliate (issue 63) entitled ‘Why do bingo affiliates rank so badly on Google?’. Naturally, this caused controversy with the handful of affiliates that didn’t rank so badly on Google, but the retaliations ignored my core premise.This was that Google prefers to rank operators for search terms with ‘play now’ intent, and affiliates for those implying comparison or lists.For example, back in 2017, not a single affiliate website ranked in the top 10 pages of Google for the keyword ‘online bingo’, and conversely, only a handful of operators ranked in these positions for (usually pluralised) keywords including ‘bingo sites’ and ‘new bingo sites’.This is still pretty much the case even today. However well optimised a bingo operator or affiliate may be, they will likely remain somewhat restricted in ranking opportunities for phrases that do not match Google’s implied intent.So much so, in fact, that we’ve started to see operators create their own affiliate portals to gain exposure to typically affiliate-dominated results pages; something that GiG did late last year with SuperLenny Casino.In the most Orwellian of circumstances, affiliates could not only see current deals reduced or removed but also find themselves competing for clicks with former partners in Google search.Bet to the future Despite all of the above, the iGaming industry should really be counting its blessings.The Government’s decision to restrict FOBTs but leave online stakes uncapped is surprising, and certainly hypocritical, but also incredibly lucky.Online gambling still flies under the radar of most taboo-fetishising media publishers. The humble betting shop, for so long an accepted feature of British high streets, has become the fashionable focus of outrage.The Government’s hand was forced by a relentless press campaign guided by an insincere concern for responsible gambling. The Chancellor reacted by increasing taxation elsewhere.These changes scream of politics, not protection. But it’s only a matter of time until his hand is forced again. It’s only a matter of time until a Guardian journalist realises that players can stake £200 every five seconds sitting at home on the toilet. It’s only a matter of time until the Government is forced to restrict online bets in the same way as it has offline bets. It’s only a matter of time until RGD rises even further to compensate for the loss of revenues.It’s time to stack the odds in our favour, because time is running out.Phil Blackwell is acquisition operations manager at Lindar Media and responsible for the growth of affiliate site OnlineBingo.co.uk and proprietary bingo platform MrQ.com. In previous agency roles, Phil devised SEO strategies for multinational clients including Ebay UK, New Era, Mothercare and Carphone Warehouse. 16th April 2019 | By Stephen Carter In Part 2 of his dissection of the state of online bingo, affiliate-turned-operator Phil Blackwell looks at ways the the sector can restack the odds in its favour The opportunities for operators (and threats to affiliates) Fortunately, there are ways for UK bingo operators to minimise the impact of increased costs while actually increasing the attractiveness of their brand to players. Bingo Topics: Casino & games Strategy Bingo Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address
Regions: US West Virginia Consumers in West Virginia are to remain without mobile sports betting services for the foreseeable further after the state’s Lottery announced that it is to delay the launch of DraftKings’ sports betting app. Email Address Tags: Mobile West Virginia Lottery delays launch of DraftKings sports betting app Consumers in West Virginia are to remain without mobile sports betting services for the foreseeable further after the state’s Lottery announced that it is to delay the launch of DraftKings’ sports betting app.DraftKings and the lottery, which serves as the gambling regulator for the state, carried out testing of the app in late May with a view to rolling it out to consumers soon after. However, while testing of the system was successful, the physical location of the servers and compliance with the Federal Wire Act has led to the Lottery delaying the launch.DraftKings is to launch mobile sports bettingin the state via a partnership with Penn National Gaming and its Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races venue.Read the full story of iGB North America. 6th June 2019 | By contenteditor Sports betting Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Danske Spil appoints new CFO Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Søren Skovdal Rasmussen has been appointed chief financial officer of Denmark’s state-controlled gaming operator Danske Spil, succeeding Allan Auning-Hansen.Skovdal Rasmussen, who will begin his new role on November 1, previously worked as chief executive of newsagent chain Kort & Godt A / S.The position became vacant in May, when Auning-Hansen accepted a position as a partner and chief financial officer at Joe & The Juice.Before his position at Kort & Godt A / S., Skovdal Rasmussen had been chief financial officer and later deputy director of strategy at DSB.“I was presented to several strong candidates who showed great interest in the position of CFO at Danske Spil,” Danske Speil chief executive, Susanne Mørch Koch, said. “For the election of Søren Skovdal Rasmussen it was crucial that he has a unique combination of strong financial and strategic experience combined with a deep insight into retail, including the turnover our products have in retail.”Skovdal Rasmussen added: “It has long been a strong desire for me to work 100% again with numbers and finances. Therefore, I was not in doubt when I was given the opportunity to do this in Danske Spil. That I can then draw on my vast experience of working in retail and the commercial energy makes the match absolutely perfect.“I look forward to getting into the work and getting to know the company and its talented employees.”Last month, Danske Spil sold its 60% stake in games developer CEGO to the studio’s original owners and the private equity fund Via Equity III. Regions: Europe Nordics Denmark Søren Skovdal Rasmussen has been appointed chief financial officer of Denmark’s state-controlled gaming operator Danske Spil, succeeding Allan Auning-Hansen. 9th August 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle People Email Address Topics: People Tags: Online Gambling
9th September 2019 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Fox Sports launches Super 6 free-to-play prediction game Fox Sports has rolled out a new, national free-to-play sports prediction game for US customers, the second major component of the broadcaster’s partnership with The Stars Group after its real-money sports betting brand Fox Bet.Fox Sports Super 6 challenges players to predict the outcome of six American football games, with the chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash each week.Fans can pick who they think the winning team will be and the corresponding margin of victory, within predefined ranges or answer six multiple-choice questions. Players can enter multiple contests each week, with jackpot prizes up to $250,000.“The Fox Sports Super 6 app will heighten the excitement of watching live sports while simultaneously deepening our viewers’ engagement with our brand,” Fox Sports’ president national networks, Mark Silverman, said.An initial three games will be available, with the main $250,000 jackpot prize on offer for Super 6 NFL Sunday, where fans will select the outcome and margin of victory of six NFL Sunday games. If no player wins the jackpot, there will be smaller guaranteed cash prizes.Meanwhile, TNF Super 6 will pose six multiple-choice questions based around the NFL’s Thursday Night Football game in that week, with a jackpot prize of $25,000 on offer.In addition, College Football Saturday Super 6 will challenge players to pick the winning team and by how many points in college competitions. Fox Bet said that thousands will be paid out in jackpot prizes each week.“The Fox Sports Super 6 app offers a quick, simple and fun experience that we think sports fans here will love, just like they do in other countries where we run them,” Fox Bet chief executive Robin Chhabra said.The Stars Group already operates a similar service in the UK through its Sky Bet brand, with players able to predict the results of six football matches each week via Soccer Saturday Super Six. The service is run in partnership with Sky Sports.The free-to-play game will be available across all US states, with its launch agreed as part of the sports wagering and media partnership struck by Fox Sports and The Stars Group in May this year. This deal also covers the roll-out of real-money betting brand Fox Bet in states that have passed wagering legislation, with the product already live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.Fox Sports plans to follow up on the initial launch with the addition of more sports to Fox Sports Super 6, including basketball in October. Tags: Fantasy Sports Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Sports betting DFS DFS Regions: US Email Address Fox Sports has rolled out a new, national free-to-play sports prediction game for US customers, the second major component of the broadcaster’s partnership with The Stars Group after its real-money sports betting brand Fox Bet.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Asia Philippines Topics: Finance Legal & compliance Philippines to consider new 5% tax on POGOs Finance Email Address Tags: Mobile Online Gambling A lawmaker in the Philippines has proposed a new 5% tax on revenue generated by the country’s licensed online gaming operators, with the move securing the backing of the country’s finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III.The bill filed in the Philippines House of Representatives by Representative Joey Salceda seeks to have Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and their service providers register as resident corporations, requiring them to pay the 5% tax.The bill also sets out a $10,000 monthly tax on table games, and a $5,000 monthly fee levied on random number generator (RNG) based games such as slot machines. It would also set out a $1,000 presumptive tax on income, rather than an assessment based on actual earnings.POGOs currently pay a $100 levy on RNG games, and $40,000 a month for sports betting activities. While Dominguez said he had not yet read Salceda’s proposal he believed it was a good idea. However, he added, operators were already paying a 5% franchise tax on revenue.Salcedo’s bill is currently being scrutinised by the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs.The country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has collected PHP1.63bn (£24.9m/€28.7m/$31.9m) in withholding taxes from POGOs between January and August 2019, a significant increase on previous years. In 2017 these businesses paid just PHP175m, and PHP579m in 2018.With 218 POGOs registered with the BIR, employing 108,914 foreign workers, the Philippines authorities have stepped up efforts to ensure all are paying taxes this year, shuttering those that fail to do so.This saw Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corporation (GEGAC) temporarily closed for failing to pay correct taxes, forcing the company to make an initial payment of PHP250m before it agreed to settle the PHP1.05bn outstanding in three instalments to resume operations.Last week, on 17 October, the BIR also padlocked the two offices owned by Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing after the company failed to register as a value-added tax (VAT) payer, in violation of the country’s National Internal Revenue Code.It comes after the issuance of new POGO licences was halted until the end of 2019, amid concerns related to illegal activity by operators, and allowing for a review of existing contracts.However, despite pressure from China, the Philippines has refused to ban online gaming outright, citing the economic benefits it brings to the country. A lawmaker in the Philippines has proposed a new 5% tax on revenue generated by the country’s licensed online gaming operators, with the move securing the backing of the country’s finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 23rd October 2019 | By contenteditor
Affiliate marketing giant Better Collective reported record revenue of €17.1m (£14.7m/$19.0m) for the third quarter of 2019, a 53.9% year-on-year increase which the business said was largely attributable to acquisitions in the US and Sweden.In December 2018, Better Collective agreed to acquire Swedish affiliate marketing company the Ribacka Group, which runs sports betting and casino marketing sites in Sweden, including Speltips.se, for €30m.In May, the company increased its US presence with the acquisition of Rical LLC, operator of the RotoGrinders and SportsHandle portals, for $21m. Rical LLC’s brands started out in the fantasy sports sector, but now also provide affiliate marketing for online betting and casino.Meanwhile, Better Collective also said that strong growth of new depositing customers (NDCs) to more than 85,000, up 27%, contributed to revenue growth.Revenue share income made up 69% of the company’s revenue, or €11.8m. Cost per acquisition (CPA) revenue brought in €2.4m, while subscription sales in the US contributed €1.4m of revenue. Other sources contributed €1.5m of revenue.However, the acquisitions also led to increased costs. Direct costs relating to revenue rose 40.4% year-on-year to €1.7m, while staff costs rose 70.2% to €5.5m. Depreciation costs increased almost four-fold to €202,000, while other external expenses rose 55.4% to €2.9m.Better Collective’s operating profit before amortisation and special items rose 42.9% to €6.8m. Amortisation costs rose 24.3% to €1.3m, bringing operating profit before special items to €5.5m, up 48%.After a €421,000 expenditure on special items, Better Collective’s operating profit totalled €5.1m, 41.1% more than in 2018.The affiliate group made €412,000 from financial income, but incurred €1m of financial expenses, leading to a pre-tax profit of €4.5m, up 31.7%.After paying €1.2m in tax, Better Collective posted an overall profit of €3.3m, 32.2% more than in 2018.The third quarter also saw Better Collective agree a new media partnership with British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, as well as with New Jersey-based news site NJ.com.“Q3 is normally a seasonally weak quarter with lower player activity and with most major sports leagues pausing in July and part of August,” Better Collective chief executive Jesper Søgaard said. “With that in mind, I am happy to see such strong business performance with the highest quarterly revenue in the company’s history.”“I am very proud of Better Collective being the chosen partner of such prominent media brands. I have high expectations that these partnerships will become an important part of our business in the future.” Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Finance Marketing & affiliates Affiliate marketing giant Better Collective reported record revenue of €17.1m for the third quarter of 2019, a 53.9% year-on-year increase, which the business said was largely attributable to acquisitions in the US and Sweden. Email Address Regions: Europe US Nordics Sweden 7th November 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Online Gambling Acquisitions power record quarter for Better Collective
Email Address Colorado legalises sports betting by referendum Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Colorado has legalised sports betting statewide through referendum, with the proposition (Proposition DD) receiving 51.1% of the vote.The race was called after a total of 756,720 people voted in favour of legalizing sports betting, while 723,665 voted against the proposition.The proposition read: “Shall state taxes be increased by twenty-nine million dollars annually to fund state water projects and commitments and to pay for the regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos by authorizing a tax on sports betting of ten percent of net sports betting proceeds, and to impose the tax on persons licensed to conduct sports betting?”The referendum was too close to call at the end of Tuesday (5 November) night and so stretched into Wednesday morning. However, the vote for the proposition exceeded the threshold to automatically trigger a recount, which occurs if the margin of victory less or equal to than 0.5% of the winning total. Regions: US Colorado Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting 7th November 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Colorado has legalised sports betting statewide through referendum, with the proposition receiving 51.1% of the vote. Legal & compliance