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Gaming Report: Delta Corp Stock Price Falls Despite Healthy Q3 Results, West Virginia Introduces Online Poker Bill & More

Gaming Report Jan 11
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  • Arpit Jain January 11, 2019
  • 8 Minutes Read

India’s gaming giant Delta Corp’s share price saw a 2% dip on the BSE despite the company reporting better results for the quarter ended December 2018.

Moving over to the U.S where for the third time, the Mountain State of West Virginia has introduced a bill to legalize online poker. In Netherlands, a Dutch court has exempted poker players from paying European Tax for winnings on PokerStars as the company is based out of Malta.

Meanwhile, it looks like it will take time for Washington D.C. to enforce the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 that will usher sports betting into the capital district. A D.C. Council meeting held earlier this week was to discuss the Act, but the issue was put on hold.

In other news, former Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval has joined Las Vegas-based casino giant, the MGM Resorts as the new president of the company’s Global Gambling Development. Sandoval stepped down from the Governor’s chair just this week.

 

Delta Corp Share Price Slips Despite Good Q3 Results

The country`s only BSE-listed gaming company, Delta Corp’s share price saw a 2% dip yesterday in the early trade session despite the company disclosing a healthy Q3 result that reflected a 13% increase in profits of ₹50.53 crores versus ₹44.74 crores and a 27% increase in revenue to ₹205.81 crore versus ₹162.17 crore, year-on-year (YoY).

delta-corp-india-casino-revenue

According to market analysts, the Q3 numbers were expected to be much higher which resulted in the correction.

Delta Corp’s consolidated December Net Sales were reported at ₹205.81 Crores (up 26.91% YoY) while its standalone Net Sales were at Rs 123.03 crore, (up 21.11% YoY)

Notably, the company declared interim dividend at 60 percent i.e. Rs. 0.60 per equity share and will ascertain entitlement for the payment on January 21.

Last year in fiscal quarter Q2, its net revenue grew 39%, while its consolidated net profit showed an 11% growth.

The company operates four casino properties in Goa, and one in Sikkim apart from it`s online gaming ventures like Adda52.com.

 

West Virginia Once Again Introduces Online Poker Bill

In a bid to become the fifth US state to legalize online poker, West Virginia has once again introduced legislation to that effect.

West Virginia

The other four states that legally permit online poker in the U.S. are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and the most recent – Pennsylvania. However, online poker players in Pennsylvania have been kept waiting for sometime now as the state is still working on implementing the legislation that was passed near the end of 2017.

This is the third time in a row that the Mountain State has introduced a bill to legalize online poker. Two failed attempts in 2017 and 2018 have certainly not been a deterrent for the state, as this week Rep. Shawn Fluharty formally introduced a bill to legalize online gaming.

In 2018 the bill was introduced late in the session and it could not come through. Fluharty who was pushing the bill last year has once again taken the lead this year too along with co-sponsor Rep. Joe Canestraro.

The bill proposes the following:

  • It will allow the state’s five brick-and-mortar casinos to operate an online gaming site, which includes Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, The Casino Club at the Greenbrier, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, and Wheeling Island Hotel.
  • The license cost for these casinos would be $50,000 each.
  • Operators would be taxed 14% on gross gaming revenue.
  • The WV Lottery Commission, which oversees sports betting in the state, would be in charge of interactive gaming as well under the bill.

Sports betting has only recently been legalized the state with sportsbooks opening up in the state’s five casinos. There has also been news about the launch of the first mobile sports betting app in the state, BetLucky.

It’s not an easy process to get a bill passed, but this year the prospects looks better as the Lottery Commission is looking for ways to generate revenue for the state. For now, the bill will first have to be referred to a committee who will consider the bill and report back to the members of the House and Senate. It will be read, amended, and then read a second time before being debated by the members of the legislature. If it is passed by one chamber, it moves on to the second chamber where the entire process is repeated. Only then will the bill go to Gov. Jim Justice, who needs to sign it for it to become law.

If the governor vetoes the bill, the decision can be overridden in the legislature by a simple majority in both chambers of the legislature.

It’s still a wait and watch game but at least poker players in West Virginia now have a sliver of hope!

 

Dutch Court Favors PokerStars & Exempts Players From Paying Tax

The world’s largest online poker company, The Stars Group operated PokerStars came out on top in a case between the Dutch tax authority and Dutch online poker players as the Den Bosch court of Netherlands finally decided in favor of the players.

Netherlands Online Poker

The court in it`s decision exempted poker players in Netherland from paying European tax on winnings on PokerStars and ruled that the tax applied to EU members cannot be set on the PokerStars player base as the company was located in Malta.

The argument from the tax authorities was that PokerStars is based in the Isle of Man, but the court agreed with poker players, who argued that it’s based in Malta.

Pepijn le Heux who represented between 75 – 100 poker players said that as a result of the ruling, some players will not need to pay tax demands as high as €500,000. Players will now be allowed to claim back the cash, unless the tax office decides to appeal to the Supreme Court before the case decision hits its deadline in six weeks.

 

Washington DC Sports Betting Act Put on Hold

The U.S. Capital, Washington D.C. was well on its way to legalize sports betting as it was one of the states included in the to-be implemented Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018. The legislation was passed by the D.C. Council with a big majority on December 18. However, after a hearing by the D.C. Council that was held earlier this week on Tuesday, it seems that the Act will take time to be enforced.

Chairman of the council, Phil Mendelson withdrew the emergency legislation that envisaged giving exclusivity to the D.C. Lottery in the early stages of the implementation of the Act.

Sports Betting Washington

Had the emergency bill been enforced it would have given the D.C. Lottery preference to run a mobile app where bets could be placed within the district. The other operators would be required to take on a lengthy licensing process to fulfill formalities with the D.C. Council through the year.

The current bill already identifies the D.C. Lottery as the regulatory body for sports betting in the district and currently awaits the signatory approval of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. Once through, the process for formulation of rules and regulations for regulators would follow.

Since the emergency legislation was withdrawn, instead of voting on the measure, the Council instead decided to hold hearings on the bidding process before finalizing the implementation of the Act.

Critics of the Act also want that other operators and gambling sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings to be allowed to operate in the district. For now, it looks like D.C. Lottery will be the only provider for sports betting in Washington D.C., at least through 2019.

 

Former Nevada Governor Joins MGM Resorts

Just a day after he relinquished the chair of the Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval has joined MGM Resorts as the new president of the company’s Global Gambling Development. Sandoval will help the Las Vegas-based company in its international expansion plans, particularly in emerging markets like Japan where the government passed legislation in July 2018 for allowing three casino resorts.

Brian Sandoval
Brian Sandoval

Disclosing Sandoval’s coming on-board, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts Jim Murren said, “Few leaders are as widely respected, accomplished and knowledgeable as Brian Sandoval, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him as part of the MGM family. Governor Sandoval brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership and experience to the company, and we will benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy and economic development.”

Before his tenure as the Nevada Governor, Sandoval served as a federal judge and also as the 30th Attorney-General of Nevada. The 55-year old Republican assumed office of Nevada’s Governor in 2011 and continued his tenure till earlier this week, when he handed the reins to Democrat Steve Sisolak. As Governor of the U.S. state, Sandoval was hugely popular for his key accomplishments in workforce development, innovative gaming policy, health, economic, public education, and other sectors. Sandoval reinstituted the Gaming Policy Committee and was the leading support for the legalization of sports gaming.

In his official statement, Sandoval said, “As I return to the private sector for the first time in over 20 years, finding the right professional opportunity to best suit my experience as a former legislator, gaming regulator, Attorney General, federal judge and Governor was important to me.”

He went on to add, “MGM Resorts is a global leader in gaming and entertainment, and I look forward to joining the MGM team led by Jim Murren, someone who I greatly respect. Jim has formed critical relationships in Japan and in sports, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.”

With Sandoval joining the MGM team, company president Bill Hornbuckle will lead the global casino marketing and assume responsibility for leveraging MGM Resorts’ worldwide assets and reputation to push revenue growth.

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