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The gaming industry continues to gallop towards growth and development. In the latest, GVC Holdings PLC, the company that took over online poker portal partypoker in 2015 has posted a strong growth of its online poker portfolio in the first half of 2018. GVC continues to grab a bigger share of the global gaming market.
The effects of Hurricane Florence have been of calamitous proportions but in a show of humanitarianism, Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City opened its door for the victims of this disaster and offered them free lodging.
Meanwhile, five out of the six casinos in Maryland had a good run in the month of August as evidenced by the increase in their monthly revenues.
In the Netherlands, gambling operators that currently face sanctions from the country’s regulators have been given a ‘time out’ of unspecified time period, during which they will not be able to re-apply for gaming licenses.
Continuing to take the gambling sector to task, China has now trained guns towards the former director of state-run China Welfare Lottery Issuance Management Center, Wan Suying, investigating charges of corruption.
The lower house of the Myanmar Parliament has approved a bill legalizing foreigner-only casinos which is a big step taken by the Asian country in favour of the gambling industry.
One of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, GVC Holdings PLC continues to register a strong growth graph. The company has reported a whopping 41% growth in the net gaming revenue on online poker in the first half of 2018, estimated at €60 Million.
This impressive growth is chiefly attributed to the revitalization of partypoker that GVC took over in 2015. When compared to the same period of 2017, partypoker grew by 36%, making it the fastest growing brand in the GVC stable. The strong growth also indicates GVC’s increasing presence in the online poker market.
The GVC report clubs sports brands together while poker and bingo are clubbed in its games brands offerings. According to the report, European shared liquidity has driven the online poker growth.
“Games brands NGR was 13% ahead, with partypoker.com NGR 36% ahead driven in part by a very successful live events programme and despite the impact of the withdrawal from Australia in 2017. In June we launched shared liquidity across France and Spain. Ahead of shared liquidity and post its implementation, France and Spain have been amongst our fastest growing markets,”the report observes.
While Italy is yet to join the enlarged EU player pool for partypoker, when it does, it is expected to have a major effect. In the U.S., if Pennsylvania joins the shared liquidity pool with New Jersey, Delware and Nevada, it would be doubling the market size.
Another important factor contributing to GVC’s online poker growth is the acquisition of Ladbrokes Gala Coral in March, a move that changed GVC’s portfolio from being an online-only company into one that has a large, real estate betting presence.
Natural disasters are as unpredictable as they are life-altering, but it is in the face of such calamities that true humanitarianism shines through. Hurricane Florence, which is a tropical storm, originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 30. Touted as ‘the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season’, Florence has already resulted in the death of eight people.
In such a catastrophic situation, the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey has made an offer of free accommodations to those displaced by the hurricane. The announcement was made on September 12, and by September 14 all the available rooms were already taken.
Chairman of Ocean Walk LLC Bruce Delfik said,“We completely understand the concern for families and the community during times like this. We want to do our part by providing somewhere safe, warm and dry to those impacted by Hurricane Florence.”
Guests seeking rooms were asked to provide a driver’s license showing “residence in the areas adversely affected and directly impacted by Hurricane Florence.”
The casino industry in Maryland is raking in the revenues with five out of the state’s six casinos witnessing an increase in the month of August.
MGM National Harbor is at the top according to report published by WTOP. “MGM National Harbor’s gaming revenue for last month totaled $58.3 Million, a 10.3% increase year-over-year and about 40% of the entire state’s gaming revenue.”
Hot on MGM’s heels is the Live! Casino & Hotel with $47 Million in revenue which is a 5.1% increase from August last year. Hollywood Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort also enjoyed a rise in their revenues, with only the Horsehoe Casino Baltimore suffering a 3.7% decline.
The online gaming industry in the Netherlands has been witnessing big waves of regulatory change and liberalization. Online gambling operators that currently face sanctions in the Netherlands will have to serve an unspecified ‘time out’, during which they will not be allowed to apply for licenses under the country’s new regulated market.
On Thursday, addressing a meeting of the Permanent Committee for Justice and Security, the Netherlands Minister for Justice and Security Sander Dekker stated that internationally licensed online gambling operators that have been penalized by the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body would not be eligible to operate in the country’s liberalized market for an unspecified period of time.
Dekker had in July, rejected the KSA’s stand to permanently exclude the sanctioned operators from acquiring new Dutch licenses. He reiterated his stand in Thursday’s meeting and propounded that a permanent ban would be legally disproportionate to the sanctioned operators’ alleged crimes. The KSA would, he assured, develop a policy that excludes sanctioned operators from the regulated market.
The Dutch government is currently conducting an open consultation on its Remote Gambling Bill. The country’s Christian Democratic Appeal party that had earlier strongly opposed the liberalization of online gambling is reported to have softened its stand after the bill was modified to include new consumer protection measures.
Following the ban on online poker in China, the country’s Ministry of Culture has been tightening the reins of control to check illegal gambling in the country. In the latest, a high ranking official of the China Welfare Lottery Issuance Management Center, the country’s sole form of legal gambling, has come under the purview of investigation.
This time it is China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs that has taken charge of investigating the alleged violations and corrupt practices by the official, identified as Wang Suying, former director of the Center.
Suying is being evaluated for disciplinary reasons for alleged “serious violations of the Community Party discipline.” Wang joined the welfare lottery in 2008 and retired in May 2017. She is the fifth lottery official to be accused to corruption charges in the past 18 months. Prior to her, her predecessor at the Management Center, Bao Xuequan, and Xuequan’s former deputy Wang Yunge were booted out for allegedly abusing their positions for personal gain. In 2017, two other senior lottery officials had been demoted on similar charges.
Notably in 2015, China’s National Audit Office had announced that it had uncovered evidence that senior lottery officials were misusing billions of dollars in lottery funds. According to the Audit office, between 2012 and 2014, roughly one-quarter of the government’s revenue from lottery sales was misappropriated to fund officials’ purchases of property and other goods and expenses.
The same year, the Chinese government decided to temporarily suspend online lottery sales. With China’s Ministry of Finance having recently redefined the term ‘illegal lottery’ to include any welfare of sports lottery tickets sold on the internet without authorization, the Chinese government is clearly aiming to bring its state-owned lottery under a stronger purview of law, as well.
A bill legalizing gambling for foreigners only has been passed by the lower house of Myanmar’s Parliament.
Regarding the passing of the bill, Parliamentarian Nay Myo Tun said, “The Public Affairs Management committee submitted the proposal to the Bill committee which forwarded it to the Parliament. It was discussed by 12 MPs at Parliament. They amended some phrases in the bill. This is not a casino law. The casino law has many sections.”
However, there was one amendment made to the bill during session. A new section was added which states, “only the Internal Revenue Department under the Ministry of Planning and Finance can operate the state lottery, and that the Union government can allow for the setting up of casinos at designated areas, for foreigners only.”
With approval by the lower house, the bill will go to the Parliament’s upper house, the House of Nationalities, for approval, before being submitted to the President.