Racing and ADW drive growth for Churchill Downs in 2018

first_img Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Strategy Poker Slots Table games Horse racing Regions: US AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 28th February 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino Slot Machines Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter US racetrack and casino operator Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has cited its racing and online advance deposit wagering (ADW) divisions as key drivers of a 14.3% year-on-year increase in revenue for 2018.Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 grew to $1.01bn, boosted by a 6.8% increase in revenue from the racing division to $295.4m. This was driven by a successful Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks week perfomance, the highest profile week in the US racing calendar. This, CDI said, helped offset a $1.8m decline in revenue from its Arlington racetrack, and a $0.4m dip in revenue from other sources.The online wagering division, which offers online advance deposit wagering under the TwinSpires brand across 30 states, also enjoyed a strong year. Net revenue was up 16.1%, due to handle growth of 8.3%, which beat the US throughbred industry average by five percentage points, and new accounting standards which shifted the classification of net revenue, marketing and content operating expenses. This division will include results from CDI’s licensed sportsbook offering in New Jersey, which launched in January this year.The casino division also grew, with revenue up 17.3% to $411.2m. This operating segment was boosted by a number of developments, namely CDI consolidating the Ocean Downs racino in Saratoga, New York from September 1, 2018, which contributed an additional $25.9m to the full-year total.CDI noted that growth was also aided by an $11.2m increase in revenue from the Oxford Casino Hotel in Maine, with the hotel and an expanded gaming floor opening to customers in December 2017. The Florida-based Calder Casino, meanwhile saw revenue grow $10.7m, due in part to a competitor being closed as a result of Hurricane Irma, which hit the state on September 10.The operator also saw revenue from other investments grow 59.5% to $37.8m, which CDI attributed to the opening of the Derby City Gaming facility in Kentucky in September last year. CDI’s social gaming arm Big Fish Games, which was sold to Aristocrat Technologies in January 2018, is not included in net revenue, operating income and adjusted EBITDA.Despite the growth in revenue CDI managed to keep costs under control. Total operating expenses were up 11.3% year-on-year at $188.8m, as a result of marginal increases across most divisions, with casino expenses of $284.1m the largest single cost base. In total, operating profit for the year amounted to $182.6m from continuing operations. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 15% year-on-year at $328.8m.However the operator saw income boosted by net income from discontinued operations totalling $170.2m, as well as benefitting from a number of US tax changes. It received $42.3m net of tax gain on the transaction to acquire the stake in the Ocean Downs property.CDI’s income tax bill for the year was also reduced by $27.0m as a result of the federal corporate income tax rate being cut from 35% to 21%, effective January 1, 2018. In addition, the fourth quarter of 2017 saw the operator hit with a $26.5m non-cash, after-tax asset impairment charges and losses on the extinguishment of debt, which did not reoccur in FY2018. This, CDI noted, made it hard to compare profits on a like-for-like basis.This was partially offset by a non-recurring $57.7m provisional tax benefit recorded in Q4 2017, and a $5.5m after-tax increase in higher transaction costs and pre-launch expenses related to Derby City Gaming.Excluding these items, CDI’s 2018 net profit grew by an additional $27.6m, due to a $21.8m after-tax increase driven by the strong results of its operating segments and equity income from unconsolidated affiliates. It also saw net interest expenses decline by $5.8m, as a result of the business having lower outstanding debt.This resulted in CDI posting a net profit of $352.8m for 2018, of which $170.2m came from discontinued operations. In comparison, 2017 net profit stood at $140.5m, of which $122.4m came from continuing operations, with $18.1m from discontinued elements.For the fourth quarter of 2018, revenue was up 22.4% at $219.0m, with all operating segments reporting year-on-year growth. However, net profit for the quarter was down 70.2% year-on-year at $11.4m, with the 2017 figure skewed by a non-recurring $77.8m income tax benefit. Racing and ADW drive growth for Churchill Downs in 2018 US racetrack and casino operator Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has cited its racing and online advance deposit wagering (ADW) divisions as key drivers of a 14.3% year-on-year increase in revenue for 2018. Casino & games Email Addresslast_img read more

IGT seals bingo supply deal with Finland’s Veikkaus

first_img Regions: Europe Nordics Finland International Game Technology (IGT) has signed an agreement to provide Finnish state-owned gaming operator Veikkaus with its PlayBingo platform. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 16th September 2019 | By contenteditor International Game Technology (IGT) has signed an agreement to provide Finnish state-owned gaming operator Veikkaus with its PlayBingo platform.The four-year deal, which comes with the option for a two-year extension, has been awarded following a procurement process that sees IGT replace the operator’s previously bingo technology provider.IGT will supply Veikkaus with a range of product variants such as picture and roulette bingo products, as well as branded content and customisable games. Ongoing marketing and product support will also be provided through the agreement.“Based on our experience in WLA markets in Europe and North America, PlayBingo has proven to be a significant factor in player acquisition and player retention, while driving growth across our customers’ entire suite of digital product offerings,” Declan Harkin, senior vice president and chief operating officer of IGT’s International business unit, said.“By adding the new PlayBingo platform to its programme, Veikkaus is once again demonstrating its position as one of the most technologically advanced lotteries in the world, and as an operator committed to responsibly entertaining its players.”The deal extends a relationship that began in 1989. IGT currently provides Veikkaus with its core lottery central system, as well as online casino content via its PlayCasino platform, and land-based games.It is the latest technology partnership struck by Veikkaus this year, which has seen it select SBTech to provide a new sportsbook solution and agree an online casino supply deal with NetEnt as it looks to grow igaming revenue.Amid persistent criticism of the operator’s monopoly status persisting, Veikkaus has stepped up its player protection efforts in recent weeks, announcing a series of new controls following the publication of its results for the first half of the year.While the H1 results revealed across the board declines in revenue, chief executive Olli Sarekoski said this was evidence of its social responsibility measures succeeding. Bingo Topics: Casino & games Bingo IGT seals bingo supply deal with Finland’s Veikkaus Tags: Mobile Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more

CMA clears Inspired to acquire Gaming Technology Group

first_img Email Address The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given its approval to Inspired Entertainment’s proposed acquisition of Gaming Technology Group (GTG), a division of Austrian gaming equipment and solutions giant Novomatic’s UK subsidiary. 20th September 2019 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Finance CMA clears Inspired to acquire Gaming Technology Groupcenter_img Topics: Finance Legal & compliance Strategy Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given its approval to Inspired Entertainment’s proposed acquisition of Gaming Technology Group (GTG), a division of Austrian gaming equipment and solutions giant Novomatic’s UK subsidiary.In June, Inspired entered into a definitive agreement to purchase GTG for $120m (£96.1m/€108.8m). The deal covers the six companies within GTG, including Gamestec Leisure, Playnation Limited, AstraGames Limited, Bell-FruitGroup Limited, Harlequin Gaming Limited and Innov8 Gaming Limited.Inspired, which required the CMA’s approval to proceed with the acquisition, now said it expects to complete the purchase on or about October 1, 2019, subject to various other customary closing conditions.“We are pleased to have received approval from the CMA and are grateful for their diligence and efficiency in reviewing the transaction,” Inspired’s executive chairman, Lorne Weil, said.“The anticipated successful completion of this acquisition is expected to be an exciting step forward in the evolution of Inspired into a global gaming company with a comprehensive portfolio of products and services and world-class functional expertise in the gaming industry.”Upon announcing the initial agreement, Inspired said GTG’s Category B3, C and D games businesses would complement its B2 and B3-focused operations, allowing it to diversify its UK business and expand into new sectors.Gamestec supplies UK pubs with various gaming machines, while Innov8 Gaming is a gaming machine developer providing Category B3 and C gaming machines within NTG and to external customers. Playnation provides terminals for the UK holiday and leisure industry.AstraGames manufactures and provides Category B, C and D gaming machines, whereas Bell-FruitGroup mainly sells Category C machines to European markets. Harlequin Gaming runs as the game development studio for both AstraGames and Bell-FruitGroup.Should the acquisition go through as expected, Inspired would manage more than 75,000 gaming machines across the UK and Europe.last_img read more

Niedersachsen minister: more payment blocking orders to come

first_img Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Germany Topics: Legal & compliance Niedersachsen minister: more payment blocking orders to come Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Lower Saxony’s (Niedersachsen)  Minister of the Interior and Sports, Boris Pistorius, has issued a letter to the German banking industry warning banks against processing payments for unlicenced gambling websites and saying further payment blocking orders may come soon. Email Address 3rd February 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Lower Saxony’s (Niedersachsen) Minister of the Interior and Sports, Boris Pistorius, has issued a letter to the German banking industry warning banks against processing payments for unlicenced gambling websites and saying further payment blocking orders may come soon.Pistorius wrote to members of Germany’s five leading banking industry associations to remind them that under Germany’s third state treaty on gambling, payment providers may not facilitate payments towards illegal gambling.As part of the treaty, the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports was charged with enforcing this ban.In June 2019, the ministry issued its first payment blocking order to an unnamed payment provider. While it has not yet issued another, Pistorius warned that “further prohibition orders are expected to follow.”Pistorius said that the ban on processing these payments was an essential piece of the country’s gambling framework.“This prohibition on participation applies immediately and obliges the payment service providers to take appropriate measures on their own responsibility,” Pistorius said. “This is based on the consideration that an essential part of the infrastructure required for the operation of unauthorised gambling would be lost and that the action against unauthorised gambling could be sustainable if payment service providers behaved legally and did not make corresponding payments.”Pistorius noted that as it was difficult to take action against offshore gambling operators, stopping payments was the most effective way to crack down on illegal gambling such as online poker and secondary lotteries. “Since the gaming providers are usually based abroad (especially in Malta and Gibraltar), where they largely elude the access of the German supervisory authorities, the legislators also made the parties involved in payment transactions directly responsible,” Pistorius said.“It is up to the individual company to decide which measures it makes sense to take to effectively and permanently comply with the ban.”The Third State Treaty on Gambling will only last until 30 June, 2021, after which the Fourth State Treaty will come into effect. The current draft of the treaty would retain the monopoly structure of Germany’s state lottery industry, while also lifting prohibition on online casino and allowing for sports betting, legalised in the third State Treaty to continue.However, the draft treaty does include several restrictions, including a ban on live betting and over/under betting, as well as a €1,000 deposit limit across all operators. in addition, the current version of the treaty would include a €1 per spin stake limit on slots, a ban on autoplay and an extension of the state monopoly on online casino, or “virtual bankholder games.” Tags: Payments Legal & compliancelast_img read more

Spanish national lottery suspends ticket sales

first_img16th March 2020 | By contenteditor CSR Tags: Charitable Gaming Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Spain’s initiation of a countrywide lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has prompted state-owned lottery operator Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE) to suspend all ticket sales. Spanish national lottery suspends ticket sales Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Spain’s initiation of a countrywide lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has prompted state-owned lottery operator Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE) to suspend all ticket sales.As of 15 March, the sale of tickets at all points of sale and online, as well as the payment of prizes of less than €2,000 (£1,816/$2,240) has been suspended.All draws taking place from 16 March onwards are postponed until a later date, with all tickets purchased to date to remain valid when the draws are finally held.The EuroMillions and El Millón draws scheduled for 17 and 20 March will be held as scheduled, though no more tickets will be sold.With citizens ordered to remain at home, the deadlines for claiming and collecting winnings will be extended.Some financial institutions such as banks will remain open, meaning it is possible for prizes over €2,000 to be collected. However, SELAE recommends that players do not go to these establishments for this purpose, as a result of the extended deadlines.All measures will remain in force until the state of emergency is declared over. At the time of writing, the lockdown is due to be in effect for at least two weeks, during which time citizens are banned from leaving their homes unless to buy essential supplies and medicines or for work.Covid-19 has already led to widespread disruption for the gambling industry, which began with all Italian retail gaming outlets being shuttered earlier this month. Countries including Belgium and the Netherlands have also shut their casinos, while almost all major sports leagues have suspended fixtures at least until 3 April.Over the weekend casinos in a number of US states also closed their doors as measures against the virus are stepped up. Regions: Europe Southern Europe Spain Topics: Lottery People Social responsibility CSRlast_img read more

Covid-19 crisis prompts PMU to furlough employees

first_imgHorse racing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced French horse racing giant Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to temporarily reduce work for the vast majority of its staff. The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced French horse racing giant Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to temporarily reduce work for the vast majority of its staff.With French horse racing suspended since 17 March, PMU has ceased marketing its products and services at points of sale across France. It is, however, continuing to offer sports betting and poker, as well as betting on international racing, online.As the company works to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, as much as 95% of its 1,250 employees are now “partially unemployed” according to managing director Cyril Linette.“The world is going through an unprecedented crisis,” Linette said. “We must adapt to protect the health of our employees, customers and partners by limiting the spread of the virus.”The furloughing of employees was carried out in accordance with recommendations from the French Ministry of Labour, and was unanimously supported by staff representatives at an extraordinary meeting of the operator’s Social and Economic Committee.“I would like to salute the efforts of all PMU teams in recent weeks to deal with this extraordinary situation,” Linette said. “We hope this period of partial activity will be as short as possible.”He said that PMU’s business had enjoyed a strong upward trend in recent months. The operator would “make every effort to regain this dynamism as soon as possible” in order to protect tens of thousands of jobs in the horse racing sector that are supported by PMU’s funding, he added.PMU said it was working alongside France Galop, the governing body for flat and steeplechase racing, and harness racing organiser LeTrot on plans to relaunch once the crisis is over. Email Address Covid-19 crisis prompts PMU to furlough employees 26th March 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: People Sports betting Horse racing Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe Western Europe Francelast_img read more

Norway’s Lotterinemnda upholds Kindred blocking order

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Europe Nordics Norway Tags: Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Norway’s Lotterinemnda upholds Kindred blocking order Kindred Group subsidiary Trannel International’s ban from operating in Norway has been upheld by the country’s Lottery Board (Lotterinemnda) and the operator must now stop offering online gambling to Norwegian customers.Lotterinemnda, an independent body that adjudicates on complaints and operates under the Ministry of Culture, rejected Kindred’s appeal against a ruling by Norwegian gambling regulator Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet), issued in April 2019.That saw Kindred ordered to cease operations in Norway, after the operator was accused of illegally targeting Norwegian players with brands including Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and BingoLottstift. This outright ban came after Lotteritilsynet had imposed payment-blocking orders on the Kindred sites, and six other operators.The regulator noted that the sites can be viewed in Norwegian, with deposits and bonuses are in Norwegian currency and pointed out Kindred offers Norwegian-language customer support. In addition, it marketed its offerings through TV commercials that aired in Norway – but were broadcast on satellite channels based in other countries – and used Norwegian ambassadors, Norwegian press release services and Norwegian social media channels.The regulator said at the time that Kindred would have to remove all Norwegian language services and imagery from the site if it was to avoid being blocked by internet service providers. It was also ordered to stop processing deposits and withdrawals in Norweigan Krone, stop advertising in local media and using local public figures as ambassadors. Finally, it said Kindred must not use payment solutions specifically designed for the Norwegian market.Lotteritilsynet pointed out that Kindred had also been running various other sites used by local players, but it was of the opinion that the operator had been actively targeting Norwegian players via Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and BingoLottstift.Kindred said at the time it would appeal the ruling to both the Ministry of Culture and Lotterinemnda.In its response, Kindred argued Lotteritilsynet had been inconsistent in whether it was referring to gambling directed “to Norway” or gambling that takes place “in Norway”. The regulator did not have the authority to make decisions against games offered from Malta, Kindred claimed, without interfering with another nation’s sovereignty.In addition, Kindred argued that Norsk Tipping’s exclusive right to offer certain games and lotteries is a restriction on the free movement of services.Lotterinemnda ultimately ruled in favour of Lotteritilsynet, citing guidance from the Datakrimutvalget, a government committee formed to develop best practice for tackling cybercrime, including online gambling.“In normal cases where a website is made by foreigners abroad and published on a foreign server, this will fall outside Norwegian jurisdiction,” the Committee wrote in 2007. “Exceptions to this principle can be envisaged if, for example, there are sites that are specifically designed for use in Norway and where the negative consequences mainly or exclusively manifest themselves here.“An example is websites with gaming services that are marketed directly to the Norwegian market, for example by the site having Norwegian text. This could then be considered as crime that has been committed abroad, but which has an effect in Norway and must therefore be punishable here where the effect occurs.”Lotterinemnda said that if this jurisdiction abroad applies to law enforcement it should also apply to regulators.Kindred’s argument that the decision interfered with Maltese sovereignty was also rejected, with Lotterinemnda saying it did not hold up to scrutiny.“Lotterinemnda also does not believe that Lotteritilsynet’s decision interferes with the sovereignty of another state,” it said. “The relevant websites will continue to exist and may still be directed at customers in other countries where such gaming activities are permitted.”In addition, the board said it had ruled on Norsk Tipping’s exclusive rights model in the recent past and said it “cannot see that there are circumstances that warrant a different assessment today”.Kindred’s appeal was already rejected by the Ministry of Culture, on 7 January 2020.Lotteritilsynet senior advisor Trude Felde said the regulator would now ask Kindred whether it intends to comply with the ruling. Felde added that the ruling confirmed that enforcement action against offshore operators should target those that explicitly adapted their offerings in order to target Norwegian customers.“This is an important confirmation that we are interpreting regulations correctly,” she said.The operator is yet to comment on the ruling. Kindred Group subsidiary Trannel International’s ban from operating in Norway has been upheld by the country’s Lottery Board (Lotterinemnda) and the operator must now stop offering online gambling to Norwegian customers. 14th May 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Email Address Legal & compliance Topics: Legal & compliancelast_img read more

CDI to reopen five more US casino properties

first_img Email Address Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 12th June 2020 | By contenteditor Regions: US CDI to reopen five more US casino propertiescenter_img Topics: Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has announced that it is to reopen five more of its casinos across Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania.Casinos will begin to resume activities from today (June 12), with CDI to stagger the reopenings across the next seven days, after all of the locations were forced to temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Calder Casino in Miami Gardens, Florida, and the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania, will both reopen today.Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana, will then reopen tomorrow, following CDI’s decision to resume activities at its 12 off-track betting locations in the state last month.Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, Maryland, and Miami Valley Gaming – the 50-50 50 joint venture with Delaware North in Lebanon, Ohio – are both scheduled to reopen to customers from June 19.Read the full story on iGB North America. Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has announced that it is to reopen five more of its casinos across Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania.last_img read more

Rank Group gifts Ipswich shirt sponsorship to Carers Trust

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland Casino & games League One football team Ipswich Town FC today unveiled its new home kit for the 2020-21 season, prominently featuring the logo of Carers Trust, a long-standing charity partner of team sponsor The Rank Group.Under the existing sponsorship, the club’s strip currently features the logo of Rank-owned online casino brand Magical Vegas.The Rank Group has ‘gifted’ the branding opportunity to Carers Trust, an organisation which aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by unpaid carers in the UK. According to NHS figures, there are around 5.4 million unpaid carers in England alone.Commenting on the decision, Rank chief executive John O’Reilly said: “We’re proud of our partnership with Carers Trust and we’re continually looking at ways in which we can further support the charity. We’re delighted that this sponsorship will shine a much needed spotlight on the fantastic work Carers Trust do in supporting unpaid carers across the UK,”Carers Trust’s CEO, Gareth Howells, said: “We are thrilled to see unpaid carers recognised with the Carers Trust logo featured on such a special commemorative shirt. On behalf of all the unpaid carers we work with, I’d like to wish Ipswich Town every success for the new season.”It comes amid a growing trend of operators ‘gifting’ branding opportunities to good causes. In 2019, gaming giant Paddy Power rolled out its ‘save our shirt’ campaign, in which it removed its logos from football strips in an act of ‘unsponsorship’.Similarly, GVC’s Betdaq last year gifted its shirt sponsorship of Sunderland FC to the charity Children with Cancer UK as part of the operator’s efforts to phase out sports sponsorship.In February this year, major operators told the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry they would consider a voluntary ban on football shirt sponsorships, to address concerns about the quantity of gambling advertising sports fans are exposed to.Shirt sponsorships and in-venue branding again came under fire in today’s (2 July) Lords report, in which the select committee set out its recommendations, gathered from consultations and hearings since its creation in 2019. “Gambling operators should no longer be allowed to advertise on the shirts of sports teams or any other part of their kit,” the report concluded. “There should be no gambling advertising in or near any sports grounds or sports venues, including sports programmes.”For lower league clubs, it said, there should not be an immediate halt to gambling sponsorship, and instead a phased withdrawal by 2023. League One football team Ipswich Town FC today unveiled its new home kit for the 2020-21 season, prominently featuring the logo of Carers Trust, a long-standing charity partner of team sponsor The Rank Group. 2nd July 2020 | By Conor Mulheir Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Rank Group gifts Ipswich shirt sponsorship to Carers Trust Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more

XP Esports & Gambling Podcast: Episode 3

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Esports Podcast: Play in new window | Download AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter This week, Will catches up with Magnus Leppäniemi, the VP of Marketing and Head of Esports for the Esports Entertainment Group (EEG), Grant Johnson, EEG CEO, and Jeff Cohen, EEG Vice President of Strategic Planning and Investor Relations. XP Esports & Gambling Podcast: Episode 3 26th November 2020 | By Aaron Noy Topics: Esports Email Addresslast_img read more