Penn National Gaming snaps up social bingo firm

first_imgBingo Topics: Casino & games Tech & innovation Bingo Social gaming Penn National Gaming snaps up social bingo firm 18th June 2018 | By contenteditor Penn National Gaming has completed the acquisition Las Vegas-based social bingo games developer Absolute Games. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that Absolute will now be integrated into the Penn Interactive Ventures division. Penn Interactive Ventures operates the company’s various social casino products such as Hollywoodcasino.com and Viva Slots Vegas. Absolute will be based at the Penn Interactive Ventures site in Las Vegas, with its existing management team to continue to run day-to-day operations. “There is significant synergy between social casino and social bingo games, and we have been seeking to add a social bingo product to our portfolio,” Penn Interactive Ventures senior vice-president and managing director, Chris Sheffield, said. “We are very impressed with the achievements and team at Absolute Games and see an opportunity to grow the business through cross promotion to our large land-based and social casino databases.” Pokin Yeung, chief executive of Absolute, added: “We are delighted to join the Penn National family and leverage their expertise and nationwide reach to take our game development capabilities to the next level. “Tying our innovative gaming expertise to a traditional casino operator with a qualified database of customers will create unmatched opportunities for both Absolute Games and Penn National.”Related article: Penn National shareholders approve Pinnacle merger Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Penn National Gaming has completed the acquisition Las Vegas-based social bingo games developer Absolute Gameslast_img read more

Delaware sports wagers slip to $14.7m in October

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Race Track and Racino Punters won $14.2m from sports bets, pushing net proceeds down 15th November 2018 | By contenteditor Regions: US Delaware AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Delaware punters won more from sports wagers during October, despite spending around $2m (£1.6m/€1.8m) less than in the previous month.Total sports wagers amounted to $14.7m over the month ended October 28th, down from $16.8m in September.Delaware Park remained the venue of choice for the majority of players in the US state, with $10.6m bet on sports in October, some way ahead of Dover Downs on $2.2m and Harrington Raceway with $1.9m.However, despite betting less, punters walked away with greater winnings, with the total amount won by players in October rising to $14.2m.As a result, net proceeds for casinos in Delaware dropped to just $448,600, the lowest monthly total since the state moved to legalise sports betting after the repeal of PASPA earlier this year.The net proceeds figure is in stark contrast what casinos enjoyed in September, when they took in $3.2m from $16.8m in bets. The September figures were the highest Delaware has reported in its short history of regulation.From when Delaware launched its regulated sports betting market on June 5 to the end of October, punters have bet a total of $54.5m on sports wagers in the state.In contrast, New Jersey, which has also moved to legalise sports betting after the ruling on PASPA, took $184m in September alone. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is due to announce its results for October later today (Thursday). Casino & games Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Horse racing Delaware sports wagers slip to $14.7m in October Email Addresslast_img read more

NY sportsbook revenue more than doubles again in September

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: US New York NY sportsbook revenue more than doubles again in September Email Address Finance Topics: Finance Sports betting New York’s four licensed sports betting operators took in a combined $2.3m in sports betting revenue, up 175.3% month-on-month, as two casinos published their first full-month revenues for the vertical.Since its launch in July, regulated sports betting in New York has now generated $3.5m in revenue, as the revenue generated from every casino increased from August’s figures.Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady’s Rush Street Interactive-powered sportsbook took in the most money, as it had done in each of the two previous months, with $903,892, up 102.2% from August.However, second-placed del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo significantly closed the gap in its first full month of sports betting operations, bringing in $836,929. That figure marked a 375.5% increase upon August’s revenue, which was based on only nine days of wagering after the DraftKings-branded sportsbook at del Lago opened on 23 August.Read more on iGB North America. 14th October 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more

Startup Spotlight: Betting on autopilot

first_img Regions: Europe Baltics Central and Eastern Europe Estonia Ukraine Startup Spotlight: Betting on autopilot A project to automate betting strategies for personal use has evolved into Fireswan, an app that aims to disrupt the sportsbook market using artificial intelligence. Co-founder Maksym Shyroki talks iGaming Business through its development.What does Fireswan do? Fireswan is a rapidly growing tool that assists those looking to bet on sports. Our application is designed to make the process fast and easy to automate strategies, utilising complex algorithms supported by artificial intelligence technology.The application simplifies the process of finding picks for those new to the world of sports betting through to those who are old hands at taking a punt. We plan to offer a large number of easy to follow betting strategies for a variety of sports across the globe, so our users have a choice.How did you come up with the idea? My business partner and I are interested in sports betting. Being a software specialists with over 15 years of shared experience, we thought that our own betting strategies could be automated, so we just need to give an instruction to the software for it to do the job for us. It was decided to create the simple app for internal purposes, but when we released the very first version of this application we realised that it may be interesting for other punters and invited a limited number of people from Reddit to try out what we did.The feedback we received exceeded our expectations. People who tried the app started to ask about more features and people who just discovered the app asked about access to beta version. We evolved, changed a lot of things and are finally crafting what we think the app should be.How does it work? Does it require buy-in from the experienced bettors to make it work? Or can you fully automate the process? We offer betting strategies which are generating the picks on a regular basis. Any person with different  betting skills can easily follow the strategy and place recommended picks with the bookmaker of their choice. For now it’s semi-automated process, however we are planning a small “revolution” in sports betting by offering fully automated betting using Fireswan strategies. We call it autopilot, and this is what we presented to the industry players at the World Gaming Executive Summit (WGES) this summer.How do you position the business; do you see it as a tool for novice bettors to learn, or for experienced players to increase their wins? We are building a tool that will be useful for bettors of any level. It used to be a bit more complicated in the past, when we asked users to create their own strategies using in-app builder, but then we realised that the less decisions user makes and the less user does – the more pleasant experience they have. So now, you have to be 18 years old to start using Fireswan. It is an easy process in a world full of tipsters and human error. At the moment we position our app as an analytical and recommendations tool with the potential to be an investment instrument for betting.Do you plan to work with the wider betting industry, such as through partnerships with operators? The future autopilot feature will most likely be integrated with operators. However, the final decision is yet to be made as we are on alpha testing stage now and trying to understand the pros and cons of such integrations. What sort of funding have you raised? This business is self funding at the moment. We decided that the freedom to make our own decisions is more important on this stage of product life cycle and didn’t look for funding actively. However we did have a couple of meetings with potential investors to explore the future partnership when this business will have to scale.How have you found the fundraising process? Has it been hard work or have you found that the quality of your product has attracted investors? The fundraising process is tough by default. As I stated before we haven’t done much effort to find investors. I think, when your product attracts users across the world and industry people, the funding is a matter of time. As we like to say in our team, it is another business task. Currently we are in the final stage to be accepted to “Acceleradar” program by Sportradar. It is not funding yet, but something that opens opportunities.Do you have much interaction with other startups? How has this helped the development of Fireswan? We do indeed. I would say that this is one of the most existing things doing the new business. We realised that sharing ideas and problems with other people from your domain helps to find the best solutions and make the most effective decisions. Thanks to Jonny Robb and his GamblingStartup.Ventures, for example, we’ve been invited to the World Gaming Executive Summit event, which has boosted our product a lot. From our side we are trying to share our development experience and help startups that struggle with industrialising their products.Fireswan at a glance: Product: Betting strategy tool Founded: November 2018 Founders: Maksym Shyrokyi, Dmitry Yakimenko Launch date: Dec 21, 2018 (public beta) Sports: Football is available; basketball, hockey and esports are coming Website: https://fireswan.app Location: Registered in Estonia, R&D in Ukraine 23rd October 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Mobile Online Gambling A project to automate betting strategies for personal use has evolved into Fireswan, an app that aims to disrupt the sportsbook market using artificial intelligence. Co-founder Maksym Shyroki talks iGaming Business through its development. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Sports betting Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Email Addresslast_img read more

Skills gap survey finds 730 unfilled gaming jobs in Malta

first_img Skills gap survey finds 730 unfilled gaming jobs in Malta Topics: People Strategy 16th January 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)’s Information & Research Unit has found that 730 jobs have been reported as unfilled by Malta-based gaming companies as of the end of 2018 because of a skills shortage in the country.The report also found that 68% of unfilled vacancies, or 497 vacancies in total, were at the operation level. A total of 38 vacancies (5.2%) were at the top level of management, while 195 vacancies (26.7%) were in middle management. 69% of vacanies were unfilled for three months or less.The report, intended to obtain a better understanding of the existing skills gap in the gaming industry, said that the main reason vacancies went unfilled was a lack of experience from candidates, which was listed for 27% of vacancies. Competition from other firms follows close behind, with 27% of the responses. Lack of qualifications was listed as the main reason for 21%, while a lack of interest in the sector was given as a reason for 9% of vacancies.The study also found that, because of skill shortages, 35% of companies engage in in-house training activities or mentoring. While the majority of the surveyed companies expressed their satisfaction with the training offerings in Malta; between 15% and 20% of the respondents said that the availability, quality and value for money of the training opportunities in Malta were each unsatisfactory.Gambling accounted for the equivalent of 7,011 full-time jobs on the island for 2018, it revealed. Counting indirect employment, the equivalent of 9,800 full-time jobs exist in the industry. Because of a lack of canddiates from Malta itself, however, 68.6% of these jobs were filled by those coming from outside the country.“Gaming companies are searching for candidates with various backgrounds and skills including ICT, statistics and mathematics, marketing, law, finance and others,” the report said. “Furthermore, these areas of specialisation are experiencing strong demand from other growth sectors of the domestic economy and also internationally.“For this reason, the demand for human resources cannot be satisfied exclusively through home-grown talent but also requires attracting human capital from abroad.”Only 9% of firms were found to recruit workers immediately after the completion of their education, which the MGA said confirms “the potentially stronger role which could be played by educational institutions.” Email Addresscenter_img The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)’s Information & Research Unit has found that 730 jobs have been reported as unfilled by Malta-based gaming companies as of the end of 2018 because of a skills shortage in the country. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe Southern Europe Malta Peoplelast_img read more

Stars Group lifted by UK and Australian acquisitions

first_img Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 27th February 2020 | By contenteditor Topics: Finance A strong performance in the UK and Australia helped The Stars Group (TSG) to big gains in 2019.The PokerStars owner – which is in the process of merging with Flutter Entertainment – reaped the benefits of the acquisitions of UK-facing Sky Betting & Gaming and Australia’s BetEasy as it posted a 24.6% year-on-year increase in revenue and 17.9% rise in adjusted EBITDA for the year to 31 December 2019.Total revenue for the Toronto-headquartered group was up year-on-year to $2.53bn from $2.03bn. This was aided by a 140.2% increase in UK revenue to $946.7m, following the Sky Betting & Gaming acquisition in July 2018.Within that business, betting and gaming both grew by three-digit figures with the former leading the way in revenue terms at $528.1m. An increase in stakes was primarily driven by ongoing improvements to the segment’s products and promotions, particularly around in-play football, which drove growth in customer engagement and retention, TSG said.Australian revenue grew by 39.3% to $274.4m with almost all of that from betting, which was worth $270.3m.However, there was a drop in revenue from the International segment, of 8.9% to $1.31bn. TSG attributed this to adverse foreign exchange fluctuations and continued disruptions and regulatory headwinds in certain markets due to local restrictions on some methods of payment processing and on certain methods of downloading.International poker revenue was down by 11.8% to $781.6m with the primary negative impact related to the closure of PokerStars in Switzerland in July 2019, together with tougher operating conditions in other markets such as Spain and Sweden, following regulatory changes in those countries.Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortisation, grew to $693.1m, leading to an overall gross profit of $1.84bn.Outgoings increased across the board, with general and administrative costs surging above the $1bn mark to $1.16bn from $977m last year. Operating income came in at $264.2m, which was up by $4m on 2018.UK adjusted EBITDA was up 217.9% to $324.6m. Outgoings were up across the board as it added a full year of Sky Betting & Gaming costs to its balance sheet.Adjusted EBITDA in Australia, meanwhile, grew by 105.6% to $44.4m. The biggest outgoing was general and administration, although this fell by 5.3% year-on-year.International general and administrative outgoings were down by 5.7%, which helped the segment to adjusted earnings of $604.9m, which was down 14.0% year-on-year.The group recorded a net profit of $61.9m for the year, compared to a net loss of $109.0m in 2018.“In 2019, we continued to execute on our strategy to deliver long-term sustainable growth and become the world’s favourite iGaming destination. We not only began to see the full-year benefits of our transformative 2018 acquisitions, but executed on delivering a landmark media partnership in the US, with the launch of FOX Bet, strengthening our position in this emerging market,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, TSG’s chief executive. “We also focused on creating shareholder value through efficient capital allocation, prepaying over $450m of debt during the year.“In-line with our expectations, we exited 2019 with a strong fourth quarter with Constant Currency Revenue growth of 7% year-over-year driven primarily by the continued impressive underlying performance of our primary sports betting brands.“With sports betting now our largest product vertical and 81% of our revenues coming from locally regulated or taxed markets, we are well positioned for diversified growth in 2020 and beyond.”Today (27 February) Flutter Entertainment has reported a 14.3% year-on-year increase in revenue for 2019, with growth in the US and Australia offsetting declines in its online sports betting and retail businesses. Finance A strong performance in the UK and Australia helped The Stars Group to big gains in 2019. The PokerStars owner reaped the benefits of the acquisitions of UK-facing Sky Betting & Gaming and Australia’s BetEasy as it posted a 24.6% year-on-year increase in revenue and 17.9% rise in adjusted EBITDA. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Stars Group lifted by UK and Australian acquisitionslast_img read more

Clarion Gaming postpones ICE North America

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Topics: Strategy Clarion Gaming managing director Kate Chambers has confirmed that ICE North America, originally due to take place in May this year, has been postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.The event will now take place in Spring 2021, with exact dates to be announced shortly.“Gaming, in common with all sectors of the global economy, has been severely damaged by the horrendous impact caused by Covid-19,” Chambers explained. “As event organisers immersed in the industry that we serve, we are fully aware of the economic turbulence being experienced by our friends and colleagues throughout the international supply chain and our thoughts are with them.“Having consulted with the industry, my team and I will be paying close attention to the speed with which the virus is contained,” she said. “Clearly this is an extremely dynamic situation and I will be personally keeping our stakeholders fully updated on how we propose to respond.“These are unprecedented times and our sincere best wishes go to all of our stakeholders both in the United States and throughout world gaming. If we can help in any way I would be delighted to hear from the industry on my personal e-mail: [email protected]”More information will also be made available on two other Clarion Gaming events scheduled to take place in the coming months: ICE Asia, due to take place in Manila over 8-9 June, and July’s Amsterdam-based iGB Live.Clarion Gaming is currently monitoring all events taking place over the next three to six month period. Strategy Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 24th March 2020 | By contenteditor Clarion Gaming managing director Kate Chambers has confirmed that ICE North America, originally due to take place in May this year, has been postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Clarion Gaming postpones ICE North Americalast_img read more

ASA bans “unverifiable” TVBet ads

first_img The UK’s advertising standards authority (ASA) has upheld complaints regarding two ads for TVBet featured during the Betting on Sports trade show last year. Regions: UK & Ireland ASA bans “unverifiable” TVBet ads 15th April 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Legal & compliance The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints regarding two ads for TVBet featured during the Betting on Sports trade show last year.The first ad appeared on media screens during the event and features the text “The Biggest Jackpots”. The second advertisement appeared in the September 2019 editions of the iGaming Times and Gambling Insider and including the claim “#1 World’s Live-Games Provider”.BetGames.tv complained about each ad, arguing that the assertions made were misleading, unsubstantiated and not verifiable, therefore in breach of the CAP code, which requires that comparisons with identifiable competitors are verifiable.TVBet said that these claims were not misleading, however, as TVBet had been ranked first in jackpot size and as the overall best among a list of live gaming providers on Logincasino.org. However, it added that it would not use these claims again in advertisements going forward.The ASA upheld the complaint, noting that Logincasino’s lists only included five providers “with no explanation as to why they had been selected, on what the figures were based, or from where they had been sourced.” As a result, the claim to “The Biggest Jackpots” was considered unsubstantiated and therefore in breach of the advertiser’s code.For the claim “#1 World’s Live-Games Provider”, the ASA said that without any further explanation, “businesses would understand the claim objectively to mean that TVBet’s live games offering was the best-selling on the market.” As this is not the case, the complaint against the second claim was also upheld.“The ads did not direct businesses to any additional information regarding the comparisons and explaining the basis for the claims,” the ASA said.TVBet told iGB that the communications should have stated that it was the leader, and offered the biggest jackpots, specifically in the niche of TV games, ahead of its competitor BetGames.TV.“In terms of the availability of jackpots provided, promo codes, a larger number of games in the portfolio, as well as two additional services, TVBet holds the first-place position in the niche of TV games,” the supplier explained.“We thank all participants in the process for the time spent, as well as our respected competitor BetgamesTV for helping us to particularise our market positioning.”The ads were banned from appearing again in the form that attracted the complaints. In addition, the ASA told TVBet’s parent company ASTOK that when making comparative claims in future, they should ensure that they were able to substantiate them with documentary evidence, and ensure that claims were verifiable.TVBet said that it respected the ASA’s ruling, and pledged to comply with advertising rules.“Going forward, we commit ourselves to strictly following the decision of the ASA and are grateful for pointing out our mistake to us,” it said. Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliateslast_img read more

NV closes bars, restricted gaming sites amid Covid-19 spike

first_img Regions: US Nevada Casino & games 13th July 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered all bars – including those in Las Vegas casinos – and restricted gaming locations in seven counties to close for at least two weeks amid rising cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwittercenter_img NV closes bars, restricted gaming sites amid Covid-19 spike Topics: Casino & games Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered all bars – including those in Las Vegas casinos – and restricted gaming locations in seven counties to close for at least two weeks amid rising cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state.In an emergency order issued Friday (July 10), Sisolak announced that the measures would apply to “elevated disease transmission” counties, based on three criteria. A county would need to meet two of the criteria to fall under the scope of the order.This would mean it has two of: fewer than 150 Covid-19 tests per 100,000 residents per day; a case rate higher than 100 per 100,000 citizens; or has more than 7% of tests come back positive.Currently this applies to seven counties; Clark (including Las Vegas); Elko; Humboldt; Lander; Lyon, Nye and Washoe County.As such, bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries, and wineries that don’t serve food, as well as restricted gaming locations – venues that are licensed to offer slot machines – must shut their doors. Those that do serve food will be allowed to remain open, and still limited to 50% capacity.Read the full story on iGB North America. Email Addresslast_img read more

Casinos Austria to cut 350 jobs in restructuring plan

first_img“The package was developed almost entirely on the basis of internal expertise in record time. I thank my colleagues for their professional and committed cooperation, and to the employee representatives for their constructive attitude in often difficult negotiations for the good of the company.” Chvátal, meanwhile, has been unanimously elected chairman of the Casinos Austria supervisory board, as an interim replacement for long-serving director Walter Rothensteiner, who stood down in July this year. Casinos Austria to cut 350 jobs in restructuring plan Regions: Europe Western Europe Austria Casinos Austria’s supervisory board has finalised its major restructuring plan that management believes necessary to secure the business’ future, while Robert Chvátal, chief executive of its majority shareholder Sakza Group, has been named chairman of the board. Under the so-called ReFIT plan, Casinos Austria aims to reduce costs by up to €45m, and cut around 350 full-time roles from across the business. Topics: Casino & games People The plan was formulated and provisionally approved by the supervisory board in July, to ensure all 12 current casinos operated by the business would remain open and profitable. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The restructuring plans have attracted criticism from some quarters, with Austria’s Union of Private Sector Employees, Printing, Journalism, and Paper (GPA-djp) attacking the plans. Robert Chvátal, chief executive of Casinos Austria majority shareholder Sazka, thanked the operator’s board and management team for their efforts in developing the ReFIT package.
 
“The general economic conditions made a package of this size necessary in order to make the group of companies fit for the future,” he explained. “As owners with long-term interests, it is important to us to ensure the business is sustainable.” In July GPA-djp national director Karl Dürtscher argued the plan, and resulting layoffs, were not in the interest of the Austrian state, which holds a stake in the business through the investment body Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG). He called on the Austrian government to step in to help shore up the business and protect jobs. Its operations and headquarters teams will be restructured, with individual properties given more autonomy over day-to-day activity. The exact number of layoffs, it said, would be determined following discussions with employees, and it noted that most job losses would be through staff mutually agreeing to depart, retiring, or shifting to part-time working. People He will serve in the role until the company’s Annual General Meeting in 2021, at which new board members will be elected, and a new chair selected. 1st October 2020 | By Aaron Noy “[The] supervisory board has ensured that [Casinos Austria Group’s future] is sustainably secured and that high quality forms of gambling can continue to be offered,” the operator’s chief executive Bettina Glatz-Kremsner said. Email Addresslast_img read more