World Casino News Roundup November 2019

It has been an eventful week in gambling, and here are the main headlines from the past week.

British and Swedish Regulators Announce New Partnership

This week, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and their Swedish counterpart, Spelinspektionen, agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding, a non-binding contract that allows further development and cooperation between the two regulatory bodies.

UKGC partnership with Spelmyndigheten (SGA)

This agreement could lead to mutual policy changes and cross-border investigations if the need arises. Earlier in 2019, the Swedish regulator signed a similar deal with the Maltese Gaming Authority. 

“This is the beginning of a broad and long-term cooperation, and we both hope to become stronger in our supervisory activities as a result,” said Spelinspektionen director general Camilla Rosenberg. 

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Revenues Continue to Grow

We’re now nearly two years into the USA’s second-newest legal online gambling market, and the signs are mostly pointing towards continued healthy growth. 

iGaming revenue increased by 19.5% the previous month, up to $4.9 million, putting the sports betting sector to shame with its modest monthly rise of just 0.4%. However, sports betting still provides higher revenue overall.

In the Pennsylvania market, online operators are required to partner with a land-based casino. The number one spot for income in a bumper November has been Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, which banked $2.5 million in online revenue.

Slots are once again by far the most profitable game for online casinos, accounting for $4 million, or 82.6%, of the sector’s $4.9 million overall income.  

However, slots revenues at land-based casinos fell by 0.7% in November. This was somewhat offset by a rise of 3.5% on table games, up to $73.2 million. 

Kindred Group to Partner with NBA

Kindred Group’s flagship brand is European operator Unibet, who opened up shop in the new US market of New Jersey just six short months ago. This week, they announced a brand-new partnership with one of America’s biggest sports leagues—the National Basketball Association.

“Kindred shares the NBA’s view on a legal and sustainable sports betting market, which makes this partnership a perfect match,” said Kindred USA’s Vice President, Manuel Stan. 

The deal will see the association share use of its iconic logo and vast database of basketball statistics with Unibet, although how this will filter down to individual customers is still unclear. 

An internationally recognized brand, the NBA already holds operational deals with British bookmaker William Hill and fantasy sports market leader Draft Kings.

Dutch Government to Delay Market Opening by Six Months

Dutch customers (and international online casinos) who were eagerly awaiting the launch of the Netherlands’ legal betting market will be sorely disappointed this week, as The Ministry of Justice and Security announced a six-month delay in the process.

The delay is due to proposed changes to the Remote Gambling Act, which would have enabled the market to open once it passed. These propositions need to be discussed in parliament before they can be ratified—a process that can take some time. 

The Dutch regulatory body, Kansspelautoriteit, had already told the several hundred parties who were interested in applying for a license that they wouldn’t start processing applications until after the Act passed—which it was due to do in July 2020.

The regulator’s licence review by itself was scheduled to take six months, so the Parliamentary delay puts the new date around July 2021. That means a potentially a full year and a half from now before any casinos can launch their sites in the Dutch market. 

We’ll keep you updated with any new developments as they happen.

Slots Developer Yggdrasil Hires Former NetEnt Chief Björn Krantz

Yggdrasil is a highly respected online slot developer based out of Malta in Mediterranean Europe. Some of their popular titles include Champions of Rome, Jackpot Riders, and Beauty of the Beast. 

This week, Yggdrasil announced that they’d be taking on former NetEntertainment Chief Operations Officer Björn Krantz as their new Head of Publishing—an entirely new role and department in the business.

Yggdrasil, which takes its name from the mythical tree of life in Nordic mythology, will be betting on the former NetEnt leader’s international experience to take their new department forward. 

“It will be an honour for me to work together with the Yggdrasil team, and to execute on the plan to realise the full potential of the Publishing growth strategy and objectives,” said Mr. Krantz in a press release after confirming his role switch.