Highlights include financials from 888 and IGT, an information sharing agreement between regulators in Malta and Ontario, and an EGBA manifesto for a European approach to remote gambling policy
Trade show in California
Hundreds of people attended the Global iGaming Summit & Expo (GiGSE) in San Francisco, California this week. California is one of the states leading the way toward progressive internet gambling legislation, and the San Francisco Bay region is home to some of the country’s most talented software companies. A look at the program agenda reveals prevalent themes and questions in the gaming industry today. Legislators from California and other states spoke at the event, and hopefully stayed a while to learn some things.
To read the perceptions of attendees on Twitter, search Twitter for #GIGSE2012. A few of the attendees gave thorough accounts of what they heard in conference sessions and what they experienced generally throughout the course of the three-day program. These include Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance, Scarlet Robinson of The Innovation Group, Vin Narayanan of Casino City, and Victor Rocha of Penchanga.net.
Identifying customer location
Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald that provides remote gaming and betting technology, has contracted with LocAid to verify the location of customers using its mobile products in the U.S. Identifying customer location is important because ultimately the law of the state in which the customer is physically located controls. See VentureBeat article: Spoof-proof location authentication to help legitimize mobile gambling.
Regulatory information sharing
The regulatory authority for gambling in the Canadian province of Ontario (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) has entered into an agreement with the regulatory authority for gambling in the Mediterranean country of Malta (Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority). The Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies stipulates terms and conditions under which they will share information with each other.
According to an article on Tax-News.com:
“The MoU with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario provides for the exchange of information on eligibility assessments of applications as well as compliance and regulatory assurance activities with respect to gaming. Both jurisdictions have also agreed to possible joint, cooperative and collaborative inspections, investigations and enforcement activities.”
Malta’s Lottery and Gaming Authority has entered two additional agreements for the sharing of information in recent days with the European Sports Security Association and FIFA.
European competition issues
The European Gaming and Betting Association has published a manifesto containing a policy plan for remote gambling that it would like to see implemented across all of Europe. The major issues in Europe are concerned with how to control competition among all of the member states. Part of the problem is that some member states allow for the licensing of an unlimited number of operators while others let only one or two government controlled operators into the market. EGBA’s membership consists of private enterprise operators.
Secretary General of EGBA, Sigrid Ligné, said:
“Our Manifesto is designed to be a timely input to the [European] Commission as it prepares its EU action plan for online gambling. We are calling for the introduction of European rules to ensure proper protection for consumers while affording fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU operators.”
The Manifesto declares that an effective EU framework to regulate and ensure responsible online gambling should be based on 5 priority actions:
- The European Commission fulfilling its role as Guardian of the Treaty.
- Structured regulatory cooperation among national authorities.
- An EU legal framework for online gambling.
- Problem gambling prevention measures based on evidence.
- EU action to fight sport fraud.
For an article explaining why United States policy for internet gambling will likely avoid the cross-border problems that plague Europe, see: States’ Rights and Fragmented Internet Gambling Markets, Nov. 2011, by attorney Bradley Vallerius.
888 Holdings PLC released its key performance indicators for the first quarter of 2012. Overall revenue for the quarter was $94 million, a 4% increase over Q4 2011 and a 25% increase over Q1 2011.
888’s CEO Brian Mattingley said:
“Our focused strategy has led to another excellent quarter, with ongoing strength in Poker driving March to the highest ever monthly revenues in the history of 888. Poker has continued its robust performance in the early stages of Q2, with our other product areas seeing an expected return to seasonal patterns. As stated at our full year results, there are significant growth opportunities offered by the liberalisation of new markets, which will take investment to realise. We will continue to invest throughout 2012 in order to buildmarket share.”
Interactive Gaming Technology released its results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Total quarterly revenue reached $541 million, a 13% increase over the same period last year. Revenue from gaming operations increased 11% to $300 million in the second quarter, “primarily due to increases in the interactive businesses and installed base.”