This week brought a number of changes to the global gaming industry, although some could argue that not all of the changes were for the better. Looking back on some of the larger stories of the week, it’s apparent that industry players are working hard to advance the market. However, not all of them are going about it the same way.
Uncertainty in the UK and Down Under
There was once a strong relationship between sports and sports gambling operators in the UK and other countries, but not anymore. Increased pressure to reduce gambling advertising and jersey sponsorships has taken its toll. In the UK, sports team sponsorships by gaming operators have dropped by 50% in the past two years as gambling opponents cry foul, and more reductions are likely to be seen. Similar reductions have been seen in Italy and other countries, impacting the revenue possibilities of the sports organizations.
Despite bidding wars involving Entain, Apollo Global Management and BetMakers Technology that had billions of dollars on the table, Tabcorp has decided it doesn’t need to offload its media and gaming businesses. Instead, it has split up the company, creating independent businesses for each of the two segments. However, if the move doesn’t help the company turn things around, Tabcorp is keeping the door option to possible deals with anyone interested.
COVID-19 Back In Nevada, Canada Ready for New Action
It’s only been about a month since Nevada lifted all restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a troublesome sign is emerging. The latest reports reveal that the daily average of new positive cases is 303, which is in line with what was seen this past March. That was when most restrictions were in place and is cause for concern. If there’s any good news, it’s that Nevada’s gaming revenue has increased 25% over pre-pandemic numbers.
Canada is getting ready for expanded sports gambling and iGaming, and provinces aren’t wasting any time. Some have already begun to roll out new iGaming options, with more on the way. Greentube just extended its reach in Canada by teaming up with Loto-Quebec, giving it entry into what is expected to be a seriously large gaming market. Of course, the province has to first figure out how to defeat the illegal casinos that keep popping up. Elsewhere in the country, Ontario is ready to tackle the new-and-improved gaming market in the country, creating iGaming Ontario to oversee sports gambling and iGaming.
Florida Gaming Compact, PAGCOR in Trouble
Florida has the potential to be a wildly successful sports gambling market. However, it will never know unless it can introduce the activity. The new gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been controversial even before the ink was dry on the paper, but a lawsuit launched by a gaming operator promises to smear the ink, making the compact unrecognizable.
The Philippines was recently added to the Financial Authority Task Force’s greylist, which the country has tried to avoid for years. Now, possibly in response to that, the country’s gaming regulator and casino operator has taken action. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) has made changes to its internal structure to put one department in charge of online gambling and another in charge of land-based operations. These two groups are responsible for keeping their respective companies in check and to make sure they’re playing by the rules.
DraftKings Does Battle, eSports Adds New Features
Speaking of playing by the rules, some people feel that DraftKings isn’t. The operator is facing legal challenges on different fronts. One accuses it of stealing patented technology, the other of fraudulently convincing investors that they should support its public launch. Both suits are likely to fall apart under scrutiny.
A new eSports academy coming from WePlay will help cultivate a new era of gamers. The WePlay Academy League is sure to be a huge success Esports academy as young gamers “make a name for themselves” while gaining experience competing in tournaments. They’re likely to become more experienced with the growing business of eSports gambling, which Esports Technologies Inc. is fueling through its innovative eSports gambling solutions.
Interstate Yes, Intralot No
The Department of Justice unofficially caved on its recent position that the Federal Wire Act applied to all types of online gaming activity. Although it hasn’t issued a formal mea culpa for allowing itself to be manipulated by land-based casino operators who can’t be named, the DOJ’s lack of response to the Supreme Court’s decision to rule against it bodes well for the future of iGaming in the US. Several states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, have already expressed interest in interstate online gaming compacts, which would increase player pools and, ultimately, prize pools.
It took the use of taxpayer money for the DC Audit to show what everyone else already knew. Giving Intralot control over DC’s lottery and sports gambling activity was a big mistake. The Greek gaming operator has allegedly resorted to the use of shell companies, coercion and potential fraud to gain control over DC. However, the truth always emerges.