It can easily be said that the global gaming industry is never boring. There is always something going on, and this week wasn’t the exception. Although COVID-19 is trying to threaten economies once again, there is still a lot of positive momentum being built for a larger, more successful gaming market. There is definitely a lot more to come, as well.
COVID-19 Rears its Ugly Head
COVID-19 is back. It’s making another appearance around the world and it’s making everyone a little jittery. Las Vegas has already been forced to bring back some health precautions that were in place for the past year, such as the use of face masks by employees, and more restrictions are possible. While shutdowns are not yet being seriously considered, they’re on the table. This continued attack by COVID-19 is part of the reason Las Vegas Sands is having a difficult time.
Despite losing massive revenue over the past year, MGM Resorts International is pushing forward with its plans to be a part of Japan’s integrated resort (IR) market. It is the only entity, as part of a consortium that also includes Japanese firm ORIX, that is in the running for an IR in Osaka and has confirmed that an investment of just over $9 billion will be made on a casino resort there.
European Countries Battling Their Demons
Sports betting and gambling have a long history across Europe, but this doesn’t mean that countries there aren’t looking to make some changes. Spain wants to introduce new rules, especially for the iGaming side of things, that are sure to cause frustration among gamblers. Gibraltar is increasing its corporate tax rate to 12.5%, with the goal of ultimately reaching 15%. Currently, the tax rate is 10%, and the increase is certainly going to make gambling companies headquartered there unhappy. France is likely to implement a number of changes, as its gaming regulator isn’t pleased with the way operators advertised their offerings during Euro Cup 2020. If there is a little bit of good news, it’s that the UK was finally able to remove all COVID-19 restrictions, but the new spikes are forcing authorities to keep a close eye on public health.
While not as mature, the Latin American gaming market is rapidly gaining position. This also means that a lot of changes are going to be seen across the region, as well. Argentina’s gambling regulator wants operators to agree to use a “.bet.ar” domain so they can be controlled better in the future. Brazil, which is still in the process of expanding its gaming industry to include sports betting and more, is going to introduce new taxes that will be calculated against revenue, instead of turnover.
Major Activity in the US Market
The US market, with each state establishing its own rules, is witnessing the largest transformation and there is never a dull moment. A recent study by Stats Perform shows that online gaming activity is going to pick up significantly over the next few years and that more operators are going to start pursuing digital options. The prediction comes as five states that offer iGaming saw slight decreases in their revenue in June, a result of the easing of restrictions that allowed gamblers to go outside and breathe fresh air.
Maine can’t seem to make up its mind on gaming. Several attempts have been made to introduce sports betting, but they always have difficulty. Now, the state will have to wait even more, as legislators failed to advance a bill before the legislative session ended. With that, it won’t be until at least next January, when the new session starts, that lawmakers can try again.
DraftKings has been really busy lately. It has become the official betting operator of two PGA Tour events, in addition to already being a PGA partner, and has decided to get into the NFT (non-fungible token) business through an agreement with Autograph. As it solidifies its footprint across the US and shows that it is versatile, DraftKings has also had to deal with a technical glitch that left some bettors unable to access the platform.
Bally’s Bets on Sportradar, Gambling.com Goes Public
Bally’s Interactive, the online arm of Bally’s Corp., has signed a five-year deal with Sportradar. The sports data provider will support Bally’s and its Bally Bet sports betting app, giving it a wealth of information that will help it become more competitive in an already highly competitive market. The move is a plus for Sportradar, as well, giving it access to another operator as it rapidly grows its portfolio.
Gambling.com has now gone live on the NASDAQ exchange. It launched its initial public offering (IPO) today, but not before dropping its initial price to $8. It had previously expected to launch at between $11-$13, but dropped the figure to meet market expectations. Still, the company hopes to raise $304.3 million (a substantial decrease from the previous $439.5 million figure), and is anxiously waiting to see what happens. As of this writing, shortly after the company launched under the ticker GAMB, the price has fallen from $8 to $7.80.