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T&T Government to debate move to CCJ next year

first_imgPrime Minister Keith Rowley The Trinidad and Tobago government says it will table legislation next year seeking to make the Caribbean Court of Justice, (CCJ), the island’s final court, replacing the London-based Privy Council.Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, speaking at a political meeting of his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) on Sunday night, said that his administration would bring a motion to Parliament seeking to make the Trinidad-based court the island’s final court given that a significant number of Trinidad and Tobago nationals are unable to access the Privy Council.“We going to the Parliament by way of motion to ask the people’s representatives, who represent people in this country, 99 per cent of them who can’t set foot in the Privy Council, the motion will go to the Parliament at the appropriate time in 2019 asking the parliamentarians…to vote in support of the Caribbean Court of Justice,” Rowley said.The Prime MInister said while he has no way of knowing how the government legislators would vote on the motion, he was nonetheless giving the country the “assurance that every PNM member in the parliament in Trinidad and Tobago will vote in support of making the Caribbean Court of Justice our final court”.The CCJ, established in 2001 by regional government, has both an Original and Appellate jurisdiction.But while most of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have signed on to the Original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana are signatories to the Appellate jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised treaty governing the regional integration movement.last_img read more

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US Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett Announces $212,261.00 Grant for the US…

first_imgWashington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI), released the following statement regarding a $212,261.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Virgin Islands Department of Health Group Maternal and Child Health programs:“Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted the U.S. Virgin Islands $212,261.00 for the Virgin Islands Department of Health Maternal and Child Health programs. Maternal and Child Health programs focus on health issues concerning women, children and families, such as access to appropriate prenatal and well-child care, infant mortality prevention, emergency medical services, injury prevention, newborn screening, and services to children with special health care needs.  States invest in healthy children and families and hope, in turn, to save money by averting more costly health problems and avoiding the need for related support services down the road.“Both federal and state funds contribute to MCH-related programs, such as the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant; Medicaid; the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the Healthy Start Initiative; the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program; and the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).  States also play an important role in administering these programs.”last_img read more

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Destination Jamaica Featured on Popular New York Morning Show, ‘Good Day…

first_imgNEW YORK – Destination Jamaica took center stage on the popular New York morning show, Good Day New York on WNYW, the flagship station of the Fox television network.In a segment on March 3, with co-hosts Lori Stokes and Rosanna Scotto, the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Philip Rose, Regional Director, Northeast USA, highlighted Jamaica’s popularity as a Spring/Summer vacation destination.Apart from the island’s year-round balmy weather, world-renown cuisine and variety of music festivals and events, several airlines offer daily nonstop flights from New York City to Kingston and Montego Bay.Jamaica was also represented by Chef Kemis of Likkle More Jerk, the modern casual Caribbean eatery at the Dekalb Market Hall in downtown Brooklyn. Chef Kemis wowed the hosts and viewers with his signature Jerkitto Burrito while showcasing other traditional Jamaican dishes including an oxtail stew, rice and peas and Escoveitch Fish.Jamaican cuisine is one of the top reasons for the popularity of the island as a tropical destination vacation. As much as the cuisine is imitated around the world, as the locals will tell you, “nowhere nuh better than yard”.last_img read more

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Windies/England Series Rescheduled for July September Window

first_imgHowever, with the United Kingdom one of the worst-hit regions by the virus, ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said there was still huge uncertainty over staging any cricket, especially with the major issue of public health taking priority. “Clearly playing in June is now not possible and we will continue our discussions with the ECB and other Internationals Boards on trying to find new dates. We will only travel to England to play the series if our players can be assured that it is safe to do so. “As much as we remain hopeful that we can deliver some cricket this summer, we are in the midst of a worldwide crisis and our priority – over and above the playing of professional sport – will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society as a whole. West Indies were scheduled to tour England for three Tests from June 4-29 but the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, ruled out any chance of the series going ahead as planned. “We continue to be in regular dialogue with the ECB on when and how we might be able to rearrange the Test series,” he said on Friday. The ECB, which had initially delayed the start of its domestic professional season until May 28, said all fixtures affected by the extension would be rescheduled to the new window. Cricket West Indies chief executive, Johnny Grave, remained hopeful the series would be staged during the window but also reiterated that the safety of players and officials was priority. There are hopes by both boards the series can take place in July behind closed doors and under strict quarantine protocols, but the plan is contingent on the severity of the continued impact of COVID-19 on the UK. “Our respective medical teams are beginning to discuss how this series could be played whilst guaranteeing the health and safety of our players and support team. We will be as flexible as we can without compromising the safety of our team.” CMC “Our role as a national governing body during a crisis of this scale requires us to carefully plan alongside cricket’s stakeholders and supporters to attempt to overcome COVID-19’s impact on this season,” Harrison said. In fact, Harrison said the ECB would only go ahead of planned fixtures once it was safe to do so. The UK has so far recorded 143 000 infections and 19 500 deaths and even though Health Secretaty Matt Hancock said last week that infections had reached their peak, social distancing protocols are expected to remain in place for the remainder of the year. “Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play.” He added: “Our biggest challenge, along with other sports, is how we could seek to implement a bio-secure solution that offers optimum safety and security for all concerned. The guidance we receive from Westminster will help us shape how we deliver this. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The England and Wales Cricket Board said Friday the West Indies tour would now take place between July and September, after announcing an extension of its freeze of professional cricket until July 1. “That’s why, simply put, there will be no cricket unless it’s safe to play. Our schedule will only go ahead if Government guidance permits.”last_img read more

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MLS Wants to Know: Can Baltimore Support a Team (Maybe DC United)?

first_imgMajor League Soocer (MLS) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Russ Findlay blanketed Baltimore sports fans Tuesday with an email survey in an attempt to find out the viability of the league in the market.There has been reported interest between the league and the city about a soccer specific stadium in the Westport area. Earlier this year, MLS Commissioner Don Garber described Charm City as a “viable option” for a potential relocation of Washington’s DC United franchise-which has been struggling to find a new stadium deal to replace their aging home RFK Stadium.The message from Findlay read as follows…Dear MLS Fan,As the Major League Soccer playoffs build toward MLS Cup, we are busy looking ahead to the future of our League. As a part of this planning, we are conducting research in Baltimore to help determine the viability of the market as a potential future home of an MLS Club. As a soccer supporter from that area, we’d appreciate a few moments of your time to complete the attached survey. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.Click here to take survey now.Sincerely,Russ FindlayChief Marketing OfficerMajor League Soccer The survey, hosted by the website “Turnkey Surveyor” appears to be live for anyone, not just those included on Findlay’s mass email.The questions in the survey are very specific about the interest of the sport, the interest of the league, the interest of DC United and the interest of a team playing in the Westport neighborhood in general.So, Baltimore-this is your chance to answer the question. Is Baltimore a viable option for DC United/MLS?last_img read more

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Grubbs practices again, will be game-time decision for Sunday

first_imgOWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ben Grubbs hasn’t seen action since the Ravens’ convincing 35-7 win over Pittsburgh in the season opener.And his chances of finally making his return — against those same Steelers — are improving as the starting left guard practiced on a limited basis for a second straight day on Thursday. Grubbs was working with the starting offensive line during the open portion of practice and appeared more active than the previous day.The Baltimore offensive line has struggled in his absence and has gone with veteran Andre Gurode, who had never played left guard in his 10-year NFL career, for the last five games. “We’ll see,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “He is probably [going to] be a game-time decision. We’ll take Ben back at any point in time.”The news was more concerning regarding defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who missed his second straight game with a thigh injury. However, the Pro Bowl lineman is expected to play against the Steelers on Sunday.Return specialist David Reed returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday with a knee injury. He worked on a limited basis but is expected to return kicks on Sunday night. There were no changes to the Steelers’ injury report as all three of their injured linebackers — James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, and James Farrior — were listed as limited participants.BALTIMOREDID NOT PRACTICE – LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle), DT Haloti Ngata (thigh)LIMITED – RB Anthony Allen (thigh), C Matt Birk (neck), CB Chykie Brown (knee), CB Danny Gorrer (thigh), G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR/RS David Reed (knee)PITTSBURGHDID NOT PRACTICE – G Doug Legursky (toe), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee)LIMITED – LB James Farrior (calf), LB James Harrison (eye), T Jonathan Scott (ankle), WR Hines Ward (ankle), LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring)last_img read more

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DSWV appeal to see change in German betting regulation

first_img Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 StumbleUpon MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 Related Articles The German Betting Association (DSWV) has made an appeal to the government regarding the terms of the latest Gambling Treaty Amendment. This forms a part of the lengthy and ongoing battle to reform and better regulate sports betting in Germany. The amendment to the State Treaty provides the introduction of a quality approval system for sports betting providers. This followed the 2012 move which introduced a licensing procedure for up to 20 sports betting companies; this was immediately criticised by a number of people in and around the industry and it ultimately failed.DSWV president Mathias Dahms commented: “The minimally invasive revision of the treaty is a small step in the right direction, but it falls short. The restrictive regulations for sports betting operators derive from an outdated monopoly system and have not been capable of creating an attractive and legal range of games. “If a number of consumers continue to make use of black market products, then neither addiction nor youth and consumer protection can be ensured.”In short, Dahms is stating that the regulation needs to reflect the social realities that take place in sports betting, and that limiting it to a reduced amount of operators is dangerous. It’s far safer for everyone involved to properly regulate it and not to limit the market in such a drastic fashion, as this leaves a space for and encourages shady and illegal operators.  Dahms continued: “We are only at the beginning of a much-needed reform process. The present regulations are out of date in many areas. The test orders decided by the Prime Minister concerning the development of the regulation certainly help, but require the involvement of the companies concerned. ”There needs to be an open dialogue going forward, and the DSWV wishes to play a central role in the evaluation process. Dahms noted: “The experience of our members in other European countries shows that successful regulation exists only where providers and authorities cooperate confidently and work together for the environment. We are available at any time for this type of co-operation.” Share Share Submitlast_img read more

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Betsson AB reduces 2017 dividend program in order to support corporate strategy

first_img Submit StumbleUpon GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Share Pontus LindwallIssuing a market update, the governance of Stockholm Nasdaq-listed Betsson AB has informed that the company has changed its investor dividend policy ‘in order to increase the company’s financial capabilities’ in order to be active in the consolidated European online gambling sector.The new dividend scheme will be applicable as of this year and will see Betsson governance reduce its shareholder dividend rewards on net corporate earnings from 75% to 50%. The company stated that it needed a dividend payout that supported its corporate growth strategy.“The Board reasons that Betsson should have a dividend policy that is relevant to its growth profile. The advantages of size are increasing, not least following the introduction of local regulation of the gaming market. The new dividend policy gives Betsson increased capabilities to make acquisitions, which the Board believes will add long-term value to shareholders,” stated Pontus Lindwall, Chairman of the Board, Betsson AB on the firm’s Nasdaq update.Betsson’s dividend reduction comes following last week’s announcement that the company had completed its £26 million acquisition of London AIM-listed interactive gaming operator NetPlay TV.Updating corporate stakeholders, Betsson detailed that the firm would significantly increase its presence in the saturated UK betting market adding Jackpot247, Supercasino and Vernons to its European gaming multi-brand portfolio. Kambi and DraftKings agree on final closure terms July 24, 2020 Related Articles Esports Entertainment bolsters tournament capacity by acquiring EGL August 27, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

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Pontus Lindwall – ‘No Cost Saving Plan’ for Betsson’s 2018 recovery

first_imgShare GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Share Presenting Betsson AB’s Q4 2017 quarterly update, Group Chief Executive Pontus Lindwall is upbeat with regards to his firm’s 2018 outlook, despite recent setbacks.Lindwall the former Betsson AB Group Chairman, who last September retook leadership of the Stockholm-listed enterprise, following the departure of Ulrik Bengtsson as CEO, outlines the group’s ‘restructuring plan’.Closing a turbulent 2017, in which Betsson has faced increased operational costs and higher betting duties, combined with the impacts of tougher market regulations and negative currency fluctuations, Lindwall and Betsson’s executive team are fully aware of 2018’s challenge.In his presentation, Lindwall hits back at the highly publicised news of Betsson’s ‘cost saving’ restructure, which has seen the company reduce its global headcount by 160 staff members.“This is not a cost-saving program. Instead, we are looking to restructure group efficiencies. This requires less corporate layers and clearer responsibilities within the organisation” states Lindwall to investors.Detailing immediate initiatives, Lindwall states that Betsson will scale back its UK facing operations for the short-term. Lindwall states that this action is not a retreat from the saturated UK betting market. Instead, Betsson will take a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to its underlining UK strategy.Moving forward, Betsson will continue to focus on its product verticals, with the multi-market operator launching new casino and sportsbook enhancements in 2018.As an industry leader, Lindwall emphasises the importance of social responsibility and customer care as more markets’ become regulated. This factor sees Lindwall look forward to Betsson’s home market of Sweden becoming a regulated online gambling market in 2019, in which Betsson will have a strategic advantage over numerous competitors.Despite presenting a glum 2017 report, Lindwall outlines that Betsson underlying corporate KPIs throughout the group’s brands remains amongst the strongest in the industry.Finally, having further strengthened its sportsbook foundations in 2017, which reported a strong Q4 2017 revenue and earnings performance, Betsson seeks to reap the rewards for Russia 2018 trading. Related Articles Submit Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020 Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more

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Winning Post – A boost for British horseracing

first_img Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, takes a look at some key developments for the gambling industry in its ‘Winning Post’ column.K: betting on horseracing – 2017-18 Levy, the last hurrah?The GB Horserace Betting Levy Board reported an annual income of £95m in 2017/18. This represents a 46% increase on the previous scheme (with commercial top-ups) as all offshore operators were captured at a full rate. In the first year of full capture, this has allowed reserves to be replenished (by £21m to £46m), with distributions remaining broadly flat at £74m. The clear implication however is that in future years distributions (especially to Prize Money) can materially increase. The Levy’s yield and the (soon to be replaced) position it is in says a lot about the current state of betting on horseracing in Great Britain; it is nowhere near as bad as some stakeholders pretend, but it isn’t all good either. First, the £95m yield triangulates to c. £950m of betting revenue (with some movement around deductions and the treatment of niche products). This provides further evidence that betting on GB horseracing is not in the state of decline that some commentators have long pretended (or, more dangerously, believed) it to be. Gambling Commission data has already demonstrated that the issue is not decline but channel shift (with many of the most vociferous critics of ‘traditional’ products actually just executing poorly on ‘modern’ channels and so failing to notice the volumes around them). The levy yield, unsurprisingly, points to the fact that GB racing remains at the core of GB customers’ horseracing betting (c. 85% across channels).Second, the boost in revenue comes a year or so before the impact of the £2 FOBT decision. While reserves can be built up in the interim, the net hole in spending is still likely to be material, especially if the temptation to open the Levy taps sooner rather than later is met. While direct levy impact is not likely to be significant (according to our estimates), indirect impact of c. £50m over c. four years suggests that racing overall will need to grow by c. 10% pa to maintain overall income (including some benefit from online streaming). Herein lies the problem: over the last c. twenty years racing may have weathered many profound changes relatively better than the commentary would suggest, but it has not grown: indeed, in real terms that actually does amount to a declining business.   Third, perhaps one of the reasons for relative and real-terms decline can be elucidated by an interesting line in the HBLB’s Annual Report: “The total prize money is split between the Flat and Jump codes in proportion to how much Levy is actually generated by each code. For 2017, the split was set at 60% flat and 40% jump, based upon the 2015 betting performance, the last period for which data was available to the Board”.  Two things jump out to us here, leaving us rather flat. Decisions based upon old data will become increasingly poor decisions – the politics of data sharing could keep armies of lawyers busy; the economics of failure to share is putting armies of punters off the product, in our view. Equally, distribution by outcome has the attraction of simplicity and apparent fairness, but it is nowhere near as effective as focussing on input variables: funding distribution is based upon what betting is given, not necessarily what betting customers want (and by this we mean the underlying customer, not what a selection of betting companies might think / tell racing what the customer wants). Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 The Government it seems has no plans to commission such research. As Lord O’Shaughnessy admitted in response, the DoH is at a somewhat more rudimentary level – with plans to commission research into the effectiveness of interventions on reducing the incidence of problem gambling. Given the pressure that gambling operators are under to evaluate the efficacy of their safer gambling programme, this research could prove enormously helpful – if the political climate permits them to gain involvement. When Parliament returns in September, it is likely we will see the publication of the Labour Party’s review of gambling and mental health. There were further signs this week on what to expect with the shadow gambling minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (Lab, Toting) asking what steps the DCMS is taking “to limit children’s exposure to gambling adverts during live sporting events”. This followed Sir Mark Hendrick’s (Lab, Preston) PQ last Friday regarding the existence of DCMS “discussions with the Football Association to discourage football clubs from accepting betting companies as their shirt sponsor” (the Government of course has had no sch discussions). So far gambling has done rather well in VAT reclaims through the Linneweber route, with a score of 2:1 against the government at the Court of Appeal level. However, we would be sceptical of this case adding to the industry’s tally. While cautioning we are not tax experts, Linneweber in substance is about fiscal neutrality – similar products cannot be treated differently from a VAT perspective given EU jurisdiction on VAT. In some cases (most notoriously bingo), VAT was very patchily applied, but there was a clear case that ‘bingo was bingo’. Equally in Sportech’s case if spot the ball were a game of chance, then it would have been VAT exept for the period, as other games of chance were not subject to VAT. The fungibility of FOBTs to separately licensed products is more moot (as many differences as similarities can arguably be found in online or electronic roulette) and there is no case that overall tax treatment was punitive in the period (not that Linneweber is concerned with this). Higher courts may therefore find plenty to side with a grateful government, in our view, while the fiscal risk to the wider industry of a FOBT victory should not be discounted…  UK: horseracing – striking the balance The BHA has released the fixture list for 2019. While the list largely remains unaltered in terms of numbers, there are some material positive changes for horsemen (and women) – with winter floodlit fixtures finishing earlier (20:30 final race) and longer breaks between the end and beginning of the respective ‘seasons’ for jumps, flat and all-weather. The list also provides good news for the betting industry with the introduction of a further 15 floodlit Autumn events, designed to ‘provide greater continuity of product’ through the afternoon and in to the evening. Betting on GB horseracing has flatlined despite significant boosts to racing’s revenue in the last six years (Levy, media rights, sponsorship, racecourse performance). While some of this is because of long lead times (creating foals and turning them into racehorses) and structural complexities (changing the fixture list beyond tinkering would require Alexandrine unknotting prowess: see below), we believe it also strongly points to the fact that the levers of input and output are not well understood or connected. Without this understanding, more money does not mean more productivity (though less money for a prolonged period would almost certainly mean significant disruption). This understanding will require data-driven cooperation with bookmakers (as institutions, not just appointed representatives) – especially those which are good online. With it, racing can hope to grow overall betting revenue based on generating a stronger betting product (win – win). Without it, racing will add to betting’s impending (if channel-specific) crisis and may well face its own (which would hurt all betting channels, not just beleaguered LBOs: lose-lose).UK: In Parliament – Eagle Eyes Club Machines Parliament finally slipped into its Summer Recess this week – but not without a few parting shots at gambling. The year to date has been the industry’s busiest in Parliament for decade. We witnessed a conclusion of sorts to the DCMS review of gaming machines and social responsibility but also a broadening in scope of political concerns – evidenced by the highest number of Parliamentary Questions on gambling since 2008. Submit The period was also notable for the heightened interest in gambling from Conservative Parliamentarians in both Houses. Lord Chadlington has been the most active Tory in the period and this week he let loose one final round before the summer break, asking what assessment the Department of Health had made of “the case for additional research to be undertaken about the residual neurological impact of rapid highs and lows from gambling, particularly in connection with the long-term effects on mental health”. Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 Sponsorship and advertising are almost certain to feature in the Labour Party review – and these issues may be joined (somewhat improbably) by the siting of B4 machines (£2 max stake, £400 max prize). This week, Maria Eagle (Lab, Garston & Halewood) asked no fewer than five questions about the presence of B4 machines in premises outside the Gambling Commission’s jurisdiction. The B4 is very much a poor relation to the B3 machine, which helps to explain why there were only 247 of them in the country at last count. They are however – unlike the B3 – permitted within private clubs (e.g. miners welfare clubs).Earlier this year, Eagle asked about the presence of FOBTs in staff canteens and seems to have a keen interest in this rather abstruse area of gambling regulation. Her focus on B4 machines indicates that she may be aware of an issue with current regulations – and that she is laying a trap for the Government on the subject. Then again, she may just be ill-informed – time will tell. Related Articles Share This is likely to make the black market even more attractive to harder players who wish to move about product suites freely or even play products simultaneously, likely most impacting betting operators with integrated gaming offers (eg, Kindred, GVC). The ruling could also create an offer which confuses the mass market, impeding growth as well as increasing leakage to black market operators. South Africa: Gambling regulation – National Gambling Amendment Bill to be introducedThe Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, has issued a “notice of intention” to introduce the National Gambling Amendment Bill 2018 into Parliament. The bill, which has been subject of much discussion for nearly two years, proposes significant reforms likely to be perceived to be a big threat to operators, who are expected to strongly resist the proposals. The reforms include: the National Gambling Board being repositioned as the National Gambling Regulator; increasing the powers of the gambling inspector; imposing restrictions on gambling advertising; strengthening casino / machine / bingo regulation; and prohibiting dog racing and betting thereon. Other than dogs, the product set most at risk seems to be the ever-controversial ‘secondary lotteries’, since oversite will be moved to the National Lottery Commission, which sees the product as unequal (and possibly even unlawful) competition. Since these products are a core staple of many provincial betting operators, significant disruption (likely even a ban) of this product could be terminal for many businesses in the space. August offers the prospect of a breather for gambling (at least in terms of political scrutiny if not media attention). It is also a chance to take stock and prepare for what is likely to be a very busy (and possibly painful) second half in which we can expect to find out more about the DCMS’s plans for FOBTs and lotteries, HM Treasury’s ambitions for remote gaming duty, Labour’s target areas for gambling in general and Gambling Commission proposals for regulatory tightening online and across Category B machines. This is an early stage in the process, but the Minister has set out his stall. Eyes will now turn to see how effective the industry lobby can be in influencing the proposals (and probably in deciding which of the least unpalatable provisions it might be prepared to live with as a trade-off). If it is not successful in doing that, then the new law may prove to be an existential threat to a material number of operators.China: lottery market– big numbers reminderThe Finance Ministry has reported that sales for China’s two main lotteries grew by 20% to US$36bn in H118, led by the Sports Lottery which grew 36% to US$20bn, largely driven by the World Cup. The China Sports Lottery’s payout ratio is 65% and the Welfare Lottery’s is similar (with a broader product range), meaning revenue for the period stood at c. US$13bn. Annualised revenue for China’s lotteries are therefore about the same size as the entire online B2C sports betting market globally (ie, excluding agents) and probably took more money on the World Cup than all online B2C businesses put together…Global: Sports integrity – Italian footballer banned for WhatsApp messages; ESSA releases Q2 18 reportParma striker Emanuele Calaio has been banned for two years (and fined €20,000) for match-fixing, and his club has been deducted five points for the 2018-19 Serie A season. Italy’s National Federal Court found that Calaio (an ex-Spezia player), had sent “suspicious messages” by WhatsApp to two of his former team-mates before Spezia played Parma, which were deemed to influence the match by “eliciting a reduced effort” from those Spezia players. Parma won the match 2-0 to secure promotion back to Serie A. Despite the court’s finding, it does not appear that the two Spezia players have faced any charges. UK: gambling duty – good news for FOBT operators?Betfred has won the first leg of its claim for VAT to be repaid on FOBTs for the period 2005 to 31 January 2013 (when VAT + AMLD was replaced by MGD). The claim is thought to be worth c. £100m to Betfred, but the £1.9bn total mooted for the industry is likely to be c. 20% overstated due to input reclaims – it nevertheless represents a big figure, especially since the lion’s share will be collected by two operators; there is also potential significant lookthrough for other machine operators during this period from a Linneweber claim perspective. StumbleUpon Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Belgium, like Switzerland, Poland and France, as well as initially Spain and Italy, has adopted a highly cautious approach to regulating online gambling and its success has been ‘mixed’ (though by no means a complete failure from a channelling perspective – certainly not compared to its Southern neighbour). Operator claims that competition with the black market has been further eroded are no doubt true, but equally they are unlikely to be persuasive to policy makers. Until gambling deploys positive consumer messages and meaningful harm prevention measures to persuade, it is likely to be toward the bottom of the priority list – and left grappling with ill thought out legislation in a critical mass of jurisdictions, in our view. Elsewhere in sports betting integrity, ESSA has published its Q2 18 report, revealing a year-on-year increase in betting alerts from 53 (Q2 17) to 62 (Q2 18). Within that total are 44 alerts on tennis (31 in the same period last year), and alerts from eight sports in total (five in Q2 17). Alerts are not, on their own, evidence of corrupt activity, and an increase in alerts might be just as likely to be indicative of greater operator vigilance as it is of more corruption occurring. However, all stakeholders should be mindful of the need to maintain the former given the continuing risk of the latter. While it can be hard to please all parties within the horseracing and betting community (the BHA knows this only too well), these changes to the way racing is planned show a willingness for betting and racing to work together – a plan which will benefit all involved and ensure continuous, fair funding and better conditions for those who provide the end product. A bigger question, however, is the extent to which tweaking can optimise a fixture list designed to provide racing from lunch time to evening most days of the week as well as providing for horsemen’s needs in a consumer and cost environment which is changing with increasing speed. For this, a much deeper understanding of what makes horsemen (and women!) participate and what makes bettors bet will be critical for the long-term relevance of the sport (with both groups often taken for granted in annual stakeholder pissing contests), in our view.Belgium: online regulation– tightening the licensing straight-jacketBelgium has so far enjoyed mixed success with domestic regulation, with one of the key competitive hurdles, online product links to landbased licences, being partially overcome by operators stitching together multiple licences to provide a consolidated offer (betting, casino, arcade). This practice has now been deemed illegal by Belgium’s Constitutional Court, forcing all operators to have separate sites for each licence and presumably making shared wallets impossible. Global: M&A watch – Dover Downs / Twin River; Gamenet / GoldBet; Penn National / Pinnacle; Playtech / SnaitechDover Downs Gaming & Entertainment Inc and Twin River Worldwide Holdings have announced that they have entered a definitive merger agreement, subject to regulatory approvalGamenet has announced the acquisition of Goldbet for €265m (€240m upfront, €25m deferred and contingent). The completion of the acquisition is expected before the end of 2018.Penn National Gaming stated in its Q2 earnings announcement that it remains on track to complete its $2.8 billion purchase of Pinnacle Entertainment. The buyout of Pinnacle has been approved by eight state gaming regulatory bodies and shareholders of both companies but remains subject to a Federal Trade Commission process considering potential anti-trust matters. Penn expects the deal – which will make it the largest U.S. regional gaming operator, with 41 properties in 20 jurisdictions – to complete before the end of the year.Playtech has announced that, following its recent mandatory takeover offer, it now owns approximately 96.5% of the total issued share capital of Snaitech. It will now initiate the necessary steps for the transfer of the remaining approximately 3.5% minority shareholdings. The holders of those shares subject to the squeeze out will receive cash consideration equal to €2.19 per share. Sharelast_img read more

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