Topics: Sports betting Strategy Sportradar has launched a variety of initiatives in the pursuit of innovation. Scott Longley reports on how the data supplier is nurturing talent and ideas both within and outside the business. It is hardly news that many perceive the gambling industry to have issues when it comes to innovation. Oft-heard complaints bemoaning what is often seen as the static nature of the online arena come despite the industry’s standing as one of the early adopters of ecommerce.Numerous attempts have been made in the past to jumpstart innovation within the sector. Company-sponsored incubators such Sky Bet’s current effort and the short-lived initiative from William Hill a couple of years ago have attempted the accelerator model while Kindred’s current Futures programme attempts to nurture start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop new products and ideas.The latest move to attempt to inject some radical thinking comes from Sportradar which has taken a more sweeping approach that encompasses the sourcing and mentoring of talent, as well as trying to unearth new ideas and business concepts.Hackathon not a sprint The Sportradar approach begins with nurturing ideas from within. The idea of gathering developers together to collaborate on intensive projects is a relatively new phenomenon in the tech world – the word first appeared at the turn of the Millennium – but it is a concept that has been adopted far and wide.When used internally, hackathons can be used to promote innovation within a company and also as a means to channeling staff enthusiasm. “We organise hackdays and we’ve also established an innovation funnel, aimed at allowing staff to tackle challenges and bring ideas forward,” says Luka Pataky, who focuses squarely on innovation and business development at Sportradar. “This goes for the whole company. We have a lot of people within the business who know about the latest tech trends and innovation generally.”Broadly, such efforts can be characterised as team building but they also serve the purpose of talent spotting and ensuring that good ideas don’t go to waste. “With specific innovations, we can get involved and we can translate opportunities,” he says. “Also, we are proactively looking at certain trends in the industry and asking our in-house expertise to focus their talent on these areas.”“We are taking a broad approach to both innovation and the encouragement of talent within the organisation,” says Pataky. “It boils down to a single aim of feeding the talent to ensure that the company has a sustainable future.”Looking outside The idea of mentoring talent and nurturing ideas isn’t only restricted or reserved to those already in the company; it extends outside of the business. An obvious corollary of the attempt to harness internal talent is to source ideas from outside the business and to this end Sportradar has a number of relationships with universities and academic institutions.If innovation in the gambling industry is to flourish then the sector needs to be attracting the best and the brightest, enthusing them about their prospects working at the many global organisations within the sector. For Sportradar, this means extending the hackathon concept by working with outside institutions on the Innovation Challenges, international student competitions aimed at enthusing young talent and generating new ideas.“Teams compete for a prize around a theme, whether that is sports betting or sports data,” says Pataky. “They get the support of our mentors and finally pitch these ideas to panels of experts. We want to learn as a company and the whole experience of working with the ideas and the teams means we gain insight, not only into new ideas but also our existing products. And we get closer to talented future business professionals.” (See case study below)Incubate to accumulate The final strand of the efforts to ensure a flow of ideas and innovations into the wider Sportradar business comes with its own incubator-style start-up programme. This can be classified as providing corporate mentoring. At Sportradar they call it Acceleradar. “This is a programme aimed at new businesses,” says Pataky. “It is an incubator that comes with no strings attached, allowing us to support eligible start-ups with access to all our sports data for 12 months for free. This kind of support can be the difference between an idea on the one hand, and a business, product or service on the other. We want to be close to new businesses and emerging technologies in our industry, but we also want the industry to recognise that Sportradar can be the company to help them build a momentum.In March, Sportradar announced a partnership with HYPE Sports Innovation, a global platform which facilitates connections and investments in the sports ecosystem, with other similar tie ups springing up in Europe, North America and beyond.Currently running in three countries around the world (in the UK with Loughborough, in Australia’s Queensland; and in the University of Trento with Trentino Sviluppo in Italy), the HYPE Sports Innovation partnership is one of a spectrum of collaborations that the company is finalising, where Sportradar will co-promote start-up competitions, where successful businesses will gain access to the Acceleradar programme.“There isn’t one pathway to support innovation and nurture talent out there,” says Pataky of Sportradar’s efforts. “We want to open ourselves up to the full spectrum of new talent and ideas. It’s vitally important for a company such as ourselves in this business that we are in, to keep ahead of trends in technology and data.”“While not every idea we support, whether it is internal or external, will become the next big thing, we feel hugely proud of the fact that we have got to a position in the industry, where we are trusted to equip, mentor, support and nurture those who in some way will play a key role in shaping the sports betting industry in the future”.The success of these efforts will be seen in the medium- to long-term but the hope is that it might set an example of how the gambling industry can better harness imaginative ideas and concepts.Case study: Milutin Spasic, Sportradar in Ljubljana, Slovenia Milutin was a student at the University of Ljubljana when he and three colleagues took part in the Innovation Challenge designed to open the doors at Sportradar’s local offices with teams competing to produce apps that might be adopted by the company.“From the beginning, I always wanted to get into a company like Sportradar and the Innovation Challenge was a great start,” he says. “From the first day, it was really interesting to see the whole process, how it worked and the people putting it together. It was great to meet the mentors, bringing our idea closer to reality together.”The process was designed as a two-way street with Sportradar exposing itself to potential new ideas while the students who took part gained an insight into the company and its processes.“You felt they were really interested in your ideas and how you went about conceiving and rolling out the idea,” he says. “After we were named the winners of Sportradar’s first Innovation Challenge, the whole team got the opportunity to further work on the idea as part of Sportradar and bring it to the market. It felt like an incubator. One year later, three of us remain part of Sportradar’s innovation development team, working on prototyping and developing cool new products. I couldn’t be happier and more enthusiastic about the work I’m doing.” Email Address 11th May 2018 | By Hannah Gannage-Stewart Tags: Online Gambling Sports betting Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Gambling’s innovation challenge AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Scott Longley explores how Sportradar is nurturing talent and ideas in the pusuit of innovation
25th May 2018 | By contenteditor Tags: Fantasy Sports World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH) has signed a definitive agreement to buy fantasy sportsbook Picking Duck. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was confirmed that WPFH plans to bring back Picking Duck’s ‘Handicapper Marketplace’. The service allows punters to ‘buy sports picks’ from professional handicappers and sports betting professionals. WPFH will also acquire the rights to both develop and produce ‘Beat the Bookie’, which will initially launch as a podcast and video blog. In addition, after last week’s US Supreme Court ruling, WPFH has agreed to develop a sports wagering education program along with Picking Duck’s platform. Picking Duck had been making preparations for the anticipated ruling and WPFH will support this work. Entitled ‘Beat the Bookie’, the new program will feature bookies, handicappers and professional sports commentators discussing sports and betting from the perspective of the bookmaker. “Picking Duck’s gaming platform provides a crucial educational component; we believe our community should be comfortable making sports bets and encourage responsible betting,” QPFH chairman and chief executive Travis Kasper said. “Whether you are new to sports betting or a seasoned veteran, you can learn how to sports bet or test your strategies. “By tracking your stats, following hot players, and competing in weekly contests, you’re able to hone your skills and understand that there may be more than just picking a random team to win the game. “What distinguishes Picking Duck from others out there is our commitment to redefining what it means to be a sports bettor.” Kenneth Manubay, chief executive of Picking Duck, added: “Now that sports betting is legal, we expect many novice players to become highly interested in the game. “And with our educational risk-free sports betting platform, it makes a great starting point for every sports fan to learn the ropes.”Related article: World Poker Fund unveils celebrity-backed social casino site Regions: US AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Sports betting Strategy Tech & innovation DFS Email Address DFS WPFH to purchase fantasy sportsbook Picking Duck Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH) has signed a definitive agreement to buy fantasy sportsbook Picking Duck
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Automating casino Casino & games 14th August 2018 | By Hannah Gannage-Stewart Email Address A little over 18 months since he left his role as PokerStars’ casino MD, like so many Stars’ alumni, Sam Hobcraft has embarked on his own millennial-facing ventureUnveiling Omnia in late July, Hobcraft told iGaming Business that having done his time at major brands; Ladbrokes, Betfair and PokerStars, the cost of technology had fallen enough for him to set up his own venture.“The advantage of tech developments in the last few years is that it allows cost-efficient cloud based storage at such a level that the massive amount of data required to operate an AI-based platform can be stored and leveraged,” he says.Omnia’s USP is that it uses AI technology to, in Hobcraft’s words, create a “Netflix-like” personalisation experience for users.“The millennial generation is more demanding than traditional players. For a long time the casino gaming industry has been able to do mediocre stuff because there wasn’t much choice but now users can get more games. They can play social games like Candy Crush for example,” he explains. “It’s about capturing people’s time rather than just their wallet”.The AI-technology driving Omnia is currently developed out of house, but Hobcraft says this may change as the technology, and the know-how behind it, becomes more affordable.“We’re not 100% AI from day one. It’s a new area so we’re trying to lead the way in this. Once people come onto the site, we’re using the AI to give them the right product recommendations and continue learning about them and what games their playing. The product piece is very automated,” he says.“Then the next stage gets a bit deeper in terms of automating the promotions and CRM, understanding customer experience and churn”. The product will also use AI to identify the best time to bonus and what the rewards should be.Needless to say, AI plays a critical role in identifying at-risk players. “We need to build a trust relationship with our customers, so what we’re doing is starting with the mindset that this is at the core of our business. How can we go that slight extra mile, how can we make the experience around responsible gaming as engaging?”Over time, Hobcraft also expects the investment he’s making in AI now to lower overheads through better automation.“We’ll have less staff and we’ll look to have chatbots to reduce customer service overheads. That will then allow us to go into markets where taxes are a bit higher or, in the longer term, to do some M&A,” he says. He estimates that ultimately AI could strip 30% of costs out of the business. Hobcraft describes Omnia as “a technology business first”, and a gaming business second. “We’ve always tried to think about how we do things differently. What’s the Silicon Valley approach?” he says.Half his 10-strong team is from outside of the gaming industry, which he says was a deliberate decision to bring in alternative knowledge and perspectives.Among a panel of investors are several from outside the industry including; Douglas Barrowman, chairman of private equity firm Knox Group, and YYX Capital’s James Cox, who founded the Simba mattress brand.Cox, whose investment house specialises in ecommerce and consumer internet businesses, has been particularly active in Omnia’s marketing strategy, according to Hobcraft.“The influencer marketing piece is a large part of what we’re doing. It’s just learning from these guys and understanding best practices from other sectors,” he says.Hobcraft’s vision for the fledgling casino is for it to be in 3.5% of regulated markets within five years.So far the casino has launched in the UK in March, following a soft launch the previous month, and went live in Sweden in June. Omnia’s white-label partner IGC has also applied for a licence, which is currently being processed. Sam Hobcraft outlines the vision behind millennial-facing casino Omnia Tags: Online Gambling Regions: Europe UK & Ireland Nordics Sweden Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Marketing & affiliates Tech & innovation
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will meet today (Wednesday) to vote on proposed sports betting regulations, with the state widely expected to legalise such activities. Pennsylvania introduced laws for sports betting under bill HB 271 around 10 months ago, but is yet to pass general regulations in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA. Email Address Gaming Control Board expected to reach a decision on Wednesday 15th August 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter At present, operators that apply would need to pay $10m (£7.8m/€8.8m) for a licence, as well as a 34% state tax and a 2% local tax. This combined 36% rate is almost five times as the amount operators face in Nevada, and is seen as the reason why not a single licence application has been submitted. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board currently has no say in the rates set out under HB 271, but this will be up for debate at today’s session as lawmakers seek to hammer out more attractive regulations. The Sports Handle website also said that the Gaming Control Board will discuss what types of sports betting will be allowed, as well the rules for system testing and the state’s policy on problem gambling. Meanwhile, the Gaming Control Board will also analyse the Pennsylvania casinos seeking online gaming certificates. Last month, it was revealed that nine casinos had submitted applications for online licences. Chester Downs, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment and Mount Airy Casino Resort are all named on today’s agenda. Mount Airy last week said it had agreed a deal with The Stars Group to offer online gaming. Aside from casinos, a number of operators are working towards online licences in Pennsylvania, including Kambi. Meanwhile, Hollywood Casino has become the first gambling premises in West Virginia to obtain a licence to offer sports betting services in the state. According to WTRF, the West Virginia Lottery Commission said that the Charles Town casino expects to start accepting bets from September 1. It is believed the sportsbook will be powered by William Hill, which recently announced it had signed a sports betting partnership with a “soon-to-be-announced” casino in the state. Two other casinos are due to go live with sports betting in mid-September, while a further two will follow soon after. Last week, GeoComply became the first company to secure an interim sports betting licence in West Virginia as the state closes in on full regulation. Paddy Power Betfair-owned FanDuel has struck up a deal to provide sports wagering services to the Greenbrier resort. In addition, Kambi has said it is working towards a licence in West Virginia, as well as in Mississippi, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.Image: Hollywood Casino Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Pennsylvania prepares to vote on sports betting laws Sports betting Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Pennsylvania West Virginia
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The ruling coalition government in the German state of Hesse is to break from the State Treaty on Gambling and develop its own regulations, should there be no progress on developing a federal framework by the end of 2019.The Schwarz-Grün coalition of the Christian Democratic Unionists and Green Party said in its agreement setting out key goals for the government’s five-year term that it would push for a system that would ensure players were protected.To do this, it said, a coherent framework that was compliant with European law and awarding licences based on the quality of applicants, rather than having a limit to the number of certifications, was needed.If Germany’s 16 federal states were unable to reach an agreement on a model to overhaul the current and much-criticised State Treaty on Gambling by the end of 2019, the government said it would be forced to strike out alone. The end of 2019 coincides with a break clause in the Treaty, which would allow Hesse to withdraw from the Treaty and develop its own regulatory model for gambling.The coalition aims to increase funding for the Landessportbund Hessen, the association representing all sporting clubs and associations in the state, through the expanded regulation of gambling. It aims to ensure that sports funding generated through gambling is linked to specific objectives, such as supporting competitive sports, encouraging people to participate in sports for health reasons, and to increase the number of disabled people involved in sport.Hesse’s plans would effectively kill the State Treaty, which despite coming into force in 2012, has been discredited in a number of legal challenges, and has ultimately left operators in legal limbo. An attempt to compromise on the legislation, by removing the 20-licence limit for sports betting and adding a clause to pave the way for online casino regulation in future, failed in 2017.This revised State Treaty failed to secure approval from the Schleswig-Holstein and Nordrhein-Westphalen governments, which meant that it could not come into force, as it required approval from all state legislatures.Schleswig-Holstein, which had originally struck out alone with a liberal regime that allowed all verticals and had no licence cap, had already said it would develop a new model with Nordrhein-Westphalen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Hesse. Hesse, which was responsible for processing licence applications under the 2012 incarnation of the Treaty, had also attempted to offer operators temporary waivers to operate in the state, only for the proposal to be struck down in court.In addition to its plans for online gaming, Hesse will also look to transfer regulatory oversight of slot machines to Germany’s federal states. The coalition plans to introduce a motion in the German Bundesrat, the body that represents the country’s 16 states at a federal level, to this end. Legal & compliance 7th January 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Legal & compliance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Hesse plots break from State Treaty on Gambling German state aims to develop its own regulatory framework for online gambling if no progress is made on a federal model by the end of the year Email Address
Topics: Marketing & affiliates PlayOjo launches responsible gambling campaign in Sweden AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden PlayOjo hopes to raise its reputation and profile in Sweden through a new media campaign focused on responsible gambling.The SkillOnNet-powered online casino is to run a Swedish version of the ‘Thumbs Up’ advertising campaign, which is currently being broadcast in the UK.The TV, radio and digital campaign focuses on gambling responsibly, and highlights tools offered by PlayOjo such as deposit limits and voluntary restrictions on play, to help players stay in control of their activity.The advert will be broadcast across the biggest television channels including TV3, TV6, Kanal 5, but not between the hours of 4pm and 9pm to mitigate the risk of underage players seeing the commercial.“PlayOjo is the fair casino where players are put first, and we wanted to reflect this in our latest advertising campaign in Sweden,” PlayOjo head of brand marketing Peter Bennett said.“The ads really drive home the controls we have in place to ensure that players are properly protected and the tools we give them to continue to play responsibly.“As per our earlier decision to only advertise on TV in post peak periods, our latest campaign will not be broadcast between 4pm and 9pm each day making PlayOjo the only online casino in Sweden to focus on Responsible Gambling in all its advertising and stop advertising on TV before 9pm.“We believe our Thumbs Up campaign will help further establish PlayOJO as a leading online casino destination in Sweden and the only truly fair place to play.”PlayOjo announced earlier this year it would not advertise in Sweden before 9pm so as to avoid promoting its services to young people.Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has moved quickly to crack down on what it considers to be excessive advertising by licensees since the market opened in January this year. The Swedish Gaming Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen) is currently in the process of analysing ways to control advertising, that may see a blanket ban on all gambling ads enforced.The regulator is set to meet with operators on 17 September after trade group Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) requested an urgent meeting in the wake of a number of operators being fined. 3rd September 2019 | By contenteditor Email Address Marketing & affiliates Tags: Online Gambling PlayOjo hopes to raise its reputation and profile in Sweden through a new media campaign focused on responsible gambling.
Establishing a breakaway brand AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Casino & games Slots Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 20th September 2019 | By Josephine Watson Casino & games Breaking up the band and going it alone is not always easy, as many a one-time pop star can attest. For every Beyonce or Robbie Williams there’s a Victoria Beckham. Will it be countless solo hits and a new level of stardom, or a string of tuneless flops until the record company unceremoniously pulls the plug?Striding out independently from an established and successful group is a risky game, but the rewards can be worth it.Game developers at technology supplier SoftSwiss were faced with just such a dilemma at the start of last year but ultimately chose to break free in creating BGaming, the Belarus-based studio.It’s fair to say they’ve been more Beyonce than Posh Spice, seeing an expansion in personnel and a string of hit titles taken up by an increasing number of clients. As BGaming director Marina Ostrovtsova explains, the brave choice made in February 2018 has paid off.“We started from a very small operation and have built up over the last 18 months,” she said. “The issue with being part of SoftSwiss was that games were not the main focus. SoftSwiss offers many great solutions and products, and games was just part of that – not the main priority.“The games were performing well, and ultimately it was felt that a separate brand which solely focused on games would produce even better content and be more successful.” Going it aloneBGaming remains part of the same group as SoftSwiss but is “completely independent” according to Ostrovtsova. “BGaming clients do not need to use the SoftSwiss platform to be able to have our content,” she added. “We work with many platforms.“We have switched to a new game engine which we are proud of, and we will be using this for all our new titles. It will help us to be more flexible with art, animation and math models and to create titles at the top level.”BGaming’s growing studio is located in Minsk, Belarus’ capital city, with a headcount of 20, including a creative team and sales staff. The location is perfect for BGaming as it aims to partner with customers in Europe, Asia and the CIS region.“We are a small studio, but we have the talent and the number of people to do everything in-house. We are shifting away from outsourcing,” Ostrovtsova said. “It took us quite some time to recruit the right people in Belarus to complete the BGaming team. There are many talented creative people here and we found the right ones.“We are looking to the Asian market – we want to conquer new territories.”The main challenge for BGaming, as with all studios, has been ensuring its portfolio is competitive and offers clients what they need. BGaming released six games last year and will build on that during this 12-month period.“We currently have more than 50 games in total,” Ostrovtsova said. “All are performing well, but it’s true that some are now a few years old. Time flies and the industry does not wait, and that is why we are pushing through with the development of high-standard new content. Now that BGaming is independent, it is easier for us to update and enhance our portfolio.“For us it is the quality that is the key, not the quantity. We want to produce games that will satisfy our clients and offer players the experiences they want.“In the last year we released the experimental slot Mechanical Orange, produced a deluxe version of some of our top-performing titles and added casual games, including Plinko, Dice and even Jogo do Bicho, the famous lottery-like Brazilian craze.“Looking ahead we want to push boundaries with the content we produce. We have an agreement with the World Boxing Council and will develop a branded game to activate that.“Gamification is probably the main trend that we see in online casino at the moment. Players are looking for bonuses and to win goodies. We’ll be looking to create more high-quality, engaging titles like that in the coming months.” Provably fairSoftSwiss is perhaps most notable for its embrace of cryptocurrency, having established itself in the Bitcoin gaming software market. Ostrovtsova said that this “is not a priority” for BGaming, although its games are built to accept all types of fiat and crypto currencies. Its game ‘Rocket Dice’, which has been very popular with crypto players, has led to a series of requests for similar games from operators, but BGaming does not want to be pigeon-holed as a blockchain-obsessed developer.One development that BGaming is pleased to be primarily associated with is its pioneering ‘provably fair’ feature, which, with the help of cryptography, enables players to easily verify that all game results are indeed unbiased and random.“The unique benefit of ‘provably fair’ is the bond of trust it builds between player and operator,” Ostrovtsova said. “Players need to know that there is an element of fairness and that their results are random. If you take that randomness away, then players will think that there is no point in playing.“As well as the independent certification that players would expect, ‘provably fair’ assures players that they have a chance of winning. It establishes a stronger relationship between the player and the operator.” Email Address
27th September 2019 | By contenteditor The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled Star World Limited’s B2C gaming licence with immediate effect after ruling that the operator breached its Compliance and Enforcement Regulations.The cancellation is effective immediately, with Star World no longer authorised to carry out any gaming operations, register new players or accept new customer deposits in Malta.However, the MGA has informed Star World that it should retain and provide access to all registered players, as well as refund all funds owed to customers.Following an investigation, the MGA ruled that Star World breached paragraphs E, F and H of the Third Schedule to the Gaming Act.In relation to paragraph E, the MGA ruled Star World failed to make payments to the regulator when lawfully due, while the breach of paragraph F related to Star World failing to make payments to players.The MGA also said Star World failed to ensure both the integrity and availability of essential regulatory data. Although the regulator did not go into further detail, it did confirm that this placed the operator in breach of paragraph H.Star World, which initially had its licence suspended in August 2017, may be able to appeal the decision to cancel its authorisation.Earlier this week, the MGA also cancelled UWin4U Limited’s B2C gaming service licence in the country after finding the operator in breach of its regulations. The regulator said UWin4U failed to comply with paragraph E of the Third Schedule to the Gaming Act.Last month, the MGA also cancelled RMI Limited’s B2C gaming service licence for a breaching paragraph E and H. Legal & compliance Email Address Regions: Europe Southern Europe Malta Tags: Online Gambling Malta Gaming Authority cancels Star World’s licence Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Legal & compliance The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled Star World Limited’s B2C gaming licence with immediate effect after ruling that the operator breached its Compliance and Enforcement Regulations. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter
Topics: Casino & games Finance Legal & compliance Slots Casino & games Regions: Europe Southern Europe Italy Tags: Slot Machines 22nd October 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Italian government has announced an increase in the taxes on video lottery terminals (VLTs) and Comma 6A Amusement with Prize slot machines. Italy to increase VLT and AWP taxes The Italian government has announced an increase in the taxes on video lottery terminals (VLTs) and Amusement with Prizes (AWP) machines.The tax rate on VLTs will rise from 7.9% of turnover to 9%, while for AWPs, the rate will rise from 21.6% to 23%.There are currently 11 operators that are licensed to offer one or both of the affected categories, who will now face a higher tax contribution. This is the latest tax rise announced for the machines this year, which in 2018 were taxed on 5.50% of turnover (VLTs) and 17.50% for AWPs. According to Giulio Coraggio of GamingTechLaw, the move was made in order to bring the country’s budget in line with European requirements.“Unfortunately, the Italian Government is looking for money to make the budget of the country in line with the parameters required by the European Commission, and it’s unlikely that they will consider the long term negative effects of such a tax increase,” Coraggio said.Coraggio said that 150,000 workplaces could be at risk from the effects of the tax increase.The country sent its new draft budget to the European Commission for approval, with the tax hikes accompanied by new measures to aid investigation into potential criminal involvement in licensed gambling businesses, while efforts to prevent tax evasion will be stepped up.This will see operators required to sign up to an official anti-money laundering register. That decision follows Operation Galassia, the country’s largest anti-money-laundering probe, in which former board members of SKS365, Italy’s second-largest online sports betting operator, were named as suspects.Italian media had also previously reported that the budget may include a gambling winnings tax, but such a provision was not included.The current proposals, however, may be liable to further change.In its response to the budget, the European Commission said the draft would lead to a decline in the country’s governmental structural balance of 0.1% rather than the recommended increase of 0.6%. In addiiton, the budget features a 1.9% growth in spending, well above the recommended 0.1%.As a result of these discrepenacies, the country may have to reduce spending and increase taxes further in order to meet the EU’s benchmarks. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address
La Française des Jeux-owned betting content and technology provider Sporting Solutions has joined the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) as an associate member, the first sportsbook supplier to do so.Sporting Solutions, which sits within FDJ’s B2B subsidiary Gaming Solutions, works with many top-tier lotteries that operate sports betting, GMLS noted.As an associate member, the supplier will receive summaries of GLMS suspicious activity alerts, and gain access to its education and prevention resources. Sporting Solutions will also be able to tap into GLMS’s information network, though which members share intelligence on betting activity.“I am delighted to welcome Sporting Solutions within the GLMS family,” GLMS president Ludovico Calvi said. “They are a perfect complement to the GLMS global monitoring and intelligence capabilities with their history in pricing, trading and risk management services.”Calvi said that by signing up to the integrity watchdog’s code of conduct, had shown a “clear commitment to promote transparent and socially responsible betting operations”.“We look forward to working closely with Sporting Solutions with the objective of protecting our core values and acting as a shield against global sport corruption,” he added.Sporting Solutions managing director Edward Peace said the partnership built on the supplier’s existing partnerships with World Lottery Association members, and highlighted the supplier’s shared values with the lottery sector.“The commendable work of GLMS to protect the integrity of sports betting and educate the industry is invaluable,” Peace said. “We’re very proud to join the growing GLMS family and strengthen our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of sports betting integrity.” Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Sporting Solutions named associate member of GLMS Lottery Email Address 2nd June 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Lottery Sports betting La Française des Jeux-owned betting content and technology provider Sporting Solutions has joined the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) as an associate member, the first sportsbook supplier to do so.