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Belgian Gaming Operators Sign Pact to Help Prevent Problem Gambling

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Six Belgian gaming operators signed the Duty of Care Covenant last week. They are committed to developing a policy that more quickly identifies and prevents problematic gaming behaviour, the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) reports.

“Sciensano estimates that around 0.9 per cent of the population is prone to gambling addiction. This is often accompanied by emotional, relational and financial problems. We want to prevent that at all costs because legal gaming operators want to offer a safe form of entertainment. After all, you don’t build sustainable economic activity on the back of addictions,” said Damien Thiéry, secretary general of BAGO.

By signing the covenant, the six operators commit to developing a prevention policy based on four pillars: a detection system based on algorithms, AI and scientifically based criteria that identifies potentially risky behaviour; actions or recommendations to protect the gambler, such as providing information on potential risks, proposing voluntary deposit limits or exclusion; education and training for staff so they can identify potential problems and take appropriate actions; and sharing the prevention policy with the Gaming Commission.

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BAGO comprises operators Ardent Group, Betfirst, Golden Palace, Napoleon, Star Casino and Kindred, which account for about 70% of the Belgian private gambling market.

Meanwhile, new legislation will require betting shops to carry out identity checks as of 1 December. These controls will better prevent underage individuals or those on the Excluded Persons Information System (EPIS) from placing bets.

The EPIS list is intended to help protect people with gambling problems. Currently, 48,641 people are excluded voluntarily, 919 by a third party, 661 by an administrator, 66,474 because of collective debt settlement, 5932 because of a court decision and 58,234 because of the nature of their occupation.

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Press Statement from Hard Rock International Related to Star Entertainment Announcement

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Hard Rock International has released the following statement denying the report from Star Entertainment Group regarding potential transactions between the companies.

“Hard Rock International would like to address recent reports regarding a proposed purchase of the Star Entertainment Group Limited (Star) in Australia. We want to make it clear that Hard Rock International is not involved in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities or negotiations on its behalf in connection with a proposed bid for Star. Hard Rock International has similarly not authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any proposed bid for Star by any third party.

“Our brand is built on a legacy of integrity, excellence, and a commitment to our guests, partners, and team members worldwide. Any misuse of the Hard Rock name in unauthorized business dealings is taken very seriously. We are currently investigating this matter and will pursue all necessary legal actions to protect our brand and reputation.

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“We urge stakeholders and the public to rely only on official communications from Hard Rock International for accurate information regarding our business activities and partnerships.”

The post Press Statement from Hard Rock International Related to Star Entertainment Announcement appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Entain: Capital Allocation Committee Update

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Entain, the global sports betting and gaming group, announced the conclusion of a strategic review by the Board’s Capital Allocation Committee (CapCo) of Entain’s portfolio of markets, brands and verticals, which commenced in January 2024.

With the objective of maximising shareholder value and reflecting the operational progress of the business, the conclusions of the review are:

  • Entain has the appropriate portfolio of diversified strategic assets, brands, capabilities and geographic footprint to ensure it is well positioned to deliver high quality long term growth.
  • There remains significant upside by focusing on delivery of the Group’s strategy of returning to organic revenue growth, expanding margins and winning in the US.
  • Entain’s balance sheet and leverage position is robust and has been strengthened by the recent extension of Entain’s RCF and term loan repricing and add-ons.
  • Crystalbet, the leading gaming brand in Georgia, is non-core to the Group. As such, strategic alternatives for this business will be considered, including interest already received from potential acquirers.

As part of this review, the CapCo considered developments in Entain’s key markets and the operational progress made towards its strategic objectives including:

  • Brazil returning to strong double-digit revenue growth during Q2, with actions taken to improve customer acquisition and retention accelerating the performance.
  • The levelling of the regulatory playing field in the UK with the new voluntary industry code on customer safer gambling checks and implementation of industry wide slots limits from September, together with improving customer offer, support expectation of returning to growth later this year.
  • Delivery of the product roadmap for BetMGM is progressing well, including recently launched MLB and NBA sports betting markets supported by Angstrom’s unique capabilities, particularly in parlay products.
  • On 16 May 2024, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the applications of Entain and certain of its subsidiaries without limitation.
  • Entain CEE is performing well and the outlook for online casino liberalisation in Poland is increasingly encouraging.
  • Project Romer is on track to deliver targeted cost savings through simplifying Entain’s operations and improving efficiency.

Following the review, the CapCo will continue to regularly review strategic progress and consider options to maximise shareholder value, including ongoing oversight of all significant aspects of capital commitments.

Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, said: “I am delighted that the Capital Allocation Committee has concluded its strategic review of our portfolio. Whilst we still have more work to do to improve our operational performance, the Board is pleased with the progress Entain is making so far in 2024 in line with our strategy. The Group has the core strengths, brands and products to be competitive across its markets and continues to be a global leader in betting and gaming. The Board looks forward to updating the market further on its progress at the interim results in August.”

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The post Entain: Capital Allocation Committee Update appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Dubravka Burda

IGT Continues Multi-Level Progressive Momentum with New Tiger and Dragon Game on the PeakCurve49 Cabinet

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International Game Technology PLC announced that its new multi-level progressive (MLP) game, Tiger and Dragon, recently debuted on casino floors across the US. Available on the sleek PeakCurve49 cabinet, Tiger and Dragon combines new and proven mechanics with high bonus frequencies for an action-packed entertainment experience.

“We made a commitment to advancing IGT’s game performance with strong multi-level progressive content and leveraged our extensive research and focus group capabilities to achieve this with the award-winning Prosperity Link and Mystery of the Lamp MLP games. Bolstered by our strong momentum in the MLP space, we combined proven game mechanics with exciting new features and gameplay in the development of Tiger and Dragon. We’re excited to unveil this extremely fun and entertaining game with our casino operator partners and their players,” said Dubravka Burda, IGT SVP Global Studios.

The Tiger and Dragon MLP is available in two base games, Multiplier and Cash On Reels. Both games feature three unique bonuses: Tiger, Dragon, and the combined Tiger and Dragon bonus. The game introduces an entirely new lock-and-respin and reveal bonus structure featuring money ball symbols with credit values that can combine. In another new game mechanic, when gong symbols on reels land in the same row, monetary winnings are revealed. Adding to the gameplay excitement are the game’s “up arrows” that appear on reels and increase credit values exponentially.

The game’s Tiger bonus presents win opportunities on a 3×5 reel matrix, and both the Dragon bonus and the combined Tiger and Dragon bonus advance the reels to an 8×5 reel matrix for big win potential. The vibrant game stands out on the gaming floor on the PeakCurve49 cabinet with unique merchandising options, vivid graphics, and LED signage.

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