Canadian Provinces Urged to Aid First Nations Casino
In Canada, the First Nations are the predominant indigenous people who reside south of the Arctic Circle. Parliament changed certain aspects of the Criminal Code in 1985, which gave the provinces authority over gambling.
Along with that, Cartels have taken over and are subjecting the locals in the areas and surroundings to oppression since they are either the owners of the casinos that are licenced or they are forced to give them the bulk of their profits. The First Nations have tried to fight them legally but lost. They are therefore forced to be happy with their leftovers, which results in the latter living in poverty, with very little to survive on. Fraser Institute has implored the lawmakers to relax the laws around gambling so that the First Nations can start generating more income and raise their standard of living.
‘Cartels and Casinos: First Nations’ Gaming in Canada’
Research has been done to find a way to assist the First Nations with, what is required for the industry, to be beneficial for the tribes. The study has established that there are three main ways of achieving this namely, to allow the First Nations to erect casinos near resorts, large cities etc. in this way the standard living conditions will improve rapidly. Secondly, if the cartel aspect can be removed, all proceeds generated by the casinos will go to the relevant people and in so doing, improve the economy as well. Lastly, the Criminal Code which gave the provinces so much power over the First Nations should be reviewed and adjusted.
The results of the study have concluded that it is because the provincial gaming laws have limited the First Nations to only erect their casinos in the remote and most secluded areas, that it has in this way restricted these enterprises from growing. Which has left the First Nations not having much to contribute to the country’s economy. This is why the laws around jurisdictions in the provinces, should be changed, as it is the first step to allowing the First Nations to reform and grow into what could be a lucrative and self-sustaining area for all its members.
All this is reliant on the steps that the policymakers need to look at and change so that moving forward, the First Nations can be progressive and mutually beneficial to the economy of the country as well as its local tribes and original people. In this way granting them a better life for the future.
Security Technology at Canadian Casinos
Both online and land-based casino offerings are enjoyed by millions of players each year. As the form of entertainment has grown in popularity, so too has the suspicion surrounding it. Casino operators have taken measures to ensure the safety of their games, their interests, and their clients by employing some of the most cutting-edge and advanced technologies to aid them to this end. The contributions of Jeff Jonas have transcended the industry and provided a sense of safety for all parties.
All About Nora
Jeff Jonas’ company, named Dora, has been approached by many companies all over the world. In 2005 Jeff Jonas decided to sell one of his first companies that aimed to identify the relationship between the dealers and croupiers to IBM. As a result of this deal, the unique and innovative system Nora was created. The system is currently in use in many regions of the world and serves as one of the most unique inventions for the industry for the last ten years.
According to Jonas, casino operators in Canada and America spend exorbitant amounts of money on the expansion of their game offerings by increasing the number of tables or machines but rarely invest in the security of their operation. Jonas has implored operators to consider the installation of technology, such as this, to be an investment in the future success of their business.
Invisible Casino Guard
Of the many inventions that Jeff Jonas’ team has pioneered, the Invisible Casino Guard is the most popular. The program has been designed to identify the playing relationship between clients and croupier to ensure that gameplay is fair and that the rules are being followed perfectly. The program has also been tasked with analyzing a players' method, determining how effective it is and flagging management should the casino seem likely to lose a lot of money. Casinos that have installed the program have reported greater financial success compared to those who have not installed the technology as yet.
Jeff Jonas, IBM, and a few other software developing companies have created a unique system that deals with the threats that online casinos face. Nora 2,0 works through networks as well as a self-learning algorithm. The program has already established itself in the online market, having prevented 3 thousand server attacks this year.
As the online casino industry continues to boom, more casinos will likely be making use of Nora 2,0, or similar products, to ensure that their safety protocols are meeting industry standards.
Century Casinos Partner with Tipico
The agreement between Tipico and Century Casinos, which will be signed for a period of 10 years, will mean that Tipico, a world leader in the online sports betting arena, which employs a large number of the working class in the U.S and presently has its HQ, in New Jersey, a further foothold and more prosperous future.
More About Tipico
Tipico is a US-based company. The company was originally founded in Europe in 2004 and since then has grown into an established leader in the online sports betting industry.Which provides over 30 different countries, world-wide with exciting and innovative access to the online betting scene. The company offers its customers protection at all times as it invests in technologies that make the online world safer and offers a better experience to its users.
Century Casinos is a leader in its own right and owns and operates entertainment establishments in Alberta, Canada, Colorado and many other regions. The company owns 7.5% in Mendoza Central Entretenimientos S.A, this collaboration, was spearheaded by Century Resorts Management, one of its business partners.
About the Partnership
The agreement, between these two companies, will be a 10-year partnership, which promises, the online sports fans in Colorado, security and a completely new experience, in sports betting. Tipico’s Managing Director, Adrian Vella, said that the company is looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership, in which the company will be providing mobile betting and proprietary technology to Century Casinos already established and respected brand. Tipico will be receiving a minimum percentage of revenue on an annual basis from gaming revenue, generated by Century Casinos. It will also receive an initial once-off market fee payable to Tipico, upon signing of the contract.
Century Casinos are elated at the prospect of being partnered with Tipico. The Century Casino team believes that the union will offer the Sports Betting platform that has already been established by the Colorado Division of Gaming, a firmer and more secure experience. Erwin Haitzmann, Co-Chief Executive of Century Casinos, is of the opinion that Colorado would be the perfect market for Tipico’s online sports betting scene, as it makes its mark, in the U.S and continues with its growth plans moving forward.
The signing of the agreement brings the total number of sports betting partnerships, within Colorado to three. The other two were signed with bet365 and Circa Sports, respectively.
Online Gambling Increases the Odds of Problem Gamblers
Alberta Gambling, Liquor and Cannabis have gone live with PlayAlberta.ca in hopes that a legalized and regulated site would appeal more to Alberta’s population than the off-shore sites. The site was launched under the premise of offering players a more secure and regulated gaming experience. However, the potential harms that could result from this launch have been cast into the spotlight according to reports from earlier this month.
The site launched by AGLC has done a good job at showing the public, and concerned citizens of Alberta, that the organization will be taking consumer protections into account as the business progresses. The player safety tools that are embedded in the site are a good start but it is apparent that the government has a lot of work to do before the industry will be as harmless as possible. The tools that are currently on the site include a reality check, which is a message that pops up to inform players how long they have been playing for, a call centre to help players identify problem behaviours, an exclusion option and the ability to set daily weekly or monthly limits. The tools in place on the site are some of the most innovative seen in the market today but Professors and Analysts believe that other aspects could still lead to issues in the future.
Future Plans For the Site
The site currently offers a range of over 40 games that include slots and instant games. This is not the current market standard and is far less appealing than what off-shore sites are offering. As such, the AGLC has expressed plans to grow its gaming catalogue over time. The downside to this is that with more games on offer, the site will appeal to a range of new and curious players, who might be unaware of dangerous gambling signs and could easily develop an addiction.
Our Closing Thoughts
The revenue generated from the industry is expected to be around $150 million over the next five years. The money could be used to develop more awareness around problem gambling and aid organizations that seek to assist those with a problem. However, it seems unlikely that Canadians will solely place wagers on the new site until the offering is more similar to what they have become accustomed to with off-shore operators.
WMG and SKS365 Sign Online Casino Deal
SKS365 and WMG made online betting news earlier in October 2020 when they announced their new deal. PlantWin365 and WMG will be combining brands to bring members of PlanetWin365 a few choices titles from the Italian Gaming software Provider. Both company’s executives have taken to media platforms to share their excitement at being able to work together, with some of the titles already available to PlanetWin356’s clientele.
About The Deal
WMG, one of the first software providers to supply the online gaming industry with casino-related games in Italy, has agreed to use it’s twenty years of industry knowledge to enhance the PlanetWin365 offering. This is not the first deal that SKS365 has struck this year to expand its digital offering. According to the terms of the agreement, the first five games from WMG’s gaming catalogue have been shared with PlanetWin365’s members. Members can now enjoy premium and popular titles by the renowned software developer such as Fowl Play Gold and Haunted House. SKS365 currently services a range of markets that would benefit from a more diverse offering and help the operator earn a greater share of the market.
PlanetWin365’s Second Lucrative Gig
The latest gig with WMG marks the second booming deal that has been struck with SKS365. Earlier this year PlanetWin365 agreed to a content deal with Booming Games, a Malta-based developer, that has subsequently expanded the online offering. The gig wthl Booming Games will eventually lead to the company’s 60 plus fan-favourite titles making it onto the PlanetWin365 platform shortly. Players will be able to enjoy popular titles such as Gold Vein and the timeless Egyptian-themed game, Lucky Scarab, once the content has been fully installed and integrated into the platform.
Troy Fox, SKS365’s Chief Commercial Officer, said the company is very proud to welcome WMG on board. The introduction of WMG developed content will allow SKS365 to further expand its gaming offering by providing games that are tied to the physical slot experience more closely. He concluded by saying that titles added to the site have proven to be very popular and great revenue-generators on the platform.
Manuele Mazzucato, a representative of WMG, took to online news to share a statement on the deal. According to Mazzucato the gig with SKS365 has been the primary ambition for the company this year. The closing of the deal has become an incentive for the WMG team to continue their hard work and focus on their growth. He concluded by saying that the players are sure to enjoy the premium titles that have been provided.
PlayTech in Partnership with RGC to Improve iGaming Industry
There’s no doubt it, addiction comes in many different forms. Equally, as serious as drug and food addiction is gambling which brings along with it health, wealth, and social afflictions. In the light of this growing concern, PlayTech and the Responsible Gambling Council for Canada, have decided to join forces in an attempt to assist gamblers and their families in dealing with this particular form of addiction.
PlayTech, based in London, is a company that develops gambling software, with the main objective of adding the RGC specifically, in the fight against the abuse of the gambling practice. As rewarding as it can be, the detrimental effects it can also impose on families are devastating, to say the least.
The partnership between these two leaders in the field of gambling and technology is aimed at creating a safer and more sustainable environment for service providers as well as their patrons. By using artificial intelligence, the company is homing in on gamblers who exhibit traits of struggling with their addictions and will then develop strategies to assist them where possible, based on their specific risk profiles. This procedure in conjunction. Will assist, with results and processes put in place after establishing the best way forward.
Janine Robinson, Director of RGC, believes that the consumer's mental health, which is being influenced by technology, could be protected, if the user is more familiar with how to gamble, responsibly. The Canadian gambling council's 35 years of experience in working together with other organisations, to improve the overall gambling experience as well as the player's well-being, will benefit the industry if implemented and understood. The collaboration and availability of these products are hoped to aid and develop healthier gambling and mental wellbeing.
Educating and Supporting Strategy
The RGC is a non-profit organisation, in Canada, established to provide gamblers, with the necessary balance, to allow for maximum enjoyment, with a lower risk of overspending and subsequently, becoming an addict. The union between these organisations is directed at adding to the worldwide research and contribution to assist gamblers who have addictive natures and also to educate and assist with the initiative to achieve sustainable success. Once this strategy is understood and practiced, the results will be of mutual benefit to both the users and the entire gambling industry alike. Giving the customer a safer and more entertaining service.
Trudeau's Emergency Recess Puts Sports Betting in Jeopardy
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, called for an urgent recess of parliament, to implement legislation and access the way forward. This comes in the aftermath of the recent global shortcomings that forced business closures worldwide. The decision was made, says Trudeau, to assist workers and businesses alike, to defeat one of the biggest threats facing the country, since World War Two. With the recess, however, comes many delays in-laws that were in the process of being passed. One such bill, is the C-218, which would have seen, single-event betting, legalized in Canada.
Starting from Scratch
Brian Masse MP of NDP said that despite being promised over a year ago that the bill would be easy to pass, this delay will be devastating for the gambling industry. This C-218 bill, he said during an announcement outside of Caesars in Windsor, had it been passed, would have diverted money from illegal betting by putting it back into the casinos, which would mean an increase in revenue at the casinos. Kevin Waugh, Conservative MP, proposed this bill a year ago and it was awaiting approval, now it has to be reintroduced and start from the beginning again. Masse feels that this is another instance in which a good opportunity has once again been missed.
What Would C-218 Mean for Casinos?
The C-218 bill would have been able to make it easier for the casino workers during these uncertain times, said David Cassidy, president of Unifor 444, which are representatives for the workers at the casinos. The bill could have already been approved and since the casinos are the second-largest employers in the state, it could have helped many of its workers moving forward. Even though the state is in level 3 of the regulations, the casinos remain closed, due to the capped amount of 50 clients allowed per casino. Since the single betting option would be online, this could have assisted in making things easier for casino workers at this stage.
The Way Forward
Sports, Tourism and Cultural Minister Lisa MacLeod, said that the law regarding the capped 50 people permitted at a casino at a time, has been extended to 50 people per room at any facility or events company, as long as the company adheres to the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s plans. Although she did not specifically mention casinos in her announcement. It is still hoped that the bill will be passed once parliament reopens at the end of September.
BCLC Report: Online Gaming Potential
The Canadian gambling industry has performed extremely well for the last few years. Certain regions have been known to do better than others with British Columbia being one of the biggest contributors to the country’s overall industry revenue each year. According to a report filed by the BCLC, the industry has consistently noticed the increased popularity of online gaming in the last three years.
Land-Based Location Revenue Results
The brick-and-mortar locations in British Columbia have enjoyed success and popularity for many years. However, the revenue generated from the casinos in the area has been taking a slow and steady dip since players have opted to take their experience online.
According to the report, the revenue generated by land-based establishments can be divided into two segmental ranges. Table game and slot revenue. Table games generated 2,3% less revenue, totaling CA$417 million for the year while slot revenue was down by 8,1% contributing CA$1.83 billion when the report was concluded.
Online Gambling Results
While traditional gambling locations were experiencing a decline that began before the onset of the global crisis in 2020, online gambling revenue experienced an impressive 19,5% increase. The BCLC’s Playnow online site managed to generate CA$179 million for the same12 months. The majority of this revenue was accrued before the global crisis struck, showcasing the independent growth and potential of the sector in the country.
The success of the site has been attributed to the revamp of the sports betting platform that saw improvements made to deposit capacity, live dealer solutions, appearance, and the registration process in place.
British Columbia Relies on the Online Gaming Industry
The online vs. traditional war that is being waged in Canada’s online industry is not all bad. What was expected to be a crisis of devastating proportions this year when land-based locations were closed down to protect the safety of guests and employees, has been largely avoided. Land-based performance did experience a sharp decline due to circumstances that led to a 2,2% decrease in revenue, the online sector grew to great new heights leading to an impressive net revenue of CA$2.53 billion for the BCLC.
The success experienced has been closely linked to the improvement of online services for the Playnow site. Considering that the shift from land-based experiences to virtual ones was already in play before the global crisis, the site was started as a means to ensure that Canadian players have a legal, legitimate, and trusted choice. The sector is expected to continue its current growth trajectory.
Canadian Gambling Market Trends
Gambling became legal in Canada in 1985. This industry has become a huge revenue earner and rakes in approximately €12.4 billion per annum. During the years 2015 to 2020, Canada suffered a sharp decline in the gambling industry, because of this there was very little spending money for leisure and entertainment which resulted in even further stress on the gambling market in Canada. With all the positive changes that came about in the online gambling platform, such as the easy and convenient apps that are now available on mobile devices, online gambling is now gaining more popularity in Canada.
On The Go Connectivity
Since there are so many more online casinos these days, Canadian players are spoilt for choice, as these new online casinos offer so many options at their finger-tips. The online option is more attractive to players, as they prefer them rather than having to travel to land-based casinos. With the faster 4G and 5G options on offer, the speed with which connectivity is reached is also a definite plus for people on the go. In addition to this, favourite games can be easily accessed by players no matter where they are as long as they have internet access.
Favourite Gaming Options in Canada
One of the most enjoyable and popular sports in the country is horse racing, apart from ice-hockey. With over 44 race tracks across the country, sports betting also allows for fans to bet on any race they wish to. The online gambling platform offers players to bet on other preferred favourites, such as Hockey, Lacrosse and when it is football season, then that too is an exciting option. Canada has the best players in the sport of Lacrosse and having this as an option for betting on, further expanding the online betting options.
Anticipated Growth Moving Forward
Technology is playing its part in the much-anticipated growth of the gambling sector in Canada. Experts believe that the future looks promising, as advancement won't stop here. VR technology is another exciting addition to the online experience and will allow Canadians access to a bigger online gambling platform. The future looks bright as all these can be accessed from the comfort of players’ homes.
With all of these developments, people will start spending more money on gambling sites and in turn, the economy will also start growing again. Over the next five years, economists predict that the online industry will grow and boost the country even further.
CA iGaming Venture Bets on Success
During the recent trying times of 2020, many people all over the world took to developing different, and socially-distanced, pass-times such as baking, crafts, and online gambling. The increased success of the gambling industry as a whole can be attributed to recent closures that forced land-based casinos to move their offerings online and the recent legalizations of sports betting in several American States. Canada, however, will not be left behind. Influencer interactive Incorporated believes they have the recipe for success.
Influencer Interactive Inc., a Canadian company, has launched Blitzbet. Blitzbet has been described as a comprehensive and informative online gambling platform that offers gambling, sports betting, and related content to enhance the experience and keep players updated. The sportsbook has been listed on the Canadian Securities exchange and provides North American and International major league sporting events as well as a wide variety of traditional casino-style options. The company has identified the varied and diverse offerings as one of the core features that have prompted players to choose Blitzbet as their primary gaming destination.
Influencer Interactive incorporated has enlisted the help of one of the most influential and exciting media celebrities to gain market share. Dan Bilzerian, popular poker celebrity and massive media influencer, has signed on with Blitzbet, bringing his 52 million social media followers with him. Blizerian, who is the poster boy for excess with piles of money, luxurious cars, and a new beauty on his arm every week, might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the target demographic for Blitzbet is men aged 20-40 and Bilzerian is a perfect fit for what lures these customers in. Having the dynamic and magnetic influencer onboard has aided the company in customer acquisition, that other gaming companies spend millions on annually while keeping Influencer Interactive’s acquisition marketing costs per customer at almost zero.
Blitzbet also makes use of a sister brand, linemovement.com, that offers up their professional analysts such as Nick Kypreos and others, to deliver talks and tips for sporting teams and their players. What makes this such an effective tool is that all of the advice and content on offer at Blitzbet is free. With the vast majority of gamers turning to online offerings such as this, there is little doubt that the global market’s profit is going to increase from it’s $60 billion per annum, with Canada showing strong growth prospects for their industry revenue moving forward.
Century Casinos Aim to Sell off Operations for CA$ 7,5 Million
Century Casinos in Colorado Springs have announced that they have entered into negotiations to sell the Century Casino Calgary for CAD 10.0 million ($7,5million), based on the exchange rate as of July 2020. Calgary is one of the company's smaller operations and generates about $8.4 million of the 1,2 million in Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in 2019. The plans for the sale should be concluded by the Fall of 2020.
About Century Casinos
Century Casinos Incorporated was established in 1992. The casinos have a lot of entertainment, restaurants, and showrooms on offer to all loyal customers. Many of Century casinos follow in the image of a mid-sized casino, which is the preferred model that the corporate structure follows.
The Terms of the Agreement
Co-Executive officers Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger of Century Casinos said this means that they are selling off half of the Calgary casinos operations,to 2267166 Alberta Ltd, but they will continue to run half of the sports bar, bowling and entertainment operations. In addition to this, Century Casinos will retain ownership of the real estate. Also according to the agreement, CRA will enter into a three-year lease agreement with the Buyer who will pay Calgary rent of about CAD 480,00 which is about $358.103 per annum. The co-executives of Century casinos have outlined that this sale will positively affect their balance sheet after the last few turbulent financial months.
According to the report, the agreement which is supposed to be finalized soon is that the transaction is still to be approved by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission. The CAD 10.0 million, is a non-refundable payment to Century Casinos, except as stipulated in the Agreement. Century’s Q1 showed a loss of around 40% in earnings in comparison to 2019, however, the adjusted EBITDAincreased worldwide by 44% to CAD$ 9.6 million from last year's CAD$ 6.7 million for the same period.
The agreement between these two companies will mean that Century Casino will be able to stay involved, albeit in a managing capacity for the next three-years. Since being founded 3 months ago, 2267166 Alberta Ltd, has opened a door with great start-up growth potential. Having bought an established and well-known casino means they now have the opportunity to build on to the legacy that is Century Casino Incorporated.
Online Casino Games Are Booming in Canada
The gambling industry in Canada has been ever-growing and been a part of Canadian culture for over a hundred years. From banning all gambling in the 1800s to finding value in the industry and adjusting regulations to benefit the state. Some casinos are even government-owned and managed to add to Canada’s revenue. With the popularity of gambling in Canada, online casinos are on the rise and players are loving the addition of more options to keep them entertained.
History of Gambling in Canada
Bingo and raffles were the main sources of gambling when the laws were adjusted in 1900. Horse racing was added to the list of acceptable forms of gambling in 1910, with gambling events held at fairs and exhibitions following 1925. As time went on, more provinces were given the right to conduct a gambling business all over Canada.
Today, there are casinos in nearly every province of Canada with the regulations different from each other. Some of these casinos are owned completely by the government, while others are government-owned, but operated by private businesses.
With so many options for land-based casinos, why would Canadians want to invest their time and money in online casinos? It comes down to the basic fact that people want to be comfortable, doing what they enjoy in a place that is safe and private, their homes.
The Popularity of Online Casinos
Currently, there are very few online casinos based in Canada. However, the laws are set up in a way that Canadian residents can enjoy a huge host of games from online casinos across their borders. Given the popularity of land-based casinos in Canada, online casinos offer the players an opportunity to avoid having to find a parking spot or an open spot at a slot machine or table.
Furthermore, gambling culture is rife in Canada, and adding more online casino offerings will go a long way to satisfying gamers and also benefit the economy. Online casinos are so popular in Canada because there are also free online casinos to play. Players can have a real gaming experience with no losses, helping players work on their skill until they are ready to try their hand at winning big.
Future Of Online Casinos in Canada
The online casino industry is growing at an exponential rate and with the government having so much influence in the gambling market, it is safe to say that online casinos will be the future and add even more value to the revenue of the country. There is a vast amount of gambling options for Canadians and this includes online casinos, the laws are hazy at this time, but with many more Canadians opting for online casinos, the Canadian government is sure to take more notice and adjust to current times. Making sure that the citizens of Canada are spoilt for choice.
Canada's e-Gaming Explosion in 2020
The e-Gaming scene has once again hit Canada in a big way in 2020 and more Canadians are taking on to the online gaming world as interest has spiked during a trying quarantine period. The online gaming scene not only being an exciting engagement for its visitors to partake in, but also quite a lucrative one.
The Canadian general public has recently been allowed to participate in multiple online gambling activities as this has not always been the case in past years. The country is considered to have a unique approach when it comes to regulating gambling within its borders. Gambling operators in the various territories are governed and regulated by provincial governments and even though gambling has been a part of the country since its inception, the ban against the participating in online gambling has been eased and has opened up a lucrative market to the various regions.
The Canadian Criminal Code was revised in 1970 and changed to allow separate states to accrue extra funds through regulated lotteries that would go towards beneficial causes and in turn would positively impact the country. This has opened up the door for land based casinos to cement their presence in different parts of the country with the first brick and mortar casino being built in Winnipeg back in 1989.
A Booming Online Casino Industry
With the lockdown coming to effect this year, the global pandemic has seen a fall in many land based industries such as the sports industry and land based casinos where social gatherings are not permitted. As global markets and other industries continue to plummet, the online gambling industry is experiencing the exact opposite. Online gambling operators have released figures showing an increase of 20% in online registrations compared to the same period the previous year. Currently in the US, only two of the national states have been deemed to run gambling operations online, namely New Jersey and Nevada.
With the playing field open to Canadian players, the stage has been set for a big wave of online players who are looking to win it big. There is currently no legal authority that can restrict any Canadian from placing online bets. To add to that, the sale of lottery tickets online to Canadian citizens has also been made legal. What is still considered to be illegal are gambling operators who are offering their services without being in possession of a government issued license. Such online casinos do exist, however and have tried to find loopholes around this by registering their casino sites offshore. The paradox being the fact that if the company issuing the license is based in a country where gambling is legal, then Canadian laws do not apply.
In the midst of a pandemic, antiquated land based players as well as newcomers are finding themselves more at home when gambling online since the advent of social distancing. Online casinos are one of the most fun and exciting things you can do online at the moment, and it looks like the industry is not planning to leave anytime soon.
How the Casino Industry is Impacted by Technology
There’s no doubt about it, but technology has had an enormous impact on industries around the world, so it’s no surprise to find out that the casino industry has been one of the most impacted over the last decade, and it continues. We usually associate gambling and casinos with Las Vegas, but the casino industry has far-reaching branches in every corner of the world. The technology of ‘bots’ which are autonomous internet programs and can interact with systems or users, especially ones designed to behave like a player in some video games. The changes are becoming more and more evident to players, like how in most casinos the RNG, Random Number Generator, has been adopted to ensure the complete randomness and fairness of the games.
It’s increasingly obvious, in the area of online casinos, the LIVE table games where classic games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat can be played from home in real-time with live dealers and players interacting using some incredible automated procedures. We’re going to look at some other examples of tech advancements in the online casino industry.
How Technology is Shaping and Developing Online Gaming
Gambling and Casinos have been in existence for a very long time, in fact, ever since Casino di Venezia opened its doors in Venice back in 1638, gambling has been progressing in so many different ways, but nothing has been more significant than the way online gambling has changed the gambling landscape.
Online gambling allows players to be able to play from anywhere in the world, whether that is in the comfort of their home, or whilst they’re in a cafe or in transit, the world is literally their oyster, as long as they can establish a good internet connection, their location can be literally anywhere. Online casinos are also accessible at any time of the day or night, so this is also another bonus in the flexibility of playing online. Online slots are the most popular games universally played by Canadians, however, players that love table games can place live bets on any of the classic games they choose, with more and more options and variations of these games being developed constantly.
Payment Options in Online Casinos
In land-based casinos, as well as the online ones, the way money is moved around from player to casino and back to player has changed to the extent that it has allowed online gambling to flourish even more. In physical casinos, there were the good old ‘chips’ that were bought with real money and used to play the table games with, and actual coins were used to play the slot machines. That’s all changed in today’s casino establishments. Players get a slip that is printed from the machine in exchange for a deposit or withdrawal, commonly called a TITO (Ticket-in Ticket-out) machine. This method guarantees safe electronic transfers without the fear of theft. The withdrawals can also use a smart card method which is similar to the function of a pre-paid card. You simply have the card loaded with the amount of money you require, and it gets transferred from the bank account it is linked to.
Random Number Generation
As previously mentioned, casinos now use what’s called a Random Number Generator (RNG), and these too are responsible for some changes in the way gaming is regulated. All games, including slots, roulette blackjack etc have a different RNG process, but they all work in the same way, and that is to ensure that the sequence of numbers or symbols can’t be predicted except by chance. This system created much more trust and security among players as it was clear that the games did not always benefit the house. The RNG is programmed to an average of 75% by law, but sometimes it’s even higher, depending on the casino. Now it’s common to find that the players and the casino have equal odds.
The Latest in Cutting Edge Technology
Some of the newest cutting edge technology that is already being used in casinos is sometimes hard to fathom. The two that are gaining most popularity are Virtual Technology, VR, and Artificial Intelligence, AI. Many online platforms are now offering a VR headset to give players a truly unbelievable gaming experience.
Although most casinos in Canada have been using virtual reality for some time, online casinos in they haven’t embraced AI in quite the same way. Software developers argue that Artificial Intelligence makes for a much more superior experience, where players are pitted against one another in such a sophisticated and realistic way that the need for physical casinos will continue to decline even further.
So what do we expect to see in the future, in terms of new technology? It’s hard to say exactly, except, it’s certain that we can imagine plenty more evolving technology that will continue to amaze and excite players everywhere. The future is very bright indeed, so watch this space as CasinoTop continue to bring Canadian players the latest technological advancements in online gaming.
Leaders share 2020 Predictions for iGaming industry
As we enter the new year, we thought it might be a good time to see what some of the gaming industry leaders have to say in regards to their predictions for 2020 in the gambling sector. Continue reading for some key insights from the top!
Melissa Blau, Director at iGaming Capital
USA Sportsbetting for 2020
Since Jersey took the lead over Nevada in monthly Sportsbetting revenue last year, Melissa has stated it is highlight likely another state will surpass the monthly Sportsbetting revenue this year.
1. US ‘Safe Haven’
The US is likely to be looked upon as a ‘safe haven’ for operating profitability due to increasing pressure on new regulated and pre-existing restrictive regulations and taxes in Europe.
According to Melissa, it’s looking like 2020 is going to bring in another mega-merger, but one that is most likely to come from a tech or media player not in the iGaming industry which will probably surprise a lot of people. This prediction is based on the fact that “there is more access to cost-effective capital and buoyant capital markets”.
Peter Nolte, CEO at Patagonia Entertainment
1. 2020 sees regulation granted in Brazil
Peter Nolte of Patagonia Entertainment recently spent some time in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the OGS conference where he heard the good news about the future of online gaming in Brazil and Latin America. The new sports betting law regulator in Brazil, SECAP, confirmed that the new regulation for sports betting will be published in Q1 2020
Mor Weizer, CEO at Playtech
1. US market – Gold Rush for Quality Product
As more states start to regulate across the US and the market continues to grow, Weizer has stated they have seen a ‘gold rush’ of operators scrambling to launch product and suppliers pushing to sign partners. He went on to say there are two new themes developing. The first is that there is a need to differentiate the offering since it is proving to be a very competitive market. Secondly, is a demand for a sophisticated product. He predicts quality will prevail as operators look at technology of a high standard that has been proven successful in Europe and Latin America before applying it to help develop US in-play betting versions.
2. Online casinos are the underdogs of the online gaming industry
Even though 2019 saw the US online gaming industry reach $470m, sports betting is still seen as more acceptable in the market. Online casinos are definitely an enticing long term prospect for operators in many US states, particularly since New Jersey saw its highest online casino revenue ever in 2019 and there are markets like West Virginia and Pennsylvania beginning to open.
It’s still the quickest growing sector in Europe with specialists like Playtech launching new products on a weekly basis.
3. Safe Gambling Solutions & AI
2020 is going to see safer gambling solutions as one of the main areas of competition due to operators looking to compete against one another to build the best reputation to protect consumers in the US, UK and European markets. Similarly, machine learning and AI is a hot topic right now as experts from varying sectors look search for applications in industries like e-commerce. Playtech is one of the main pioneers in AI and machine learning within the gambling sector as it builds intelligence-based safe gambling tools allowing operators to engage with players in real-time that are showing signs of potentially harmful behaviour and guide them on a customer journey that is going to monitor and control potential future risk.
Andrew Dagnall, CEO at Bettorlogic
1. Development of light sportsbooks
Andrew Dagnall has predicted 2020 will see the development of light versions of full sportsbooks that are suited to specialist groups, therefore, allowing easier access based on betting preferences and equating in more adequate publicity of sportsbook products.
meaning that although they still need to resolve a few taxation issues, regulation in Brazil is definitely going to happen this year.
Keith Mc Donnell, CEO at KMi Gaming
1. In-play wagering and online mobile betting
Online betting on your mobile device or tablet as been one of the major sources of revenue for those states that have legalised sports betting and it is becoming increasingly necessary for those that are looking like that are going to be legalised. Other states are rallying for the legalisation on mobile betting after seeing the positive impact in New Jersey and Indiana which were at 80% and 65.3% respectively for November 2019 alone.
With this in mind, the increase in mobile betting is going to see In-play wagering skyrocket. Europe is far ahead with 80% of all sports betting coming from in-play. Players are going to be looking for new and fast options for betting that are all supported by real-time data.
2. Relationship building between operators and media giants
As we see an increase in more companies enter the sports betting market, efforts to merge and vital relationships between media giants and big gambling operators will continue. We saw huge deals in 2019 with Flutter Entertainment Group, Yahoo & MGM / GVC and The Stars group.
3. Tribal Entities
Tribal Entities will continue to try and dominate sports betting in their own states or ban it completely. They tend to control casino gambling in a lot of States which can slow down the legalisation of sports betting which is evident in States like Florida, Connecticut and California.
4. Job Market
It’s expected that between 125-150,000 new jobs could come up in the US sports betting market over the next 1-2 years.
Jesper Kårrbrink, Chairman at Green Jade Games
1. Scale, compliance and professionalism vital to succeed in 2020
According to Jesper Kårrbrink, in a relatively short time (he recently celebrated 10 years), the iGaming industry has seen angel invested startups with a strong ‘can-do’ approach to where we are today with Large Cap companies that have a newfound level of processes, compliance, routines and professionalism. This is a change that will continue and for others to survive in increasingly regulated environments, compliance, scale and professionalism will be vital! In Jesper’s opinion, the big guys will get bigger while the small will decrease in size as there really isn’t room for 400+ brands all offering the same type of product, unfortunately. He believes 2020 will continue in the same way 2019 begun, with brands fighting to survive due to a lack of differentiation.
2. Declining growth numbers for the Pay n Play operators
BankID and Swish are looking to take a share of the market from Pay n Play in Sweden this year. It’s likely that we’re going to start seeing a decline in growth for Pay n Play operators in Sweden because of this in 2020.
3. India well and truly on the map
India is set to be the next grey growth opportunity in the world of online gambling. It’s definitely the new destination to watch.
4. Increase in gambling taxes
From Italy to Denmark, the team are wondering who else is going to increase gambling taxes for 2020. While they may not finalise increases this year, it’s looking like it will be a topic governments start to discuss especially since gambling and online casinos are an easy tax to increase due to the current media image.
5. Uncertainty in the UK
The United Kingdom will continue to be an uncertain market in 2020 with a £2 bet limitation being a key topic.
6. Green Jade Games launch real money arcade games
2020 sees Green Jade Games launch their first-ever real money arcade games which is a completely new gaming and gambling experience.
7. Consolidating phase for suppliers
The purchase of Red Tiger by NetEnt was one of the first signs that there is now consolidating phase for suppliers within the iGaming industry. As operators increase in size, providers find they have to do the same or they begin to lose pull.
8. Increased marketing efficiency for operators
As operators continue to protect their brands on Google and improve margins affiliates are going to be challenged and see a loss of revenue while operators see an increase in well-organised marketing.
9. Shorter life span for games
Each year, the market is flooded with new games so it’s only natural that this is decreasing the shelf life of games. Providers will need to challenge their plans, logic and previous ideas to get ahead in 2020.
10. Curated collections of games for players
Gone are the days where operators just provide a library of games for their players to choose from. 2020 will see AI help these operators create a curated selection of games to give their players a tailored experience.
Malta Gaming Authority Releases First 2019 Performance Report
One of the gambling industry’s most recognisable regulators, the Malta Gaming Authority holds an important position in the landscape of gambling regulation. The MGA has now released its interim performance report for the first half of 2019, detailing its efforts in the prevention of criminal activity in the industry and the outcome of newly enforced regulations.
Intelligence sharing and collaboration
The popularity of gambling online means that international cooperation is key to reliable and consistent regulation. The MGA performance report shows that the regulator used a number of methods to inform its regulatory actions, ranging from in-depth compliance reviews and audits, investigations and a significant degree of knowledge-sharing with other authorities. In an industry as large and dispersed as online gambling, the MGA is using all the help it can get to make sure every operator plays by the rules.
The report in question covers the period between January and June of 2019 and during this time, the MGA entered into a number of partnerships designed to bolster its regulatory powers. Memoranda of understanding were signed with the Malta Police Force as well as the Swedish gambling authority, Spelinspektionen. Delegations from Ireland, Lagos and Ghana were hosted by the MGA and these helped to broaden the international dialogue surrounding the sharing of intelligence.
The Malta Gaming Authority received 23 international requests for cooperation in the six-month period and sent 33 of its own. These requests were related to a broad range of subjects, from unlicensed operators, criminal activity, sport integrity, and media reports, allowing the MGA to follow up on issues brought to their attention in a timely manner.
MGA’s direct action
All the data that MGA gathered was put to good use and the regulator had a pretty busy first half of 2019. It cancelled no fewer than 7 online gambling licenses during this time period and another 11 licenses were suspended. Close to 500 criminal probity screens were carried out with both online and land-based operators being checked.
In the first six months of the year, 1,915 queries were resolved by the Player Support Unit. The Unit received 1,753 requests for assistance from players during the same period. The Authority’s Fit & Proper Committee, which decides whether individuals should be granted operating licenses based on financial and criminal background, met 19 times. It took a total of 107 decisions, which included conditional verdicts on 48 applications and the refusal of 13 others.
Positive report for the MGA
Chief Officer of Finance and Programme Management at the MGA, Peter Spiteri, said that the MGA was satisfied with its performance during the time period under review. The MGA is responsible for upholding the Gaming Act, the cornerstone legislation that regulates gambling and which saw an update as recently as 2018.
Spiteri said that despite the challenges faced by any institution concerned with regulating such a quickly moving industry as gambling, the MGA is committed to ensuring that all operators are compliant.
The gambling sector in Malta has seen steady growth over the past ten years, employing thousands within the sector locally. However, the outlook for the industry is on shaky ground. Multiple gaming companies in Malta have been forced to downsize and others have considered relocating as a result of tighter gambling regulations in many target markets and the possibility of complete EU tax harmonisation threatens to strip Malta of the incentives it can offer operators.
It’s also worth noting that the integrity of the MGA itself has come under scrutiny. In November 2019, the Times of Malta reported that the Authority had been operating without the oversight of an executive board since July of the same year, after the government had failed to renew its term.
Reports Show That The UK Tax Office Relies Heavily Online Casinos And Lotteries
While the UK remains one of the most heavily regulated online casino markets in the world; their reliance on the industry came to light at the end of 2019, as it was revealed that the UK government’s gambling taxation is very much needed to fill their balance sheets. This all became public knowledge with the publication of the UK HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) latest UK Betting and Gaming Statistics report.
This report showed that the UK took in £332.4 million (Approximately C$565 million) during the period of the 1st April of 2019 up until the 1st of September 2019 from online casinos, which represented a vast increase of the same period during 2018 that saw an intake of £263.9 (Approximately C$448 million)million, representing a year on year increase of 26%. Said intake was based on their Remote Gaming Duty (RGD), which is the UK’s taxation system for offshore online gambling companies participating in the UK market. This showcases a dramatic change in the proportion of which online casinos now contribute towards the reported £1.463 billion (Approximately C$2.49 billion) of tax that the UK gathered from the gambling industry as a whole, during the aforementioned period in 2019.
This figure of £1.463b only represents a markup of 0.5% from the previous year and therefore shows that while the overall taxed amount remains close to unchanged, the sectors paying towards the total amount have shifted in their share. While a respectively amount of this increase certainly has to do with the RGD, which was increased back on the 1st of April 2019 from 15% up to 21%, it also highlights the ever growing demand for online casinos, despite the heavy regulations and scrutiny under which online casinos must operate within the region. During the two periods of 2018 and 2019 the online casino sector now represents 22.7% of the total taxation acquisition on all gambling related activities in the UK. The biggest reduction in the taxation received from the entire gambling industry came from the Machine Gaming Duty (MGD), which is based on physical gambling machines, showing an overall decrease of just over 24% a taxed amount of £270.3 million (Approximately C$459 million) over the reported period of 2019.
All in all this clearly shows that more traditional forms of gambling are trending towards taking a back seat when it comes to the UK government’s dependance on taxing the industry to benefit the country as a whole. One could ascertain that this trend will become more apparent in other regions around the globe with pre-established regulated and taxed gambling legislations.
What Does This Mean For Canada?
Well for one, Canada remains a country divided when it comes to regulation of online casinos and therefore one need only look to the territories that already regulate online gambling to see how it could benefit those territories who still have the activity blacklisted. Both Ontario and Québec based operations saw huge increases in revenues last year, which contributed to an overall gross revenue of over C$31 billion. This yield however was based on employment and other economic factors and not just tax revenues. Ontario born company Stars Group, which is the parent for PokerStars amongst many other brands, was the biggest contributor towards this monumental amount of revenue and should be seen as a shining example of how online gambling companies can provide a massive impact on a government’s ability to procure additional tax revenues, given the right legislation.
A Bitcoin casino now ranks as the world's third largest online gambling site
While for some the Bitcoin bubble may have burst, others are still seeing the long term benefits of sticking with cryptocurrencies and their blockchain technology foundations. It’s not a small number of people either, as it has been reported that the Bitcoin casino Freebitco.in took third place for the most trafficked online casino towards the end of 2019. With reported figures of 31 million registered players and over a staggering 41 million people placing bets at least once a month between August 2018 and July 2019, there are only two other online casinos worldwide who have been able to surpass these impressive statistics. Second place goes to Caliente.mx, a Mexican based online casino who welcomes over 71 million visits every month, with first place going to the giant BET365, who stands at an overwhelming 194 million visits each and every month.
The number of cryptocurrency casinos and conventional casinos now accepting cryptocurrency as valid payment method have been on the rise in the past couple of years, thanks to the level of security and confidentiality that is proved by the blockchain technology that powers them. Bitcasino and Bitstarz are two recent additions to the purely cryptocurrency based online casinos. Being able to circumnavigate financial institutions have been a popular draw for many players when gambling online, as many have grown concerned of how their private information is being used by big businesses and institutions.
So, Freebitco isn’t the only casino that’s pursuing this relatively new trend within the industry. However, they have managed to set themselves apart with an emphasis on customer satisfaction, as well as eye watering promotions; most notably being their Golden Ticket competition that garnered them a huge amount of new registration, as they offered up a Lamborghini Huracan or $200,000 (Approximately C$259,500) worth of Bitcoins as a grand prize back in May 2019. So far Freebitco have stated that they paid out a massive 194,782 Bitcoins (Almost the equivalent of C$2 billion at the time of writing) in prizes as of the end of 2019. A breakdown of Freebitco’s users show that their largest demographic comes from The States with Brazil, Japan and the UK taking second, third and fourth place respectively.
Things are also looking good for cryptocurrency casinos in the future, as 2020 has been forecasted as being another year of growth for both online casinos and cryptocurrency support alike. Europe is currently holding the biggest piece of the market share, although North America is seeing promise, as more US states and Canadian territories have begun looking into legalising and regulating online gambling. The current estimated growth rate of online casinos is at a respectable 13.2%, showing that there is no slowdown and is something that the various levels of government are surely looking at with eager thoughts of regulation and taxation. It is however the Asia-Pacific territories who are predicted as being the eventual industry and market leaders and it seems that the fact the the use of cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more mainstream is a clear contributor towards the popularity of gambling online.
Online Casino Affiliates Accused of Specifically Targeting Self-Excluded Players
A Twitter user has raised the alarm over some truly shady behaviour by online casino affiliate sites, which specifically targets those players who want to get around a self-exclusion.
Self-exclusion is an important tool in the prevention and control of problem gambling and targeting self-excluded gamblers, who are, by definition, more vulnerable, is quite clearly unethical.
Self-excluded player speaks up
The issue came to light when a Twitter user reported, with screenshot evidence, what happened when they searched for GamStop UK. This is a free service available to UK players that allows them to exclude themselves from participating online casinos. There is a large and growing number of brands signed up to the program so players who self-exclude will be unable to access most reputable casinos in one simple step, in periods that range between 6 months and 5 years.
GamStop was initially proposed in 2017 but due to varying adoption by operators, it didn’t have quite the impact that was anticipated. It became a condition of UKGC licensing in 2019.
When the user performed a Google search using the term ‘gamstop uk’, a very different trio of search results topped the list. These paid ads linked directly to sites that boasted a collection of casinos that were not on Gamstop and pitched their content as a way to ‘have fun again’. The tone of these ads clearly indicates that they were aimed at players who have already self-excluded and were looking to gamble again i.e. the opposite of what a problem gambler should be doing.
The affiliate sites in question justified their approach by arguing that gamblers who had made ‘an impulsive decision’ to join GamStop might be having second thoughts. A rather flimsy reason by any account, made worse by the fact that the sites were promoting were not UKGC-licensed, which limits the number of protections open to UK players should they encounter issues down the line.
BGC, GamStop comment
British newspaper the Independent later reported that the offending ads and the Adwords accounts they originated from had been suspended. However, when we ran a Google search with the same phrase - ‘gamstop uk’ - it didn’t take us long to spot similar organic results right on the first page. There is clearly more that can be done to keep these harmful sites from the reach of vulnerable players.
The Betting and Gaming Council or BGC, which represents the gambling industry in the UK, responded to the initial tweet with the following:
“UK licensed operators do not advertise using search terms linked to words seeking help. Any non-UK licensed or affiliate using terms such as GamStop, must be stopped. We will raise this with relevant bodies and push search firms to strengthen their key word prohibitions.”
GamStop also spoke up on the issue. CEO Fiona Palmer said that the organisation would be working with several search engines, including Google, to prevent similar incidents from arising in the future.
Clamping down on dodgy search results
This isn’t the first time that Google advertising has drawn the ire of UK authorities, with the most recent instance taking place in October 2019. At that time, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority had forced the online casino Casumo to to remove paid ads that appeared when users Googled ways to unsubscribe from gambling. The ASA upheld the initial complaint, which was made in May of that year, and Casumo complied.
The UKGC has a lot to work on in 2020 as a new report also shed light on the role of VIP players in the gambling industry. More specifically, it revealed how dependent operators are on these players who, as high rollers, are usually more at risk of developing a problematic relationship with gambling.
Swedish Online Casino Platforms Continue To Spearhead The Industry
Europe is in many ways the leading innovator of the world when it comes to online casino and gambling with their poster child Sweden being at the forefront of many of the innovations taking place there. While the UK remains Europe’s biggest gambling nation, most of the top gambling platforms have been born and raised in the tech savvy country of Sweden, or at least from Swedish stock. We’re going to summarize a few of the top online casino providers here, many of which should be very familiar to the majority of Canadians who frequent online casinos.
Originally founded back in 1996, NetEnt is arguably the king of online casino game studios. While it may contend with the equally powerful and popular Isle of Man based Microgaming, NetEnt has the advantage of providing both regular and live casino games that provide entertainment for millions of gamblers around the world. With heavy hitting titles such as Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst and the progressive slot Mega Fortune Dreams under their belts, NetEnt remains one of the oldest and most successful online casino platforms, which is not just a notable company in Sweden, but the entire online gambling world.
Getting set up in 1997, just a year after NetEnt, Play’n Go prides itself on high quality and graphically impressive slot games with several popular titles that notably includes; Grim Muerto, Book of Dead and Fire Joker. Play’n Go have also proved themselves at being effective in creating unique and fun mechanics for their games that manage to be rewarding and thematically relative in their execution. The system on which Play’n Go games are built on also lends itself well for online casinos to create exciting promotions and tournaments for their player base, making it a welcome addition to any online casino who have not already partnered up with the popular game provider.
A relatively newer entry into the field, Quickspin has been around since 2011 and has managed to achieve a lot in their almost decade worth of expertise and development. Having created over 150 games in this time with some unique and popular entries, such as the cascading slot game Big Bad Wolf that showcases their unique flare when it comes to bonus rounds. Another game worth mentioning by Quickspin is Extra Chilli, as it showcases a feature drop option that allows players to purchase entry into the game’s bonus round. Quickspin really shows how varied the capacity of Swedish development studios can be.
NYX Interactive may be a Swedish development studio that has flown under the radar for many casino players, but with over 300 games in their portfolio some of their titles would have certainly caught the eye of anyone browsing through an online casino’s library of slot games. With licensed titles such as Anchorman, Bruce Lee and Beowulf, NYX Interactive have shown a keen skill of developing strong business relationships, as well as games, which has seen them become more and more of a regular occurrence at big name online casinos.
While fittingly named after the World Tree of Norse mythology, Yggdrasil Gaming could be argued as not being strictly a purely Swedish development studio. Being initially set up in Malta just under 7 years ago in 2013, the studio was created by Swedish industry veterans and has since gone on to win multiple accolades for their slot games and user friendly business to business platforms; with a recent Innovator of the Year award at the The International Gaming Awards 2019. This comes as no surprise, as the development studio has consistently delivered highly polished games with excellent visuals, audio and mechanics that have seen the company rise to become a respected studio amongst its top name peers. Some of their most popular games naturally have a very Scandinavian theme with Vikings Gone Wild and Vikings Go Berzerk, but other noteworthy titles with different thematics can also be found with the likes of Sherlock and the Stolen Stones, as well as Double Dragons.