Online Casino News From Around the Globe

MGA Intends Issuing Skill Based Licenses for DFS Operators

DFS operators in the U.S. have not being feeling the love back home but overseas markets are seemingly opening up for them with open arms. As we reported France is one of these countries which have cleared DFS as a game of skill and not chance. Both the lies of DraftKings and FanDuel can also look now towards the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) who have come out declaring DFS is exempt from requiring a gambling license. This step should ensure that Malta becomes a new haven for DFS operators who are looking for friendly grounds in order to expand their products. In a statement the MGA said that DFS has the element of skill and should be differentiated from games of chance that require regulation and licensing. According to reports the Maltese gaming regulator have been working on formulating various licensing frameworks which include categories of skill-based games like DFS and Controlled Skill games. Maltese based fantasy football operator Oulala commented in the good news. CEO Valery Bollier said,” MGA’s team had foreseen the rise of a future Skill Game industry in Europe a few years ago. Malta has proven to have a very competitive jurisdiction because of its pragmatism and its ability to adapt itself quickly to the sense of history. Malta being the first major European country to offer a skill game licence means it will attract the attention of the entire European DFS market and place itself firmly at the forefront of the DFS…

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Winamax Becomes First Regulated DFS Operator In France

The expansion of daily fantasy sports beyond the U.S. is essential for operators like DraftKings and FanDuel. Besides the obvious legal challenges and uncertainty in the U.S. markets like Europe are sports crazy and the potential for the likes of DFS in football is massive. France is one of those countries that is embracing DFS as the regulated operator Winamax is the first to offer DFS in France ahead of the start of the French Ligue 1 soccer season. Winamax are the market leaders in the regulated online poker market and even are bigger than PokerStars. They launched their DFS games called Le Jeu de l’Entraineur (JDE)—The Coach’s Game. As part of their marketing blitz Winamax have enlisted the help of former French football coach Raymond Domenech who will be selecting his own fantasy team and reporting on the Winamax blog while providing tips and his experience. The format is that of a five- a-side or full team with players having an initial play-money budget which is used to form a team of defenders, goalkeeper, forwards and mid-fielders. Teams will be awarded based on the performance of players in different positions. Currently game stakes are €2, €10 and €50 are available but higher stakes are set to be coming in the future. France is different from the U.S. in that it only regulates games of skill like online poker, sports betting and horse racing. DFS is the latest addition and its regulations were outlined by ARJEL in April this year. They include DFS operators having to clearly display rules and ensure that all data and rankings provided are…

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Billionaire Dermot Desmond Invests $1.7 Million in GAN

The delays in the expansion of online gambling beyond the three existing US states has resulted in a major push to offer a n alternative to US based land casinos who are looking to capitalize for the digital mobile audience. As it stands now online gambling in the US in only legal in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada and the consensus that it will take a long time for a wide scale expansion. Companies that can offer a casino alternatives that increase revenues from mobile digital devices are one of the most sought after commodities in the market. There are only a handful of players in the field and much of what is happening is going on behind the scenes. Companies like oneLIVE and GAN are in the news but their product is based more on the social side and with a tournament focus. GAN are popping up as a significant player with their Simulated Gaming Product. As part of this growth they have raised $1.7 million from Billionaire Dermot Desmond and plan to use this to accelerate their growth in both the real money US market as well as their social gaming product. GAN have been evasive in declaring their new partners for their Simulated Gaming Product before passing all the regulatory requirements. They did put up a press release afterwards confirming that they have partnered with the Chickasaw Nation to launch a social casino experience on their Simulated Gaming Platform. Commenting on the investment from Desmond, GAN CEO said,” Additional capital allows us to accelerate the development of our technical capability to deliver the product requirements of our growing list of corporate clients and bring new clients online. The positive and unexpected surge in US corporate demand for GAN’s unique services requires increased delivery capability. We’re happy to respond to this real business need on behalf of all shareholders and welcome Mr Desmond’s investment. Mr Desmond is an astute investor with a long track record participating in the Internet gambling market and we believe this investment validates our strategy and technology which will deliver significant incremental value for shareholders over time.” Other players in this field include Nektan who are also reportedly working on an premise product for land based casinos. We will follow the developments in this niche as they…

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888 In Strong Position To Enter Online Poker Market In California

The online poker market in California is potentially one of the largest in the US if and when online gambling is legalized in the state. The fight for the market share in California has been going on for the last few years ahead of an expected legalization sometime in the future. The main parties’ are PokerStars who are seen as the biggest threat by the California Tribes who have been doing everything to block the possible entry of PokerStars in the state. Online Poker Report is reporting that 888 is actively engaging in talks with at least two California tribes, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Whether this is true or not cannot be confirmed as Pechanga have not been forthcoming in confirming or denying this. Way back in 2014 Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro was quoted as saying that their focus continues to be “the passage of the bill that strictly limits and regulates online poker, not publicizing our internal workings. So rest assured, that’s the primary difference — we haven’t publicized that.” 888 is well positioned for such a partnership in California as they already have a presence there with the Bay 101. They also are set to be the online poker platform provider for the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians who are operated by 888’s partner Caesars in New Jersey and Nevada. These strategic partnerships setup 888 as a serious force in the regulated US online gaming market and strengthens their claim to be the only operator active in all legal…

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Rank Records Solid Growth For Financial Year

Rank Group has released financial year results to June 30 and the news is good. Their profits increased 15 percent during the financial year with a focus on their plans for a digital strategy. Only weeks after their failed joint bid with 888 to take over William Hill, Rank confirmed that their profit before taxation after exceptional items was £85.5 which was up from the £74.5 of the previous 12 months. On the negative side there was a 2% drop in group operating profits before exceptional items to £82.4 million. Rank owns both Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos. CEO Harry Birch commented on the results,” I am pleased to report a solid set of results with group revenue up 2%, again recording like-for-like growth across all brands and channels in the year. This year we have focused on delivering significant projects to ensure we have the right platform in place for future growth. This included the migration of our digital business onto a new platform, the roll out of an improved retail casino management system and investments into new generation machines in both our casino and bingo venues. At the same time we have delivered a substantial increase in the dividend to our shareholders. Rank remains in a strong financial position, possesses market-leading brands and has a clear strategy for long-term growth. The board continues to look to the future with confidence.” The migration of Rank’s digital UK based business to the Bede platform was completed on time and within budget with their casino brand benefiting from the migration. The man priority for Rank in 2016-2017 was to focus on their digital offering. In line with this Rank plans on launching a new digital Mecca VIP site as well as in Spain during H1 that will include slots, roulette, blackjack and digital…

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