Gaming Industry News Weekly Recap – Week of February 1
The AmericasGambling laws are changing in the U.S., with DraftKings set to feature in the Superbowl ads. DraftKings have picked up a couple of sports to highlight sports gambling; Online poker continues to make a comeback in the U.S., with Michigan set to legalise online poker. The Great Lakes State will be the fifth state to greenlight the return of online poker in the U.S. Former MGM Resorts boss Jim Murren continues to be busy in the casino industry. His company Acies Acquisition Corp continues to play a key role in the Playstudios merger; Rod Ratcliff, the former CEO and chairman of Spectacle Entertainment faces the loss of his casino license. The Indiana Gaming Commission launched an investigation into allegations of election tampering in 2015; The body of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa may have finally been found. Two Fox journalists have followed a story, believing the body of Hoffa may be located in a landfill in New Jersey.EuropePolish bookmaker Totolotek SA is closing its retail betting operations. Totolotek announced that it would close 116 of its retail betting points of sale in Poland from March 31 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian online sports operators continued to support local sporting bodies in record amounts. The First Self-Regulatory Organization of Russian Bookmakers announced a 60% increase in member contributions over 2020; The UK Gambling Commission has unveiled a host of changes set to bite into online casino revenue. Online slots are in the crosshairs of the regulator, as they look to improve safety measures; Ladbrokes has been fined by the Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K. Ladbrokes ran an ad for an on-demand video service and found strong opposition from the U.K. Gambling Commission;Asia and AustraliaThe Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) saw a very dismal income for 2020. Casino revenue dropped nearly 84% thanks to the pandemic in 2020; Tabcorp Holdings has confirmed multiple parties are interested in purchasing its wagering division. U.K. gambling giant Entain plc is at the head of the line, with the operator confirming that they had made a ‘non-binding indicative offer’ for Tabcorp betting; Japanese casino junket operator Nine & Pictures is under is coming under pressure to cover its financial obligations. The company is scrambling after a director was found to have spent over $1 million in company funds; Hard Rock Casino employees in Macau are set to enjoy a bonus. The company has agreed to hand out annual bonuses as a sign of appreciation for their hard work during the pandemic.
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