BetMGM confidence, Evolution M&A and regulatory updates: June revisited
Geographical headlines top and tailed June 2022 as Turkey officially changed its name to Türkiye at the United Nations and internationally on the first day of the month, before New York was named as the world’s wealthiest city to close the 30 day period.
The Big Apple was said to be home to 345,600 millionaires and 59 billionaires, and edged out Tokyo and San Francisco into second and third.
In the UK, Queen Elizabeth II marked her platinum jubilee with four days of celebrations, while then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a Tory party no-confidence vote 211-148.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Johnny Depp was awarded $15m in damages and compensation while Amber Heard gained $2m in damages following a defamation case; the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to choose abortion; and R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in jail on nine counts of sex trafficking.
As numerous musicians cancelled events due to COVID-19 positive results, the world of sport saw Iga Świątek and Rafael Nadal triumph at the French Open while Charl Schwartzel clung on for victory in the inaugural event of the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.
In the industry, Nolimit City became the latest M&A target for Evolution, BetBull ceased gambling activity, the Financial Action Task Force made headlines and much more.
Feature of the month
“We’re showing that we can compete and have every intention to do so,” those were the words of a confident Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM, as day two of the Canadian Gaming Summit drew to a close.
As attention on the province of Ontario showed no sign of slowing down, in a fireside chat with broadcaster Ryan Doyle, Greenblatt elaborated on numerous aspects of the gaming brand’s journey thus far, as well as delving into detail on the possibility of a legalised Californian market coming to fruition down the line.
“I think the story of BetMGM is I told you so,” he began upon being quizzed on the origins of BetMGM.
“What we put in place in 2018 made sense on paper, but it was actually bringing it to life and being able to demonstrate that we can compete with pre-existing brands, the established players, that made the journey much more precise and really exciting.”
In the news
The Financial Action Task Force was a consistent presence earlier in the year, firstly with reports that Malta was set to be removed from the greylist but would be placed under ‘increased monitoring’ and be categorised as ‘financially untrustworthy’.
Elsewhere, Gibraltar was added after being deemed to have “strategic deficiencies” in AML compliance, a decision that had Chief Commissioner for Gambling, Andrew Lyman, expressing his surprise.
M&A activity saw that €340 Nolimit City set to become the latest string to be added to the Evolution igaming bow, while Skywind lauded a “key milestone” following the acquisition of Intouch Games.
LeoVegas said that it was “fully assisting” authorities after being contacted by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, however, BetBull detailed a cessation of all gambling activity.
On the regulatory front, the UK Gambling Commission elaborated on a raft of fresh rules that were set to be introduced later in the year, while the Kansspelautoriteit reiterated warnings of further intervention, as well as admonishing those that “do not take their duty of care seriously enough”.
Sticking with the Canadian Gaming Summit, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre took in much enthusiasm of the little over nine week period since launch on April 4.
With Chuck Nervick, SVP of MediaEdge, and Jim Warren, Chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, detailing “a whole new realm of possibilities” and a “world of opportunities” opening up, Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, exuded pride at what’s been achieved following a “tremendous challenge” that has been endured during the past two years.
Elsewhere, the ability of evolving to capitalise on burgeoning digital opportunities, as well as providing users with the ability to move play between digital and land-based environments, was identified as the tough nut that many operators across the North American landscape have looked, or are looking, to crack.
Furthermore, Shelley White, CEO at Responsible Gambling Council, suggested that Ontario’s biggest challenge was the“influx of advertising and marketing” from the new operators that had entered the market.
Video of the month
As the CasinoBeats 100 Club continued to gain momentum, John Gordon, CEO and Co-Founder of Incentive Games, was the next to take to the hot seat and began the conversation by travelling back to a goal of becoming a chemical engineer while at University in Edinburgh.
“I basically just researched what the best paying job was in the UK and at the time chemical engineer was in the top three,” the conversation begins, with time at Heriot-Watt University leading to a successful career and a Lead Engineer position for BP in Trinidad and Tobago.
However, after seeing FanDuel and DraftKings adverts for fantasy sports while in the Caribbean, Gordon used to write algorithms for himself and friends to compete against each other.