Esports-Only sportsbook in Colorado, Stricter rules for iGaming in Sweden, MP calls for the end of the UKGC, and more

Weekly Sports Betting Updates

Posted on December 18, 2020 - Last Updated on December 23, 2020
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This week in sports betting news a report from the Swedish Gambling Market Commission has called for stricter controls on iGaming. According to their CEO, DraftKings expects 40% growth in the new year despite not expanding to any new states. A senior UK MP has yet again called for the end of the UK Gambling Commission and the instatement of a government-controlled regulatory body. After a settlement was reached between the General Workers’ Union for Malta and NetEnt, 40 jobs have been saved.

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Stricter rules for iGaming recommended by the Swedish Gambling Market Commission

In a recent report from the Swedish Gambling Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen), they recommended stricter controls on the market and an update to the countries iGaming regulations.

The report was led by special investigator and former MP, Anna-Lena Sörenson, it proposed that the Swedish national regulator that oversees iGaming, Spelinspektionen, should introduce a new risk classification for online gambling products.

The recommendations of the report suggest that games classified as high risk by the new risk classification should be prevented from advertising their products between 6 am and 9 pm. They also advise that the current SEK5000 deposit limit that has been installed during the COVID-19 pandemic should be made permanent.

Other proposals made by the report include a law that explains reporting requirements for operators, a loosening of bonus restrictions for gaming operators that raise funds for charity, such as lotteries, to help them to compete better against private operators, and suggesting tighter controls on unlicenced gaming.

Expected 40% growth for DraftKings despite not landing any new states in 2021

In an interview this week with Fox Business Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO, spoke about the future of the company and the current state of sports betting.

“Even on the basis of the states that we’ve already launched, we expect to do higher revenue next year than we previously thought and expect substantial growth. I think any additional states really take it from high growth to hyper-growth, but we’re expecting 40-plus percent growth even in the absence of any new states launching next year.”

DraftKings are on an upswing. Like most sports betting operators, they saw a significant decrease in the summer of this year. The pandemic put a stop to most sports on a professional level, and by association, most sports betting. They posted a second-quarter loss of $161.4 million.

In the third quarter of 2020, the company reported a revenue of $133 million, an increase of 98% compared to $67 million in the third quarter of 2019.

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UK Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith calls for the axing of the Gambling Commission

Senior Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith has again called for the closure of the UK Gambling commission (UKGC).

In a column posted on the Commons news source PoliticsHome, the former leader of the Conservative Party stated that the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm was the only group to maintain pressure on the government to perform a review of the gambling market.

Smith attacked the UKGC for its lack of action which he claims has allowed the “gambling industry and its profits to grow exponentially extracting most of their money from those who are most addicted – with 60 percent of the profits coming from just 5 percent of gamblers, who are those likely to be experiencing harm”.

The MP believes that the UKGC should be done away with and replaced with a “a regulatory body that independently monitors the industry”.

40 jobs saved at NetEnt after a Malta trade union settlement

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the acquisition of NetEnt by Evolution Gaming and the subsequent job losses after the closure of their live casino in Qormi. Now, after an agreement was reached between the company and The General Workers’ Union (GWU) for Malta, 40 jobs have been saved.

In an attempt to cut costs after the acquisition and save approximately €30 million, the GWU claims that NetEnt was planning to cut 300 jobs.

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In response to this, the GWU declared an industrial dispute with the company, claiming that the business did not acknowledge the country’s largest trade union as representative for employees in major planned layoffs.

The Superior Court of Malta filed an injunction in response to the dispute that prevent the company from making any further layoffs.

The two parties reached an agreement wherein 40 employees would be offered alternate employment in the company, and an improved severance package for staff who will be made redundant.

New esports-only sportsbook opened in Colorado by GameCo

GameCo is using its existing partnerships with Askott Entertainment, GRID, and 10Star along with its esports betting solution to run their new dedicated esports sportsbook 24/7 inplay betting offering.

This new program will be overseen by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) to make sure that all wagers are protected and uphold their integrity.

The new sportsbook will see the initial market deployment of GameCo’s esports betting solution. The new application is powered by Askott Entertainment’s Chameleon Gaming Platform, GRID’s data and streaming solutions, and 10Star’s trading services.

The new sportsbook has been opened in Colorado one of the few states that permits betting on esports in the US. In order to open a sportsbook, they must be sanctioned by a governing body. In the case of traditional sports, it would be organisations like the USAB or the USGA but now that sportsbooks in can include esports they have allowed regulators like the ESIC to take their place.

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Andrew Boggs

Andrew is a Northern Ireland based journalist with a background in esports and VR reporting. He grew up in County Down, Northern Ireland, and graduated from Ulster University with a Masters's degree in Journalism.

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