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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 90 No.10 - Monday March 9, 2020

 

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LOTTERY NEWS

 

Biggest Scratch-Off Ever:' NJ Lottery Launches Super $50 Scratch-Off for 50th Year

Another Record Broken in NJ Lottery’s 50th Year as the SUPER 50 SCRATCH-OFF Launches Statewide

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TRENTON, New Jersey (February 27, 2020) – To honor 50 years of the New Jersey Lottery, the Lottery is releasing its biggest Scratch-Off game ever – the Super 50 Scratch-Off on Monday, March 2.

New Jersey $50 Ticket

At a full 8 inches wide and 12 inches tall, the new game is more than DOUBLE the size of any prior Scratch-Off. It’s so big, the game will be housed in special “double-wide” bins available at most of the state’s 7000 Lottery retailers beginning Monday.

Jersey Lottery players love Scratch-Offs, and this is the ultimate BIG game. It offers players an incredible 50 chances to win, making it the perfect way to celebrate 50 years of the New Jersey Lottery,” said James Carey, the Lottery’s Executive Director.

Selling for $10, the ticket offers players the opportunity to scratch their way around the ticket, looking to uncover money bags, multipliers, $50 bonus spots, and a top prize of $500,000!

The release of the Super 50 ticket is the latest in the Lottery’s year-long 50th Anniversary celebration that began in January with special Kick-off Events in Bridgewater and Atlantic City. All 50th-related activities and events are highlighted on the Lottery’s website.

The New Jersey Lottery is the nation’s third oldest Lottery. The state’s first Lottery ticket was sold to Governor William T. Cahill on December 16, 1970. Since then, the New Jersey Lottery has awarded over $42 billion in prizes to its players.

CONTACT: Missy Gillespie, Communications Manager, T: PublicInfo@lottery.nj.gov.

SOURCE: New Jersey Lottery.

 

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March Is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

NASPL and NCPG Partner Again to Promote “Awareness + Action”

CONCORD, Ohio – This March, in recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) is again partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to provide educational resources and training to members, retailers and players.

The theme for the 2020 PGAM, “Awareness + Action," is all about taking action and having conversations about problem gambling issues and directing people to the help they may need. Using the tagline #AwarenessPlusAction, the national campaign, which is in its seventeenth year, aims to increase public awareness of problem gambling, as well as the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services. A toolkit guide, graphics downloads, and additional information and resources are available to PGAM participants on the NCPG website.

According to NCPG, research indicates that most adults who choose to gamble are able to do so responsibly. Approximately 85% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives; 60% have done so in the past year. Of those U.S. adults, about 1% meet the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling.

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This month and year-round, NASPL and NCPG are working together to improve responsible gambling education and practices within the lottery industry. “We at NASPL value our longstanding relationship with NCPG, and we’re encouraged by the ongoing improvements and increased participation made possible by our combined responsible gambling efforts,” said NASPL Executive Director David Gale.

Beginning in 2014, in collaboration with NCPG and the North Carolina Education Lottery, NASPL worked to create comprehensive responsible gambling (RG) training materials for both lottery employees and retailers; the group effort culminated in the release of specialized training videos to be shared among the membership. From then on, NASPL has continued to grow and evolve its RG efforts and related training components to better serve the evolving industry. Recently, in light of the widespread legalization of sports betting in the U.S., NASPL has updated its Guidelines for Responsible Gambling to include RG protocols specific to sports betting.

NASPL and the NCPG also worked together to establish a Verification Program for lotteries seeking to create or improve responsible gambling programs within their jurisdictions. By the start of 2020, nearly half of the lotteries in the U.S. had achieved official verification. Responsible gambling resources, including Verification Program information, employee and retailer training videos, and a downloadable RG Toolkit are available to NASPL members on the NASPL Matrix.

When help is needed, the NCPG operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network, which provides resources and referrals to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Communication is 100% confidential, and help is available 24/7 by calling or texting 1-800-522-4700 or by accessing the Helpline Chat at ncpgambling.org/chat.

About NCPG

The National Council on Problem Gambling is the national advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to improve health and reduce social costs by developing comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.

About NASPL

The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries was founded in1971. Evolving from an informal exchange of information among three pioneering lottery directors, the organization has grown into an active association representing 53 lottery organizations. NASPL's basic mission is to assemble and disseminate information on the lottery industry through education and communications, and where appropriate publicly advocate the positions of the Association on matters of general policy.

Media contact: David Gale, NASPL Executive Director, 440-361-7962 or dgale@nasplhq.org

 

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Madrid Approves the Decree Suspending the Opening of New Gambling Venues

MADRID, Spain (February 26, 2020) -- The Governing Council of the Community of Madrid today approved the Decree for the suspension of concessions granting new authorizations to open gambling halls and specific betting premises in the region.

The regional vice president, Ignacio Aguado, said that this Decree is retroactive from November 29 and will remain in force until the approval of the new Decree for planning the activity on which the regional government already works.

The Decree of suspension responds to the will of the regional Executive to improve the regulations that affect the gaming sector, a legal and regulated activity that can generate "public health problems".

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For its part, the Planning Decree will order the future growth of the activity, guaranteeing at all times the defence of the general interest, the protection of the rights of users and consumers, and especially the protection of minors and vulnerable groups.

Until December 31, in the Community there were 685 betting points, of which 368, that is, 53%, were in the city of Madrid. As for its typology, 160 were specific betting premises (bookmakers); and 488 game rooms, 33 bingos and four casinos, all with 'corner' to bet.

The map of the game in the Community of Madrid is led by the capital, where in 2019 there were 368 stores. The Puente de Vallecas district, with 36 betting points, concentrates 10 percent of the total, and is followed by Carabanchel, with 35 betting points; Centre, with 34, as well as Usera and Tetuán, with 28 betting points each.

After the capital, the cities with the highest number of betting points in the Community are Fuenlabrada, with 27; Móstoles, with 26; Alcalá de Henares, with 22 and Leganés, with 20.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice, Interior and Victims promoted an Inspection Plan that plans to examine all the gambling and gambling halls in the region and verify the correct installation and location of user control and admission systems under the terms included in Decree 42/2019 of May.

The Plan is being carried out since last February 18, the date on which the period of adaptation of all the premises to the regulations was concluded and will continue until next June.

It will be structured in three phases. The first, until March, will include the inspection of all existing betting premises. The second will be in the month of May and will include more selective visits to verify that the infractions detected in the first phase have been remedied. Finally, the third phase will take place in June and will include a specific control in premises with repeated infractions.

In addition, the regional government works on the modification of the Law of the Game of the Community of Madrid, with the objective of hardening the sanctioning regime in what affects the presence of minors in the betting premises and the regional advertising regime so that, Among other measures, this activity cannot be linked to famous people.

SOURCE: www.lavanguardia.com.

 

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The Danish Gambling Authority's Report on Illegal Gambling 2019

DENMARK (February 27, 2020) -- The Danish Gambling Authority's yearly report on illegal has now been published. It provides an introduction to illegal gambling and a description of the Danish Gambling Authority's work in the field of illegal gambling.

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The Danes play on legal websites

The illegal gaming market in Denmark is rather limited. A decrease in websites with illegal supply of games as well as the so-called "channelling rate" support this statement. The channelling rate expresses the estimated percentage of legal gambling in a country. In 2021 the channelling rate for Denmark was 72% and in 2020 it was 93%. Thus, Denmark is at the top compared to other countries in Europe.

Excerpts from the report

  • The Danish Gambling Authority continues to block illegal websites
    In 2019, 25 illegal websites were blocked in court
  • Gaming / Gambling: Presentations at educational institutions
    In 2019, The Dansish Gambling Authority held a number of presentations at schools, educational institutions as well as at E-sports associations. The focus for the presentations are on the blurred lines between gaming and gambling and the audience is both children and their parents. Presentations about skin betting and loot boxes have been particularly popular. Presentations can be booked through the website.
  • International cooperation on the blurred lines between gaming and gambling
    In 2018, The Danish Gambling Authority signed an international letter of intent to take a closer look at the blurred lines between gaming and gambling. After several meetings between European regulators, a report on the work was published in 2019. It primarily describes different approaches to particular loot boxes and concludes that the legislation differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but that the international cooperation is valuable.

 

Report on illegal gambling 2019 (pdf)

 

SOURCE: Spillemyndigheden.

 

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World Pool to be Offered for Dubai Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup Meetings

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HONG KONG, SAR (February 27, 2020) - The Hong Kong Jockey Club, in partnership with Dubai Racing Club, will offer World Pool betting for the Dubai Super Saturday meeting (7 March) and Dubai World Cup meeting (28 March) at Meydan Racecourse.

Following the successful launch of the World Pool for Royal Ascot in June 2019, which led to a 60 per cent increase in turnover, the Club has continued to collaborate with numerous leading racing jurisdictions and wagering authorities to further promote World Pool development for global racing events.

Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The commingling development in Hong Kong has been an astonishing success.”

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“Last year we created a new dimension to commingling with the first global pool at Royal Ascot which enabled people around the world to make use of huge liquidity and led to a 60 per cent increase in turnover.”

“We are now applying the same concept to Dubai. As a truly global racing event, Dubai's Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup meetings attract world class horses, jockeys and trainers. Commingling provides our sport with a golden opportunity to harvest the full potential of global racing and we are delighted to announce these two fixtures as the next destinations on the growing World Pool rota.”

Overseas pari-mutuel wagers placed through partners from the Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore and the United States will be commingled into Hong Kong’s pools directly or via Premier Gateway International (PGI) during the two Dubai race meetings. This will ensure maximum liquidity and stronger opportunities for customers across the globe.

Mr. Richard Cheung, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Customer and International Business Development, said: “We would like to thank the Dubai Racing Club, PGI, as well as our network of global commingling partners to make this happen. 

“It is important to note that unlike Royal Ascot, there is no domestic betting in Dubai to merge with Hong Kong pool.  So we are pulling the many different pari-mutuel pools across four continents to Hong Kong and create the World Pool.  This will have to be a long term partnership to grow the pool together and 2020 is a great start.”

SOURCE: The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

 

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Gambling Commission Fines Gambling Operator £3m for Regulatory Failures

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. (February 27, 2020) -- A gambling operator is to pay £3m as part of the Gambling Commission’s targeted investigation into online casinos.

Mr Green is the ninth gambling business to face action as part of a regulator probe that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018.

Since the enforcement activity began six operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain.

During the course of investigations into the nine most serious operating licence cases the Commission examined the actions of 22 individual Personal Management Licence holders. Of these, six surrendered their licence, six received a formal warning, one received an advice to conduct, seven are still ongoing and no further action was taken against two.

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As part of today’s penalty package Mr Green will pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms because it failed to have effective procedures aimed at preventing harm and money laundering.

As a result of these failures Mr Green:

  • did not carry out social responsibility interaction with a customer who won £50,000, gambled it away and deposited thousands more pounds
  • took ten-year-old evidence of a £176,000 claims payout as satisfactory evidence of source of funds (SOF) for a customer who deposited over £1m
  • accepted a photograph of a laptop screen showing currency in dollars on an alleged crypto trading account as adequate SOF.

 

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and AML controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos.

Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area.

The online casino enforcement work is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing strategy to make gambling online safer. This has included strengthened online age and identity verification, enhanced rules and guidance on identifying and interacting with customers who may be at risk of harm and the banning of credit cards. The regulator is also pushing the industry to raise standards in the areas of VIP practices, advertising technology and game design, and is currently looking at online stake limits.

All operators are advised to read the public statement below to avoid making the same mistakes as Mr Green.

Mr Green Limited public statement

SOURCE: Gambling Commission.

 

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Jumbo Interactive Announce It Has Entered Into a 4th SaaS Licence Agreement with MS Queensland

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BRISBANE, Australia February 28, 2020) -- Jumbo Interactive is pleased to announce that it has entered into a new SaaS (Software as a Service) 5-year licence agreement with leading Australian charity lottery operator MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Queensland for the use of its Jumbo Lottery Platform. The agreement can be extended to 10 years subject to performance criteria being met.

Under the agreement, MS Queensland will utilise a personalised version of Jumbo’s lottery platform to manage its entire lottery sales.

MS Queensland is the 4th charity lottery operator in 15 months to choose Jumbo” said Mr Mike Veverka, Founder and CEO of Jumbo.

Jumbo appreciates the confidence that MS Queensland has shown and is confident the platform will be pivotal in assisting MS Queensland increase the funds that it generates to support the vital work it does within the community” he said.

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“This is another step towards our ‘$1 billion vision’ of $1 billion of lottery tickets sold over our platform by 2022”, said Mr Veverka.

With four leading charities on board, we are well positioned to continue developing the platform to specifically meet the needs of charity organisations as we expand the business both domestically and internationally”, he added.

About Jumbo Interactive

In 2000, Jumbo sold its first lottery ticket on the internet and witnessed a dramatic rise in

popularity due to the convenience of buying tickets online. The Company operates the popular website www.ozlotteries.com in Australia under agreements with Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) that date back to 2005. These agreements are not required to be renewed however termination clauses with 12 months’ notice become available to either party in 2022. Tabcorp became a substantial shareholder in Jumbo in 2017.

Over the years Jumbo has grown to a large and loyal database of predominately younger

demographic customers attracted to the Jumbo innovations. These include Lotto Party which

promotes social group play, iPhone/Android Apps and Google voice. In addition, Jumbo has grown a wide range of lottery games that include popular charity lotteries that appeal to younger demographics.

Since entering the Lottery SaaS (Software as a Service) market with the signing if its first

customer in November 2018, Jumbo has built momentum in the charity lottery segment with a significant TAM (Total Addressable Market) largely underserviced by optimised technology

solutions.

In December 2019 Jumbo entered the UK market with an acquisition of Gatherwell Limited and has embarked on a “$1 Billion vision” to reach $1 Billion in ticket sales on the Jumbo platform by FY2022.

For further information: Mike Veverka, CEO and Executive Director, Ph: 07 3831 3705.

SOURCE: Jumbo Interactive.

 

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Netgaming Set for Asian Market with We Are Casino Deal

MALTA (February 28, 2020) -- NetGaming, the creative casino games studio, has signed an agreement with the content aggregator We Are Casino.

The provider’s engaging portfolio, which is available in 26 languages and can be played with over 40 currencies, is set to be distributed across a number of key territories under the agreement.

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The deal sees NetGaming’s entertaining slot catalogue go live in Asia, following the supplier’s recent deals focusing on other important markets such as Europe, Africa and the CIS countries.

The partnership follows NetGaming’s other major agreements with companies such as Relax Gaming, with We Are Casino’s partners gaining access to a range of action-packed titles, including Warrior’s Quest, Festival of Fortune and the recent release, Kitty Café.

Pallavi Deshmukh, CEO at NetGaming, said: “We Are Casino’s impressive distribution capability gives our content a further boost, and the aggregator’s access to important regions in Asia fits well with our ambitious global roadmap.

“With further market entries, high-profile agreements and premium game releases on the horizon, NetGaming is all set for an exciting 2020.”

Marko Jelen, Head of Sales at WeAreCasino, added: “I’m really pleased about the deal we closed with NetGaming. Us being neighbours at ICE for the past couple of years, it was only natural to enter into a content distribution agreement with the company. I’m sure that the quality of their games will appeal not just to our Asian market but also Europe and others. I'm particularly excited to see their Branded Games that are coming soon”.

SOURCE: NetGaming (https://netgaming.com/) press release.

 

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Free Resources Available for North Carolinians with a Gambling Problem

Education Lottery supports state, national awareness campaign

RALEIGH, North Carolina (March 1, 2020) -- The North Carolina Education Lottery is joining state and national efforts to raise awareness about problem gambling and the free counselling and treatment services available to anyone in North Carolina.

In an official proclamation, Gov. Roy Cooper urged North Carolinians to join the nation in the observance of March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. “Problem gambling is treatable,” said the proclamation.

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Free treatment for North Carolinians is made possible by an annual $1 million contribution from the lottery. That support funds the N.C. Problem Gambling Program.

To support the signed proclamation, the lottery will share information on all its communication platforms throughout the month. That includes a TV advertising campaign and information on its website, social media channels and multimedia monitors in all 7,000 lottery retail locations.

We want people to play smart when they play the lottery,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery. “That’s the whole goal around our new Play Smart™ program. It encourages behaviours that can reduce the risk of players’ developing a problem and raises awareness of how someone with a gambling problem can get help.”                                                                                              

Michalko said effective responsible gaming programs, like the Education Lottery’s Play Smart program, “focus not only on prevention and treatment, but also awareness. That’s what Problem Gambling Awareness month helps accomplish.

Free resources and treatment — at no cost — are available to anyone who is concerned about their own gambling or that of a loved one,” said Amanda Winters, program director for the N.C. problem gambling program. “Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an important time for us to partner with the lottery and reach new audiences to raise awareness about problem gambling and resources in our state.”

Free resources are only a text or click away. To learn more:

 

Looking out after the interest of players goes hand-in-hand with the lottery’s mission to raise money for education. For details on how lottery funds made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website. Play Smart™ term is a service mark of the Illinois Lottery licensed to the NCEL.

CONTACT: Townley Cheek, Phone: (919) 301-3592, Cell: (919) 500-6410

Source: North Carolina Education Lottery.

 

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Michigan Lottery Teams Up with Speedway to Give Players a Chance to win Free Fuel for a Year

Michigan (March 2, 2020) -- Two lucky motorists will be filling their tanks for free for a year thanks to the Michigan Lottery and Speedway LLC (Speedway).

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Beginning today, Lottery players who buy instant game tickets at Speedway convenience stores and scan their registered Speedy Rewards® card will be entered in a giveaway to win free fuel for a year.

A registered Speedy Rewards® card is one that is associated with a valid email address or phone number. Customers may register their Speedy Rewards® card online at http://www.speedway.com or at the in-store kiosk at any Speedway convenience store. Players will earn one entry for each dollar spent on Michigan Lottery instant games.

Two grand prize winners each will receive free fuel for a year in the form of a $2,500 Speedway gift card. In addition to two grand prize winners, eight lucky winners each will receive $600 in Lottery instant game tickets. Winners will be selected at random in late May from eligible entries.

Players may earn entries through 11:59 p.m. on April 29. There is no limit on the number of entries a player may earn. Purchases of Lottery draw game tickets aren’t eligible for entry.

This marks the sixth time that the Lottery and Speedway have teamed up to offer players a chance to win free fuel for a year and free instant game tickets.

SOURCE: Michigan Lottery.

 

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International Game Technology PLC Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results

  • Achieved record global gaming product sales in 2019
  • Full-year net loss of $19 million includes $99 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge
  • 2019 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.71 billion, in top half of outlook
  • Fourth quarter net loss of $168 million reflects non-cash FX losses and impairment charge; Adjusted EBITDA of $436 million driven by higher profits from North America Gaming and International segments
  • $1.09 billion in operating cash flow for 2019; free cash flow of $651 million

 

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LONDON, March 3, 2020 -- International Game Technology PLC ("IGT") (NYSE:IGT) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019. Today, at 8:00 a.m. EST, management will host a conference call and webcast to present the results; access details are provided below.

IGT is the global leader in gaming.

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We enable players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Interactive and Social Gaming. Leveraging a wealth of premium content, substantial investment in innovation, in-depth customer intelligence, operational expertise and leading-edge technology, our gaming solutions anticipate the demands of consumers wherever they decide to play. We have a well-established local presence and relationships...

"We achieved the high end of our profit and cash flow expectations for 2019, led by strong results for our North America Gaming and Italy segments," said Marco Sala, CEO of IGT.

"In the full year, we grew global gaming product sales by more than 20% thanks to higher unit shipments and the success of our new games. Global lottery same-store revenue also rose. We are closely monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. Apart from this, solid operational performance across products and regions should support continued momentum in 2020."

"2019 marked an important inflection in cash flows for IGT," said Timothy Rishton, Interim CFO of IGT. "Having generated $1.1 billion in cash from operations, we invested in the business, paid down debt, and returned capital to shareholders. We enter 2020 in strong financial condition."

 

Overview of Consolidated Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results

 

IGT Chart

 

Note: Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income per diluted share are non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are provided at the end of this news release.

 

Overview of Consolidated Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

Consolidated revenue of $1.25 billion, down 1% from the prior year as reported, in line at constant currency

  • Strong growth in global gaming and North America lottery product sales
  • Higher sports betting contribution from Italy and North America
  • Lower service revenues from reduced North American multistate jackpot activity and impact of Italy gaming machine taxes

 

Operating income of $81 million, up from $41 million in the prior year

  • Reduced goodwill impairment
  • Beneficial product sales mix
  • Lower bad debt expense

 

Adjusted EBITDA of $436 million, up 5% from the prior year period as reported, up 6% at constant currency

  • Higher profit contributions from North America Gaming & Interactive, International, and Italy segments
  • North America Lottery impacted by lower jackpot activity

 

Interest expense, net was $101 million, down 3% from the prior-year quarter

Income taxes of $13 million, down from $30 million on lower pre-tax income

Net loss attributable to IGT was $168 million; adjusted net income attributable to IGT of $63 million, up from $48 million in the prior year

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  • Net loss includes non-cash, non-deductible goodwill impairment charge of $99 million, reducing the carrying value of the International segment, in addition to $102 million of non-cash foreign exchange losses
  • Adjusted net income increase driven by higher operating income

 

Net loss per diluted share of $0.82; adjusted net income per diluted share of $0.31 versus $0.24 in the prior year

Net debt of $7.38 billion, an improvement of 5% from $7.76 billion at December 31, 2018

 

Overview of Consolidated Full Year 2019 Results

Consolidated revenue was $4.79 billion, down 1% from 2018 as reported, up 2% at constant currency

  • Significant growth in global gaming product sales, sports betting, and Italy commercial services
  • Global service revenue impacted by higher gaming machine taxes in Italy, Illinois lottery contract conclusion, and exceptional North American jackpot activity in the prior year

 

Operating income of $637 million, down 2% from the prior year as reported, up 3% at constant currency

  • Reduced goodwill impairment

 

Adjusted EBITDA of $1.71 billion, down 1% as reported, up 2% at constant currency

  • Strong profit growth from North America Gaming & Interactive and Italy at constant currency

 

Interest expense, net was $410 million, down from $417 million in the prior year

Income taxes of $173 million, down from $189 million on lower pre-tax income

Net loss attributable to IGT was $19 million; adjusted net income attributable to IGT of $221 million, up from $201 million in the prior year

  • Net loss includes non-cash, non-deductible goodwill impairment charge of $99 million, reducing the carrying value of the International segment
  • Adjusted net income increase driven by reduced interest expense and lower income taxes

 

Net loss per diluted share of $0.09; adjusted net income per diluted share of $1.08 versus $0.99 in the prior year

Capital expenditures of $442 million compared to $533 million in the prior year

Cash from operations totals $1.1 billion, up significantly from $30 million in the prior year, which included $878 million in Italy upfront license fees

Cash and cash equivalents were $663 million as of December 31, 2019, compared to $251 million as of December 31, 2018

 

Please click here to read the entire Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results

 

About IGT

IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivalled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.IGT.com.

SOURCE: IGT.

 

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Lottery Mobile App Downloads Surge 40 Percent as Illinois Player Swipes Right on $6.25m Prize

The importance of mobile apps to the U.S. lottery industry highlighted by second multimillion-dollar app winner in Illinois

CHICAGO, Illinois (March 3, 2020) – The Illinois Lottery is celebrating another huge U.S. lottery jackpot win through its mobile app, after a Southern Illinois resident tapped their way to a $6,250,000 Lotto win recently.

The lucky player joins a growing club of digital winners through its new app, built by Camelot LS, and follows a win of over $15 million last year by a player using the app on their iPad.

Camelot Illinois, the private manager of the Illinois Lottery, relaunched the Lottery’s entire digital presence a year ago, introducing Camelot Lottery Solutions’ iLottery platform, including a new website and app.

Traffic to the Illinois Lottery website has increased 150% since the relaunch, with visitors from mobile devices now accounting for 87% of all online traffic.

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“And daily mobile app downloads have jumped 40% since the news of last week’s big winner was announced,” said Mark Bradford, VP Product at Camelot Lottery Solutions.

New data from Camelot LS also shows that for every app download in FY19, retail sales of MegaMillions tickets increased by $16 - demonstrating the value of digital experiences to drive retail sales.

In the past 12 months, the share of draw-based game sales through iLottery channels in Illinois has doubled, and online and app players have won prizes totalling more than $40 million.

Bradford said, “Consumer behavior has shifted significantly in the past decade, and it’s clear that players now expect the same digital experiences from the lottery as they do from any other business.

The importance of doing digital well can’t be overstated. A data-led approach, with a strong mobile app, can see lotteries achieve real growth even in the current challenging U.S trading environment due to the lack of large jackpots in multi-state games.

Using a combination of tactics on owned, earned and paid-for channels, all driven by data-led intelligence, the share of draw-based game sales through iLottery channels in Illinois doubled in the past year.

Camelot Lottery Solutions is the parent company of Camelot Illinois, which is the integrated business manager of the Illinois Lottery.

About Camelot Lottery Solutions:

Camelot is a leading lottery solutions and advisory provider to lotteries around the world. Camelot’s digital and data platforms and digital services power some of the most innovative and fastest growing digital lotteries in the world, including the Illinois Lottery, the Irish and UK national lotteries, and Loterie Romande (Switzerland). Camelot is the integrated business manager of the Illinois Lottery and is a long-term strategic partner to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

For more information, visit camelotls.com

 Media CONTACT: Emilia Mazur - Director of Corporate Affairs, Camelot Lottery Solutions, T: +44 (0) 7889 232 755, E: Emilia.Mazur@camelotls.com

SOURCE: Camelot Lottery Solutions.

 

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Hoosier Lottery Launches the JAMES BOND 007™ Scratch-Off

myLOTTERY members could win up to $1 million or more in Las Vegas

INDIANAPOLI, Indiana (March 3, 2020) -- The JAMES BOND 007™ Hoosier Lottery Scratch-off is bringing excitement to Hoosier Lottery retailers today, offering players the chance to win up to $10,000 instantly or a chance to win a $1 million or more in Las Vegas.

The JAMES BOND 007 Scratch-off includes two rows of diamonds ready to reveal YOUR NUMBERS. By matching them to either of the WINNING NUMBERS, players will win the PRIZE shown. If they find the 007 symbol, they will win double the PRIZE shown.

Players get excited when the Hoosier Lottery partners with licensed properties,” said Sarah M. Taylor, executive director of the Hoosier Lottery. “They provide us the unique opportunity to merge Hoosier Lottery games with pop culture and the JAMES BOND 007™ Scratch-off is a perfect example.

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The excitement and intrigue do not end there. Four Hoosier Lottery myLOTTERY members and their guests will win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas. The trip includes four-nights hotel accommodations, $1,000 spending cash and admission to the JAMES BOND Lottery Challenge, an exclusive lottery event where each trip winner will participate for a chance to win up to $1 million or more. All myLOTTERY members can enter eligible non-winning $2 JAMES BOND 007 Scratch-offs with the free Hoosier Lottery App or at: HoosierLottery.com/my2ndchance.

Retail Events

The Hoosier Lottery will be conducting not-so-secret JAMES BOND 007 Scratch-off retail events around the state where players can win Hoosier Lottery prizes. Players who purchase $6 in JAMES BOND 007 Scratch-offs can spin the prize wheel and have a chance to win a $300 prize package from the Hoosier Lottery. Check hoosierlottery.com/promotions-events for the latest events listings.

Estimated Overall Odds: $2 JAMES BOND 007 1 in 4.35; 2nd Chance promotion odds are dependent upon the number of entries received.

Find your nearest Hoosier Lottery retailer here. Download the free Hoosier Lottery app here. Register for a free myLOTTERY account here.

007 and related James Bond Indicia © 1962-2020 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. 007 and related James Bond Trademarks are trademarks of Danjaq, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

ABOUT THE HOOSIER LOTTERY:

For 30 years, Hoosier Lottery distributions have benefited every county throughout Indiana. The Hoosier Lottery has contributed $6 billion to good causes, including $30 million to local police and firefighters’ pensions and $30 million to the Teachers’ Retirement Fund annually. To learn more about the Hoosier Lottery, visit hoosierlottery.com/givingback and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTACT: Jerry Grider, Hoosier Lottery, Sr. Manager of Public Relations, 317-264-4676 office, E: jgrider@hoosierlottery.com

SOURCE: Hoosier Lottery.

 

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The Inclusive Playground Building Programme of Szerencsejáték Zrt. Sees Great Success in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary (February 18, 2020) -- The inclusive playground building project implemented by the Hungarian National Lottery company based on a joint initiative by European Lotteries (EL) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) has become a real success story.

So far, eight special playgrounds, which support the integration of children living with disabilities, have been constructed within the framework of the “Playing brings us together!” programme, which constitutes a flagship initiative in Eastern and Central Europe and is financed using the revenue from the sale of Christmas scratch cards by Szerencsejáték Zrt., and the company is already planning the next step.

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This widely successful joint European project was implemented in Hungary thanks to the fact that Szerencsejáték Zrt. was the first in the region and among the first in Europe to join the agreement governing the joint disability initiative of European Lotteries (EL) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) in 2015.

After this, in order to define and schedule the key tasks, the lottery company entered into a trilateral agreement with the Hungarian member of the EDF, Council of Organisations for People with Disabilities (FESZT) and the Spanish National Organisation for the Blind (ONCE). This agreement, which regulates the implementation of the project in Hungary, specified the tasks of Szerencsejáték Zrt., keeping in mind the objectives of the continent-wide agreement.

Within the framework of the agreement, Szerencsejáték Zrt. agreed that for the first time in Eastern and Central Europe, it would launch a scratch card series that contributes to shaping social attitudes and announce a programme that supports the cause of people living with disabilities.

Honouring its commitment, the company launched a new Christmas scratch card series in 2017 and used part of the sales revenue associated with these tickets to organise the large-scale inclusive playground programme called “Playing brings us together!”, encouraging players to support the cause by purchasing these tickets.

As another way of raising awareness, messages concerning disabilities were printed on the back of the tickets.

In order to ensure that the programme became as widely known as possible, the varied content of the related campaign was communicated through various channels and several types of media.

The company regularly notifies the public of the results of the “Playing brings us together!” programme and the national media has repeatedly reported on the opening of the playgrounds.

The scratch lottery tickets, which are only available in the two months preceding the holidays, have sold nearly 2.5 million copies each year. Thus, with contributions from the lottery players, eight inclusive playgrounds with a special social function, which take into account the principles of universal design, have been built around the country in the past few years using the revenue from the sale of these Christmas scratch cards, reaching several thousand families and children.

Thanks to their specialised design, the inclusive playgrounds allow children living with disabilities to play alongside children without disabilities, since they will find at least one easy-to-use toy at these playgrounds regardless of the type of disability they possess. The inclusive but not necessarily specialised components installed at these playgrounds ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for the children with the help of their appropriate design, coating, and accessible paths. The reason for the existence and success of inclusive playgrounds is the fact that joint play and joint experiences are able to promote positive changes in the attitudes of children towards the case of disabilities, reflected in the slogan of the programme as well: “The important things are not those that separate us but those that connect us.

A freely-available methodology guide was prepared for the programme; however, the plans of Szerencsejáték Zrt. include the further sharing and spreading of the experience gained during the implementation of the project, as well as promoting the creation of user communities. The company also plans to continue the successful project in 2020, now in possession of feedback regarding the use of the already opened playgrounds, which will help ensure that the playgrounds built within the framework of the “Playing brings us together!” programme in the future will reflect an even higher standard, gifting the experience of joint play to both children living with disabilities and children without disabilities.

SOURCE: Szerencsejáték Zrt.

 

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Aristocrat Named Best Overall Supplier of Slot Content at EKG Slot Awards in Big Night that Nets Company Eight Awards

LAS VEGAS, NV (March 2, 2020) – Aristocrat Technologies was the big winner at last week’s EKG Slot Awards. The company was named “Best Supplier of Slot Content” in a dramatic night where Aristocrat won a total of eight awards, more than any other supplier.

Aristocrat won the following awards:

  • Best Overall Supplier of Slot Content
  • Top Performing NEW Video Reel Core Game: Buffalo Gold Revolution™
  • Top Performing NEW Premium Game: Buffalo Diamond™
  • Top Performing NEW Cabinet - Core: MarsX™
  • Top Performing NEW Cabinet - Premium: flame55™
  • Top Performing Core Video Reel Game: Buffalo Gold™
  • Top Performing Proprietary Branded Game: Dragon Link™ - Happy & Prosperous™
  • Top Performing Premium Game: Dragon Link™ - Happy & Prosperous™

 

While we are thrilled to take home eight awards and to be named best supplier, these wins are not about us – they are about the customers for which we work so hard,” said Aristocrat Americas President Hector Fernandez. “They are about the thousands of creative, innovative Aristocrat team members who dedicate their lives to bringing their passion for play to life in ground-breaking cabinets and games that perform for our customers.

According to the event’s website, the EKG Slot Awards Show, produced by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG), is designed to recognize excellence in slot game development in the casino gaming industry.

For more information about any of Aristocrat’s industry-leading and award-winning games, cabinets, and system solutions, contact your Aristocrat representative or visit www.aristocrat-us.com. Join Aristocrat on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

ABOUT ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Aristocrat Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), a global games leader with more than 6,000 employees. The company is licensed in around 300 gaming jurisdictions, operates in more than 90 countries, and offers a unique blend products and services. The company’s mission is to bring joy to life through the power of play. Its values are rooted in creativity and technology, and the company has a rich history of innovation that has shaped the gaming industry over many decades. For further information, visit the company’s website at www.aristocrat-us.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Speirs-Hernandez, Steinbeck Communications, Email: paul@steinbeckcommunications.com

COMPANY CONTACT: Meghan Sleik, Director of Marketing Communications Aristocrat, Email: Meghan.Sleik@aristocrat.com

SOURCE: Aristocrat Technologies Inc.

 

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Sportradar’s Statement on Legal Proceedings Against Betgenius and FDC

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland (March 4, 2020) -- Today, Sportradar has served legal proceedings against Betgenius and Football DataCo (FDC).

The claim is in relation to the current structure for the licensing and distribution of live data from FDC football leagues for betting purposes.

This legal action is embarked upon with reluctance and Sportradar has not taken the decision lightly. Sportradar had hoped to find a fair solution that enables it to build its own database and to compete effectively in the market, but that has not proved possible. Sportradar remains open to the possibility of finding a resolution.

However, ultimately, Sportradar supports a competitive marketplace in which there is genuine choice between suppliers. This competition is vital for innovation, genuine product choice and fair pricing and we believe these elements are worth protecting.

The step Sportradar has taken is focused on that outcome. Sportradar is, and has always been, willing to pay for access, and to be part of an integrated, accredited, and fair system of collection and distribution which enables competition. Sportradar believes that the system put in place by Betgenius and FDC does not allow for this outcome; and that the current arrangements are in breach of UK and EU Competition Law.

This status is not only harmful to data supply companies like Sportradar, but also to the downstream market (bookmakers and their customers) where product choice is being restricted or removed in favour of an information monopoly.

This is why Sportradar has now sought adjudication by an independent specialist tribunal in the hope that matters can be resolved fairly and equitably.

SOURCE: Sportradar.

 

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Next Generation Lotteries Signs a Contract Extension with Norsk Tipping

VIENNA, Austria (March 4, 2020) -- Next Generation Lotteries (NGL), a modern full-service lottery supplier, is pleased to announce the extension of its contract with Norsk Tipping for the design and management of digital games for Norsk Tipping’s instant games brand “Flax”.

NGL has been supplying Norsk Tipping with its eInstant Win Solutions - both NGL original games and custom digital conversions of physical scratch tickets – since winning a competitive tender in 2017 to be one of three Flax games suppliers. Based on the current extension, signed in January 2020, NGL will continue to provide its robust solutions and expertise to Norsk Tipping for another year.

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“This extension is a proof of the strength and quality of our solutions and it reflects continued commitment to our existing customers – said Hans Vigmostad, NGL’s CEO. “We are very happy to be part of the success of Norsk Tipping’s eInstant games and we are proud to be able to support the ongoing growth of Flax by offering a wide game library, exciting new original games, and our proven ability to develop bespoke instant games”– he added.

Over the course of the contract, Next Generation Lotteries has proven to be a good fit for Norsk Tipping’s sophisticated instant games portfolio. NGL has been supporting the responsible growth of the “Flax” brand not only by providing modern e-Instant games that strictly adhere to the Norwegian gaming regulation, but also by providing new innovative new games to players. Since the beginning of the contract NGL’s focus has been on mobile-first development and today NGL’s games at Norsk Tipping are overwhelmingly played on mobile.

CONTACT:

For more information regarding this Press Release please CONTACT: Agnieszka Rylska, NGL Head of Marketing and Communication, E: arylska@nextgl.com

ABOUT NGL

NGL (formerly Novomatic Lottery Solutions) is a full solution, alternative vendor for international lottery markets. NGL delivers games and services using state-of-the-art technology that allows for easy integration with any 3rd party systems. The NGL system supports all sales channels simultaneously, creating a truly Omni-channel offering while at the same time increasing lottery revenues and returns to good causes. With ISO 27001 certification, WLA Security Control Standard Certification and numerous lottery audits, NGL solutions guarantee the highest levels of security and reliability.

SOURCE: NGL (www.nextgl.com).

 

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Yggdrasil Bolsters Betsson Group Partnership to Enter Lithuania

Six-month exclusive will see multiple brands offer extensive player base with Yggdrasil slots including latest Splitz™ titles Temple Stacks and Neon Rush

SWEDEN (March 4, 2020) – Yggdrasil, the innovative online gaming solutions provider, has further strengthened its partnership with Betsson Group by extending its content distribution deal to the Betsafe brand in Lithuania for an exclusive six month period.

Betsson’s Lithuania brand will have access to Yggdrasil’s extensive content portfolio from the beginning of April. This will include Temple Stacks, the supplier’s first game featuring its new Splitz™ mechanics which offers unparalleled win potential, fan favourites such as the Vikings trilogy as well as forthcoming titles Multifly, a game for players who love to multiply their wins.

The Betsafe brand will also be able to offer its customers Yggdrasil’s second Splitz™ game, Neon Rush, launched in April, where players can receive up to 15 Splitz of a kind and stand a chance to win big on every spin across six jackpots.

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In addition Betsson will gain access to Yggdrasil’s range of proprietary in-game promotional tools, BOOST®, to drive player engagement and retention in the country.

The operator first entered Lithuania in 2016 when the online market was regulated and operates betsafe.lt in the country.

Betsson was one of Yggdrasil’s first customers after signing a partnership in 2014 which has since been extended to cover multiple jurisdictions including Denmark, Italy, Latvia and Spain.

Yggdrasil has increased its regulated market presence across several key markets in recent years and strengthens this position further by extending the deal with Betsson in Lithuania.

Patrick Nordwall, Head of Nordics at Yggdrasil, said: “Betsson is one of our key customers and we are thrilled to extend our long-lasting partnership and partner with them in a new market.

“We continue to implement our growth strategy in regulated markets, and we are looking forward to offering our games to local players in Lithuania, especially titles featuring our new mechanics Splitz™ and upcoming Gigablox™.”

Ciara Nic Liam, Product Director at Betsson Group, said: “Yggdrasil’s games have been very popular among our customers across all markets since day one of our partnership and we know Lithuania will be no different.

“Their ever-growing portfolio of innovative and engaging games will be a great addition to our existing offering.”

About Yggdrasil

Yggdrasil is a provider of superior online gaming solutions for iGaming operators. The business was founded in 2013 and has since emerged as one of the industry’s most respected and acclaimed suppliers. Yggdrasil operates a highly scalable business model and covers three product verticals: Casino Slots, Table Games and Bingo, in addition to the business verticals: Yggdrasil White Label Studios, YGS Masters and Yggdrasil Dragons. Since its inception, Yggdrasil has embarked on a solid growth trajectory enabled by a strong corporate culture focused on innovation, creativity, quality and technology leadership. Yggdrasil is headquartered in Sweden and has offices in Malta (operational HQ), Poland and Gibraltar.

SOURCE: Yggdrasil press release.

 

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