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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 70 No.6 - Monday February 16, 2015

A weekly snapshot of the top lottery and gaming news stories
Schafer Systems Inc.




  • IGT Shareholders Approve Merger Agreement With GTECH S.P.A. Full Story.
  • PAC-MAN™ Takes Center Stage During Super Bowl XLIX Commercial. Full Story.
  • Kambi Group Plc Q4 Report 2014. Full Story.
  • Texas Lottery Has Best Week of Scratch-Off Sales in 23-Year History. Full Story.
  • Illinois Lottery Launch New Instant Game Awards $250,000 Instant Prizes, Raises Funds for Special Olympics Athletes. Full Story.
  • NOVOMATIC Record Best Ever Financial Year. Full Story.
  • APLA / WLA 2015 Seminar – Divided by Oceans: Connected by Opportunity. Full Story.
  • WLA is Pleased to Partner with APLA to Deliver Another Excellent Asia Pacific Seminar Event in April 2015. Full Story.
  • Increased Accountability Leads to Reduced Profits. Full Story.
  • Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Release January 2015 Index. Full Story.
  • 94% of Australasian Gaming Expo Exhibitor Space Already Sold. Full Story.
  • Svenska Spel Sign Framework Agreement with Avega. Full Story.
  • IGT Fortifies Asia Footprint with Palazzo Club Vietnam Systems Deal. Full Story.
  • ECA Welcomes New Board to Take the Helm. Full Story.
  • Swedish Gaming Authority Provides Medium to Educate Youth in Gambling. Full Story.
  • Gambling Commission Raises the Bar on Social Responsibility. Full Story.
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IGT Shareholders Approve Merger Agreement With GTECH S.P.A.

GTECH Creditors’ Opposition Period For Cross-Border Merger Expires Without Action

ROME, Italy and PROVIDENCE, RI (February 11, 2015) – GTECH S.p.A. announced that International Game Technology (“IGT”) shareholders, at a special shareholders meeting held yesterday, approved the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) by and among IGT, GTECH S.p.A. (‘‘GTECH’’), GTECH Corporation, a Delaware corporation (‘‘Gold US Sub’’), Georgia Worldwide PLC, a public limited company organized under the laws of England and Wales (‘‘NewCo’’) and Georgia Worldwide Corporation, a Nevada corporation, for the acquisition of IGT by GTECH.

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More than 99% of the votes represented and cast at the meeting, or approximately 72% of the total outstanding common stock eligible to vote as of the January 2, 2015 record date, were voted in favor of the approval of the Merger Agreement.  Approval of the Merger Agreement by IGT's shareholders satisfies one of the conditions required to close the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement. The transactions are still subject to certain closing conditions, including, but not limited to, the receipt of required gaming approvals.

GTECH also announced that the period provided by the Italian Civil Code allowing creditors to oppose the cross-border merger of GTECH with and into Georgia Worldwide PLC (the “Merger”) expired on January 12, 2015. GTECH received the related certification from the Court of Rome attesting to the absence of any opposition from creditors. The expiration of the creditors’ opposition period was one of the conditions precedent to the Merger and the acquisition of IGT.

GTECH S.p.A. is a leading commercial operator and provider of technology in the regulated worldwide gaming markets, delivering best-in-class products and services, with a commitment to the highest levels of integrity, responsibility, and shareholder value creation. The Company is listed on the FTSE MIB at the Italian Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “GTK” and is majority owned by De Agostini S.p.A. In 2013, GTECH had approximately €3.1 billion in revenues and 8,600 employees with operations in approximately 100 countries on six continents. For more information, please visit: www.gtech.com.

For further information CONTACT:

 

Robert K. Vincent
GTECH S.p.A.
Corporate Communications
T. (+1) 401 392 7452
Simone Cantagallo
GTECH S.p.A.
Media Communications
T. (+39) 06 51899030

 

SOURCE: GTECH S.p.A.

 

 

PAC-MAN™ Takes Center Stage During Super Bowl XLIX Commercial

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada (February 5, 2015) -- The PAC-MAN™ brand, available to lotteries exclusively through Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote”), gained international exposure this week when it was featured as part of a television commercial during one of the biggest and most popular sporting events of the year, Super Bowl XLIX! The 60-second advertisement captured the imagination of viewers young and old, as a giant coin was inserted into an equally large slot to activate a human-sized version of the iconic PAC-MAN™ game.

Initial figures estimated that an average of 114.4 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, 2015, making it the most watched event in U.S. television history. The commercial spot leveraged the ‘old school’ fun of the PAC-MAN™ brand and has also generated almost 17 million views on YouTube in less than a week after its original air date.

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PAC-MAN™ was an instant hit with players when it launched in North America in 1980, and has since become one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. By the end of the 1990s, an estimated 10 billion quarters had been used to play the game, making it the highest grossing video game of all time and, according to Guinness World Records™, the most successful coin-operated game to date. As evidenced by the Super Bowl commercial targeting tech-savvy millennials, the brand not only appeals to those who recall the game from childhood arcades, but is gaining momentum among younger audiences. Today the brand boasts an incredible 94% brand awareness in the U.S., and has more than 8.1 million Facebook fans.

This popular and highly recognized brand makes a perfect tie-in for instant games. Lotteries can maximize player engagement by leveraging its online presence with interactive components that give players additional chances to win or the opportunity to compete in an interactive game and try to climb to the top of a leaderboard.

In addition, high brand recognition allows for countless possibilities when it comes to promotional opportunities and merchandise prizing that can help lotteries stir up excitement among new and existing players.

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We were thrilled to see the PAC-MAN™ brand featured during this year’s Super Bowl commercials—one of the most prominent and wide-reaching marketing channels available. This brand perfectly encapsulates a concept that provides nostalgic flair, while still engaging the younger demographic who have been introduced to the game more recently,” said Sina Aiello, Vice President, Marketing, Pollard Banknote. “The excitement generated by the Super Bowl commercial demonstrates how strongly the brand still resonates with audiences today. It creates a perfect opportunity for lotteries to take advantage of the added publicity by launching a PAC-MAN™ instant ticket that will help bring in revenue for the good causes they support.”

To view the television commercial featuring PAC-MAN™ that aired during Super Bowl XILX, please click on the following link: http://youtu.be/g9A1NowrnGI.

Pollard Banknote offers turnkey integrated marketing programs with all of its licensed brands. This marketing support is customized to every client and includes many elements, such as web-based interactive gaming, second chance drawings, digital and social media campaigns, and POS support.

PAC-MAN™&©BANDAI NAMCO Games Inc.

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 50 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games and strategic marketing and management services for both traditional instant games and the emerging iLottery space of web, mobile and social channels.  The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes.  Pollard Banknote also plays a major role in the charitable pull-tab and bingo markets in North America. Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 73.5% by the Pollard family and 26.5% by public shareholders and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

For More Information CONTACT: Sina Aiello, Vice President, Marketing Telephone: (204) 474-2323, E-mail: saiello@pbl.ca.

SOURCE: Pollard Banknote.

 

 

Kambi Group Plc Q4 Report 2014

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (February 11, 2015) --

Q4 Report 2014 (unaudited)

Summary

  • Revenue amounted to €9.3 (6.1) million for the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 52%, and €36.0 (21.1) million for the full year 2014, an increase of 70%
  • Operating profit (EBIT) for the fourth quarter of 2014 was €0.6 (-9.3) million, with a margin of 6% (-152%), and €2.2 (-19.9) million for the full year 2014, with a margin of 6% (-94%)
  • Profit after Tax amounted to €0.2 (-8.6) million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and €1.0 (-18.7) million for the full year 2014
  • Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2014 were €0.008 (-0.430) and €0.037   (-0.937) for the full year 2014
  • Cash flow from operating and investing activities (excluding working capital) amounted to €0.7 (-0.8) million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and €2.8 (-6.3) million for the full year 2014

 

Significant events during Q4

  • Napoleon Games extended its contract with Kambi
  • Kambi ratified as Associate Member of CIBELAE, the Latin American Corporation of State Lottery and Betting

 

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The fourth quarter showed further evidence of the success of our business model. Kambi was profitable and cash flow positive, despite challenging results in some sporting events, which led to a slightly lower than average margin, of 7%, generated for our operators."

"This illustrates the solid base for the company’s future. The new year has started on a positive note and the continuous efforts to build our pipeline of targets give us reassurance for future growth potential”, says Kristian Nylén, CEO of Kambi.

You are invited to participate in a report presentation today at 10:45 CET held by CEO Kristian Nylén and CFO David Kenyon.

The presentation will be held in English via a telephone conference and can also be accessed via an audiocast using the link below, registration needed. (Please note that the audiocast is not supported by the Safari web browser).

Questions can be asked on the telephone conference or sent via the audiocast link.

Numbers for participation in the telephone conference:

SE: +46 856642691 UK: +44 44 2034281409   US: + 18557532236 ES: +34 911 140 089 Pin: 197079#

SOURCE: Kambi Sports Solutions.

 

 

Texas Lottery Has Best Week of Scratch-Off Sales in 23-Year History

Scratch-off sales for last week totaled nearly $76 million

AUSTIN, Texas (February 10, 2015) -- Last week, the Texas Lottery® had its highest scratch-off ticket sales in the Lottery’s 23- year history. Sales for scratch-off games totaled $75,677,650 beating the previous record of $75,360,138 set in March 2013.

We are thrilled with last week’s scratch-off sales as revenue generated from these games benefits public education and veterans in Texas,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery.

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When Texans are playing for record jackpots like Wednesday’s estimated $450 million Powerball® jackpot, we not only experience an increase in Powerball sales, but see increased sales across our portfolio of games.”

Scratch-off ticket sales for the week of Feb. 1, 2015 through Feb. 7, 2015 were up 11.3 percent over the prior week’s sales of $68,001,588. In addition to phenomenal scratch-off sales, the Texas Lottery’s Powerball sales for Saturday’s drawing totaled $8.2 million, a growth of 109.7 percent from the previous Saturday Powerball drawing on Jan. 31.

About the Texas Lottery®

Beginning with the first ticket sold in 1992, the Texas Lottery has generated $22 billion in revenue for the state and distributed $44 billion in prizes to lottery players. Since 1997, the Texas Lottery has contributed $17 billion to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in Texas. As authorized by the Texas Legislature, certain Texas Lottery revenues benefit state programs including the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.

The Texas Lottery provides several entertaining games for lottery players including Powerball®, MegaMillions®, Lotto Texas®, All or Nothing™, Texas Two Step®, Pick 3™, Daily 4™, Cash Five®and scratchoffs.

For more information visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or at www.txlottery.org.

 

 

SOURCE: Texas Lottery®

 

 

Illinois Lottery Launch New Instant Game Awards $250,000 Instant Prizes, Raises Funds for Special Olympics Athletes

CHICAGO, Illinois (February 10, 2015) -- The Illinois Legislature has designated a special lottery instant game to benefit training programs sponsored by the Special Olympics Illinois and Special Children's Charities.  The new Special Olympics Ticket instant lottery game was introduced today at Soldier Field in Chicago, the site of the first international Special Olympic summer games held in July 1968.

The first-in-the-nation Special Olympics Ticket costs $5, and is expected to raise about $2 million to benefit programs that serve over 40,000 Special Olympics athletes in Illinois. The game offers four top instant prizes of $250,000 each; fifteen $5,000 prizes; and four hundred $1,000 prizes and an identical prize structure typical of all $5 lottery instant games. All net proceeds, after prize payouts and expenses, benefit Special Olympics sports training programs in Illinois.

The Special Olympics Lottery game was created last year by the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation enjoyed strong bipartisan support led by sponsors, State Sens. Mattie Hunter (District 3) and Bill Cunningham (District 18), and State Reps. Fran Hurley (District 35) and Dan Burke (District 1).

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"The Special Olympics instant ticket is a classic example of what a lottery is all about," said Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones. "Choosing to buy a $5 Special Olympics instant ticket allows citizens 18 and older to support the Special Olympics with the knowledge that if the ticket is not a $250,000 instant winner, the decision to purchase the ticket will benefit Illinois' special Olympians. We invite everyone who is interested in this great cause to track who wins and where the money goes on our website: IllinoisLottery.com." 

"We are incredibly grateful for the launch of the first-ever Special Olympics lottery ticket, and thankful for the strong support received from Illinois legislators," said Dave Breen, President and CEO of Special Olympics Illinois. "Funds raised from this ticket will lead to further innovation and program growth, and expand opportunities for current and future generations of Special Olympics Illinois athletes, their families and volunteers throughout Illinois."

"We are excited to be a beneficiary of the new Lottery scratch off ticket," said Dr. Casey Hogan, president of Special Children's Charities. "The money raised from ticket sales will enable us to expand the sports training programs we offer through our partners in the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Board of Education. We are grateful for bipartisan support we received in Springfield from the legislators who sponsored and voted for the lottery bill benefiting Special Olympics in Illinois."

The Lottery's new $5 Special Olympics Instant Ticket is available at more than 8,100 Illinois Lottery retailers throughout the state.  It joins other special games that provide funds for Illinois veterans, the fight against breast cancer, assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS, and research efforts into the cause and cure of multiple sclerosis.  Since 2006, when the first legislatively mandated special cause instant game was introduced, the Lottery has raised nearly $36 million for causes ticket buyers decided to support.

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For more information on The Special Olympics Ticket game please visit IllinoisLottery.com.

About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion to the state's Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS and Special Olympics. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball, Lotto and Lucky Day Lotto at IllinoisLottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.

About Special Olympics Illinois

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 22,000 traditional athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 21,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at soill.org.

About Special Children's Charities

Special Children's Charities has been supporting Special Olympics Chicago programs since 1969. Created by Jack McHugh, Special Children's Charities' primary mission is to promote, foster and encourage physical and mental health and improvement for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and closely related developmental disabilities.

CONTACT: Illinois Lottery: Mike Lang, Phone: 217-524-5158 / Special Olympics Illinois: Corinne Zollars, Phone: 847-309-6125 / Special Children's Charities: Susan Nicholl, Phone: 312-527-3743.

SOURCE: Illinois Lottery.

 

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NOVOMATIC Record Best Ever Financial Year

GUMPOLDSKIRCHEN, Lower Austria (February 6, 2015) -- Intensification of the activities within the European core markets / Once more with the largest trade fair stand in the history of gaming exhibitions / For the firsttime ever, cumulated Group revenues will exceed 3.8 billion Euros.

According to first calculations, the NOVOMATIC Group, Europe's largest integrated gaming group, headquartered in Gumpoldskirchen, Lower Austria, achieved its best ever financial year in 2014. At the "International Casino Exhibition 2015" (ICE) in London, the group is once again showcasing the largest trade fair stand in the history of gaming exhibitions.

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At the most important gaming exhibition in the world, taking place at the ExCeL Exhibition & Conference Centre London from 3 through 5 February, NOVOMATIC and its international subsidiaries will, for the third time, be presenting innovative gaming equipment and systems solutions in an area measuring more than 4,500 square meters.

On Wednesday, at a press conference held at the ICE in London, NOVOMATIC's CEO Mag. Harald Neumann commented: "This year, we are represented here in London by a record of 18 group companies. They cover the industry's entire range of gaming products and solutions." According to Neumann, the first calculations show that the NOVOMATIC Group's three holding companies will, in 2014, record cumulated revenues which for the first time in the company's history exceed the level of 3.8 billion euros (2013: 3.527bn).

During the financial year 2014, the group's continued growth was based on the intensification of activities in the European core markets such as the UK, Spain, Italy and also Holland, where through acquisitions the company has achieved a position as market leader.

After the acquisition of the Icelandic company Betware in 2013, this company's innovative lottery technology resulted in the establishment of NOVOMATIC Lottery Solutions GmbH during the past year.

This new company is now successfully participating in invitations to tender for modern lottery technology solutions.

During the previous year, it had already received a widely noticed order from the Israeli State Lottery.

About NOVOMATIC

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The NOVOMATIC Group is one of the largest integrated gaming groups in the world and the clear number one in Europe with more than 22,000 employees worldwide (3,000 of those located in Austria). The cor-porate group, which was founded by the industrialist Prof. Johann F. Graf in 1980, is one of Austria's leading technology groups, operating locations in 50 countries and exporting innovative gaming equipment, systems solutions, lottery system solutions and services to 80 countries.

The Group today operates more than 232,000 gaming devices and video lottery terminals (VLTs) in over 1,500 own electronic and regular casinos, as well as via rental models. In the area of casinos, the Group owns one of the casinos with the highest revenues in Switzerland, as well as the casinos with the highest revenues in Germany (Berlin) and in the Czech Republic. With 200 locations, ADMIRAL Sportwetten GmbH is the sports betting provider with the most outlets in Austria. The subsidiary Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions GmbH is the leading European B2B provider in the area of online gaming and a leading provider of social gaming services in Europe, the US and Australasia. The competencies in the area of lottery technology have been strengthened and expanded with the acquisition of Betware (headquartered in Iceland) and the establishment of NOVOMATIC Lottery Solutions GmbH.

Apart from the headquarters in Gumpoldskirchen, south of Vienna, the Group, which owns more than 3,250 IP trade mark rights, operates a total of thirteen production locations and 19 competence centers in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Holland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Iceland and Argentina.

In the area of responsible gaming, NOVOMATIC also collaborates with scientific institutions and organizations focused on the treatment of gaming addiction to set new standards with the implementation of prevention and access control systems for the prevention of pathological gaming behavior. Within the scope of its corporate social responsibility policy, NOVOMATIC supports numerous social, cultural, scientific and sports-related initiatives.

SOURCE: NOVOMATIC.

 

 

APLA / WLA 2015 Seminar – Divided by Oceans: Connected by Opportunity

Date: 27th to 30th April, 2015

Location: Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa Gold Coast, Queensland – Australia

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Lottery Association, it is my great pleasure to invite you to attend the APLA / WLA 2015 Seminar, to be hosted by Tatts Lotteries on Australia’s Gold Coast in late April 2015.

Dato Lawrence

This Seminar is a popular event in the APLA calendar and the 2015 Seminar will be no exception, combining a high quality business program with excellent social and networking opportunities.

The Seminar Theme – Divided by Oceans : Connected by Opportunity is very appropriate to lotteries in the Asia region and beyond. The business program will combine the insights of leading keynote speakers with industry specific examples from lotteries and supply partners.

APLA recently announced the development of a Library of Good Practice Case Studies to be contributed by APLA members. In conjunction with the Seminar program, a case writing workshop will be conducted by representatives of the Singapore Management University. I encourage APLA members to attend this workshop, where up to two (2) representatives from each APLA member lottery attending the case writing workshop will be eligible for a US$100 incentive credit per delegate for future APLA events. Similarly, for the APLA Associate members, up to two (2) representatives attending the workshop will be eligible for a US$50 incentive credit per delegate for future APLA events.

Along with a WLA Security Control Standards workshop, the two day Seminar program will provide two full days of relevant, practical and forward looking topics.

APLA extends its appreciation to Tatts Lotteries for hosting this event, we can look forward to a great Seminar program, punctuated by warm Australian hospitality.

Appreciation is also extended to our Seminar Sponsors for their support of APLA and our key regional events.

Please join me on the Gold Coast in late April for another high quality APLA / WLA Seminar.

Dato Lawrence Lim Swee Lim

Chairman, Asia Pacific Lottery Association

 

 

WLA is Pleased to Partner with APLA to Deliver Another Excellent Asia Pacific Seminar Event in April 2015

As the fastest growing lottery region globally, the Asia Pacific region is as diverse as it is innovative in meeting the challenge of lottery development in emerging markets as well as maximising stakeholder returns in more established, mature lottery environments.

Jean Jorgensen

The challenge of engaging our customers in a fast paced, connected world has never been greater. This Seminar will focus on the key trends driving customer behaviour in the digital space as well as more traditional retailing environments. This will be complemented by practical examples of how lotteries and supply partners are building closer connections with existing players and engaging potential customers.

The importance of secure, transparent operations will also be highlighted with a workshop session led by the Chair of the WLA Security and Risk Management Committee, Thierry Pujol. The workshop will include real life examples from APLA members which have attained the WLA Security Control Standards Certification and is not to be missed by those lotteries working towards or considering WLA Security Certification.

I hope to see you “Down Under” for the APLA / WLA 2015 Seminar in late April 2015.

Jean Jorgensen

Executive Director, World Lottery Association.

 

 

Although oceans may physically divide people across the world, the opportunity to connect, engage and build relationships has never been stronger. Social media and new technologies mean people are constantly in touch and sharing information and experiences whether with the person in the next room, the next city or across the

globe. And as certainly as the sun rises and sets each day in different parts of the world, so to do people connect more and more with one another.

Sue van der Merwe

So join us in the sunshine capital of Australia – the beautiful Gold Coast - to share, learn and discuss how we can connect with our customers in new ways capitalising on new technologies through traditional and remote channels. 

Tatts Lotteries is privileged to host the APLA / WLA 2015 Seminar to be held at the Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa on the Gold Coast in Australia.

This seminar will explore the full range of opportunities which come from new social media, technologies and changing customer buying behaviours. It will also examine how this can best be achieved in a secure, transparent and responsible way.

Alongside the excellent business program you will have the opportunity to experience one of Australia’s premier leisure destinations.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Sue van der Merwe

Chief Operating Officer (Australia)

Tatts Lotteries.

 

Click here for viewing Schedule of Fees and Registration Form.

Click here for e-brochure

Click here to visit the APLA website

 

 

Increased Accountability Leads to Reduced Profits

VISBY, Sweden (February 3, 2015) – I am proud that in 2014 laid the foundation for enhanced gaming. Our new responsible gaming program involves mainly mandatory registration and the abolition of bonuses and discounts. These measures have resulted in reduced revenues and are completely according to plan. From this base, we will continue to develop the gaming experience for our customers and strengthen our customer and partner relationships, says Swedish Spel's President Lennart Käll.

Swedish Spel's profit after financial items and tax for 2014 was 4.763 billion kronor, down SEK 505 million (9.6%) compared to 2013. Operating margin was 22.2% which is in accordance with the owner's goals.

Events and key figures 2014

  • A new responsible gaming programs, including mandatory registration of games have been introduced in order to enhance consumer protection and reduce the possibility of fraud in the form of matchfixning and money laundering;
  • Swedish Games has partnered with the University of Lund on support for a research position in addiction medicine with a special focus on problem gambling;
  • To strengthen a very long relationship with Swedish football has a new six-year contract signed for the main sponsorship worth more than 900 million;
  • Application has been submitted to the Government for providing their online casino;
  • A new mobile service with advanced design, functionality and an improved sports betting service was launched at the World Cup;
  • Customer Satisfaction Index was 72 (62). • Swedish Game highest image value in the gaming industry, 61 (62%);
  • Responsible Gaming Image amounted to SEK 55 (51)%.

 

Fourth quarter October - December 2014

  • The net gaming revenue for the Group amounted to 2,389 (2,597) million, a decrease of 8.0% compared to the same period last year;
  • Operating profit amounted to SEK 1 246 (1 403) million, a decrease of 11.2%;
  • Quarterly profit for the Group amounted to SEK 1 258 (1 423) million, a decrease of 11.6%;
  • The operating margin was 22.2 (22.8)%.

 

January - December 2014

  • The net gaming revenue for the Group amounted to 8,941 (9,729) million, a decrease of 8.1% compared to the same period last year
  • Operating income for the Group amounted to 4,705 (5,202) million, a decrease of 9.6%;
  • Net income for the Group amounted to 4,763 (5,268) million, a decrease of 9.6%;
  • The operating margin was 22.2 (22.6)%. Year-December 2014 can be found here.

 

Swedish Spel's AGM will be held in Visby April 22, 2015, at 11:00.

For more information, CONTACT: Johan Tisell, press officer, 070-322 55 21st

SOURCE: Svenska Spel.

 

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Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Release January 2015 Index

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (February 5, 2015) -- The AGEM Index remained flat in the first month of 2015 when compared to December 2014, moving from a composite index of 181.84 to 181.89. The latest period represents the first month the AGEM Index has not reported a month-to-month decline since August of 2014. Compared to a year ago, the index fell 1.96 points (-1.1 percent).

The AGEM Index has now reported annual declines for four consecutive months.

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In January 2015, half of the 14 global gaming equipment suppliers reported month-to-month gains in stock price, with two up by more than 20 percent.

However, these gains were offset by the remaining seven suppliers reporting monthly declines in stock price. In addition, four reported declines of more than five percent.

The broader stock markets continued to report month-to-month declines in January 2015. NASDAQ ended the month at 4,637.99, which represents a decline of 2.1 percent when compared to the prior month. The S&P 500 followed, falling 3.1 percent from 2,058.90 to 1,994.99.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reported the greatest decline of the three major indices, falling 3.7 percent to 17,164.95.

Selected positive contributors to the January 2015 AGEM Index included the following:

  • Ainsworth Game Technology (AGI) contributed 1.37 points, due to a  25.0-percent increase in stock price to AU$2.95.
  • Crane Co. (CR) reported a stock price of $60.95 (+3.8 percent) and contributed 1.22 points.
  • With a stock price of AU$7.02 (+7.0 percent), Aristocrat Technologies (ALL) contributed 1.10 points.

 

Selected negative contributors included the following:

GTECH S.p.A. (GTK) contributed negative 2.97 points, due to a 5.9-percent decline in stock price to EUR17.40.

Due to a 1.9-percent decline in stock price to $16.92, International Game Technology (IGT) contributed negative 0.71 points.

With a stock price of $11.81 (-7.2 percent), Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) contributed negative 0.64 points.

 

 

The world's largest gaming market, Macau, has been facing year-over-year declines in gross gaming revenue since June 2014, and in December, the region witnessed a record 30.4-percent year-over-year drop. As a result, Macau gaming revenues in 2014 totaled $44.1 billion, which represents a decline of 2.6 percent from the record $45.2 billion reported in 2013. Before 2014, gaming revenues in Macau had not reported a year-over-year decline since companies from the United States began operating in the Chinese Special Administrative Region in 2003.

The gaming market in Macau is off to a sluggish start in 2015 as well. In January, gross gaming revenues reported a decline for the eighth consecutive month when they fell 17.4 percent compared to January 2014, and gaming analysts expect the trend to continue in February. The latest trends are primarily attributable to a decline in VIP gamblers, many of whom were allegedly affected by the Chinese government's recent attempts to eliminate corruption.

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Macau's gaming market could face a positive turn in the second half of 2015 as two properties are expected to open in Cotai in the coming months. In an effort to diversify their revenue base and attract more visitors, these properties will increase their focus on non-gaming amenities and family-oriented activities.

Melco Crown will be opening its $3.2-billion Studio City in the summer of 2015. In addition to more than 1,500 gaming machines, the Hollywood-themed property will offer a 1,600-room, two-tower hotel, restaurants, a nightclub, a 5,000-seat entertainment center and a 300,000-square-foot mall. In addition, the resort will include a virtual-reality Batman-themed ride and a 30,000-square-foot facility for family entertainment that will feature characters from Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Studio City will also be home to the Golden Eye, which at 426 feet, will be Asia's highest Ferris wheel.

Galaxy Entertainment is spending more than $7.4 billion to expand Galaxy Macau, which will include a re-creation of New York's Broadway theater district. The expansion is expected to open in May of 2015 and will double the size of the property to include six hotels with 4,000 rooms. The resort will also add more than 1,000 gaming machines, an entertainment district, new restaurants, bars and lounges, 200 retail stores and a 3,000-seat Broadway Theater.

Additional casino openings in 2016 should also provide opportunities in Macau. Las Vegas Sands plans to open its $2.7-billion Parisian with 3,000 rooms, 2,500 slot machines and replicas of Paris landmarks. Also, Wynn Resorts will complete its $4.1-billion Wynn Palace with 1,700 hotel rooms and 1,000 slots, and MGM China will open its $2.9 billion MGM Cotai with 1,600 rooms and 2,500 slots.

Upcoming casino openings and expanded offerings are expected to contribute to an evolving gaming market in Macau, while providing opportunities for gaming equipment suppliers.

The AGEM Index The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) produces the monthly AGEM Index that comprises 14 global gaming suppliers throughout the world. A total of 9 suppliers are based in the United States and are listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or OTC market, while two trade on the Australian exchange, one supplier trades on the Athens exchange, one trades on the Milan exchange, and another trades on the Taiwan OTC exchange.

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The index is computed based on the month-end stock price (adjusted for dividends and splits) of each company and weighted based on approximation of market capitalization. Market capitalizations for manufacturers trading on foreign exchanges have been converted to US dollar-equivalents as of month-end for comparability purposes. The AGEM Index is based on a 100-point value as of January 2005.

About AGEM

AGEM is an international trade association representing manufacturers of electronic gaming devices, systems, and components for the gaming industry. The Association works to further the interests of gaming equipment manufacturers throughout the world. Through political action, tradeshow partnerships, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM and its member organizations have assisted regulatory commissions and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a positive business environment.

AGEM Index The AGEM index and overview is prepared by Applied Analysis (AA). AA is a Nevada-based advisory services firm providing consultation services for public and private entities. The company utilizes extensive experience in economics, information technology and finance to provide a wide range of services, including urban economic consulting, financial advisory services, market analysis, public policy analysis, hospitality industry and gaming consulting, and information system and technology consulting.

SOURCE: Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM).

 

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94% of Australasian Gaming Expo Exhibitor Space Already Sold

SYDNEY, Australia (February 11, 2015) -- The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) is delighted to advise that 125 exhibitors have taken exhibition stands to date at the annual Australasian Gaming Expo, to be held on 11-13 August 2015 at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.

With less than 500 square metres of exhibition space remaining available, any company wishing to connect with thousands of qualified gaming and hospitality industry decision making executives is advised to contact Rayner Sales & Marketing on 02 9360 6177 or at rayner@bigpond.net.au as soon as convenient.

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Fully serviced exhibition facilities including a range of café facilities will be provided for the Australasian Gaming Expo. Complimentary ferry services will operate from Darling Harbour and complimentary shuttle buses will operate from Central Station during the event. Further information about the venue is available at http://sydneyexhibitioncentre.com.au and further information about the event including an exhibition floor plan is available at www.austgamingexpo.com or from the event app which can be downloaded free of charge from the event website, from the Apple store or Google play.

Entry is complimentary for gaming industry executives, who can register at www.austgamingexpo.com or call the Gaming Expo Help line on 02 9211 7430. Trade suppliers are not eligible to attend unless exhibiting.

The Gaming Technologies Association's members include Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocrat Technologies, Aruze Gaming Australia, Bally Technologies, Ebet Limited, IGT (Australia) and Konami Gaming Australia.

For further information CONTACT: Ross Ferrar CEO, Gaming Technologies Association, Phone: (02) 8216 0931 or 0418 686 075 or Email: rferrar@gamingta.com.

SOURCE: Gaming Technologies Association Limited.

 

 

Svenska Spel Sign Framework Agreement with Avega

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (February 2, 2015) – Svenska Spel has signed a framework agreement with Avega current specialist consulting services in systems, IT management and IT architecture.

The agreement runs for two years with an option for two additional years.

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Swedish Games is the largest gaming company with a mission to responsibly arrange gaming and lotteries with the permission of the government. Avega is one of five companies in each area of agreement which has signed a framework agreement with the Swedish Games. - The agreement with Swedish Game gives Avega opportunity to play an important role in an exciting client with a modern development platform; the challenges very well match our consultants' expertise. We are extremely pleased with the confidence Swedish Games has shown us, says Jonas Bergh, CEO and President of Avega.

For further information, please contact: Jonas Bergh, President and CEO Avega AB,Tel: 46 (0) 8 407 65 00.

Avega Group AB

Avega is a consulting company specialized subsidiaries in the IT and business development. Our mission is to match our customers 'needs with employees' expertise and focus, creating mutual success. Through our ability to attract and retain the most qualified consultants within each specialist area, we have the privilege to support our customers in the development of Scandinavia's most complex and exciting projects. By focusing on quality, profitability and growth, we have grown organically since its inception and has always been profitable. Avega AB was founded in 2000, is since 2010 listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and has offices in Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg and Oslo. For more information, visit www.avegagroup.se

SOURCE: Avega Group AB.

 

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IGT Fortifies Asia Footprint with Palazzo Club Vietnam Systems Deal

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (February 5, 2015) -- Global gaming entertainment leader International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) achieved another international win with its agreement to install the Company's pioneering systems solutions at the prestigious Palazzo Club, which is located within the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, Vietnam.

The groundbreaking agreement includes the first installation of IGT's Advantage® Systems in the Vietnam slot club market, introducing this segment to new slot operations capabilities, including in-depth analyses of individual game performance. The agreement also provides the first Service Window Installation on a traditional Advantage ABS floor in Asia, supplying the Palazzo Club with a cutting-edge promotional marketing tool that can personalize player experiences based on preferences across the club's gaming machines.

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"IGT's systems have helped enhance operating efficiency and connections to players in hundreds of locations around the world, and we're excited to be the first slot club in Vietnam to feature the robust analytics and floor optimization capabilities of IGT Advantage. IGT provides the experience, vision and technology to better connect us to players, enable us to maximize ROI and deliver dynamic, personalized gaming experiences," said Manimaran Ramalingam, General Manager of the Palazzo Club.

"Our partnership with the Palazzo Club sets a milestone for IGT and a new market for slots systems solutions in Vietnam. IGT continues to secure a strong foothold in the competitive systems space in Asia, and this installation at the Palazzo Club sets a new standard for creating rewarding connections with players and is designed to further drive profitability," said Sabby Gill, IGT Senior Vice President International Sales.

The Palazzo's IGT Systems installation will include Machine Accounting, Patron Management and the Visual Slot Performance Tool-providing slot managers real-time, easily accessible data on how well games perform and which themes players prefer.

The Palazzo Club will also install EZ Pay ticketing, IGT's proven cashless system that enhances player experiences and drives efficiencies for the operator, plus enhanced bonusing applications such as Carded Lucky Coin, Xtra Credit and Point Play, which elicit player excitement.

For more information on IGT please visit IGT.com or visit IGT on Facebook at facebook.com/IGT, or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/IGTnews. Join the conversation at #IGTBlue

About IGT

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International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and continues to transform the industry by translating casino player experiences to social, mobile and interactive environments for markets around the world. IGT's acquisition of DoubleDown Interactive provides engaging social casino style entertainment to approximately 5 million players monthly. More information about IGT is available at IGT.com or connect with IGT at @IGTNews or facebook.com/IGT. Anyone can play at the DoubleDown Casino by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/doubledowncasino or doubledowncasino.com.

About Palazzo Club

Palazzo Club is an electronic gaming lounge located on the first floor of the Sheraton Saigon Hotel And Towers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The gaming lounge is open 24 hours a day and offers a variety of slot machines, video poker machines featuring comfortable seats and plenty of elbow room as well as electronic table games that consist of roulette, blackjack and baccarat. The games of chance are available only to foreign visitors and Vietnamese nationals with passports issued in another country. The hotel facilities surrounding Palazzo Club are world-class and include 485 air-conditioned guestrooms and suites. The hotel offers upscale amenities including a spa and fitness center, outdoor swimming pool on an upper floor, rooftop bars and lounges, casual dining at Mojo and several fine dining venues. Limousine and VIP services are extended to distinguished guests..

CONTACT: Cherryl Kaopua, IGT Public Relations, Phone: 1-702-669-7706, Email: Cherryl.Kaopua@IGT.com

SOURCE: International Game Technology (IGT).

 

Global Lotteries Conference

 

ECA Welcomes New Board to Take the Helm

LONDON, U.K. (February 4, 2015) ---- The ExCeL in London set the scene for the most recent European Casino Association General Assembly and the election for the new European Casino Association (ECA) Board to take the lead of the Association.

The ECA would like to congratulate and welcome the following Board members:

  • Per Jaldung (Sweden) who has also been appointed the new Chairman;
  • Tracy Damestani (UK) with the role of Vice Chair;
  • Dietmar Hoscher (Austria) who has been appointed to the position of Vice President for CSR;
  • Carlo Pagan (Italy) as Vice President, Marketing;
  • Heliodoro Giner (Spain) who will take the responsibility as Vice President for Legal Affairs;
  • Guido Berghmans (Luxembourg) as Vice President of Technology;
  • Timo Kiiskinen (Finland) as Treasurer;
  • Laurent Lassiaz (France);
  • Miriam Benert (Germany);
  • Janny Wierda (the Netherlands).

Sweden’s Per Jaldung declared his appreciation for the trust the ECA membership has put in him to lead the Board in the next three years and iterated that “it will be a pleasure to work closely together with all ECA Members to ensure that the ECA is best geared to engage all the challenges and opportunities faced by the European casino industry.”

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The ECA has also undergone some structural changes to optimise adaptation to these challenges and opportunities. In 2014, it was decided that the Board size would be increased from 7 to 10. Similarly, the February 2015 GA also provided the platform for Amendments to the internal structure of the Board, introducing the new Vice President positions for most ideal coordination and cooperation when engaging the respective areas.

The GA, held in parallel to the ICE Totally Gaming Conferences & Exhibition also marked the appointment of the ECA’s first ever Honorary President. Ron Goudsmit, one of the founders of the ECA, and leaving Chairman declared his appreciation for all the support from all the colleagues and friends that have brought the ECA to where it is now. “I especially want to thank Bruno Cagnon and Matthias Hein who, like me have decided not to candidate again, and who have in the years since the ECA’s foundation in 2005 ensured that it evolved into what it is today”. Addressing the whole membership of the GA, Goudsmit added “I have the utmost confidence that the new Board will maximise its full potential to keep the ECA where it belongs; at the forefront of all discussions related to the European casino and the gambling industry.”

SOURCE: European Casino Association (ECA).

 

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Swedish Gaming Authority Provides Medium to Educate Youth in Gambling

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (February 10, 2015) -- The gaming companies are investing more and more money on gambling advertising to attract new players. During the year 2014 were charged the 3.7 billion on gambling advertising, an increase of 50% compared to 2013. Those who invest the most money on advertising are bookmakers and are not licensed in Sweden. Many young people are attracted by the advertising message of voltage and fast money and face the risk of a gambling problem. With the information initiative Talk about the games on offer, this gives teachers and others working with youth a free tool to open up discussion of gambling and make young people aware of the dangers of gambling and how advertising influences choice.

The Site - Talk about the game - www.prataomspel.se - gives schools a place and reference to work with gaming issues while working towards the goals of the curriculum. The material is aimed at both grades 7-9 and high school and allows students to work on issues that affect the probability, advertising analysis, source criticism and gender related issues.

"The impression is that advertising situation is chaotic in Sweden and much of the advertising hits young. It is unreasonable and expose more young people at risk to establish the problems of debt and addiction prior knowledge, source criticism and impulse control are established skills of the individual "says Joakim Rönngren, Communications at the Gaming Board

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Younger adolescents and girls seem to be more sceptical of advertising and query the benefits and pleasure of playing. Slightly older teenage boys looking through advertising in a different way, and many think it is good and attracts them to play. It agrees well with the known facts in Sweden showing that teenage boys and young men are the ones with the greatest gambling problem.

The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs, CAN, examines young people's gambling habits and the latest survey clearly shows that boys play more than girls. More than 20 percent of boys in grades 9 indicate that they played for money in the last 12 months. In high school (grade 2) specifies more than 30 percent of the guys that played for money during the same period. This despite the fact that we have the 18-year limit for most gambling in Sweden.

Socio-economically disadvantaged areas show higher figures for problem gambling than average. "Stockholm survey" from 2014 shows that some areas of Stockholm has alarmingly high figures for the boys playing in grade 9 and grade 2 in high school.

Young people's interest in gambling is some time a known problem among those with responsibility for health issues at the municipal and county level.

Knowledge and education are key factors for young people to be able to handle the massive gambling advertising and the game offers that attracts. With the help of talk about games we offer teachers and others working with young people the tools for discussion.

Responsible sender of action is Lotteriinspektionen

For more information, please CONTACT: Joakim Rönngren, Communications, tel. 0765-330 167, Email: joakim.ronngren@lotteriinspektionen.se or John Innala, Project Talk about the games on the phone: 0704 -920 196, Email: info@prataomspel.se.

For more information on gambling advertising in Sweden

The bookmakers not licensed in Sweden invested 2.7 billion on gambling advertising in the year 2014. There are approximately 2.5 times more than the regulated gaming companies, which invested one (1) billion.

The figures refer to gross investments in advertising - More Information Click Here

Gaming Board is the agency that will ensure that lotteries, casino games and other gambling activities in Sweden practiced legally, safely and reliably. We safeguard consumers' interests and also contribute to reducing risks to the social harm that gambling can bring.

SOURCE: Lotteriinspektionen.

 

National Lottery Forum

 

Gambling Commission Raises the Bar on Social Responsibility

LONDON, U.K. (February 6, 2015) -- Britain’s gambling industry can do much more to make gambling safe. That’s the main message from the Gambling Commission as it introduces new rules to protect players, young people and others who are at risk of gambling-related harm.

The Commission also calls for a serious public debate on the extent to which anonymous cash-based machine gambling should be allowed to continue.

Following a major review last year, the Commission has today published a series of new and updated social responsibility measures. These significantly strengthen the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) and clarify the leading role that operators themselves must take.

The changes include:

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Operators’ employees must be able to supervise customers effectively on gambling premises. And they must have arrangements for identifying customers who are at risk of gambling-related harm, if they are not displaying obvious signs

Larger operators must conduct test purchasing to make sure that their systems for preventing underage gambling are working

By April 2016, land-based operators must have in place schemes that allow a customer to make a single request to self-exclude from all operators of a similar type within their area – typically where they live and work. The Commission is also working with industry representatives to develop a national online self-exclusion scheme, which should be in place in 2017.

A range of measures to ensure that marketing and advertising is socially responsible,   including a requirement that the marketing of ‘free bet’ offers is open, transparent and not misleading.   

Online operators must provide ‘time-out’ facilities so that players can take a break from their gambling, and offer players the ability to set a timed on-screen check to help them review their spend and possibly stop playing.

Major operators must set out what specific steps they are taking to minimise harm from gambling, how they assess their effectiveness and their plans for improvement over the coming year against which progress can be judged.

Philip Graf, the Commission’s Chair, said:

The work we have done through the review represents a significant strengthening of the social responsibility measures in the LCCP. But we have reached the point at which it is clear that much more could be achieved if anonymous gambling in cash was not such a prominent feature of land-based gambling. Removing anonymity of course raises its own challenges and it is time for a proper public debate on the costs and benefits of doing so.”

Responses to the consultation and the new LCCP are available on our website.

For further information please contact our press office on (0121) 230 6700 or email communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk.

SOURCE: UK Gambling Commission.




 

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