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NASPL STANDARDS INITIATIVE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

Lottery Insights December Issue
Latest electronic version
of Lottery Insights

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NASPL STANDARDS INITIATIVE VERIFICATION PROGRAM

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The WEEK in REVIEW
A Weekly Snapshot of the Top Lottery and Gaming News Stories



INTRALOT


Vol. 79 No. 8 - Monday May 22, 2017


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France’s National Lottery Extends Instant Ticket Contract with Pollard Banknote

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (May 17, 2017) -- Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote”) is pleased to announce that it has received a three-year contract extension from La Française des Jeux (“FDJ®”), France’s national lottery, for the supply of instant lottery tickets. Under this extension, Pollard Banknote will print 12 of the Lottery’s 17 brands, representing an increased volume of work.

This extension continues Pollard Banknote’s long-standing partnership with the Lottery, which began in 1996 and continues to be an exceptionally cooperative and effective working relationship. This contract extension is a testament to Pollard Banknote’s ability to foster enduring and reliable relationships with its Lottery partners, working together to fulfill the common goal of increasing revenues and profits to support good causes. For over 20 years, FDJ® has achieved notable sales success with several of Pollard Banknote’s industry-leading innovations, including Scratch FX®, featured on the Lottery’s 5€ Saphir game. Pollard Banknote’s patented Scratch FX® adds sparkle and shine to instant tickets for a visual appeal and brilliance that exceeds that of foil, holographic foil, and metallic inks, and drives sales by making tickets stand out at retail.

In 2011, FDJ® launched its 3€ Mots Croisés (Crossword) game which went on to become the Lottery’s sixth best-selling game that year. As the leading expert in Bingo and Crossword games, Pollard Banknote’s industry-first translucent marking system combined with its unsurpassed knowledge of extended play games has made it the primary printer of all the Lottery’s Crossword games (2€ Mini Mots Croisés, 5€ Maxi Mots Croisés, 10€ Mega Mots Croisés).

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We are very proud of the long-standing relationship we have with La Française des Jeux,” said Chabha Bettoum, Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing, Pollard Banknote. “For the past 20 years, our relationship has grown into a very successful partnership and we value this opportunity to continue working with the Lottery. Through ongoing consultation, we have worked together to develop many instant lottery tickets that excite and engage players throughout France.

La Française des Jeux began as France’s National Lottery in 1933 and has grown to become the second largest lottery in Europe and the fourth largest lottery worldwide, offering 26 million customers a range of lottery games and sports betting for the general public, through responsible and safe play. The Lottery is a primary source of funding for the National Centre for the Development of Sport (€220 million in 2016) and a loyal partner of both the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) and the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF).

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 60 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.

CONTACT:

 

Doug Pollard,

Co-Chief Executive Officer,

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: dpollard@pbl.ca

John Pollard,

Co-Chief Executive Officer

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: jpollard@pbl.ca

Rob Rose,

Chief Financial Officer,

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: rrose@pbl.ca

 

SOURCE Pollard Banknote Limited.

 

 

Florida Lottery Celebrates Best April Sales on Record

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (May 11, 2015) -- The Florida Lottery had its strongest start ever to the final quarter of the fiscal year, with record sales for the month of April totaling more than $528 million. Over the past five years, sales during the month of April have swelled by more than $100 million, a 23.5% increase. Additionally, the Lottery contributed more than $130 million to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) during the month of April alone.

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“I am extremely proud of our Florida Lottery team and retailers as we continue to shatter previous records,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie. “In addition to their winning experiences, our players should take pride in knowing that with the purchase of every Lottery ticket, they are making a difference in the lives of Florida’s students.” 

Over the past 29 years, the Florida Lottery has established itself as a dependable funding source for public education. For 15 consecutive years the Lottery has transferred more than $1 billion to education, while remaining one of the most efficient lotteries in the nation. Additionally, the Lottery has contributed more than $5 billion to the Bright Futures Scholarship Program to send over 750,000 students to college.

Florida Lottery contributions represent approximately six percent of the state's total education budget. Lottery funds are appropriated by the Florida Legislature and are administered by the Florida Department of Education.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA LOTTERY

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $31 billion to education and sending more than 750,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $52.4 billion in prizes and made more than 1,900 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com.

CONTACT: Florida Lottery Communications, T: (850) 487-7727.

 

INTRALOT

 

INTRALOT Group Announces New CEO in the USA

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ATHENS, Greece (May 12, 2017) -- The INTRALOT Group announces the appointment of John R. Donahue as CEO of its USA venture INTRALOT Inc. Mr. Donahue has 30 years of lottery and gaming experience in the global market. His strengths combine strategic vision with product development, technology delivery, as well as operational and sales execution.

Before coming to INTRALOT he worked for 10 years as Managing Director of the International Systems Division at Scientific Games and previously as International Sales Director and Northern Europe Sales and Operations Vice President for IGT (GTECH Dreamport) and CEO of SIRIUS Gaming LLC.

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INTRALOT Group CEO Antonios I. Kerastaris said: “I am thrilled to welcome John as CEO of INTRALOT Inc. His proven record of achievement and the breadth of his strategic horizon and thinking will be an amazing addition and asset for INTRALOT’s presence and business growth in North America which currently presents enormous opportunities for modernizing lotteries in a digital world. I look forward working with him.”

John Donahue said: “I am very excited to join a very innovative company like INTRALOT and I am very impressed by their accomplishments in the US market. INTRALOT has a fantastic customer portfolio and I look forward to building upon these relationships and expanding the business throughout the region.

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active in 55 regulated jurisdictions around the globe. With €1.32 billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately 5,300 employees (3,450 of which in subsidiaries and 1,850 in associates) in 2016, INTRALOT is an innovation – driven corporation focusing its product development on the customer experience. The company is uniquely positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations across geographies market-tested solutions and retail operational expertise. Through the use of a dynamic and omni-channel approach, INTRALOT offers an integrated portfolio of best-in-class gaming systems and product solutions & services addressing all gaming verticals (Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT). Players can enjoy a seamless and personalized experience through exciting games and premium content across multiple delivery channels, both retail and interactive. INTRALOT has been awarded with the prestigious WLA Responsible Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its global lottery operations.

For more information CONTACT: Ms. Dimitra Tzimou, Corporate Relations Manager, Phone: +30-210 6156000, Fax: +30-210 6106800, email: tzimou@intralot.com.

SOURCE: INTRALOT (www.intralot.com).

 

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WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ Game Offers Lucky Player A Chance To Win Up To $1 Billion

Largest Multi-State Linked Instant Lottery Game Prize in U.S. History

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LAS VEGAS and ATLANTA (May 11, 2017) -- Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) ("Scientific Games" or the "Company") today announced that it has created a multi-state linked game with the largest prize opportunity for a linked lottery instant game in U.S. history. The WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ game is launching initially in 11 U.S. states.  The "scratch" game offers players the chance to win prizes instantly plus a bonus second-chance opportunity to win trips to Las Vegas where lucky second-chance players will take part in the WILLY WONKA™ BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™ event to win cash prizes from $1,000 up to $1 billion.

With sales off to a strong start, the Texas Lottery was first to launch the WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ game in March, followed by the Georgia Lottery and Kentucky Lottery in April, and the Colorado Lottery and Maine State Lottery in May. In addition to the 11 lotteries set to offer the game to their players in 2017-18, a number of other lotteries are considering adding the game to their portfolio.

Jim Kennedy, Group Chief Executive, Lottery for Scientific Games said, "We are thrilled that one lucky player is going to get a shot at winning up to a $1 billion in the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™. We have been exploring the billion dollar prize concept for some time, and we believe the wonderful world of WILLY WONKA ties in perfectly to this large prize opportunity."

Willy Wonka Tickets

"The WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ game has two great elements – a GOLDEN TICKET and the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™. Like the iconic film, the game emphasizes life-changing opportunities," Kennedy said. "The game has been extremely well received by both state lotteries and players here in North America."

The WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ game offers players a chance to win cash prizes at retail locations instantly for winning tickets. Eligible non-winning tickets can be entered into an online second-chance drawing for the opportunity to win a four-day/three-night trip to Las Vegas (player plus guest), including airfare, deluxe accommodations, ground transportation, spending money, and participation in the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™ for the opportunity to win up to a $1 billion annuity. The BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™ event is planned for May of 2018.

Scientific Games offers a full media package for the WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ game, including TV and radio ads, retail point-of-sale materials, and websites.

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Scientific Games

Lotteries can select from several styles of branded game art, and have the flexibility to offer the game at the $5-$20 price point. The majority of participating lotteries plan to launch the game at $10.

The Texas Lottery opted to offer their game as a $10 super-sized ticket (12" x 8") featuring three separate games.

"Super-sized tickets are very popular with Texas players, and we knew they would enjoy the possibility of finding a GOLDEN TICKET and the potential of winning up to a $1 billion prize," said Gary Grief, Executive Director of the Texas Lottery.

"More than two million tickets were sold in just the first few weeks, supporting our continued mission to generate revenue for Texas education and veterans."

The $1 billion prize would be paid as an annuity over 40 years. At the individual lottery's discretion, players may choose a lump sum payment. For rules, regulations, and additional details on the WILLY WONKA GOLDEN TICKET™ and BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™, visit the participating lotteries' official websites.

WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and all related characters and elements © and ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s17)

All ® notices signify marks registered in the United States.  © 2017 Scientific Games Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

About Scientific Games

Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) is a leading developer of technology-based products and services and associated content for worldwide gaming, lottery and interactive markets. The Company's portfolio includes gaming machines, game content and systems; table games products and utilities; instant and draw-based lottery games; server-based lottery and gaming systems; sports betting technology; loyalty and rewards programs; and interactive content and services. For more information, please visit us at www.scientificgames.com.

Company CONTACTS:

 

Lottery Communications:

Therese Minella

(770) 825-4219

Investor Relations:

Bill Pfund

(702) 532-7663

Corporate Communications:

Susan Cartwright

(702) 532-7981

 

SOURCE: Scientific Games Corporation.

 

 

Camelot Congratulates Responsible National Lottery Retailers

89% of retailers correctly checked ID during mystery shopping visits

WATFORD, UK (May 12, 2017) -- Camelot has congratulated National Lottery retailers after news that 89% of retailers visited in 2016 correctly asked for ID as proof of age on the first occasion – up 3% on 2015’s results. This was following the company conducting 11,600 such visits last year – as part of its long-term commitment to preventing underage and excessive play of The National Lottery.

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As the mystery shopping visits kick off for 2017, Camelot is now in the process of reminding retailers of their responsibilities in this area. A leaflet and terminal sticker will be landing in all National Lottery retailers with top tips on acceptable forms of identification, what to do if a customer appears to be underage or playing too much, and ways of ensuring all staff are correctly trained.

Camelot’s Head of Retail, James Pearson, commented: “To play any National Lottery game, you must be 16 or older. Obviously many retailers already have their own underage policies in place – such as Challenge 21 or 25 – but we’re doing all we can to provide support and guidance for National Lottery products specifically. So, while ensuring people under 16 aren’t playing our games is vital, it’s also important that retailers look out for people who might be playing too much.

We hope that the leaflet and terminal sticker provide retailers with some easy-to-use top tips – and we’ll also be conducting telephone calls and face-to-face visits to talk through what it means in their individual store. We’re delighted with the 89% pass-rate and I’d personally like to thank all of our retailers for this achievement. I hope that we can all work together to do even better in 2017.

Camelot’s mystery shopping programme has been in place for over a decade and uses young people who are over 16, but who look younger. If a retailer fails a mystery shopping visit on three occasions, their National Lottery terminal will be suspended and is likely to be removed. In addition, if a retailer is worried that one of their customers is playing too much, details of GamCare – the leading provider of information, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling – can be found on the back of all National Lottery tickets and Scratchcards.

For further information, please CONTACT: Camelot Press Office: 020 7632 5711.

SOURCE: Camelot UK Lotteries Limited.

 

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Education Lottery Gives North Carolinians a Chance to “Dream a little”

RALEIGH, North Carolina (May 12, 2017) -- The N.C. Education Lottery is showing a new look to North Carolina as it refreshes and rebrands for another decade of service to the state.

The introduction of the new look, shown in a statewide advertising campaign that begins this week, comes in conjunction with the installation of all new lottery equipment, from the centralized operating system to point-of-sale terminals and vending machines in all 6,850 lottery retail locations.

The ad introduces the new brand logo following a series of scenes of reflection capturing every day people’s dreams – a scuba diving vacation, a son remodelling his mom’s kitchen, and a student graduating from college. The lottery’s new logo keeps the familiar mountains to the sea scene, graced with a shooting star, but it now has evolved into a dreaming look with its first tagline: “Dream a little.

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Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery, said when North Carolinians are asked why they play the lottery they say over and over again they have fun thinking about what to do if they win. They talk about their dreams, she said.

Essentially a lottery is in the business of possibilities,” Garland said. “Lottery games offer prizes that deliver some joy and thrill to winners. Along the way, the dreams that fuel the fun raise millions for education. And the money raised for education helps the dreams of students and educators across our state come true.”

Garland said new equipment and the new look will position the lottery for continued success in raising money for education during a new decade of service. It now raises more than half a billion a year for the state with total contributions since the start of the lottery in 2006 crossing the $5 billion milestone as of March 31st.

The new lottery system features:

  • New lottery terminals or lottery vending machines at all lottery retail locations. The equipment has large user-friendly touch screens and a faster printer. This should speed up the time it takes for lottery transactions to occur at retail locations.
  • New instant ticket printing and warehousing system. Instant tickets are the most popular lottery games and the new system should make the ordering and distribution of instant tickets more efficient.
  • A ticket checker or a lottery vending machine with a ticket checking function at all retail locations. This allows players to check and see for themselves if they have a winning ticket.
  • New play centers at all retail locations. The play centers will make it easier for players to get information about lottery games, odds of winning, and prizes.

 

Players will see more upgrades in the months to come as the lottery unveils a new website and a new mobile app for smartphones.

To see the new ad, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR5WsaBc2fE.

CONTACT: Van Denton, Phone: (919) 301-3308.

SOURCE: N.C. Education Lottery.

 

 

NOVOMATIC Showcases Top Performers at Peru Gaming Show

GUMPOLDSKIRCHEN, Austria (May 11, 2017) -- Making its premiere appearance at PGS this year is the attractive GAMINATOR® Scorpion cabinet that brings leading content to the market in stunning high definition. A series of cabinets will present games from the new Impera Line™ HD Edition 5 such as Amazon’s Diamonds™ and Upward™, as well as Coolfire™ II-s Premium Multi-Game Editions with the latest 6-reel, Extra-Bet feature versions of NOVOMATIC blue chip classics Book of Ra™ deluxe  and Lucky Lady’s Charm™ deluxe.

Another first for the Peruvian gaming show is the GENESIS II cabinet that offers a cost-effective way for operators to present the latest NOVOMATIC content on their gaming floors.

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This twin screen machine features a wide selection of exciting slot content and will be displayed with titles such as Julie’s Journey™, Eternal Elements™, as well as the new Magic 243 Lines™ and Secret of the Ankh™.

Returning to the show is the international hit V.I.P. Lounge™ cabinet that is making a standout impression in Latin America as well as the rest of the world. Another best-seller in the region is the elegant IMPERATOR™ S3 cabinet that will be presented with a range of market-attuned content. Also at PGS will be representatives from Octavian who will demonstrate the latest tools of the ACP casino management system that continues to be deployed in the region.

About NOVOMATIC

The NOVOMATIC Group is one of the biggest international producers and operators of gaming technologies and employs some 24,000 staff worldwide. Founded by entrepreneur Professor Johann F. Graf in 1980, the Group has locations in more than 50 countries and exports high-tech electronic gaming equipment and solutions to 80 countries. The Group operates more than 260,000 gaming terminals in its some 1,800 plus gaming operations as well as via rental concepts.

Through its numerous international subsidiaries, the NOVOMATIC Group is fully active in all segments of the gaming industry and thus offers a diversified Omni-channel product portfolio to its partners and clients around the world. This product range includes land based gaming products and services, management systems and cash management, online/mobile and social gaming solutions as well as lottery and sports betting solutions together with a range of sophisticated ancillary products and services.

SOURCE: NOVOMATIC Group.

 

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Jumbo Interactive Announce Expanded Relationship with and Investment by Tatts Group

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TOOWONG, Qld., Australia (May 12, 2017) -- Leading internet lottery business, Jumbo Interactive Limited (ASX: JIN), has expanded its decade long commercial relationship with Tatts Group Limited (Tatts) (ASX: TTS), with a long term extension and expansion of its existing lottery reseller agreements. The relationship is further strengthened by Tatts subscribing for a substantial shareholding in Jumbo.

The key aspects of the agreements are as follows:

  1. All current reseller agreements (NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Fiji) have been extended for five years with potential to continue beyond 2022.
  2. Tatts has agreed to provide an expanded product portfolio to include the popular “Set for Life” game.
  3. Tatts has purchased 6,609,686 newly issued fully paid ordinary shares in Jumbo (giving Tatts a 15% shareholding) at $2.37 per share, raising $15.66 million in equity capital.
  4. Tatts will also be granted a 12-month option to acquire a further 3,474,492 ordinary shares with a $2.37 strike price, with the issue of this option subject to shareholder approval. Jumbo will convene a shareholder meeting for this purpose within the next 3 months.
  5. The reseller agreements include a new termination right that permits (but does not oblige) Tatts to terminate each of the reseller agreements in the event that:
    a. there is a change of control of Jumbo;
    b. Tatts' equity interest in Jumbo shares falls below 10%1 within the next 2 years (other than as a direct result of a voluntary disposal by Tatts of its interest in Jumbo or other prescribed share issues occurring in the ordinary course); or
    c. a competitor of Tatts: i. enters into a distribution agreement with Jumbo; ii. acquires 10% or more voting power in Jumbo; iii. has an associate or representative on the Jumbo board; or iv. increases its voting power by at least 3% after the occurrence of item (ii) or (iii) above.
  6. Tatts has been invited by Jumbo to nominate a representative to join the Board of Directors of Jumbo as a non-executive director. Tatts does not presently intend to take up this invitation, however the offer will remain available to Tatts for so long as it retains at least a 10% shareholding interest in Jumbo.
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The investment by Tatts in Jumbo further strengthens the commercial relationship between them and secures Tatts' agreement to the extension and variation of the reseller agreements. The $15.66 million share issue proceeds will be used by Jumbo to fund or supplement:

  • a. additional growth or business investment opportunities arising from the expanded relationship with Tatts;
  • b. strategic acquisition opportunities; and
  • c. expansion opportunities identified by Jumbo such as approaches to accelerate the growing charity lottery business.

 

Tatts’ support via the expanded agreements and shareholding further aligns the Companies’ interests and gives Jumbo certainty to plan for further longer term growth”, said Mr Veverka, Founder and CEO of Jumbo Interactive Limited.

About  Jumbo Interactive

Jumbo Interactive Limited is listed in Australia (ASX: JIN) as well as the German Frankfurt, Berlin and Stuttgart exchanges (Symbol: WKN A1C82X).

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. At first customers were attracted to the security of never losing a ticket and the convenience of automatic number checking, prize payments and auto-play. In 2012, Jumbo released a lottery app for the iPhone and a new transition began driven by the convenience of mobile lotteries. A new app for the Apple watch takes the customer experience a step further with prize alerts, winning numbers and ticket management now available on the wrist.

The Company operates the popular website www.ozlotteries.com in Australia under agreement with the Tatts Group (ASX: TTS).

Jumbo has proven its ability to open up new lottery markets with its innovative technology and internet marketing initiatives that have brought lotteries to new demographics via the internet. Jumbo has succeeded in targeting a younger and more mobile demographic with mobile now accounting for 75% of all customer interactions.

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

SOURCE: Jumbo Interactive Limited.

 

 

New ESSA Chair in Board Restructure

BRUSSELS, Belgium (May 11, 2017) -- International betting integrity body ESSA has elected a new Chairperson and expanded its board. GVC’s Heike Mayer succeeds outgoing ESSA Chair, Mike O’Kane, who has held the position since 2012. The ESSA board has also expanded to reflect its growing membership, with Betway’s Jon Russell and David Foster of Paddy Power Betfair strengthening the board of directors.

Heike Mayer, who is responsible for Public and Regulatory Affairs at GVC, is well-versed in the issues facing the sector and moves from her position as Vice Chair of ESSA. She takes over as Chair of the association from Mike O’Kane, a veteran of over 40 years in the industry, who has stepped down following his retirement from Ladbrokes.

I’d like to thank Mike for all of his hard work over the last five years. He has done a great job in repositioning the association and has been an influential and vocal advocate of ESSA members and our sector in general. There are a number of key issues and opportunities facing the industry going forward. I will be working with my board colleagues to deliver and implement a strategy that meets those challenges and maintains the strong working relationships that ESSA has built,” Mayer said.

ESSA Secretary General Khalid Ali explained that: “The expansion of the board reflects a desire to ensure that we are best placed to represent the association’s increasing membership and to meet the ongoing challenges facing the sports betting sector. We are very fortunate to have a wealth of experience and knowledge within our membership to help drive us forward to achieve our goals.”

ESSA holds positions on match-fixing policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of activities aimed at addressing match-fixing, including a player education programme with EU Athletes (see here) and an international project, entitled “Keep Crime out of Sport”, led by the Council of Europe both receive funding from the European Commission. ESSA has recently released its Q1 2017 report, available here.

GLI

About ESSA:

ESSA represents many of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting operators, serving over 40 million consumers in the EU alone. Concerned regulated bookmakers created ESSA in 2005 to monitor betting markets and alert sporting bodies and national regulators to suspicious betting patterns. The goal was and is to protect consumers from potential fraud caused by manipulating sporting events.

ESSA helps to combat this with evidence-based intelligence it provides to sporting bodies and regulators. Every year, our members invest over €50m in compliance and internal security systems in order to help combat fraud. They also give back to sport and society by spending €400m on sponsorship around the world - €250m of that in Europe alone. This increases substantially when advertising and photo and video-streaming rights are taken into consideration. ESSA and its members also co-fund an education programme on gambling with EU Athletes that reaches out to 15,000 athletes/players across at least ten different sports in 13 EU countries.

ESSA continues to play a key role as the regulated betting sector’s representative body at national and international match-fixing policy forums and holds positions on working groups at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The organisation is continually reassessing and improving its alert and reporting systems and has established information sharing arrangements with a range of sports bodies and regulatory authorities.

ESSA members include: 888sport, ABB, Bet-at-Home, Betclic, Betdaq, Betsson, BetStars, BetVictor, Betway, bet365, bwin, Digibet, Expekt, Fonbet, Interwetten, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet, Sportingbet, Sporting Index, Sportium, Stanleybet, Stoiximan, Unibet and William Hill. For more information see ESSA’s website at http://www.eu-ssa.org/or visit us on twitter: @ESS.

SOURCE: ESSA.

 

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Cherry Completes Acquisition of ComeOn

SWEDEN (May 11, 2017) -- Cherry AB (publ) (“Cherry”) has today completed the acquisition of the remaining 51 percent of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd (“ComeOn”), and has accordingly closed the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares. The integration work that has been successfully carried out since July 2016 and with the acquisition, Cherry becomes the third largest online gaming operator in the Nordics.

The total purchase price is based on a multiple of ten times ComeOn’s operating profit (EBIT) for the full year 2016. The initial EUR 80,000,000 portion of the purchase price, which was paid in July 2016, has been deducted from the total purchase price of EUR 289,804,087. The total purchase price for the remaining 51 percent of the shares in ComeOn amounts to EUR 209,804,087 and has been paid with a combination of a total of 3,341,657 newly issued shares of series B (corresponding to 40 percent of the purchase price for the remaining 51 percent of the shares in ComeOn) and EUR 125,882,474 paid in cash (corresponding to 60 percent of the purchase price for the remaining 51 percent of the shares in ComeOn). The subscription price per newly issued share of series B has been calculated to SEK 244.02 and been paid in kind in the form of shares in ComeOn.

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The cash portion of the purchase price has been financed through additional senior secured callable bonds issued under Cherry’s existing bond loan within a frame of total EUR 200,000,000, with final maturity date 11 July 2020. The bonds are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (ISIN SE0008321616).

In accordance with IFRS, ComeOn has been consolidated as a wholly-owned subsidiary from 1 October 2016 from an accounting perspective.

The new issue of shares was resolved by Cherry’s board of directors by virtue of authorization from the Extraordinary General Meeting of 13 March 2017 and entails an increase of the share capital of SEK 1,837,911.35 and a dilution of approximately 16.2 percent of the shares and 11.3 percent of the votes in the company. The dilution has been calculated as the number of issued shares and votes divided with the number of shares and votes after the share issue. Following registration with the Swedish Companies’ Registration Office (Sw. Bolagsverket), the number of shares in Cherry will amount to a total of 20,602,732, representing a total of 29,581,132 votes, distributed among 997,600 shares of series A and 19,605,132 shares of series B. Cherry does not have any holding of own shares.

For further information, please CONTACT: Anders Holmgren, CEO, +46 708 607 534, anders.holmgren@cherry.se or Carolina Haglund Strömlid, Head of Investor Relations & Communications, +46 708 807 173, carolina.stromlid@cherry.se.

This information is information that Cherry AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above on 11 May 2017.

Cherry in brief

Cherry is a Swedish innovating and fast growing gaming company established in 1963. The business strategy is to create shareholder value by owning and developing fast-growing and profitable businesses within the gaming and casino industry. Cherry operates within five diversified business areas, Online Gaming through ComeOn!, Performance-based Marketing through Game Lounge, Gaming Technology through XCaliber. Game Development through Yggdrasil Gaming and Restaurant Casino through Cherry Spelglädje. The objective is to grow organic in combination with strategic acquisitions of fast-growing companies. Cherry employs around 1 100 people and has more than 6,000 shareholders. The Company’s B-shares are listed on AktieTorget.

SOURCE: Cherry.

 

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New VCGLR Chair and Deputy Chair Announced

MELBOURNE, Victoria (May 10, 2015) -- Acting CEO of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) Michael Everett today announced that Mr Ross Kennedy PSM has been appointed to be the new Chair of the VCGLR and Ms Deirdre O’Donnell PSM has been appointed as Deputy Chair. 

Mr Kennedy has served as Deputy Chair and Commissioner since 2013. Prior to joining the VCGLR Mr Kennedy was the Executive Director responsible for liquor, gaming and racing at the Department of Justice and Regulation —a role he performed for over 10 years.

Ms O’Donnell is currently a Commissioner at the VCGLR and has extensive experience in executive roles in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Mr Kennedy will succeed Dr Bruce Cohen, who has advised the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation of his intention to vacate the position of Chair at the end of April.

SOURCE: VCGLR.

 

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OLG Selects Service Provider For Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle

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TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (May 15, 2017) -- Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has selected HR Ottawa, LP (known as “Hard Rock Casino Ottawa”) as the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle, following a competitive procurement process. The Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited).

OLG has made an important step toward improving the customer experience in the Ottawa region," said Stephen Rigby, OLG’s President and CEO. "The investments Hard Rock Casino Ottawa will make will substantially enhance the gaming entertainment experience, while increasing revenue for the Province and encouraging local economic development."

We’re honoured to have been chosen by OLG as the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “Together with RCR, we plan to potentially invest more than $320 million to create an electrifying, integrated entertainment destination, leading to the potential creation of more than 1,900 construction-related jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect ongoing jobs and opportunities for the Ottawa community.

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We are delighted to bring the iconic Hard Rock International casino operator to Ottawa,” said Andrew Wright, Director of Rideau Carleton Raceway. “Rideau Carleton Raceway has partnered with Hard Rock to build a major tourist destination that will offer multi-level entertainment, energized horse racing, a broader market and substantial economic benefits for all of our employees, patrons, and the Ottawa community.”

OLG has entered into a Transition and Asset Purchase Agreement with Hard Rock Casino Ottawa for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle, which sets out the customary closing conditions to be satisfied for OLG and Hard Rock Casino Ottawa to enter into a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA). Under the COSA, Hard Rock Casino Ottawa will take over day-to-day operations of OLG Slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

OLG expects that the service provider will take over day-to-day operations in fall 2017.

OLG employees will transfer to the new service provider and OLG will work with Hard Rock Casino Ottawa to ensure they have as smooth and seamless a transition as possible. This includes a requirement for the service provider to retain employees for a period of no less than 12 months in their current position and geographic location, and to provide eligible employees with benefits and a registered pension plan.

While Hard Rock Casino Ottawa will be responsible for the day-to-day gaming operations in the bundle, OLG will continue to:

  • Conduct and manage gaming in the bundle
  • Require compliance with applicable regulations set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
  • Be the owner of key player information
  • Uphold the standards of its Responsible Gambling program through the service provider, including the self-exclusion program
  • Distribute Contribution Agreement payments to the host community

 

Hard Rock Casino Ottawa is required to follow all applicable laws including AGCO’s regulated standards which require, among other things, rigorous Responsible Gambling policies and programs.

To OLG, the integrity of its procurement process is of the utmost importance.

Throughout the procurement process, OLG has engaged the services of a Fairness Monitor to provide oversight and advice.

With venues in 75 countries, including 175 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe.

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Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Valencia, Innsbruck, Andorra la Vella and Chengdu. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Berlin, Dubai, London, Los Cabos, New York City, and Shenzhen, Dalian and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit: www.hardrock.com.

Rideau Carleton Raceway Limited ("RCR") has operated Rideau Carleton Raceway Entertainment Centre and standardbred racing since 1962.  RCR is a longstanding member of the Ottawa community. RCR takes great pride in the contributions they make, both to the citizens of the community and in support of the region's horse racing program. Residents and tourists have long visited RCR to enjoy the thrill of watching standardbred races, attend events, and more recently, to play OLG slots. RCR remains committed to supporting the Province's equestrian industry and live horse racing in Canada.

OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $44 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.

SOURCE: OLG media release.

 

 

Bwin Sign as Champion Partner of Prestigious German Football Club Borussia Dortmund

ISLE of MAN (May 17, 2017) -- Bwin, the leading European sports betting operator, is pleased to announce it has signed a new agreement to become a Champion Partner of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany's most prestigious football clubs. The multi-year partnership covers the next four Bundesliga seasons, up until the end of the 2020/2021 campaign.

As a Champion Partner, bwin branding will feature prominently in-stadia on both large scale LED perimeter banners and on pitch 'CamCarpets' during Dortmund's seventeen home Bundesliga fixtures each season. bwin will also feature on the eight-time German champions' interview boards.

In addition to traditional branding integration, bwin will also be making a key contribution to match day experiences, providing BVB fans with the latest odds and match information online and via mobile apps.

Campaigns and promotions specially tailored to BVB fans will be run on digital and traditional channels, to highlight the new fan experiences. In addition, there will be opportunities to win exclusive prizes, including the chance to participate in a special event held by the 1997 Champions League winners. An opportunity that will excite every BVB supporter.

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Stephan Heilmann, bwin's regional head said:

"'True love' is BVB's brand promise and 'True love" binds us at bwin to football, just as much as the Borussians and their fans. In our view, the brand fit consists of much more than just our matching colours - identification, international presence and a high degree of innovation are strong values we hold in common. We are looking forward to working with BVB; as the Dortmund club's Champion Partner, bwin is back in the Bundesliga. In this context, we are aiming to intensively involve the BVB fans in activating our sponsoring role and already have a number of exciting ideas that they soon will be able to experience inside and outside the stadium."

Carsten Cramer, Director of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Borussia Dortmund said: "With bwin, we have a partner that has maintained close ties with German football longer than any other operator in its sector. On an international scale, bwin has systematically build up its brand with prominent sponsorships, amongst the blue chips of European club football. This premium insight fits extremely well with our brand positioning. BVB and bwin are combining two brands that are both major players in their own filed."

For further information CONTACT: Jay Dossetter, Phone: 020 7337 0100.

About bwin

bwin offers live betting and online gaming on a wide range of sports, casino games and poker through its website www.bwin.com, including markets on over 90 sports.

bwin have also previously enjoyed sponsorships across a wide range of European football clubs and leagues, Moto GP, tennis, handball, the World Equestrian Games and kitesurfing, as well as being the title sponsor of the bwin World Cup of Darts in 2014 and 2015.

bwin is the leading sports betting brand of GVC Holdings PLC. For more information about bwin, visit www.bwin.com or follow @bwin on Twitter.

About GVC Holdings PLC

GVC Holdings PLC is a leading e-gaming operator in both B2C and B2B markets. GVC has four business segments with a number of brands; Sports Labels (bwin, Sportingbet, Gamebookers), Games Labels (partypoker, partycasino, Foxy Bingo, Gioco Digitale, CasinoClub), B2B and non-core assets. GVC acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc on 1 February 2016. The Group is headquartered in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has licences in more than 18 countries.

For more information see the Group's website: www.gvc-plc.com.

SOURCE: GVC Holdings press release.

 

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Opening address: Australasian Casino and Gambling Regulators’ Conference

 

Opening address: Australasian Casino and Gambling Regulators’ Conference, Pullman Hotel, Auckland

NEW ZEALAND (May 17, 2017)

 

New Zealand Government

Hon Peter Dunne

Minister of Internal Affairs

It is a pleasure to open this year’s Australasian Casino and Gambling Regulators’ Conference.

Today, I will briefly share with you some thoughts about your Conference theme “regulatory excellence”.

But first, I want to reiterate the warm welcome provided by the mihi whakatau and waiata.

Thank you all for joining us in Auckland, especially our international guests and speakers who have travelled from across Australasia and further afield to be here.

We welcome you with great pride to the unique mix of cultures, long history and beautiful landscapes of Tāmaki Makaurau.

I would also like to give particular acknowledgement to Graeme Reeves, Chief Commissioner of the New Zealand Gambling Commission.

I would also like to acknowledge Peter Cowsill, the Manager of the Casino Compliance team in Auckland, who is retiring in two weeks’ time after 20 years of service to the casino sector.

Peter was a Gambling Inspector for the Department of Internal Affairs when New Zealand’s first casino opened.

He has provided a strong customer-centric approach and contributed to significant changes in the approach to regulation over those years.

Peter is in the audience today and I thank him for his service.

And I would like to acknowledge all of the speakers who will share expertise during the Conference.

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Thank you for your willingness and enthusiasm in taking the time to be here.

Role as Minister to oversee gambling regulation

As the Minister of Internal Affairs, I am responsible for the New Zealand Government’s gambling policy and the legislation that provides the regulatory framework for gambling activity.

The regulation of gambling has received a lot of attention over many years, and there have been concerted efforts to devise effective legislation and regulations, which are the tools of your trade.

As you will all be aware, the regulation of gambling continues to engender strong feelings, both for and against, and this is an important part of the environment in which we all operate.

Whether we like it or not, gambling is a highly emotive issue to many people for a variety of reasons.

New Zealand’s Gambling Act balances the community benefits from gambling against the harm that can result from gambling.

It has a broad range of objectives, including: controlling the growth of gambling; minimising problem gambling; ensuring that gambling is fair; minimising opportunities for crime; and ensuring that money from gambling benefits communities.

The balance between harm and return from gambling

According to a report published in The Economist earlier this year, Australia wins the jackpot of having the biggest gambling losses per resident in the world – an estimated $990 per resident in 2016.

This figure is around 40% higher than Singapore, the runner-up, and around double the average of other countries featured in the report, including the United States, Canada and Britain.

New Zealand came in at sixth place.

About 80 per cent of the New Zealand population participates in gambling at least once a year.

Around $2 billion is spent on the four main forms of gambling – TAB betting; Lotto; casinos; and gaming machines located mainly in pubs and clubs.

It is within this context that gambling regulation in New Zealand aims to enhance the positive dimensions of gambling, and to reduce its negative dimensions.

An example of gambling’s positive impact is the special Lotto draw that raised over $2.7 million in funds for the regions affected by the Kaikoura Earthquake in November 2016.

This generosity and community spirit in the face of adversity fits with Lotto’s goal of raising money for the community.

On the other hand, we are all familiar with the potential for addiction to gambling and the destructive behaviour that can result from it.

Its impact on individuals, families and communities is something we all have to consider in our roles.

I know that you face this same tension in your respective jurisdictions – the need to enhance the positive aspects of gambling and reduce its negative aspects.

Regardless of whether this is recognised in your governing legislation, balancing the economic and entertainment value of gambling with the social harm that can accompany it is a challenge all our societies face.

Minimising harm from gambling is a topic I take particular interest in as I am in the fortunate position of also being Associate Minister of Health, with responsibility for gambling as a public health issue.

This provides me with a holistic perspective and enables me to keep a broad overview of the wider gambling environment and harm minimisation issues.

This hopefully helps our policy responses to be more consistent and better coordinated.

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Professor Max Abbott’s presentation about the past, present and future of gambling and gambling-related harm in New Zealand will also provide a host of relevant information on this important topic.

I hope you will all take away some valuable insights.

Class 4 review

While New Zealand’s Gambling Act is considered to be working generally well, we are looking at how Class 4 gambling operates - that is, gambling in pubs and clubs on electronic gaming machines.

In New Zealand, the net proceeds from gaming machines return to local communities to help fund a wide range of activities.

Every year approximately $300 million is returned to the community, to the direct benefit of sports clubs, community groups, events and recreational facilities.

Gaming machine use has been in decline since the introduction of the Gambling Act in 2003.

While the decline has slowed in the past three years, the future of this class of gambling, and therefore community funding, remains uncertain.

The review of gaming machine gambling is looking at how the level of community funding can be sustained.

The review will consider whether we should concentrate our efforts on changes within this class of gambling, or whether there is potential to increase community funding through other avenues within the gambling portfolio.

I see that on Friday, Bruce Robertson, Chair of the Class 4 working party, will be sharing his thoughts on working with the community.

The Class 4 working party is a technical reference group that represents a large part of the industry in New Zealand and has built collaborative relationships with the regulator.

I welcome its establishment and the input that it has been able to have to date, and I look forward to that continuing in the future.

The Class 4 review is an example of the constant need for exploration of whether legislative frameworks are fit-for-purpose, and whether the regulatory regimes sitting beneath them are cost-effective.

Such exploration is especially necessary as gambling participants have increasing potential to move away from traditional forms of gambling, like electronic machines, to online and digital platforms.

It is essential that regulators and regulatory systems are equipped to accommodate any changes to the future of gambling.

Regulatory excellence

This brings me to the theme of this year’s conference, “regulatory excellence”.

This is an important topic and a crucial part of realising the purposes of the Act.

Achieving regulatory excellence is a significant goal, and both regulators and the parties they regulate have important roles to play.

The New Zealand Government expects that a regulatory system should deliver a flow of benefits to the country that exceeds its costs, and that a regulatory system should be an asset, not a liability.

Assets require maintenance and it is important that we maximise the long-term value of regulatory systems.

This means ensuring that systems are flexible; proportionate; fair; and easy to access and understand.

The Government expects regulatory agencies to adopt a whole-of-system view that incorporates a proactive, collaborative approach to monitoring existing systems, and which supports regulatory change.

A crucial element in doing this is to include regulated stakeholders, through supporting them to understand and meet their regulatory obligations, and by promoting opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

I am aware that efforts to achieve regulatory excellence are making a positive difference.

I am sure that this focus is continuing to be welcomed by stakeholders in the casino and Class 4 gambling sectors.

This helps to achieve negotiated outcomes and a problem-solving approach to improving compliance with regulations.

Working with our stakeholders in these ways, where appropriate, means that regulatory intervention can be better designed and unintended consequences are avoided.

Regulatory stewardship

This treatment of regulation as an asset to be sustained over the long-term reflects the concept of regulatory stewardship.

It involves looking at our environment, understanding what the future might look like, and assessing whether our regulatory systems can cope with that future.

It is a whole-of-system, lifecycle view of regulation that focuses on how we regulate, rather than the detail of what we regulate.

Shared challenges and interests

This whole-of-system approach is a way of thinking about regulatory excellence and provides a foundation on which to acknowledge our common interests and problems.

I recognise that many of the issues currently facing the casino and Class 4 gambling sectors in New Zealand are not unique.

There are many challenges and opportunities you share as regulators from across the Australasian region.

Technology in the digital age

I note that a number of the sessions will focus on digital and online forms of gambling, which is a very relevant topic in light of our shared interest in the digital space.

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A regulatory future-focus is integral to responding to unprecedented, rapid growth in technology and digital forms of gambling.

While this growth creates opportunities, it also demands refined thinking about how the ways we regulate casinos and Class 4 gambling, to ensure they are fit for the future.

Despite the advantages of technological progress, the pace of change creates significant challenges for regulatory agencies.

Such tensions can expose the prescriptive nature of legislation, and may lead to more principle-based, technology-neutral legislation in the future.

Increasingly cyber-savvy customers and regulated parties expect sophisticated, easy-to-use transactions with government.

Regulators also need to be agile to respond to increasingly sophisticated use of technology by criminals and those who wish to evade regulatory requirements.

A particular challenge in the digital age will be how regulators minimise the harm that gambling can cause.

More people have the potential to access gambling outside of traditional boundaries, through digital platforms.

This is shaping the likely future of gambling.

As regulators, it is important that we have the right skills to respond to this evolution.

While online gambling is already firmly established in many other jurisdictions, we are somewhat behind the trend in New Zealand.

To be candid, we are not sure why this is and are trying to better understand the pattern.

Concluding remarks

Any thinking about regulatory excellence and establishing best-practice needs to take account of shared expertise and collective experience.

This conference is an excellent opportunity for you to connect, communicate, and learn from each other as you share your knowledge and experiences.

I encourage you all to make the most of this valuable opportunity and wish you all the best for a productive and informative few days.

I also hope you will have the chance to enjoy the sights, food and activities Auckland has to offer.

Thank you for your attention this afternoon.

I wish you well in your work.

Hon Peter Dunne

Minister of Internal Affairs.




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