Sweden Ready to Call Loot Boxes Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 10 February 2018 3:14 pm

Young Swedish video game players may lose the thrill of purchasing loot boxes if their government prevails in its efforts to brand the video game feature as a form of gambling.

Earlier this week the Swedish Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi, made clear his intentions to reign in the growing practice of paying for loot boxes with in-game purchases, without knowing what’s actually in the box. He says that reclassifying it as a form of gambling is the only way that the government can get a handle on loot box mania.

In an interview with a Swedish radio station, as reported on by gambling news site CalvinAyre.com, Shekarabi described his efforts saying:

We are working to regain control of the gambling market as soon as possible, and to make sure that Swedish consumer protection laws apply to all actors which conduct gambling activities.

Shekarabi went on to suggest that changes to the laws surrounding loot boxes in Sweden could come as early as 2019.

The Minister pointed out that loot boxes create an, “an abusive and addictive cycle,” wherein players keep purchasing them in the hopes of getting something worthwhile for their efforts. When they pay for a loot box drop and don’t get what they want, they wind simply buying more loot boxes. It’s a feeling that should be very familiar to anyone whose ever gotten sucked into vortex of a common slot machine.

Loot boxes drops, and the in-game purchases that buy them, are under increased scrutiny across the globe and efforts to ban them or classify them as gambling are underway in Germany, Belgium and a number of US States.

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Nick Xenophon Gives Up on Aussie Pokie Ban Efforts

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 8 February 2018 3:14 pm

The Australian government’s war on pokies has, seemingly, ended and it looks as though the pokies actually won.

Earlier this week the SA Best Party announced that it is giving up its efforts to enact a total ban on the controversial slot machines that would have included pubs and hotels. SA Best is the party of Aussie anti-gambling zealot Nick Xenophon, which makes the defeat all the more significant.

Though Xenophon is the face of Australia’s anti-gambling movement, the cessation of hostilities statement from the SA Best party came from their newest candidate, candidate for Schubert, Paul Brown at a gathering of mental health professionals.

In his statement, Brown acknowledged the futility of the pokie ban and admitted it was, “not a realistic ambition.”

According to the Australian news site InDaily, Brown went on to say:

You can’t remove pokies from every hotel and pub but you can have some control. I acknowledge the problems that pokies cause and it does lead to mental health issues…. it’s part of the fabric that causes all these issues.

The SA Best’s reversal on the pokie ban is a huge win for the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) who had been taunted by Xenophon over what the ban would do to their businesses. As recently as December, the SA Best leader said:

SA Best will announce a poker machine policy very soon [and] I expect the AHA will be even more worried.

Xenophon’s political opponents were quick to seize on his admission of defeat calling it a, “huge admission.”

While the SA Best and Xenophon have given up on fighting pokies, it’s unlikely that they’ll be supporting the gaming industry in any meaningful manner as a result of their admission.

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Sportsbooks See Record Super Bowl, But Still Take Beating

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 6 February 2018 3:16 pm

Nevada sportsbooks saw a record amount of money come pouring through their cash drawers on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, not very much of that cash stayed there as punters cashed in on the underdog and an array of proposition bets.

According to a report on Super Bowl Betting in the Las Vegas Review Journal, Vegas sportsbooks saw approximately $ 156.8 million in action on the day. By the end of a wild and crazy game, they were left with only 0.7 percent of that for a take of around $ 1.17 spread out over 198 legal sports books.

That win percentage is the smallest the sportsbooks have seen since 2011 when they took in just 0.8 percent of the action for a profit of just $ 724,000.

The big difference between the volume of wagers in 2011 and 2018 is the meteoric rise of proposition betting on Super Bowl Sunday. Bettors have embraced the myriad of side bets in a major way and the casinos are the ones paying price, as noted by CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt who said:

Props is the reason for the record handle. Those things have just grown by leaps and bounds. We did over $ 3 million in props ourselves and that’s without taking any big bets.

The big bets, however, were out there and there were at least five $ 1 million wagers on the game reported. All but one of those wagers were on the winning, underdog Philadelphia Eagles. One high roller had $ 7.4 million spread across a variety of wagers, mainly moneyline, and made out like a bandit.

Though the sportsbooks came out in the black, it’s a safe to bet on the fact that they’ll be taking a close look at proposition wagering before next year’s big game.

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UK Gambling Operators Sever Begin Severing Ties with Casino Affiliates

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 4 February 2018 3:15 pm

Some big time UK gambling operators are taking threats by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to crack down on casino affiliate marketing quite seriously and have begun cutting ties with their UK facing affiliate marketing programs. The move was announced in an email sent to affiliate partners of Paddy Power Betfair and 888 earlier this month, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

888 Holdings’ Ufilliate program partners received an email from the company stating that as of January 29, they must stop targeting UK residents and IP addresses. The email further states that company will no longer pay out on new UK players. This does not mean that UK affiliates are out of the picture entirely, only that they can no longer target their fellow countrymen. The move does not impact revenue from UK players converted before January 29.

Over at Paddy Power Betfair, a similar email went out to UK partners sent out a similar, but more severe notice, that severed ties with UK affiliate partners entirely. According to the email, the company is hoping to, “reduce our number of active affiliate accounts.”

Both companies are reacting to a recent crackdown, and promised crackdowns in the future, by the UKGC on everything from misleading bonus offers to ads that target underage players and operators who fail to bar self-excluded players. Last year, 888 Holdings paid out a multi-million dollar fine for exactly that and the industry is clearly expecting more of the same in the months ahead.

It’s pretty clear that the purge of casino affiliates is part of larger effort to reign in control of brand messaging and marketing to stay ahead of major problems with gaming regulators.

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UK Regulators Clamping Down on Dodgy Bonus Offers

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 2 February 2018 3:16 pm

Gaming and business regulators in the UK are clamping down on the online gambling industry’s longtime relationship with dodgy bonus offers that require exponential play and trap player funds in an inescapable purgatory. The move is described in a press release from the UK Government about online gambling as, “…a major overhaul of how the gambling industry operates online, three leading operators.”

Two government agencies, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Competitive Markets Authority (CMA), say they’re responding to an uptick in consumer complaints about the utter impossibility of actually earning the bonuses that operators tout in their promotions. In particular, the regulators are asking operators to implement the following changes:

  • Players won’t be required to play multiple times before they can withdraw their own money
  • Gambling firms must ensure that any restrictions on gameplay are made clear to players, and cannot rely on vague terms to confiscate players’ money
  • Gambling firms must not oblige players to take part in publicity.

Several large operators including William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment have all expressed their willingness to embrace the new bonus offer standards. 

The moves are being implemented by the CMA, but have the full support of the UKGC. In a statement to the press, UKGC Executive Director, Sarah Gardner voiced her support for the CMA saying:

We back the action taken by the CMA today. Gambling firms must treat their customers fairly and not attach unreasonable terms and conditions to their promotions and offers.

Most of the new changes to the promotional code must be implemented by operators by the end of the month.

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