Shaping slots: All the market trends from Q3

Unique Games

Unique games are certainly the big theme in Q3 as, for the second quarter in a row, we have seen the number of unique games found across operator sites increase by a huge 11%.

We’ve seen 25 new studios come onto the market, as well as existing studios ramping up their output too. For existing studios, this has likely been due to increased competition – which inevitably sees them looking to keep pace with new entrants. Of course, we’re also seeing that operators tend towards not retiring their older titles.

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Game launches by quarter

So, what does that mean in numbers? In total, we’re now seeing over 1,000 new games launched on average every month. That means 3,000 per quarter added to our database from 365 studios.

Output rates per studio are also up, with “producing studios” creating 2.7 games per month on average, which is a climb from 2.3 per month in the previous quarter.

Extrapolated into the first nine months of this year, we’ve seen 515 studios launch games. Meanwhile, we found games from 705 separate studios across operator sites. Of course, this larger number also reflects studios that are no longer active in game production, but still show their old titles still on the market.

If we then consider all studios which are active, then we can then say that the average studio launches around three games every two months (or 1.5 per month). If we then compare that to the smaller number of 370 for producing studios, then we arrive back at our figure of 2.8 games per month.

Leading studios

Looking at the biggest players – Pragmatic Play, Evolution Gaming and Playtech – we can start to get an idea of the scale we’re dealing with. Pragmatic Play, on average, is now turning out at least one game per day.

If we were to exclude live casino however, then Evolution would be removed from the list. This would then make Games Global, Pragmatic Play and Gauselmann Group the top three producers.

Taking a look at the data, we can also see that MGA and EGT broke into the top producers list, edging out Novomatic and Light and Wonder.

Slots on the decline across operator pages

While slots make up the majority of the content across the 3,000 operator sites that we monitor, we’re now seeing a continued decline in the percentage total to be found on sites.

In total, they now account for 85.5% of all games content across casino pages, which is down 1% from last quarter and nearly 3% from a year ago.

Live games are the highest climbers and crash games are proving the ones to watch, having doubled their share content since the beginning of the year.

Another six crash games were launched in Q3, with Fly X from Games Global taking the third spot after Aviator and Spaceman. Make sure to take a look at our May dashboard on

All hail Pragmatic Play

After nearly a decade as King, NetEnt’s Starbust has finally lost its crown at the top. Surprisingly, the legendary game has been replaced by five games above it – all from Pragmatic Play. In our below chart, we consider all subpages across operator sites across the three-month period – while also including all live game content.

Pragmatic Play now accounts for more than half of all our top 20 games. Gates of Olympus, Sweet Bonanza and Big Bass Bonanza were the top three biggest spinners over the last quarter.

Even more striking, is the dominance of Pragmatic Play in the Top 20 new games chart. The only other studios to make it into the new chart this quarter were Play’n Go, Gameburger Studios and Hacksaw Gaming.

Other than Pragmatic Play, the various Games Global and Evolution Gaming studios, Hacksaw Gaming and Play’n Go are likely to be the main contenders for iGB’s Game of the Year award, which will be announced at the iGB Affiliate Awards next February.

Low/medium volatility games on the rise

The ratio between medium and high volatility games remained fairly stable last quarter, while the only real gain was for new games that were classed as low/medium volatility – which is up by 6.6% compared to the last quarter.

Interestingly, while the overall picture is similar, there is a slight difference between the volatility of games produced – versus the volatility of games distributed. This data also varies considerably by country.

Megaways and Egyptian themes on the decline

Last but not least, the Megaways share of all content has decreased significantly from the last quarter, down by 4.2% in total. While there are more games using licensed third-party brands than in the previous quarter (623 vs 594), they have not managed to match the sheer speed of output of all games.

This means that in total, branded games’ share of all content has declined quarter-on-quarter from 2.1% to 1.8%. By performance, MGA joins Light & Wonder and Gauselmann in the top three suppliers of branded content.

The top themes, in Q3 are Action & Adventure and Money, which also increased in popularity. Other growing themes include Far East, Cute on Latin, while on the wane were Tales & Legends, Egyptian and Jewels. Somewhat predictably, games with a winter theme also declined during the final summer months.

About eGaming Monitor

eGaming Monitor ( is an advisory firm to the gambling industry, with proprietary data covering 25,000 games from 1,000 suppliers across 1,000 operator sites. Their interactive charts power decisions on sales targeting, account management and game design. The company was founded by Kevin Dale and Joel Keeble.

Kevin was previously CEO of Gameaccount (now GAN plc) and CMO at Eurobet, Sportingbet and Betfair. Joel was a founder of industry data specialists H2 Mobile and ex-director at H2 Gambling Capital.

Brazil’s Senate plenary to delay final voting on regulation until December

Originally scheduled to vote for today (29 November), the Senate plenary has agreed to delay the vote until an unconfirmed date in December.

This follows the bill being presented by Senator Angelo Coronel, a key proponent for legalisation in Brazil.

The newly proposed amendments total more than 100, which will now be considered. These include a proposed taxation of fantasy sports on the same level as the 12% for sports betting and online casino, as well as the role of the health sector in the exclusion process.

Due to the requested amends, and there being a lack of of quorum to vote, the vote will now be delayed.

The president of the Brazilian Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, will now need to decide the next voting date, although this is expected to be in December.

Once the bill is approved, it will need to be returned to the Chamber of Deputies for review. If the amendments are approved, it will then be passed to the office of the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to sign.

Bill 3,626/23 – the details

Today’s news follows approval from the Economic Affairs Committee (CAE), on 21 November.

As well as the surprise inclusion of online casino – which was added in September – taxation is now much more favourable at 12% than when the bill was originally introduced.

This is a significant reduction from the original 18% outlined in Provisional Measure (PM) 1,182.

Alongside reducing tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR), the taxation on bettors is reduced from 30% to 15%.

The licence fee is set at R$30m (£4.8m/€5.6m). Licence terms will run for a total of five years.

Sports betting and casino taxation

Assuming the current bill is approved, 36% of the tax will be directed to sports and 28% will go to tourism. Public safety initiatives will be given 14% and 10% each will go to education and social security.

The value of inspection fees is also expected to be changed. It will no longer be calculated based on the amount of premium paid. Rather, it will be based on lower levels of GGR.

Budding operators must also receive approval from the ministry of finance in order to operate in Brazil.

To qualify for a licence, operators must have a Brazilian partner that holds a minimum of 20% of the company’s capital in the country. They also must have the appropriate cybersecurity systems in place.

The bill also outlines that operators will have to implement identification processes. It stipulates facial recognition technology as a potential method.

Unlicensed operators will not be allowed to advertise in Brazil. In addition, B2B partners will be prohibited from providing technology to unlicensed B2C companies. Bonuses will also be banned.

How did we get here?  

As we’ve covered extensively on iGB, Brazil’s legalised sports betting and casino story has been a long and winding one.

The final stretch of the journey kicked off in May when Brazil’s government announced PM 1,182 for sports betting.

The PM was given the all-clear by Da Silva. The president subsequently signed it into law in July.

Initially, the PM was not well received. The main points of contention were around the 18% tax rate, advertising restrictions and ambiguous regulation around payments.

Following that, Bill 3,626/2023 was introduced – which made amendments to PM 1,182.

The biggest change was the addition of online casino. In September, this was approved by the Chamber of Deputies, with the tax rate still at 18%.

Zeal streamlines executive board after Martens exits as COO

Martens’ exit from the Zeal board is effective as of today (30 November). This comes after he opted not to extend his board contract that is due to expire at the end of June 2024. 

He will now seek to pursue new opportunities outside the business. However, Martens will continue to serve Zeal until the end of February 2024 to enable a seamless transition of responsibilities.

Martens has been with Zeal since June 2014, working across various parts of the business. These include its eSailors segment, Lotto24 and Tipp24. He moved into his current role as COO of the group in July 2021. 

Prior to joining Zeal, Martens founded real estate venture and also worked for XING, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and HSH Nordbank. 

Zeal CEO regrets Martens’ exit

Martens’ departure means the Zeal executive board will now be reduced to three members. Zeal said this will become effective as of tomorrow (1 December). The board will comprise CEO Helmut Becker, new chief financial officer Sebastian Bielski and chief technology officer Paul Dingwitz.

CEO Becker paid tribute to the outgoing Martens, saying he regrets his decision to leave the business. 

“On behalf of the entire executive board I would like to extend my gratitude and best wishes to Sönke for his passion and start-up spirit he brought to the company,” Becker said. “Only this year, he and his team successfully launched the biggest marketing campaign in the history of Lotto24. 

“Under his leadership Zeal tripled billings in the core business, successfully integrated the Lotto24 and Tipp24 businesses and achieved a significant improvement in customer lifetime values and the way we win new customers. 

“We regret his decision to leave Zeal and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities outside of Zeal. We wish him the best for the future.”

Martens follows former CFO Mattsson out of Zeal

Martens becomes the second major departure in just a matter of months for Zeal. In August, it was also revealed Jonas Mattsson had chosen not to extend his tenure as chief financial officer after eight years in the role.

Mattsson opted to leave the business to spend more time with his family, officially stepping down on 30 September. 

He was replaced by Bielski, who joined Zeal from solar power business Energiekonzepte Deutschland. Bielski served as CFO at the business since December 2022.

Mattsson was also CFO of the Lotto24 business. Andrea Behrendt, currently vice-president for group controlling at Zeal, replaces him in the role initially until March 2024.

Zeal returns to earnings growth

Martens’ departure also comes on the back of Zeal publishing its year-to-date results earlier this month. Zeal said it absorbed a significant increase in marketing expenses to post income and earnings growth in the nine months to 30 September.

Key figures released include billings which grew by 16% to €633.2m (£547.5m/$695.5m). At the same time, revenue increased by 16% to €86.0m. At 12.5%, the group’s gross margin was close to the previous year’s figure of 12.8%.

Even taking into account Zeal’s increased investment in marketing, EBITDA increased by 5% to €23.2m. The growth after Q3 was significant as marketing expenditure had led to a 15% dip in earnings after Q2.

EBIT amounted to €16.7m while the after-tax result for the period fell to €10.1m from €12.1m last year.

Nasdaq issues warning to Inspired over late filing of Q3 results

Inspired earlier this month said it needed more time to complete its financial statements for the three months to 30 September 2023. The provider also said work was ongoing to restate certain previously issued financial statements.

Nasdaq has now contacted Inspired over the issue saying the late filing places it in breach of Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). This references failure to file its Form 10-Q for Q3, which sets out its financial performance in the quarter.

Inspired said the notification does not have any immediate effect on the listing of securities on Nasdaq. However, the provider has been given 60 calendar days, or until 22 January 2024, to either file the form or submit a plan to regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rules.

Should Nasdaq accept the plan, Inspired may be given an extension to file the Form 10-Q. This could be for up to 180 calendar days from the filing’s due date, or until 7 May 2024.

However, should Inspired fail to regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rules, its common stock will be subject to delisting from Nasdaq.

Why is Inspired late filing its Q3 results?

Upon announcing the delay earlier in November, Inspired highlighted a number of concerns. These included accounting errors relating to compliance with US GAAP in connection with accounting policies for capitalising software development costs. 

These errors relate primarily to the application of relevant accounting standards to projects. Inspired said it is currently reviewing other financial statement line items and accounting policies to ensure compliance.

According to Inspired, the errors were flagged in financial statements for financial periods commencing 1 January 2021. As such, it said these statements can no longer be relied upon and should be restated.

“Similarly, any previously issued or filed reports, press releases, earnings releases, investor presentations or other communications of the company describing the company’s financial results or other financial information relating to the subject periods should no longer be relied upon,” Inspired said.

“Additionally, the reports of Marcum LLP, the company’s former independent registered public accounting firm, on the company’s consolidated financial statements for 2021 and 2022 likewise should no longer be relied upon.”

“Material weaknesses” in financial reporting 

Based on these findings, Inspired said one or more additional “material weaknesses” exist in its internal control over financial reporting. This, it added, means it will implement changes to remediate these identified weaknesses.

As a result, Inspired intends to restate consolidated financial statements for the periods of concern. These plans were detailed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 8 November.

Inspired sought to allay any investors’ fears over the situation. The provider said it does not believe the planned changes will impact its cash position or overall business plan. However, it added that it could place a timeline on when the amended reports would be filed.

Net profit down in Q2 despite revenue growth at Inspired

Inspired’s most recent set of results were published in August, covering Q2 and the first half to 30 June 2023.

Revenue in Q2 was 12.3% higher at $80.1m (£63.2m/€73.2m) following growth across all business areas. However, a rise in costs meant net profit for the quarter dropped 85.4% to $2.3m, although adjusted EBITDA edged up from $26.1m to $26.2m.

As for the first half, revenue was $146.4m, up 11.0% year-on-year. Spending was higher year-on-year, resulting in net profit declining 53.6% to $3.9m for the six months.

Former Casino Cosmopol CEO Jaldung takes top job at Grand Casino Brussels

Jaldung confirmed the news on LinkedIn, saying he will join Grand Casino Brussels as CEO from 11 December. The large casino complex, located in Belgium’s capital, is owned by Casinos Austria International.

Jaldung’s appointment comes just over a year after he left Casino Cosmopol, the Swedish land-based casino brand of Svenska Spel.

Jaldung spent 14 and a half years in the top job at Casino Cosmopol. In total, he worked at the business for almost 21 years.

Prior to this, Jaldung worked in law enforcement. This included more than nine years at Sweden’s National Criminal Investigation Department.

“I am really looking forward to getting back into the casino world,” Jaldung said. “I have missed it and I can’t wait to get on board with the experienced team at Viage.”

Jaldung also served as chairman of the European Casino Association, holding the role from February 2015 to February 2023. He has been the organisation’s honorary president since his term as chair ended earlier this year.

Erwin van Lambaart was appointed as its new chairman following unanimous member approval.

Hofbauer to exit as CEO of Svenska Spel

Little over a year after Jaldung left Casino Cosmopol, parent company Svenska Spel said its CEO, Patrik Hofbauer, is exiting.

Hofbauer will step down as its president and CEO early next year. Svenska Spel announced the news in October.

Hofbauer has overseen operations at Svenska Spel for almost five years, having been with the business since December 2018. He is leaving to take on the position of president and CEO at Swedish telecommunications company Telia Company.

Entain-owned BetCity fined €3m in Netherlands

Dutch licensees must comply with the country’s Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act (Wwft). KSA said it identified a series of issues whereby BetCity breached laws set out in the act.

KSA first approached BetCity over the matter in September last year after customer reports flagged certain breaches. Issues highlighted included that BetCity was not investigating the source of funds of players with high losses. 

Among these were instances of players losing €110,000 in a month, €25,000 in one month and €85,000 in six months without intervention. As such, KSA concluded BetCity was unable to monitor customer behaviour continuously.

PlayNorth Limited was also reprimanded over similar issues. The case represented the first time that KSA has published sanctions related to the Wwft.

KSA: Failings continued at BetCity

After analysing the reports, KSA instructed BetCity how to address the issues. The regulator also said it would continue to monitor the operator to ensure compliance.

However, KSA ruled BetCity did not meet the requirements for a large part of the customer surveys assessed between December 2022 and May 2023. In many cases, KSA said that investigations were only started late, after large amounts had already been gambled away.

The regulator also said BetCity was lax in requesting sources of income from customers. In addition, it said adequate action was not always taken, with BetCity on many occasions not reporting unusual transactions. 

As such, KSA opted to impose a €3.0m fine.

“In May last year, the KSA issued a broad warning to licensed providers that they had to quickly get their Wwft affairs in order,” KSA chairman René Jansen said. “We then indicated if research shows that providers are underperforming in the field of the Wwft, sanctions will be imposed. 

“We’re now following up on this. We are really out of the start-up phase of the market and that also means that there are no more excuses for some things.”

Entain committed to working with regulators

BetCity and its BetEnt parent were acquired by Entain in January this year. Entain agreed to pay an initial €300.0m and the deal also included a deferred contingent consideration of up to €550.0m.

Responding to the news, Entain said the investigation relates to activities in the period December 2022 to February 2023, based on instructions KSA issued to BetCity in September 2022. Entain said it was aware of the latter, prior to completing the acquisition.

“Following completion, Entain commenced implementing improvements to BetCity’s procedures and control frameworks,” an Entain spokesman said. “We have fully co-operated with the KSA investigation and are committed to working with regulators in all markets to ensure the highest standards of player protection.”

Further blow for Entain

News of the fine will come as another regulatory blow for Entain. Last week, Entain said it had reached a settlement with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over historic activities in Turkey. 

The in-principle Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) is worth £585.0m, in line with what was originally agreed in August. It will also make a charitable donation of £20.0m and contribute £10.0m to CPS and HMRC costs. 

These will be paid in instalments over the term of the DPA. This will run for four years from the date of the final court approval, with Entain seeking final judicial approval in court on 5 December.

Alongside the Turkey case, Entain in August 2022 was ordered to pay a record £17m by the GB Gambling Commission for social responsibility failings. 

At the time, Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes warned the regulator could revoke Entain’s licence in the event of further breaches. Entain also paid a £5.9m settlement for similar failings in 2019.

MGM Resorts reveals plans for full-scale commercial casino in New York

Located in the Yonkers region of New York, the Empire City Casino currently operates as a video lottery racino. The MGM venue offers slots and various table games, as well as harness racing betting and international simulcasting.

However, MGM is seeking to transform the facility into a much larger venue with a range of facilities. These would include a full-scale commercial casino with live-dealer tables, slots and a high-limit gaming area.

Other planned on-site amenities include a BetMGM Sportsbook and Lounge betting facility, various restaurants and a 5,000-seater entertainment venue. 

However, the project hinges on MGM securing one of three full commercial casino licences currently available in New York. The timeline for these licences will be announced in the coming months, with the bidding process having launched earlier this year

“MGM Resorts has a long and proud history of delivering world-class entertainment and gaming experiences and we couldn’t be more excited to build on that track record at MGM Empire City,” MGM president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle said.

“A full-scale casino and entertainment destination will provide unparalleled experiences, create thousands of jobs, boost the state’s economy and be a game-changer for the entire region.”

Local support for MGM casino bid

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano is also backing the project, saying it would support economic growth in the region. MGM has estimated a full-scale casino would spark over $1.0bn (£790.5m/€915.2m) in new economic activity for the area.

“Already drawing millions of guests annually, this development plan will solidify Empire City’s status as a premier entertainment destination,” Spano said. “Generations of Yonkers residents have worked at, enjoyed and supported this historic property for 125 years.

“I am excited about the significant impacts this project will have for residents now and for the next 125 years.”

MGM faces competition in race for New York casino licence

MGM is one of a number of parties to have shown an interest in securing a new commercial casino licence in New York.

Earlier this month, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International unveiled plans for an $8bn casino resort at Citi Field ballpark.

The Metropolitan Park complex would rise on 50 acres of parking lot space surrounding the ballpark in the Queens district. 

Included in the proposal is a Hard Rock hotel and casino and separate sportsbook site, which are subject to licences being obtained. There will also be a live music venue, tailgate park, food hall and 20 acres of new park space.

According to the plans, nearly 15,000 permanent and construction jobs will be created.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment announced its intention to open a New York casino in October last year. Working in partnership with SL Green Realty, Caesars hopes to open the venue in Times Square.

Caesars and SL Green intend to redevelop 1515 Broadway, a property near Times Square, to build Caesars Palace Times Square. Jay-Z-founded entertainment agency Roc Nation is also backing the bid.

Other operators that have expressed interest include Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Universal Entertainment.

In April, former city planner and native New Yorker Muhammad Cohen explored the plans in a special article for iGB. 

Kindred announces North American exit and staff cuts

The group launched its strategic review in April with the aim of cutting costs. At the time, Kindred said this could lead to the full or partial sale of the business.

While the review remains ongoing, one of the first major developments from the initiative is the North America exit. This process will begin immediately, with Kindred saying it hopes to complete the withdrawal within six months. The exit remains subject to regulatory process.

Kindred said such a move will allow for the re-allocation of financial and tech resources to existing core markets. It added that this will improve ability to capitalise on core market potential and gain market share.

The group currently has a presence across a number of US states. Kindred’s Unibet brand has been active in Pennsylvania since September 2019. The brand initially launched as a retail sportsbook in partnership with Mohegan Sun Pocono. Kindred in July announced the launch of its proprietary tech platform in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Elsewhere, Kindred in May also rolled out the platform in New Jersey. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave final approval for the platform’s launch earlier in the year. Kindred was already active in the state via Unibet.

Other operating markets include Virginia with Unibet, Arizona and Washington State in partnership with the Swinomish Tribe. In addition, Unibet is active in Ontario in Canada.

More than 300 jobs to go

As part of the wider review, Kindred has also announced that more than 300 jobs will be cut across the business. This includes employees in North America and consultants, with the jobs set to go next year.

Kindred said addressing its organisational structure will allow it to achieve a leaner and more efficient business focused on selective growth initiatives. Coupled with the North American exit, Kindred expects to make approximately £40.0m (€46.2m/$50.8m) in savings. 

Kindred added that the re-allocation of financial and tech resources will support additional initiatives across core markets. These include additional brand extensions of hyper local casino brands in select markets and continued product differentiation through exclusive content.

“The cost reduction actions announced today are both necessary and decisive,” Kindred interim CEO Nils Andén said. “While it is never a desire to inform valued colleagues of redundancies, this puts us in a stronger position to secure long-term growth for Kindred across our locally regulated core markets. 

“We can now focus our resources and tech capacity towards strategic initiatives and selected markets where we see clear potential to grow our market share.”

Strategic review rumbles

Andén has been serving as interim CEO of Kindred since Henrik Tjärnström resigned back in May. Prior to this, Andén was chief commercial officer.

Incidentally, it was Tjärnström who kicked off the cost-saving plans at the turn of the year. This came after Kindred posted a year-on-year decline in revenue and net profit for its 2022 financial year.

At the time, Tjärnström said “no item is sacred” in terms of cutting costs. He said that the business was reviewing all areas of costs to improve spending.

Could Kindred push for a sale?

While Andén said the review remains ongoing, he did hint at the possibility of a full or partial sale. Speaking after Kindred today (29 November) also published its Q3 results, Andén said it is the board’s belief that shareholder value will be maximised through a third-party transaction.

“The strategic review initiated by the board remains ongoing and we continue to advance a number of options to deliver shareholder value,” Andén said. “The board currently believes that shareholder value will be maximised through a third-party transaction.

“We will provide a further update regarding the exploration of strategic alternatives when final decisions have been made by the board of directors.”

Kindred also leaving Norway

In addition to the North America exit, Kindred is also pulling out of Norway. This process is due to complete before the end of the year according to Norway’s regulator Lotteritilsynet.

This marks the end of a long battle that stretches back to 2019 when the regulator ordered Kindred subsidiary Trannel to cease operations. This escalated to Lotteritilsynet, which threatened Kindred with a daily fine of NOK1.2m if it did not withdraw.

In June 2022, Trannel lost the lawsuit it initiated against the regulator. Lotteritilsynet set a date for the fines to begin in September. However, Kindred vowed to stay in the market and appeal the decision.

in October 2022, Kindred announced Trannel would no longer target customers in Norway. Lotteritilsynet paused its daily fines although Kindred emphasised that this was done only as a gesture of goodwill.

Just weeks later, Lotteritilsynet said it would restart daily fines, which were then paused again in December

Finally, in June 2023, the saga began to conclude as the Borgarting Court of Appeal ruled that Lotteritilsynet had been correct to issue Kindred with a cease and desist order.

Denmark issues DKK100,000 in fines for illegal games advertising

The games in question were being offered by operators without a licence in Denmark. Neither the identity of the websites nor the individual were disclosed by Spillemyndigheden.

The regulator said the two websites linked to sites where users could gamble, even if they were registered with ROFUS, the national self-exclusion programme in Denmark. Only sites that do not hold a licence allow users registered with ROFUS to gamble. 

Spillemyndigheden added that it is an offence to promote websites and operators without a licence. The regulator reported the individual to the police, which in turn ruled they had broken the law.

This led to the issuing of two fines of DKK50,000 – one for each website. This left the total fine at DKK100,000. The total was recommended by Spillemyndigheden.

The case marks the first occasion where fines have been issued for promoting how players can gamble even after registering with ROFUS.

Study flags underage gambling concerns in Denmark

The fines come after a study published this month by Spillemyndigheden raised concerns over underage gambling prevalence in Denmark.

According to the report, around 15% of young people in Denmark aged between 15 and 17 have gambled. This is despite the legal age for gambling in the country being set at 18.

Of those in this age group that have gambled, 68% did so by placing some form of bet. Some 42% said they played online casino, 21% lottery and scratchcards and 4% other activities.

It was also noted 35% of young people played on sites offering skin betting. This is a feature in video games where players can win virtual items including character outfits or new weapons.

Adelson to sell $2bn in Sands stock to buy stake in Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks

The sale represents approximately 10% of Adelson’s total holding in Sands. Some 41,186,161 shares will be made available at $48.56 each, the closing price of Sands’ common shares on 27 November.

At present, the Adelson family holds 427,894,129 shares in Sands, approximately 56.4% of the business. The sale would reduce this to around 46.0% although the Adelson family would keep its majority holding.

The sale will comprise 6,480,883 shares from those personally owned by Adelson and 34,705,279 owned by the Miriam Adelson Trust. Adelson will retain 386,707,968 of Sands shares but the trust will sell its entire holding in the offering.

Sands also expects to repurchase up to $250.0m of shares at the same price as the assumed public offering price. The share repurchase is due to expire on 3 November 2025.

Adelson has eyes on the sports franchise prize

Sands confirmed it would not receive any proceeds from the sale. Instead, Adelson intends to use monies to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise. This would be in attention to cash on hand.

Details of the sports franchise in question, including the country or league in which it plays, was not stated in the press release.

However, reports in the media suggest Adelson is seeking to acquire a stake in NBA basketball team the Dallas Mavericks for around $3.50bn.

The Dallas Mavericks have been owned by American billionaire businessman, investor and television personality Mark Cuban for the past 22 years.

As reported by The Athletic, the Mavericks are currently valued at “roughly”  $3.5 billion in the sale, and that Adelson would get a majority stake in the team.

Sands went as far as saying any deal remains subject to a binding purchase agreement and customary league approvals.

In a rare twist, it is also alleged that Cuban will keep a minority stake in the team and “full control of basketball operations”.

Adelson has been employed by Sands as a co-founder and special advisor since February 2021, a month after her late husband passed. Prior to this, she was director of community involvement between August 1990 and February 2021.

Sands pays tribute to founder Adelson

Sheldon Adelson passed away in January 2021 at the age of 87 from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He announced he was receiving treatment in March 2019. In the week prior to his passing, Adelson said he was taking a leave of absence after resuming treatment.

This saw president and chief operating officer Robert Goldstein take over as chairman and CEO on an interim basis. Goldstein remains in both roles almost three years later.

Adelson founded Las Vegas Sands in 1988, having led a group of investors that purchased Las Vegas’ Sands Casino property. This was demolished and replaced by the Venetian in 1996, while the adjoining Palazzo also opened in 2007.

Further afield, Adelson proved to be a pioneer in Asia, after Macau opened its doors to legal gambling at the turn of the millennium. Sands won one of three inaugural concessions to operate gambling and constructed its first venue, Sands Macau, in 2004. Several other resorts followed including the Venetian Macau and Sands Cotai Central.

In 2010, the business expanded into Singapore, with the opening of Marina Bay Sands. It also entered Pennsylvania with Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in 2009 and was later sold to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in 2019.

Forbes estimated Adelson’s net worth at $35.8bn in November 2020. In 2007, and again in 2014, the magazine listed him among the 10 richest people on earth.

Asian rebound drives revenue up 178.1% in Q1 at Sands

The share sale comes after Sands last month published its results for a positive Q3. During the period, revenue increased 178.1% to $2.80bn as Sands continued to feel the impact of Covid-19 restrictions being dropped in Macao and Singapore.

Macao remains Sands’ core market with revenue jumping 592.4% to $1.79bn. Meanwhile, revenue at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore also increased by 34.3% to $1.02bn.

This growth meant Sands ended Q3 with a net profit of $380m, compared to a $239m loss last year. In addition, adjusted property EBITDA hiked 487.4% from $191m to $1.12bn.

The year-to-date data also made for positive reading, with revenue up 149.5% to $7.46bn in the nine months to September. Net profit fell 58.1% to $839m as the previous year included $2.90bn income from discontinued operations. However, adjusted EBITDA rocketed 466.1% to $2.89bn.