2022 Gambling Industry Overview – Part 2
2022 has proved to be another busy year for the gambling industry with major announcements arriving nearly every week. It is difficult to pick the most important gambling developments of the year, but here we have selected some of the highlights from the first six months of 2022.
Every month seems to bring news of mergers and acquisitions and July was no exception. The month saw 888 complete the acquisition of William Hill International and Mr Green from Caesars Entertainment, reaffirming its position as one of the world’s leading gambling operators. There were also some major developments in the US industry with White Hat Studios going live in the US with BetMGM and Evolution announcing the launch of a new Connecticut live studio. There was also a lot of news out of Australia where the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission started a second round of disciplinary proceedings against Crown Melbourne Limited and the Crown Sydney announced that it would be opening its gaming floor in August.
August was a mixed month for operator LeoVegas. It was fined £1.32 million by the UKGC for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. However, the same month saw MGM Resorts International receive all the necessary regulatory approvals to acquire the operator for $607 million. August also saw Evolution acquire the slots developer Nolimit City in a deal worth up to €340 million. In other news from August, Singapore officially inaugurated its new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority.
September was perhaps a slightly quieter month. However, there were a huge number of new games released and partnerships announced. Suppliers and operators were busy entering new markets, such as Kalamba Games into Ontario and SkillOnNet into Germany. The big news in Las Vegas was that Bally’s acquired the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for $148 million. In regulatory news, Ireland appointed Anne Marie Caulfield as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, which is expected to become operational in the New Year.
October brought with it the UK’s Safer Gambling Week and by all accounts, it was a great success. The initiative saw tens of thousands of players visit the Safer Gambling Week website to access support and information about safer gambling tools. However, with the chaotic political situation in the UK and the resignation of Liz Truss after just 44 days in office, it was also announced that the Gambling Act Review was once again delayed. At present, it is not known when the white paper will finally be published.
The lucky Powerball player in California who won the record-breaking $2.04 billion jackpot dominated November’s headlines. The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 292.2 million and it easily eclipsed the previous largest jackpot of $1.586 billion. Over in the UK, it was announced that Allwyn Entertainment was in advanced talks to purchase the lottery operator Camelot UK. Allwyn will be taking over operating the UK National Lottery in February 2024.
While December is not yet over, there have already been some major news stories but perhaps most impressively is the vast number of new slots released by almost every developer. Pragmatic Play, Play’n GO, iSoftBet, Yggdrasil, Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger, BF Games, Stakelogic, Wazdan, MGA Games, Live 5, Peter & Sons, Endorphina, Mancala, Tom Horn, Spinomenal, Apparat Gaming, Swintt, Nolimit City, Greentube, Relax Gaming, and Playson are just some of the developers to have released titles in the last few weeks. In the offline world, the big news was that Hard Rock International has acquired the operating assets of The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for $1.07 billion in cash.
It has certainly been a busy year for the gambling industry and no doubt, 2023 will prove to be just as exciting and eventful.