If you’re following our weekly industry updates, you’ll know SlotsWise, is closely following the international aspect of iGaming and gambling. One of the challenges that Europe faces is the self-exclusion scheme and how every country standardises its protocols. For example, 40% of Swedish players that have requested to be self-excluded are still gambling online. The Swedish Gambling authority labelled this behaviour as a “loophole” that requires a new approach and methods. On the other hand, France tries to make the process as simple as possible by upgrading its exclusion platform. Still, despite the challenges, the Swedish iGaming market marked a significant revenue increase by the end of 2020. Online operators noted a 5.8% increase in revenue on a year level, even though they’ve introduced a deposit cap. Now, let’s see how Denmark handles the challenges regarding the online black market.
Record number in website bans
Last week, The gambling regulator in Denmark, Spillemyndigheden, got a green light from the City Court to block a record number of illegal gambling websites. The regulator advised the websites to terminate operations and took the case in front of the court.
Earlier this month, the City Court started the procedure and overall review on this case and agreed to support it. Besides, the Court said they needed firm evidence that players were visiting and registering on those websites.
Spillemyndigheden managed to provide evidence which clearly shows that active gambling session was taking place without a Danish licence or permit. Right after the sites’ block, their service providers have decided to appeal the decision to the court.
The blocking of 55 websites that have offered illegal gambling activities will be the record number the Danish authority has ever taken action on. Andres Dorph, the Director of the Danish Gambling Authority, said that this case points to the need for a proactive and targeted approach towards the black market. Therefore, they’ll maintain a strong focus on this matter in the near future.
Dorph adds that their most important task as a regulatory body is to protect players from scammers and illegal gambling. At the same time, they must provide a transparent gaming environment to providers who are licenced to offer gambling and iGaming in Denmark and can run their operations under seamless conditions. After nearly a decade since this regulatory body was formed, they’ve blocked 90 websites. This new case has raised the total to 145. The Danish regulator said that maintaining a safe and secure ecosystem is vital in ensuring a legal and fair gaming market.
Entain to acquire the Swedish competitor Enlabs
At the beginning of 2021, Entain has made its first moves to acquire Enlabs, an established Swedish online bookmaker. Now, they got their approval for the proposed takeover for £316m. The move follows Entain’s increased offer from SEK40 to SEK53 (£3.4 to £4.2) per share. After confirming all regulatory approvals’ receipt from competition and gaming authorities, Entain declared an unconditional offer. The settlement will be finalised by the end of March.
The operator will now begin procedures for purchasing more than £47 million in approved shares. An offer has been made to employees who own warrants from Enlabs incentive programmes. This has been accepted with 1.35 million out of 1.4million warrants.
Entain expects the settlements of Enlabs shares to be completed by the end of March. However, they’ve extended the acceptance period until the 1st of April to give time to shareholders that haven’t accepted the final terms and conditions.
As a reminder, Entain operates Ladbrokes and Coral as subsidiaries. This operator reported a profit of £113.8 for 2020, which significantly improved from the loss of £131.2 back in 2019.
Rob Wood, the CFO of Entain, said that their ambition is to reinvent betting and gaming and create a trusted, exciting entertainment platform for every customer. Considering that this industry is highly competitive, Enlabs can scale and support Enlabs’ growth for both customers and employees.