Six Belgian gaming operators signed the Duty of Care Covenant last week. They are committed to developing a policy that more quickly identifies and prevents problematic gaming behaviour, the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) reports.
“Sciensano estimates that around 0.9 per cent of the population is prone to gambling addiction. This is often accompanied by emotional, relational and financial problems. We want to prevent that at all costs because legal gaming operators want to offer a safe form of entertainment. After all, you don’t build sustainable economic activity on the back of addictions,” said Damien Thiéry, secretary general of BAGO.
By signing the covenant, the six operators commit to developing a prevention policy based on four pillars: a detection system based on algorithms, AI and scientifically based criteria that identifies potentially risky behaviour; actions or recommendations to protect the gambler, such as providing information on potential risks, proposing voluntary deposit limits or exclusion; education and training for staff so they can identify potential problems and take appropriate actions; and sharing the prevention policy with the Gaming Commission.
BAGO comprises operators Ardent Group, Betfirst, Golden Palace, Napoleon, Star Casino and Kindred, which account for about 70% of the Belgian private gambling market.
Meanwhile, new legislation will require betting shops to carry out identity checks as of 1 December. These controls will better prevent underage individuals or those on the Excluded Persons Information System (EPIS) from placing bets.
The EPIS list is intended to help protect people with gambling problems. Currently, 48,641 people are excluded voluntarily, 919 by a third party, 661 by an administrator, 66,474 because of collective debt settlement, 5932 because of a court decision and 58,234 because of the nature of their occupation.
Kindred Group Announces North America Exit and Actions to Accelerate Profitable Growth
As part of its strategic review, Kindred Group will exit the North American market with the expectations to have fully exited operations in the market by the end of Q2 2024, subject to the regulatory process. The Group also announced decisive actions to drive growth on core markets and dedicated cost reduction initiatives, which includes a reduction of over 300 employees and consultants during 2024. In total, these initiatives are expected to result in annualized gross cost savings of approximately GBP 40 million.
Kindred Group announced an interim update on the strategic review initiated by the Board of Directors on 26 April 2023. As part of the strategic review, Kindred will immediately start an exit process from the North American market with the expectations to have fully exited operations by the end of Q2 2024, subject to the regulatory process. The re-allocation of financial and tech resources towards existing core markets will improve ability to capitalize on core market potential and gain market share.
The re-allocation of financial and tech resources enables Kindred to initiate growth initiatives across its core market footprint. These initiatives include, but are not limited to;
- Additional brand extensions of hyper local casino brands in selected markets
- Re-allocation of marketing investments and tech resources to selected markets and strategic projects with convincing growth opportunities
- Continued product differentiation through exclusive content.
Additionally, Kindred introduces further cost reduction initiatives. In addition to non-headcount opex savings, Kindred has also addressed its organizational structure with the intent to achieve a leaner and more efficient organization focused on selective growth initiatives. This will include a reduction of over 300 employees (including employees in North America) and consultants during 2024. The cost reduction initiatives are expected to result in annualized gross cost savings (opex and capex) of approximately GBP 40 million.
“The cost reduction actions announced today are both necessary and decisive. 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,” Nils Andén, Interim CEO of Kindred Group, said.
PIN-UP Global Launches New Business Line Named PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS
The international ecosystem PIN-UP Global, representing a set of businesses in various segments of the gaming industry, has launched a new business line named PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS.
PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS was created to stimulate the development of technologies and products for the gambling market and related industries by providing financial and expert resources, high-value industry contacts, the opportunity to enter new markets and integrate into the ecosystem.
PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS invests in projects and products in gambling, traffic, software development, customer service, payment systems, advertising platforms, arbitrage teams, artificial intelligence based products.
INVESTMENTS provides funding, training and consulting opportunities through in-house ecosystem experts, practice on PIN-UP product and business model testing, accelerated product growth and entry into new markets, access to a network of industry contacts, strategic planning support and possible integration into the ecosystem.
“PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS is a logical step for our ecosystem, which always supports the passion and drive to succeed. Our new direction is aimed to help projects and teams both to develop independently and to successfully integrate into PIN-UP Global. We believe in daring solutions and new technologies that can be effective,” Marina Ilyina, CEO of PIN-UP Global, said.
Valley View Casino & Hotel Earns Prestigious Top Workplaces 2023 Award and Two National Awards by The San Diego Union-Tribune
Valley View Casino & Hotel in San Diego has received the Annual Top Workplaces Award and national honours for “Employee Appreciation” and “Professional Development”, as presented by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The accolades are the result of an engagement survey. With a 62% response rate and an 82% satisfaction rating, Valley View Casino & Hotel’s team members echoed their positive experiences within the organisation.
Joe Navarro, President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Pasqual Casino Development Group, said: “Our tribe has worked hard to create a trusted environment for team members and guests, and we are proud to be recognized with this prestigious award, as well as recognized nationally.”
Judy Wright, Vice President of Human Resources at Valley View, said: “Being recognized with the Top Workplaces Award and the two national awards validate all the best practices and benefits we’ve put in place for our team members over the past 22 years. It truly is an honor to receive this award and a privilege to work for a company as great as Valley View Casino & Hotel.”
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