Thursday, January 7, 2021
By Andrew Tottenham
Managing Director, Tottenham & Co

This post is the second of three looking into the development of probability theory, an important concept for the development of our industry. In the first part, I discussed how until the late 15th century, our forebears thought that the future was in the “lap of the gods” and could not be predicted, despite what might have been obvious clues.

Late in the 15th century, people started to speculate about the fairest way to split the pot in a game that was stopped before its natural conclusion — in other words, “the problem of the unfinished game”. The primary method at the time was to look backward; the pot should be split according to the number of rounds each player had already won.

Almost half a century later in 1539, the Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano suggested that the fairest way was to look forward rather than backward, to predict all the possible outcomes and split the pot according to the proportion of the number of times each would have won, had the game gone to completion. This, in my opinion, was a pivotal moment, the first time someone had thought to look forward and see what might be. Thus, the future was no longer in “the lap of the gods,” but predictable.

By Curtis Roach-
The recent acquisition of safe-gambling-solutions company Mindway AI by Better Collective is not only a prime example of the progress made in the affiliate market, but also a strong indicator of what the future holds for this increasingly influential section of the gaming industry.

An affiliate company should no longer be thought of as a ‘one-man-band’ operating out of someone’s bedroom. These operations are now major corporate entities pushing the industry forward as a whole.

The majority of affiliates around the world can operate with no license requirements. This, of course, presents increased risk for operators who are completely liable for any problem-gambling-related issues that arise, especially in our industry where, in some cases, affiliate marketing contributes up to 50% of an operator’s online traffic. This unequal spread of risk has caused many issues in the past, leading to some of the industry’s most prominent operators completely axing their affiliate programmes, sending shockwaves throughout the industry.

The Euro News Revue
by Hannah Gannagé-Stewart and Andrew Tottenham
SBC News, 5 January, 2021
Ukraine legalised gambling in the middle of 2020. It has taken time to put the regulatory framework in place, which should be open for license applications shortly. According to Andrey Astapov, lawyer and member of the Expert Advisory Council of the Gambling and Lottery Regulation Commission of Ukraine, the opening of the Ukraine market represents a significant opportunity for foreign operators. Whilst I do not doubt that a country with a population of 41 million could generate substantial gaming revenues, a forecast of more than $5 billion looks exceedingly optimistic. The UK has a population of 68 million, GDP of $2.6 trillion and total gambling revenues of $19 billion. By contrast, Ukraine has a population of 41 million and a GDP of $162 billion. Perhaps I am not comparing apples with apples. (AT)
iGaming Business, 4 January 2021
The European Casino Association (ECA), European Lotteries (EL) and the World Tote Association have joined forces as the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling in a bid to clamp down on unlicensed providers. The Digital Service Act is designed to help trace users and illegal vendors in online marketplaces and coordinate enforcement across the European single market. ECA chair Per Jaldung said, “We strongly believe that a greater convergence amongst relevant stakeholders of the EU gambling industry is crucial to tackle common and crucial issues such as illegal gambling.” Separately, the European Betting and Gaming Association has also pledged to support policymakers in bringing the legislation into force. (HGS)
G3 Newswire, 5 January 2021
Far from cowering in the corner at the prospect of the review of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act, Aspers Chief Executive, Richard Noble, relishes the prospect. He sees it as an opportunity to level the playing field between casinos that were opened before the 2005 Act came in to force and those that came after. Casinos licensed prior to the 2005 Act are allowed a maximum of only 20 B-Type slot machines, while the stakes and prizes are severely restricted. Those licensed after the Act can have more Type-B machines. Those who are old enough will remember that when the number of “new” casinos was reduced to 8 of each type (resort, large and small) and then to none of the resort casinos just prior to the Bill being passed, the restriction in number was allowed under EU Freedom of Establishment rules, because it was justified as a test. The intent was to review the social impact after a period of time and either allow more “new” casinos or not, as the case may be. The test of social impact has never been carried out. (AT)
SBC News, 4 January 2021
The French regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has pledged to ramp up consumer protections against excessive gambling and improve its protection of minors. The move follows the discovery that the number of high-risk gamblers in the country has almost doubled since 2014, from 200,000 to 370,000. Working with the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, ANJ has started to develop “a framework to reaffirm public policy objectives, as well as to promote an innovative regulatory approach to unite the actors concerned around the protection of players”. It is also working with the National Union of Family Associations’ (UNAF) to help parents recognise the risks of gambling in the presence of minors. (HGS)
CasinoBeats, 6 January 2021
The Chairman of Burnley Football Club has promised to review the club’s sponsorship arrangements with the online gaming operator LoveBet. Burnley signed the £7.5 million-per-season agreement just prior to the start of the 2019 season. Since then, online gambling sponsorship arrangements with sports teams, especially those with branding on the players’ strip, have been severely criticised in the UK media for encouraging youngsters to play. LoveBet, similar to many online-gambling Premier League sponsors, has little interest in the UK market. Their eyes are set farther east, where the prize is much larger and less competitive. (AT)
Gambling Insider, 4 January 2021
Affiliate Better Collective has increased its stake in responsible-gambling-solutions provider Mindway AI by 70%, following its acquisition of a 19.99% stake in September 2019. Mindway AI’s founder Kim Mouridsen holds the final 10% of shares in the company. Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard said he envisioned Mindway AI’s technology playing “an increasingly important role” as responsible gambling becomes an increasing priority across the industry. Following the acquisition, the company will operate independently within the Better Collective Group, with Rasmus Kjærgaard continuing as CEO and Mouridsen remaining chief scientific officer. (HGS)
This report is edited by Andrew Tottenham and Deke Castleman
Tottenham & Co
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