Casino gaming in the Mediterranean continues to evolve. Future phases to City of Dreams Mediterranean will continue to attract more gamers from nearby countries.
The operators of City of Dreams Mediterranean (COD Med) held their official grand opening on the island of Cyprus, and to many in the gaming industry it heralded the introduction of the first integrated casino resort in the Mediterranean region.
It was generally assumed by many in the industry, particularly those residing in the United States and East Asia, that prior to the opening, Southern Europe did not offer the kinds of gaming, dining, lodging and entertainment found in Las Vegas, Macau or Singapore, and that the market was, until that point, underserved.
The Mediterranean region had long offered a diverse mix of casino gaming that targets both residents and international visitors. It is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous operating casinos, a wide variety of slot halls and small casinos located in hotels, and some of the world’s most attractive integrated casino resorts.
The casinos in Northern Cyprus continue to invest in what is already an outstanding mix of gaming and lodging products. Tourism volume into Northern Cyprus is expected to get a significant boost with the possibility of new flights from Germany and the United Kingdom.
Also, looming in the not-too-distant future is the $4 billion Wynn Casino Resort in the United Arab Emirates. Any forecast of future gaming revenues in the Southern Mediterranean must factor in these changes. Gambling in the Mediterranean is about to get a lot more interesting.
The General Directorate of Gambling Regulation (DGOJ), belonging to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, has an alert service for identity theft on online gambling platforms, called PhishingAlert, which notifies users when others have registered with their data in betting houses. This is a tool that prevents unauthorized registrations in online games and this service can be accessed by all those interested in preserving their identity and integrity by completing a form, either in person at one of the authorized registries or through electronic certificate.
HOW PHISHINGALERT WORKS
Once the user has registered, the electronic headquarters returns a report - available in the Citizen Folder - on the status of the service for operators who have verified their identity up to that point. When a gaming operator performs the identity verification of a new registrant, their data is compared with those registered with PhishingAlert. Specifically, your name, surname, date of birth and DNI or NIE number are checked.
If the data between the user registration applicant and any of the registered persons match, the DGOJ notifies the person registered in the service, indicating that they must contact the gaming operator to resolve the case.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the NSW government said it will introduce legislation to “create a jobs guarantee at The Star, protecting the livelihoods of more than 3000 workers over the next six years.”
The NSW State Government says it will push through legislation aimed at protecting the jobs of workers at The Star Sydney by creating a “jobs guarantee”.
While details on the legislation and any such guarantee remain light, the comments – from NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey (pictured) – come after the government officially signed an agreement with the state’s two casino operators, Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts, over increases to casino tax duties earlier this week.
The new casino duty rates will see table rates for both The Star and Crown Sydney rise, backdated to 1 July 2023, while Star will pay a transitional levy on poker machines until a new duty regime commences on 1 July 2030.
However, while Star described the agreement as vital in protecting its workers at The Star Sydney, local rival Crown Sydney this week revealed it would need to cut 180 jobs as it looks to streamline operations, which will also see the hours of operation of its VIP casino slashed.
This is despite the NSW Government stating on Tuesday that the revised casino duty rates do not change the agreements Crown signed with the previous government. Crown Sydney offers table games and ETGs but not slot machines.
Safer Gambling Week was created to encourage all those involved in the industry – from stakeholders to players – to be more attentive to responsible gambling practices. The initiative looks to prevent gambling harm and promote more responsible play, both online and in land-based venues.
Further highlighting this and the need for greater education and awareness around gambling, some figures was released after and shows that 19% admitted they usually or always chase their gambling losses, while 14% do not view their winnings as "real money."
However, there is a positive trend among younger players, with those aged between 18-34 more likely (92%) to put a monetary restriction on their betting to ensure their safety.
- 51% of UK gamblers view the money in their gambling accounts as different from that in their bank accounts
- 92% of players 18-24 put monetary restrictions on their gambling
- 46% put money won from gambling into their savings
- 26% use gambling winnings to place another bet straight away
The brainchild of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta) and the Bingo Association, Safer Gambling Week continue working to create a secure environment for a responsible gambling practice.
The New South Wales Government’s trial of cashless gaming will involve 10 times as many poker machines as initially promised after the independent panel overseeing gaming reform was swamped with venues wanting to take part.
Pubs and clubs in metropolitan and regional NSW, including the state’s second-biggest gaming club, West HQ, have applied to be part of the cashless gaming trial which could now involve as many as 5909 machines. There are more than 86,000 machines in NSW.
As part of its gaming policy in the lead-up to the March election, NSW Labor promised to trial cashless gaming in 500 machines across the state in a move that was widely criticised by crossbench MPs and gambling reform advocates as being grossly inadequate.
After the election, Labor established an independent 16-person panel to oversee the trial, which includes industry players ClubsNSW and the Australian Hotels Association, the Gaming Technologies Association and Wesley Mission, which has led the charge to reform gambling in NSW.
The panel has met monthly since August, and said in its latest communiqué, from October, that it “was pleased with the large number of applications it received from technology providers, hotels and clubs wanting to participate in the trial”.
Thirty venues in 30 metropolitan local government areas which would include 4476 machines, and 12 regional venues with 1433 gaming machines, have applied to be included in the trial.
The panel will, over the next month, finalise the venues and technology providers in the trial, which will “look at the feasibility and acceptability of cashless gaming”, with a report due to be handed to the NSW Government by November 2024.
Safer Gambling Week 2023 is an annual initiative that encourages all industry members to promote responsible betting. It is jointly run by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta) and the Bingo Association.
The seventh edition of Safer Gambling Week 2023 runs from 13-19 November and again covers both the land-based and online markets.
Organisers hope to build on last year when 200,000 accounts set deposit limits during the month of Safer Gambling Week. This was a 12.5% increase on the same month in 2021, with 61% of players setting deposit limits for the first time.
Last year also saw an increase in the number of players actively using reality checks, with this rising 300% year-on-year. In addition, organisers noted nearly 30 million impressions across social media, a rise of 21% from 2021.
“Safer Gambling Week is now a well-established annual event, promoting the vital safer gambling tools only available in the regulated betting and gaming sector and signposting help to those that need it,” BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said.
“Core to this is our commitment to empower customers with the knowledge and tools to bet safely all year round.”
Support grows for Safer Gambling Week
The event has drawn widespread support from across the industry, government and further afield. The gambling minister, Stuart Andrew, said the initiative helps to increase uptake and awareness of safer gambling tools.
“This is a good reminder of the work already underway by government, industry and the regulator to prevent harm,” Andrew said. “We are taking action to prevent gambling addiction, improve safer gambling tools and strengthen messaging to stop people incurring potentially life-changing losses.
“We welcome the gambling industry using this week to increase uptake and awareness of this important issue.”
Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes added: “Safety should be always at the heart of all gambling. But Safer Gambling Week affords the unique opportunity to draw even more attention to its importance.
“It also provides the opportunity for operators to share best practice and ensure people in Britain are provided with the safest gambling opportunities in the world.”