It has been reported today that AIM-listed online gambling operator Stride Gaming PLC (whose brands include Kitty Bingo, Lucky Pants Bingo and online casino Spin and Win):
- is recording a £4million provision related to a financial penalty that it anticipates will be imposed by the UK Gambling Commission “by the end of the calendar year” (this follows an announcement to this effect published by the company on 2 August 2018, a copy of which can be downloaded below), and
- expects to post lower annual earnings “against a backdrop of more challenging trading conditions, including higher taxation and implementing further measures to ensure that Stride continues to maintain high standards in the provision of responsible gaming”.
UPDATE: In a similar vein, 888 Holdings has reported in its half-year results (on 27 September 2018) that its UK revenue fell by 18 per cent, year on year, citing the “proactive and prudent customer protection measures 888 has taken amidst the market’s heightened regulatory scrutiny”.
We reported last year on the imposition on 888 of a record penalty package of over £7.8million following the discovery of significant flaws in its social responsibility processes and, in its statement on the half-year results (for the 6 months ended 30 June 2018), 888 adds that:“the UK online gambling market remains challenging and characterised by increased regulatory scrutiny”.
888 says in that statement:
“UK revenue decreased by 18% compared to the same period last year to US$86.5 million (H1 2017: US$105.2 million). This was driven in part by revisions to our practices to align with the stricter regulatory environment across the market as well as the decision by the Group to redeploy marketing investment and focus on the areas of the business that are generating the highest returns. The actions that 888 is taking in the UK market include tightening anti-money laundering processes and increasing customer due diligence and protection. These actions are not only the right thing to do but also position the Group for long-term development and with a clear competitive advantage in what remains the world’s largest regulated online gaming market. As a result of the developments in the UK as well as the strong progress delivered across continental European markets, revenue from the UK represented only 32% of total revenue (H1 2017: 39%).”