Category: News

02 Oct 2020

The new face of gaming, between regulatory uncertainties and omnichannel development

At the GiocoNews conference organized at Enada 2020 focus on the future of gaming, dealing with the new regulatory and business scenarios.

In terms of gaming, “in the coming months, we await a complex and undefined regulatory framework, including the single register of operators, new tax rates, expiry of concessions, new actions and stop to the permissions for the old Awps”. This was stated by Mauro De Fabritiis, founder of MDF Partners, in his speech at the conference organized by GiocoNews as part of Enada 2020, entitled: “The new face of gaming and new opportunities(here the full video of the conference).
And as for the current scenario, if both physical and online gaming recorded a growing trend in the time frame from 2012 to 2019, “from January to August 2020, following the lockdown, the GGR (gross gaming revenue) of physical gaming fell by 40 percent, while online gaming grew by 30 percent, compared to the same period of 2019, mainly thanks to the driving force of casino games”.
For his part, the expert gaming lawyer Stefano Sbordoni focuses attention on the need to reorganize the gaming offer: “This is a topic that can be addressed or a task that can be carried out by those who have the institutional courage to deal with a communicatively thorny sector, even if in terms of tax revenue it is very convenient”.
But let’s give the floor to the operators too, with the number one of Obiettivo 2016, Maurizio Ughi, who takes stock of the endurance of the operators at the time of reopening the activity: “Let’s say that at the time of closure we were in ‘intensive care’; now we are in ‘physical therapy’, which has been pretty quick in agencies. The customer was waiting for their reopening, so the acceptance of the gaming didn’t undergo big decline compared to the same months of the previous year”.
According to Marco Castaldo, CEO of Microgame, “the market is expanding, as we are working with about fifteen new operators and concessionaires. Online gaming is expanding more and more, in a multichannel perspective with physical concessionaires who are moving online, not only in the defensive line in case of difficulty, but also in the proactive phase”.

02 Oct 2020

De Fabritiis: ‘Unsure and complet rules one the future of Italian gaming’

Mauro De Fabritiis, founder of Mdf Partners, highlights the trend of gaming and the challenges to be faced, not represented only by the still ongoing pandemic.

Rimini – Between 2012 and 2019, the total games market in Italy, in terms of Ggr, was positive, and especially online gaming continues to grow. This was highligthed by Mauro De Fabritiis, founder of Mdf Partners, in his speech at the GiocoNews conference about “The new face of gaming and new opportunities“, organized as part of the opening day of Enada Rimini, Wednesday, September, the 30th.

THE COVID EFFECT – A changed trend, as regards the physical market, in 2020: from January to August, the expert explains, the GGR in fact dropped by 40 percent, following the progressive lockdown that began on March, the 10th, with the closure of the Vlt, betting and bingo halls, while the reopening, always progressively, began on May, the 4th, with the lotto and numeric games with a national totalizator.

As we know, the online market goes against the trend. The Covid effect has in fact led, from January to August, to a growth of the Ggr of 30 percent compared to 2019, driven by casino games (up 38 percent).

“Online market is experiencing brilliant growth, albeit mature compared to other European countries”, De Fabritiis stresses. “As for the physical gaming, the dynamics of the first two months suffered by the subsequent closure of the stores, and then they recovered from July-August, but the levels didn’t return to the previous ones, also due to the problems to fill the rooms with the new regulations. Overall, the Covid effect generated an impact of over 40 percent on the physical gaming, with a higher impact on entertainment devices, but also significant for betting, following the closure of sporting events”.

As for online, “products such as casino games and even betting, with the lack of events, had a particularly brilliant trend. The trend of online is positive in itself because of Covid, the forced closure of shops forced some players to test an online purchase method, which didn’t concern only the gaming sector, but also, for example, that of basic necessities”.

At a European level, up to 2019, the dynamics are growing, and so is the expectation for 2020, while for the physical network, MDF Partners is trying to make predictions on the future network in Italy. “For the amusement devices, 2,500 Vlt rooms are expected in the future tenders (compared to the current 4,918 mentioned in the 2019 Blue Book of Adm) and 37,500 shops with Awps (compared to the current 58,472 Adm, same source); for bingo an increase to 210 rooms compared to the current 198 is expected by the tender, but a reduction is nevertheless estimated, considering the decrease in Vlt rights and the current trends of the bingo halls; for bets the expected tender would include 10,000 shops and 5,000 corners, a scenario that is difficult to sustain in the current context; for lotteries, the distribution network (G&V and Lotto) is estimated to be able to maintain current numbers”.

THE FUTURE SCENARIOS – De Fabritiis believes that the regulatory framework expected in the coming months is “complex and uncertain”, including the single register of operators, new tax rates, expiry of concessions, new tenders and a stop to the concessions for the old AWPs.

In particular, “the changed regulatory framework will lead to greater concentration of the physical market, there will be greater barriers to entry and uncertainty and limitation of locations. Investments will be high and risky”. As for the online market, “the new context will redefine the current competitive structure and operators will have to adapt strategy and positioning”, in the face of regulatory interventions, such as the increase in betting taxation, the significant increase in concession costs, more stringent requirements such as the single register and the ban on advertising.

THE DRIVERS FOR THE POSITIONING – What are the drivers for the sustainability of the operators in the context of current evolutions and market expectations?

De Fabritiis tries to outline them: as regards retail “uncertainty in the medium term: network rationalization, cost optimization, redesign and automation of shops, evaluation of online entry”; for online “new positioning: responsible gaming as a marketing lever, the development and optimization of possible marketing tools; big data & artificial intelligence; mobile first; internationalization (Italians)”; for omnichannel “network rationalization: cost optimization; redesign and automation of shops; push towards omnichannel approach; online internationalization evaluation”.

De Fabritiis ends his speech by underlining: “Today the sector doesn’t have the dignity that is needed to go and talk to politics and the regulator, on the other hand we are missing the concept of taxation. The idea of thinking in the provider’s logic can be a starting point, some regulations are doing it. A only physical operator is obliged to look at the evolution of online markets. Make an assessment and see if online is a viable path, it is a professional obligation: staying in the competitive arena of physical gaming that from various variations becomes online allows the evaluation of a multitude of different assets, that from today and for the next 3-5 years must be carefully evaluated, even to decide not to do them”.

At the opening of the conference, the director of GiocoNews, Alessio Crisantemi, underlined “the resilience of the gaming sector, which despite various difficulties has nevertheless given a positive signal with the new edition of Enada. Symptom of an industry that has chosen to move forward, and of the importance of giving everyone an opportunity to be present”.


12 Sep 2020

Playgon: the top management of the company confirmed

Playgon Games – the technology company focused on developing and licensing digital content for the growing iGaming market – announce that the shareholders of the Company approved all matters at its annual general meeting and the re-election of James Penturn, Darcy Krogh, Michele Marrandino, Jason Meretsky, William Scott and Guido Ganchow as directors of the Company for the ensuing year. The appointment of D&H Group LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants as Auditor for the Company.

The approval and confirmation of the Company’s stock option plan: while the company continues his growth adn expansion. Playgon provides a multi-tenant gateway that allows online operators the ability to offer their customers innovative iGaming software solutions. Its current software platform includes Live Dealer Casino, E-Table games and Daily Fantasy Sports which through a seamless integration at the operator level allows customer access without having to share or compromise any sensitive customer data. As a true business to business digital content provider, the Company products are ideal turn-key solutions for online casinos, sportsbook operators, land-based operators, media groups, and big database companies.

12 Sep 2020

The great challenge of regulation

Moving through regulatory objectives and principles, the gaming world searches for a difficult balance between the needs of state, society and industry.