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Televisa’s Mexico Gambling and Soccer Assets to Form New Business

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Mexico’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate, Grupo Televisia, will move ahead with plans to split its core business to create specific entity focused on “gambling and soccer”.

The company received the approval of its shareholders on April 26 at an Extraordinary Meeting. As a result, Televisa’s lottery and soccer units into a new business which aims to be listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).

As stands, dealmakers plan to publish Televisa’s “reorganisation process” in the first-half of 2023. According to the board the new business will “maintain the same shareholding structure as the current organisation.”

“Management believes that this plan will allow both the Company and the new entity to focus on their respective business models and growth opportunities, thus enhancing their ability to generate better access to capital, financing sources, and investors aligned with each business,” Televisa’s statement read.

In 2022, Televisa reported group revenues of $4.1bn, of which a significant share of earnings were attributed to its “secondary business” of gambling.

A breakdown saw gambling units achieved a 40.2% increase in revenues, generating $407m compared to the $243m recorded in the previous year.

The decision to separate the businesses comes on the heels of Televisa’s successful merger with Univision in January 2022. The combination resulted in the creation of TelevisaUnivision, a leading global Hispanic media company with a specific focus on the markets of Mexico, the US, and Central America.

As part of the break-up Televisa’s new business will encompass gaming and lottery units alongside the soccer portfolio of the Estadio Azteca, publishing, magazine publications, and media rights distributions.

Televisa has clarified that “the spin-off remains subject to various conditions, including compliance with applicable legislation, as well as obtaining all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals.”

The gambling segment, managed by Televisa, oversees PlayCity Casino with 18 establishments in Mexico, which includes 7000 gaming machines and an online offering. Furthermore, Televisa oversees the daily and weekly draws of the “Sorteos del Trébol” soccer lottery.

The soccer business includes the promotion of sports events and shows for the Club América team, and the management of Estadio Azteca, home to Club América, Cruz Azul, and the Mexican national soccer team matches, as well as international sports events and music concerts.

Mexican news sources were unsurprised by the announcement as Televisa had made significant $20m capital investments in properties and equipment to bolster its gambling portfolio.

A listing on the BMV exchange is necessary for the spin-off business to gain “better access to capital and financing sources, and attract investors with interests aligned with each business”.

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Caesars Sportsbook Launches Mobile Wagering at Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Mississippi

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Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced that the Caesars Sportsbook Mississippi app is accepting mobile sports bets at Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. Sports fans 21 and older who are interested in wagering on sports via mobile devices can download the Caesars Sportsbook Mississippi app to register and deposit statewide but must be physically present on-property at Harrah’s Gulf Coast to wager.

The launch of the Caesars Sportsbook Mississippi mobile app complements the on-premise Caesars Sportsbook location, which accepted its first bets at Harrah’s Gulf Coast in 2018.

“The launch of our Caesars Sportsbook mobile app at Harrah’s Gulf Coast is a game-changer for sports fans who visit the world-class destination. Enhancing the fan experience remains a key focus for us across jurisdictions where we operate and bringing mobile wagering online in Mississippi builds on that. We look forward to providing an elevated and responsible sports wagering experience to our Biloxi customers going forward,” Eric Hession, President of Caesars Digital, said.

Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Gulf Coast provides an unmatched sports viewing experience through its integration with The 406 Club. The location takes sports viewing to another level with attractive, high-tech amenities featuring bar games, VIP semi-private Fan Caves, self-service betting kiosks, and food and beverage service.

The Caesars Sportsbook app provides a premier online sports wagering experience with industry-leading technology like lightning-fast live scoreboards, quick and secure payouts, and daily special odds boosts and promotions. The app contains a variety of ways to bet, including same-game parlays, proposition bets, and the all-new FireBets – a one-stop shop for live bets in the app providing a seamless way to bet on exciting moments as they happen.

Caesars Sportsbook also delivers premium rewards via one of the industry’s largest loyalty programs, Caesars Rewards. Every wager placed in-person or via mobile with Caesars Sportsbook earns Tier Credits that contribute to status and Reward Credits redeemable for unique Caesars experiences, such as discounted getaways at various Caesars destinations across North America – including at destinations in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip – extraordinary culinary and entertainment experiences, as well as bonus cash in the app.

Caesars Entertainment maintains its status as an industry leader in Responsible Gaming and its focus on Responsible Gaming education is emphasized in jurisdictions where Caesars Sportsbook operates. In March 2024, Caesars Sportsbook received the prestigious RG Check accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council, which recognizes companies that achieve the highest standards for their Responsible Gambling practices.

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Compliance Updates

Sightline Selects GeoComply for Identity and Geolocation Compliance Services

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Leading fintech company Sightline has entered into an exclusive partnership with compliance and anti-fraud technology solutions leader GeoComply to bolster the security and efficiency of digital transactions within the regulated gaming industry.

Sightline will integrate GeoComply’s cutting-edge IDComply identity verification solution as well as GeoComply’s compliance-grade geolocation tools across its comprehensive suite of digital payment solutions for land-based casinos and online gaming operators.

GeoComply developed IDComply in direct response to the growing demand for an integrated solution that addresses the expanding compliance needs of the digital gaming industry. Sightline will leverage identity verification and geolocation checks at strategic points during the customer journey to validate that digital transactions comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and adhere to Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) sanctions detection and blocking requirements. The partnership will also strengthen Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols to reduce fraud such as account takeovers.

The implementation of IDComply and GeoComply Core within Sightline’s offerings is scheduled to occur over the coming months.

“Digital payments continue to proliferate in the regulated gaming industry, and it is essential to have solutions that safely, securely, and swiftly validate customers’ identities. Implementing these tools across Sightline’s payment solutions will significantly decrease the time it takes to validate an identity and they will bolster compliance with the evolving regulations that govern digital financial transactions. Our vision is to create an omnichannel customer experience where patrons can seamlessly enroll, fund, and play their game of choice in under 180 seconds, putting gaming more in line with payments technologies in areas like retail and ecommerce,” Rose Zwirn, SVP of Business Development at Sightline, said.

“Our companies have a long history of collaboration and we’re excited to be working together to implement our GeoComply Core and IDComply solutions for Sightline’s customers. Our goal is to provide digital trust in every online transaction while opening the funnel for legitimate players and stop fraudsters from entering the digital gaming ecosystem. Working with best-in-class partners like Sightline gets us closer to that goal,” Sam Basile, VP of Business Development at GeoComply, said.

Digital wallets and transactions are becoming more common within the gaming industry, and Sightline is an indispensable and innovative partner to operators across the gaming ecosystem. Sightline will use IDComply to swiftly authenticate customer identities during signup across its platforms, simplifying cashless wagering accounts and online Play+ registrations. This move aims to address identity verification challenges, especially in areas like Nevada that require government IDs for account setup. IDComply is expected to accelerate this process, enhancing safety and user experience by reducing friction.

GeoComply’s advanced geolocation technology helps ensure regulatory compliance and is a strategic asset for gaming enterprises aiming to navigate the complex landscape of digital transactions securely and lawfully. With more than 10 billion transactions processed annually and installed on over 400 million devices worldwide, GeoComply empowers gaming enterprises to meet their compliance needs while providing a secure, trustworthy platform for their customers.

Furthermore, both Sightline and GeoComply have offices located at the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park in Las Vegas, symbolizing their joint commitment to advancing technology and compliance solutions within the gaming industry.

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Gambling in the USA

Detroit Casinos Report $123.86M in March Revenue

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The three Detroit casinos reported $123.86 million in monthly aggregate revenue (AGR) for the month of March 2024, of which $122.26 million was generated from table games and slots, and $1.6 million from retail sports betting.

The March market shares were:

  • MGM, 46%
  • MotorCity, 31%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, 23%

Monthly Table Games, Slot Revenue, and Taxes

March 2024 table games and slot revenue increased 3.8% when compared to March 2023 revenue. March’s monthly revenue was 16.7% higher than February 2024. From Jan. 1 through March 31, the Detroit casinos’ table games and slots revenue decreased by 1.6% compared to the same period last year.

The casinos’ monthly gaming revenue results were mixed compared to March 2023:

  • MGM, up 4.1% to $56.65 million
  • MotorCity, up 7.2% to $38.35 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, down 1.4% to $27.26 million

In March 2024, the three Detroit casinos paid $9.9 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan. They paid $9.5 million for the same month last year. The casinos also reported submitting $14.5 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in March.

Monthly Retail Sports Betting Revenue and Taxes

The three Detroit casinos reported $17.25 million in total retail sports betting handle, and total gross receipts were $1.61 million for the month of March. Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) in March were up by 13.2% when compared to the same month last year. Compared to February 2024, March QAGR was up by $1.7 million.

March QAGR by casino was:

  • MGM: $327,857
  • MotorCity: $538,988
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $731,389

During March, the casinos paid $60,413 in gaming taxes to the state and reported submitting $73,838 in wagering taxes to the City of Detroit based on their retail sports betting revenue.

Fantasy Contests

For February 2024, fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $405,342 and paid taxes of $34,049.

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