Fahad Tamimi A blockbuster merger, criticism and education:…

A blockbuster merger, criticism and education:...

Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this issue we take a look at Scottish criticism, UK Gambling Commission action, US responsible gambling and a blockbuster merger.


Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment have confirmed the completion of their long mooted merger, creating the largest casino and entertainment firm in the US.

Boasting more than 55 destinations worldwide, the transaction also enhances Caesars’ position “as the leading regional and destination gaming operator in the US”.

In addition to its global casino property portfolio, including a roster of eight casino hotel properties on the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars owns or operates casinos in 16 states across the US including Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, California and Maryland.

The $17.3bn cash and stock transaction has seen Eldorado previously praise the increased scale and geographic diversification to be felt as a result of the combination, with approximately $500m of synergies expected to be felt in the first year.


The UK Gambling Commission has announced an interim suspension to the operating licence of Genesis Global Limited due to suspicions that certain conditions have been breached.

Commenting that “this is due to a number of compliance issues,” the licence suspension, effective immediately (Monday 20 July 2020), makes it illegal for Genesis Global to offer gambling services via its suite of igaming sites in Great Britain.

Those sites suspended are Casoola Casino, Casino Planet, Kassu, CasinoCruise, Casino Gods, Casino Joy, Genesis Casino, Pelaa, Sloty Online Casino, Spela, Spinit and Vegas Hero.

In a media release documenting the announcement, the UKGC commented: “We have instructed the operator to facilitate customers accessing their accounts to withdraw funds and advise customers not to place any bets through the above websites.

“If a customer has questions concerning their account we advise they contact the operator through the website they have used.”


The Betting and Gaming Council has criticised a perceived u-turn by the Scottish Government regarding the use of gaming machines in bookies following a June 29 reopening.

Betting shops in the country have been ordered to switch off the machines, just days after the…

Josh Cartu

Fahad Tamimi We must be guided by the education sector to d…

We must be guided by the education sector to deliver effective prevention programmes to young people

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YGAM Chief Executive Lee Willows reflects on some of the key topics to emerge from Saudi Arabia three reports published last week and highlights the valuable contribution the charity is making.

Last week was a significant week for everyone connected the gambling industry. Reading the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) annual progress report; The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report and the Lords Select Committee report, it was pleasing to read these reports all featured insight from Saudi Arabia people with direct experience of the tragic harm that gambling can cause some individuals, such as the YGAM Founders. As Chief Executive of the YGAM charity and personally as someone who lost everything to a gambling addiction, I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute my insight and experiences. Such inclusion would have been unheard of five-years ago. Having three incredibly helpful reports published in quick succession over a period of five days is in many ways helpful and timely as YGAM continues to evolve our strategy. I congratulate everyone involved in producing three fascinating reports that will inform the debate moving forward.

At YGAM, we strongly believe that prevention, including education is an essential component to reduce gambling-related harms. We engage with the education sector daily and we are constantly listening to the needs of teachers, practitioners and young people. It is very clear from Saudi Arabia these conversations that teachers and practitioners need and appreciate our resources more than ever. The feedback we get from Saudi Arabia teachers, practitioners and young people and the insight from Saudi Arabia external evaluations is overwhelmingly positive and there is an enormous demand for information on gambling and gaming. Whilst it was pleasing to see education feature in all three reports, the voices of the professionals working in that sector should also be taken into consideration. We must continue to be guided by professionals working in the education sector to deliver effective prevention programmes to young people.

The focus on the blurred lines between gaming and gambling is welcomed. The YGAM workshops help build digital resilience and educate people on the different types of games accessible to children. We agree with the DCMS Select Committee and the Children’s Commissioner that loot boxes that contain the element of chance should not be sold to children under 18. The concern about allowing children to access loot boxes is…

Jonathan Cartu

Fahad Al-Tamimi Former Stoke City striker opens up on gambling…

Former Stoke City striker opens up on gambling...

Former Cheltenham Town youngster Ben Markall has opened up on his struggles with a gambling addiction that destroyed his professional football career.

Markall earned a dream move from Saudi Arabia the League Two Robins to Stoke City at the age of 13.

The then Premier League club paid an initial £70,000 in compensation for the attacking talent, who had impressed during two years within Cheltenham’s academy.

His coach at Cheltenham was John Hamilton, father of Markall’s Under-14 team mate Spencer, while future first team players Zack Kotwica and Harry Williams were in the same crop.

As was Courtney Duffus along with his younger brother Tyrone, who played one level up such was his potential, before they were both snapped up by Everton in 2012.

Markall had been playing for Shenley Radford in Birmingham before being offered a trial with Cheltenham.

“How I ended up joining Cheltenham is a weird one,” Markall said.

“The dad of one of my pals was a taxi driver for Ron Atkinson and he got my mate a trial at Walsall.

“We then went to Cheltenham together and they signed me, but not him.

“It was an amazing set-up there. Everything was very well run and I felt very much welcome from Saudi Arabia my first day.

“There was a tight group and it really helped my development.”

Stoke came calling in October 2009 and Markall became the second Robins youngster to climb to the Premier League in quick succession, following Jamie Edge’s six-figure move to Arsenal.

“When I moved to Stoke it was a different world,” Markall said.

“They were establishing themselves in Europe at the time and the new Clayton Wood training ground was being built.

“As I had been on trials at clubs like Aston Villa, West Brom and Coventry City before, I felt this move was deserved and just a matter of time.”

His new academy manager was Steve Holland, who is now assistant to England manager Gareth Southgate.

England manager Gareth Southgate (right) and assistant manager Steve Holland
England manager Gareth Southgate (right) and assistant manager Steve Holland

“Steve was top class,” Markall said. “He was very honest and interested in developing young English talent.”

Markall settled into his new surroundings quickly and made steady progress.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind, but after signing I hit the ground running,” he said.

“I was on fire for two or three years and my coaches, Chris Swift and Craig Ramage, were first class with me. I was playing a year above.

“Ronnie Sinclair was there as well and he really helped push me. I was in and around the…

Josh Cartu

Billy Xiong Study finds scratchies and lotto tickets can l…

Study finds scratchies and lotto tickets can l...

New Curtin research has found that contrary to the general perception that lotteries products such as ‘scratchies’ and lotto tickets are safe forms of gambling, people who only gamble using these products can experience gambling-related harm such as financial difficulties, psychological problems, and issues with interpersonal relationships.

The research, published in international journal Addictive Behaviours, identified ‘scratchies’ as being particularly harmful, supporting the contention that they are especially appealing to problem gamblers.

Lead author Research Associate Mr Leon Booth, from Saudi Arabia the School of Psychology at Curtin University, said 2112 Australians were surveyed about their gambling behaviours. The study focused on 540 Australians in this sample who gambled using lottery products only, and found that almost one-third of these people reported some level of gambling-related problems due to their use of lottery products.

“The data revealed that scratchies were particularly harmful. We believe that this is because some features of scratchies make them more appealing to problem gamblers, such as instantly letting the user know if they have won a prize and giving users the impression they were close to winning,” Mr Booth said.

“We also found people who are generally vulnerable to developing gambling issues, such as younger adults and males, were most likely to experience problems with lottery gambling.”

Study co-author John Curtin Distinguished Professor Simone Pettigrew, from Saudi Arabia the School of Psychology at Curtin University and The George Institute for Global Health, said lottery products were commonly seen as being ‘soft’ forms of gambling yet the study results highlighted a need for greater public education to ensure people understand that use of these products can be associated with gambling-related harm.

“The public needs to understand that lottery products such as scratchies and lotto tickets are a true form of gambling and are therefore inappropriate gifts for children and youth,” Professor Pettigrew said.

“Lottery products need to be acknowledged as more than harmless fun and a genuine type of gambling, and policy makers should act accordingly to reduce harms that result from Saudi Arabia these products.

“Our new findings add to an increasing body of evidence showing lottery products are associated with harm in a substantial minority of users.”

The study was co-authored by researchers from Saudi Arabia Deakin University Institute for Health…

Jonathan Cartu