Aristocrat to Launch New Online Real Money Gaming Segment – European Gaming Industry News

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Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has announced the launch of a new business segment that focuses on Real Money Gaming (RMG), which will be led by the former CEO of the company’s land-based gaming unit, Mitchell Bowen.
Details of the plan were revealed by Group CEO and Managing Director Trevor Croker at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday following its failed attempt to acquire UK-based platform provider Playtech plc.
The new RMG segment will sit alongside Bowen’s old Aristocrat Gaming segment – which will now be overseen by former President of Aristocrat’s business in the Americas, Hector Fernandez – and Pixel United, which includes social gaming.
Despite the failed Playtech takeover, Croker said Aristocrat has been investing in building its in-house online RMG capabilities over the past year and, leveraging these foundations, will now accelerating a “build and buy” approach to scaling in online RMG.
Croker said: “This will see us invest strongly in building out our own online RMG platform infrastructure while also undertaking select M&A, partnerships and talent acquisitions to accelerate progress wherever appropriate.
“To bring the right level of focus and momentum to the task, we are establishing a third global operating business within Aristocrat.
“Achieving a scaled position in online RMG will be a medium-term effort. It will take sustained investment over a number of years. However, our record shows that Aristocrat knows how to successfully scale businesses.
“We will apply a similar mix of effective organic and inorganic investment, and financial and operational rigour to this task, under Mitchell’s leadership and aligned to shareholders’ interests.”
On the appointment of Bowen to the new segment, Croker said he had already “cemented his reputation as an industry executive of global standing. His strategic and operational impact is evident in the outstanding momentum of the Gaming business and its recovery post COVID, with excellent staff engagement and an unwavering customer focus.
“Mitchell will be supported by a dedicated leadership team that will include a number of key internal and external appointments, to rapidly bolster our capabilities in relevant areas,” Croker added.
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Parramatta’s Rose and Crown Hotel has been fined for offering patrons inducements to gamble after a disgruntled general manager reported the pub, sparking a prosecution in which she herself was convicted of stealing $15,000.
Between 2017 and 2018, staff at the Rose and Crown allowed at least $145,000 in credit and debit withdrawals from the bar’s eftpos machine, loaned money from the safe to gamblers, and provided free alcohol and cigarettes to keep people playing the pokies.
The hotel’s general manager, Samantha Glynn, was also manipulating the poker machine payout system by changing the values on leftover credit tickets and creating fake tickets, allegedly stealing up to $400,000.
When Ms Glynn was discovered and suspended from her duties, she reported the hotel to Liquor & Gaming NSW. The subsequent investigation revealed a host of breaches and resulted in the matter being referred to both the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and NSW Police.
The Rose and Crown was also in breach of its licence for positioning an ATM in the gaming room; not making contact cards available to players; having gambling-related signage and gaming machines visible from outside the hotel; and supplying alcohol and operating gaming machines outside of stipulated trading hours on Good Friday.
Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority Chair, Phil Crawford, said the hotel lacked oversight and controls by those tasked with these responsibilities.
“Staff used phantom transactions to mask cash withdrawals for gambling, but even more incredibly, they gave out loans from the safe,” Mr Crawford said.
“At one point a manager loaned a total of $8,000 from the pub’s safe, to a patron who wanted to keep playing the pokies. A security guard also used the safe to loan $800 to another gambler.
“The hotel was essentially facilitating cash advances for gambling via a system of fake transactions and this is an obvious risk for problem gambling.”
NSW Police charged Ms Glynn with theft totalling $15,000 and she was sentenced to an 18-month intensive correction order.
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority fined the Hotel’s licensee, a company called RC One Pty Ltd $107,358. Approved manager Paul Camkin was fined $10,000 and disqualified for 12 months from being a licensee or being the approved manager of a hotel. Two close associates, Jason Marlow and Damien Kelly, were given a reprimand and, along with Mr Camkin, ordered to pay the costs of the Authority’s investigation.
“Thanks to the tip off from the general manager, we were able to step in and investigate the hotel, ultimately holding the licensee and its close associates to account,” Mr Crawford said.
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Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has announced the launch of a new business segment that focuses on Real Money Gaming (RMG), which will be led by the former CEO of the company’s land-based gaming unit, Mitchell Bowen.
Details of the plan were revealed by Group CEO and Managing Director Trevor Croker at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday following its failed attempt to acquire UK-based platform provider Playtech plc.
The new RMG segment will sit alongside Bowen’s old Aristocrat Gaming segment – which will now be overseen by former President of Aristocrat’s business in the Americas, Hector Fernandez – and Pixel United, which includes social gaming.
Despite the failed Playtech takeover, Croker said Aristocrat has been investing in building its in-house online RMG capabilities over the past year and, leveraging these foundations, will now accelerating a “build and buy” approach to scaling in online RMG.
Croker said: “This will see us invest strongly in building out our own online RMG platform infrastructure while also undertaking select M&A, partnerships and talent acquisitions to accelerate progress wherever appropriate.
“To bring the right level of focus and momentum to the task, we are establishing a third global operating business within Aristocrat.
“Achieving a scaled position in online RMG will be a medium-term effort. It will take sustained investment over a number of years. However, our record shows that Aristocrat knows how to successfully scale businesses.
“We will apply a similar mix of effective organic and inorganic investment, and financial and operational rigour to this task, under Mitchell’s leadership and aligned to shareholders’ interests.”
On the appointment of Bowen to the new segment, Croker said he had already “cemented his reputation as an industry executive of global standing. His strategic and operational impact is evident in the outstanding momentum of the Gaming business and its recovery post COVID, with excellent staff engagement and an unwavering customer focus.
“Mitchell will be supported by a dedicated leadership team that will include a number of key internal and external appointments, to rapidly bolster our capabilities in relevant areas,” Croker added.
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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block more illegal offshore gambling websites.
The sites include Zebet, Zeturf, Slot Vibe, Arlekin Casino, Johnnie Kash Kings, Lucky Star, Horus Casino, Tangiers Casino, 7 Reels, 21 Dukes, Winward Casino and Thebes Casino.
The ACMA undertook investigations that found these sites to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 399 illegal gambling websites have been blocked.
Over 160 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.
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