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The Gambling Commission reports that operators have finally “received the message”

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Since the beginning of 2022, the Gambling Commission has levied fines totaling £76 million, as revealed by the head of policy during a speech at the Westminster Media Forum, discussing the Commission’s recent enforcement efforts.

During a keynote speech at the Westminster Media Forum, Ian Angus, head of policy at the Gambling Commission, emphasized that operators are finally “getting the message” after the Commission’s recent string of high-profile fines. Angus mentioned the recent record £19.2 million fine imposed on William Hill for social responsibility and money laundering failures, and stated that the Commission’s expectations are clear and unwavering, with no plans to relax enforcement.

Angus stated, “Where we find operators failing to meet our standards we will continue to take unrelenting action. We think the action we are taking makes clear what our expectations are. And at the volume we’re now broadcasting them, we are pretty sure those operators who were still deaf to them a year or two ago, are now getting the message.”

He also emphasized that raising the standards of gambling operators through compliance and enforcement efforts remains a priority for the Commission. However, the Commission also aims to collaborate with the industry to enhance consumer protections and improve the evidence base for regulation as a whole.

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Angus’s review of the statistics highlights the significant increase in the Gambling Commission’s enforcement actions, showcasing a much stricter approach. Since the beginning of 2022, the Commission has imposed a substantial £76 million in fines across 27 enforcement cases, in stark contrast to the £1.7 million penalties resulting from only three investigations during the 2016/17 financial year.

Angus explained, “The reason we’ve had to escalate our enforcement action in recent years is because each failure is not just a violation of our rules, but also a failure that impacts ordinary people, some of whom have suffered severe harms as a result.”

Angus reiterated the Gambling Commission’s previous calls for the industry to collaborate with the technology sector in developing a Single Customer View (SCV). He expressed belief that the Commission’s collaboration with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) on this initiative will help mitigate the risk of serious gambling harms.

He emphasized that “better data, better research, and better evidence” are crucial for effective regulation. Additionally, he highlighted the Gambling Commission’s commitment to collaborating with international gambling regulators to ensure that their work transcends national borders.

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He stated, “Where strong relationships already exist between regulators, we are increasingly observing the exchange of information on the bad practices and behaviors of licensed and unlicensed operators. This enables us to scrutinize the practices and operations of these operators within our own jurisdictions. It’s important to note that no operator should desire to be in this position. No operator should want to be the subject of discussions between regulators from different parts of the world.”

Angus did not extensively discuss the UK government’s gambling white paper, which is anticipated to be published soon after the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act. However, it is noteworthy that the oral evidence session of the DCMS Select Committee on gambling regulation, initially scheduled for April 24, was postponed, potentially indicating that the publication of the white paper is imminent.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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FDJ’s Acquisition of Kindred Group Shaping the Future of Global Gaming

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FDJ’s acquisition of Kindred Group, facilitated by regulatory approval and strategic shareholder engagement, signifies a transformative moment in the gaming industry. This deal exemplifies the intricate balance between regulatory compliance, shareholder value, and strategic growth ambitions. As the industry stands at the cusp of further consolidation and innovation, the FDJ-Kindred transaction heralds a new era of strategic realignment and competitive positioning in the global gaming landscape.


A Monumental Shift in Gaming Dynamics

The Swedish Financial Market Supervisory Authority (SFSA)‘s approval of Française des Jeux’s (FDJ) offer to acquire Kindred Group marks a pivotal moment in the global gaming and betting sector. This green light not only accelerates FDJ’s strategic expansion but also underscores the evolving landscape of international gaming regulations and corporate alignments.

Navigating Regulatory Waters

The SFSA’s endorsement is a crucial step in FDJ’s ambitious acquisition plan, setting the stage for a public offer slated to commence imminently. This regulatory approval highlights the meticulous scrutiny and compliance standards governing mergers and acquisitions within the sector, ensuring that such transactions align with market stability and shareholder interests.

A Call to Action for Kindred Shareholders

The forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) represents a critical juncture for Kindred Group, with proposed statutory amendments necessary for facilitating the acquisition. This meeting, aimed at achieving the requisite shareholder consensus, signals the importance of shareholder engagement in steering corporate direction and strategy.

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The Path to Acquisition: Shareholder Conviction and Strategic Vision

FDJ’s pursuit of Kindred Group, contingent upon securing 90% of total capital, reflects a strategic maneuver to consolidate its position in the global gaming market. The offer per share, valuing Kindred at approximately €2.6 billion, has garnered unanimous board endorsement and significant shareholder backing, illustrating the alignment of strategic interests and the perceived value of this consolidation.

Activist Influence and Strategic Realignment

The role of activist shareholders, notably Corvex Management, in advocating for Kindred’s sale underscores the dynamic interplay between corporate governance and shareholder activism. Their successful campaign for board representation and strategic evaluation reflects a broader trend of active investor engagement in shaping corporate trajectories.

Implications for the Global Gaming Industry

This acquisition not only exemplifies the financial and strategic considerations underpinning such deals but also highlights the regulatory complexities and shareholder dynamics involved. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements and regulatory changes, the FDJ-Kindred merger serves as a case study in strategic growth, market consolidation, and the pursuit of competitive advantage.

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