Aspers Wins Contract To Build Casino In Southampton Royal Pier Project

Proposed Royal Pier WaterfrontAspers has won the license to build a super casino in Southampton as a part of the redevelopment of the city’s Royal Pier area. This is the third such casino license won by the casino operator.

The Royal Pier is being redeveloped with an investment of £450 million. According to the recently published city plans, the revamp of the waterfront will include new restaurants, retail stores, and a 250-bed hotel, apart from the new Aspers casino.

The casino has been touted as an integral part of the project. Matt Tucker who is a councilor for Southampton said that the revival of the waterfront at Royal Pier and Mayflower Park was a much anticipated project for the city and emphasized the fact that the new casino will play a key role towards the revival.

The Southampton Council had approved applications of seven casino operators for the project in 2014. Some of the biggest operators participated in the application process including Genting, Global Gaming Ventures, Grosvenor, Kymeira Casino and Aspers. The final decision was supposed to have been made in June 2015 but the process was delayed and a final decision was made only this month.

Tucker said that the competition process for the casino was amongst the most complex undertaken nationally and said that the bidding had attracted some of the best names in the industry. He added that the superior quality of bids had made the decision tough but in the end the decision was based as to which proposal offered the city the most. The council decided to go with Aspers because the proposal looked to deliver the most.

Aspers expressed their happiness at being the choice of the city for building the casino. In a statement, Damian Aspinall Chairman of the Aspers group, said,

We are delighted with the Council’s decision to award Aspers the large casino license for Southampton. We are very proud to have successfully delivered the first two operational large license casinos to the UK and are excited to now have the opportunity to bring a third high-quality Aspers casino, including bars, dining facilities and live entertainment, to the city of Southampton

The casino is expected to generate 180 jobs after it is made operational in 2021. According to the terms of the license, Aspers will have permission to have up to 30 blackjack and poker tables as compared to the 20 which is the limit in a regular casino. Aspers will also be able to offer 150 slot machines which set a jackpot value of £4,000 as the maximum limit.

Aspers also operates popular casinos in large casinos in Milton Keynes and London Westfield.

Responsible Gaming Trust Hires PwC to Research Gambling Related Problems

responsible gaming trustThe online gambling industry has been accused of allowing underage gamblers to signup, not preventing gamblers with addictions from signing up and disrupting quality time with family as online gamblers spend long hours at home playing on UK online casinos.

The Responsible Gaming Trust (RGT) which is an industry funded trust is looking to obtain quality data to find out what accusations are just rumours and what percentage of individuals are being impacted negatively by the online gambling industry. RGT has been looking for a reliable data research provided to conduct an in-depth analysis into the online gambling industry and study these trends. After much deliberation, RGT has decided to enter into a partnership with PwC and have commissioned a data analysis project that will last for 18 months.

The project will look at online gambling data, player profiling, addictive behaviour and the pros and cons faced by online gamblers. The PwC report will also highlight possible solutions that can be used by online gamblers to restrict the negative impact that the online gambling industry might expose them to.

In a statement, Marc Etches, RGT Chief Executive said

RGT is committed to commissioning research not only to understand player behaviour but to improve processes in the industry to mitigate gambling-related harm. We have completed an extensive tender process and have emerged with research partners of the highest caliber. Between them PwC and the Responsible Gambling Council have an extensive understanding of the gambling industry and issues of social impact and I am confident that this work will make a valuable contribution to efforts to minimize gambling-related harm in the remote sector.

PwC was happy to be awarded the project and PwC Partner and Betting & Gaming Leader David Trunkfield stated that the company was happy to work on a project that would be beneficial to society and help online gambling companies mitigate any negative impact that might surface as a result of this study. The company will adopt a strict data led process to ensure that all its recommends are quantified and measurable so that RGT can then come up with practical solutions to address any negative impact.

Microgaming adds two more games to its mobile platform

microgamingMicrogaming, the Isle of Man online gaming giant has added two more games to its mobile gaming platform. The two titles added were already available as Web based and Microgaming has made a conversion of the games into HTML5 making them available for both web and mobile.

The two titles added are Silver Sterling and Party Island. The game will soon be made available on mobile anytime from now and the online gaming developer has already published a teaser video of the mobile version.

Sterling Silver is a 5 reel 25 line video slot game offering the wild, scatters, free spins and multipliers.

Party Island is based on a theme of the beach and comes with 5 reels and 9 pay lines offering the wilds, gamble feature, win multipliers, scatters and free spins.

The games deliver so much gaming action thereby delivering great gaming experience to players. The two games have been getting high player traffic on Web and Microgaming decided to convert these two to be available on mobile. More games will be converted to HTML5 and Microgaming promises that their mobile platform will soon offer the same games available on Web. Currently, the mobile platform offers more than 50 titles whilst the web platform offers more than 300 titles.

UK Gambling Commission to increase its fees

UK Gambling CommissionThe UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has planned to increase its fee structure has a result decreasing higher work load as well as enforcing the collecting of consumption tax that was implemented last year.

The UKGC has planned to increase its fee structure with immediate effect after discussion at the open meeting that will take place and the UKGC will accept suggestions up until the 27th of October, 2015. According to the statement issued by the UK Gaming Commission, it says that the regulator’s fee structure is to be reviewed and they want the fee structure to be fully integrated. Hence, they have opened this issue for discussion and opening meetings are currently taking place.

Furthermore, the statement read,

We will by all means try to provide greater transparency about the way in which the Commission fees is structured and we set to determine the fees needed for stakeholders, full cost recovery and we will accept any proposals or suggestions for improvements at this stage.

Given that the new fee structure is implemented, this will see all new applications paying new fees whilst the existing UKGC license holders will be given a period to adjust to the new fee structure.