Category Archive : Casino

GiG Sale of B2C Business on Track to Close Mid-April

Gaming Innovation Group’s (GiG) sale of its B2C gaming and sports betting brands to Betsson was this week approved by antitrust regulators, enabling the deal to close by mid-April.

GiG announced in mid-February plans to offload its B2C division to Betsson in a bid to focus on its B2B operations. The move would help the company “reduce complexity and improve efficiency.”

Under the terms of the deal, Betsson, which already operates a multi-brand online casino and sports betting portfolio, has agreed to pay €33 million to acquire GiG’s B2C operations. The purchase amount includes €22.3 million in cash payment, €8.7 million in prepaid platform fee, and €2 million in cash deposit securing GiG’s Spanish casino license.

GiG said this week that it would use part of the proceeds from the sale of its B2C operations to repay its SEK300 million 2017-2020 bond, which would help it strengthen its balance sheet and reduce significantly the financial leverage ratio.

GiG’s B2C operations include the Rizk, Guts, Kaboo, and Thrills online casino and sports betting brands. Under the terms of the sale, Betsson will keep all four websites operational on GiG’s proprietary iGaming platform for the first 30 months after the transaction closes.

During the first 24 months, Betsson will pay a premium platform fee based on net gaming revenue generated. Based on estimated platform fees, GiG could trouser up to €50 million from the sale of the four brands.

Freeing Up Resources to Spearhead B2B Growth

GiG has previously explained that its decision to divest its B2C business was a result of a strategic review as the company seeks to “reduce complexity and improve efficiency.”

The online gambling group has also pointed out that the sale of the four iGaming and wagering brands would free up resources and enable it to fully dedicate its attention to driving and growing its B2B business, and thus secure stable and sustainable earnings and profit margins.

According to GiG, there is a “large and sustainable addressable market” for its platform business as iGaming continues to become a regulated industry in more and more countries around the world.

As part of its strategic review, GiG has also decided to make its platform “sportsbook agnostic” and to partner up with betting technology providers in a bid to offer its clients the best possible wagering solutions.

Under the deal for the sale of GiG’s B2C brands, Betsson will integrate its sportsbook solution onto GiG’s platform. As a result, the two companies will be able to sell their B2B solutions without creating conflict in the B2C vertical.

Commenting on their decision to offload their B2C brands, GiG CEO Richard Brown said previously that the deal would enable them to focus on their growth in the B2B sector and that while offering both B2B and B2C products had synergies in the past, the “current conflicting priorities of the two business areas, and increased complexity in the market, have lessened the potential offering on both fronts and our ability to sign new customers.”

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NetEnt Expands in Switzerland Thanks to New ISO 27001 Certification

Online casino games supplier NetEnt announced that it was awarded the global standard ISO 27001 certification that would enable it to enter new regulated markets.

The first such new regulated market NetEnt entered after it obtained the ISO 27001 certification was Switzerland.

The ISO 27001 certification is awarded to companies that prove commitment to information security management. The testing and certification process covers protection of sensitive information as well as development, infrastructure, and network configuration.

Of the recently received certification, Henrik Fagerlund, Managing Director of NetEnt’s Maltese operation, said that it is “an important acknowledgment” for the company and the result of “dedicated and hard work from our team.”

Mr. Fagerlund went on to say that NetEnt prides itself “on being a reliable, trustworthy, and secure partner” to its customers and their players.

Aside from demonstrating its commitment to data security management, the ISO 27001 certification also enables the casino content supplier to enter new regulated territories and participate in World Lottery Association procurements which has not been possible before.

Swiss Expansion

Switzerland has become the first regulated territory NetEnt has debuted its content portfolio in since the company obtained its ISO 27001 certification last week.

The Swedish provider said that its casino games content is now live with the online gaming operations of Grand Casino Luzern and Grand Casino Baden.

Switzerland reorganized its iGaming market last summer, and Grand Casino Luzern and Grand Casino Baden were among the first local land-based casinos to go live with gambling websites.

The integration of NetEnt content with Grand Casino Luzern was carried out via Paf’s iGaming platform, while the integration with Grand Casino Baden took place via the Gamanza platform.

The Swedish iGaming content supplier said that it is on track to roll out its games portfolio with several other Switzerland-licensed gambling operators in the coming months.

Delivering on Growth Strategy

Commenting on their Swiss market entry, Mr. Fagerlund said that the move was part of their efforts to continue to deliver on their strategy to “grow by strengthening our position in regulated markets.”

The official added that they are pleased to have taken “this step into the Swiss market and look forward to launching our award-winning games with even more operators soon.”

The newly obtained ISO 27001 certification will also enable Red Tiger to offer NetEnt Group solutions in markets where such certification is required.

NetEnt acquired fellow gambling content provider Red Tiger last fall. The Swedish group announced last month that it initiated a restructuring to accelerate the full integration of Red Tiger with its new parent organization.

It became known that the restructuring included laying off 120 employees, mostly ones based in NetEnt’s Stockholm and Malta offices.

NetEnt said that the full integration would “strengthen competitiveness and increase value creation in the company.”

Source: NetEnt enters the regulated market in Switzerland following new global ISO 27001 certification

Soft2Bet Expands in India with Four Brands

Multi-brand online casino and digital sportsbook operator Soft2Bet has entered a new market as part of its continued effort to constantly expand its presence.

The company announced today that it has marked its debut in the Indian iGaming and online sports betting market with the launch of four of its brands in the country.

Wazamba, Rabona, Nomini, and Campobet have been the four Soft2Bet-owned operations to have gone live in India.

The online gambling operator also revealed plans to take the rest of its brands live in the Indian market in the near future.

With population of more than 1.3 billion people, India is seen as an emerging market with huge growth opportunities. Soft2Bet said that its entry into that market demonstrates it worldwide appeal as it continues to grow its presence across new markets around the world.

Soft2Bet’s portfolio currently includes 16 online casino and sports betting brands. The innovative sportsbook Rabona was the latest operation to join the company’s ever-growing library.

Rabona is named after the popular football skill and aims to bring gamification to sports wagering. The online sportsbook’s in-built gamification tool enables bettors to collect cards with popular football teams and players, in addition to the traditional sports betting experience offered by the brand.

Indian Expansion

Soft2Bet’s Indian debut includes both online casinos, which are extremely popular among local gambling customers due to their gamification, as well as online sportsbooks, which, among other sports, offer wagering on cricket – India’s most popular sport.

Commenting on Soft2Bet venturing into India, the operator’s Chief Business Development Officer, Uri Poliavich, said that they are delighted to have taken their products to market in India and thrilled to deliver their gaming and betting experience to “an exciting new audience.”

Of their global expansion campaign, Mr. Poliavich said that “global expansion is a key tenet for Soft2Bet, and placing our brands in front of such a large market is sure to lead to some very interesting opportunities in the future.”

News about Soft2Bet’s Indian debut emerge a couple of weeks after the gambling operator has entered Sweden’s regulated iGaming space with its YoYo Casino brand. Soft2Bet was able to enter the Swedish market after it obtained a license from the local regulator, Spelinspektionen, late last year.

It was late last year again when the gambling operator announced its entry into another Asian market. Soft2Bet launched its AlfCasino brand in Japan to explore growth opportunities in the lucrative Japanese iGaming space.

Last month, the operator announced a partnership with Playtech to take more than 100 premium gaming titles from the provider’s portfolio live across its online casino brands.

Source: Soft2Bet enters Indian market with four hit brands

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After GVC, Push Gaming Now Partners with William Hill

Online casino content provider Push Gaming has added a new top-tier client to its ever-growing network amid its ongoing transformation from a boutique casino games developer to a full-fledged industry supplier.

The company announced today that it has partnered up British bookmaker William Hill to provide it with its entire slots portfolio.

Popular Push Gaming titles such as Jammin’ Jars, The Shadow Order, and Razor Shark will go live with William Hill. The supplier will keep rolling out content with the operator as it releases new games in future.

The integration will be carried out via Push Gaming’s in-house gaming platform. The provider will be adding content to William Hill’s games library in the coming weeks.

This is the latest major content supply deal announced by Push Gaming in recent days. Last week, the company announced that it has partnered up with another big industry name as it looks to grow its network of clients and its presence across new and existing markets.

Push Gaming revealed last week that it has agreed to supply its content portfolio to GVC Holdings’ online gaming brands, which include Ladbrokes, Coral, and bwin, among others.

Just as with William Hill, Push Gaming’s suite of casino games will be rolled out across GVC’s brands in several phases.

Teaming Up with an Industry Titan

Of their recent partnership with William Hill, Push Gaming’s CEO, James Marshall, said that the legacy British bookmaker is “a titan of the industry and [they] are delighted to be supplying them with a selection of [their] games.”

Mr. Marshall also noted that the first batch to be added to William Hill’s existing offering will include a selection of Push Gaming’s most popular games, with more titles set to be integrated in the coming months.

The supplier’s chief added that their content has “proven to be hugely popular with players all over the world” and that they believe their games will be a big hit with William Hill’s player base, as well.

As mentioned above, Push Gaming is currently transforming its business from a boutique online casino games developer to a full-blown supplier of content for the online gambling industry that manages its own proprietary platform.

The ongoing transformation was boosted by the acquisition of Game Server Integrations (GSI), which Push Gaming announced early this year.

Thanks to the deal, Push Gaming will be able to implement its growth plans throughout the year, which include the introduction of new content as well as of platform feature innovations and in-game mechanics. All these are anticipated to hit the iGaming market in the months to come.

Push Gaming’s titles are all designed to provide an immersive and engaging, mobile-focused gaming experience. Its games are available across all devices and operating systems, including on desktop.

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Danske Spil Shuts YouBet Site over Mistake by Supplier SBTech

Denmark’s state-run gambling operator Danske Spil has shut its YouBet site this past weekend after discovering it had offered betting on Swedish lower league football matches. YouBet was powered by sports betting technology provider SBTech.

Danske Spil decided to shut the site after it found out that it had continued to offer sports betting markets on Swedish amateur football games, even though its parent had pulled such markets from its main betting operation, Oddset.

Denmark’s state-owned gambling business was recently subjected to heavy criticism for offering odds on lower-tier football leagues in neighboring Sweden at a time when all major sporting events are canceled.

Danske Spil blamed the YouBet incident on a “mistake of our supplier” and noted that it shut down the website as soon as it discovered the error.

The Danish operator and SBTech, a major supplier of technology for the sports betting industry, announced their partnership in the spring of 2018. The product of their collaboration – YouBet – was launched in March of that year.

The website was marketed as one targeting “fresh sports betting demographics”, while also entertaining online casino enthusiasts, and aimed to complement Danske Spil’s existing offering. Aside from betting on different sports and events, YouBet also featured more than 1,000 casino titles from global developers and live studios.

Offering What Is Available

Responding to criticism, the Director of Danske Spil’s sports betting unit Niels Folmann told local media outlets earlier that they offered what was available from international football right now.

Aside from taking wagers on Swedish amateur football, the Danish operator was also among the sportsbooks that accepted bets on the so-called “ghost” games, or matches that never happened, in Ukraine.

Mr. Folmann explained that those games slipped into their platforms because their current supply of options to offer to their players is extremely limited. Danske Spil refunded losing bets on the controversial Ukrainian matches.

News about the suspension of the YouBet operation over bets on lower-tier Swedish games emerge just days after Sweden’s former gambling monopoly, Svenska Spel, called on the country’s government to prohibit betting on the exact same games as the practice jeopardizes the safety of professional sports.

Danske Spil shutting the YouBet site came as the latest heavy blow to SBTech after the company recently became victim of a massive cyberattack that prompted it to power down its data centers around the world.

As a result, more than 50 sports betting businesses powered by its technology went offline for an entire weekend.

SBTech did not disclose the nature of the attack, but according to experts, the fact that sportsbooks powered by the provider were down for around or more than 72 hours suggested that the incident was not a direct denial of service (DDoS) attack.

SBTech said that all customer data had been encrypted, which prevented data from being compromised.

Source: Danske Spil shuts YouBet site for Swedish amateur footie bets

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Generation X Members Most Likely to Use Credit Cards to Gamble

Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980, is the demographic cohort that is more likely to use credit cards for gambling purposes as opposed to millennial gamblers, according to a new research by payment services provider PXP Financial.

PXP Financial surveyed a group of delegates at this year’s ICE London gambling industry conference. The payments firm used the interviews it conducted as the base for its ‘A conversation about payments: Differences in generational betting’ paper.

The recently conducted research found that the majority of Generation X members (59%) use credit cards to gamble.

On the other hand, millennials, that is to say those born between 1981 and 1996, are most likely to use debit cards for gambling purposes. About 49% of all of PXP Financial’s millennial respondents said that debit cards were their primary payment form when it came to gambling.

This rose to 53% when the payments firm included the use of debit cards through eWallets. In comparison, only 29% of all surveyed Generation X members said that they used debit cards to place bets or play at casinos.

PXP said that the Generation Z demographic cohort is yet to have a major impact on the online payments and gaming sectors. However, the payment services provider said it believes this will change over time.

Looming Credit Card Ban

The results from PXP Financial’s survey are revealed just days before the implementation of a credit card gambling ban in the UK.

Among the respondents at ICE London, 55% said that the looming ban would have a negative effect on the gambling industry. Among the Generation X members who participated in PXP Financial’s survey, about 67% said that the credit card gambling ban would have a negative effect on the sector.

It was in January when the UK Gambling Commission announced that a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes would be introduced. The new rule is set to take effect on April 14 and aims to reduce gambling-related harm and protect vulnerable people.

Millennials are the group that spends the most while gambling, according to PXP Financial’s survey. About 52% of the survey’s respondents said that those born between 1981 and 1996 were the biggest spenders when it came to gambling.

However, at 33%, the majority of Generation X respondents said they believed their own generation was the one that spent the most on gambling.

Commenting on their recently released paper, PXP Financial CEO Koen Vanpraet said that it is their goal to “understand trends within various markets and how they will affect our clients.”

He added that they hope the insights provided “within this sentiment research will provide the industry with greater understanding of its target groups and help our clients with their market strategies.”

Source: How different generations pay for online gambling revealed – and UK credit card ban is bad news for Gen X

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West Virginia Could Legalize Betting on Political Events

West Virginia could become the first state to allow its sportsbooks to take bets on political events after FanDuel briefly offered odds on the upcoming presidential election Tuesday night.

The sports betting operator had the odds up for about 15 minutes after posting them but then took them down entirely and removed the Politics tab from its West Virginia site and betting app.

In a press release earlier on Tuesday, FanDuel said that it would begin taking wagers on the presidential election and that it has partnered with the West Virginia Lottery to “bring these markets into a legal, regulated sportsbook.”

However, after pulling the odds down, the company issued a follow-up statement saying that while the markets were initially approved by the West Virginia Lottery, the agency has asked FanDuel to “refrain from offering the markets” until the Lottery has time to “fully work through the implications and research it further.”

The Lottery issued a similar statement shortly after the operator’s hit the wire.

West Virginia legalized sports betting in the spring of 2018, even before the US Supreme Court struck down a long-standing federal ban on the practice in May of the same year.

FanDuel operates a small sportsbook inside The Casino Club at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs. In addition, the company launched a digital wagering product in West Virginia in the summer of 2019.

Could Political Betting Become a Thing in US?

As mentioned above, West Virginia could be poised to become the first state in the US to permit betting on political events. However, if the state indeed goes forward with this plan, this raises a series of questions, including ones related to the legality of offering odds on elections.

The federal Commodity Trading Commission has previously said that gambling on elections should not be authorized.

In addition, betting on political events seems to be prohibited under West Virginia law. The state Code reads “it shall be unlawful to bet or wager money or other thing of value on any election held in this state.”

In a strange time when global sport is almost entirely canceled, gambling operators are working closely with regulators in states where betting is legal on what other wagering markets they can offer to their customers.

eSports has become a particularly popular option as multiple competitions are under way. Operators are also suggesting other options, including betting on reality shows.

During the very brief period West Virginia bettors were able to place wagers on the presidential election, FanDuel offered odds on the presidential election winner, the Democratic nominee winner, the Democratic Vice President nominee, and the winning party.

The company said it accepted more than one bet and that it has promptly returned the money wagered by those of its customers who managed to place bets on the upcoming presidential election.

While FanDuel appears to be ready to resume taking wagers on political events as soon as the West Virginia Lottery permits this, its rival DraftKings is taking a more cautious approach toward the opportunity to expand its offering beyond sports.

The company said Tuesday that while they are “excited about the possibility of offering odds on politics and elections to our customers in West Virginia, we are taking the time to ensure we evaluate the opportunity thoroughly before posting any lines.”

Source: West Virginia Poised to Become First State to Allow Political Gambling

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Realistic Games Rolls Out Two Table Games with Microgaming

Casino games developer Realistic Games has integrated two table games onto Microgaming’s content aggregation platform to further extend its partnership with the major industry provider.

Realistic Games today announced that its Blackjack and Realistic Roulette titles can now be accessed by Microgaming’s network of operator partners and their players for the very first time.

The two table games have joined other Realistic Games titles already available on Microgaming’s platform.

Founded in 2002 and based in Reading, Realistic Games develops diverse content for the online gaming industry. Its suite of gaming titles includes popular casino games such as roulette, baccarat, and blackjack as well as three- and five-reel slots games.

Realistic Games’ content was originally intended to be distributed across the regulated UK gambling market, but has later on become available in a number of other territories.

Operators that have added Realistic Games titles to their other content include bet365, 888, LeoVegas, Betfred, and brands owned by GVC. Aggregator partners of the game development studio include Microgaming, SG Digital, Playtech, Iforium, ORYX Gaming, and iSoftBet among others.

Realistic Games’ table games have consistently performed extremely well in the international online casino space with their immersive gameplay. The supplier’s Realistic Roulette title, the first 3D table game in its portfolio, features land-based ball spins recreating experience at brick-and-mortar casinos.

Raising Brand Visibility

Of the launch of their two table games with Microgaming, Realistic Games Commercial Director Robert Lee said that their continued partnership with Microgaming has already enabled them to “raise brand visibility with leading operators” and that it is fantastic to be able to see even more titles from their portfolio go live on their partner’s platform.

Mr. Lee also pointed out that their gaming content has performed extremely well with Microgaming so far and that they are looking forward to providing more exclusive gaming titles to Microgaming as their partnership develops.

The addition of Realistic Games’ latest table game releases to Microgaming’s platform further strengthened the partnership between the two companies.

Under the original deal signed between the two content suppliers, Realistic Games has agreed to provide one game every quarter to Microgaming that is available exclusively for a three-month period to the latter company before Realistic Games widens its distribution across its network of partners.

Microgaming Director of Global Operations James Buchanan said that Realistic Games’ Blackjack and Realistic Roulette are two classic titles that will make a great addition to the ever-growing portfolio of content available on their platform.

Mr. Buchanan went on to say that Realistic Games’ slots have achieved strong results since they launched with Microgaming this past October and that they expect the developer’s high-end table games to be no exception.

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Germany’s Betting Reorganization Halted by Transparency Issues

The Administrative Court of Darmstadt has published the ruling that halted Germany’s sports betting licensing process earlier this month, providing details about what prompted the action.

The Darmstadt Administrative Court last week upheld a complaint mounted by Austrian sports betting operator Vierklee which argued that Germany’s sports betting licensing process under the nation’s Third State Treaty on Gambling was marred by lack of transparency and other issues.

The court suspended the process until further notice, causing great disarray in the sector and among sports betting operators interested to operate in Germany’s reorganized and regulated market.

In the case brought by Vierklee, the Tirol-based bookmaker said that it was interested in applying for a German sports betting license, but it faced an opaque process that appeared to be benefiting companies that had previously been active in the local digital wagering space.

Vierklee claimed that such previously active operators last summer participated in a special information event organized by the Regional Council of Darmstadt that provided them with more information about the licensing process.

The Austrian bookmaker complained that some operators thus had more information about the process than others, which placed the latter group at disadvantage.

Under Germany’s Third State Treaty on Gambling, which took effect on January 1 and will remain effective until July 1, 2021, the Darmstadt Regional Council and the Hessian Ministry of the Interior are responsible for accepting and reviewing betting license applications and issuing licenses to approved candidates.

Lack of Transparency Regarding Licensing Criteria

Vierklee argued that there was also lack of transparency regarding the criteria license applicants had to meet in order to secure a wagering license and the Darmstadt Administrative Court agreed with that.

In addition, the court said that it saw the lack of a uniform date from which all licensed operators could go live with sports betting in the regulated German market as discriminatory and that it gave incumbents an advantage.

In its ruling, the Darmstadt Administrative Court also noted that it believes the powers and duties of the Glücksspielkollegium, the gambling regulatory body formed to oversee the newly enforced regime, could be unconstitutional and opaque and that it saw little indication as to whether the regulator could be tasked with making arbitrary decisions.

However, despite siding with Vierklee, the court did not specify in its ruling whether the operator’s successful challenge effectively put an end to the reorganization of Germany’s sports betting market.

The Regional Council of Darmstadt has the option to appeal the ruling within a two-week period after it was issued.

Germany’s current sports betting regulatory regime is set to remain in force until mid-2021 when a permanent framework is set to be implemented. Aside from wagering, that permanent law would also permit the provision of online casino and poker services on the territory of Germany.

Source: Transparency issues halt German sportsbook licensing

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South Africa’s Bet.co.za Migrates to SBTech Betting Platform

Sports betting technology provider SBTech has marked its first foray into South Africa’s regulated online wagering market through a recently formed partnership with Bet.co.za.

The partnership between the leading South African operator and the technology company saw Bet.co.za migrate to SBTech’s sportsbook and online gaming platform.

Through this migration the online and mobile sports betting brand has been able to go live with products that are new to the South African digital gambling space.

The partnership between Bet.co.za and SBTech includes the addition of the provider’s Lucky Numbers product as well as an integration with BetGames.TV, which would enable customers to bet on live lottery draws and live games, using localized payment methods.

In addition, Bet.co.za is set to benefit from a bespoke trading and risk management strategy that is localized for the regulated South African gambling market.

Bet.co.za is the first South African online gambling operator SBTech has partnered with. The recently secured deal has provided the major sports betting technology provider with the oppertunity to enter a new regulated territory as part of its strategy to constantly and rapidly expand and strengthen its regulated foothold and deliver on its international development plans.

A Key Milestone

Commenting on their South African debut, SBTech Chief Development Officer Andrew Cochrane said that they are “thrilled to enter another major regulated market” and to team up with one of “South Africa’s premium gaming operators.”

Mr. Cochrane went on to say that a great amount of “collaborative work has taken place behind the scenes ahead of this migration and going live with Bet.co.za marks a key milestone” in their partnership with the South African gambling business.

Bet.co.za CEO Scott Canny said that by migrating to SBTech’s platform they will be able to enhance, elevate, and fully customize the experience they offer to their customers and provide them with a product that is “unlike anything else available in the South African market.”

Mr. Canny went on that their local marketing expertise paired with SBTech’s platform are set to cement Bet.co.za’s position as the best online bookmaker in South Africa.

SBTech is currently in the process of combining its business with US sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings. The tie-up, originally announced in late 2019, will create a $3.3 billion company that will be the only “vertically-integrated sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States.”

In other words, the mega-deal will provide DraftKings with in-house sports betting and iGaming technology, while spearheading SBTech’s ambition to cement itself as a leading wagering provider in the lucrative US sports betting market.

According to preliminary estimates, the combined entity will have more than $500 million in unrestricted cash on its balance sheet. The tie-up is expected to close by mid-2020.

Source: SBTech Enters South African Market with Bet.co.za Platform Migration

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