Tag Archive : operators

Operators not taking current situation lightly, says William Hill director

Operators are not taking the current situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic lightly and are very much focused on player protection, according to a panellist from William Hill.

Speaking at payments day of the SBC Digital Summit, William Hill AML group director Steven Armstrong said player information is key in this current period so operators are aware what could lead to a change in behavior.

He said: “It’s important for us to know personal information such as if someone has been furloughed from a long-term job which might change their behavior and lead them to play a different product or for more hours than usual.

“Knowing their situation allows us to manage their and all that data collected is so vital for us to make that decision. The pandemic has heighted the need for such information but operators should be doing this anyway.”

Armstrong also praised the industry after it was announced this week members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK have agreed to no longer advertise on TV or radio during the lockdown. He added that the industry needs to come together during this current crisis.

“There has been a lot more focus on player checks from the industry during this time. We always react to bad news in the industry, but the work I’ve seen with us and from other members – including those of the BGC – shows we haven’t taken this situation lightly.

“We’re certainly not taking advantage, if anything it’s hitting us hard. We’re a hibernating sports business and it will return which will give us a chance to refresh but other operators don’t have that luxury and it will still be hitting them hard over the head. As an industry we need to come together to make sure the customers are protected during this period.

“What we’re really looking at is if a player’s situation has changed and if they are now looking at gambling to make ends meet.”

The demand is still there, operators and affiliates just need to tap into it

Harel Falk, VP Sales at Solitics, is confident there is still player demand during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as affiliates and online gaming operators are willing to pivot to other verticals.

Naturally, operators and affiliates offering mainly sports betting products have suffered a significant fall in revenue since the pandemic started, causing mass sporting cancellations.

However, online casino and other verticals have seen an uptake in volumes. Falk has even seen examples of online trading companies generating more turnover in the last three months than the whole of 2019.

Falk tells Gambling Insider: “The COVID-19 crisis has negatively affected sports betting operators. Almost all of them have been putting their efforts into transitioning their business to casino, e-sports and other verticals.

“Our dedicated teams have been working around the clock to support this transition, by making sure the data is transferred and the automation is implemented.”

Solitics is a real-time data management and automation company that enables B2C brands to personalise their players’ experience based on all their data, to increase conversion and retention.

With gaming companies forming 60-70% of Solitics’ revenue, Falk sees plenty of opportunity for online gaming companies.

Asked what advice he would give operators and affiliates during the coronavirus pandemic, he explains: “It’s pretty obvious to say their source of income has shifted.

“There’s an expression that goes ‘the cheese has moved’ and my advice would be to find the new sources of cheese.  There are tons of opportunities out there.

Falk also believes affiliates should be quick to decide how they pivot, not letting any revenue opportunities pass them by and increase the amount of verticals they operate in.

The Solitics exec says: “I’m sure there are loads of players searching for new outlets. Affiliates should take advantage of this and shouldn’t wait.

“They should increase the range of what they’re doing, the verticals they’re working in, and try to take advantage of those opportunities. The demand is there, it’s just a question of tapping into it.”

You can read the full interview with Falk in Trafficology April, to be published soon. Click here for the March edition.

QTech Now Offering Yggdrasil Titles to Asia-Facing iGaming Operators

Asia-focused online casino games distributor QTech Games is building on the momentum it has gained in the last few months with a new partnership with a major content supplier.

The company said today that it has teamed up with Yggdrasil in a move that has enabled QTech to expand and diversify the offering it provides its operator partners with access to.

In addition, the recently inked deal has opened the doors to Yggdrasil to expand its presence across lucrative Asian markets and emerging territories elsewhere around the globe.

Under the terms of the newly formed partnership, Yggdrasil’s suite of online casino games has been made available to QTech’s clients and their players. The games developer and supplier’s portfolio currently includes more than 70 titles, including hit classics Vikings Go Berzerk, Valley of Gods, and Jungle Books alongside newer additions such as Temple Stacks and the company’s latest release Multifly.

The deal also covers Yggdrasil’s range of proprietary in-game promotional tools that are built to help operators increase player engagement and improve retention.

As a result of its partnership with QTech, the iGaming development studio will be able to explore established and emerging markets in Asia where online gambling has been making waves in recent years.

Yggdrasil Titles Exceed Expectations

Of their newly announced partnership with Yggdrasil, QTech CEO Markus Nasholm said that they are delighted to align with the game development studio as its “stunning games never need any hype” because “they are already exceeding expectations.”

Mr. Nasholm went on to say that their proprietary platform is loaded with content from the industry’s top providers and “Yggdrasil now stand at the summit of this mountain.”

Of Yggdrasil’s promotional tools, QTech’s chief said that “their ability to initiate in-game tournaments, coupled with spontaneous cash-drops, embraces QTech’s shared emphasis on high-end tech creating a superior gaming experience.”

Mr. Nasholm also noted that their partnership with Yggdrasil will see the introduction of quest-like missions that will provide players with live leaderboards and other offerings that would fuel “the battle for social-channel bragging rights” so that customers can share the fun and “drive online dwell-time for any of our partners.”

The QTech boss pointed out that his team is looking forward to seeing how Yggdrasil’s games perform in Asia, particularly in emerging markets where demand and need for a localized casino product is believed to be paramount “in tackling a diverse backdrop of cultural trends and player preferences.”

QTech ranks among the fastest growing distributors of iGaming content in Asia. Its platform features one of the broadest portfolios of titles in the region, which is localized for each area and offers native apps, powerful marketing and reporting tools, and 24/7 local language support.

Last week, QTech announced that it has partnered Kalamba Games to add the provider’s games library to the offering already available on its platform.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories

ExeFeed releases Simulated Reality Football to help operators overcome sports betting shortfall

Virtual sports is the best vertical to replace sports betting and will be important for operators to overcome the current coronavirus pandemic, according to ExeFeed’s Marco Josipovic.

Sports betting solutions provider ExeFeed announced the launch of its virtual product Simulated Reality Football, to replace the void of live sports, with all major events postponed during the coronavirus outbreak.

The virtual football product will reflect team form and normal match play, with all remaining fixtures scheduled to be played as per their original date and kick-off time. ExeFeed will offer pre-match odds, live BetBuilder and cashout features to complement the virtual football offering.

Speaking exclusively to Gambling Insider, ExeFeed Senior Partner and Product Manager Josipovic believes virtual football will offer what other gaming verticals can’t with the absence of live sport, and expects high demand for what the provider is calling the first product of its kind.

He said: “It is impossible for virtual to replace real matches, but we think this kind of real match simulation can create the content that is between sports betting and virtual sports to create a new sports betting space.

“For operators, content is now most important and this will certainly help to overcome this crisis.

“We quickly realised the entire industry will be in crisis and that online casinos, poker, etc, were not enough for operators who have sport betting at the core of their business.

“It is certain virtual sports will be popular right now, and this opens the door to our company. We received positive feedback from clients we work with and everyone was eagerly anticipating live virtual events, we expect to attract a lot of new clients.”

EveryMatrix empowers operators to quickly launch into esports

EveryMatrix has enhanced its OddsMatrix Services to answer the sports betting market’s demand for finding new entertainment options for punters worldwide. New developments include launching a new bespoke Esports Hosted Solution, expanding coverage by almost doubling the number of events, and growing video streaming capabilities.

Initially launched in early 2019, OddsMatrix esports services have been expanded massively in recent weeks to support clients’ endeavours of exploring other sports business opportunities, after the cancellation of traditional sports events across the world.

Offering access to a market leading selection, including highly popular titles such as FIFA, NBA2k, CS:GO, LOL, Dota, among many others, OddsMatrix competitive coverage totals monthly more than 8,000 events with 5,000 live events, with video streaming available for over 90% of live events and a huge range of specialised betting markets specific to esports.

The new Esports Hosted Solution enables bookmakers to direct sports punters to esports by adding an extra tab or menu item with a very strong esports offering, fully hosted and managed by OddsMatrix. The new solution can be integrated with existing sportsbooks and mobile apps in two weeks.

Ebbe Groes, Group CEO, comments: “Along with virtual sports, esports are very much in focus during this sensitive situation. For esports, we’ve seen an enormous increase in turnover in the past weeks, and we’re expecting to see the numbers go up even more. This is a clear indicator that esports are ready to step up into the mainstream and can also appeal to regular bettors, not only to computer games enthusiasts. In particular betting on sports-based computer games such as FIFA and NBA2K are extremely popular as an easy cross-over for traditional sports players. This can generate much-needed revenues in these wobbly times.”

The esports services can be integrated into an already existing sportsbook as a quick Esports Hosted Solution, with a personalised front-end and seamless wallet and player management integration.

Police seek owners, operators of unlicensed pot shop in Santa Ana

Santa Ana police sought the owner and operators of an illegal marijuana business that was raided on Tuesday, March 10.

Police had received complaints from citizens regarding the business at 230 W. Warner Ave., said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

“Based on those complaints, the vice and narcotics unit started investigating,” Bertagna said.

Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Veikkaus revenue falls 4% as GGR lost to foreign operators

Full-year 2019 gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Finnish monopoly operator Veikkaus was €1.69bn ($1.87bn), down 4% year-on-year, while profit was €1bn, a drop of 1%.

Lotto was the operator’s best-performing segment, with revenue increasing 9% to €205.2m.

The operator attributed its decline in GGR mainly to a decrease in market share, which was 85%, down 1% year-on-year.

GGR lost to operators other than Veikkaus increased 9% from 2018, to €309m.

Regina Sippel, Veikkaus CFO, said: “The year 2019 was challenging to Veikkaus business-wise.

“The provision and marketing of foreign online games increased. This led to a decrease in our market share and a drop in gross gaming revenue.

“Under these circumstances, the profit we have made by focusing on cost-effectiveness can be considered good.”

Following a period of public scrutiny in regards to its responsible gambling commitments, during 2020 Veikkaus vowed to introduce mandatory identification for its slot machines and other games, significantly reduce the number of distributed slot machines and implement a new, more responsible marketing strategy.

According to surveys commissioned by the operator, the percentage of problem gamblers in Finland last year remained at 2018’s total of 2.8%.

Gambling Operators Want More Liberal Regulatory Regime in Norway

International online gambling operators are calling for the introduction of a more liberal regulatory regime in Norway as the country prepares for the latest wave of restrictions that are aimed namely at such operators.

After news emerged last month that the Norwegian government has been looking to close a long-existing loophole that enables unlicensed foreign gambling operators to advertise their products across Norwegian TV channels, the trade body that represents such international companies has expressed its disappointment.

Carl Fredrik Stenstrøm, Secretary General of Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (NBO), said that they were not surprised by the fact that the government was looking to introduce more restrictions, they were still disappointed.

The Norwegian government is preparing to introduce amendments to the country’s Broadcasting Act that would authorize the Norwegian Media Authority to order local television distributors and Internet providers to prevent unlicensed gambling operators from promoting their products and services across Norwegian television.

For years, companies that do not hold licenses to conduct online gambling services in Norway have been able to advertise their offering on Norwegian television because many TV stations broadcasting into Norway operate from outside the Scandinavian nation.

Norwegian lawmakers are now looking to close that loophole. Discussions about introducing measures to address the issue have been underway since at least 2017. Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet, Norway’s gambling regulator, launched a consultation on the topic in the spring of 2018.

Accountability at the Center

Commenting on the looming restrictions, NBO’s Secretary General said that it is disappointing that “the authorities do not recognize the development we see in other countries where a license model has been implemented – where accountability is at the center.”

At present, state-run Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the only two operators authorized to provide, and advertise, gambling services on the territory of Norway.

Norwegian lawmakers have considered the reorganization of the local market in a manner that would enable international operators to obtain licenses and operate in a regulated environment, but have decided against the move.

According to Norway’s government, they would be able to protect vulnerable people from being overexposed to risks associated with gambling only if they maintain the current monopoly model.

However, Mr. Stenstrøm believes that a more liberal regulatory regime would provide better consumer protection. According to the NBO chief, it would be better if players who gamble with international websites are given “good tools to be able to regulate their gambling through [a self-exclusion system].”

Mr. Stenstrøm went on that in neighboring Sweden, more than 48,000 people have self-excluded from gambling just over a year after the country reorganized its gambling space and noted that this should be seen as success for those who want to limit their gambling and a success for public health.”

NBO’s members currently include Betsson Group, Kindred Group, Cherry AB’s ComeOn! brand, and Gaming Innovation Group.

Source: Norway’s NBO attacks TV ad ban plans

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories

Swedish-licensed operators see 2019 turnover of SEK 24.8bn

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has reported that gaming companies with a Swedish license generated turnover of SEK 24.8bn ($2.62bn) for the full year 2019.

Commercial online games and betting and games on ships in international traffic had the highest turnover, with a total of SEK 14.03bn for the full year.

State lottery and vending machines generated the second highest turnover, at SEK 5.9bn.

Total turnover for the fourth quarter was SEK 6.7bn, the highest total of the year and a rise of 12% from the previous quarter.

The figures are preliminary and largely based on information from the Swedish Tax Agency.

Information from H2 Gambling Capital estimates that SEK 580m – 690m was played with companies who did not have Swedish licenses during Q4, although exact figures are not available.

At the end of the quarter, more than 48,000 people had self-excluded through the SGA’s national self-exclusion scheme, Spelpaus, an increase of 16% from Q3.

In March 2020, 96 companies have active gaming licenses in the Swedish market, with 70 of these companies licensed for betting or commercial gaming online.

The SGA concluded that based on the data, turnover in the Swedish market has increased significantly in 2019 in comparison to the previous year, although this could be because estimations of turnover for unlicensed operators prior to re-regulation was too low.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Industry | Legal & Regulatory | Financial | Lottery | Casino

Relax Gaming to Distribute G.Games Content to Partner Operators

Online casino content provider Relax Gaming has just added a new game development studio to the ever-growing list of B2B companies it works with to supply a wide range of titles to its network of operator partners.

Relax Gaming today announced that game developer G.Games has joined its Powered By program for commercially independent partners.

Thanks to a quick, one-time integration, Relax Gaming currently provides operators with access to more than 1,000 casino titles as well as to a growing range of proprietary products, including Poker, Bingo, and online slots.

Relax Gaming delivers the gaming content through its Silver Bullet program for commercially represented partners and Powered By program for commercially independent partners.

Its recent Powered By partnership with G.Games has enabled Relax Gaming to further extend its available offering, while providing G.Games with access to a vast distribution network of operator partners.

G.Games was formed in the fall of 2018 through the merger between London-based game developer and supplier Gamevy and its German counterpart Glück Group. The tie-up has created a games developer and supplier with a broad and rapidly growing portfolio of scratchcards, single-player bingo titles, and Keno.

On A Home-Run

Commenting on their latest high-profile partnership, Relax Gaming Chief Product Officer Simon Hammon said that “G.Games has been on a home-run since it merged” and has been “developing unique content that appeals to a broad range of player demographics and performs well in multiple markets.”

Mr. Hammon went on that Relax Gaming sees great potential in this new partnership and looks forward to providing its customers with G.Games’ titles, while boosting its portfolio with games that will attract new gambling audiences.

G.Games Chief Commercial Officer Helen Walton added that customers have been encouraging her company to complete the Relax Gaming integration for several years now and that it has been very clear to G.Games that “Relax has a magic recipe for making customers happy.”

G.Games has joined a wide network of providers to be working with Relax Gaming via its Powered By program. Last month, the latter company announced that that same program was joined by Spearhead Studios, a newly formed Spain-based studio that last year marked EveryMatrix’s entry into the game development vertical.

Aside from teaming up with new developers, Relax Gaming has also recently secured new partnerships with several iGaming operators. Earlier this month, the provider announced that it has agreed to deliver its proprietary as well as third-party content to Global Gaming’s flagship brand Ninja Casino.

In January, Relax Gaming signed a commercial deal with Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus to provide the operator with a wide range of content. The provider thus enhanced its growing client network, while securing its entry into yet another attractive online gambling market.

Source: Relax Gaming signs Powered By deal with G.Games

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories