Aristocrat Leisure Takes Control Of Plarium Global

Privately owned, free-to-play mobile, social and web-based developer Plarium Global Limited was recently acquired by Aristocrat Leisure for $500m (€426m) in cash. Plarium Global is headquartered in Israeli and the company employs as many as 1,200 people with multiple offices throughout Europe, Israel and the US.

Back in August when the announcement was made Chief executive and managing director of Aristocrat, Trevor Croker was noted as saying, “Aristocrat has continued to deliver significant growth and outstanding results in our digital social casino business.” “The acquisition of Plarium allows Aristocrat to expand our addressable market into logical adjacent segments in the fast-growing mobile gaming market. The strategic and financial benefits are compelling for Aristocrat shareholders. Following the acquisition of Product Madness in 2012, Aristocrat’s Digital division experienced exceptional growth and Product Madness is now a top 5 social casino gaming publisher globally.”

“Plarium provides a unique opportunity to continue and accelerate this growth by diversifying into attractive new mobile gaming segments, including strategy, RPG and casual.”

Croker continued to add, “The acquisition of Plarium increases our pro forma Digital revenue contribution from 14% to 22% for the year ended March 31, 2017.”

Now in October as promised Aristocrat Leisure has finalised its acquisition of the social gaming company. Aristocrat has now obtained all necessary regulatory and other approvals, with Mr. Croker, explaining, “This acquisition is truly compelling as it increases our presence in the high-growth mobile gaming market and substantially increases the digital segment’s pro forma earnings contribution to Aristocrat.

“The acquisition reiterates our firm commitment to pursuing high growth adjacencies and increasing our recurring revenue base.

“Importantly, the acquisition is expected to be EPSA accretive in year one and key management personnel have remained in the business.

“We are delighted to have Plarium and its exceptionally talented team join the Aristocrat family; we look forward to continue building our already very successful digital business together, for the benefit of Aristocrat’s shareholders and other stakeholders.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Norway Keeps Its Gambling Monopoly

Scandinavians are known for their love of casino games and poker and now Norway has opted to remain a nation that will not be re-structuring the internet betting industry.  Despite other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark deciding to re-structure their gambling industries and welcome foreign investment Norway feels that keeping the nation’s state-run gambling model will maintain player safety.

Director General of the Norwegian Gaming Authority, Atle Hamar, revealed the move at the International Association of Gaming Regulators conference in Johannesburg, stating that Norway’s prioritized model is the safest environment for local gamblers. Hamar is also to have noted that the gaming authority plans to protect Norway’s domestic market.  

Unlike other Scandinavian countries Norway does not permit offshore operators to operate within their jurisdiction making the online gambling industry a monopoly in Norway.

Only two operators, Norsk Rikstoto, operating Norway’s horse racing industry and Norsk Tipping, which operates all other gambling venues are permitted in the jurisdiction. Claiming the decision to remain a monopoly is to safeguard the nation’s players from corrupt operations the government has finally made a clear choice. In December of last year a bill presented by the Minister of Culture detailed how the country’s current casino and online gambling platform had been proven to be safe for punters. The bill detailed how the gambling industry should not be re-structured with the concern for player safety.

The other countries in the area such as Sweden and Finland are also in the process of reviewing their gambling policies regarding online betting but are remaining locked into a state-run system until they come up with a more inclusive model.

Denmark has led the charge for regulatory change providing a workable model for others in the region successfully implementing a system compliant with European Commission rules for e-commerce free trade.  

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Exclusive Event EGR Future Digital Summit 2017

The internet betting industry has been an innovator of many new entertainment opportunities driven by technology and creativity. Cutting edge technology, product development and digital marketing are massive elements that bring ideas to reality for the online gaming industry. An invitation has been sent by the team at EGR for those individuals involved in these elements to attend the EGR Future Digital Summit 2017.

The exclusive event will take place at the Aviator Hotel, Farnborough, UK on November 13th and 14th 2017. The industry has definitely changed driven by technology, innovation and commitment to advancement. This Summit provides a unique opportunity for participants to discuss the trends revealing the future of the industry. The discussion will include every aspect of the digital world including data usage, cyber threats, security measures, artificial intelligence, digital marketing challenges, customer acquisition, and other subjects.  

While the event is free it is only invitation only for operators. Some interesting topics will receive attention such as Immersive innovation: VR as the next step in online gambling presented by
Alexandre Tomic, co-founder, Alea.com.

Considering the latest tech advancements in artificial intelligence the  Rise of the machines: How AI is reinventing the e-gaming landscape presented by Charles McGarraugh, CEO, at Stratagem Technologies this topic is sure to be an engaging time.

Rounding out the two day event there will be a panel, Connecting the dots: Improving innovation across all areas of your business with facilitator: Jonnie Jensen, founder, Live And Social, Lydia Barbara, head of innovation strategy, Microgaming, Nick Cockerill, head of product - operations , Sky Betting & Gaming,
Steve Lee, head of design, Crystal Content and Jan Teichmann, head of data innovation, Rank Group. The line up of speakers is impressive and it would be an great opportunity to be invited to the EGR Future Digital Summit 2017.

 

 



 

 

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Health Care Education Needed to Help Problem Gambling

The problem of bad gambling habits has been left out of the health services educational loop for some time and the industry needs to do more.  The issues of the past which were drugs and alcohol received the attention of the research funders but gambling remained a tolerated habit that goes unnoticed.

The introduction of online gambling gives the gambling addicted individual an extra layer of privacy away from prying eyes which has caused a surge in the problem gambling statistics. The recently article in the U.K.’s Guardian news points to this issue directly saying there is an estimated 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK.

Consultant psychiatrist at the National Problem Gambling Clinic, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, commented to the paper that a lack of training among healthcare professionals could have something to do with problem gambling being underestimated. Bowden-Jones said, “Even as an addictions psychiatrist, we weren’t taught about pathological gambling, I came across it by chance.”

Bowden-Jones said, “Physically, we see people who are very underweight because they’re not eating  either because they’re gambling or because they haven’t the money to do so. Addicts aren’t healthy because they sit in front of a screen at home. You can imagine the consequences of not moving for months or years on end.”

Support charity GambleAware saw 8,800 clients last year, obviously only a fraction of the estimates reported that problem gamblers are not accessing treatment and they do not know how to access help. Director of commissioning at the charity, Dr. Jane Rigbye says, “Although the impacts are as detrimental to family life, development and health, the kudos it’s given by other professionals isn’t as high as other addictions, partly because there’s no clear pathway for treating someone with a gambling problem.”

Healthcare professionals should be given more information as to how to help the people with gambling issues “They have the skills to deal with this,” Dr.Rigbye added, “They just need to have some awareness of where to push people for help.”

 

 

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Italian Champions Juventus Partners With F66.com

Sponsorship of sports teams especially football is big business both for the team and the sponsor. The internet has provided a vast new venue for viewing and wagering on sports so the rewards attached to advertizing with a top notch football team can be advantageous in spades.

The recent announcement that the Italian Serie A football club Juventus has signed a two season deal with the online gambling company from Asian F66.com will see the Juventus logos and other images used by F66.com in Asia with the exception of China, Vietnam and Thailand. The Serie A current champions Juventus will add an extra dimension to the profile of Asian facing betting company.

F66 has confirmed it will begin to organise competitions such as ‘Fly with the Team’. This competition will give fans a unique opportunity to travel with the actual team for a match in Europe.  As an added feature of the new sponsorship deal once a week former striker for the Juventus team Fabrizio Ravanelli will offer an exclusive video blog after the team’s league games.
Giorgio Ricci, Juventus’ co-chief revenue officer and head of global partnerships and corporate revenues said in a statement confirming the partnership deal “This is a new and important regional sponsorship in the areas where we are experiencing the most significant growth for our club,” Ricci  added, “F66 will be a benchmark partner to develop activities for our Asian fans.”

Simon David, a representative for F66.com spoke about the arrangement, "Juventus, with its consecutive successes, continues to be the champion of champions in Italy,” adding, “Serie A is very well followed in Asia and thanks to this partnership we are confident of reaching new peaks in the coming season.”

 

 

 

 

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Bitcoin Advancing Online Casino Access

It has been reported recently that the number of the virtual currency bitcoin ATMs is on the rise in Russia. Ten of them were just installed in five districts of Novosibirsk by a local startup. Last week, a different company announced their plans to install a hundred cryptocurrency ATMs in selected Moscow hotels and airport terminals beginning very soon. Meanwhile, the regulators in Russia have said that they will not legalize cryptocurrencies in the near future.

So what that means for the online gambling industry in the Eastern European market is that there will be more expansion of casinos accepting virtual currencies. The volatile Bitcoin has surpassed all expectations with the current price at over the unprecedented $5000.00 USD mark. This is a money that only exists on the internet until recently when Bitcoin cash came about.

Betting on Bitcoin has become a thrilling ride for those gamblers with nerves of steel and deep pockets. Where the currency is headed seems to be pointing only upward after news of a crackdown in China it bottomed out near $2,900 per coin on September 15, but it has since rallied to an all time high.

The number of online casinos that are now accepting Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is growing daily but there is a reason to be at least a little cautious when playing on Bitcoin sites. While most players are likely to have an excellent experience, it’s worth understanding the risks that come when venturing into unknown financial territory. Education is the key to getting the most out of using a cryptocurrency when playing at an online casino. While the transaction might take a while to confirm on the Blockchain there is no doubt that Bitcoin accepting locations are the fastest paying casinos on the web. Remember however the rogue’s gallery is full of pirate casinos that are stealing software from known developers so be wary of scams using Bitcoin as a draw.

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Swiss Money Gaming Act Legalizes Online Betting

Although it took many years to change the outdated Swiss gambling laws to include the digital age there is still some doubt that the recent new legislation will go ahead as planned. The old laws regarding gambling made no mention of the use of the internet for betting which created a window of opportunity  that offshore gambling services and product providers took advantage of by offering their wares to Swiss punters.  

Replacing the ancient 1923 and 1998 gambling rules the new Money Gaming Act passed by the government will take in both terrestrial and virtual betting for real money. Almost three years of discussion and debate the Money Gaming Act or Geldspielgesetz has finally passed into law, effectively legalized online casinos with some limits.  

One of the limitations for the online sector in Switzerland is that only operators with a Swiss land based presence will be allowed to run the websites. The finalized Money Gaming Act will be more specific in its compliance requirements.

There is a problem stirring with the rules however, calling for the censorship of non compliant offshore operators by internet service providers even though there will be compensation provided by the government. Opposition came as expected from SWICO (Swiss Association for Information, Communications and Organization Technology) with claims the action could be harmful to Switzerland’s digital economy.  Taxation rates were also changed with the legislation stating that only winnings from lotteries and sports wagers over CHF1 million will be taxed, and there will be no tax on cash prizes from terrestrial casinos.

Opposition is growing from youth who are from the Green Liberal Party, the Swiss People’s Party, and the Free Democratic Party. They are collectively organizing a referendum to overturn the Act, maintaining the internet censorship violating internet freedom. A short window of one hundred days is afforded the group which requires 50,000 signatures to initiate a referendum to overturn the Money Gaming Act.  

 

 


 

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Constant Smartphone Use Creating Gambling Issues

Online gambling can be addictive and the people running the industry are totally aware of the fact. The new internet and the advanced use of cell phones now called a smart phones has taken its place as one of the world’s most constantly used devises. There is someone on the internet twenty four seven playing a game or on Instagram, Facebook or some other domain while Twittering what was for lunch.  

There are reasons for an increase in internet betting addiction everywhere and it stems from our preoccupation with our phones. The overuse of anything can bring about social change that can be harmful to a society in general and extra difficult for the person suffering. Today we could be doing more to be aware of the need to stop and consider what else there is to do with spare time.

Playing gambling games for free on social media channels can be a great way to control the need to just let the dice roll. Online poker has created an incredible new way of connecting to others in a safe but changing virtual environment. The social aspect is one of the game’s most important elements even though it’s virtual its good clean entertainment. The only part that deters from the use of the internet for gaming for real money is its addictiveness.

The online gambling industry should remember that the problem gambler has a hard time resolving issues. To be fair operators should provide the means and more funding to help keep punters in touch with reality. Research has been done on the internet addictiveness and the knowledge should be applied. Perhaps warnings about how addictive an internet gambling game is should be posted at the casino door. Little things can add up to bigger things we should start by looking at the clock once in awhile to see how long the play went on and what we missed.

   

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Italy's Sisal Partners With Betsoft For Online Content

The sometimes controversial practice by some online casinos that limits the winnings on certain games has been investigated and proven as being unworthy of approval by consumers. Although the warning that a software provider may be producing games that are basically unfair is not always heeded by the punter. The internet provides a long term source of historical information of an online casino software content supplier’s reputation and past actions.

Betsoft Gaming is based in the Netherlands, and has grown in recent years to become one of the main players in the production of "3D" video slots. Betsoft's slots offers a wide variety of themes and an impressive array of bonus games. Betsoft games have been included in several software aggregation platforms, and it has made a rapid expansion into unregulated crypto currency casinos.

Now the firm has expanded once again by signing a deal to partner with Italian gaming company Sisal the first to operate in the gaming sector of Italy with a government license.

The company that has built a relationship of  trust and credibility with over 14 million Italian consumers during over sixty years in business, developing and managing games with expertise and high standards of integrity, transparency and security.

Betsoft’s director client relations Julian Camilleri commented on the partnership with Sisal, “Sisal is well known and highly familiar to the Italian iGaming community,” adding, “Being there from the very beginning, for 70 proven years of excellence, has afforded them a unique place in the market. Their experience in the field in combination with their full dedication to superior customer service, transparency and security, we are proud to be partnering with Sisal.”

Sisal’s digital product manager - casino, slot and soft games, Valentina Tripputi, also said, “This collection of AAMS-approved video slots is brilliant. We are very pleased with the range of themes and incredible innovative features in every game.”

 

 

 

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GambleAware Slams Gambling Industry Harm Reduction Efforts

GambleAware is an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling-related harm in Great Britain. GambleAware is a commissioning and grant-making body, not a provider of services. Guided by the Gambling Strategy, the charity’s strategic aim is to broaden public understanding of gambling-related harm as a public health issue and to help those that do develop problems get the support and help that they need quickly and effectively.

The charity has lashed out at U.K. gambling operators for failing to implement proper strategies for responsible gambling. The recent report from GambleAware stated operators are “poor” at training their staff members properly to promote good gambling habits for the consumer.
The critical report regarding employees the charity said the staff members have little in the way of practical training promoting a responsible gambling approach. GambleAware revealed that employees of operators did not have the confidence to “communicate effectively with customers how to minimise the risks of gambling”, and could inadvertently encourage customers to “chase their losses”.

In partnership with Revealing Reality the charity along with a request from the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) conducted the relevant research for the report.

Chief executive officer of GambleAware Marc Etches, commented,  “This is a loud wake-up call to the gambling industry; the voices in this report crystallise the challenge of delivering effective social responsibility on the front-line.

“Frankly, the gambling industry must do much better to ensure staff and customers know when, how and where to seek help.

“This report shows where the gaps are; significant investment of time and effort is needed to protect players better from gambling-related harm in the first place.”

John Hagan, Chairman of the IGRG, continued, “The gambling industry is working tirelessly to promote responsible gambling, and it was industry recognition of the importance of raising standards of messaging and training which led to the commissioning of this report.”


 

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