Leo VegasTo Enter German Sports Betting Market

Mergers and acquisitions are two of the driving forces behind the development of the online gambling industry with some being small and others large. A recent announcement that Stockholm listed online gambling group LeoVegas has moved to enter the German sports betting market is another example of an online gambling operator recognizing the potential of expansion into new territory.  

The recent acquisition of Malta located operator World of Sportsbetting Ltd for €2.6 million is a significant step towards success in the jurisdiction for Leo Vegas. The assets of the World of Sportsbetting will enable a smooth entry to the German wagering market. The company holds both a sports betting licence and casino licence in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The subsidiary, ‘LeoVegas International’ will be the vehicle for the acquisition of World of Sportsbetting Ltd which will further the expansion plans of Leo Vegas in the strict regulatory environment of Germany’s online sports betting market. A new LeoVegas Brand Ambassador for Deutschland was also named with German football legend Lothar Matthäus filling the role. The football star captained the Nationalmannschaft to World Cup glory at Italia 1990, and is a regular on German TV sports broadcasts.

Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO, LeoVegas, commented on the plans for the German market entry,  “The licenses give increased credibility when we collaborate with, for example, media partners, which is important in order to get the full effect on our market investments. Our new ambassadors also increase the local touch in our marketing, which we know creates loyalty and increased brand awareness.”

“LeoVegas can now also be even more local on the product side and, especially, add important payment solutions that are important for the German market. This is line with our strategy to enter regulated markets and gives LeoVegas the best possible conditions to accelerate further in the German market”



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Green Gaming Predictive Tool Launched By Mr Green

The online gambling industry has evolved into a business that has to have respect for the consumer. The youth of today are the people running this relatively new industry that has gone global with its impact on societies everywhere. The regulated market puts the responsibility in part on governments and the rest with the betting business itself. There are still many changes coming in Australia the UK and the USA. There are a few operators adapting early to some of those regulatory changes and are ahead of the curve when it comes to providing the wagering public with the tools to be responsible gamblers.

The way the online gambling industry can combat and foresee issues developing is by utilizing algorithms that can detect behaviour that is out of the ordinary. The strategic use of the information provided by the consumers if the consumer chooses to submit to the analysis of betting habits can help the person understand the risk factors.

Online gambling company Mr Green Ltd. which offers online casino and sports betting and is licensed and regulated by the MGA, Malta Gaming Authority in Malta has recently launched the new Green Gaming Predictive Tool that uses the advanced data analytics. Headquartered in Sliema, Malta the public company is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange the company has made a concerted effort to reduce problem gambling harm. The Green Gaming Predictive Tool will also provide a dashboard indicating risk levels.

Per Norman Mr. Green’s Chief Executive Officer was happy to reveal the firm’s new model that he hopes will excite regulatory bodies everywhere. Customer protection and responsible gambling compliance are what gambling regulatory authorities across Europe and elsewhere are concentrating on now. Mr. Greens’ responsibility efforts come at a time as many as 6.9 million European citizens take part in online gaming every month.




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Super Bowl Betting Beats The Record In Nevada

Super Bowl LII turned out to be one great game for spectators and gamblers who reportedly wagered a record amount on the contest. The underdog Philadelphia Eagles took home the trophy and some serious money changed hands in the process.

There was a record $158.58m (€128.1m) put down on the game in the state of Nevada which is one f the few states in the USA where it is legal to place bets on sporting events. The win by the Eagles upset the favourite team the New England Patriots by taking away the chance for the Patriots to win a sixth title during this historic game. The 41-33 win by the Eagles caused a few gamblers to step up and count their winnings which for those who bet large on the match, was substantial.

The 2017 Super Bowl between the Patriots and Atlanta Falcons realized a record $138.5 million which was beat by the 2018 numbers by $20 million. Books in Nevada were not that happy with their take on the game taking home only $1.1million the lost amount since 2011. There have only been two years since the Nevada Gaming Control Board began taking notes on the Super Bowl in 1991 that the books haven’t gained with 1995 and 2008 the only negative profit years.

The ESPN sports network revealed that a $3 million dollar and a $1 million dollar wager was placed on the Philadelphia win. The sports betting situation may be changing if the New Jersey attempt to have sports betting legalized in all of the USA goes as planned. Currently the US Supreme Court is about to decide in June the fate of the federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Major sports organizations such as the National Basketball League and the National Football League and others are arguing that the PASPA should be removed with over sixty percent of US citizens surveyed reportedly in favour of legalized sports betting.


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China Blocking Virtual Currency Web Domains

The rise and fall of crypto currencies is dependent on a number of factors and the online gambling industry is watching all them closely because each one can affect the value of virtual money and the success of the operator.

Recently it has been reported that the Chinese government has now focused on websites that deal with crypto currencies using the Great Firewall of China to stop the activity. It was revealed that financial regulators in mainland China are building “a list of measures” to halt the trading of crypto currencies. Those measures include “dealing with domestic and international websites.”

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) affiliated publication Financial News said the decision “to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual money trading or initial coin offerings” was made “to prevent financial risks.” The article continued, “Overseas transactions and regulatory evasion have resumed,” “Risks are still there, fueled by illegal issuance and even fraud and pyramid selling.”

Last year, digital currency exchanges in China halted Bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals on their platforms in an effort to improve anti-money laundering capabilities and prevent “illegal transactions.” The extension of the firewall in China for sites related to virtual funds trading is a move that was initially started back in January of 2017. That’s when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information announced a program to “clean up” the internet. The action made it even more difficult for Chinese residents to access content the government feels is damaging to Chinese citizens including internationally licensed online gambling sites.

Chinese traders however found a way to circumvent the upgrades by moving their operations to offshore platforms even after Beijing outlawed domestic crypto currency exchanges and fundraising activities. The article in the Chinese media also revealed, “ICOs and virtual currency trading did not completely withdraw from China following the official ban … after the closure of the domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions.”


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UKGC Speaks Out Against Gambling Industry Sexism

The times are changing even for the gambling industry with a call to end sexism in the sector. Everyone is keeping a close eye open for signs of trouble in the world of betting with regards to uncalled for advances and actions not appropriate to a fair and gender neutral environment especially in the workplace.

A call has been made by the Gambling Commission in Britain to bring an end to sexism in the gambling industry. Outgoing chief executive of the Commission Sarah Harrison referred to the ICE Totally Gaming event at the ExCeL, where she said the regulator could boycott the event unless the sexist attitude is changed.

It has been suggested that events in the past presented “scantily clad” women on stands promoting some gambling products and services.  Harrison said that her experience at a previous event prompted her to talk with top participants in the gambling industry about what she described as a “significant stain on the industry’s reputation.”  

Harrison spoke at the International Casino Conference  saying, “This is an industry where we have a number of talented, powerful and successful women,”  “Yet from walking around the exhibition you wouldn’t know this; instead you saw men representing their companies wearing expensive tailored suits whilst their female colleagues were expected to wear nothing more than swimsuits. I say bring this to an end now.” Adding, “And to go further, any future participation by the Gambling Commission in events like this will depend on there being change.” The European Casino Association and Clarion Gaming have issued an open letter in support of the UKGC.  

The Guardian news outlet reported that a portion of the letter read,  “In the spirit of the 21st century, when both women and men play strategic and decision-making roles in businesses, we encourage all exhibitors to mindfully represent support staff promoting their products at the show in a non-offensive and non-stereotyping way.”




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Chinese Roulette An Innovation From Win Systems

The online gambling industry has certainly evolved over the years and every once and awhile a new innovation comes to light that deserves mention. The reinvention of an old game has a cultural bent that will appeal to the Chinese gambler but also anyone else that likes to explore something new.

WIN Systems is a provider of casino solutions for the global gaming industry which specializes in management systems and gaming machines for all varieties of casinos and lotteries. It has created a new electronic roulette game under its Gold Club brand, called Chinese roulette.

This new product is very different form the version everyone is familiar with in the west. The table is laid out as a figure of eight and has the same 36 numbers plus zero. The gambler can wager on the alternative set of numbers which are based on the Chinese zodiac signs which include the dragon, tiger and dog as well as others that include the elements water, wood, fire and metal.

A unique feature of Chinese roulette is the Zero 50/50 protection aspect. If a card dealt sees the ball landing on zero, players are able to recover their bets if the value is higher than an eight and it is lost if lower than eight.

CEO of Win Systems, Eric Benchimol, commented on the innovation, “Win Systems continues to drive innovation in the electronic roulette space, and Chinese roulette is the latest addition to our quality range.

“Featuring a brand-new bet table, new symbols and the regionally-tailored figure of eight layout, all players, but particularly Asian ones, will enjoy the fresh approach to the established game.

“We’ve boosted our Gold Club range significantly in recent weeks with the launch of Ventura and Knockout, and this latest addition will confirm our position as the leading electronic roulette supplier to global operators.”






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Malta Gaming Authority Pulls Mafia Linked Betting License

Malta has a reputation as being a safe bet for registered online gambling firms that want to maintain a secure environment. Unfortunately the arrest of one of Italy’s top crime bosses involved in online betting has tainted that hard earned goal.

Benedetto Bacchi, the ‘betting king’ reportedly controlled a network of 700 betting shops across Italy has been detained by Italian police. Now the Malta Gaming Authority has announced that it has suspended the remote gaming license of Phoenix International Ltd, which has been operating a number of Bacchi’s online betting sites.  

Recent raids on dozens of internet cafés by Italian police, in a Palermo focused anti-mafia operation called ‘Game Over’ has resulted in 23 arrested individuals. The operation was created to undo a clan in Palermo whose members were charged with various crimes such as money laundering, fraud and drug trafficking.

A police spokesperson commented, “It is evident that such results would have never been achieved without the crucial intervention of the mafia association which forced betting agencies operating in its heartlands to market Bacchi’s gambling platforms,”

Rodolfo Ruperti, Chief officer of Palermo Police also said, “The mafia changes its skin and, in this case, it makes deals with businessmen capable of securing them big profits,”

The Malta Gaming Authority suspension notice told Phoenix to, “indefinitely suspend all gaming operations, cease to register new players, suspend all transactions on all websites, including deposits and withdrawals, and submit all data and documentation requested by the Authority.”

The betting shops were known as ‘data transmission centres’ which featured terminals that connected to the Malta-licensed Phoenix gambling sites. The MGA also told the public that any Phoenix-related sites that continue to claim to be operating under an MGA license are not legally authorized. These unauthorized operators allegedly generated undeclared revenue of €1 million every month.  


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Coolbet Hooks Up With Microgaming Poker Network

The odds are relatively low on a start up venture success in the online sports book field and the competition is fast and furious. There are some innovations that do stand out however and one trait that attracts loyalty in the virtual online gambling world is transparency. A recent announcement that a relatively new online sports book Coolbet had hooked up with Microgaming Poker Network to the cheers of the poker community. MPN has a long held record for reliability. 

The Coolbet brand was launched back in 2016 and is owned by StayCool OÜ. The firm works with its own custom sports betting platform that targets the Nordic jurisdictions. Based in Estonia, Coolbet also offers casino and live Us online casino gaming, and now poker on the MPN community.

Coolbet was the first sports book to show the turnover and amount of the bets for a specific match. “That is unique and part of what makes us special. We want to be completely open with information to our customers. In an industry with still lots of secrets and where you don’t know which persons are behind a company we do things the opposite. It’s all about trust.” said, Jan Svendsen, the CEO of Coolbet.

The Director of Network Games at Microgaming, Jean-Luc Ferriere, commented on the partnering, “With their management group having 90 years’ combined online gaming experience, Coolbet has a clear strategy when it comes to its customers and target markets. The MPN is the perfect home to help Coolbet achieve its goals.”

Anders Karlsen, Coolbet’s COO, also spoke on the alliance, “By joining the MPN, our brand and our players will benefit from a highly experienced and knowledgeable poker team. We want to bring sports book players closer to poker and vice versa, and we believe we can achieve this strategy by working with the best in the industry.”


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UK CMA Questions Online Gambling Operator Promotions

The online gambling industry in the United Kingdom has successfully created an environment that the casual gambler feels safe and comfortable enjoying. This is in part due to the number of safeguards imposed by the UK Gambling Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority.

The CMA launched an investigation in 2016 which questioned the £4.7 billion online gambling sector and whether it was breaking consumer protection laws through the promotions. The investigation was conducted after complaints about betting firms "trapping" players' money and making them play for longer times. The CMA has announced that operators must stop misleading online 'free bet' offers or face reprisals. These proposed changes will benefit players who will not need to play extended games before fund withdraw is possible.

The bonus offers were made to attract and retain more players which gave bonus funding after gamblers invested their own finances. Firms that fail to implement the changes will experience regulatory reprisals from the UK Gambling Commission. Ladbrokes, William Hill and PT Entertainment have agreed to comply and change their promotions.

George Lusty, the CMA project director, commented,  "Gambling always carries a risk, but players should never face unfair restrictions that prevent them from getting at their money.

"Firms mustn't stack the odds against players by putting unfair obstacles in their way or making it difficult for them to stop gambling when they want to.

"We welcome the commitment from these leading firms to address the problems our investigation uncovered, by making important changes to their terms and conditions.

"We now expect others to follow, and look forward to the Gambling Commission's continued work to make sure all operators in this sector play fair with their customers' money."

Gambling Commission executive director Sarah Gardner also commented, "We expect all Gambling Commission-licensed businesses to immediately review the promotions and sign-up deals they offer customers and take whatever steps they need to take, to the same timescales agreed by the three operators, to ensure they comply.”


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NFL Commissioner Focused On Integrity

The approach of the fifty second Super Bowl American football match has brought attention once again on the continued debate over legal betting on sports in the USA. The USA is in the process of a possible expansion of its national sports betting laws with the State of New Jersey leading the cause. The Garden State is calling for nationwide regulation of sports betting by overturning the federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The law effectively bans sports betting throughout the United States with the exception of four states, three of which have sports lotteries, including Delaware, Montana and Oregon, with the fourth exemption being the state licensed sports books operating in Nevada.

The major professional sports leagues in the country were against this expansion but a number have recently stated that they could support the change, if it were of benefit to the respective competitions.

Recently the NBA basketball league revealed its idea of the possible changes if the Supreme Court opts to introduce wider regulations.

The National Football League’s Roger Goodell is currently the Commissioner and has now made his opinion known reporting that he does anticipate change, but called for an ongoing focus on integrity in the sport.

Goodell spoke to ESPN, “To me it it’s very clear, which is about the integrity of the game, you don’t want to do anything that’s going to impact negatively on the integrity of our game.

“You want to be certain that there are no outside influences on our game and that fans don’t even have any issue with that, they understand, whether there’s a perception or not, that there’s no influence in our game - and that’s something that we stand firmly behind on the integrity of our game.

“We see changes going on; obviously I don’t think 10 years ago most people would have looked at having an NFL franchise or an NHL franchise in Las Vegas.”




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