Rest Of Bit8 Stake Acquired By Intralot

In 2015 Intralot confirmed that its Intralot Global Holdings subsidiary had acquired a 35% stake in sports book and casino platform Bit8. Included in the deal was a call option for Intralot to increase its participation in Bit8 up to 60% in the next two years if certain financial targets were met.

Intralot first entered into the partnership with Bit8 in order to commence a joint development and marketing approach in the international online sports betting platform market. Bit8 chief executive Dr Angelo Dalli said back in 2015, “We are very pleased to further our strategic cooperation with Intralot, which gives Bit8 the necessary global reach that will enable us to achieve our vision of offering the best gaming platform in the industry complemented with a wide range of professional services and solutions,”

Now in 2017 Intralot has agreed to a share purchase deal to acquire the remaining 65 % interest in the gaming technology company Bit8.  Bit8 and Intralot have worked on a number of projects including the development of Intralot’s PULSE customer relationship management platform.

Chief executive officer of Intralot, Antonios Kerastaris, commented,  “PULSE has become a major pillar of our Digital Transformation strategy for Lottery Modernisation and a strategic asset in our product portfolio.

“Bit8 becomes a full member of the Intralot family, carrying enormous promise for future growth and product development by playing an important role in the successful deployment of our ‘All About the Player’ product design strategy.”

Founder of Bit8 Angelo Dalli, also added,  “I am thrilled for the success of our cooperation with Intralot and today’s development that promises to bring a new cycle of growth, portfolio enhancement, and international recognition for Bit8.

“Like every founder who has worked hard for the creation of a successful company I am proud about the company’s evolution and look forward to our future cooperation to reach new targets.”

 

 

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Bede Gaming Expands Content With The Games Company

The customers of online gambling are always looking for something of interest that adds to the value of the entertainment accessed. Content variety and innovation keeps the player coming back which is the ultimate goal of the operator.

Bede Gaming has been powering online gambling regulated markets globally since its inception in 2012. The flexible, scalable, modular and fully open platform processes tens of millions of transactions per month.  Bede Gaming is headquartered in Newcastle upon-Tyne U.K. and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

Bede Gaming has announced it has significantly expanded its content portfolio by agreeing to a partnership with independent games development firm The Games Company. The Games Company’s Black Cow powered platform offers operators and suppliers a real open platform for delivering and distributing the best casino content.TGC has its HTML5 development team in Portugal but is headquartered in the U.K.

Managing Director of The Games Company, Hans Winkelmann, commented, “Bede Gaming is known for its high-performing gaming platform, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside them.”

“The integration process has been very straightforward, thanks to the platform’s flexibility and scalability. The speed of it means we are quickly accessible and the openness of Bede PLAY means our content is now available to any of their clients’ brands without need for separate integrations.”

“Bede’s platform offers a completely flexible gaming solution and robust security measures, and is fast establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally.”

CEO of Bede Gaming, Michael Brady, also commented, “Adding premium content to our offering is a key part of our ambition to become the first-choice gaming platform in regulated markets. Partnering with The Games Company is a major step towards achieving that goal.

“We’ve been hugely impressed with the high standard of games they offer, and with their games performing well, they make an attractive proposition for our customers.”

 

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U.K.Gambling Regulators Send Operators A Warning Letter

Facing the fact that gambling operators have been bending the rules regarding advertizing for their products has created a new awareness of the extent to which adverts for gambling is aimed at youth.

Concerns for the well being of vulnerable young people when it comes to being exposed to online betting has been documented on a number of occasions before by news outlets and watch dog organizations. The recent publishing of a letter sent to more than 450 operators in the U.K. states, “We are writing to advise you to amend or remove immediately any ads on your website or in third party media that are likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger … and generally available to view.”

“This relates particularly to freely accessible ads for play-for-free and play-for-money games and includes all graphics and images displayed on a website or in third party media.

“The use of particular colours, cartoons and comic book images, animals, child and youth-orientated references and names of games such as Piggy Payout, Fluffy Favourites, Pirate Princess and Jack and the Beanstalk are likely, alone or in combination, to enhance appeal to under-18s.”

The communication was signed by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Remote Gambling Association said that sanctions could be applied if sites failed to comply with the CAP code, which requires socially responsible marketing for gambling.

Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, Simon Blackburn, commented, “Councils have previously called for greater restrictions on gambling advertising to protect children and we are pleased to see the steps taken by the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority... It is vital our children and young people are kept safe and protected from the problems gambling can cause.”

Protecting the young from bad influences seems like a difficult task with so much at risk it is important to at least try to control the overt methods companies are currently employing.  

 

 

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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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