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Two in Three People Experiencing Gambling Problems Keep Issue Hidden

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As many as 2 in 3 adults (64%) in Great Britain who have experienced any gambling problem have kept their experience hidden, new research from GambleAware has revealed. With almost 2 in 5 (39%) of those who hadn’t opened up stating feelings of stigma such as shame, guilt and fear of judgement represent key barriers to reaching out for support – the charity is issuing a call to end damaging stigma and encourage those who may be experiencing gambling harms to “open-up about gambling”.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “It’s alarming to see the number of people who are struggling in isolation. As a hidden addiction, gambling harms can be incredibly hard to spot from the outside. It is therefore critical that people impacted are aware of the wide range of support services available, and that they feel safe to come forward. Anyone can be impacted by gambling harms, but the first step is to open up and have that first conversation, ideally as early as possible.”

The campaign launch comes as research also suggests that most of the public believe certain gambling products, such as instant win games, are addictive, indicating how gambling harm can affect anyone and the importance of building empathy for those experiencing harm. Specifically, over seven in ten (71%) respondents said they believe instant win games are very or fairly addictive, followed by 64% for scratch cards and 62% for casino games.

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Noteworthy football commentator Clive Tyldesley said: “I think that since I’ve started to work with charities and meet and talk with both people who gambled which were in recovery and bereaved family members, the thing that has struck me is how normal and unremarkable their backgrounds invariably are. Harmful gambling really can affect anyone and very often those suffering show no outward signs of their issues. It’s a silent, invisible problem because too often the gamblers disappear into their own feelings of embarrassment and guilt. They think they’re to blame when they are not, they think they’re alone when many others are wrestling with the same issues. Getting them to open up and talk is half the battle to beating the problem, either with people close to them or via the professional support the GambleAware website offers. The first conversation is maybe the most difficult but it’s the most soothing and the most important too.”

Professor Dame Clare Gerada said: “When I opened the doors of the nation’s first Primary Care Gambling Service a few short years ago, I was a relative newcomer to the challenges surrounding gambling. However, since then, my eyes have been thoroughly opened.

“Gambling is an addiction which can only be described as ‘uniquely’ awful: the ruin it wreaks on people’s lives can be complete and multi-layered; the collateral damage is also considerable as families and loved ones suffer alongside. Its inherently hidden nature means that, at the moment, people have to see their lives collapse around them before they get the help they desperately need. It doesn’t need to be like this. There is an incredible breadth of support service, from how to deal with debt, to how to stop gambling completely which people can access for free through the National Gambling Support Network, and I urge anyone concerned about their gambling to do so.”

Positively, the research also supports the benefits of opening up, as three out of four (76%) who had talked about their problems stated they felt better after speaking to someone. With gambling harms often manifesting as intrinsically “hidden” and isolating, GambleAware is aiming to bring to the surface the power of conversations and provide reassurance that help is never far.

The campaign has been developed in close collaboration with the gambling harms lived experienced community, and is supported by a range of expert and influential voices including ex-Love Islander Scott Thomas, who has previously experienced gambling harms.

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Scott Thomas, Entrepreneur and Presenter, said: “It’s an incredibly scary thing to first tell someone that you’ve got a gambling problem. Many people assume it’s just because you can’t handle your money, but it needs to be viewed as seriously as any other mental health condition. I was terrified when I first opened up about the problems I had been having but, once I did, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I no longer had to hide. I want the same to happen for anyone out there who feels like they might be struggling on their own.”

There is a vast range of resources available and anyone who is worried that gambling might be affecting themselves or someone they love are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool to get free and confidential support tailored to them and their specific needs.

Elissa Hubbard, who has lived experience of gambling harms, said: “Every day was full of anxiety – trying to keep my gambling a secret, whilst finding opportunities to do it more. People think you can ‘just stop’, but you can’t… it’s so easy to be dismissed, and I didn’t want anyone to think bad of me. Finding help changed everything. I discovered that by keeping quiet, it helps no one, and when you start to talk about it, people start to understand you.”

GambleAware has also created tools to help users calculate the time and money spent gambling, served with recommendations in line with the internationally proven Lower Risk Gambling Guidelines. These are expected to become available from early December as part of a soft launch on the GambleAware website.

Dr Ellie Cannon, medical expert and commentator, said: “Gambling harms – or the negative consequences of gambling – are a complex issue that goes far beyond just financial challenges. It can lead to poor mental health, physical health, and relationships break down. They way these issues manifest will vary from person to person, but being aware and recognising the early warning signs of spending increasing amounts of time, money and hiding your gambling can help get people to a better place, sooner.”

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Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Too often we see the devastating impacts of harmful gambling, and our white paper outlines a host of new measures we’re implementing to protect those most at risk. A key element of our plans is the introduction of a statutory levy on gambling companies to raise sufficient, sustainable and trusted funding for research, prevention and treatment of gambling related harm. Stigma is the biggest barrier preventing people from seeking help, and I welcome GambleAware’s vital campaign which is raising awareness of the issue and helping people get the support they need.”

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The largest exhibition of the gaming industry in Bulgaria marks its 15 year

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The largest trade exhibition of the gaming industry for Central and Eastern Europe – BEGE, which takes place in Sofia, marks its 15th anniversary this year. The event will be held on November 27th and 28th at the Inter Expo Center, Sofia, and dozens of companies from Europe, the USA, and Asia have already announced their participation.

The day before the start of the exhibition, the traditional BEGE Awards will be handed out. The glamorous ceremony will take place on 26 November 2024 in a sophisticated setting with the participation of representatives from across the sector. The awards are presented to individuals and companies with significant contributions to the gaming and entertainment industry.

During the exhibition, the Eastern European conference of the gaming industry – EEGS will be held, again at the Inter Expo Center. It is a preferred platform for experts who have the opportunity to learn about regulatory changes, technological developments and the latest trends in the sector.

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In 2023, dozens of exhibitors from three continents presented their latest products. “We are glad that hundreds of professionals and experts visited BEGE and our expectations for this year are to welcome even more people. For 15 years, the event has become one of the most influential exhibitions in Europe for the sector, gathering experts, professionals and companies from all over the world, covering all verticals of the online and offline segments of the industry,” explained Natalia Baevska, Project Manager of the exhibition.

BEGE provides an opportunity to make business contacts, present the latest products from the industry, which successfully applies the latest technological innovations, including artificial intelligence.

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Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024

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Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.

 

Esports Unstoppable Rise

Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.

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Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”

 

Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR

Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.

Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”

 

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Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events

The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.

Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”

Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.

 

About SOFTSWISS 

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SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

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Week 8/2024 slot games releases

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Here are this weeks latest slots releases compiled by European Gaming

Yggdrasil, a leading iGaming publisher, is taking to the skies in an ethereal adventure alongside Boomerang Games in their latest release, Skylantis 2 WildFight™. The 5×4 title sees a plethora of heroes fill the reels located high up in the clouds, as players look to gain wins across 178 Connecta Ways, where any connected symbol makes a winning line.

Yggdrasil heads to the skies in Boomerang Games’ feature-filled Skylantis 2 WildFight™

 

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Greentube,  is braving the depths of the ocean in its latest feature-rich release Diamond Link™ Almighty Kraken™. This 5-reel, 25-win line slot offers players the chance to win great treasures by way of the Diamond Link™ feature and three lucrative Wild, Sticky and Colossal spins. Whenever players collect six diamond symbols, Diamond Link™ begins. Players receive three free spins in which they must collect diamond symbols boasting a cash value or a jackpot values.

Uncover pirate treasure in Greentube release Diamond Link™ Almighty Kraken™

 

Independent slots studio Thunderkick is bolstering the popularity of its player-favourite franchise with the release of Beat the Beast: Dragon’s Wrath, the sixth entry in its Beat the Beast series. Set upon a lake in the middle of mountains and towering castles, players are presented with symbols such as swords, rings and dragons upon the game’s 5×3 grid. Winning combinations must land across the slot’s nine paylines to award a win.

Thunderkick unveils latest entry in popular franchise with Beat the Beast: Dragon’s Wrath

 

Nailed It! Games, an independent Krakow-based games studio, is embarking on another intergalactic adventure as it launches a sequel to one of last year’s hits with Cosmic Moon. Returning to the cosmos, the title blends a futuristic space theme with retro iconography via its classic symbol design. These must form a matched combination across the slot’s 25 paylines to award a win, with diamond wild symbols aiding in creating these wins.

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Wazdan, has given the Extremely Light makeover to its popular retro title by introducing Hot Slot: 777 Rubies Extremely Light. An eco-friendly version of the original title, the revamped version offers smoother gameplay, faster loading times and less drain on the battery life of devices.

 

Supremeland Gaming’s Powderkeg Studios has announced the highly-anticipated global launch of its enchanting new slot game Red Panda Rising. Available to players globally, Red Panda Rising promises to captivate players with its unique theme, stunning graphics and engaging gameplay.

 

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In the latest release from Play’n GO, players shall join the ranks of the Spartans and stand alongside King Leonidas against Xerxes and his vast Persian army. Bringing players to the front lines of one of history’s most iconic tales of heroism, Undefeated Xerxes stands strong beside other Greek Mythology-themed slots, including Gates of Troy, Rise of Olympus, and Rich Wilde and the Shield of Athena.

Play’n GO joins the Spartan ranks in Undefeated Xerxes

 

Light & Wonder, Inc. announced the release of its inaugural Progressive Product games, Thundering Shenlong and Thundering Gorilla, from specialist slot provider Lightning Box, one of Light & Wonder’s in-house studios. The latest hits in Lightning Box’s portfolio have evolved from Lightning Shenlong and Lightning Gorilla to become the studio’s first ever Progressive Product titles. Thundering Shenlong and Thundering Gorilla showcase the Progressive Jackpot, including the Grand and Major Jackpot prizes.

LIGHTNING BOX™ UNVEILS LANDMARK DUAL LAUNCH WITH THUNDERING SHENLONG™ AND THUNDERING GORILLA™

 

Gaming Realms, a leading provider of mobile-focused gaming content, travels to the bamboo forests of Asia and aligns with Lunar New Year celebrations in its latest release, China Shores Slingo, a reimagining of a Konami classic. Having launched exclusively in the United States to positive results, the slot now makes its full worldwide debut.

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Having already put together a portfolio of SwinttSelect slots that’s visited all four corners of the globe, this month hot-shot software provider, Swintt, is mining deep beneath the earth’s surface in Dynamite Boost – an exciting, gold mine-themed game that’s packed with explosive features. Played out in front of a backdrop of glittering caves and gold-laden carts, the new subterranean slot features all manner of mining-themed paraphernalia across its five reels.

Swintt strikes gold in Dynamite Boost

 

Yggdrasil is bringing back a player hit with Rainbow Ryan 2, starring the high-performing synced reels from the original title but with unique features such as Louder Multipliers, Encore Respins and a lucrative Jackpot Wheel. The guitar playing leprechaun Rainbow Ryan makes a return in this sequel to Yggdrasil’s 2017 release, with the new iteration offering the possibility to sync between two and six reels, seeing them land with the exact same symbols, increasing the chance of a winning combination.

 

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Push Gaming heads to the Arctic in a title focused on instant win prizes, with its latest release Big Bite. Played across 5×3 reels, the wintery water adventure depicts polar bears, seals, penguins and more frozen-themed icons. These are joined by a wild, which substitutes for all base game symbols, making wins across 10 paylines easier to achieve.

 

Expanse Studios has just announced the launch of their latest creation, 100 Super Icy, a classic fruit slot with a refreshing twist! Boasting a generous RTP of 97.10% and medium volatility, this 4×5 slot promises players an exhilarating gaming experience filled with excitement and frequent wins.

 

 

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Stakelogic invites players to take a trip to a hidden paradise deep in the heart of the South Pacific Sea. Upon arrival, players will be greeted by some whacky, angry-looking birds, but fear not, these hold the key to all of the riches and secrets this island has to offer. Players can uncover lost treasures in Tiki Tiki Hold ‘N’ Win by landing Bonus Symbols. Landing three triggers the Fortune Wheel, while four and five trigger the Mega and Epic Fortune Wheels.

 

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