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The National Lottery Changes Operator for First Time in 30 Years

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1 February 2024 marked the start of the Fourth National Lottery Licence and the handover to Allwyn as the operator of The National Lottery.

This is the first time that responsibility for operating The National Lottery has changed hands in its 30-year history. During this time, it has made a huge difference to life in the UK – not just for the millions of prize-winners, but in generating over £48 billion that has been invested in almost 700,000 community, sport, arts and heritage projects. This has all been made possible by those who distribute and use National Lottery funds for amazing projects.

Allwyn will build on the success of the last three decades and is committed to investing significantly over the coming 10 years to reignite the magic that lies at the heart of The National Lottery. Allwyn will gradually introduce changes over the course of the next few years that will strengthen the bond between The National Lottery and consumers, with many more people playing a little, which will lead to more money raised for National Lottery-funded projects.

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The National Lottery has already paid out over £92 billion in prize money and created over 7000 new millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch in 1994, including more than a millionaire a day on average last year. Allwyn’s games strategy over the course of the licence aims to create even more new millionaires and prize winners.

The high street will continue to play an important role over the coming decade with over 40,000 retailers selling National Lottery products. Allwyn has plans to grow this retail presence even further, with stores standing to benefit from greater sales support, more investment in marketing, new points of sale and, over time, significant upgrades to their technology infrastructure underpinned by Vodafone’s mobile connectivity. Allwyn has already announced a 50% increase in the number of team members supporting retailers.

In addition to in-store changes, Allwyn is investing in a broader technology transformation programme to support the modernisation of The National Lottery, including the move to a new technology platform with Scientific Games. This technology modernisation will enable a richer and more relevant experience for individual players, while also using data to support healthy play, reflecting Allwyn’s commitment to ensure The National Lottery sets the benchmark in this area over the coming years.

The creation of social value is the bedrock of The National Lottery and will shape Allwyn’s custodianship. Allwyn is integrating ambitious environmental and social commitments into every part of how it will operate The National Lottery. Allwyn has started on a journey to create a net zero National Lottery, and ensuring it is inclusive and accessible. Allwyn will also directly invest a ring-fenced £1 million every year from its own profits into social value initiatives, in collaboration with its operational and business partners, to help deliver a positive legacy.

Justin King CBE, Chair of Allwyn UK, said: “We are thrilled to become the new operator of The National Lottery. It is a privilege and a responsibility that we take incredibly seriously. Over the next 10 years, our commitment is to increase returns to National Lottery-funded projects and build a legacy of change for good.”

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Andria Vidler, CEO of Allwyn UK, said: “On Thursday we start the important process of doing more with The National Lottery for the benefit of future generations. It will be a journey that will take time – but one that has many incredible milestones along the way, offering us more opportunities to reflect on all the good that comes from it. This year is particularly significant, with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and The National Lottery’s 30th birthday. We want the birthday year, and the decade that follows, to be full of more unmissable and unforgettable moments for more people in more ways.”

The Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP, UK Government Minister for Sport, Gambling and Civil Society, said: “People up and down the country have been playing The National Lottery for almost 30 years and it will continue to be one of the nation’s favourite pastimes.

“Allwyn’s new licence will see The National Lottery fund even more important initiatives through its commitment to raising millions more pounds for good causes.

“From mental health services and maintaining heritage and the arts, to supporting our Olympians and Paralympians, The National Lottery will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of millions.”

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England and Chair of The National Lottery Distributor Forum, representing all 12 National Lottery good cause distributors across the UK, said: “The National Lottery makes a massive positive impact on people’s lives in villages, towns and cities across the UK, helping communities and organisations to thrive. We’re excited by Allwyn’s vision to grow The National Lottery and to increase the funds it generates for these important projects. National Lottery players make a real difference to the fabric of our society every day. And Allwyn’s plans for a modernised National Lottery will help fund so many good causes in the long term, supporting us as we make the magic of The National Lottery even greater than before.”

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Katie Mahon, Artistic Director of Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company, said: “Without National Lottery Funding we wouldn’t be able to deliver the volume of support that we do to the local community who are really struggling in current times. To receive support from a funder that understands practical needs such as food parcels and housing alongside arts and cultural engagement is a rarity, and really sets National Lottery funding apart.”

Muntazir Dipoti, National President of The Fed, and an independent retailer, said: “In my capacity as National President of The Fed, I know many of our members have sold The National Lottery since it launched. They’ve been able to see first-hand the huge impact it has had on the UK over that time – through making big winners, of course, but also by funding local community projects and national events like the Olympics and Paralympics. And, in my role as an independent shop owner, having The National Lottery in my store is a no-brainer– many of our loyal customers buy their tickets from us week in, week out. So in addition to boosting my bottom line by selling tickets, it also gets more people through the door of my shop. I’ve had some great conversations with Allwyn over the last year and I know how seriously they’re taking their commitment to retailers, so I’m really excited to see what the next decade brings.”

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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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