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Joint CEO Letter: Driving Sustainability Through A Focus On Safer Gambling

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In a joint letter, the CEOs* of bet365, Betsson, Entain Group, Flutter Entertainment, Kindred Group, and William Hill International have united to outline their collective ambition to foster a more sustainable online gambling sector in Europe. The letter features in EGBA’s recently published annual Sustainability Report 2021/22.

Over the past year, we have seen the gaming and betting sector’s commitment to protecting its customers come under close scrutiny from politicians and regulators across Europe. Now, more than ever, the entire sector must come together and redouble its efforts to promote safe and sustainable gambling.

Be it having a bet on the World Cup, or playing a game of poker, gambling is still one of Europe’s most popular forms of entertainment and it is enjoyed safely by many millions of adults across Europe. But we know that for some, it can lead to harm to them and their immediate social circle.

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As Europe’s leading online gaming and betting companies, it is entirely in our interest to have long-term customers who enjoy a bet, do so within their means, and consider gambling for what it is – a great form of entertainment. We therefore take our responsibilities to protect our customers very seriously.

Our teams are constantly working to provide our customers with a safe and sustainable experience through the promotion of safety tools, messaging, and information to help consumers be protected and well informed about the risks of gambling.

This not only helps us to build trust with our customers as responsible and trustworthy businesses, but also with other important stakeholders in society. It is the right thing to do by our customers and the commercially sound thing to do. Safe and sustainable gambling is good for all.

Investing in a strong culture of safer gambling

We are investing heavily in the latest tools and technologies to provide our customers with the safest and most personalised experience possible. It is therefore positive and encouraging that half of our European customers – nearly 15 million of them – are now using the safer gambling tools we provide.

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A fundamental part of our efforts is the use of behavioural science to help identify and intervene with customers where there are markers of harm. We are doing more to educate our customers about these behaviours and signpost the appropriate self-help tools available to them, such as helplines.

In fact, we are now communicating more than ever to our customers about safer gambling – and in an increasingly personalised way. Last year, we collectively sent 38 million communications to our customers to promote safer play, with 60% of these communications being tailored to the customer based on their own individual playing behaviour.

Through these preventative actions we aim to promote a strong culture of safer gambling across the entirety of our businesses. To embed this culture even further, we have stepped up internal trainings for employees – 80% of our 57,000 employees in Europe have now received dedicated safer gambling training – and many of our companies now link corporate remuneration to this objective.

Working towards a better understanding of problem gambling

It is a learning curve, and we strive to learn from past mistakes, implement changes when needed, and improve our efforts to protect our customers, including by contributing to improvements in research and greater understandings of problem gambling.

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For example, earlier this year the EGBA published a study on how European countries monitor and report problem gambling. The study highlights the clear diversity in national approaches. It showed that many European countries still lack national surveys and there is a need to move towards a more common approach, based on evidence, best practices and markers of harm.

Going a step further to promote responsible advertising

Working towards sustainability also means taking public concern about the volume and placement of advertising seriously. Ahead of the upcoming World Cup, we took stock of our obligations as responsible advertisers, publishing the results of the first independent monitoring exercise of EGBA’s responsible advertising code, which we apply across our European operations.

The exercise found the code to be a strong baseline for responsible advertising practices and EGBA members[1] already correctly apply most of its measures, particularly on content moderation. It also identified ways to improve the code and we are now considering these.

We want to raise the bar and set a positive example for the rest of the sector – because we cannot drive change alone. We invite Europe’s other licensed operators to join us in our sustainability agenda.

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At the same time, we also need regulatory frameworks that are predictable, stable, evidence based, and mindful of customer behaviour. These frameworks should benefit customers and ensure they remain within the regulated market – because this is where they are best protected against unaccountable black-market operators who offer none of the protections of the regulated industry. So that customers always receive the best protection, regulation should be designed in a way that ensures the regulated market is always more attractive to them than the black market.

Our collective ambition is to set a course towards a more sustainable online gambling sector through a focus on safer gambling and a commitment to taking meaningful action. Through this report we aim to lead by example and be transparent about our efforts and, by doing so, demonstrate that we are committed to providing sustainable entertainment for many more years to come.

 

Source: EGBA

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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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