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Two Members of Bulgaria’s Gambling Commission Face Organised Crime Charges

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Two Members of Bulgaria’s Gambling Commission Face Organised Crime Charges
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A current and former member of Bulgaria’s Gambling Commission have been charged with involvement in an organised crime group allegedly headed by Vassil Bozhkov.

Plamen Georgiev was a member of the commission at the time that it was headed by Ognemir Mitev, who is reported to be among those taken into custody in a succession of prosecutors’ raids on the commission. Todor Markov has headed the control activities department since 2019.

The Specialised Criminal Court declined an application by prosecutors to remand Georgiev and Markov in custody, and ordered them into house arrest. The court ordered Georgiev and Markov not to contact officials at the Gambling Commission so as not to influence the investigation.

Reports quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying that, including Bozhkov, eight people had been the subject of criminal charges so far. Twenty-five witnesses have been questioned in the investigation into Bozhkov’s alleged organised crime group.

Baltics

Wazdan and Betsson further expand their reach in the Baltic region

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Wazdan makes Balkan debut with MeridianBet
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Wazdan has further strengthened its partnership with Betsson Group, the leading operator in the Baltic region, by adding Russian language games to the newly launched Betsafe.lt website.

Betsson created a Russian-language website aimed at Lithuanian customers. 80 Wazdan games already certified in the country are now available at Betsafe.lt in Russian to attract further players in the region.

In 2022, 19 new Wazdan titles have already been added to the Betsafe.lt website, four of which, including Power of Gods™: Hades, are exclusively available to the Betsson brand in the country.

Wazdan titles offer customisable features, such as Volatility Levels™, and are available in 25 languages, as well as supporting all currencies and cryptocurrencies to further add a level of personalisation to gaming experiences.

Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “We have a very close working relationship with Betsson and we’re delighted to be taking our portfolio live on their Russian-language Betsafe.lt site.

“It has been an extremely strong start to the year for us and we’re delighted to keep our momentum going with this expansion.”

Kaido Ulejev, Commercial Director CEECA at Betsson Group, said: “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Wazdan since our first deal in 2020 and their portfolio has gone from strength to strength.

“Our Betsafe brand is celebrating its 16th birthday this month and we believe Wazdan games can add real value to our newly launched Russian-language website. We look forward to seeing how the localised games are received in Lithuania by our customers.”

 

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Baltics

Entain Makes $1B Bid for Olympic Entertainment Group

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British betting firm Entain Plc has allegedly made a $1bn buy-out offer for Estonian operator Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG).

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that Entain is looking to acquire the company’s online business, OlyBet, alongside its operations in Lithuania and Croatia. The deal would also include an option to buy Olympic’s outstanding business in early 2023 based on its performance.

OEG operates approximately 100 casinos across Europe, the majority of which are located in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and its acquisition would see the British betting firm become the region’s market leader. However, neither company has so far issued a statement regarding the rumoured takeover.

If the sale goes through, it will build on Entain’s acquisition of Enlabs AB. The €370m purchase brought the Swedish iGaming company’s Optibet brand — OEG’s chief rival in the online gambling space — under the umbrella of Entain. At the time, the company claimed Enlabs’ acquisition was in line with its expansion into new markets.

Making the acquisition even more likely is the current position of OEG’s owner, London-based private equity firm Novalpina Capital. The company bought OEG for €300m in 2018, but the firm has been rocked by recent developments.

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Baltics

CT Interactive Enters Lithuanian Market with TOPsport

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CT Interactive is about to debut in Lithuania after striking a deal that will see its games live at the TOPsport operator.

“The agreement will expand our reach and strengthen our stronghold in the regulated European markets,” Lachezar Petrov, CEO at CT Interactive, said.

A carefully selected game list from the company’s portfolio that will appeal to players in the specific market will soon be available.

“We have included bestsellers like 40 Treasures, Lucky Clover and Duck Of Luck along with many other titles that TOPsport players will enjoy and come back for more,” Milena Tsankarska, business development manager at CT Interactive, said.

A first of its kind for CT Interactive in the Lithuanian market, this collaboration sees the provider’s first steps in the Baltic country. The supplier’s games are already available in Latvia and Estonia.

“It is great to see our efforts to expand market share pay off with a new partner and new market entry. We value our relationship and co-operation with our new partner. We have high expectations for the market and couldn’t find a better operator to enter the market with,” Petrov said.

“It is a great pleasure to start working together with CT Interactive,” Gintaras Staniulis, CEO of TOPsport, said.

“We believe that a more diverse portfolio will help everyone to find for what they are looking for. We are familiar with CT Interactive content and hope that our clients will like it. We are excited to expand our TOPsport casino family with CT Interactive.”

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