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The long-awaited opening of the German market has arrived

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The long-awaited opening of the German market has arrived
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Catalin Negoita, Commercial Manager at Kalamba Games

The long-awaited German legislation allowing online gaming nationwide finally enters into force this week. Even before fully opening up, the market has become a key focus for many industry players, with a multitude of factors making the potential of the region an attractive proposition.

Firstly, there is the sheer size of the country itself. With a population second only to Russia in Europe and relatively high average earnings, the potential value of the player pool is vast. The second reason is perhaps more subjective, but we have found that German players are fairly easy to satisfy. Their preferences are well established, which makes it straightforward for an online casino supplier to adequately cater for this sizeable new clientele.

Because of the country’s strong history of land-based gambling, classic games that resemble titles found in brick-and-mortar venues with popular themes like ancient Egypt and book games work very well with local players. Taking inspiration from what works in the land-based sector is therefore often a safe bet in Germany. Mobile usage is also a lot higher than your average market because of the good infrastructure so it’s worth considering creating games that are optimised for mobile.

Strict rules and regulations around responsible gaming and player protection have already presented some challenges for the industry with slot suppliers required to make fundamental changes to the makeup of their content.

Operators must adopt a €1 maximum stake limit on online slots, alongside a 5-second minimum duration on slot spins. Jackpots will be banned, removing an important acquisition and retention tool for operators. Monthly deposit limits of €1,000 will also be introduced and players must be offered tools to set spending and time limits, along with cooling-off periods.

These restrictions will influence the shape of the market with the main effect being that retention will have a greater focus than in many other markets with fewer restrictions.

Despite being a hot topic in the industry for quite some time, providers will now be trying even harder to retain more players for longer and will have to be creative in order to succeed. Legislative changes are part of every regulated market and it is key for operators and suppliers to embrace them and try to adapt as best we can. We are known to be a very innovative industry and I’m sure as the market matures, we will see pioneering new ways to acquire and retain players while ensuring maximum player protection.

Basically gamification, customer service and the quality of games in general will be the differentiator in the German market, and that is for both providers and operators to address.

Gambling will become more of a social thing because the maximum limit is so low. It’s not exactly going to be the thrill of winning big – it will be the social aspect and making sure that retention factors, gamification side missions and different functionalities are top notch.

You could say a laser-like focus on promotional tools and social gaming elements, such as those that we are introducing on our own Kalamba Bullseye platform, are going to be very important. Basically, everything that enhances the player experience will be key such as promotional tools, UX elements, and/or in-game gamification features. Similarly, game production values will have to be high and match those of other entertainment media.

At Kalamba, we believe that Germany will be a very strong market. The way to monetise the market will just be a little bit different there. There won’t be VIP players, so the industry will have to adjust to a volume model. Player values will decrease but because of the social acceptance of gaming, and slots in particular, the player numbers will increase and that’s how it will balance itself out over time.

Initially, when the legislation comes into force, we will just have to analyse the player behaviour and see in what direction the market is going and how we can fully capitalise on this new opportunity. Germany will be a market that could completely change with providers having to adapt to the new conditions as there will be a lot of new players entering the market now that it’s completely regulated.

We must work very closely with our partners to figure out the best way to make the player experience as engaging as possible and this will lead us to success in this new and exciting environment.

Central Europe

IGT Secures Instant Ticket Printing Deal with WestLotto

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International Game Technology PLC has announced that its subsidiary, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, has signed a new instant ticket services contract with Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG (WestLotto).

Under the terms of the agreement, IGT will provide a range of instant ticket production and services for WestLotto with unlimited potential. The Lottery will gain additional marketing support from IGT’s Instant Advantage programme that includes portfolio planning, game development, analytics, distribution and retail execution to provide the best player experience.

“WestLotto has worked with IGT on instant ticket production to grow our instants business responsibly. IGT provides top-level service and support for the development of each instant ticket game in the portfolio, and we are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership,” Andreas Kötter, CEO of WestLotto, said.

“As WestLotto’s instant ticket supplier of choice, IGT is committed to supporting a strategic, innovation-rich game portfolio that meets the needs of the Lottery’s players. With IGT’s Instant Advantage program we draw upon global and market-specific deep-dive analytics, benchmarks and databases to support continuous growth for WestLotto instant ticket sales and contributions to good causes,” Jay Gendron, IGT’s Chief Operating Officer for global lottery operations, said.

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Central Europe

Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria Charged Over Advertising Regulation Breaches

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An Austrian Senate ruling has concluded that two ads from Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria breached the Austrian press code of honour after it was discovered that promotional content was not marked as such.

The columns, written as editorial adverts, were published in Austrian newspapers Kronen Zeitung on 24 March and Kurier on 26 March 2021.

Whilst the two companies did label an editorial advert as such in Der Standard a few days previously, the Kronen Zeitung and Kurier stories were ruled to be identical but did not feature any such labels.

Under Austrian legislation, all advertised content must be pointed out to readers, however, Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria covertly advertised their brands.

The articles were judged to be in breach of points three and four of the Austrian press code of honour, which calls for distinctness and impartiality in editorial content.

The content of the advertisements promoted charity work in Austria which is being supported by the two gambling companies, which includes support for the homeless.

The Senate concluded that the articles should have been marked as advertisements and that readers were misled by the articles’ presentation as editorial content. It also called upon the publications to acknowledge this decision.

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Central Europe

Greentube partners with Jokerstar GmbH for German expansion

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Greentube partners with Jokerstar GmbH for German expansion
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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division, has partnered with German operator Jokerstar in a deal that will see the supplier‘s content available to a new audience in the country.

Titles including Diamond Link™: Mighty Emperor, Fruit King, Apollo God of Sun™ and Captain Venture: Treasures of the Sea, are available to Jokerstar German customers. The games will be distributed via Pragmatic Solutions’ platform.

Greentube’s content has proven success in the German land-based sector and the supplier has launched its portfolio with a number of online operators since new legislation came into force on 1st July, permitting nationwide online gaming.

Jokerstar is the brand of prominent operator Kling Automaten GmbH. Founded in 1954, Kling is a third-generation family-run casino operator with 165 Joker Casino arcades across Germany.

Julia Schagerl, Key Account Manager Germany at Greentube, said: “Kling Automaten GmbH is an operator with great experience in the German market and we are thrilled to be part of their expansion into the online sector. We see great potential in the German online market and our strategy is to partner with the country’s leading operators. Together with Jokerstar we will further enhance the reach of our content and bring premium entertainment to local players.”

Jürgen Kling, CEO of Jokerstar Casino, said: “We have ambitious plans for our online brand and it is key that we offer our customers the best available content. Greentube is a leading supplier with titles that are loved by global slot fans. Through this partnership, we will significantly strengthen our offering and further position ourselves as a top-tier operator in the regulated German market.”

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