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Slovak Gambling Authority raided again! Secured were especially the so-called crypto-mining machines


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Slovak Gambling Authority raided again! Secured were especially the so-called crypto-mining machines
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The Gambling Regulatory Authority seized 54 illegal gaming machines in a recent nationwide raid. This is the second successful move carried out by the Authority in the last four months to combat this type of illegal gambling.

Seized were especially the so-called mining machines and quiz machines. The majority were taken based on searches carried out by inspectors of the Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH). “As these gaming machines have not been issued or granted a valid licence, we consider them illegal. Our staff actively monitor these machines’ occurrence; most of them have been seized due to their diligent work. Some have also been seized because of complaints from the players,” said general director URHH, Dávid Lenčéš.

The recent seizures were carried out in all regions in accordance with § 81 article 11 of the Gambling Act in cooperation with the police force. According to the director general of the URHH, the role of the police officers was to maintain public order and security of the employees as public officials, as not every seizure went smoothly. “It has happened in the past that the office staff has faced physical attacks or had to remove some equipment by professional locksmiths. Illegal operators sometimes try to make the seizure impossible by fixing machines firmly against the floor or the wall.”

According to the Gambling Act, small operators, such as pubs, cannot operate gaming machines. The URHH must license each gaming machine since it is the only official body authorised to issue a licence.

However, some speculators try to bypass the law by operating machines that have been “authorised” by other entities or posing as knowledge competitions or cryptocurrency mining machines. In each case, URHH carefully investigates whether a gambling game is taking place on the device, regardless of its name, visual elements, or type of device.

The most significant number of machines was seized in the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, representing half of all. Nine machines were held in the Košice Region, 8 in the Banská Bystrica Region, 7 in the Nitra Region, 2 in the Žilina Region and 1 in the Prešov Region. Among the 54 machines seized nationwide, the majority were cryptocurrency mining.

A “mining machine” is a device that pretends to be used to mine cryptocurrencies, and a “quiz machine” seems to be a knowledge game. In both cases, the game played on these machines fulfils the characteristics of a gambling game. However, on these gambling games, the Authority is not granted an individual licence; if someone is operating them without a licence, it is undoubtedly an illegal activity.

Operating gambling without an issued licence is prohibited in Slovakia.

In many cases, these were premises where illegal technical equipment had been seized. “Their operators are unteachable, as they operate illegal machines again despite previous experience. On the other hand, there are more and more machines whose owners are persuaded by the vision of profit and place unlicensed machines on their premises. According to § 95 article 2 point h) of the Gambling Act, such operators are liable to a fine between 20 000 EUR and 250 000 EUR,” said Dávid Lenčéš. The penalty of up to 500 000 EUR faces the owners of the gambling machines if it is proven that they are operating gambling without an individual licence or a general licence. The sealed gambling machines have been taken to the URHH warehouse, from where they will go to further proceedings.

Central Europe

Neccton partners with Germany’s first online slot provider

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Neccton partners with Germany’s first online slot provider
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Responsible gambling software experts bring the power of mentor to players of Die-Spielbank.de, the first state-owned operator of virtual slots within Germany

Market-leading compliance software experts Neccton have landed another major partner in Germany, with Sächsische Spielbanken-GmbH & Co. KG. Their online slots product went live in January 2023 under Die-Spielbank.de.

As the first state provider allowed to run virtual slot games with real-money prizes, the operator has attracted a lot of attention; therefore the company has acted wisely when it comes to player protection, adopting Neccton’s mentor software as its RG and AML solution.

Neccton’s success in Germany’s burgeoning online gaming market is both a testament to the company’s background in RG research, and the industry’s forward-thinking approach to player protection.

Neccton’s software was developed as a result of over 15 years of academic research by Dr Michael Auer, company director and head of development. Dr Auer is regarded as one of the world’s leading lights in academic RG research, and mentor is the very fruit of his work. Dr Auer’s research is also commonly cited by regulatory bodies in operator guidelines.

As a result, Die-Spielbank.de players are now protected by mentor’s AI-driven real-time data analysis, which tracks possible problematic gambling behaviour and works to help both players and operators to identify potential issues early. The tool recognises triggers such as a significant increase in deposit frequency, and alerts the operator and directly contacts the player, helping the end user make better-informed decisions.

mentor also includes modules for Fraud, AML and a CRM so Neccton’s customers can solve many issues with a single supplier.

Dr Auer said of the new partnership: “It speaks volumes that so many operators in this new market have opted to work with us for their player protection and more. Working with us means that player issues can be detected early – but also, my research has shown that players who gamble responsibly are more loyal, and their customer lifetime is significantly longer. It truly makes financial sense for operators to protect their players, and that is precisely what we do to everyone’s benefit.”

Kurt Böhm, Head of Online Casino Operations, is very confident about this partnership: “Neccton’s mentor software is well known and proven within the iGaming industry. Therefore we trust the software and are delighted about the partnership with Neccton. We are looking forward working closely with Dr Michael Auer and the whole Neccton team.”

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These are the most successful new games in Germany in 2022

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Be it exciting sports games, games for the entire family, epic journeys into fantastical worlds, or action-packed adventure – 2022 offered a wide range of video game titles to choose from. This can be seen in the German annual charts for the bestselling PC and console games that were released in 2022. The hit sports game ‘EA SPORTS FIFA 23’ (Electronic Arts) captured first place in the list of bestselling new game releases in 2022. Another major success: ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ (Nintendo) from the popular Pokémon series for the Nintendo Switch. This action role-playing game took second place in the list of bestselling games for the year just ended. Third place in the German charts for 2022 was secured by the award-winning open-world game ‘ELDEN RING’ (Bandai Namco Entertainment), which was the result of a collaboration between game developer Hidetaka Miyazaki and author George R. R. Martin. Just two months after its release at the end of October 2022, first-person shooter game ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ (Activision) made it into fourth place. It was followed in fifth place by the action-adventure game ‘LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’ (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment), whose missions are based on the most important events from the nine ‘Star Wars’ films.

The 20 bestselling PC and console games in 2022:

Information on the annual charts

The annual charts for 2022 list the games released that year for PCs and game consoles that were most often sold – physically and digitally, across platforms – in Germany in 2022. The data is gathered by Games Sales Data (GSD), a platform operated by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE). Digital sales of Nintendo titles from the Nintendo eShop are not included.

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Central Europe

PRAGMATIC PLAY BROADENS CZECH PRESENCE WITH FORBES CASINO

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PRAGMATIC PLAY BROADENS CZECH PRESENCE WITH FORBES CASINO
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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, has signed a strategic partnership with Forbes Casino in the Czech Republic.  

The agreement provides Forbes Casino users with 12 of the provider’s high-performing Slots, including player favourite Sugar Rush™ and multi-award-winning titles such as Gates of Olympus™ and Wolf Gold™. In total, 50 of Pragmatic Play’s Slot games are now certified across the regulated Czech market. 

Forbes Casino is a recently established online brand of Victoria Tip a.s., one of the most successful operators of brick-and-mortar casinos in the country. 

The latest partnership for Pragmatic Play adds to its growing presence across Europe and cements its position as a key player in the Czech Republic. 

Irina Cornides, Chief Operating Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Forbes Casino is built on a rich history of providing high-quality casino experiences to players in the Czech Republic, and we are honoured to expand on that with the addition of Pragmatic Play titles to their online operation.  

“With a strong commitment to our craft and dedication to responsible gambling, we are excited that even more players in this growing regulated market can now enjoy our globally popular games.” 

Petr Žemba, Project Manager at Forbes Casino, said: “When looking at collaborators for our online operations, we know brand reputation is of utmost importance to our users, partnering with such a well-established provider as Pragmatic Play is a victory in itself. 

“We know our customers are going to love the titles that we’ve added which have already proved to be a big hit across the wider European market and beyond. We look forward to seeing where this deal can take us and the new heights we can reach on Forbes Casino.” 

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