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FOBTs’ verdicts stake may be detained in the UK

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To cut fixed-odds betting terminals’ (FOBTs) maximum stake could be delayed by the decision after an MP protested against the measure.

The maximum stake on FOBTs has been under the spotlight for quite some time in the UK, with politicians and executives expressing their stance on the subject. Now it seems as though the decision could be delayed once again as Tory Benefits Minister, Esther McVey, is protesting against the machines’ regulation.

A source close to the cabinet said that the MP has strongly objected to plans to limit the maximum stakes on FOBTs to £2. Earlier this week it was reported that Tracey Crouch, Sports Minister of the UK, was firm on her decision to reduce the stake from £100 to £2, ignoring the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recommendation to allow £30 bets.

While Crouch’s decision is expected to be announced soon, it is believed that the Minister is giving bookies time to make representations. A group of 40 MPs wrote to The Times and urged Prime Minister Theresa May to act: “FOBTs cause much social harm and huge losses for those who can least afford it. It is of profound concern that last year there were more than 230,000 individual sessions in which a user lost over £1,000.” The letter insists that the government has a moral duty to reduce the maximum stake to £2.

The proposal to cut FOBTs’ maximum stake has been one of the pillars of Crouch’s campaign before she joined the government. While former PM David Cameron shelved her plans, Theresa May gave her the green light to move forward with the initiative.

Liverpool Councillor Nick Small (Lab) told the ECHO that he was disappointed in McVey’s stance on the issue: “I’m very disappointed that a Secretary of State for Work and Pensions doesn’t appear to understand the impact these machines have on families throughout the country. We have essentially got unregulated casino-style gambling on the high street and it is high time the government brought in legislation to limit FOBT.”

The £2 limit backed by 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and the Church of England’s General Synod is expected to help protect vulnerable people from major losses, but industry experts consider the amount too low, making the machines practically unplayable.

Earlier this month, executives from different leading UK betting firms have sent a letter to Culture Secretary Matt Hancock in an attempt to prevent the £2 stake limit on FOBTs. William Hill, Betfred, Scotbet, GVC and Jenningsbet said that a £2 limit would have a “catastrophic impact on jobs and the economy,” and they called on the Culture Secretary to not sacrifice betting shops. “A maximum stake of £2 on FOBTs is a de facto ban on the machines as the games are not feasible at that level,” they said.

The executives said in the letter that a KPMG analysis estimates that a £2 stake would result in 21,000 direct job losses and that half the betting shops would close. That would also result in an HM Treasury loss of £1.1 billion over the next three years, a £45 million loss to local authorities and £50 million to the British Racing every year. Earlier this year, the UKGC also recommended that the maximum stake for FOBTs should be cut to £30 or less.

Source: focusgn.com

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55% of Swedish slot players think ‘Bonus Buy’ games should be banned

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55% of Swedish slot players think ‘Bonus Buy’ games should be banned
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Exclusive Swedish polling conducted by Play’n GO today also reveals overwhelming general public support for the prohibition of Bonus Buy slot games

Play’n GO, the world’s leading casino entertainment provider, has today revealed exclusive polling conducted in Sweden that shows overwhelming support for the prohibition of the controversial slot mechanic featured in ‘Bonus Buy’ games.

The results of a nationally representative survey in Sweden are stark:

  • Seven out of ten members of the general Swedish public (69%) support changing the regulation to ban ‘Bonus Buy’ games
  • Incredibly, more than half of Swedish slot players (55%) want the game type prohibited too

Among the respondents who want to see the controversial slot game banned, two-thirds of the public (66%), and more than half of slot players in Sweden (52%), believe ‘Bonus Buy’ games exploit vulnerable gamblers.

Further, nearly two-thirds of slot players themselves (63%) think that ‘Bonus Buy’ games result in higher losses for players.

So called ‘Bonus Buy’ games allow players to buy directly into the bonus or free spins round of a slot game, in many cases for hundreds of times more than their initial stake for a single spin.

The controversial game type is banned by some of the world’s leading regulators including KSA of the Netherlands and the UK Gambling Commission, who reiterated their stance in a reminder to all online casino operators back in January 2020 that stated ‘Gambling products must not actively encourage customers to increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble.’

The findings by Play’n GO also reveal today that Swedish slot players overwhelming think that:

  • changing the regulation to align with the UK and the Netherlands regarding ‘Bonus Buy’ games is the ‘responsible thing to do’ (61%)
  • a change in the regulation shows that ‘the Swedish government are taking gambling issues seriously (63%)
  • they would be proud if the gambling regulator prohibited ‘Bonus Buy’ games (53%)

In December, the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen reported that Spelpaus, the centralised national self-exclusion system, surpassed 100,000 registered users for the first time.

Commenting on the overwhelming support in Sweden for the prohibition of ‘Bonus Buy’ slot games, Johan Törnqvist, CEO and Co-founder of Play’n GO, said: “Play’n GO has been a consistent and vocal advocate for a sustainable, regulated, and thriving gaming industry that is based around an ‘entertainment-first’ mindset for many years.

“I pledged as far back as 2021 that Play’n GO would never make a Bonus Buy game3 – a decision that has cost us hundreds of millions of Swedish Krona – but I stand by that decision. Bonus buy games are harmful to players, and to the long-term health and sustainability of the entire industry, and they should be excluded from the regulated Swedish market.”

Over half of the Swedish public (51%) described game suppliers who have decided not to make ‘Bonus Buy’ games as ‘responsible’, with more than a quarter choosing ‘ethical’ or ‘brave’.

The exclusive research was conducted among people in Sweden who reported that they played slots at least once per month.

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Wazdan takes players on an aquatic adventure in its award-winning new release Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin

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Wazdan takes players on an aquatic adventure in its award-winning new release Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin
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Wazdan, the gain-focused developer behind some of the world’s most rewarding casino game experiences, is deep-diving into its latest ocean-themed slot Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin.

Tipped as the One to Watch for 2024 at the SlotsWise Awards, the game has been hotly anticipated by both operators and players thanks to its immersive design and field-tested features.

Set out on a 5×3 grid, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin sees an additional reel run atop the board with the Collector symbol appearing at random with a countdown, accumulating cash symbols that fall beneath it.

The game’s aquatic theme is further enhanced with the Trawler Cash Out mechanic which can be triggered in addition to the standard Cash Out, paying both its collected cash symbol in addition to the ones on the reels above when its countdown reaches zero.

Three starfish scatter symbols award an initial ten Free Spins. This round is augmented by the Collect to Infinity™ feature which can prolong the lifespan of the Collector for the duration of the Free Spins, providing a maximum win potential of 2,500x.

Wazdan’s latest feature-rich release sees the provider further diversify its offering, following two recent additions to its top-performing series, Hot Slot™: 777 Rubies Extremely Light and Hot Slot™: 777 Cash Out Grand Gold Edition.

Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “Immersing players in a mesmerising oceanic backdrop complemented by our gain-guaranteeing features, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin marks one of Wazdan’s most hotly anticipated releases to date.

“With seamless thematic mechanics such as the new Trawler Cash Out feature, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin is already an award-winning title, and we have no doubt players will deep-dive into its engaging gameplay.”

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NuxGame bolsters security capabilities with Jumio integration

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NuxGame bolsters security capabilities with Jumio integration
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NuxGame, the experienced betting and iGaming software provider, has enhanced its online casino platform through its latest strategic partnership with digital identity verification technology leader, Jumio.

The collaboration sees NuxGame’s platform benefit from Jumio’s AI-powered Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) verification checks, ensuring compliance with global regulatory standards.

Exemplifying the provider’s commitment to elevating risk management, Jumio’s sophisticated  AI-driven KYC and AML technologies empower its partners with tools to adeptly manage risks and adhere to evolving compliance requirements. This forward-thinking approach is pivotal for casino operators looking to offer a responsible and seamless gaming experience.

In addition to enhanced security measures, NuxGame has also recently broadened its payment capabilities, adding leading global payment processors and empowering players to purchase cryptocurrency directly on the platform.

The latest partnership for NuxGame follows its recent GLI-19 Certification, accredited in recognition of the platform’s adherence to the highest technical standards and further demonstrating its commitment to responsible gambling.

Denis Kosinsky, Chief Operating Officer at NuxGame, said: “Jumio provides pioneering identity verification technology and we are confident our customers will find value in the software that is now integrated into our platform, allowing them to reinforce their position as a trustworthy and reliable gaming destination.

“With the ever-changing regulatory landscape, we want our clients to have comfort in the knowledge that our platform provides the necessary tools for them to operate safely and securely, making Jumio an ideal partner for NuxGame.”

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