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EU Online Poker Market Took Big Leaps Forward in 2018

George Miller

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EU Online Poker Market Took Big Leaps Forward in 2018
Photo Source: EuropeanCommission
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Throughout much of the first decade of the 21st century, poker was one of the most popular games to play online. In the middle of that decade, poker’s popularity soared to heights that put the game in the history books. That poker boom was primarily spurred by Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event victory, courtesy of a PokerStars satellite tournament online.

Online poker sites popped up everywhere in the years that followed. Every sports betting site established an online poker vertical, and every player logged on to at least one of them to live their version of the poker dream. There was merchandise to win, fame to claim, tournament travel packages to win, and millions of dollars on the line. Poker was on every computer and television, and everyone could dream of becoming a poker pro.

However, the US government made a move that began to change it all. In 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was subsequently signed into law. Its language was murky, but it was threatening enough to force several online poker operators – most notably PartyPoker – out of the US market.

Several years later, on a day that became known as Black Friday, the US Department of Justice seized the domains of PokerStars, Full Tilt, UltimateBet, and Absolute Poker on April 15, 2011. The indictments of online poker executives and the shutdown of insolvent companies created a snowball effect that changed the poker world forever.

The poker boom was over. And a new era of nation-based poker markets began.

Pieces of the Poker Pie

Governments in some nations around the world began to see internet poker as an industry that only benefited the companies themselves, and governments were not receiving what they viewed as their fair share of the revenues.

Italy was one of the first countries to call for a ban on dot-com poker sites and require operators to obtain licensing from the Italian government to service only Italian players. This gave the Italian regulator, AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado), the ability to control what type of gambling was offered in the country and the revenue derived from it.

Other countries followed suit. France, Spain, and Portugal were just a few of the countries in Europe that took the same approach, establishing regimes within their borders to keep players from competing on dot-com poker sites.

While all of these countries believed they were grabbing their pieces of the poker pie, they neglected to realize that online poker thrived because of the liquidity, the ability for players around the world to compete at the same tables, which allowed sites to offer bigger cash games, tournaments, satellites, etc. When countries separated their players from the rest of the world, the liquidity disappeared, and so did much of the appeal created by the poker boom.

Building Partnerships

Regulators in Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal began to see the benefits of liquidity. And they figured out a way to share players – thereby enhancing the player pools and opportunities – while also keeping the revenue from sites registered within their countries.

In the summer of 2017, after several years of talks among the four regulators, their representatives gathered in Rome to sign an agreement to share online poker action.

The process moved quickly for Portugal, which had only one poker site – PokerStars – registered in its market. In fact, PokerStars was the only site available in all four countries, and it also had experience with the technology necessary to establish a shared poker network. Spain and France launched their combined PokerStars tables in the first quarter of 2018, and Portugal soon joined as well.

From there, it took only a few months for PartyPoker to share its French and Spanish poker players, and Winamax did the same shortly thereafter. Most recently, the iPoker network of sites that includes BetClic, Betfair, Unibet, and Casino Barcelona, received its final approval to share poker online in France and Spain and will launch before the end of 2018.

As the European market grows, players in those countries can return to the tables with more tournaments, bigger guarantees, and more opportunities to play the kind of lucrative games that were available during the poker boom.

Future Growth

The growth of the shared EU online poker market is limited due to the number of players in those countries. And without the cooperation of Italy, which is now working toward more online gaming bans due to a change in governmental views, there is a cap as to how big the market can become.

Countries like Switzerland and Sweden are opening their markets to licensing and could soon have regulated markets that are solid and seeking growth. That growth is available in the European partnership that is already established and showing what shared poker liquidity can do. Further growth lies in new markets joining that partnership.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Genius Sports Media unveils next generation sports marketing and publisher tools

George Miller

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Genius Sports Media unveils next generation sports marketing and publisher tools
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Genius Sports Media, the media technology arm of Genius Sports Group, has today unveiled a new suite of data-driven fan engagement services that transform the way brands and publishers connect with their audiences.

Leveraging its 10 years of fan understanding, programmatic media buying knowhow and live sports data expertise, Genius Sports Media has launched a new, end-to-end digital agency service for sportsbook and gaming operators, sports rights holders, brands and digital publishers.

A new suite of next generation marketing tools make it simple for advertisers to tailor the content and delivery of campaigns around the sporting calendar. By embedding relevant content like real-time statistics, betting odds or video highlights into their creative, the service replaces scattergun marketing with non-intrusive, personalized messaging that captures the emotion of live sport. All digital marketing channels are supported – each driven by bespoke, proprietary technology to maximize efficiency of ad spend.

Genius Sports Media has also launched a broad portfolio of live data-driven widgets for digital publishers to engage their audiences, drive advertising revenue and tap into the growing opportunity in sports betting content. This includes a full, easily-integrated odds comparison service and affiliate marketing platform.

Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports Group, said: “We have been helping brands acquire customers for well over a decade and have subsequently built an understanding of how and when sports fans engage with media that simply can’t be replicated by traditional agencies.

“Using this expertise, in combination with our rapidly expanding live data portfolio, advertisers targeting sports fans can instantly connect with them in real-time to build stronger relationships that significantly increase conversion rates.

“By unifying these capabilities with our new suite of publisher products, Genius Sports Media both extends and optimizes the services we can provide for brands and publishers in this highly competitive marketplace.”

 

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Bingo in the 21st century, lots of changes and many choices

George Miller

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Bingo in the 21st century, lots of changes and many choices
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

I didn’t know much about the bingo industry as it wasn’t something that we have been reporting on, however after reading a few stories about how the bingo player sphere is changing, I must say, it is pretty fascinating.

The perception of bingo is mostly categorized as a game traditionally played by groups of middle-aged women over a glass of wine. This game play would take place in a bingo hall or retirement home, but things have certainly evolved with the digital age and lately there has been a huge shift.

Some recent reports show that only 21% of players are over the age of 55 and millennials are well over 25%, meaning the bingo industry has managed to attract a new crowd. A crowd which isn’t easy to please, by the way.

Online Bingo has somehow managed to keep the social spirit of the land-based game alive via integrated live chat, chat games, mobile play option and even forums. These are the favorite ways in which millennials communicate and spend their time.

Four main varieties of bingo

90 Ball Bingo: the most common type of bingo in the UK. The type of bingo game that is most commonly played in bingo halls in the UK, and online by UK players. 90 Ball Bingo is played on a card that features nine columns and three rows.

75 Ball Bingo: 75 ball bingo is the most common type of bingo in the USA, but recently has managed to gain popularity online with players in the UK. The game is played on a card that features five columns and five rows.

80 Ball Bingo: 80 ball bingo is fairly popular online. It is played on a card that features four columns and four rows.

30 Ball Bingo (aka Speed Bingo): also known as speed bingo, is a fast-paced version of bingo. It is fun to play and enjoyed by many and it has gained a great deal of popularity online. The game only features thirty balls, and it is played on cards that feature three rows and three columns.

Aside from there being four main types of bingo games, many sites also offer a number of different bingo rooms, and themed bingo games, such as Deal or No Deal bingo, and almost all major bingo websites also feature chat rooms. As mentioned above, this feature attract lots of millennials players and it’s evolving daily.

This is the online area on which members can socialize, get to know each other and just have fun. Many chat rooms, however, also feature chat room games.

Bingo operators have understood that by adding live chat and mobile accessibility into the mix, is like a match made in millennial heaven.

But that is not all, players can opt for their favorite choice of bingo and most of them are also available to play for free. Just opt to play free online bingo and win real money.

Not everyone happy that millennials are fans of bingo

It’s pretty strange that not everybody is happy about the new era, The Telegraph reported that bingo loyalists are unhappy about millennial slang creeping into the game, referring to the nicknames for numbers as they are called out – being replaced with modern slang.

These slangs are being heard in in hipster clubs where you can play bingo with your friends while enjoying vegan food and drinking cocktails.

The subject is approached by bingo operators in different manners and not all feel the same way. Large operators, which cater to thousands of bingo fans of all ages across the country, said they have never had any complaints from offended customers. Other have started implementing for the new century players, changing bingo games because millennials want different things from the game compared with previous generations of players.

We are really looking forward to see how bingo will evolve in the next five years and we are certain that the traditional four main varieties will see newcomers.

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Spain’s CEJUEGO Releases “Gaming and Society” Report

Niji Narayan

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Spain's CEJUEGO Releases “Gaming and Society” Report
Photo Source: theolivepress.es
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

CEJUEGO, Spain’s leading gaming trade association, has released its “Gaming and Society” report. As per the report, 9 out of 10 adults in Spain see gambling as an acceptable pastime and 29 million people played at least one type of gambling modality last year. The study was carried out by the Institute of Politics and Governance at the Carlos III University of Madrid.

The study shows that 92% of some of the people surveyed see gaming as leisure. Approximately 6.6 million people (which represent 20% of the population in Spain) visited a casino, bingo or gambling facility in 2018. Moreover, it was detailed that the rate of problem gambling was 0.3% of the Spanish adult population.

“Regarding the games managed by private operators, the analysis concludes that they attracted more restricted audiences of different generations, highlighting that their clients are divided into those who play out of curiosity and those who play as a hobby and because they offer them spaces to socialise with friends and acquaintances,” a spokesperson for CEJUEGO said.

Approximately 1.5 million people gambled online during the study period which represents 0.9% of the total population in Spain. “This group shows dispersed behaviour patterns, from those who play stably to those who do it out of curiosity or who bet on an exciting game. The behaviour of these users indicates that they have learned how to play online and rationalise their use – shorter sessions, moderate monthly spending or decreases in the playing of some games,” CEJUEGO said.

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