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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.

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BOSS. Gaming Solutions welcomes another leading games provider, BOOMING GAMES!

George Miller

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BOSS. Gaming Solutions welcomes another leading games provider, BOOMING GAMES!
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

BOSS. Gaming Solutions, a well-known software developer, platform provider and also multiple casino brand owner has recently announced a content collaboration with BOOMING GAMES, a leading provider for the gaming industry.

This agreement gives BOSS. Gaming Solutions platform and its online casino customers access to the fantastic and modern BOOMING GAMES slots. The amazing BOSS. Gaming Solutions’ library will now be complemented by exciting titles such as Gold Vein, Booming Seven Deluxe, VIP Filthy Riches and other games that all provide rich rewards and special features.

On the BOSS. Gaming Solutions platform, players can enjoy the option of trying out games on demo mode and getting used to the games that are offered, this will give them an all-round understanding of what exactly is on offer from some of the best providers in the industry at bosscasino.com and bootleggercasino.com, before playing for real money. Apart from slots and video slots, they also offer some other popular games in the online world today such as: video poker, casual and table games, scratch cards and many other popular titles from leading suppliers.

The large variety of games is available for partner operators through a single API. Along with this announcement of cooperation, you can already find the BOOMING GAMES slots on the Platform library. BOSS. Gaming Solutions strive to introduce new partners and their high-quality products to customers as quickly as possible so that players can immediately enjoy the latest titles and enjoy an exciting gaming experience.

Jeff Letlat, CEO at BOSS. Gaming Solutions said “Booming Games are exceptional and we are enthusiastic about the positive impact they will have on bosscasino.com and bootleggercasino.com.”

Frederik Niehusen, CCO at BOOMING GAMES added “We are excited to partner with BOSS. Gaming Solutions and see our flagship games available to the players across all their brands. Teaming up with a leading player like BOSS. Gaming Solutions is a further strong addition to our client network. We are looking forward to a successful partnership.”

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Playtech and Stoiximan/Betano launch industry-first Live Cashback Blackjack

George Miller

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Playtech and Stoiximan/Betano launch industry-first Live Cashback Blackjack
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Playtech, the world’s leading gambling technology company, has partnered with Stoiximan/Betano, the leading Greek operator and one of the fastest growing in Europe, to launch an exclusive new scalable Live Blackjack variant, Cashback Blackjack Live.

Previously available as an RNG game, the new scalable Live Cashback Blackjack variant is an eight-deck game open to an unlimited number of players. In this game, players can choose to “cash out” during any action round instead of taking an action, placing a dynamically determined cashback amount depending on the round. Continuing the All bets Blackjack line, Six different side bet options are available to players and add to the excitement. This unique scalable Blackjack variant is the recent addition to the growing portfolio of scalable Blackjack games available from Playtech live and marks the fifth variant after Unlimited Blackjack, Quantum Blackjack, All bets Blackjack and the recent Majority Rules Speed Blackjack.

Stoiximan/Betano chose to work directly with Playtech to produce the industry-first live dealer version of Cashback Blackjack, adding a new collaborative dimension to an already successful relationship.

 

About the game

Players begin by placing their main bet, plus any additional side bets.

Six different side bets are on offer: 21+3, Buster Blackjack, Dealer Pair, Lucky Lucky, Player Pair and Top 3. Buster Blackjack (dealer’s hand) has the biggest win potential – a result of 8+ cards and player’s Blackjack pays out at 2000:1.

In the action rounds, players have five choices – Cashback, Hit, Stand, Double or Split. If a player chooses to Split during an action round, Cashback is offered for both hands. If a player chooses to Double, Cashback is not offered. The Cashback amount is calculated based on the cards on the table and may change for each action round. Cashback only applies to the main bet, with side bets resolved and paid out separately.

Edo Haitin, CEO, Playtech Live, comments: “The development of Cashback Blackjack Live has been a truly collaborative effort, and takes our partnership with Stoiximan/Betano to a new level. Stoiximan/Betano is already one of the leading operators in the Greek market, and we’re committed to working closely with them to not only build on this position, but also extend that success into further territories.

“Thanks to a fantastic initiative from our friends at Stoiximan/Betano group and a great effort from the development teams on both sides, we’ve been able to deliver a dynamic new experience for players in record time, which emphasizes our strategy of equipping our partners with scalable dedicated solutions while still providing players with a fun and personal game experience. The Cashback concept is of course well-established in Sports betting, so we’re very interested to see how players will respond to it in a Live Casino setting, where there’s interaction with a dealer and other players. We’re confident players will find Cashback Blackjack Live a highly engaging experience”.

Christos Mavridis, Live Casino Manager at Stoiximan/Betano adds: “Product innovation, wide game offer and an optimum customer experience have always been among our priorities at Stoiximan/Betano. We’ve already seen a fantastic response to Cashback Blackjack as an RNG game, so are very much looking forward to delivering a new experience for our players with the first Live version. Having worked closely with Playtech for some time now, we were well aware of their track record in producing innovative new content and game variants. As such we felt they were the ideal partner for the development of Cashback Blackjack Live, and we’re sure our players will be just as impressed with the finished product as we are”.

 

About Playtech:

Founded in 1999 and premium listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Playtech is a technology leader in the gambling and financial trading industries.

Playtech is the gambling industry’s leading technology company, delivering business intelligence-driven gambling software, services, content and platform technology across the industry’s most popular product verticals, including casino, live casino, sports betting, virtual sports, bingo and poker. It is the pioneer of omni-channel gambling technology through its integrated platform technology, Playtech ONE. Playtech ONE delivers data-driven marketing expertise, single wallet functionality, CRM and responsible gambling solutions across one single platform across product verticals and across retail and online.

Playtech partners with and invests in the leading brands in regulated and newly regulated markets to deliver its data-driven gambling technology across the retail and online value chain. Playtech provides its technology on a B2B basis to the industry’s leading retail and online operators, land-based casino groups and government sponsored entities such as lotteries. As of June 2018, through the acquisition of Snaitech, Playtech directly owns and operates the leading sports betting and gaming brand in online and retail in Italy, Snai. Snaitech operates a B2B2C model as a service provider, allowing franchisees to utilise the Playtech technology stack in the retail environment while operating the leading brand, Snai, directly online as a B2C business.

Playtech’s Financials Division, named TradeTech Group, is a technology leader in the CFD and financial trading industry and operates both on a B2B and B2C basis.

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Industry News

BMIT Technologies Launches “CX Virtual Agent”

Niji Narayan

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BMIT Technologies Launches “CX Virtual Agent”
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

BMIT Technologies has launched CX Virtual Agent, a new tool to offer effective and innovative customer support. This AI-powered intelligent virtual agent has been developed by EBO and offered exclusively by BMIT Technologies for gaming companies.

The primary objective of this tool is to automate the very notion of customer service. In the process, however, it also improves customer onboarding, KYC processes, responsible gaming and marketing.

“At BMIT Technologies we pride ourselves in offering the best technology solutions to our customers. Our solutions are built on a resilient infrastructure and supported by the right set-up, a highly experienced team, as well as innovative thinking that helps our customers identify opportunities to enhance their business potential. We are very proud to partner with EBO.ai. Their specialism in the world of AI, as well as commitment to excellence and innovation, is in line with our business philosophy and portfolio objectives. We’re very excited about this partnership,” Christian Sammut, CEO of BMIT Technologies, said.

“We are extremely excited about the partnership with BMIT Technologies which has established itself as a market-leader and a true catalyst of digital transformation. At EBO, we believe in technology innovation and most importantly, providing customers with the right AI solutions to help them scale quickly and sustainably. Our partnership with BMIT Technologies will help us offer advanced virtual agents to a much wider audience, starting from online gaming. The Virtual Agent will help platforms tackle traditional challenges in the iGaming sector,” Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO, said.

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