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Germany ratified the Third State Treaty on Gambling

George Miller

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Germany ratified the Third State Treaty on Gambling
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The Minister-Presidents of Germany’s 16 federal states have ratified the third amended State Treaty on Gambling, paving the way for operators to apply for sports betting licences in the market, while Schleswig-Holstein will be allowed to run its own, liberal regulatory regime.

At the Minister-Presidents’ Conference yesterday (March 21), the lawmakers agreed to sign the Treaty, with licences to come into force from January 1, 2020 and run until June 30, 2021. This will effectively act as a placeholder, with a view to a complete overhaul of Germany’s gambling regulations by 2021.

The Treaty will also be submitted to the European Commission to be ratified, which is expected to take place in April this year, with a view to beginning the licensing process later in 2019.

The third amended State Treaty has undergone few changes from the 2012 edition, though the controversial 20-licence limit has been removed. While there is no limit on the number of operators that can be licensed, licensees will be taxed on 5% of turnover, in-play betting is prohibited, and players will not be allowed to spend more than €1,000 (£868/$1,137) each month. As before, sports betting is the only vertical permitted.

Schleswig-Holstein will be permitted to continue with its own liberal regulatory model until 2021. First introduced in 2011, the state has does not impose any restrictions on product verticals, and sets a 20% gross revenue tax. Steps towards renewing licences issued in 2012 began last week, with a view to having these run until June 30, 2021. The state will effectively act as a testing ground for a more liberal model, which from 2021 could be rolled out across the rest of the country.

Dr Wulf Hambach of leading German law firm Hambach & Hambach suggested that due to the short-term nature of the amended Treaty, it would be difficult to enforce the prohibitoin on live betting.

“There is also also big question over whether the online casino ban will be obeyed from January 1, 2020 onwards,” Hambach added. “If, for instance, other federal states are in favour of online casino regulation, they are unlikely to enforce the ban.”

Hambach said that with varied stances on gambling regulation across a number of states, the 2021 overhaul could give states the choice to opt in or out of a more liberal framework.

“I think it’s is likely that after 2021 you will see a fully regulated market, so this one step in the right direction, and there are already a lot of discussions between states, but I think these talks are very fruitful. If you look back two or three years, there haves never really been serious discussions about major reforms [to gambling regulation],” he continued. “This is the first time that it feels like a major step forward has been taken.”

Hans-Jörn Arp, parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Union in Schleswig-Holstein and one of the State Treaty’s most vocal opponents, described today’s agreement as a “breakthrough”.

“Today’s decision of the Minister President Conference to present the foundations for follow-up regulations to the State Treaty on Gambling, means we have finally achieved a breakthrough after ten years, and gained recognition from the other federal states,” Arp said.

“For Schleswig-Holstein, this is a great success, after the state had long met with resistance to its  forward-looking solution in the field of gambling,” he said. “Now the other federal states are pulling in the same direction, after they were finally convinced that the Schleswig-Holstein model is expedient.”

Arp said this had been aided by a cross-party consensus in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament.

He said the decision was not only good news for those who play online, who would be better protected when gambling, but also for professional sports clubs, which could be supported by additional investment generated through gambling taxes.

However German operator association the Deutscher Sportwettenverband took a less positive approach, with president Mathias Dahms describing the Treaty’s ratification as an insufficient first step towards regulating the country’s sports betting market.

“The third amendment to the State Treaty on Gaming is only a temporary measure for the short transitional period until 2021,” Dahms said. “It does not solve the structural deficits of the State Treaty, but gives the countries time to continue negotiating the urgently needed modernisation of German gambling law.”

Dahms said that even as a short-term measure the restrictions imposed under the State Treaty would prompt bettors to flock to illegal sites.

“In Germany there is a strong sports betting market,” he explained. “Customers have clear expectations of their sports betting product.

“If states completely ignore social realities and customer demand, they run the risk of failing again with their regulation. Unattractive conditions threaten to marginalise the licensed offerings in Germany compared to the black market.”

Dahms said that a thorough and transparent process to develop new regulations was vital, one that involved industry stakeholders, sports clubs, as well as medical professionals, noting that the last public hearing had taken place in May 2010.

“Since then, the Treaty has only been developed behind closed doors,” he said. “We and many other associations are therefore offering states the opportunity to contribute our decades of expertise in a cooperative and constructive manner in order to develop successful German gambling regulations.”

The German association of slot machine manufacturers Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft also urged states to use the time before the expiry of the Treaty in 2021 to develop new regulations.

“The consensus that has been reached is a first step. However, the main goal, namely the much-needed, coherent regulation of all forms of gambling, is still pending,” Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft chief executive Georg Stecker said.

Stecker said that only an attractive legal offering would succeed in drawing players away from a “rampant” black market.

“Only when all forms of gambling, including commercial slot machines, are regulated according to quality standards, can the black market be contained, consumers sustainably protected and legal businesses strengthened.”

Jens Bader, co-founder of iGaming payments company, MuchBetter added:

“We will look back on today as an opportunity missed. This was a big chance to decide the future of online gambling across the German-speaking market, but we’re left with more uncertainty and only a placeholder agreement. It’s good that there are no more artificial restrictions on the number of licences awarded to operators, but today’s vote was far from decisive on other issues including the legality of online gambling, casino and poker. It is very naïve to think that these issues will go away, or that a country can pick and choose which parts of gambling it likes. This is not how the rest of the world works and by only allowing betting, Germany could make it very difficult for operators to comply.

“Casinos won’t go away. They will continue to operate under the licences they have, with prohibition enforcement in the transitional period unlikely.”

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Gaming Innovation Group signs platform agreement with Bet Seven Online Ltd.

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group signs platform agreement with Bet Seven Online Ltd.
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Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has today signed a long-term agreement with Bet Seven Online Ltd for the provision of GiG’s platform, frontend development and managed services to launch its first brand, SuperSeven. The agreement is based on a fixed fee model and has a duration of minimum three years with automatic extension for an additional two plus one years.

Bet Seven Online Ltd. is a privately owned company operated by a team that have achieved great success in both offline and online casino operations. The company’s first brand, SuperSeven, will be launched with the aim of providing an instant, immediate and meaningful reward engine alongside an unparalleled level of service to its customers. SuperSeven will look to utilise proven elements of gamification that enhances the core gameplay whilst allowing customers to use their skills and perception to win significant prizes for themselves and others.

The casino offering is expected to launch in H1 2021, and this partnership is expected to make a positive contribution to GiG’s revenues from H2 2021 onwards. SuperSeven will be operating under their own license.

Christopher de Lima, Chief Executive Officer of Bet Seven Online says, “I am so very pleased with the process in working with GIG who are clearly the best platform for our requirements. Recruiting Tim Parker as Chief Operations Officer has been pivotal with our aim in developing the right culture with initially a small team who are all highly regarded in the online industry.

Tim Parker, Chief Operations Officer for Bet Seven Online says, “We had a very specific product aim and end-user experience in mind when we started to search the market for a platform. It became clear very early on that GiG could provide not only the platform, but the tools and service set that we would need to build a truly unique offering that will be new, exciting and stand out from an increasingly crowded marketplace. I am really looking forward to launching SuperSeven on the GiG platform and working closely with them to achieve a market-leading position.

Richard Brown, Chief Executive Officer of GiG says, “Bet Seven Online Ltd has a team of proven, industry veterans driving its business, whose concepts and attention to detail around customer experience and player safety compliment GiG’s own values.  I am delighted that they have chosen our platform, frontend technology and managed services for their new casino brand. We are looking forward to a long term and successful relationship with our new partner.” 

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Week 43/2020 slot games releases

George Miller

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Week 43/2020 slot games releases
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Here are this weeks latest slots releases!

MGA Games, a company with expertise in developing localised slots for global operators, launches Ismael Beiro, its latest slot from the Spanish Celebrities range. The star of the game is part of television history, having won the first edition of Big Brother, the longest running reality TV show in Spain. In his debut in the world of slots, Ismael is accompanied by his inseparable friend Ivan Armesto, whom he first met in the Big Brother house and has since gone on to share numerous adventures with over the years. Together they offer users a chance to enjoy this new and immersive slot like never before, which boasts a loading speed that will guarantee a unique gaming experience.

Ismael Beiro, the latest Spanish Celebrities slot by MGA Games, is out now

 

Endorphina invites its fans to go inside of its spooky new slot that’s being released just in time for the Halloween season! 100 Zombies is a 5-reel, 4-row slot with 100 pay lines, that has stacked wilds and a free spins feature. The symbols are typical characters that possible to find in real zombie apocalypse: the gang of brave fighters – an old grumpy man, a young fearless male and an adventurous girl. Against them are all kinds of zombies. The vault is a wild symbol that substitutes for all symbols, except for the scatter. The biological hazard sign is a scatter symbol. 3 scatters will give you 10 free spins with stacked wilds. The free spins could be also retriggered.

A race for survival in Endorphina’s new 100 Zombies

 

Expanse Studio has been on a roll with its slots lately. The Forest Rock slot is another proof of it. By combining two fun themes such as forest animals and rock music, the latest release by the Maltese studio may end up its finest. A game with 15 fixed paylines and an RTP of 96.07%, Forest Rock showcases all of the studio’s strengths. It’s a simple slot for beginners and a fun hit for high rollers. Thanks to the exciting gameplay and fun features, you will rock the reels in this forest. You can try the game for free or real money at Meridianbet casino and win big if you’re lucky.

Forest Rock Online Slot by Expanse Studios

 

iSoftBet, the leading online games supplier and content aggregator, has released haunting hit, Phantasmic Fortunes, just in time for Halloween. The slot, exclusive to LeoVegas from the 14th-21st October,  is the first to feature iSoftBet’s Xpanding Ways mechanic, which sees more spaces open up on the reels if a diamond appears, increasing the paylines from 243 up to a maximum of 7,776. If any orb prizes are triggered, then the base game resets to its original 5×3 format, while also revealing new rewards that players can aim to reach with the expanding reel. To start the free spins round, three bonus symbols are required to land on any spin, or players must reach a bonus round prize orb in gameplay, where the orbs are significantly boosted in value, with some offering up to 1,000x cash value, among other thrilling prizes.

iSoftBet unveils haunting Xpanding Ways in Phantasmic Fortunes

 

 

GAMING1 has unveiled its latest engaging title, Mega Spinner. In this slot, when a trio of Bonus symbols appears on the grid, players can spin three wheels in one, with the first awarding a prize, the second multiplying it and the third determining the number of Mega Spin Bonus Games that take place.  At the end of the game, landing two Bonus symbols triggers the Bonus Reel feature, providing another chance to enjoy an authentic casino experience with an innovative twist through the Mega Spinner Wheels.

GAMING1 reinvents the wheel with Mega Spinner

RubyPlay has announced the launch of their brand new Chinese-themed slot He He Yang. Players can expect tranquillity, balance and prosperity as they travel to China in this captivating slot that’s filled with ancient treasures like golden Jiaoqian coins, good luck symbols and more. The god of wealth will be their guide as they strive for fortune on the reels. He He Yang is a 5-reel slot that has a number of great features. When 6 or more gold coins appear, it triggers the Sunlight Spins’ hold and respin feature that promises fantastic rewards. Landing 3+ scatters are the ticket to the free games bonus feature with extra wilds for even more wins or possibly the Sunlight Spins feature. Plus, to boost winnings even further, wilds offer a chance to play the Jackpot Pick bonus.

RubyPlay launches Chinese mythology themed slot He He Yang

 

New from Microgaming comes Tarzan® and the Jewels of Opar™, a high-energy five-reel, 20 payline video slot packed with thrilling features and punchy animation. This is the latest collaboration between Microgaming and Gameburger Studios, an independent developer of exclusive premium gaming content. Following a wildly successful two-week exclusivity period with select operators, the game is now live across the Microgaming network from Tuesday 20 October. Follow Tarzan® as he returns to Opar™, a lost city buried deep in the jungle, in search of hidden treasure. Jewel scatter symbols appear on every reel, with three or more scatter symbols triggering up to seven levels of Scatter Jackpots up to a maximum 5,000x the player’s bet!

Microgaming’s Tarzan® and the Jewels of Opar™ goes live

 

The latest creation from Play’n GO hit the market this week, with the artistic new slot 5-reel slot Madame Ink. With artwork directly inspired by actual tattoo designs; Madame Ink brings a magical quality to a form of art which means so much to so many people across different countries and cultures. It is the popularity and significance of tattoos that make it a theme that feeds directly into the way Play’n GO approach their game design. The slot provider has made no secret of the fact that while different games may resonate more strongly with certain audiences, the design and gameplay will always appeal to all types of players. In this instance, body art has a significance and meaning in every corner of the globe worldwide.

microgaming- Madame Ink

 

Kalamba Games is inviting players to the magical realm of Purrsia, where mystical cats rule and players can chase huge potential wins in its latest fun-filled release Pawprints of Purrsia. The latest title to Kalamba’s growing portfolio is a 5×3 slot with 10 paylines and is packed with features that are sure to have players purring with excitement. Pawprints of Purrsia includes the Bonus Wheel of Dreams, SpinBoost, Locking and Multiplier Wilds and three different Free Spins Bonus variants. Kalamba’s signature feature HyperBonus is also included, which allows players to shortcut to the Bonus Wheel. The new release is distributed via the ORYX Gaming platform.

Kalamba Games invites players to seek their fur-tune in Pawprints of Purrsia

 

Playson has launched Book of Gold: Multichance, the latest addition to the company’s popular series of Book of Gold titles. This classic Egyptian-themed slot has a 3×5 grid with 10 pay lines and incorporates the Buy Bonus feature, providing players with direct access to Free Spins at the value of 100 total bets. Free Spins can also be triggered within the Egyptian adventure by landing three Scattered-Wild Golden Books. Prior to the start of the mode, a special expanding symbol is selected at random and will fill the reels and pay regardless of bet lines when they appear.

Discover untold riches in Playson’s Book of Gold: Multichance

 

Yggdrasil, the leading worldwide publisher of online gambling content, has unlocked the doors to the underworld in its latest Gigablox™ title, Hades. Featuring Yggdrasil’s unique mechanic, the 6×6 reel can see a Gigablox™ land on any spin with any symbol transforming into giant blocks that lead to big wins. Set in the ghoulish underworld realm of the King of the Dead, Hades is packed with devilish delights, including the Wild Hunt feature, which sees the Lord of the Underworld dive into the reels turning symbols into wilds for even more opportunity to claim big prizes. To trigger the Free Spins mode, players need to find five or more scatter symbols, with the biggest Gigablox™ symbols bringing up to 16 scatters in one go. Every spin triggers the Wild Hunt while Hades will also battle all high symbols. The more battles are won, the more the Cerberus Multiplier will increase, with up to 10x multiplier values available throughout the Bonus Feature.

Yggdrasil releases its new title Hades with unique Gigablox ™ mechanic

 

The lush green valley of the Celts is the stunning backdrop for Celtic Spirit Deluxe, the majestic new release from Stakelogic, which forms part of the company’s game licensing partnership with Reflex Gaming. The collaboration with the innovative UK land-based developer sees a number of their most popular titles reimagined for the online iGaming market, including classics such as Lucky Mushroom and Eureka Einstein Moments. Get into the spirit of the celts in this 5×3, 20 winline slot and keep a watch for the awe-inspiring and beautiful Celtic Princess as she triggers 6 free spins in this dazzling cinematic slot reproduction of the original classic from Reflex. During free spins, the mini reel becomes active and further adds to the excitement by promising extra wilds and extra free spins to delight the user. Free spins begin with the central symbol of the reels transforming into a sticky wild, which is then locked in place for the duration of the free spins.

Stakelogic Summons the Spirit of the Celts!

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Euro Games Technology continues to reap success on the Spanish B2 Saloon market

George Miller

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Euro Games Technology continues to reap success on the Spanish B2 Saloon market
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Euro Games Technology keeps on gaining speed on the B2 Saloon market in Spain. Soon after the company received certification for its respective products and made its first installations, it is now expanding its reach in the sector, delivering to two more operators. “In July and August we completed our setup work at Orenes Group’s gaming hall in Lleida and Repris Group’s Salon Sport, located in Barcelona commented Kristian Kostovski, director of EGT Spain. “We have worked with Orenes for years mainly for their casinos – land based and online. Now we are glad to be of service also for their B2 Saloon business and I hope that the recent installations will be the first of many to build on their image of one of the most impactful and respected participants in our industry.”

Repris Group, on the other hand, is a new customer for EGT. It operates establishments in Catalonia and Valencia striving for the best quality of its services and so looking for the gaming machines that may secure it. “They chose us, as we have already achieved very good presence in Spain in the casino sector and because the design and ergonomics of our cabinets, the attractive graphics and sounds of our games and the user-friendly interface are standing out,” continued Mr. Kostovki. “So they expected our B2 Saloon products certification as an opportunity to start a partnership and I am confident that we will be able to meet their expectations”.

The delivered slot model to both Orenes Group and Repris Group is the newly developed P-27/27 St Saloon, combined with the varied Orange Collection Saloon multigame. The cabinet’s 27-inch widescreen high-resolution monitors are frameless and the main is with integrated touchscreen. An overhead multimedia topper of the same size is raising the overall attractiveness of the machine. The intelligent LED illumination alongside the model’s body changes its colors, according to the activated game and together with the high-quality stereo sound creates a cheerful atmosphere for the players. The cabinet’s design is based on the concept of maximum comfortable interaction with the available gaming content, while the multigame of 24 diverse fruity, Egyptian, mythical and fairy-tale themes is created for prolonged and most enjoying experience.

“It is just the beginning of our B2 Saloon market entry,” shared Mr. Kostovki. “Our products for the gaming halls are based on EGT’s casino proven approach and are tailored to the specifics of the market, so we are able to provide our customers with a high-performing solution.” The office in Spain keeps receiving an increasing number of inquiries for its B2 Saloon machines and has already scheduled a number of installations in establishments across Spain till the end of October.

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