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Game creators ‘likely to be considering seeking gambling licences’

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Creators of games such as FIFA and Overwatch are more likely to seek gambling licenses and implement age restrictions than ditch controversial “loot boxes”, according to a gambling regulatory expert.

FIFA and Overwatch are among the high-profile games criticized for exposing children to gambling.

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has called for tighter legislation to protect online gamers as it is noted that some children are spending significant sums of money, sometimes without a parent’s or carer’s consent.

Loot boxes allow players to spend real money to unlock additional characters, equipment skins and/or in game gear. On some occasions, the “loot” may assist the player in advancing further into the game and at a faster rate.

One of the most famous examples is FIFA’s Ultimate Team, where users can pay for packs of players to improve their team. The packs are random and, therefore, akin to gambling.

Nick Wright, a gambling regulatory specialist with SolutionsHub, says game developers such as Electronic Arts, which makes FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront II, and Apex Legends, are likely to be considering obtaining gambling licenses.

He said: “The loot box system is incredibly valuable for these companies. FIFA Ultimate Team made up 16% of the EA’s business in the fiscal year 2017, 21% in 2018, and now 28% in 2019.

“Tighter regulation would slash revenue streams and cut profits and require developers to think of new ways to engage with and monetize, their players.

“Would they remove loot boxes? Probably not but they may need to think of ways to age verify games where loot boxes are involved.

“I would be stunned if some of these companies aren’t already considering obtaining gambling licenses and consolidation and partnerships with existing holders would likely allow them quicker access into regulated markets.”

Statistics state that nine out of 10 children play video games in the UK alone with some children already displaying concerns that the purchasing of loot boxes may be considered a form of gambling.

Mr. Wright said: “Many people may think that loot boxes are only a recent phenomenon. However, their history and roots can be traced all the way back to the early 1900s where decorative cards were placed in cigarette packs.

“More recently the silver collectible cards placed in packs of US Baseball cards saw sales top $1 Billion USD in the early 1990s before reducing to its current level of $200 Million USD today.”

“Fast forward to 2012 and loot boxes were more commonly found in video games such as FIFA and CS:GO before being more widely adopted in games such as Battlefront and Call of Duty. Income from the sale of Loot Boxes is a valuable product vertical for game studios with Blizzard alone reporting income of $1 Billion USD from Overwatch in 2017.”

So, when will developers need to get a gambling license? Not any time soon.

Mr Wright said: “In November 2018, UK Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur,  reporting to a Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said that while there aresignificant concernsabout children playing games which offer loot boxes then loot boxes themselves do not qualify as a form of gambling under current laws.

“It seems that Mrs. Longfield will need to make a case for the law to be changed before the current status quo can be changed. In the meantime, the UKGC, as well as other top-tier regulators, will no doubt be keeping a close eye on sector developments.”

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Meridianbet Launches ‘Scan. Help.’ Humanitarian Initiative to Support Maternity Hospitals in Southeast Europe

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Meridianbet, a member of the Golden Matrix Group (NASDAQ: GMGI), in partnership with Meridianbet Foundation, Expanse Studios, and BC Crvena zvezda Meridianbet announces the launch of a significant humanitarian initiative, ‘Scan. Help.’, aimed at supporting maternity hospitals across Southeast Europe.

The rollout of this action to other market territories is expected in the remainder of 2024.

How It Works

For every scanned QR code and subsequent registration on the Meridian Foundation’s website, funds will be allocated towards equipping five maternity hospitals in Serbia. This innovative approach not only raises awareness but also actively involves the community in our CSR activities.

The initiative is currently ongoing with high media presence and is broadcasted during Southeast Europe’s regional basketball Finals series (ABA League). BC Red Star players wear jerseys featuring the QR code, with additional promotion through basketball arena ads, TV ads, and more, encouraging fans and supporters to participate.

A Unified Effort for Community Impact

The ‘Scan. Help.’ campaign is a collaborative effort involving Meridianbet, Meridianbet foundation, Expanse Studios, and basketball club Crvena zvezda Meridianbet, Southeast Europe’s leading basketball club, of which Meridianbet is the name sponsor. The initiative is designed to leverage our collective resources and influence to make a meaningful impact on local communities.

Multi-Stakeholder Support and Growing Participation

The ‘Scan. Help.’ campaign has received institutional support ad backing from the Ministry of Health, reinforcing the importance and legitimacy of this cause. Additionally, several companies have already expressed their desire to contribute, with provisions made for donations through the Meridian Foundation’s account. This broadening support network amplifies the initiative’s reach and potential impact.

This campaign exemplifies Meridianbet’s dedication to sustainable development and community well-being. In 2023 alone, the company has launched 225 CSR campaigns, reflecting the commitment to making a lasting impact.

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SiGMA Asia Awards 2024: Boomerang Partners Nominated for ‘Rising Star Affiliate Program’

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The fast-growing Boomerang Partners affiliate program continues gaining global recognition, earning a nomination for the prestigious ‘Rising Star Affiliate Program 2024’ category in the Asia region

With a rapidly growing network of over 5,200 affiliates across 70+ countries, the dynamic Boomerang Partners affiliate program has been recognized as a finalist for the ‘Rising Star’ category at the SiGMA Awards Asia 2024. While Asia is not currently the central focus for brand promotion, this prestigious recognition from SiGMA is a notable honor that inspires Boomerang to fortify its global footprint and industry-leading position.

In 2023 alone, Boomerang’s achievements included paying over €50 million to affiliates, creating 22 exclusive branded games, hosting 82 tournaments across 30 regions, and expanding into 31 new markets. This followed prestigious wins like ‘Casino of the Year’ at the SiGMA Balkans/CIS Awards, ‘Commission Offer of the Year’ at the AffPapa iGaming Awards, and ‘Best PPC Affiliate’ at the SiGMA Europe Awards.

This year, Boomerang Partners is highlighting innovations like a worldwide traffic tournament and has already been nominated at the AffPapa, MAC, and AskGamblers Awards – eagerly awaiting the results across these prestigious voting processes and final selections.

“We actively collaborate with SiGMA, having participated in their events and been honored with SiGMA awards in other regions previously,” said Vitalii Prokofev, CEO at Boomerang Partners. “SiGMA sets the standard with premier industry events and accolades worldwide. This nomination at their Asia awards is valuable recognition that fuels our ambition to raise our global profile further.”

Boomerang Partners invites all affiliate managers and industry enthusiasts to learn more about their award-winning program. Voting for the SiGMA Asia Awards runs until May 20th. Winners will be announced at the June 3rd ceremony during the June 2-5 event in Manila.

Support Boomerang in the ‘Rising Star’ category while voting for other favorites at SiGMA.

 

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PopOk Gaming Unveils Exciting New Instant Game: “Dice”

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PopOK Gaming, a leading innovator in the gaming industry, is thrilled to announce the launch of its latest Instant game sensation: “Dice”.

“Dice” is a dynamic game that puts players’ instincts and strategies to the test. Participants can jump in at any moment and predict whether the resulting number will be higher or lower than their selected number. With every roll, the excitement mounts as players watch the green fields light up, indicating their path to victory.

It’s not just about luck – it’s about strategy too. Players have the opportunity to adjust their multiplier, choose their odds, and press start for a thrilling gaming experience.

Here’s how it goes down:

📈 Move the dice higher or lower on the screen.
🚀 Choose over or under.
⏳ Place your bet and hold on tight.
🎲 Launch the dice!
🏆 Win big, with potential rewards of up to x9600!

With its user-friendly interface and exciting gameplay, “Dice” promises to captivate players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of Instant games, “Dice” offers endless opportunities for fun and excitement.

Join the action today and roll the dice for your chance to win big! Visit PopOK Gaming to start playing now.

 

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