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High 5 Games launches Goldstruck with new operator partner Sky Betting & Gaming

George Miller

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High 5 Games - Goldstruck with new operator partner Sky Betting & Gaming
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High 5 Games (H5G), the industry’s leading independent casino games provider, has extended its operator network with the addition of Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) after agreeing a content deal with The Stars Group.

As part of the agreement, H5G will deliver a range of its most popular titles to SBG brands including Sky Vegas, launching first with Goldstruck.  This game is H5G’s most exciting game launch this year featuring the unique Wild Train. Other top performers include Way Out Wilds, Secrets of the Forest, The Green Machine Deluxe and Triple Double Da Vinci Diamonds.

The launch of these games further strengthens H5G’s presence within the United Kingdom and European gaming market and demonstrates the growing appeal of its slots worldwide.

Since the beginning of 2019, the New York-based developer has significantly extended its international reach through various commercial deals with some of the industry’s leading operators.

Anthony Singer, CEO of High 5 Games, said: “Partnering with a major operator such as Sky Betting & Gaming is further vindication that our exciting range of online slots are an attractive proposition for those looking to expand their casino offering.

“We’re excited to be launching our games with its brands, marking another important step in the global expansion of High 5 Games.”

Liam Blackwell (Commercial Manager) at Sky Betting & Gaming, said: “The integration of High 5 Games’ range of slots has allowed us to diversify our offering and bring exciting new games to our growing player base.

“We’re confident that the innovative features that High 5 Games incorporates into its new games, such as its Wild Train feature which will become a major hit with players over the coming months.”

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How 2 Bolton Based Businesses are Tackling Addiction in the Aftermath of Lockdown

George Miller

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How 2 Bolton Based Businesses are Tackling Addiction in the Aftermath of Lockdown
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Two Bolton based businesses, Acquiesce and WHYSUP, recorded a podcast discussing addiction, and how they are tackling it following the coronavirus lockdown.

Acquiesce is a private rehabilitation centre, offering luxury accommodation and an urban recovery model that integrates recovery into everyday life. Tina, the senior practitioner at Acquiesce, oversees each individual’s entire journey.

WHYSUP was founded by Mark and Liam. They work to deliver presentations, workshops and keynotes to schools and businesses across the UK to educate and raise awareness of mental health and addiction.

Mark’s Story 

Mark begins by explaining his battle with a gambling addiction that started with a bet when he was just sixteen. By 21 he realised he needed help and attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

“I remember going to a GA meeting, looking around and thinking ‘Well I’ve not lost my house, not lost my wife, not lost my family. I’m not as bad as these so I don’t need help.”

By 25 he had a girlfriend and a professional job. Everyone around him thought he had left his old life behind and was on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

At 29, he was kidnapped and held hostage by a group with machetes who were demanding ransom from his mother. Luckily, the police tracked his phone and rescued him.

Mark finally hit rock bottom when his family turned their backs on him. Without his family, he felt that suicide was the only way out of his mess but knew the impact this would have on everyone around him, including his children.

With help from his mum, Mark went to rehab in Birmingham. He took part in the fourteen week programme but stayed there for another five and a half months.

In rehab, Mark wrote down all of his debts. He initially thought he owed a total of £100,000 but now says it was closer to £306,000.

“It’s like I’m talking about a different person now when I look back. Thankfully that’s where it turned around for me. Rehab saved my life.”

Liam’s Story

Around the age of 13, Liam started to experiment with alcohol and drugs like many teenagers at the time.

“There was no prevention or awareness, no knowledge of addiction. My decisions were based on ‘Am I going to get caught?’”

“By 15 I was taking Class A drugs several times a week. I thought drinking and drugs were a normal part of life. I also thought I was good at it because I could do it and still do what I was supposed to be doing.”

Liam got his GCSEs, enjoyed Thai boxing, got his A levels and had a long term girlfriend, all whilst taking drugs.

“I was living a double life. No one knew. From the outside I was seen as popular and successful, the things that you don’t associate with addiction. That’s why I never thought I had a problem.”

He also started struggling with his mental health, dealing with feelings of shame, guilt and paranoia. Liam finally acknowledged his problem after crashing four cars in one week and his family started to ask questions.

“From the minute rehab was mentioned I booked myself in. I pretty much destroyed everyone I loved because I had to tell them what had been going on. When I came out, I went back to normal life, the life where I’d taken drugs for 19 years.”

Following rehab, Liam continued to take drugs after he relapsed at a funeral. His wife became frustrated with the chaos and arranged for him to stay with Mark.

“It wasn’t easy but I was given a safe place. I was able to build a recovery in the real world, which is very important because you can’t just live in a bubble.”

Mark encouraged Liam to make weekly plans, give up his cash card and attend the gym in the same way that he did when he was in recovery at the halfway house.

“I didn’t need to change my location, I needed to change my mindset. People, places, routine, structure- I had to relearn it all to get where I am today. This is why we got in touch with Acquiesce. It integrates the real world into your recovery.

Acquiesce

Acquiesce provides a discreet, highly supported and safe environment within the community to recover in. Without being hidden from the real world, the urban recovery model allows individuals to gain all the tools and experience necessary whilst maintaining a carefully monitored level of responsibility over their own recovery.

This makes the transitional period from treatment a much smoother process, resulting in a more sustainable recovery journey.

WHYSUP

Mark and Liam started WHYSUP after discussing how their addictions started and the mental challenges they had faced. They wondered if anything would have changed had they been given a talk in school.

Three years later, their service is well established and works in three different sectors; education, business and sport.

They have spoken to over 30,000 people nationwide. Over the last 18 months, people with some form of experience have joined the team. Initially their key focus was addiction but they now focus more on mental health and wellbeing.

Support During Lockdown

The team were managing the number of calls well, especially once they hired a professional who helped with more severe cases. Unfortunately, when lockdown started, calls quadrupled and they could no longer meet the demand.

“We underestimated how many and how severely people were declining. They were threatening suicide and we had to drop off flowers at funerals of people who would likely still be here if it wasn’t for lockdown.”

Acquiesce also had an increase in calls, with people experiencing anxiety and fear from a loss of jobs and uncertainty about the future. Tina explained that the number of individuals at high risk from drinking has doubled according to Public Health England.

“We found that some clients have relapsed after being clean for many years and have had to come back into treatment.” Tina added.

When defining addiction from a professional point of view, Tina says they look at withdrawals, tolerance, loss of control, broken promises and consequences, but that in reality it’s a much wider perspective.

“I define addiction as a compulsive behaviour that is impossible to stop without professional help and support. As much as you try to convince yourself you can do it alone, I know from experience that you just can’t.” Added Mark

Liam’s definition of addiction has changed over time. He said, “Two and a half years ago, I’d have talked about drugs. For me now it’s more than a substance or behaviour, it centres around thinking and feeling.”

Tina explained that the Acquiesce programme is very much about positivity, positive self talk, self esteem, gaining confidence.

“When clients come in, their addiction has robbed their self esteem and we work to get it back.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or mental health issues, please book a callback with Acquiesce at acquiesce.org.uk/contact or 01204 771940, or get in touch with WHYSUP at whysup.co.uk/contact

To listen to the whole podcast, please visit acquiesce.org.uk/how-2-bolton-based-businesses-are-tackling-addiction-in-the-aftermath-of-lockdown/

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Gaming Awards

Betsson Group Wins Big at the EGR Italy Awards 2020

George Miller

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Betsson Group Wins Big at the EGR Italy Awards 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Betsson Group won a total of five awards at the EGR Italy Virtual Awards, including the three most important categories: ‘Best Online Casino Operator’, ‘Best Customer Service Operator’, and ‘Socially Responsible Operator’. Following last year’s success in the Best Casino category, StarCasinòhas once again been confirmed as the most popular gaming platform for Italians.

Through the ‘Best Online Casino Operator’ award, the judges underlined the empathy and closeness shown by StarCasinò towards its consumers. In these critical times around the world, especially in Italy which at one point was the epicentre of Covid-19 in Europe, the brand was able to convey positive messages and great empathy, thanks to numerous information and awareness activities.

The reasons the judges gave when awarding Betsson Group as the winner of the ‘Best Customer Services Operator’ category, they said that Betsson’s great attention to customer support easily makes it one of the top operators in the market. They also accredited the investment done in technology with things like the online chat-bot, and how the great results demonstrate the success of Betsson’s strategy.

The ‘Socially Responsible Operator’ award was won in particular thanks to the #reSTAReAcasa multitouch campaign, with which StarCasinòreminded its customers to play moderately during the lockdown, also suggesting other forms of (offline) entertainment.

On the latter award, Pietro Lechiara, Managing Director for Italy, commented, “We are particularly proud of this award. The focus on responsible gaming has always been in the DNA of Betsson Group and we are delighted to have achieved this in the Italian market as well. Our aim is to provide state-of-the-art technological tools to monitor potential risks and offer users an extremely safe gaming experience. But there is more: great attention from the entire StarCasinòteam is dedicated to raising awareness of the issue, constantly informing and inviting users to play responsibly across our online platform.”

Betsson Group also won the ‘In-House Product innovation’ award for the innovation shown in the creation and launch of StarCasinò.Gratis. With regards to the fifth and final award, the judges awarded StarCasinò the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year” title for the brilliant way it developed and launched the new sport news website, StarCasinò.Sport.

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Latest News

888 Holdings opt for MGA Games productions to continue their success in the Spanish market

George Miller

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888 Holdings opt for MGA Games productions to continue their success in the Spanish market
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

888casino players now have access to MGA Games‘ most successful productions. The operator offers a selection of the successful slots from the Spanish Celebrities series such as Chiquito, El Dioni, Aramís Fuster and Señor Barragán, as well as classics such as La Mina de Oro, La Fortuna del Lejano Oeste or the famous CSI Miami, among others. All of these have been included in the first launch and their success is guaranteed.

The addition of these games has been possible thanks to the agreement reached a few months ago between MGA Games, a company specialised in the development of slots and localised video bingos for global operators, and 888 Holdings, a benchmark operator in all the regulated markets worldwide.

Joan Sanahuja, CEO of MGA Games explains that “it has been a pleasure working with the 888casino team. The fact that an operator as prestigious as 888 Holdings has chosen us to continue their expansion in the Spanish market does nothing but reaffirm our position as frontrunners of content provision in the iGaming sector”.

“At MGA Games we are characterised by maintaining a continuous and very high production rate, with new slots and video bingos launched every few weeks. We achieve all of this with no compromise on quality and innovating as much as possible for mobiles, which allows our associated operators to update their content regularly and easily,” adds Joan Sanahuja.

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