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Is Microgaming About to Kick Off a Franchise Trend in Slots?

George Miller

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Is Microgaming About to Kick Off a Franchise Trend in Slots?
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Online slots have served to expand movie and TV franchises for some time, with the popular iGaming titles often helping to bring more viewers to a certain entertainment release on the big or small screen. Microgaming has wide experience of boosting franchises after creating slots like Game of Thrones and Bridesmaids, but now it appears as though the Isle of Man-based developer is looking at boosting its library by extending one of its most popular games into a series. Could this be the beginning of a new trend in the industry?

Mega Moolah is Iconic

Mega Moolah is one of the most iconic and influential slots on the market and has paid out over $1 billion since its release over ten years ago. It put the progressive jackpot subgenre of slots on the map, and has been in the news numerous times because of the staggering wins it has awarded. Indeed, Mega Moolah has broken jackpot records on a number of occasions as it has tussled with NetEnt’s Mega Fortune for the top spot. The Microgaming title currently holds the crown for the highest payout after one lucky player claimed €18,915,872 in September 2018.

The prize money has reached such incredible amounts, due to the fact that all the Mega Moolah slot games are linked, and the money invested in them accumulates. Eventually, it is paid out to one winner randomly like a lottery. Each year, there are huge wins reported in the news. Despite some of these wins being numerically higher, the Guinness World Records recognizes British soldier Jonathan Heywood’s £13.2 million win in 2015, as the biggest jackpot won on any online slot game in internet history.

New Games are All About the Huge Wins

The first new title that expanded the Mega Moolah franchise was Atlantean Treasures: Mega Moolah, which was released more than a decade after its predecessor. The game features a completely different theme to the original, with this one being set underwater rather than on the plains of the Sahara. But the games are connected in that the progressive jackpot from the new game, is linked to the main jackpot prize of Mega Moolah. This means that there is the potential for the wins from either of the games to be even bigger than those that have already come before.

Because of the popularity of this new instalment, Microgaming has decided to bring out another game to extend the series. This is Absolootly Mad: Mega Moolah, which is also linked to the progressive jackpots on the Mega Moolah network. Just like Atlantean Treasures, this title has its own unique theme. It takes inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and features fantasy elements. The regular game can dish out wins of up to 2,343 times your stake, but there is the potential for much more if you hit the progressive jackpot.

Other developers may be forced to follow in Microgaming’s footsteps and extend their progressive slot franchises. Otherwise, they may not stand a chance of beating the industry powerhouse for the biggest jackpots. With NetEnt and Playtech in a fierce scrap with Microgaming to be the top iGaming developer, it would be reasonable to expect them to release sequels to their most popular games as well.

Industry News

Mindway AI Appoints Birgitte Sand as a Board Member

Niji Narayan

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Mindway AI Appoints Birgitte Sand as a Board Member
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Mindway AI has announced the appointment of former director-general of the Danish Gambling Authority Birgitte Sand as a board member.

Being the previous director-general at the Danish Gambling Authority for 12 years, Birgitte Sand brings extensive experience with regulating the gambling industry. She was responsible for a gambling licensing regime covering both betting, online casino, land-based casinos, lotteries and gaming machines. Today, Birgitte Sand is the CEO and owner of Birgitte Sand & Associates ApS and provides expert advice to governments and the gambling industry.

With Birgitte Sand entering the board of directors, the regulatory perspective in Mindway AI’s ongoing pursuit to create a sustainable and safe gambling experience is strengthened.

“We are very pleased to welcome Birgitte Sand as our new board member. From her many years as Director General at the Danish Gambling Authority and her national and international recognition, Birgitte has a level of regulatory expertise and insights that will further support our vision to improve responsible gambling and create a sustainable gambling environment,” Rasmus Kjaergaard, CEO of Mindway AI, said.

“I am extremely pleased to have this opportunity to support the expansion and deployment of software solutions that have so much to offer in both prevention and protection. Innovation in this area is highly sought after, and Mindway AI has in a short time created convincing solutions and at the same time demonstrated great potential,” Birgitte Sand said.

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Industry News

Holland Casino’s Gross Income Down 54% in 2020

Niji Narayan

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Holland Casino’s Gross Income Down 54% in 2020
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Holland Casino has reported a gross income of €333m for the full year 2020, a 54% decrease from the prior-year period.

The operator reported a loss before corporate tax of €80.7m, a 190% decline from 2019. Visitor numbers meanwhile were down 60% year-on-year to 2.5 million, largely due to government restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with the firm’s 14 branches closed for the majority of 2020.

Throughout the year, the venues were completely closed for 143 days, open with restrictions for 151 days, and open without restrictions for 71 days. Average spend per visit did, however, increase by 14% year-on-year to €133.

“Despite the constantly changing circumstances and major challenges that this crisis year caused, I firmly believe that we will get through it well,” Erwin van Lambaart, CEO of Holland Casino, said.

“This is due to the resilience of our people, general government support measures, focus on cost control and a clear strategic investment vision for the future. Together, this has meant that we were always able to anticipate the consequences of this crisis.”

Looking to the future, the operator commented: “Holland Casino is a cyclical company and will therefore suffer from the expected economic recession. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the future. The restructuring means that everyone is in the right place, the organization is more efficient and agile, and there is a future-proof new structure that guarantees continuity.”

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Industry News

UK Court Clears William Hill’s £2.9B Takeover by Caesars

Niji Narayan

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UK Court Clears William Hill’s £2.9B Takeover by Caesars
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William Hill has said that its £2.9bn takeover by Caesars Entertainment had been cleared by a UK court despite shareholder protests.

The bumper merger had been held up by a court hearing after minority shareholder HBK Capital Management raised concerns about disclosures relating to the deal.

HBK and fellow US hedge fund GWM Asset Management both wrote to the board arguing that the terms of the joint venture were not properly disclosed by William Hill last year.

The court process was delayed for almost three weeks, but in the latest statement, the bookmaker said the deal had been sanctioned by the court.

The deal, which was agreed in September, highlights efforts to cash in on the burgeoning US betting market amid a relaxation of regulations.

“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the US is a truly exciting prospect,” Tom Reeg, chief executive of Caesars, said.

“William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to better serve our customers in the fast growing US sports betting and online market.”

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