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

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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

Hensel Grad Law Firm Joins All-in Diversity Project as Strategic Partner

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The All-in Diversity Project has strengthened its network by signing the Hensel Grad Law Firm as its first strategic partner of 2022.

With more than 20 years of experience as gaming regulators and a thorough comprehension of how gaming laws are implemented and enforced, Hensel Grad is a gaming law and advisory firm positioned to serve an explosive gaming and sports betting industry in the US. Susan Hensel, one of the firm’s founders, is also a long-standing member of the All-in Diversity Project Advisory Board.

As the central global resource for diversity, equality and inclusion, the All-in Diversity Project is a nonprofit committed to helping businesses around the world to become better companies through their DEI efforts.

“2022 is a key year for All-in. Not only does it mark the release of the third All-Index, which this year will include early insights into the impact of COVID and includes more big names than ever before, it is also the year that we start to step out of betting, gambling and gaming through our partnership with the British Standards Institute and launch of the first ever formally recognised Code of Practice for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace. At a time when the industry faces greater pressures than ever before, this offers us a unique opportunity to position the sector as a global leader in DEI. Our success has, and continues to be, driven by organizations and individuals committed to change. In Hensel Grad we get both,” Christina Thakor-Rankin, co-founder of All-in Diversity Project, said.

“Hensel Grad is honored to join All-in as a strategic partner. What All-in has been able to accomplish in its first three years is impressive, and we look forward to being at the organization’s side as it continues trailblazing for diversity, equality and inclusion in an industry where such growth is not only under a spotlight but also overdue. We are excited to help the organization reach even greater heights in the years ahead,” Susan Hensel said.

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec
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WorldMatch has strengthened its partnership with Cristaltec by agreeing to distribute Cristaltec’s newest games to the Italian market.

WorldMatch is a pioneer and leader in the online market, an ever-expanding B2B provider who has provided for over twenty years what customers and players value the most: security, creative content, operational efficiency and innovative technology.

In addition to self-made slots, known and appreciated by operators around the world, WorldMatch will now also distribute products developed by third parties on the market.

After porting the most popular AWP / VLT Cristaltec games for the online market, WorldMatch will distribute Gallina d’Egitto Classic, Ghost Castle Classic, Blackout Classic, Egyptian Mythology, Vampire, Arizona, 7 Diamonds and Genius, for key customers in the Italian market.

“Cristaltec is a very important partner for us. We are excited to continue working together towards new goals. We are ready to enrich our gaming offer with these titles and we are honored to be able to present the new Cristaltec products to our customers. With this agreement we will further improve both the variety and the quality of our portfolio,” Andrea Boratto, CEO of WorldMatch, said.

“We intended to invest and capitalize on our experience and ability to diversify and expand the gaming offer that has seen us and sees us as leaders in the AWP sector. After the acquisition of the Italian branch of the Inspired multinational for the VLT market, we are strongly committed to the online to bring our gaming philosophy to customers in this sector as well. The collaboration with WorldMatch, leader in the reference market, constitutes an important step for Cristaltec to carry out its goals of growth and consolidation to the online,” Giovanni Agliata, CEO of Cristaltec, said.

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888 Reports Record Revenues in 2021

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888, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, has announced “another record year”, with revenue growth of 14% driven by expansion in regulated markets.

In its post-close trading update, the betting giant reported growth driven by regulated and taxed markets, which contributed 74% of revenue, with strong performances in the UK, Italy, Romania and Portugal, partially offset by a decline in Germany.

B2C revenue increased 15% to $934 million, led by casino (up 24%), with sports growth of (up 4%) reflecting the greater impact of regulatory changes on the sport business, in particular the exit from the Netherlands.

Fourth quarter revenue hit $214m, down 16% from 2020 in-line with 888 expectations.

The update also highlighted the acquisition of William Hill International, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2022.

During the period, 888 also made a “strategic” sale of B2C and B2B bingo business for up to $50m, increasing the focus on core B2C platform and US growth strategies.

Itai Pazner, Chief Executive Officer at 888 Holdings, said: “2021 was a year of outstanding strategic progress for 888 as we announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, and reached an agreement to sell our bingo business to increase our focus on our B2C and US growth plans, as we continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.”

“In addition, we successfully launched SI Sportsbook in the US shortly after signing a long-term brand partnership and began operating 888sport under a new licence in Germany, all using our in house sports platform.”

“I am pleased to report another year of record revenues alongside these important strategic milestones, delivering double-digit revenue growth despite a very tough comparative period. This performance reflects the continued success of our data-driven investments and execution against our product-leadership focus that delivers ongoing improvements in the usability, quality and safety of our sports betting and gaming products.”

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