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ATG Terminates Sponsorship with Hockeyettan

Niji Narayan

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ATG Terminates Sponsorship with Hockeyettan
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Swedish operator ATG has terminated its sponsorship and rights agreements with Hockeyettan ice hockey. The agreements were written over three years, but terminated after one year.

The collaboration with the Hockey Team has not worked in the desired way, which is why we are canceling the collaboration, says Katarina Widman, Chief Commercial Officer at ATG.

According to the rights agreement with the Hockey League, the league organisation’s clubs must, among other things, deliver television broadcasts from the matches, something that the vast majority did during the season, but not all.

Unfortunately, during the season there have been and still disagreements within the Hockey League regarding the rights agreement, which of course makes it difficult to work together, Katarina Widman concludes.

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BF Games partners with Crocobet in Georgia

George Miller

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BF Games partners with Crocobet in Georgia
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Creative development studio BF Games has signed a deal with Crocobet to offer its entire portfolio of casino content to the leading operator in Georgia.

The deal gives Crocobet access to BF Games’ entire slots portfolio, including classic hits such as Book of Gods, Stunning Hot, Crystal Mania, Hot Classic and Bonnie & Clyde, as well as newly-released summer title Hot Sunrise.

Crocobet is a well-established local operator in Georgia, offering its customers a wide range of casino and slot games as well as a complete sportsbook.

The agreement will see BF Games further expand its footprint in Georgia where it is already live with local operator Adjarabet, and will provide Crocobet with a portfolio of exiting new content, suitable for all player preferences.

Claudia Melcaru, Head of Business Development at BF Games, said: “Our games have been proven popular with players in Georgia and we are thrilled to add yet another leading operator to our list of local partners.

“We continue to expand our portfolio with exciting titles that appeal to a wide demographic of players and we look forward to offering our games to Crocobet’s customer base.”

Giorgi Barnabishvili, co-owner at Crocobet, said: By partnering with BF Games we will enhance our offering and further cement our position as a leading operator in the market. We look forward to a fruitful partnership.”  

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GVC Welcomes Launch of YGAM’s Parent Hub

Niji Narayan

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GVC Welcomes Launch of YGAM’s Parent Hub
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Global sports-betting and gaming group GVC Holdings has welcomed the launch of Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust’s (YGAM) Parent Hub, a new support portal to educate on the potential risks associated with gambling and gaming including products such as loot boxes. The hub, developed with the help of funding from GVC, has been launched to coincide with schools breaking up for summer.

YGAM is a national charity with a social purpose to inform, educate and safeguard young and vulnerable people, helping them build resilience and understand the potential harms caused by gambling and gaming.

With the launch of YGAM’s Parent Hub, the charity aims to: inform parents of ways to build their children’s resilience online and offline, creating a healthy balance and providing resources to help parents engage with their children; educate parents around gaming, in-app purchases and gambling, helping them understand the potential harms caused by online play and the blurred lines between gaming and gambling; and safeguard children through the use of online safety settings and increased awareness of how to stay safe and resilient in their environment.

YGAM’s Parent Hub will help build digital resilience and safeguard children online. In addition to providing resources which underpin informed conversations between parents and children, the hub also provides parents with a number of technical, but easily implementable measures. These include disabling pop-ups, enabling in-app and on-device parental controls, setting passwords for in-game purchases, restricting and disabling in-app purchases, and setting boundaries – for example by setting a monthly spending limit.

“YGAM is an incredible organisation and its simple, usable resources help parents have honest and open conversations with their children about gaming and gambling. We are delighted to have been able to support its vitally important educative resource hub, which launches at a crucial time, during the summer holidays. GVC’s Changing for the Bettor strategy seeks to advance society’s collective understanding of the risks of problematic gaming and gambling, and we look forward to continuing our support of YGAM’s evidence-led efforts in this area,” Grainne Hurst, GVC’s Group Director of Corporate Affairs, said.

“GVC are longstanding supporters of YGAM and we are grateful for their support of Parent Hub alongside operators Lottoland and Playtech as a cross-industry initiative. Our vision was to have an up to date, central expert resource library for parents and carers and extend our successful face-to-face directly to parents, with a fully integrated digital offer, which is phase two of this important initiative,” Lee Willows, YGAM’s Founder and Chief Executive, said.

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New Gaming Providers Put a Great Emphasis on VR Slot Games

George Miller

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New Gaming Providers Put a Great Emphasis on VR Slot Games
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The iGaming industry has taken some huge leaps forward in the last few years, with many developers seeking to create the next big thing. We’ve moved from basic three and five-reel video slots to complex grid-based titles loaded with colourful features and unique game mechanics.

But the industry is still evolving, the improvements are still coming, and now, iGaming developers are looking to the exciting worlds of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to create the next big thing.

Virtual Reality in Gambling: How Will it Work?

Imagine walking into a casino. You can hear the relentless and welcoming noise of slot machines, the calls of dealers, and the conversations of happy punters. You find your favourite slot, saddle up, and prepare for a session.

But instead of pushing coins into the machine, you just press a few buttons and your account balance appears before your eyes, reducing slightly every time you hit that glowing “Spin” button.

It’s the future of online casino gambling because while you’re enjoying the lively atmosphere of a real-life casino, you just happen to be sitting in the comfort of your own home, wearing your pyjamas, and connecting to this amazing world via a VR headset and a pair of motion controllers.

VR technology has created endless possibilities for developers and while most of these have revolved around immersive video games and virtual tours, creators are now turning their attention to the online gambling industry, and slots is a huge part of it.

A fully immersive casino environment may be a few years away yet, but the world’s biggest iGaming developers are currently focusing on VR slots, with innovative creators like NetEnt and Betsoft leading the way.

In fact, these games are already out there, but they have been developed by indie creators, use very basic slot setups, and don’t allow real money gambling.

Virtual Reality in Gambling: What are the Challenges?

Surprisingly, the technology is not the biggest challenge that developers face. The tech is there, and while it can be expensive, the amount of money that goes into creating slots is already pretty high and developers are more than happy to pay it.

The biggest issue is that while everyone has a phone and/or a computer, not everyone has a VR headset, which means VR slots appeal to a small minority of players.

Furthermore, there could be some regulatory issues, especially in strict regions like the UK and Sweden. The regulators in this region are investing huge sums of money into responsible gambling programs and clamping down on anyone who breaches their strict rules.

Imagine how they will react when slots become infinitely more immersive. It may be great news for responsible gamblers, but what about problem gamblers? These games have the potential to lock them into a world they may struggle to escape from, and that could raise a number of red flags for the regulators.

The developers will need to find and show proof that these games are not harmful before they can be launched. And even then, they may be subject to stricter responsible gambling requirements, such as regular warnings that flash onto the player’s headset, telling them how long they have been playing and what the risks of irresponsible gambling are.

The good news is that these things are relatively minor when compared to the challenges that developers were facing just a couple of years ago, and those challenges may be even less in a few months or a year.

Conclusion: How Long Do We Have to Wait?

Virtual reality is here and has been for several years. Systems created by Sony (PS VR) Oculus, and HTC draw you into an exciting and immersive world. For the most part, games have been limited to novelties, but a greater number of big-name creators have been developing exclusive titles for these systems and that has helped to put them in the spotlight.

In 2020, for instance, we saw the release of a brand-new, eagerly awaited Half-Life title that was a VR exclusive, and developers are also working on exclusive RPG and adventure games that will change the way these systems are seen.

This is ultimately the thing that will make VR bigger. We have the capability to make grand, glorious, VR slots and table games, to combine Live Dealer creations with VR, and even to give players a fully immersive casino they can explore.

However, all of this comes at a cost and it’s a price that might not be worth paying until more VR headsets are sold and they become more common. Once that happens, the process of creating VR slots and table games will become cheaper and more cost-effective, and that’s when they will become the norm.

It might take a year, it might take half a decade, but it will almost certainly happen and we personally can’t wait!

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