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Tsogo Sun to Focus on Online Gambling Options

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Tsogo Sun to Focus on Online Gambling Options
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Casino operator Tsogo Sun has urged the South African government to think again on its current attitude towards casinos, keeping them closed in Level 4 of its lockdown. The operator assured the authorities that the industry is equipped to handle the safe reopening of its venues.

The company lost an estimated €21m in revenue as a result of the pandemic, it reports in its 2020 first-quarter results. Chris du Toit, CEO of Tsogo Sun, said that the company was at an advanced stage of moving into online sports betting and online gaming generally was a “natural progression” for the business.

In the full-year results, revenue rose 1% to ZAR11.69bn (€607.8m) of which gaming revenue the majority. Its Galaxy Bingo hall chain saws revenue grows 10% to ZAR856m (€46.5m) and the revenue of LPMs (limited payout machines in street locations) was up 7% to ZAR1.7bn (€91m).

Operating profit fell 67% to ZAR1.0bn (€52m). After financial items, the company fell into a pre-tax loss of ZAR205m (€10.6m).

Chris du Toit said: “The business is ready, with a robust strategy of enhanced hygiene and safety measures to enable a seamless re-opening to our loyal customers.” Once this happens, the operator said it was confident that it could return to profitability rapidly, by reducing cost structure, with a more efficient casino business a particular focus.

Much of this return to growth will be driven by technology, Tsogo Sun continued. Du Toit said it would step up efforts to leverage smartphone penetration to allow for better interactions with customers, as well as through offering its products via these devices.

“We are also in an advanced stage of entering the online betting industry which is a separate segment of the market,” he explained. Furthermore, online casino would then be a “natural progression.”

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Africa

Yggdrasil launches first Franchise partner in Africa via Intelligent Gaming

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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division, has partnered with Golden Nugget Online Gaming to make its long-awaited debut in the US. Titles from Greentube's top-performing games portfolio will be made available to GoldenNuggetCasino.com players in New Jersey, including Diamond Cash™: Mighty Elephant, Diamond Cash™: Mighty Sevens and Diamond Cash™: Oasis Riches. The deal is a milestone achievement for Greentube as the supplier looks to use its significant European experience to work with operators in the growing number of regulated states. Partnering with market-leading operator Golden Nugget Online Gaming is an important strategic step for Greentube and makes the supplier well positioned for future opportunities. The supplier is currently in the process of completing additional deals across numerous states as part of its expansion strategy for North America. Michael Bauer, CFO/CGO at Greentube, said: "The US offers unparalleled potential and is a key territory for us going forward as regulation continues to make headway across different states. Finally making our debut in New Jersey is a huge achievement for us and we are thrilled to partner with such a renowned operator as Golden Nugget and to introduce our content to their customers. We see this market entry as a first and very important step into the US market and are preparing ourselves for future launches in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well." Warren Steven, Vice President of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, said: "Greentube is a supplier with a great track-record in Europe, having developed blue-chip titles, as well as innovative new games, that have proven longevity in numerous markets. This partnership will significantly enhance our existing offering with premium content, and we are excited to be the first operator in the US to give our customers access to the Greentube portfolio."
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South African platform provider Intelligent Gaming Limited (IGL) has become Yggdrasil’s latest Franchise partner, marking the supplier’s debut on the African continent.

Following regulatory approval and a successful integration, Yggdrasil’s premium iGaming content is now live with IGL and available to the company’s operator partners in South Africa via the innovative Franchise solution.

The Franchise solution provides IGL access to Yggdrasil’s modern technology stack, a catalogue of around 150 online games, and industry-leading promotional tools. Becoming a Franchise partner will extend IGL’s reputation as a premium online provider of iGaming content in its local African markets. IGL will be able to scale operations seamlessly via Franchise and in turn provide its African partners and players with premium online games from Yggdrasil.

IGL is a leading aggregator of content in the South African gaming market and supplies digital content to a range of operators, all of which will now have access to Yggdrasil’s games.

Through the Franchise solution, IGL will distribute Yggdrasil’s award-winning online casino suite as well as the third-party games from the YG Masters program. The first IGL operator to offer Yggdrasil games is Supabets, a popular sports betting and casino brand with a vast retail and digital business in South Africa and other African countries.

Andrew Pegler, Director of Commercial Operations at Yggdrasil, said: “This is a milestone achievement for Yggdrasil as we penetrate a massive market opportunity. We are very happy to have Intelligent Gaming as a Franchisee.

“This deal provides them with everything that has been created by Yggdrasil in the past eight years and will enhance their growing business operations in Africa. They are an ambitious, experienced, and well-connected supplier and see the huge potential of taking a Franchise in their key markets. This deal demonstrates how Yggdrasil is becoming a leading worldwide publisher of online gaming content.”

Marc Plaxton-Harrison, Co-Founder and CEO at Intelligent Gaming, said: “Intelligent Gaming is extremely proud to be a Franchise partner for Yggdrasil in South Africa and Africa. The games offered by Yggdrasil are of outstanding quality and will have a significant role to play in the market. I am extremely excited about this partnership.”

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Africa

SA Court Ruling Prohibits Lottery Betting

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The Mpumalanga High Court has ruled that betting on the outcome of lotteries is in contravention of South Africa’s Lotteries Act (1997) and should be prohibited.

The ruling was made at the end of August 2021 in a long-running court case between the lottery operator Ithuba and various parties, including Lottostar Pty.

The judges ruled that “the scheme of Lottostar whereby it offers bets, whether or not of a fixed-odd nature, on the outcome of lotteries is declared unlawful” and that Lottostar “is interdicted from offering bets, whether or not of a fixed-odd nature, on the outcome of any lottery”.

The court decided that betting on lotteries was in contravention of Section 57 of the Lotteries Act: a person will be guilty of an offence if he or she conducts, organises, promotes, devises or manages any scheme, plan, competition, arrangement, system, game or device which directly or indirectly provides for betting, wagering, gambling or any other game of risk on any outcome of any lottery unless authorised by or under this Act or any other law.

Ithuba has argued that lottery betting does not contribute to good causes and reduced the revenues of the national lottery.

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Africa

PRAGMATIC PLAY SET FOR AFRICAN EXPANSION WITH INTELLIGENT GAMING DEAL

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PRAGMATIC PLAY SET FOR AFRICAN EXPANSION WITH INTELLIGENT GAMING DEAL
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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is now distributing its premium products to the first one of Intelligent Gaming’s tier one operators going live with immediate effect. Supabets are one of South Africa’s largest and most innovative wagering operators and are proud to be the first operator in the country to offer the incredible suite of products offered by Pragmatic Play.

A renowned operator in the region, Intelligent Gaming’s players will gain access to Pragmatic Play’s repertoire of high-quality slots such as the popular John Hunter series and its range of Megaways™ games, including Power of Thor Megaways™.

Also, to debut on Intelligent Gaming’s platform will be the supplier’s Live Casino content, including classics table games Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat, as well as the innovative gameshow inspired Mega Wheel and the thrilling Mega Roulette. Intelligent Gaming are also set to take Pragmatic Play’s virtual sports and scratch cards offering.

The partnership marks Pragmatic Play’s continued momentum in South Africa and comes on the back of diligent compliance work undertaken to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of the project.

Yossi Barzely, Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: South Africa is yet another region that is key to our development goals so it’s exciting to get on board with a partner such as Intelligent Gaming. Their insight and experience in the market is essential and we’re thoroughly looking forward to working with them.”

Intelligent Gaming CEO, Marc Plaxton-Harrison said: “Intelligent Gaming are extremely excited to introduce Pragmatic Play to the South African market – it has a tremendously diverse content offering filled with quality titles. The entire Pragmatic Play team have been very agile and hands on and are set to be a strong force in the market here.”

Currently producing up to five new slot titles a month, Pragmatic Play also delivers Bingo games as part of its multi-product portfolio, available through one single API.

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