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Gaming Contributed €1.56bn to the Economy of Malta

George Miller

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MGA organises workshop for BOV officials
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The economy of mga  received €1.56bn from gaming in 2019, which represents a 9.6% year-on-year growth according to data from the 2019 report of the Malta Gaming Authority AKA the MGA.

According to the report, there’s been an ongoing enforcement drive by the MGA, during which it has succeeded in cancelling 14 casino licenses in 2019 alone. There’s also been a 3.9% increase in the number of casino firms and sites in operation – on which you can do things like play online blackjack and crowd favourite slots on – taking the total number to 294, which is still below what it was in 2017.

A look at the €1.56bn additional profit and the total value of the goods/services that the casino industry produces, minus the total consumed value, placed the gaming sector at the third position in the list of the private sectors that contributed highest to the economy of Malta. It stands just behind the retail, food, and accommodation industry at number one and professional services at number two.

Talking about this, the MGA also proposed that gaming also helps in the generation of added value through other ancillary and affiliate services to other main sectors like the real estate, distributive trades, catering services and hospitality, ICT activities, financial sector and professional services sector.

In 2019, the gaming industry provided up to 7,417 jobs, which is a 9.2% year-on-year increase. Out of the total number of jobs mentioned above, the online gaming industry had 6,593. Now, the MGA did not announce the total gaming revenue for the industry, but it went ahead to announce the revenues gained by different types of games.

The first set is made up of the ‘player versus house casino games,’ and this accounts for more than 56% of the total revenue, against the 55.4% of the previous year. In this category, the games that took the centre stage were slots, and they accounted for more than 74.4% of the revenue made by this category. The table games stood at a distant 21.5%.

The second category is made up of sports betting, and this raked in 36.3% of the total revenue, signalling a drop in the 39.0% that it generated the year before. The most prevalent game in this sector is the game of football, which brought in 76.4% of the total revenue, while the contribution by tennis stood at 7.7%, and basketball contributed 5.9%.

For the third category, we have ‘player versus player,’ games and this raked in 7.7% of the total revenue. Poker contributed 81.9% to this, and betting exchanges brought in 10.3%.

The body also has another category of games that it gives licenses for, and this type 4 license is given for controlled skill games. But because the revenue that came through this was very minimal in the scheme of things, it wasn’t added.

There was also a 12.7% growth in the number of active player profiles in online casinos operating with a license from Malta, with the number standing at 20.4m at the moment.

14 casinos were cancelled while the MGA was enforcing its regulations in 2019. This is an increase from the 8 that were cancelled in 2018 and 3 that received the same treatment in 2017. Also, the regulatory body sent 11 licensed casinos into suspension, the same number they did in 2018.

They placed great emphasis on ensuring that the increase in enforcement and compliance they are embarking on reflects its structure and governance. According to the chief executive of the MGA, Heathcliff Faruggia, they committed more money to compliance, to ensure that the risk-based approach to enforcement and regulation is implemented.

There was an increase in the total number of companies operating with licenses in Malta as well, going from 283 in 2018 to 294 in 2019. But this is still not up to what was the case in 2017 when they had 296 companies. There was also an increase in the total number of active licenses from 286 to 298.

They issued new licenses to 53 out of 89 applicants. This is below the 93 that were handed licenses in 2018, and the explanation given by MGA about this is that it was because of the alterations they made in their licensing system from August 2018. The new provision holds that there wouldn’t be any need for new licenses for operators who already possess the critical gaming supply or gaming service license when they want to start offering products that are captured by a different class of license.

The MGA also delved into ad hoc responsible gambling audits in 2019.

For Faruggia, through these audits, the firm has been able to ensure that the lawful safeguards that each license enforces are effective and that they keep relaying information to the authority on how best to protect the vulnerable in the sector.

In 2019, the regulator gained €81.7m, which is an 8.6% increase. Most of the funds were from levies and compliance contributions, and it had an 8.1% increase. Also, €8.1m was made in license fees, which is a 16.1% growth, while fees for license application brought in €477,605 revenue, which is a 16.6% growth. The other sources capped this up with €817,276, which is a 14.9% drop.

When it comes to expenses, the MGA spent €13.2m – with staff costs totalling €7.2m, while depreciation and amortization, plus general and administrative costs stood at €1.2m.

In order to be ready for the future, the MGA did a survey of the licenses in April 2020, to study the impact of the current health crisis on the gaming sector. From a poll conducted for 151 B2C operators, there would be a drop of 12% in gaming revenue in 2020, and this is because of the drop in sports betting revenue. The revenue is predicted to experience a 40% decline. Also, 64 B2Bs were surveyed, and they also pointed to an expected 20% decline in revenue.

According to Faruggia, there has been an increased emphasis on the need to protect vulnerable players, especially now that our daily lives and finances have been heavily disrupted, and many are in the dark about their financial future. But then, the industry is also experiencing huge pressure through operational costs, and they have to consider this in line with the new reality.

The body is making efforts to ensure that operators with licenses adhere to the guidelines, while those without licenses, who are out there to make illegal money and put the public in danger are stopped.

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MrSlotty and EGT Digital sign new partnership

George Miller

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MrSlotty and EGT Digital sign new partnership
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

EGT Digital is happy to announce its new partnership with the leading slots provider, MrSlotty.

The Bulgaria-based company will have the chance to provide the fresh gaming content of MrSlotty to their customers. Moreover, they will benefit from the Lithuanian provider’s cutting edge platform and its third-party content.

Adding the huge selection of third-party games, powered by the world’s best software providers, EGT Digital will have the chance to provide premium content to operators worldwide. Designed to engage the players and to offer them an exclusive customer journey, MrSlotty’s high-tech platform will align perfectly with EGT Digital’s passion for fully satisfying the players’ needs.

From old-school classic slots to modern slot games, all in HTML5 is what MrSlotty offers to the industry. Among the titles from their content suite are the popular names – Mermaid Gold, Joker Dice, Dracula’s Gems, 50 Lines of War, etc.

The premium slots developer from Lithuania will integrate their portfolio of over 50 games into EGT Digital’s growing online platform. Their games are suitable for mobile phones and thanks to the compatible technology, they can be played on many different types of devices. There is no need to say that this makes their games highly attractive to the players.

For EGT Digital, Alexander Botov, CEO shared: “We are very pleased to partner with MrSlotty because their high-quality content will be such a gem in our portfolio of games. We are sure that this will be a long-lasting partnership that will lead both of us to the desired success”.

For MrSlotty and MrSlotty GameHub, Anatoliy Peev, the Director, shared: “EGT Digital has developed a reputation as a well-established software provider, and we are glad to join forces with them to additionally expand our content and aggregation footprint with the many clients they work with.”

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HSBC UK increases gambling block feature to 3 days

George Miller

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HSBC UK increases gambling block feature to 3 days
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With lockdown causing an increase in gambling, HSBC UK and first direct have today announced an increased cooling off period to their gambling block feature, from 24 hours to 72 hours.

The self-restriction tool, which prevents customers from being able to make gambling payments on their accounts after it’s switched on, will automatically decline any gambling transactions for three days, to help people control their urge to gamble.

Recently published data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) highlights that lockdown measures have had an impact on gambling behavior in the UK, with a month-on-month increase of 29% in gross gambling yield (GGY), and a 7% increase in active accounts.

Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK said: “This is a challenging time for many of our customers, with some not working and perhaps facing financial difficulty. By increasing the restriction to 72 hours, this will help give our customers time to pause when they are tempted to return to gambling.

“We are always looking for new ways to support our customers and make it easier for them to manage their finances. Customer feedback on our gambling control showed us there was more we could do to help and we’ve worked closely with them and with GamCare to design the solution.”

Available to HSBC UK and first direct customers with an active debit card, the option can be switched on via the ‘Manage Cards’ section on the HSBC UK mobile app (within the ‘Cards’ section of the fd mobile app), as well as via telephone banking or by going into a branch – giving customers added control over their spending.

Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, says: “The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is an important tool for those struggling with their gambling, and is ideally used together with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software, and specialist support around the issue – as we have recently emphasised through our ‘TalkBanStop’ partnership and campaign.

“The University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre has also highlighted that ‘positive friction’ such as a cooling off period is important for the success of blocks, as this prevents them being turned off in the event of urges to gamble. GamCare is pleased to see HSBC UK and first direct take this positive step to support their customers.”

HSBC UK and first direct both have their own specialist support teams on hand to help vulnerable customers including those at risk of financial harm from gambling and can refer customers to a trusted external organisations where needed.

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Week 3/2021 slot games releases

George Miller

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Week 3/2021 slot games releases
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Here are this weeks latest slots releases!

Pragmatic Play, has unveiled the latest addition to its Reel Kingdom collaboration, Emerald King Rainbow Road. Utilising a high-volatility, casino classic feel, the 3×5 slot sees players return to the Kingdom of the Emerald Isle in search of even more riches. Packed with features, Emerald King Rainbow Road rewards players for finding Pot of Gold Symbols, which can trigger the Eliminator Bonus, with more Scatter Symbols leading to bigger wins. Through this round, players can also trigger the Rainbow Road Bonus or Emerald King Bonus. The Emerald King Bonus sees reels light up green with each spin, starting a mini-slot machine in the middle of a reel, which can pay out huge amounts if Lucky 7s line up.

PRAGMATIC PLAY AND REEL KINGDOM PARTNER FOR EMERALD KING SEQUEL

 

 

GAMOMAT, one of the leading independent slot game developers, has launched its industry-first TRIPLE RUSH feature for the much loved Take 5 title. TRIPLE RUSH offers players the thrilling experience of enjoying three spins from just one bet. TRIPLE RUSH limits stake size to 1€, has no effect on individual game RTP or the maximum player return.  This new feature follows the successful roll out of the DOUBLE RUSH feature at the close of 2020. Following rave reviews for DOUBLE RUSH, this innovative feature has been added to Fruit Mania.

GAMOMAT introduces TRIPLE RUSH - one bet three spins

FunFair Technologies, has launched its most popular blockchain slot title, Shamrock Treasures, into the online gaming vertical. Players enjoying the game follow the charming Leprechaun Fergus O’Fun on his quest for Shamrock Treasures, within a 3×3 title showcasing a classic Irish theme which appeals to both slot enthusiasts and total newcomers. Bettors on the hunt for a four-leaf clover discover the slot’s inviting symbols, ranging from pots of gold to Leprechaun pipes, as well as its thrilling gameplay features and immersive soundtrack. Landing three Shamrock Scatter Symbols on the reels triggers a multi-level wheel bonus, which generates increasingly attractive prizes after three successive spins, offering potential wins of over x6000.

FunFair Technologies harnesses luck of the Irish with Shamrock Treasures

 

Kalamba Games is inviting players to a spooky fairground to try their luck at shooting ducks for big wins in their feature-filled title Ducks Till Dawn. Set in twilight and featuring familiar characters from the fairground, Ducks Till Dawn comes with a fresh new mechanic and a modern theme which is sure to thrill players of all demographics. Ducks move across the reels and if one is caught in the crosshairs the player will win the amount shown on the duck. If multiple ducks are landed, the win can be multiplied up to 200x the bet for extra volatility. The Spin Boost feature allows players to fill two meters at the top of the screen by simply playing the base game. The gauges increase with each spin and when full, award up to 15 Free Spins, adding an extra layer of engagement to the title.

Kalamba Games launches thrilling title Ducks Till Dawn

 

Scientific Games Corporation has expanded its portfolio of games developed under license from Hasbro, Inc. with the launch of its new feature-packed online slot game CLUEDO Cash Mystery. The new title from Scientific Games’ in-house studio builds on the Company’s popular portfolio of Hasbro branded content, the two companies having collaborated together since 1998 on leading gaming brands, including the top selling MONOPOLY franchise. CLUEDO Cash Mystery is based on the globally recognized board game brand and incorporates all the familiar characters, rooms and weapons associated with the brand. Offering a top prize of £250,000, the online slot brings the classic game to life across 5 reels, offering 180 free spin combinations, up to 6x multipliers, and up to 25 spins that will make for a high action gaming experience with thrilling reveals.

Scientific Games Expands Portfolio Licensed Games With CLUEDO Cash Mystery Release in International markets

 

Inspired Entertainment, Inc is pleased to announce the launch of Vegas Cash Spins™, a 25-line, 5×3-reel, classic Vegas-themed slot game, available online and on mobile. Akin to playing on a classic Big Wheel Las Vegas style slot machine, the game’s vibrant graphics and easy gameplay will please and amuse fans of traditional slot games. Giving players the chance to enjoy the fun and thrill of Las Vegas, Vegas Cash Spins features the popular re-spin mechanic, coupled with bonus wheels that combine for big prize potential. Six or more wheel symbols in view will trigger the Vegas Cash Spins Bonus, in the base game​. If the wheels land in a 2×2 shape they will transform into a bonus chance wheel with an extra chance to get into the bonus, delivering players a highly engaging gameplay experience from the outset and throughout.

Inspired launches Vegas Cash Spins - a classic Las Vegas-themed slot game

 

Stakelogic is taking players on a mystical adventure where they must smash away ancient blocks and charge magic totems in order to unlock the most valuable treasures hidden deep within a Mayan temple. Mayan Rush™ is a 5×5 reel, 3,125 payline video slot that is visually striking and with sound that immerses players in a highly authentic and entertaining experience. This is combined with a range of features that deliver thrilling gameplay. In the base game, each consecutive win removes ancient blocks from the reels which in turn allows for more wins from that spin. When all blocks have been removed, the game enters Rush Mode.

Feel the big win anticipation build with Mayan Rush™

 

A brand new Play’n GO title comes crashing into the market today, as they release their 5×3 video slot, Bull in a China Shop. Bull in a China Shop is the perfect release to prepare for, Chinese New Year, which this year is the year of the Ox, the inspiration for this title. The game focuses on a shop owner who brings a bull to their store to celebrate the new year. Of course, it doesn’t go well, and now players have to save the day and pick up rewards along the way. The bull itself is not only the focus of the theme; it is also the Wild symbol in the game. Not only does it help players create wins on paylines every time it lands, it also triggers one of three special features, so there’s always something for them to look forward to. Variety is also a part of the game’s free spins, where players can choose one of those three features to play with during their spins; giving them more control over their session.

Play’n GO Are ‘Bull-ish’ Over Their New Slot Release!

 

Playson has released its latest immersive slot, 5 Super Sevens & Fruits. Seven symbols are key to the 3×5 title, as prizes for them are awarded when three appear adjacently on a payline. The rest of the game symbols pay regularly: from leftmost to rightmost on the five bet lines. To ramp up the excitement, Gold Star Scatter symbols land on the grid to pay out wins regardless of where they appear. As the newest addition to Playson’s Timeless Fruit Slots portfolio, the game joins successful hits such as Super Burning Wins: Respin, Imperial Fruits: 100 lines and the recently-launched Diamond Wins: Hold and Win.

Playson turns up the heat with 5 Super Sevens & Fruits

 

Pragmatic Play, has put together a vibrant jungle expedition in its latest game, Congo Cash. In partnership with Wild Streak Gaming, the 5-reel video slot provides players with 432 different ways to win and immerses them in a dense jungle environment. Players will need their walking boots and map at the ready, since this exploration is littered with exotic animals, wild beasts and big potential wins. The Butterfly and the Congo Cash symbols can land players one of the huge money prizes displayed on the jewels above the reels. Congo Cash also features three available jackpots – Minor, Major and Grand, with plenty of adventure awaiting in the Free Spins mode, which can be triggered if three Scatter Symbols land on the reels.

Pragmatic Play Delivers a Wild Jungle Adventure in Latest Slot Congo Cash

 

Yggdrasil, has embraced the icy return of winter with Frost Queen Jackpots. Players are welcomed into the frozen palace of the beautiful Frost Queen in search of hidden treasures scattered throughout the castle. Explorers are tasked with collecting matching keys. If they find all five keys in the same-coloured set they are awarded with 10 free spins for a chance to win five different progressive jackpots. Each jackpot is colour-coded and players can win more than one jackpot in the free spins mode. The game follows the same successful concept featuring in many of Yggdrasil’s local jackpot titles with five of a kind collectibles which have proven popular with global players. If players land three Magic Mirror scatter symbols in the base game, they are transported to either the Jackpot Free Spins or Treasure Chest Bonus Game.

Yggdrasil ventures into the magical midwinter in search of fortune in Frost Queen Jackpots

 

Fruit Million, a traditional-style fruit slot released in the middle of December, has quickly become one of the most successful games in BGaming’s line-up. It has become one of the top eight slots of a major casino in just 10 days. The slot with 100 paylines and features such as extended wilds and a gamble round surprises casino lovers with its simplicity and generosity. Furthermore, it is designed in a way that keeps players involved and entertained.

Fruit Million a “Shapeshifter” Online Slot by BGaming

 

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