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Gaming Contributed €1.56bn to the Economy of Malta

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Esports Technologies Announces Expansion with Addition of Third Office, in Malta
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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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BALLY’S CORPORATION ACQUIRES USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DEGREE 53

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BALLY’S CORPORATION ACQUIRES USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DEGREE 53
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Bally’s Corporation announced its acquisition of Degree 53, a Manchester, UK-based creative agency that specializes in multi-channel website and personalized mobile app and software development for the online gambling and sports industries. The agency’s award-winning approach and diversified skillset will advance Bally’s global omni-channel offering, providing key functionality for integrating Bally’s various mobile platforms. Degree 53’s team of 54 design and technical experts will continue to operate out of its Manchester studio.

Adi Dhandhania, Chief Operating Officer – North America, Bally Interactive, the Company’s digital division, said, “We are delighted to welcome Degree 53 to the Bally’s family. As we prepare to launch our Bally Bet 2.0 mobile sportsbook app early next year, we look forward to leveraging the Degree 53 team to develop our mobile sportsbook products and enhance our customers’ overall betting experience.”

Degree 53’s team offers a range of services, including sportsbook and casino mobile app and website development, complex system integration, data feed management, and API development. By delivering customized technology solutions, Degree 53 will enhance Bally’s diversified mobile platform, which includes integration to the Gamesys Group’s player account management and iGaming solution, in addition to supporting key audience engagement initiatives with Monkey Knife Fight and SportCaller. Degree 53 will also support product development as part of Bally’s media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“We have ambitious plans for our multi-faceted sports offering as we strive to appeal to new audiences across North America,” said Raja B-Sheikh, Senior Vice President of Sports Products for Bally Interactive. “The Degree 53 team arms us with a unique perspective and skillset that will further advance not only the core Bally Sports product, but also our ambitious plans for innovative and connected experiences. I am excited to work closely with the team as they contribute to our quest of making Bally’s the number one destination for gaming entertainment.”

Richard Wagstaff, Managing Director at Degree 53, said, “Degree 53 was founded in 2013 to provide creative and innovative online and software solutions for the online gaming industry. We are pleased that Bally’s has recognized the differentiated approach that we bring to the market and to join with them during such an exciting period of the Company’s evolution. This is an exciting time for online gaming and the sports betting industry, and we look forward to immersing ourselves in the diversified projects that Bally’s provides.”

Degree 53 has worked with some of the largest companies in the betting and gaming industry, including Betfred, Scientific Games, FDJ Gaming Solutions, Penn National and GBG, as well as Gamesys brands Vera&John and Rainbow Riches. Degree 53 holds the Remote Gambling Software license from the UK Gambling Commission, which allows the organization to build and adapt gambling software for the UK licensed operators. They are also an Associate Member of the European Lotteries.

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eSports

Eight partners on board for BLAST Premier’s return to arena events at November’s Fall Final

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Eight partners on board for BLAST Premier's return to arena events at November's Fall Final
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BLAST Premier teams up with Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Xbox, OMEN, Stimorol, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen ahead of next month’s Fall Final in Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena

BLAST Premier has brought on board eight new partners ahead of next month’s highly-anticipated Fall Final (24-28 November) – the esports tournament organiser’s first LAN event in over 20 months.

Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Xbox, OMEN, Stimorol, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen will all team up with BLAST Premier ahead of the long-awaited return of fans and physical events at Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena venue in late November.

The return of arena events with spectators provides a number of exciting in-person opportunities to engage and excite BLAST Premier’s Counter-Strike community at the first LAN event since the London Spring Series in February 2020.

Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk and Xbox team up with BLAST Premier for the first time, with the three brands making their first move into Counter-Strike, while the remaining line-up of partners have a strong history with the Copenhagen-based event.

Greater Copenhagen and BLAST Premier worked together to create Counter-Strike’s first ever live in-game prediction tool for last year’s Fall Final and will be sponsoring their first BLAST Premier event next month.

KPMG, OMEN and Stimorol will be partnering with BLAST for a third event – following last year’s online Fall Final and the 2019 Pro Series in Royal Arena. November’s tournament will be Elgiganten’s second event after the 2019 Pro Series.

All partners will be activating at BLAST Premier’s eagerly-anticipated return to LAN events at November’s Fall Final – via a number of fan engagement initiatives, giveaways and designated spaces at the venue to activate around on top of digital branding that will reach BLAST’s global audience watching from home.

The eight brands will join current partners, Betway, CS.MONEY, EPOS, SteelSeries and L33T Gaming – taking BLAST Premier’s portfolio of partners for the Fall Final to 13 in total.

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming a great, diverse line-up of partners for the BLAST Premier Fall Final in Copenhagen – one of Counter-Strike’s most eagerly-anticipated events of the year. We look forward to creating new activations and content together while capturing the huge fan excitement around BLAST’s return to LAN events and the iconic Royal Arena in November. The return of fans and physical events means we can provide our partners with further value and opportunities to engage and interact with the audience in-person.”

The Fall Final is BLAST Premier’s sixth event of the 2021 season and will see eight of world’s best CS:GO teams fighting it out for $425,000 in prize money along with a place in December’s World Final.

Full list of partners for the BLAST Premier Fall Final: Betway, CS Money, EPOS, SteelSeries, L33T Gaming, Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, OMEN, Stimorol, Xbox, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen.

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Top Interesting Facts About Online Casinos in Czechia

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Photo source: vegasslotsonline.com
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Whenever someone discusses a topic of gambling we usually immediately think of the US and Las Vegas. However, the majority of gambling activity actually happens online nowadays and it’s a very popular hobby in Canada, Australia, and all over the world in fact. Czechia is another country where this hobby is really popular, and there are some interesting facts about online gambling here.

The Czech Republic also has a strong community that enjoys online gaming. They have a big eSports audience, lots of people who love to bet, and among other things gamble online. So, let’s go over some of the interesting facts related to online casinos and the Czech Republic.

History of Gambling in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic became indecent back in 1993, and yet its gambling laws were in place even before that happened. In 1990 the only approved activities that were regulated by the government were lotteries. This changed in 2012 when the country decided to modernize its outdated laws.

Their new Gambling Act at that time actually allowed for online casinos to operate and accept their citizens as players. The condition here was that the operators had to have a land-based institution on the territory of the Czech Republic. In 2017, online sites that are based in the Czech Republic were made legal, and they didn’t have to have a land-based establishment. However, you will see that this act isn’t actually too lenient on the operators, especially when it comes to their expenses.

Legal Status of Online Gambling

As mentioned it’s legal to maintain an online casino here and to gamble online. That’s not all though, as users are allowed to gamble in institutions that belong to foreign operators. Even sites that operate illegally are not banned here, but players access them at their own risk. Luckily, they can find safe online casinos Czechia sites or available in Czechia by visiting other platforms that review those operators. This way they can ensure to benefit from different bonuses and promo codes, as well as gain access to more diverse gaming libraries.

Bonuses and Promotions

You might wonder why players from Czechia would even create an account with a foreign operator since it’s in their interest to support the local economy. Well, one of the main appeals of online gambling lies in bonuses and promotions, and that’s where things get tricky. The law here states that any operator licensed in Europe cannot offer bonuses or user incentives to attract new players. So, while some countries ban illegal offshore operators, and nobody considers it a big deal, for players in the Czech Republic it would actually be a big deal. They would lose access to some of the best promotions and cashback offers out there.

Revenue

One of the reasons why this country wants online casino operators to come here is because of the revenue. Casino gaming revenue from 2010 to 2017 increased by more than 100 million euros, and it made massive leaps ever since. In the year 2017, the revenue from online gambling was around 370 million dollars, and it continued to grow by around 16% on an annual basis. In the year 2019, the revenue from both land-based and online gambling was 1.36 billion euros. This is a huge deal which brings us to our next fun fact.

Taxing of Online Gambling Operators

Operators here pay massive tax on their income, 35% to be precise. In other words, more than a third of generated profits go to the government, which makes this industry in a way integral for their economy. Unfortunately, a lot of operators simply couldn’t put up with this tax and had to leave. Luckily, all of the reputable and well-established online gambling parlors are still around, and players can enjoy their content.

Number of Gamblers

In the Czech Republic you have to be over 18 in order to be allowed to gamble but the report from 2019 revealed that there are underaged gamblers in the Czech Republic. Now, this is pretty much the case in any country where gambling is legal, and it’s why this is a controversial topic. Still, almost 44% of people who are older than 15 gambled in the year 2019. This number is likely much higher for the years 2020 and 2021, as the pandemic led to a huge traffic increase on these sites.

Conclusion

These were some of the interesting facts about online casinos and gambling in general in the country of Czechia. Hopefully, you learned something new, and useful. If you ever wondered why the welcome offers and bonuses are lacking in some of the online casinos, it’s probably because they need to comply with the gambling act. Always remember to gamble responsibly, and to only maintain accounts with safe operators. Avoid reckless spending, and play primarily to have fun.

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