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Gauselmann Group’s Praesepe Opens 7 New Merkur Slots AGCs Since July

Niji Narayan

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Gauselmann Outlines Plans to Resume Operations in Germany
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Praesepe, part of the Gauselmann Group of UK-facing companies, has opened 7 new Merkur Slots AGCs since the gaming entertainment sector reopened on July 4. A further three venues are on course to open by the first week of September.

The latest Merkur Slots AGC is opened in the city of Wolverhampton and completes a busy period for Praesepe which has also undertaken launches in Lancaster, Southall, Hornchurch, Saltash, Bolton and Selby.  The new venues raise the total number of Praesepe operated AGCs in the UK to 166, spread across 144 towns and cities.

“First of all it means a lot to be introducing the unique Merkur Slots brand of gaming entertainment to new locations – in the process supporting local communities with the creation of new jobs. This is a very exciting time for the Merkur Slots brand. We have a unique edge in that we can offer players brand-new, modern venues that have been designed with social distancing in mind all of which means that Merkur Slots customers can game with total confidence,” Mark Schertle, COO of Praesepe, said.

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Lara Jones is Cleopatra sequel launched by Spearhead Studios

George Miller

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Lara Jones is Cleopatra sequel launched by Spearhead Studios
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The much-awaited sequel of the blockbuster Lara Jones is Cleopatra has been made available by Spearhead Studios, gaming developer within EveryMatrix Group. The new high-volatility title can bring wins up to a massive 17,000x.

Lara Jones is Cleopatra II sets its action inside the tomb of the famous Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. Fresh from her adventures in the highly successful prequel, Lara Jones is on her way to hunt the treasures buried within the Queen’s tomb.

Lara Jones is Cleopatra II is a high volatility, 5×3 video slot with ten pay lines and brings a Return to Player (RTP) of 96.10%. The base game offers Cleopatra Cascade Spins where all winning symbols stick, and re-spins keep occurring until the wins can no longer be improved. When reaching the free spins feature, where all wilds become sticky, players can choose between the standard or high volatility options.

Kevin Corti, Game Development Director at Spearhead, says: “I am, once again, extremely proud of what our team have achieved with this game. The math model is extremely engaging, the artwork is unquestionably stunning, and the audio captivates players’ attention. The Cleopatra Cascade base feature can be very rewarding for players, and the two volatility options provide them with the opportunity to seek out the bonus feature experience they most desire.”

The game, which was developed using Spearhead Studios’ proprietary game development technology and tools, is optimised for mobile gameplay and is highly responsive across devices. The UI responds fluidly to the device and orientation, and the file size is best-in-class for premium-quality games of this type. It is available in a wide range of currencies and languages and is certified for all major jurisdictions.

Earlier this month, Spearhead Studios announces its newly obtained certification for the Croatian market, bringing the total available markets to 12. Under the vision of creating Local Games for Local Markets, Spearhead Studios provides high-quality content in Malta, Spain, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Colombia, Germany, Belarus, and Croatia, with US and other territories to follow.

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UKGC Announces Commissioner Reappointments

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Announces Commissioner Reappointments
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that John Baillie and Catharine Seddon have been reappointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as Commissioners of the Gambling Commission for one year from 11 April 2021 to 10 April 2022.

John is a Chartered Accountant and a former partner of KPMG in Scotland and London. He is immediate past chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, the Scottish local authority watchdog and served two three-year terms. He was also a member of the Reporting Panel of the UK Competition and Markets Authority for nine years. John was also a visiting professor of accountancy at the University of Edinburgh and has previously held similar appointments at other Scottish universities.

Catharine spent 20 years as a film-maker before taking up public non-executive roles. She started as a graduate trainee producer with the BBC and soon specialised in high-end film documentaries, eventually setting up her own production company. She became a magistrate in 2000 and later left television to take up a variety of other judicial roles, to become a member of the Human Tissue Authority and to sit on the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.

Catharine now sits on the Legal Services Board, where she chairs its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and has recently joined the board of the HFEA. She is a founding member of the Health Service Products Appeal tribunal and is also a trustee for special needs charity, Cpotential.

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YouGov Poll Reveals Majority of Brits Oppose Betting Limits

Niji Narayan

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YouGov Poll Reveals Majority of Brits Oppose Betting Limits
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A survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has revealed that the majority of British adults oppose betting limits imposed by politicians.

According to the poll of 1683 British adults, 51% are opposed to limits, compared to just 27% who support them.

Critics have said that setting limits could slash over £60 million from the amount of money horseracing receives from the betting levy.

The YouGov poll also found that 59% of UK adults agree that “if there are too many limits placed on people to bet,” they will shift to the unlicensed and illegal black market, compared to 10% who disagree.

A report by PwC last month revealed that the number of British punters using black market sites to place bets has increased from 210,000 to 460,000 in the past two years, while the amount staked with unlicensed operators had doubled from £1.4bn to £2.8bn.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “My view is that limits are good, which is why people betting are now strongly encouraged to set their own limits on how much they spend. Affordability checks are also a good thing. But technology enables betting companies to see where customers are starting to display what we call ‘markers of harm’. In this way, potential problem gamblers and others who may be more at risk could be subject to enhanced affordability checks.

“Such a move would potentially also have serious ramifications for horseracing in particular, which relies heavily on the money it receives from the betting levy.

“I hope politicians will also take heed of the findings and listen to voters in Northern and Midlands marginal seats – who will be key to the result of the next election – who are wary of being told by Westminster how to live their lives, especially in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

“The BGC fully supports the Gambling Review and we want to see big changes, but it’s important that ministers get those changes right.”

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