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What Impact Has Lockdown Had on Online Gambling?

George Miller

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What Impact Has Lockdown Had on Online Gambling?
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

2020 has been a year of changes, and a lot of these modifications and alterations to our lives have been illustrated across the internet and search engines. Whether this has been seen through increased searches for baking recipes or home workouts, Google can track trends and show change over time and comparisons with previous years.

While some were configuring home offices, gamers around the world were contemplating what to do when sports were gradually canceled. One industry that acted as the perfect example of the impact of COVID restrictions was the online gambling industry. As gambling itself spans multiple sectors, it’s interesting to look further into how exactly the industry adapted and changed according to the ‘new normal’.

Searches Show Sports Betting Down Significantly

According to studies, searches for sports bets dropped 57.08% – presumably as people realized there were no live sports to bet on, while casinos saw a 76.18% increase in search volume. Betting on a sport and betting at an online casino offer similar experiences for customers, so it makes sense that those who are unable to gamble in one way may have searched for a new way to do so. Many online casino sites ensured that they were prepared for the onslaught of new customers – especially those new to the industry – with a series of welcome bonuses and promotions.

Lottery Surges in Ireland

As sports were rained out for the months of lockdown in Ireland and even around the world – the Olympics was postponed, which has only previously happened during times of war – those interested in gambling turned to other modes of entertainment. One of these was the online lottery in Ireland, which takes the basic concept of the lottery and scratch cards, and merges them with themes such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

The digital nature of the lottery benefits from what technology offers, adding an additional layer to the traditional game. Indeed, in Ireland, the malleability of the online casino offering has led to a further appreciation of the online experience.

eSports Sees New Fans

Moreover, eSports still continued to be played. Indeed, the absence of traditional sports and the ability to still watch and engage with those who play online led to a growth in eSports over lockdown. Hours spent spectating on Twitch rose by 99% – from December 2019’s 867 million per month to May 2020’s 1.72 billion. These viewers were retained even after restrictions were eased, showing that many had discovered a newfound appreciation for eSports that continued when conditions were more routine.

Sites Eye Back-Up Plans

The sudden need to change their plans will no doubt have spurned the entire industry to be more malleable in unexpected circumstances. As some things are clearly out of the control of the industry, reactions to these things are not, so many sites will no doubt have strengthened their offering to react to any sudden changes in the future. Many gambling sites already offer a range of different verticals – from lottery, bingo, and casino games, to sports betting – meaning that should one be out of action, the others would ensure loyal customers still had something to do.

The lockdown presented a change for many industries – and many were able to adapt. Restaurants moved to takeaway food, personal trainers delivered classes online, and gambling shifted from sports betting to alternative methods. Whether these were online casinos or lotteries, or even into the realm of eSports, people adapted to their circumstances by discovering new ways to gamble. As sports returned, some even maintained their new hobbies as well.

Balkans

AdmiralBet to offer NSoft’s virtual games

George Miller

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AdmiralBet to offer NSoft’s virtual games
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AdmiralBet Serbia now offers NSoft’s premium content to its players on admiralbet.rs. The engaging content pack includes draw-based Lucky Six, Lucky X and Next Six together with Dog races and Virtual Greyhound Races, Virtual Horse Races and exciting Virtual Motorcycle Speedway.

“We are very excited to welcome AdmiralBet. This operator is a name in the industry with significant market share and they already have very engaging content to offer to the players. We believe that our games will help them boost their business even further. It is always exciting to watch how the engagement of the players develops with different operators and different markets,” stated Dalibor Ostojić, Regional Sales Manager at NSoft.

Working with nearly 200 clients across 44 countries, NSoft has created the suite of products that are easy to integrate to all platforms, customisable by client needs, and release lightning fast to production. This claim is supported by clients’ growth in 2020 by 47.4%.

“We always strive to offer the highest quality service to the players. The market is very competitive which is good as it ensures that we all want to give an added value to our clients.

One way to achieve excellence is by doing business with the top industry suppliers. NSoft is for sure one of them,” Bojan Kesić,  Head of Development and IT at AdmiralBet.

He also stressed that AdmiralBet, as a part of the Novomatic group, a global leader in the industry of games of chance, heavily invests in every aspect of its business.

“We always have in mind the customers we interact with. This is why we collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of users around the world, and through cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools and mechanisms to bring their dreams to reality,” concluded Mr Kesić.

AdmiralBet operates in more than 200 bet shops in Serbia together with the online business offering for casino and live casino, sports betting, virtual games wagering and slots.

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Africa

Betsafe Officially Launches in Kenya

George Miller

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Betsafe Officially Launches in Kenya
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Bet High Kenya Ltd. is pleased to announce the official launch of its online sports betting brand, Betsafe, with a demonstrable commitment to Kenyan football, responsible gaming, and an exceptional sports betting experience.

“Our Responsible gaming program is unlike any other in this market with the safety of the Kenyan sports betting fans in mind. Our online site contains unique control and safety features directly on the site. Our communication will initially be focused on responsible gaming messages and we will furthermore support “Gamehelp” an organisation that supports Kenyans with gaming problem behaviour. We are also the first gaming company to hire a Responsible Gaming Officer who will be dedicated to pursue and improve us in this area,“ noted Alex Kobia, Acting Managing Director of BetHigh Ltd.

“Betsafe’s commitment to football was demonstrated even before our launch when we signed a three-year sponsorship deal with both Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards in June 2020. We are very glad and proud to be able to support two of Kenya’s top-tier football clubs. With two of the largest fan bases in the country, these exciting partnerships provide Betsafe with the perfect platform to engage football fans with our unique offering. This will be followed up by investments and commitment to the progress and positive development of grassroots football and infrastructure that will literally provide the breeding grounds for Kenya’s budding football stars,” Alex Kobia continued.

“In terms of product, our ambition is to deliver an industry leading sportsbetting experience. Quick payouts are essential for both us and our customers and we will do our utmost to ensure that over time we are the best in the industry here. Our brand Betsafe is proven in more than +20 countries, but we have also been working hard to tailor our product to the Kenyan market. In terms of SMS betting, we have a revolutionary innovation that will allow our customers to easily make a bet through SMS without a gameID. Just SMS your bet and stake to #23333 and the bet will be placed. If the customer changes his or her mind the bet can be cancelled within a time window after the bet is placed. We will also be launching this service via Telegram. In the next couple of months, several new product features will be added and launched, such as a jackpots offerings.

“As a Company keen on responsible gaming, we wish to commend and appreciate the recent efforts made by the Kenyan Government in the last couple of years through the Regulator, Betting Control and Licensing Board, to introduce regulations to further regulate the industry and wish to confirm that we will strictly adhere and fully support the Regulator in its objective of ensuring responsible gaming is achieved in the market. We are indeed glad to be entering the market during this interesting time under this new environment that has been enabled by the Regulator.”

“We also wish to highlight that it is our intention to provide jobs in the Kenyan market in this industry which is largely driven on technology, and our objective is to provide jobs to at least 150 Kenyans within the next two years which in our estimation will have the domino effect of providing livelihoods to about 1000 Kenyans.”

“In essence, our ambition is to deliver a trustworthy product with safe and quick pay-outs, innovative betting services, passion, and commitment to Kenyan football, responsible gaming, and outstanding customer support,” Alex Kobia concluded.

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Industry News

NOVOMATIC Ranks High in ESG Rating Reports

Niji Narayan

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NOVOMATIC Ranks High in ESG Rating Reports
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Recent ESG ratings by leading rating agencies acknowledge NOVOMATIC’s comprehensive efforts in managing Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors with excellent risk and performance ratings. In this year’s Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating, NOVOMATIC has got the third rank.

As a clearly measurable and transparent asset, similar to financial performance, ESG has become an important element of evidence for investor and other financial stakeholder decisions. Companies have come to clearly acknowledge the significance of efficient ESG commitments and performance improvement in their long-term strategy.

In April, ESG ratings firm Sustainalytics assessed NOVOMATIC AG to be at “Low risk of material financial impacts driven by ESG factors.” NOVOMATIC received an ESG Risk Ratings score of 18.8, placing it third among 80 international gaming companies rated by Sustainalytics and among the top 100 rated companies in the wider consumer services industry globally.

Rating agency ISS ESG also rates NOVOMATIC AG among the Electronic Devices & Appliances industry’s top tier with a “C“ rating and a decile rank of 4 in a rating dating of June. VigeoEiris Rating attests the company rank 19th out of 43 versus its European peers in the Technology-Hardware Sector in the V.E’s ESG Assessment. NOVOMATIC AG receives “A” RepRisk Rating (www.reprisk.com) on a scale of D to AAA denoting “Low ESG Risk Exposure” based on RepRisk ESG data science.

“The consistently very positive assessments by leading international ESG rating agencies prove that our efforts to improve our non-financial performance and reduce risks related to Environmental Social Governance are being widely noted as above gaming industry average. We are very much aware of our responsibilities in terms of corporate governance as well as of the social and environmental impact of our business, and we work hard to take a proactive approach by implementing sound principles and best practices. For NOVOMATIC, topics like Responsible Entertainment, reducing the environmental footprint and occupational health and safety are part of our business philosophy,” Johannes Gratzl, Member of the Board of NOVOMATIC AG, said.

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