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Casinos Austria Appoints New Members to the Supervisory Board

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Casinos Austria Appoints New Members to the Supervisory Board
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NEW MEMBERS WERE APPOINTED TO THE SUPERVISORY BOARD AT CASINOS AUSTRIA AG ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND SUPERVISORY BOARD MEETING.

  • Reorganisation of the Supervisory Board: Wolfgang Hesoun is the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board – additional experts have been appointed
  • Syndicate contract brings stability to the corporate group
  • Player protection is to be a focus of the Supervisory Board
  • Implementation of extensive restructuring programme
  • Strengthening of distribution and online offers – fight against illegality

Reorganisation of the Supervisory Board

New members were appointed to the Supervisory Board at Casinos Austria AG Annual General Meeting and Supervisory Board Meeting.

At Casinos Austria AG, Wolfgang Hesoun, a top Austrian manager, took the helm as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. His currently sole Vice Chairman is SAZKA Group CEO Robert Chvatal, who has chaired the Board since Walter Rothensteiner’s departure.

ÖBAG Director and former PwC CEO Christine Catasta and compliance and player protection expert Erika Stark-Rittenauer were appointed to the Supervisory Board. Gerhild Hofer and Thomas Polzer are leaving the committee.

“I am delighted that we were able to secure an experienced top manager as President of the Supervisory Board, and that person is Wolfgang Hesoun. Our current personnel decisions show that after a challenging period, we are embarking on a new chapter for the company, one in which the Managing Board, the employees, the Supervisory Board and the owners work together to create a positive future for the company,” says ÖBAG Managing Board member Thomas Schmid.

Syndicate contract brings stability to the company

The basis for the changes in membership of the Boards is the syndicate contract between the SAZKA Group (majority owner) and the state-owned holding company ÖBAG. This contract was recently approved by the EU Competition Commission. “The syndicate contract between the two main owners amicably regulates the strategic development and alignment of the corporate group. Our shared vision and long-term strategy provide the stability that the company needs. This is particularly important in the current difficult situation as well as with regard to the challenges facing the corporate group in the near future. In particular, the two main owners will make a substantial contribution to strengthening distribution and building up new online services, as well as driving forward the urgently needed fight against illegality,” SAZKA CEO Robert Chvatal says about the new cooperation between the owners.

Player protection is to be a focus of the Supervisory Board

Player protection and handling gambling responsibly has always been a central issue within the Casinos Austria/Österreichische Lotterien Group. In future, the Supervisory Board will provide tangible support for the company’s efforts in this crucial area. “Casinos and lotteries bear great social responsibility in the gaming sector. As a core shareholder, it is of particular interest to ÖBAG that our shareholdings continue to expand their pioneering role in the area of player protection in Europe. With Erika Stark-Rittenauer, we on the Supervisory Board can provide valuable input in this regard,” Schmid says with respect to the future focus.

Implementation of the restructuring programme

The report on the ReFIT restructuring programme was discussed at length in today’s meetings. Following intensive negotiations, a comprehensive package was put together in a very short time, and most of it has already been implemented. These far-reaching measures will save 50 million euros in the long run and reduce the number of employees by around 500 FTEs across the entire Group. The fact that almost the entire personnel reduction could be carried out in the form of amicable separations and accompanied by corresponding social plans, new collective agreements and company agreements was noted as a positive aspect. This was possible because an amount in the high double-digit millions was spent on the design of these separation packages. Far-reaching internal restructuring has made processes much more efficient and made it possible to focus on new entrepreneurial tasks. This has created a basis for the long-term security of the corporate group.

Central Europe

BMM Testlabs Celebrates the Grand Opening of New Gaming Laboratory in Slovenia

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BMM Testlabs Celebrates the Grand Opening of New Gaming Laboratory in Slovenia
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BMM Testlabs, the world’s original gaming test lab, inspection body, and product certification consultancy, is pleased to announce that it is celebrating the grand opening of its new office and product testing laboratory in Ljubljana, Slovenia today. The opening of BMM Slovenia will be hosted by Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, who has over 20 years of gaming laboratory experience.

Martin Storm, Executive Chairman and CEO of BMM International, stated, “BMM Slovenia provides product testing and certification services for games, systems, and associated equipment for the gaming industry across online and land-based gaming. The team in Slovenia works closely with BMM’s successful European gaming labs in Spain, Italy, Poland, and Romania, as well as BMM’s eleven additional locations around the world, continuing to provide its customers access to the global gaming industry.”

Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, commented, “We are pleased to welcome our industry friends and customers to the grand opening of BMM Slovenia. Attendees can expect an afternoon of entertainment with some very special guests and even a few surprises. Our Slovenian team has been servicing local manufacturers and operators for many years, and we are pleased to continue BMM’s reputation as the best gaming test lab in the world. The combination of BMM’s high quality services and our Slovenian team’s longevity and experience will lead to many opportunities throughout the region.”

Storm continued, “I am pleased that Marzia Turrini (Executive Vice President, EURSAM) and I are here in Slovenia for the grand opening event. We are grateful to our customers around the world for the opportunity to grow our business with them, and now extend our services into Slovenia.”

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Central Europe

GiG Comply continues to drive compliance with new partner, Merkur

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GiG Comply continues to drive compliance with new partner, Merkur
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Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) have today announced a new partnership for its automated affiliate marketing compliance tool GiG Comply, with German based operator Merkur.

The igaming industry in Germany is a robustly regulated marketplace, which helps make compliance a priority for operators like Merkur, placing an emphasis on the need to protect their brands. GiG Comply is an automated marketing compliance solution that scans web pages for content including links, iGaming code red words and regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions. It works by using its rules engine to analyse real snapshots from affiliates’ campaigns and provides operators with the promotional content that is being used in their brands’ promotions.

It is a flexible tool, which allows operators to set-up their own criteria and checklist parameters and can be tailored to cover any market-specific requirements, helping to ensure that operators remain compliant in multiple jurisdictions.

Jonas Warrer, Chief Marketing Officer at GiG, said: “It’s important that GiG Comply will continue to help Merkur, as it does our other partners, to remain proactive and in control of its marketing compliance. We’re delighted to be able to ensure affiliates are fully aligned with their brand and responsible gaming requirements.”

Martin Collins, Affiliate Lead at Merkur, said: “With everything we do here at Merkur Partners we aim to do it right, especially when it comes to compliance. All our brands are operated by local licenses both on and offline and where we abide by the rules. Having GiG Comply on board as a strategic partner is a great starting point as both sides come with a vast knowledge of the igaming world, and with ever changing regulations, we will make a great partnership.”

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Jokerstar Casino operated by Kling Automaten GmbH goes live in Germany

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Pragmatic Solutions is very proud to announce, that Jokerstar Casino (www. jokerstar .de) is live in the regulated German online gaming market.

Kling was established in 1954. The third-generation family-run company operates 165 Joker casino arcades across Germany. One of the casino operator’s highest values is offering its customers the best quality. Therefore, both Joker arcades and their well-trained staff stand out compared to all their competitors. Germany-wide, around 1000 employees contribute to the casino operator’s success. Over the past decades, the company has continued to grow steadily on its solid foundation and is currently the sixth largest land-based operator. Kling is always seeking new opportunities and is therefore now boldly expanding Jokerstar into the regulated online market.

The establishment of the new regulatory regime in Germany to license and regulate online gaming presented an opportunity for Kling to expand their land-based business into the online sector. After a comprehensive vendor evaluation process, Kling chose Pragmatic Solutions to provide the platform technology to support this exciting new phase and ensure local regulatory compliance.

After many months of collaboration with Kling, Pragmatic Solutions implemented all the necessary regulatory controls to enable Jokerstar to meet the strict conditions of the German locally regulated casino market.  These measures included enforcement of deposit and betting limits, implementation of problem gambling controls including the “panic button” 24-hr instant cool-off period, integration with the OASIS national self-exclusion database, integrations with the LUGAS central monitoring database, and numerous additional operational and player-experience feature enhancements to give Kling a real advantage in the market.

Pragmatic Solutions is the platform technology sister-company of the industry content leader, Pragmatic Play. The company provides iGaming operators with enterprise platform technologies built around a core Player Account Management (PAM) platform. The Pragmatic Solutions PAM is designed using a modern microservices architecture and contains a player account, wallet, CRM tools, bonus management tools, payment tools, KYC/AML and fraud-prevention services, and is underpinned by rules-based automation throughout. In addition to the PAM, Pragmatic Solutions provides a Content Management System to power the gaming brand frontend clients and an Integrations Hub to connect the operator to many third-party content, payment gateways and services.

For Kling, Pragmatic Solutions presented a full-stack solution to accelerate their time to market and provide a solid technological foundation for Jokerstar.

Juergen Kling, CEO of KLING AUTOMATEN GmbH, explained their choice of Pragmatic Solutions by saying, “We are very excited about the new online opportunity for Kling, and we have ambitious plans for Jokerstar online casino. We have a long-term vision and need a technology partner that can help us enter the market successfully today and provide ongoing innovation and development support in the future to ensure that Jokerstar casino becomes a dominant player in the regulated German market. After a comprehensive evaluation process, we found Pragmatic Solutions to have the right technology, experience in regulated markets, and a strong commitment to supporting our business as we expand into online gaming. We are very excited and proud to announce the launch of Jokerstar.de and the next phase of our partnership with Pragmatic.”

Ashley Lang, Pragmatic Solutions’ CEO, commented on the announcement, “We are delighted to be working with Juergen and the team at Kling in this exciting project. We believe established land-based operators have great potential to lead in regulated markets and to support Kling we have made significant developments to the platform to ensure that it is fully compliant with both the transitional German regime that began on 15 October 2020 and the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling that came into force from the 1 July 2021. We could not be more pleased or proud to be supporting Kling in the launch of Jokerstar casino.”

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