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Ezugi Launches Live-dealer Games for Italian Gaming Giant Sisal

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Introducing One Day Teen Patti Classic from Ezugi
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Live-dealer roulette launched last week with more games to come as Ezugi makes inroads into Italian market

Live-dealer online casino provider Ezugi has ramped up its presence in the Italian market via a deal with gaming and lottery giant Sisal.

Ezugi’s live roulette offering launched on Sisal’s online casino and sports betting portal (sisal.it) last week, with more to come. Ezugi plans to go live with blackjack and punto banco on the platform in the coming weeks.

Italy has become a focal point of Ezugi’s expansion strategy. The country’s online gaming market grew by 46.5 percent in 2020, while the popularity of live dealer games has exploded in recent years in markets across the world.

Ezugi broadcasts from studios in nine locations globally, including Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and offers fully customizable platform.  That means Sisal’s games will use Italian dealers, with a localised look and feel.

The new deal builds on Ezugi’s recent strategic partnerships with Italian operators, but significantly enhances its footprint in the country.

Sisal is one of the biggest B2C operators in Italy, where it runs the SuperEnalotto lottery. It hit the headlines in Britain this week when it announced it would bid against Camelot for the UK National Lottery.   

Founded in 1945 by sports journalists, Sisal was the first licensed betting operator in Italy. Today, it boasts more than 39,000 retail outlets spread across the country.

Rais Busom, Ezugi Territory Manager, said: “This is a significant strategic deal for Ezugi and one that underlines our commitment to the vibrant Italian market. It’s an honour to partner with a major brand like Sisal, which has such scale and such a storied history. It demonstrates our strategy of seeking out blue-chip partnerships in exciting growth markets.” 

Industry News

Patrick Svensk Resigns as Chairman of Betsson

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Patrick Svensk, Chairman of the Board of Betsson AB (publ), has informed the Nomination Committee that he is resigning from Betsson’s Board of Directors and the assignment as Chairman with immediate effect. The Board has appointed Johan Lundberg, currently a member of Betsson’s Board, as the new Chairman.

Patrick Svensk has been a member of Betsson’s Board of Directors since 2005, and Chairman of the Board since 2017. The decision to resign from Betsson’s Board of Directors is based on the fact that the company’s major shareholders have stated that they no longer have full confidence in Patrick Svensk as Chairman of the Board. The lack of full trust is due to how the dismissal of the CEO was handled, which the company communicated in a press release on September 17, 2021.

“It is very sad, and I am sorry that I have disappointed our major owners, but I have done what I thought was best for the company. I am proud of what we have achieved during these years and wish everyone at Betsson great luck in the future,” Patrick Svensk said.

Johan Lundberg, who has been appointed as new Chairman by the Board, has been a member of Betsson’s Board since 2018. Johan Lundberg is the founder of NFT Ventures and a Board Member of Loomis, Svolder and Ölands Bank.

“I would like to extend a warm thank you to Patrick Svensk for his valuable contributions to the Board for almost 17 years. I look forward to continuing the work with the rest of the board to recruit the next generation of international leader to Betsson and at the same time complete the strategic work that is going on with renewal and growth,” Johan Lundberg said.

The Chairman of the Nomination Committee Michael Knutsson has expressed full confidence and support for the remaining Board members and its election of a new Chairman and supports the decision to seek the next generation of international leader for Betsson.

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Industry News

Holland Casino Expects Gains in H2 2021

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Holland Casino is preparing for recovery after a rough first half of the year, having been forced to close for more than 5 months due to measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic.

As anticipated by the Dutch state-owned company, the extended closure had a negative impact on its financial results for the first half of the year. But as its 14 branches have been operating again since June 5, the operator now expects to post positive results for the second half of 2021.

Turnover achieved in June shows that Holland Casino will soon be able “to operate in a healthy manner” again. Moreover, after having completed “necessary restructuring,” the company expects to become a more efficient and agile organisation, according to a press statement released on Wednesday.

Turnover for H1 2021 posted a low €28.8 million. Net results for tax purposes amounted to a loss of €64.8 million, compared to a loss of €37.8 million over the same period in 2020, in which the company remained open for several months.

“Although Coronavirus also hit our company head-on in the first half of 2021, notably our anniversary year in which we celebrate 45 years in business, we still look ahead with confidence. All in all, Netherlands was deprived of legal casino offer for almost a year, but now that the measures are disappearing little by little, recovery is in sight,” Erwin van Lambaart, CEO of Holland Casino, said.

“We see bright spots in the potential offer of online games of chance as of October 1, for which we have applied for a license, and the opening of our new world-class casino branches in Venlo and Utrecht,” van Lambaart added.

CFO Ruud Bergervoet considers that having sufficient liquid assets in the past six months was key to the company getting through the difficult period of closure. That, along with the NOW scheme, the deferral of tax payments, strict cost control measures and tight operation management, led to the company being able “to safeguard the continuity” of its operations over the past year and a half.

“The significant tax debt of €190.5 million is offset by a strong liquidity position without bank debt. We are therefore considering paying off this tax debt more quickly if no new Coronavirus measures are introduced and the recovery actually continues. The results after June are promising in that regard,” Bergervoet said.

Despite all branches now being open, certain pandemic measures are still being enforced, and Holland Casino is receiving guests at limited capacity in its gambling venues. The company expects that these measures will be phased out, with the hope to open at full capacity and without restrictions “towards autumn.”

“We are also looking forward to the reintroduction of poker, live bingo and our NXT zones so that gaming can really be experienced together again. We also hope to be able to offer our bars and restaurants after midnight, which currently all close at midnight,” van Lambaart said.

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PRAGMATIC PLAY IS CHOSEN SOFTWARE PROVIDER FOR RELAUNCH OF HEART BINGO

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PRAGMATIC PLAY IS CHOSEN SOFTWARE PROVIDER FOR RELAUNCH OF HEART BINGO
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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is delighted to announce that it plays a vital role in the relaunch of the iconic Heart Bingo brand, alongside licensed operator BetVictor.

The popular brand has been revitalised by BetVictor, introducing a range of exciting new features provided by Pragmatic Play. The deal marks a continuation of the fruitful partnership between BetVictor and Pragmatic Play, following the operator taking Pragmatic Play’s complete Bingo solution live earlier in the year.

Pragmatic Play’s bingo solution brings tried and trusted new products to market, headlined by Bingo Blast and Drop Pots, as its network grows globally in regulated markets.

The provider’s new feature Reels Room has also gone live and is exclusively available to Heart Bingo players for a limited period before it is rolled out to the network in November – a move that will reinforce the Heart Bingo brand in bringing a fun and fabulous gaming experience to their much loyal audience. This is cemented even further with the coincided Drop Pots games getting well and truly under way in their own dedicated room. Drop Pots is only available on the Pragmatic Play network and offers players 3 different multi-trigger jackpots all available to be won every day!

Claire McDaid, VP of Bingo at Pragmatic Play, said: “Heart Bingo is one of the most recognised bingo brands in the UK and we couldn’t be happier that BetVictor has chosen to partner with us to relaunch and refresh its offering. We’ve worked closely with the team for months to optimise the Heart Bingo offering and ensure their loyal players have a better than ever experience.”

Turlough Lally, Director of e-gaming at BetVictor, said: “Pragmatic Play was the natural choice for our bingo product provider. We’re excited to be partnering with such a well-respected name in the iGaming industry for our next venture and we are fully committed to creating an improved and safer gambling experience in partnership with Pragmatic Play’s market-leading software. Heart Bingo players are sure to love all the new features, games and surprises we have in store!”

Pragmatic Play currently produces up to five new slot titles a month, while also delivering Live Casino and Bingo games as part of its multi-product portfolio, available through one single API.

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