Q. Congratulations on joining ORDER as the new CEO! What are your early reactions to the job?
A. It is an exciting time to join the organisation. I had been working for ORDER in a consultancy capacity for 6 months prior to joining as CEO, so the transition has been relatively seamless. My early impressions are full of opportunity and growth. The industry is forging ahead and receiving a lot of attention from mainstream media and non-endemic brands looking to be involved in the space, and with ORDER being a first mover in esports and now 4 years later is well established, we are looking forward to this next stage of our evolution.
Q. Do you find heading an Esports team much different than leading an organization in traditional sports or motor sports, where you had spent most of your career?
A. There are a lot of similarities with the support structure of esports and traditional sports, especially when it comes to fostering a culture of high performance and professionalism. And now as we look ahead, player welfare and grass roots programs are firmly on the agenda to ensure we are both looking after our professional players, but also playing a role as a leader in the industry to provide pathways for the next generation of talent. If we look at the commercial side of the industry there are certainly some parallels to draw with sponsorship, brand activations and fan engagement and how these are delivered to offer the best value to brands. The real difference in this area of the business is the ability to innovate and execute on new ideas without the constraint of governing or league bodies. Further, we also see the customer facing area of our business as a far more creative than traditional sports – more along the lines of a music label. Essentially our talent, who are professional gamers and content creators, are at the core and the support crew we build around them to bring this to life are creatives, e.g. content managers, creative directors, digital marketers and brand builders.
Q. For the outside world, Australia, where ORDER is based, is known for its outdoor sports. How is esports catching up in the country? How does its popularity compare with that of traditional sports?
A. Traditional sports are fed by generations of participation and ultimately viewership. Right now the esports industry in Australia is no more than 5 years old, yet despite the lack of history and level of unfamiliarity the fan base has more than doubled in the past 2 years alone. With the majority of esports fans being in the 18 to 34 age bracket and skewing male, there has been a natural migration of fans from traditional sport into esports, which is a sign of how Australia’s deep passion for sport is changing. Esports provides this generation an alternative outlet for entertainment and it’s being supported big time. While the current audience base skews male there is a ground swell of engagement coming from the female audience and is being driven by women gamers increasingly turning professional.
Q. ORDER has recently raised a $5.3 million funding? What are the immediate plans to drive the growth?
A. We will solidify our position in Oceania esports while continuing to look at opportunities in other esports titles. The real growth for ORDER though will be in content creation and production and building an audience around our brand. To do that we are looking for content creators across multiple platforms and gaming influencers who will become part of the ORDER crew and benefit from our administrative support and enabled to continue to grow their current activities. Also, in a first for an esports organisation the region, earlier this year ORDER took residency at our new facility in Collingwood Melbourne, which will feature the Alienware esports high performance room, Logitech streaming room, production studio and administrative offices.
Q. Could you talk about the new diversification initiatives that are in pipeline?
A. Outside of what I have mentioned above, ORDER will continue to evolve our gaming production capabilities, with a bespoke offering across events and licensed content. We are also looking towards collaborations with creatives and artists across music, fashion, and art. We see gaming as aligning strongly with the future of pop culture and these pursuits have paved the way for gaming to move from a subculture to pop culture in its own right.
Q. It appears that the lock down forced by the Covid 19 pandemic has turned out to be a turning point for esports in general. How did it affect the growth of ORDER?
A. For ORDER, and most esports organisations, the events of the last year or so have put greater emphasis on the need for online event capability, content production and building a mass audience. While much of this growth is still in it’s infancy, the realignment of strategy in the early stage of 2020 provided us a long enough runway to start executing and importantly secure significant funding to accelerate our growth ambitions.
BTG’s ‘Christmas Catch’ Slot Hits Evolution Network December 1
Is there anything more Christmassy than BTG’s Christmas Catch?
The countdown to Christmas has begun, which can mean only one thing: a new festive game from Big Time Gaming. Christmas Catch is high on volatility, even higher on tinsel, and comes stuffed with more goodies than Santa’s sack. This seasonal slot will be hitting the Evolution Network on December 1 like a Christmas pud out of a bazooka.
If all you want for Christmas is a seasonal twist on BTG’s fan favourite Golden Catch slot, then you’ve come to the right place. Christmas Catch takes the magic of the original and transplants it to a winter wonderland on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s hardworking reindeer are putting in overtime this year. With every every spin and reaction, there’s the chance of a Sleigh symbol appearing above reels two to five. Whenever winning symbols are removed, one or more Gift Bonus Prizes may appear. Gift Bonus Prizes are awarded for each Sleigh and can be worth up to 500x the bet, depending on how many symbols are on its reel.
Meanwhile, land three Golden Pudding scatters in the base game to win 10 free spins, with an additional two for every scatter beyond the third. Then it’s take-off for Rudolph and his reindeer pals. The first Sleigh sets off with a 1x Sleigh Multiplier, and with each subsequent Sleigh, the multiplier increases by 1, enhancing your Gifts Bonus Prizes as it goes.
By gathering three or more Scatters during your Free Spins, you’ll be gifted four extra Free Spins. And just like before, for every Scatter beyond the third, you’ll receive an extra two Free Spins, ensuring the festivities continue.
Meanwhile, because this is a Megaways slot, there can be up to 117,649 ways to win on each spin, which could make for some potential big wins this Christmas.
Nik Robinson, BTG CEO, said: “We love this time of year because we have a lot of momentum with our annual Christmas slot, and we have sprinkled as much festive fun as we can onto Christmas Catch. And so, on behalf of everyone at BTG, we’d like to wish all slots fans around the world, health, wealth, happiness and prosperity this Christmas season.”
Nicholas Peters, Chief Business Development Officer for Europe at Evolution said: “Christmas-themed slots are becoming a genre unto themselves, but Christmas Catch must be a contender for the best one ever. This is more than just a seasonal gimmick, it’s a seriously good game with the kind of hugely engaging gameplay we’ve come to expect from BTG.”
Tabcorp Appoints New Chief Financial Officer
Tabcorp Holdings has announced the appointment of Mark Howell as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Howell is currently the general manager liquor finance and network optimisation for Coles Group Limited’s liquor business, which trades as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market.
He has formerly held senior finance, strategy, business development and investor relations roles at Coles, as well as senior banking roles at Rothschild and Goldman Sachs in Australia and New York.
Adam Rytenskild, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said: “Mark is the perfect fit for Tabcorp as we deliver our transformation. He’s passionate about our growth story and dynamic in his thinking.
“Wagering is one of the most competitive industries in Australia and Mark comes from an equally competitive customer focused industry. His experience leading finance teams at Coles and working closely with investors will be invaluable moving forward.”
South Australia: Gambling Report Urges Primetime Ad Ban
South Australia has banned gambling ads on television from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, now a parliamentary inquiry has concluded Victoria should do similar.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) is urging the state government to consider stricter rules on gambling ads during primetime broadcasts and in public places.
“More appropriate regulations and safeguards are needed to protect Victorians, especially our children and young people,” Committee Chair Sarah Connolly said.
The report also urges the government to consider the impact of reducing the total number of electronic gaming machines across the state and update education resources for school students about gambling and alcohol-related harms.
“Our culture has often been described as one that tends to normalise both drinking and gambling,” Ms Connolly said.
“The Committee heard evidence to suggest that this has become more entrenched than ever, with the rise in social media and digital technology.”
Over eight months PAEC reviewed three Auditor-General’s reports relating to the regulation of gambling and liquor, and reducing the harm caused by gambling.
“Our report’s 96 findings and 61 recommendations have been informed by 54 public submissions, three days of public hearings, a Geelong site visit and a youth roundtable,” Ms Connolly said.
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