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Bet-at-home Decides to Temporarily Discontinue Offering Online Casino in Austria

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Bet-at-home AG has announced that it will temporarily discontinue its offering of online casino in Austria, and recognise further provisions due to player lawsuits for repayment of gaming losses.

The Management Board decided during a meeting with the Supervisory Board to put the online casino offering in the country on hold. This is due to the fact that, even though the company considers itself to be lawful, the continuation of the activity before final legal clarification over a period of time that is currently no longer foreseeable would lead to a steadily increasing risk potential that appears indefensible overall.

The Germany-based company had already announced that it was facing legal claims from customers for a reimbursement of gambling losses in the online casino.

In a statement released by the company, the bet-at-home.com AG Group said it still considers the online casino monopoly of the national Austrian gambling regulation to be “contrary to European law”, and considers itself to be a “lawful online casino provider in Austria”.

Regarding the necessity derived from the current European Court of Justice case law of a recurring review also by the Austrian courts, bet-at-home.com AG Group deems it is not taking place to the required extent, and has so far assumed a positive development of case law in particular at the higher courts in the appeal instances, until the end of the first half of 2022.

However, due to a recent decision by the Austrian Supreme Court, it is now unclear whether the bet-at-home.com AG Group will be able to enforce its legal opinion in Austrian courts in the foreseeable future.

The decision on any resumption of the online casino offering in Austria will be made in the future depending on the development of the legal framework, and the company “will continue to use all available legal means to take action against the lawsuits filed in Austria”.

The Management Board also decided to recognise further provisions for the customer lawsuits for reimbursement of player losses that have been pending in Austria to date.

As a result, the Company provisionally expects gross betting and gaming revenues of between EUR 93 million and EUR 98 million for the bet-at-home AG Group in fiscal year 2021 and negative EBITDA of between EUR -14 million and EUR -10 million, which includes expenses of EUR 24.6 million in connection with the Austrian customer lawsuits.

Depending on the decision of the Austrian tax authorities, the Company assumes that gaming levies amounting to 40% of the relevant amounts will have to be refunded to the bet-at-home AG Group on player losses to be reimbursed. However, due to legal uncertainties, these amounts are not used to reduce the aforementioned expenses and are not capitalised.

Central Europe

EGT Interactive Enters Czech Market with Fortuna Entertainment

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EGT Interactive has entered the Czech Market with one of the leading iGaming operators in the country, Fortuna Entertainment Group (FEG).

The strategic deal with Fortuna Entertainment will enable EGT to broaden the reach of its products while further diversifying the content of the slots available on ifortuna.cz. The players base can also enjoy 40 attractive EGT Interactive games, including Amazon’s Battle, 40 Mega Clover, Great 27, Supreme Hot, 100 Super Hot and the trendy bonus game, the Jackpot Cards. The games are launched in partnership with RWC Energy which will ensure a stable and reliable integration process.

Fortuna Entertainment Group is a trustworthy partner of EGT Interactive, and both companies have been partnering in other markets as well. This strategic partnership exists in Romania, where the Group owns casaparilurilor.ro and efortuna.ro brands, and in Croatia through the psk.hr iGaming offering.

“We are proud to build upon this partnership with Fortuna Entertainment Group. We have already achieved great results partnering with FEG in other markets. We are rapidly growing, and such a partnership will, for sure, have a positive outcome for both parties,” Ivo Georgiev, Managing Director of EGT Interactive, said.

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Central Europe

German mobile games market grows by 22 per cent

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German mobile games market grows by 22 per cent
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The huge variety of mobile games and their easy availability on smartphones and tablets have made them especially popular choices. Be it casual puzzle games, familiar PC and console games adapted for mobile use, or location-based games like “Pokémon Go” or “Jurassic World Live”, the popularity of games apps is undiminished. Sales revenue continues to increase, and the German mobile games market once again experienced strong growth in 2021, with a 22 per cent increase in sales revenue from games apps to about 2.8 billion euros. This growth is a continuation of the impressive trend in recent years, as sales revenue in 2020 had already risen by 23 per cent. These are the figures released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by the market research companies data.ai and GfK.

In-app purchases continue to drive growth in the mobile games market, accounting for approximately 99 per cent of total sales revenue in this segment in 2021. Sales revenue from in-app purchases enjoyed yet another year of significant growth, increasing by 22 per cent from about 2.3 billion euros in 2020 to nearly 2.8 billion euros in 2021. This is primarily due to the tremendous popularity of free-to-play games that allow players to enhance their game experiences with in-app purchases. Players can buy additional content such as additional levels and new skins for their own avatars. Sales revenue generated by games offered for purchase, on the other hand, continues to decline, amounting to just 7 million euros in 2021. Subscription fees for apps like the Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass services generated 12 million euros in sales revenue, an increase of 200 per cent over the previous year.

The average age of mobile games players remained almost unchanged in 2021 at 38.3; the previous year the average player was 38.8 years old. In 2019, mobile games players were 37.4 years old on average. As in the previous year, there were roughly the same number of male and female players of mobile games. Even so, at 51 per cent there were slightly more women than men playing games on their smartphones or tablets in 2021.

According to Felix Falk, Managing Director of game: ‘The mobile games sector is getting bigger year after year. Games apps are an integral part of the daily lives of millions of people in Germany thanks in no small part to their tremendous variety and accessibility. Mobile games also make it easy to network with other players – anytime and anywhere. This includes location-based games, multiplayer games and even mobile esports. Playing mobile games has turned into a popular social gaming experience.’

Another year of strong growth for the German games market

Following a historic 2020 performance with 32 per cent growth, sales revenues in the German games market continued to rise significantly in 2021 with a total of approximately 9.8 billion euros in sales revenue generated by games, games hardware and fees for online gaming services – an increase of 17 per cent compared to the previous year. Sales revenue from computer and video games grew by 19 per cent to about 5.4 billion euros, due among other things to increases in in-game and in-app purchases. Sales revenue from games hardware has also grown, by 18 per cent overall to about 3.6 billion euros. Demand for games consoles and gaming PC accessories was particularly strong.

About the market data

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and data.ai. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s video games market are unique in terms of both their quality and their global use. They include an ongoing survey of 25,000 consumers who are representative of the German population as a whole regarding their video game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

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Central Europe

Parimatch Tech Opens an Office in Prague Focusing on R&D and Product Teams

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Parimatch Tech Opens an Office in Prague Focusing on R&D and Product Teams
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Parimatch Tech, an international IT holding company, opened a European hub in Prague, Czech Republic, on May 1st, 2022. The decision was made amidst Russian aggression in Ukraine. By opening an office in Prague, the company continues its global business expansion, as well as provides the employees who were forced to leave the country with a stable and familiar work environment. Eventually, Czech hub will be refocused and transformed into an R&D centre.

‘The opening of the Prague office continues our European expansion. Opening that hub and starting operations in the EU are part of Parimatch Tech’s long-term strategy of developing a global IT cluster. The war made us act swiftly and strengthened our dedication to business globalisation. We are currently focusing on creating the best working conditions possible for our teams located in the Czech Republic. Our goal is to create a thriving business environment and ensure the safety and well-being of every employee and their family. Still, I would like to stress that Ukraine remains our key R&D hub.’ — commented Maksym Liashko, Parimatch Tech CEO.

The company’s Chief Talent Officer, Tatiana Davydova, points out that the Prague office will allow Parimatch Tech to create and organise comfortable working conditions for the teams and become a unifying hub for all employees across Europe. The company plans to expand the Czech R&D centre to 200 developers in the future.

‘Czech Republic is one of the prominent European IT clusters, has a reputation of a safe and comfortable country, and offers a high potential for business development. According to Techloop, over 316,000 people are currently working in the IT sector here. Our employment priority will be hiring Ukrainian developers, but we also intend to work with the European talent market. We are certain tin our ability to bring useful tactics that we already implemented in Ukraine, and can offer the candidates the best working and growing conditions possible. One of the key projects that we intend to re-launch soon will be Parimatch Tech Academy.’ — said Tatiana Davydova, Chief Talent Officer at Parimatch Tech.

The company’s HQ is located in Limassol, Cyprus. Before the war in Ukraine, Parimatch Tech’s largest R&D centre was located in Kyiv, but was re-formatted into several coworking areas in the western Ukraine after the shelling of the capital started. There are now three coworking offices in Ukraine — in Kyiv, Lviv, and Uzhhorod.

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