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Online Casino Trends to Follow in 2022



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The global online gambling industry is in a constant state of evolution and has been since it started gaining popularity in the late 1990s. In 1997 the number of online casinos grew to over 200. In that same year, the global annual revenue from online gambling reached USD$1 billion (€897 million).

In comparison, according to a report from Statista, in 2020, the global online gambling sector was valued at USD$66.7 billion (€59.3 billion). By next year (2023), it is predicted to reach USD$92.9 billion (€82.6 billion). Needless to say, the iGaming industry is a money-making machine and staying on top of the latest technological trends is what powers its popularity.

For 2022, several trends have been predicted. Online casinos in the UK and Europe will need to stay on top of these developments if they want to remain competitive. Some of these trends include:

Upgraded Security and Safer Gambling Practices

It’s no secret that Brits seek out the most trusted UK casinos to enjoy their favourite slots, table games and live dealer games. In this day and age, no company can be too careful when it comes to cybersecurity or providing players with a safe, reliable and responsible gambling environment.

Over the next year, maintaining legal compliance will continue to grow in importance. This includes stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) processes to prevent fraud, other criminal activity, and to protect minors. Responsible gambling efforts (self-exclusion, setting limits, etc.) will also play an important role. Other notable 2022 security trends include two-factor authentication, advanced login (e.g. facial recognition), and faster withdrawal times.

More Cryptocurrency

Decentralised gambling continues to increase within the industry, with many online platforms choosing to accept cryptocurrency as part of their payment services. Even some of the most known platforms that offer iGaming software solutions, like SkillOnNet and SOFTSWISS, offer Bitcoin and other crypto options to their online casino business partners.

Though traditional FIAT payments will remain the primary option at most of the UK’s and Europe’s biggest gambling sites in 2022, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others will start to dominate the industry, due to the security, anonymity and fast deposit/withdrawal speed they offer players. Not to mention, as NFTs and the Metaverse become more prominent, the demand for blockchain casinos will only grow.

VR and AR Gaming

Whilst several VR casinos currently exist, as the Metaverse evolves and immersive experiences become more desired and mainstream, there will be further push for VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). Currently, online casinos that do offer VR experiences include not only games, but also more advanced technology like 3D-avatars, gesture imitation, and live interactions. As one might imagine, the digital poker experience could be entirely revolutionised by VR as it will more closely resemble the real thing.

That said, though these technologies are slowly gaining ground, it will still be a few more years before VR and AR tech in online casinos truly takes off. This is largely in part due to the cost of the headsets and other gear required for the experience.

Upgraded Gaming Experience

Younger generations are not interested in traditional slots and casino games. As such, software providers will need to rise to the challenge to create more interactive video game-style entertainment that combines gambling with social and with skill. Likewise, more online casinos will need to integrate incentivised gamification features to keep players interested and immersed in the experience. This may include challenges, tournaments, collecting points or the casino’s special currency, etc.

In addition to entertainment, as time goes on, players will demand an iGaming experience that is fast, smooth and seamless. This means faster registration or no registration process, instant and/or same day withdrawals, easy navigation and a responsive UI no matter the device.

Mobile and Wearable Tech

The latest in mobile gambling trends will be for online casinos to go above and beyond the basic requirements of simply having an app. Operators need to make it as easy as possible for new users to register an account, and include a module tech stack with their app to enable or disable features as is needed. Additionally, optimising discoverability will be important to provide users with quick access to relevant games.

Aside from smartphones, gambling on wearables, like smartwatches, will also grow in popularity. Creating an ideal experience for this device presents plenty of challenges due to the small and different shaped screen sizes as well as there being so many proprietary operating systems. However, game providers, like Playtech, have already seen the potential for the wearable gambling market and have started designing slots apps for Apple Watches.

The Rise of Online Casinos

Last but not least, beyond all the growing trends listed above, one thing is for certain, 2022 will see more casinos thrive on the internet compared to their land-based brothers. The future of gambling is definitely online.

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LeoVegas Group granted three licenses to offer gaming software in Sweden



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LeoVegas Group has been granted three five-year licenses by the Swedish Gambling Authority—known as “B2B licenses”— to develop and offer gaming software in Sweden. These licenses, effective from 1 July 2023, have been granted to the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games and two platforms. Licenses are a prerequisite for providing software to licensed operators and an important step to prevent unlicensed gaming companies, consequently strengthening channelisation in the Swedish gaming market.

Since its inception, LeoVegas Group has experienced rapid growth, evolving from an operator into an integral player within the igaming industry’s value chain via game and platform development. Effective from July 1, 2023, under the Swedish Gambling Act, companies involved in the manufacture, provision, installation, or modification of game software utilised in online gaming are required to possess a license.

LeoVegas Group has now been granted three five-year licenses—referred to as “B2B licenses”—by the Swedish Gambling Authority. These licenses have been conferred upon the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games, as well as the Group’s two platforms (PAM).

Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas Group, said “We welcome the introduction of B2B licenses, a decisive step towards mitigating the impact of key gaming software being simultaneously provided to licensed operators and unlicensed operators targeting Swedish players. With the new regulations in force, it is now critical that authorities focus on those suppliers deliberately undermining the Swedish licensing system by facilitating unlicensed gaming“.

The 2019 initiation of Swedish gaming licenses marked a significant reform to regulate and supervise gaming companies operating in Sweden. This reform fortified regulations pertaining to marketing and consumer protection, while also ensuring substantial gambling tax revenues. The success of the B2B licensing system heavily depends on the Swedish Gambling Authority’s capacity to restrict key gaming software intended for licensed Swedish companies from simultaneously being used by unlicensed operators seeking to attract Swedish players.

On 1 May, LeoVegas Group announced its intentions to acquire game developer Push Gaming, which is also licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority and holds two B2B licenses. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

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Casino Guru Awards presents The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category



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Casino Guru Awards’ 2nd edition is coming back on the core promise to provide one of the most equitable and fairest formats for industry stakeholders to distinguish their companies across numerous categories focused on responsibility and customer care. Since the first event, Casino Guru Awards has been actively thinking how to best capture the myriad efforts put into making the industry a better, safer, and more transparent place for consumers and businesses.

This has led the team to introduce The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing, nominations for which are now open. Companies applying in this category will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they apply robust standards to their advertising practices in making their gambling messages heard.

This category aims to recognize iGaming companies that showcase a strong commitment to responsible marketing practices. Our judges will be evaluating the style and content of marketing efforts and materials, such as newsletters, social media campaigns, and others, with a clear focus on ethical marketing practices and responsible messaging. Apart from Casino Guru’s own judges, all applicants will be evaluated by an external panel of industry experts with vast experience in marketing, including:

  • Shane Stafford, Interim Head of Channel Marketing at Three Ireland
  • Martin Calvert, Marketing Director at ICS-digital
  • Dmitry Belianin, Chief Commercial Officer at Parimatch
  • James Bennett, Group Communications at EveryMatrix

The jury will weigh in on the strategies and tactics used by all nominees to promote their products and services. Applicants will be expected to clearly and unambiguously demonstrate how their marketing materials promote their brands while also accurately representing the risks associated with gambling and offering truthful and transparent information that is not ambiguous.

Casino Guru Awards Project Lead Daniela Kianicová, who is also one of the judges for the category, said: “The introduction of The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category is a continuation of our ongoing commitment to making sure that we create a format that is ground-breaking and addresses the most urgent aspects of our industry, and shine light on the true torchbearers that have unflinching attitude towards doing the right thing.

We are looking forward to seeing robust examples of marketing ethics that put the consumer front and center and provide accurate, truthful, factual, and unambiguous information. An experienced panel of marketers will be weighing in to help shortlist, evaluate, and ultimately pick a winner in this important category.” 

Nominations for Casino Guru Awards opened on May 152023, and will be going through October 312023. Shortlisted companies will be revealed on December 12023, when the voting for Voice of the People category will begin as well. The official event will take place in February 2024.

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Sandsoft Games – the mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent, is thrilled to announce the launch of the second season of its pioneering internship program, Press Start. Available to local residents with an interest in getting into the games industry, the full-time internships aim to foster and nurture exceptional talent for the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia.

Following the success of the first Press Start initiative which began in December 2022, aspiring games industry professionals are once again invited to embark on the journey of creating a playable mobile game within a span of six months. Aligned with Vision 2030, the Press Start initiative has been engineered to nurture diverse local talent and provide a boost to the regional games industry. The Press Start cohort will receive support from Sandsoft’s leading industry experts in various areas, allowing them to specialize in one of three disciplines: design, art, or coding.

Successful applicants will work from Sandsoft’s flagship Riyadh Studio, with access to cutting-edge equipment and resources. Press Start is overseen by a team of esteemed games industry veterans who have contributed to renowned gaming franchises like Candy Crush Saga, FIFA, World of Tanks, Need For Speed and more, including Sandsoft’s Head of Studio in Riyadh, Yahsir Qureshi.

Yahsir Qureshi commented:

“Riyadh is a city full of exceptional, diverse talent and love of gaming. It’s our job to identify this talent and help nurture future leaders who will shape the legacy of the KSA and global games industries. The tremendous success of our original Press Start program has been immensely rewarding for both the participants and Sandsoft Games as a whole, with a number of interns expected to join us as full time team members. Initiatives such as Press Start play a significant role in boosting employment prospects in the region and we can’t wait to welcome a new cohort to our Riyadh studio.”

Basem Alasmar, Game Designer at Sandsoft Games and member of the inaugural Press Start program, continued:

“When I first saw the program on LinkedIn, I was immediately drawn to the idea and the challenge it presented. Working in a gaming company has always been a dream of mine, so I was naturally intrigued. What captivated me even more were the experienced individuals at Sandsoft Games and the impressive game titles they had worked on. Their expertise and track record truly impressed me. This program continues to inspire me to strive for greatness, pushing me to create amazing things, learn extensively, and enhance my skills in my chosen field.”

Press Start is open to Saudi Individuals of any age and educational background who have a demonstrable interest in game development and are available to work in Riyadh. Applications are open until July 7, 2023, at 23:59 AST.

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