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Kambi Group plc extends partnership with Kindred Group and gains ability to prepay convertible bond

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Kambi Group plc signs long-term sportsbook platform and front end agreement with Svenska Spel Sport & Casino
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New contract continues successful partnership until 2026 while Kambi meets requirements to prepay convertible bond previously issued to Kindred

Kambi Group plc and Kindred Group have agreed a three-year extension to its sportsbook partnership after signing a new agreement up to the end of 2026. In addition to the contract, Kambi’s strong financial performance has seen it meet specific conditions required to prepay, at its own discretion, a convertible bond previously issued to a wholly owned subsidiary of Kindred.

The new agreement, which will take effect after the completion of the current contract which runs until 1 January 2024, continues the successful partnership first established in 2014 following Kindred’s decision to spin-off its sportsbook arm, Kambi, now the world’s leading sports betting technology and services provider.

As part of the spin-off, Kindred was issued a €7.5m convertible bond in Kambi, however, having satisfied certain financial performance criteria set out in the bond agreement, Kambi now has the option to prepay the full loan amount and exit the bond agreement at any time of its own discretion. Upon the prepayment of the convertible bond, Kambi will no longer be required to seek prior consent for certain events and will eliminate the prospect of Kindred converting the bond into shares, which would have given the operator a controlling influence over Kambi. This ensures Kambi and its shareholders have complete control of the company’s strategic direction.

As well as the continuation of a long and successful partnership, the contract provides security to both Kambi and Kindred throughout the extended term. The contract provides Kambi with a baseline guarantee of revenue, with Kindred committed to a minimum revenue contribution of €55m across 2024 to 2026. Meanwhile, Kindred will be guaranteed Kambi’s technology and services as it aims, over time, to leverage Kambi’s increasingly modularised offering to pursue its own platform strategy. As communicated by Kindred, from 2024 the operator seeks to reduce its reliance on Kambi and rebalance its use of proprietary and third-party products, with Kambi’s technology to remain an integral part of Kindred’s sportsbook offering.

The contract extension comes as Kambi continues to build on its market-leading differentiation capability by further modularising its technology and services to give operators greater scope to create unique sports betting experiences. In doing so, Kambi is strengthening its ability to attract and retain a select group of top-tier partners that increasingly demand a hybrid approach to technology. This approach is reflected in Kambi’s contract extension with Kindred and central to Kambi’s strategy of developing best-in-breed functionality.

Kristian Nylén, Kambi CEO and Co-founder said: “Kambi and Kindred continue to enjoy a fantastic relationship and this contract extension, which sees Kambi commit to providing Kindred with our modularised technology and services until 2026, enables this form of symbiotic partnership to further develop and best support the evolving strategies of both companies.

“The financial security and change of control protection granted by this new agreement, as well as the control we have gained over the convertible bond, place Kambi in a strong position as we enter our next chapter of global growth and take a significant step towards us becoming the key enabler for visionary operators in regulated markets across the world.”

Henrik Tjärnström, CEO Kindred Group, commented: “I’m very pleased that we have secured a continued collaboration with our long-term partner Kambi to supply us with high-quality technology and trading services for the coming five years. This agreement is an important building block in our long-term strategy to transform Kindred into a product driven company with a sustained dedication on customer experience, and we are excited to continue to work closely with Kambi to evolve the partnership.”

Balkans

Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin

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Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin
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Hacksaw Gaming and the swiftly up and coming Alphawin solidify their new partnership with the launch of 12 of Hacksaw’s top picks on their site.

As of the 10th of April, Alphawin’s players will be able to enjoy the likes of Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild, RIP City and many others. Set to be a hit amongst Alphawin users in Bulgaria, we are anticipating the launch of even more of our fan favourite games in the near future. In a market that has been dominated by local well-known brands for a while, we look forward to seeing how Hacksaw games make waves with Alphawin’s players.

Founded in 2007, Alphabet Gaming now has a sizable network of over 10 land-based casinos and has easily been named one of the region’s industry leaders with its growth. Moving and adapting with the evolution of online gaming, they established Alphawin in 2021. They currently boast one of the largest online casino portfolios in the region, featuring 27 slots and 6 live casino providers. With hopes to add more before the close of 2024, the future is looking like a bright one for Alphawin.

“We are very excited to start our partnership with Hacksaw Gaming.” Alphawin’s spokesperson stated that “the company offers an innovative and unique take on the concept of casino gaming and is an excellent fit for us!”

Set for star positioning, Hacksaw Gaming’s games will see the spotlight in the initial launch with banners, targeted ads and top lobby positions. CEO Marcus Cordes shares Alphawin’s positive outlook on the partnership – “Another strong collaboration under our belts! We’re absolutely sure that the avid Alphawin players will enjoy our artistic visuals and enticing bonus features of our most loved games. With of course plans to expand the Hacksaw portfolio in the future”

As both parties broaden their horizons and look onwards, what do we foresee? Well, we see Hacksaw Gaming and Alphawin, a truly prime pairing.

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Compliance Updates

IOC and UEFA host joint betting integrity workshop

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© IOC/Greg Martin
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Sports betting entities and international federations joined UEFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 11 April for a full-day workshop focused on how sport and the sports betting industry can work together to fight match-fixing. Co-organised by the IOC and UEFA, and held at Olympic House in Lausanne, the workshop explored opportunities for cross-sector collaboration with a focus on integrity exchange in support of the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the UEFA Euro 2024.

The workshop kicked off with presentations by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) and UEFA’s Anti-Match-Fixing Unit, exploring each team’s strategy for combatting match-fixing, engaging with the sports betting industry, and detecting and investigating potentially fraudulent betting activity.

UEFA promotes integrity through dedicated education, prevention, and awareness raising programmes and by detecting, investigating, and sanctioning match-fixing. Collaboration with stakeholders within football, particularly the network of integrity officers who work for UEFA’s 55 member associations, as well as the wider sports community is vital to this work.

UEFA upholds the integrity of all UEFA competitions via tailored, competition-specific integrity measures. Building on the integrity success of previous UEFA competitions, UEFA’s approach for EURO 2024 will feature close collaboration with host and participating nation stakeholders, public authorities, and sports betting entities as well as real-time betting market monitoring. Our secure UEFA integrity website will allow players, referees, officials, and members of the public to report suspected cases of match-fixing confidentially and anonymously. During the workshop, UEFA shared its competition risk assessment and mitigation strategy and explained the escalation, triage, and assessment approach for any potential integrity concerns.

“Sport alone cannot eradicate match-fixing. We must work together – raising awareness, sharing information, ensuring robust prevention and detection systems are in place – to protect sport and athletes. During the UEFA EURO 2024, our Germany-based staff (supported by the entire Anti-Match-Fixing Unit based in Nyon) will work hand-in-hand with betting integrity entities, betting operators and regulators, public authorities, and the national associations.” Vincent Ven, Head of Anti-Match-Fixing at UEFA

“The main objective is to ensure robust 24/7 monitoring of the competition in compliment to our dedicated prevention and education programme for all participating athletes and officials. UEFA’s multi-stakeholder Anti-Match-Fixing Assessment Group will manage pre and in-competition monitoring, ensuring that UEFA can immediately review and address any potential integrity threats to the tournament.”, Ven added.

“Collaboration is essential. During the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, we will work together with a series of betting operators, associations and major betting regulatory authorities to exchange relevant information about irregular betting patterns or suspicious betting activities detected that might imply competition manipulation.” Friedrich Martens, Head of the OM Unit PMC

Panel discussions with several sport governing bodies and betting integrity entities provided insight into best practices, trends, and success stories from each sector’s perspective, whilst two betting operators took the floor to share examples of recent fruitful cooperation with UEFA and the IOC on prevention and investigations.

The afternoon featured frank discussion regarding how to enhance cooperation between sport and sports betting entities, recent trends in sports betting and their potential impact on sport integrity, and how to improve information sharing in support of match-fixing detection and investigation.

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Gaming

Sortium Revolutionizing Video Game Development with Groundbreaking AI Tools Launch and $4 Million+ Funding Round

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In a significant leap forward for the gaming and entertainment sectors, Sortium, a leader in the wave of generative AI within gaming, has launched innovative AI tools for artists and game developers, marking a new era of creativity and efficiency. These tools, leveraging the Polkadot infrastructure, are set to transform the gaming industry by enhancing the creative process, streamlining production workflows, and producing high-quality user-generated content.

This transformative step is supported by a successful funding round Sortium just closed, surpassing $4 million. The round was led by industry stalwarts such as Signum Growth, with significant contributions from a diverse array of investors, including Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management LLC, IDG Blockchain, IVC Fund, Polygon, and 1881 S Group AG. This wide-ranging support underscores the industry’s confidence in Sortium’s potential to revolutionize 3D video game design and entertainment production.

Sortium’s AI tools integrate seamlessly into existing game production ecosystems, automating challenging content creation tasks. This innovation enables studios to significantly speed up production times and reduce costs, allowing them to focus more on innovation and design while empowering users across any system to design their own characters, thereby opening new creative freedoms and revenue streams for developers and individual creators alike. Sortium’s team, with deep expertise in game development, AI, and IP rights management, ensures the smooth adoption of this technology.

According to Angela Dalton, CEO & Founder of Signum Growth, “The Sortium team’s technical capabilities are impressive. Perhaps even more importantly, they possess deep expertise, relationships and understanding across the traditional gaming industry. Generative AI is in its broader market experimentation phase, leading many to ignore IP rights in the spirit of progress and innovation. Sortium’s believes that IP rights will ultimately matter – baking them into the technology at the outset, and respecting artists’ work, are core tenets of the company that we fully support.”

Building on this foundation of technical excellence and ethical commitment, Sortium’s innovations also translate into tangible benefits for the gaming community.

“Sortium is leading the frontier of AI in gaming and creative applications. Sortium gives creatives unparalleled freedom in leading gaming environments like Unreal,” said Lex Avellino, Founder & CCO at Passage, one of Sortium’s partners. “The team is breaking technical barriers, and it adds a huge value for our consumer audiences who want to take advantage of the latest virtual tech but need to act with speed and simplicity.”

Sortium is actively forming partnerships with major intellectual properties and leading gaming platforms. A recent major collaboration with Bit Brawl, a game utilizing Sortium technology to deliver live content to over 5,000 users, showcases the versatile application of Sortium’s tools across various gaming environments. Its technology’s wide compatibility with leading development platforms ensures extensive adoption potential and effortless integration into professional industry practices. Sortium’s enterprise solutions, such as the LiveOps API, aim to enhance gaming experiences and enable continuous creativity through endless, tailored content generation.

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