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Gaming Innovation Group completes acquisition of Sportnco

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Gaming Innovation Group completes acquisition of Sportnco
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Gaming Innovation Group Inc. signed a Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) to acquire the iGaming company Sportnco Gaming SAS  on 22 December 2021. GiG has received the necessary approvals from relevant authorities, and GiG’s Board of Directors has resolved to complete the acquisition, hereunder to issue new shares to the shareholders of Sportnco and to SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited (“SkyCity”).

GiG acquires 100% of the shares in Sportnco Gaming SAS for a consideration of €51.37 million, whereof €27.87 million has been paid in cash and €23.50 million in 12,623,400 new shares in GiG at a share price of NOK 18.08, equal to the VWAP of the GiG share for the past ten days of trading. In addition, Sportnco will retain €18.63 million of its existing long-term loans.

GiG also entered into an agreement with SkyCity in December 2021, whereby SkyCity invests €25 million in GiG through a directed share issue at NOK 18.00 per share, equal to 13,487,500 new GiG shares, financing the main part of the cash consideration to the shareholders of Sportnco.

GiG issues 26,110,900 new shares to the shareholders of Sportnco and SkyCity, increasing the number of outstanding shares from 96,675,626 to 122,786,526. The shares issued to the shareholders of Sportnco are subject to a 6-month lock-up period.

Sportnco has 84 shareholders whereof the largest being its CEO and founder Hervé Schlosser (15.6%), Olivier Marchal, President at Bain&Co France (9.1%) and BNP Paribas Développment (6.6%), and these will hold 1.60%, 0.93% and 0.67% respectively in GiG. SkyCity will hold 10.98% in GiG.

In addition, the shareholders of Sportnco are entitled to a two year earn-out based on the performance in 2022 and 2023 with up to €11.5 million per year. The earn-out will be paid 50% in cash and 50% in new shares in GiG, where the number of shares to be issued shall be based on a 10-day VWAP of the GiG share at the time of payment, expected in April 2023 and April 2024. Further, to keep key employees in Sportnco, a 3-year option program will be entered into, whereby the option holders, pending continued employment, will receive shares in GiG at future VWAP valuation up to a total aggregate value of €4 million.

The combined company

Sportnco is one of the leading platform providers of turnkey betting and gaming solutions for operators in regulated markets through its inhouse developed sportsbook and PAM. The combined company will enhance and strengthen GiG’s position as one of the industry leading platforms and media providers with innovative and proprietary products and creating one of the largest and fastest growing providers in regulated iGaming with an unparalleled regulated geographical footprint.

Sportnco has international presence and operates as a leading B2B supplier in France and Spain and is active in other European jurisdictions such as Belgium, Portugal, and Greece, as well as in several high growth Latin American markets and is well positioned to enter the US sportsbook lead states. Sportnco’s geographical presence is highly complementary to GiG’s current offering and combined, GiG and Sportnco will be licensed in 25 markets, currently with around 55 clients. Through the acquisition, GiG has increased both short- and long-term addressable markets meaningfully. Sportnco’s tier 1 sportsbook product is strong, and the acquisition is expected to create attractive commercial, operational, and technological synergies, as well as enable cost savings and accelerated growth.

The combined company will have increased profitability, value proposition with ever increasing growth prospects and further diversification of revenue and geographical reach.

Outlook

With the acquisition of Sportnco, GiG strengthens its position in the platform and sports segments of the iGaming industry and will have multiple possibilities going forward by increasing its product portfolio driving toward a profitable and cash generating business segment. GiG’s Media Services has seen a strong performance over the last two years, delivering high growth levels, increasing diversity of earnings and healthy cash-flow. For the full year 2022, the combined operations should generate revenues of €87-93 million with an EBITDA of €30-35 million. The Board of Directors will have a strong focus on overall operations, including the post-merger integration of Sportnco, and will continue to look at possible strategic options to increase shareholder value going forward.

Richard Brown, CEO of GiG said: “It is with tremendous excitement that we now step forward into the next chapter in GiG’s history. The team at Sportnco have built a tremendous business, one that is highly complementary to GIG’s offering both in product but also addressable market increase, and now the work begins to realise the truly existing growth opportunities that the business combination can pursue. We welcome both the owners of Sportnco & SkyCity as shareholders and the staff of Sportnco into GiG organisation and now move forward with full focus on the execution of the post-merger integration plan.”

Hervé Schlosser, CEO and founder of Sportnco, said “Together with all the teams and shareholders who have built the success of Sportnco and Tecnalis, we are extremely proud of the journey we have accomplished since 2008, and of our integration today into the GIG group. I look forward to opening this new chapter as I am confident that, together, we will offer stronger technology solutions for our customers in the fast-growing regulated markets.”

Industry News

Golden Matrix Acquisition of MeridianBet Group Receives High Praise from IPO Edge

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Esteemed financial analysts at IPO Edge recognize the merged Golden Matrix and MeridianBet Group entity as a burgeoning global gaming leader with a promising financial outlook and innovation

Golden Matrix Group Incorporated (NASDAQ:GMGI) (Golden Matrix) and MeridianBet Group, the newly-consolidated entity in the online gaming world, are honored to receive positive analysis from IPO Edge, a leading portal known for its insightful and credible financial analyses.

The distinguished coverage highlighted the Golden Matrix acquisition of MeridianBet Group as having a significant potential to reshape the gaming landscape, focusing on the combined entity’s strategic positioning for expansive growth and technological innovation.

The entire analysis can be found at: https:/ /IPO-Edge. com/strike-gold-with-gmgi-and-meridianbets-global-gaming-powerhouse/

IPO Edge Insights

The recent article by IPO Edge analysts casts a spotlight on the strategic merits of the $300 million acquisition of MeridianBet Group by Golden Matrix. According to the portal, this bold move is poised to establish a global gaming juggernaut with projected sales reaching $182 million by 2025. The merger not only signifies a monumental leap in market expansion, spanning over 15 markets including Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia but also underscores the entity’s prowess in emerging markets such as Mexico, Tanzania and Peru.

A Story of Strategic Growth and Innovation

At the heart of the Golden Matrix acquisition of MeridianBet Group lies a shared commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction as the combined group owns a scalable tech platform that leverages machine learning for continuous improvement, alongside unique betting features like Empty Bet, which empowers players to craft their own bets. This synergy of technological advancement and market intelligence sets the stage for an unprecedented growth trajectory in the online gaming sector.

Financial Prudence and Future Prospects

Underscoring the merger’s financial strategy, IPO Edge commends the conservative financing approach, with an anticipated 2x leverage post-merger. This prudent fiscal management, coupled with the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Brian Goodman, enhances the company’s capacity for further strategic mergers and acquisitions.

The CSR Segment

The merger’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, with initiatives aimed at converting players into patrons of meaningful CSR programs, distinguishes it beyond financials and market expansion. This commitment reflects a broader vision of achieving profitability while fostering a positive social impact.

The Market Potential Not Yet Anticipated

As pointed out by this analysis, the market may not fully recognize Golden Matrix’s potential yet. The company’s enterprise value is close to $400 million. That compares with multiples of eight times for Caesar’s Entertainment and a whopping 22 times for DraftKings, according to Sentieo, an AI-enabled research platform.

For more information about the Golden Matrix, please visit https:/ /GoldenMatrix. com/company/ or https:/ /ir.MeridianBet. com/.

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Conferences in Europe

Announcing the 2024 European Gaming Congress: A New Chapter in iGaming Excellence

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Announcing the 2024 European Gaming Congress: A New Chapter in iGaming Excellence
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HIPTHER, the leading Event Organizer for multiple GameTech industries, is thrilled to announce that the European Gaming Congress (EGC) is gearing up for an extraordinary 2024 edition, poised to redefine industry standards and foster unprecedented growth in the iGaming sector. Set against the backdrop of groundbreaking technological integration and extensive regulatory updates, this event is a must-attend for anyone involved in the gaming and tech industries.

Infinite Opportunities in iGaming

Scheduled to continue the esteemed “Via Infinita” mission, the 2024 European Gaming Congress promises to be an influential gathering, spotlighting the infinite possibilities within the realms of iGaming innovation. The event will focus particularly on iGaming operators and affiliates, offering insights into revolutionizing the affiliate industry, mastering the infinite game of SEO, and pushing the boundaries of marketing and communication. Additionally, the rapid evolution of fintech and the expansive applications of blockchain technology, dubbed ‘The Infinite Ledger’, will be key discussion topics.

A Convergence of Industry Leaders

EGC 2024 is set to host an array of influential speakers and attendees, including C-level executives, compliance experts, and government officials from across Europe. These industry leaders will come together to share their expertise on crucial compliance updates affecting key regions such as Poland, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Greece, the D-A-CH region, and the Nordics. This diverse gathering of minds will provide a comprehensive view of the latest regulations and best practices, ensuring all participants are at the forefront of the latest industry developments.

Celebrating Excellence: The EiGE Awards

In conjunction with the conference, the 2024 edition of the European iGaming Excellence Awards (EiGE Awards) will celebrate and honor the achievements of top players within the European iGaming ecosystem. This prestigious awards ceremony is a testament to the industry’s vibrant innovation and enduring excellence, providing attendees an opportunity to witness the pinnacle of iGaming achievement.

Networking and Growth

The European Gaming Congress will not only be a platform for learning and updates but also a dynamic space for networking and collaboration. The integration of gaming with blockchain, artificial intelligence, and fintech experts is set to create a multifaceted forum for strategic partnerships and growth opportunities.

Join the Forefront of Gaming Innovation

Do not miss out on the most anticipated iGaming event of the year. The European Gaming Congress offers a unique opportunity to connect with leaders from various sectors, explore new business opportunities, and be at the cutting edge of gaming technology and innovation. Whether you are a startup, an established operator, or a seasoned affiliate, EGC 2024 is where you will find the tools and insights to propel your business to new heights.

Join us at the European Gaming Congress 2024 and be part of shaping the future of the gaming industry. This is where the journey to infinite possibilities begins!

Register here to catch the Early Bird Tickets!

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Industry News

Real Dealer Studios: Offering a fresh spin on classic roulette

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Real Dealer Studios: Offering a fresh spin on classic roulette
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Shane Cotter at Real Dealer Studios walks us through the groundbreaking new release, Volcano Roulette, and discusses whether classic table games need a makeover for today’s online audience.

Roulette is probably the most timeless casino game out there. Here’s what happened when we gave it a couple more balls. And a volcano.

The game we’re now launching is Volcano Roulette, and it’s fair to say that it’s a huge departure from what the industry is used to. The first thing players will see is the sleek, steampunk environment and a roulette wheel with that smoking volcano right in the middle. The game’s visuals, compared with typical RNG games, are several steps ahead thanks to the Cinematic RNG technology that Real Dealer invented. Essentially, this means the game was built on video that was produced the same way Hollywood films are made.

As cool as this game looks, it’s really the mechanics that set it apart. In every round, once the spin starts, one or two glowing lava balls can randomly shoot out of the volcano to become part of the action. These extra balls increase the chance of hitting a straight-up bet. If the player does land any straight-up bet, a special sequence starts where the numbers on the wheel shift, steampunk style, into multipliers. Then another lava ball erupts out to pick the multiplier for the straight-up bet win. These multipliers can be as much as 333x and apply to all straight up bets that land in the round. That means the player could win up to 999x their bet.

An eruption of innovation

What sparked this game’s theme is once again related to Cinematic RNG. We’ve got this amazing technology that gives us a huge amount of flexibility. It lets us make hyper-realistic looking games with any kind of action and put them in any setting we choose.

So one of our designers got the idea to have a roulette wheel where the numbers could drop down, shift, flip over and pop back up with different numbers, all of which would happen in an old-fashioned, mechanical looking way.

We were also having ongoing discussions about how to revamp the process of releasing the ball onto the table. And after a few sessions at the drawing board, we had the great idea of including a volcano.

Between the steaming volcano and the mechanical action of the changing numbers, the steampunk theme basically chose itself. Our 3D designers then set to work creating all the mechanical lightbulbs, cogs turning and all these different dials that give the game its character.

A degree of familiarity

Volcano Roulette is obviously a huge departure from what long-time players are used to. The challenge with revamping a classic is ensuring that when you innovate, you retain those elements of the game that the players love. That’s a balance that I believe Real Dealer Studios has managed to achieve.

That brings us to the question of whether online roulette needs a makeover. And the answer is both yes and no. As you can imagine, different players are after different experiences from the games that they play. Some prefer the classics while others want something completely new.

When this table game first moved into the digital space, it started off as a computer animation. It later improved, but still has that animated RNG feel. Later live games came in and have gained their own following. But for existing table game players used to that classic bricks-and-mortar casino feel or just looking for something higher quality, there was nothing out there.

Seeing this, we developed cinematic RNG to deliver a much better online experience, with enhanced audio-visual quality and heightened gameplay compared to other table games you find online. I wouldn’t call this a makeover – it’s getting back to what this game is all about and doing a better job of it in the online environment.

Of course, there are other players who are expecting new twists to the game. The key to catering to these different demands from players is to have an extensive portfolio that spans multiple themes and includes a range of features. Some might be done in classic style and include a dealer, others might be automatic and have multipliers.

Attracting new audiences

Where a full-fledged makeover becomes useful is when you’re trying to cross-sell table games to the larger pools of players coming from sportsbook and slots. The challenge here, however, is that each of these two demographics requires a completely unique approach.

To reach sports bettors, for example, we have created games that tie into real-world sporting events. Just last year, we had Hockey Fever Roulette which was launched for the Ice Hockey World Championship in May. The game was set in a man cave loaded with fan memorabilia and had rock music playing in the background. It was everything you would want in a hockey-themed game.

That was then followed by Rugby Fever Roulette, which was launched ahead of the Rugby World Cup. We wanted to make this game more personalised for each player, so we built a feature where players could choose between dealers and switch the visuals and thematics to match their favourite team.

Obviously, attracting new audiences was a major focus for these two games. But creating sports-themed titles also provided our operator partners with an opportunity to work our games into their event promotions. So, it had marketing benefits too.

Engaging with slots players is a completely different ballgame, however. Traditionally, there isn’t much cross-over between slots and table games. We therefore had to find a common ground between the two verticals. This is where slots-type features like multipliers, collect features and unique designs came into play. Cinematic RNG has really helped us here, letting us create some fantastic mechanics and immersive designs catering to the slots crowd.

Recently we took an even bolder step into the slots realm by partnering with the producers of an enormously popular slots title, 9 Masks of Fire. Our roulette version of the legendary game became an instant hit.

As 2024 progresses, we have plenty more titles in the pipeline which we are confident will offer a new spin on the classics and continue to drive engagement with players. Stay tuned!

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EuropeanGaming.eu is a premier online platform that serves as a leading information hub for the gaming and gambling industry. This industry-centric media outlet reaches over 200,000 readers monthly, providing them with compelling content, the latest news, and deep-dive insights.

Offering comprehensive coverage on all aspects of the gaming sector, EuropeanGaming.eu includes online and land-based gaming, betting, esports, regulatory and compliance updates, and technological advancements. Regular features encompass daily news articles, press releases, exclusive interviews, and insightful event reports.

The platform also hosts industry-relevant virtual meetups and conferences, and provides detailed reports, making it a one-stop resource for anyone seeking information about operators, suppliers, regulators, and professional services in the European gaming market. The portal's primary goal is to keep its extensive reader base updated on the latest happenings, trends, and developments within the gaming and gambling sector, with an emphasis on the European market while also covering pertinent global news. It's an indispensable resource for gaming professionals, operators, and enthusiasts alike.

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