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Assessing the Dutch market

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Assessing the Dutch market
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It is a full year since the regulated online market opened in the Netherlands. In this round-table feature, we ask Matej Filipančič, Head of Turnkey Solutions at Bragg Gaming, for his view on how the market has performed to date and what lies around the corner.

Having opened up online gambling in October 2021, the Dutch regulator De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) implemented a cooling-off period affecting many major operators. Has this affected the growth potential of the Dutch market?

It’s hard to say and with a year since the new legislation entered into force, it is now easier to focus on the positives and how the market has evolved in the last 12 months. First mover advantage has been crucial in the Netherlands and the initial 10 licensees have really carved out a big market share. It’s great to see that players have been channelled towards new operators rather than staying with incumbent ones as it means wider choice, exciting new products and better promotions through various acquisition channels. Consequently, this should attract more players, leading to healthy market growth. We think the Dutch lawmakers and regulators have done a great job with the new legislation benefiting both operators and players and we have great expectations for the potential in the country.

 

Will restrictions on advertising make it difficult for new entrants to the market to gain market share? If so, what part can suppliers play in attracting and retaining Dutch players?

It is very important to distinguish between online operators and those with a land-based presence here as there will be a relative advantage for the latter who will still be able to use some methods of advertising to retain players. All operators will need to be innovative and creative in coming up with ways to reach customers while also making sure their campaigns are fully compliant. For newcomers, it will become more difficult to gain a player base compared with those that were present at the time of market opening. The new restrictions are not at all in favour of newly licensed operators in that sense, but suppliers can make a big difference here. At ORYX, we offer a wide range of retention tools, which became even more important to operators after the marketing ban announcement. The new licensees on our platform have already come up with very exciting and successful strategies on how to utilise our state-of-the-art Fuze™ player engagement platform and other products to stay ahead of the competition.

 

What appetite have you seen among Dutch players for content types that are popular in other regulated European markets? Are they out-performing classic games that originate from the Dutch land-based heritage?

We have seen that top-performing content from world-leading providers such as Evolution, GAMOMAT and Pragmatic Play has outperformed the rest of the competition. This includes localised traditional studios like Greentube, Edict (Merkur) and Stakelogic, who still remain very popular with players. The result is a relatively healthy mix between the traditional games which have been present in the land-based machines for decades in the Netherlands and internationally recognised brands which perform well in all markets. Live casino has also been very strong and seems to have a great appeal to Dutch players.

 

What are your hopes for the Dutch market across the next 12 months?

Hopefully the restrictions will be applied equally on all operator websites, including the state-owned companies that were already in the market before the new regulation entered into force. There is of course potential for growth for all licensees, old or new, but it is crucial for recent entrants to be innovative to acquire and retain players. ORYX was the first external platform to launch in the Dutch market and we hope to maintain the position as a leading supplier there with the help of the exceptional track record of our operator partners.

We hope our platform partners can make use of all our tools to continue to grow and operate successfully in the Netherlands, gaining market share while making sure they are fully compliant and continue to excel in terms of Responsible Gaming and player protection. We are also in a great position to offer our proprietary products to new clients in the market and can guarantee a safe and exciting experience for the players, along with a profitable business for our partners.

Industry News

Solverde.pt Partners with MGA Games and Endorphina

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Solverde.pt, the Portuguese bookmaker and online casino, has announced partnerships with two new game creation studios: MGA Games, a Spanish company acknowledged for the creation and distribution of casino games, and Endorphina, recognised for the recent incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in slot machines.

The new partnerships mark a milestone: Solverde.pt is the first online casino in Portugal with 2500 games on a single platform.

Solverde.pt’s partnership with MGA Games, considered the Best Technology Provider at the Asocación JDigital Awards and Gaming, marks the Spanish company’s expansion into the Portuguese market. Among the games released, MGA Games has dedicated itself to integrating Portuguese entertainment personalities in its creations, like the Portuguese football player Paulo Futre, among others.

At the same time, the first batch of 25 Endorphina games is launched that will be available on the Portuguese platform, exclusively, for a month. The Game Developer established in more than 25 countries, with ten years of experience, it was the first casino game producer to create a Slot Machine entirely using AI algorithms. Among the games available, “Glory of Egypt”, “Book of Vlad”, “Dynamite Miner” and “Fisher King” stand out.

These two new partnerships, and consequent game launches, reaffirm Solverde.pt as the online casino with the largest offer of games in Portugal.

“The 2500 games on a single platform are a fundamental step for the company, which reinforces its leadership position in the sector. The collaboration with studios such as MGA Games and Endorphina allows us to lead in Portugal with an offer of innovation and excellence. Notably, MGA Games has a portfolio of 100 titles, created with HTML5 technology, that stand out for their graphical quality, and Edorphina made history by being the first company to develop a game entirely powered by AI, demonstrating its dedication to pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology,” Sérgio Pascoal, Director of R&D at Solverde.pt, said.

“The studio is confident that our slots will impress Solverde.pt players, as well as make them feel the true thrill of the game. We share a passion for entertainment and reflect that by delivering top-notch, high-value content to operators,” Javier Lanfranchi, Sales Director at MGA Games, said.

“By offering the state-of-the-art games of Endorphina, exclusively for Solverde.pt, we aim to provide a unique and exciting gaming experience that reflects both companies’ unwavering pursuit of innovation,” Jonathan Martini, Senior Sales Manager at Endorphina, said.

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Compliance Updates

Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry

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Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry
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By Salvador Garcia-Noblejas, Senior Regulatory Assurance Services at ComplianceOne Group

The gambling industry has its origins in the ancient period, and different types of games are found in almost every culture and civilization.

Over the last few years, we have witnessed an immense transformation, clearly boosted by technological developments. Among these changes, online gambling has grown rapidly, and with this new non-face-to-face reality, regulation and regulators have also embraced new ways to protect players, businesses, and the overall economy. Regulators have the responsibility to set the framework of common rules that define what is right and wrong, the means to protect all parties, and the tools that must be used when anyone does not behave as expected.

Assurance in a world of global risks

It would be inaccurate to assume that regulatory assurance’s only goal is to ensure that operators operate in a fair and transparent manner and meet their legal obligations. On the contrary, assurance also includes helping businesses understand the risks involved in the industry where they operate, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and setting measures to mitigate those risks.

Assurance’s starting point consists of an interview phase where tailor-made questionnaires serve better understanding the reality to each operator and its actual circumstances. Once the assurance assessment is complete, a detailed action plan assists the operator in fixing any identified gaps, improving policies and procedures, and obtaining the maximum financial gain from refining their processes, products, and operations.

As part of the fast transformation of the gambling industry, with competitive new products, platforms, advertisements, and market expansion, we must not forget that bad actors and illegal practices also develop. This is the moment to ask ourselves if we are ready to face whatever can harm our operations. The most efficient way to know is carrying out a thorough audit of policies, procedures, and processes. This approach will certainly save operators from potential harm to their clients, products, brands, and finances.

Audit readiness

Regulators focus on legislation, supervision, and enforcement. All stakeholders must comply with gambling regulations if they want to offer products and services or provide a safe environment to their clients. An important part of the gambling legal system is the fact that the industry is continuously overseen to ensure that all actors adhere to the established rules. At this point, operators need to ask themselves how ready they are to show sufficient evidence that their operations adhere to the law.

Smart operators will choose to comply with as many rules and regulations as their business is capable of, and they will ensure that records are properly kept. Company leadership is essential in ensuring compliance as it contributes to collaboration between departments and having policies and procedures that make the business run within the parameters of the legislation.

Lessons learned

In recent years, some highly publicized enforcement actions, including fines and penalties, license suspension, and revocation, have alerted the whole gambling industry. From such cases, there have been increasing efforts in reviewing processes, improving systems, and growing compliance departments.

Experience in the gambling industry has taught us that it is crucial to have a detailed understanding of the regulations that govern the relationship between operators and players. Where knowledge has been insufficient, inaccurate, or out of date, some business decisions have led to unwanted consequences, sometimes catastrophic ones.

Knowledge, a solid compliance culture, strong procedures, and willingness are the formula to be ready for a regulatory audit.

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Industry News

DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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