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BETSSON ACQUIRES SPORTS BETTING AND GAMING OPERATOR BETFIRST IN BELGIUM AND ENTERS INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH GROUPE PARTOUCHE TO LAUNCH ONLINE CASINO OFFERING ON THE BELGIAN MARKET

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BETSSON ACQUIRES SPORTS BETTING AND GAMING OPERATOR BETFIRST IN BELGIUM AND ENTERS INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH GROUPE PARTOUCHE TO LAUNCH ONLINE CASINO OFFERING ON THE BELGIAN MARKET
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Betsson AB today announces the Group’s acquisition of the leading Belgian sports betting and gaming operator betFIRST for a total value of EUR 120 million, of which up to EUR 3 million is an earnout payment subject to certain conditions being met, all payable in cash. At the same time, Betsson and Groupe Partouche, the publicly listed leading French casino operator, today announce a new strategic partnership in order to offer online casino services in regulated markets. A first joint online casino offering should be launched in Belgium during 2023, subject to officially obtaining the required licenses. These two strategic initiatives are fully aligned with Betsson’s ambitions to deliver profitable growth, with a preference for growth in locally regulated markets in the long term.

Betsson has agreed to acquire all shares in the betFIRST Group, which operates a sports betting and gaming business under the brand betFIRST in Belgium. The total up-front consideration of the acquisition is EUR 117 million on a cash and debt-free basis, payable in cash. In addition, Betsson may pay up to EUR 3 million as earnout, subject to delivery on certain agreed financial targets. The initial consideration for the acquisition is equivalent to a multiple of 10.0x betFIRST’s estimated EBITDA for the financial year 2023.

Established in 2011, betFIRST is a leading B2C operator in the locally regulated online gaming market in Belgium, offering sports betting and dice games. betFIRST is a leading brand for sports betting in Belgium with a proven track record of successful customer acquisition and revenue growth. betFIRST holds a license for online sports betting and a license for online dice games in Belgium. In addition to the online business, the company also operates across approximately 450 points of sale in Belgium and also owns a gaming arcade. In the last financial year ending 31 December 2022, betFIRST recorded net gaming revenue of EUR 51.2 million and adjusted EBITDA of EUR 10.0 million.

The new partnership with leading French casino operator Groupe Partouche will combine Betsson’s expertise in the online gaming sector and Groupe Partouche’s market leadership in land-based casinos to deliver an attractive online casino offering tailored to the local market. Groupe Partouche operates land-based casinos in France and Switzerland and also holds an offline casino license in Belgium, which can be extended to an online casino license. With such a license, a full range of online casino products can be offered to the Belgian market. Subject to the required licenses being granted by the Belgian regulator, the aim is to launch the online casino offering in Belgium during 2023. Betsson and Groupe Partouche are committed to developing their new collaboration and exploring additional ways to expand the partnership.

The acquisition of betFIRST and the partnership with Groupe Partouche will provide Betsson with critical access to the competitive Belgian market, a further diversified geographical footprint and an increased share of revenue from locally regulated markets. Betsson intends to continue operating the betFIRST sports betting business as it is today while exploring potential synergies in the mid-to-long term.

Pontus Lindwall, CEO and President of Betsson AB, commented: “We are very excited about entering the Belgian market together with our partners Groupe Partouche and see a strong strategic fit with the acquisition of betFIRST. At Betsson, our growth strategy revolves around extending our presence into new markets, particularly in locally regulated or soon-to-be regulated markets. Belgium, where the online gaming market is regulated since 2011, aligns very well with this strategy. Our business model is highly scalable, and these initiatives will add revenue and strengthen our profitability over time.”

Betsson is able to finance the acquisition with existing cash from its balance sheet and within existing credit facilities.

Completion of the acquisition of betFIRST is not conditional on regulatory approvals and is expected to occur on or around July 5, 2023.

Betsson has engaged Lazard as financial advisor and Gernandt & Danielsson as principal legal advisor (together with Van Bael & Bellis and Edson Legal as legal advisors in Belgium) in connection with the acquisition.

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Wazdan takes players on an aquatic adventure in its award-winning new release Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin

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Wazdan takes players on an aquatic adventure in its award-winning new release Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin
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Wazdan, the gain-focused developer behind some of the world’s most rewarding casino game experiences, is deep-diving into its latest ocean-themed slot Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin.

Tipped as the One to Watch for 2024 at the SlotsWise Awards, the game has been hotly anticipated by both operators and players thanks to its immersive design and field-tested features.

Set out on a 5×3 grid, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin sees an additional reel run atop the board with the Collector symbol appearing at random with a countdown, accumulating cash symbols that fall beneath it.

The game’s aquatic theme is further enhanced with the Trawler Cash Out mechanic which can be triggered in addition to the standard Cash Out, paying both its collected cash symbol in addition to the ones on the reels above when its countdown reaches zero.

Three starfish scatter symbols award an initial ten Free Spins. This round is augmented by the Collect to Infinity™ feature which can prolong the lifespan of the Collector for the duration of the Free Spins, providing a maximum win potential of 2,500x.

Wazdan’s latest feature-rich release sees the provider further diversify its offering, following two recent additions to its top-performing series, Hot Slot™: 777 Rubies Extremely Light and Hot Slot™: 777 Cash Out Grand Gold Edition.

Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “Immersing players in a mesmerising oceanic backdrop complemented by our gain-guaranteeing features, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin marks one of Wazdan’s most hotly anticipated releases to date.

“With seamless thematic mechanics such as the new Trawler Cash Out feature, Mighty Fish™: Blue Marlin is already an award-winning title, and we have no doubt players will deep-dive into its engaging gameplay.”

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NuxGame bolsters security capabilities with Jumio integration

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NuxGame bolsters security capabilities with Jumio integration
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NuxGame, the experienced betting and iGaming software provider, has enhanced its online casino platform through its latest strategic partnership with digital identity verification technology leader, Jumio.

The collaboration sees NuxGame’s platform benefit from Jumio’s AI-powered Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) verification checks, ensuring compliance with global regulatory standards.

Exemplifying the provider’s commitment to elevating risk management, Jumio’s sophisticated  AI-driven KYC and AML technologies empower its partners with tools to adeptly manage risks and adhere to evolving compliance requirements. This forward-thinking approach is pivotal for casino operators looking to offer a responsible and seamless gaming experience.

In addition to enhanced security measures, NuxGame has also recently broadened its payment capabilities, adding leading global payment processors and empowering players to purchase cryptocurrency directly on the platform.

The latest partnership for NuxGame follows its recent GLI-19 Certification, accredited in recognition of the platform’s adherence to the highest technical standards and further demonstrating its commitment to responsible gambling.

Denis Kosinsky, Chief Operating Officer at NuxGame, said: “Jumio provides pioneering identity verification technology and we are confident our customers will find value in the software that is now integrated into our platform, allowing them to reinforce their position as a trustworthy and reliable gaming destination.

“With the ever-changing regulatory landscape, we want our clients to have comfort in the knowledge that our platform provides the necessary tools for them to operate safely and securely, making Jumio an ideal partner for NuxGame.”

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Apparat Gaming unleash a howling Hold & Spin adventure in 5 Moon Wolf

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Apparat Gaming unleash a howling Hold & Spin adventure in 5 Moon Wolf
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This month, Apparat Gaming – the software developer famed for delivering quality iGaming titles with a German accent – is inviting players to embrace the call of the wild and join the pack for a howlingly good time in the brand-new release, 5 Moon Wolf Hold & Spin.

Offering medium volatility and max wins of 2,500x, 5 Moon Wolf Hold & Spin is a five-reel slot with 20 fixed paylines. Set in the imposing canyons of the American west, the game boasts a range of majestic predators on its reels, with eagles, bears, mountain lions and wolves all appearing as high-value icons.

The real “bite” of the game, however, comes in the form of its two distinct bonus features, which can be activated by hunting down three scatters or five full moons respectively. The first is a free spins round, while the second is Apparat’s popular Hold & Spin game, which is linked to four local jackpots.

Dealing with the two features in order, once three scatters have been hit, night will fall on the reels as at least eight free games are awarded. During these free spins, not only will all low value symbols be removed from the reels, but players can also extend the feature by landing further scatters or trigger an even more lucrative version of the Hold & Spin bonus in which the prizes for full moons are doubled.

The Hold & Spin feature, which is triggered by five or more full moons, begins with a pack of wolves chasing across the screen while a series of free respins are played as long as at least one new moon appears within the next three respins. This allows players to collect moons to win instant cash prizes as well as the Mini, Minor and Major local jackpots, with an additional Grand Bonus being awarded should they successfully fill all 15 reel spaces before the respins come to an end.

Of course, for players who are champing at the bit to enter the Hold & Spin bonus without triggering it manually, an optional Buy Feature is also available. With this granting them immediate access to the bonus for an additional stake, they can therefore bypass the luck factor and dive directly into the feature, where they’ll be able to sink their teeth into lunar-powered wins without needing to wait.

Martin Frindt, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Apparat Gaming, said: “With Apparat’s signature Hold & Win feature already proving a howling success with players, we thought it was high time we gave the popular bonus another run out in our action-packed slot adventure, 5 Moon Wolf.

“Linked to four lucrative local jackpots, this exciting extra gives our new lupine-themed game plenty of bite – and when coupled with a free spins feature that uses only the slot’s higher-value symbols, we’re sure players are going to love taking a walk on the wild side now that 5 Moon Wolf Hold & Win is out.”

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