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The Blackstone Group will acquire Barcelona-based Cirsa for over €2b

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo source: elEconomista.es
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As reported earlier this year by multiple Spanish media outlets, Cirsa Gaming Corp, one of the world leaders in gaming and leisure activities and the Spain’s largest casino and bingo hall operator casted a spell over several US hedge fund giants, like the Advent International, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital Management who were all found to be swirling around Cirsa, competing for its fair hand.

It seems that it took only 2 months for bidders to start withdrawing and one hedge fund giant to remain on top. Analysts have suggested that the company has a valuation that tops off around €2b and this is the sum (Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed) the Barcelona-based Cirsa is going to fetch.

The representatives of Cirsa and Blackstone have issued a joint statement last, in which they’ve stated that they have reached agreement. It’s a deal under which Blackstone will acquire Cirsa’s casino, bingo and sports betting operations in Spain, Italy and Latin America. The exception of the takeover is the Argentinean business, which will continue to exist as a separate entity and under the rule of Cirsa founder Manuel Lao Hernandez.

Cirsa’s current empire includes 147 casinos, 178 salons, 70 bingo halls, over 2k sports betting points of sale and over 75k gaming machines. Cirsa is also a joint venture partner with UK bookmaker Ladbrokes in the Sportium sports betting operation. The company’s 2017 revenue exceeded €1.7b and extended Cirsa’s streak of consecutive quarterly earnings growth to 47. (Source: CalvinAyre.com)

Hernandez has thanked all the Cirsa employees that have worked for the company over the last four decades, while saying the new Cirsa would benefit from Blackstone’s “enthusiasm and ambition.”

Blackstone’s European private equity director Lionel Assant said the fund was “happy to make this investment” and claimed to be “excited to support Joaquim Agut, the new chairman of the company, and his strategy in this new stage as well as the expansion of CIRSA both organically and through acquisitions and in new geographical areas.”

Blackstone has been on a shopping spree last year and it seems that it hasn’t stopped there. In 2017,  Digital payment business Paysafe has agreed on the terms of a £2.96bn offer from private equity companies CVC and Blackstone. (read more)

Also in 2017, Blackstone (“Blackstone”) announced the acquisition of Clarion Events, one of the world’s leading independent events organisers, from private equity funds managed by Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). (read more)

 

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Press Releases

BetWarrior launches leading mobile sports betting product

George Miller

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BetWarrior launches leading mobile sports betting product
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Disruptive mobile gaming brand and platform BetWarrior has added a best-in-class sports betting product as it enters the next stage of its growth.

The fully-native BetWarrior app, which first launched in the summer, is now live with a customised Kambi-provided sportsbook in selected markets across Latin America.

Via an advanced suite of APIs, BetWarior has integrated the Kambi sportsbook into its Omega Core platform while leveraging its own AI and machine-learning tools to create a game-changing personalised mobile betting experience.

BetWarrior has spent the past weeks onboarding early users to road test the product; with sports betting now live, it will scale marketing as it targets regulated markets in Latin America and Europe.

Morten Tonnesen, co-founder and CEO of BetWarrior, said: “This is a major landmark in the development of BetWarrior, and we can now offer our users a complete mobile betting and gaming experience that stands apart from everything else out there.

“We set up BetWarrior with the intention of radically transforming the way people experience sports betting, and in partnership with Kambi, we have created a personalised mobile sportsbook like none other. We are hugely excited to watch the first players enjoying the action.”

BetWarrior has also recently been expanding its casino offering, adding content from the likes of MGA Games and Microgaming.

 

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Gaming Awards

The AskGamblers Awards Finalists’ Names Are In

George Miller

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Askgamblers Awards -Finalists’ Names Are In
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The AskGamblers team is happy to announce the AskGamblers Awards finalists’ names are in and ready to share.

For the past two months, the AskGamblers players’ have been nominating their Best Online Casino, Best New Casino and Best New Slot to enter the finals to win the AskGamblers Awards. Two additional categories in the race are the Best Software Provider and the Best Affiliate Partner.

The nomination period has been as exciting and intense as any race of this magnitude, with the accent placed on choosing the best among the best. Now, with the nomination period of two months over and the voting phase in its full speed, the finalists’ names are finally available for the world to hear.

Here are the top 10 finalists who have made the cut:

Best New Casino: 21.com, BaoCasino, MonteCryptos Casino, Maneki, Sportsbet.io, Spinia Casino, SlotWolf, Syndicate, Wishmaker, and Wazamba Casino.

In the category for Best Casino, the following 10 made the cut: Betsson Casino, Bitstarz Casino, CampeonBet, Everum Casino, EnergyCasino, Gunsbet Casino, King Billy Casino, Konung Casino, Mr.Play, and Platincasino.

The Best Slot category lists the following names in the finals: Book of Oz Slot by Microgaming; Cleopatra’s Diary Slot by Fugaso; Dead or Alive 2 Slot by NetEnt; Gold Canyon Slot by Betsoft; Mechanical Orange Slot by BGAMING; Pirates’ Plenty Slot by Red Tiger Gaming; Razor Shark Slot by Push Gaming; Solar Queen Slot by Playson; The Dog House Slot by Pragmatic Play; The Sword and The Grail Slot by Play’n GO.

In terms of the Best Software Provider, we have listed: Betsoft, BGAMING, Fugaso, Microgaming, NetEnt, Play’n GO, Playson, Pragmatic Play , Push Gaming, and Red Tiger Gaming.

The Best Affiliate Partner list goes as follows: LeoVegas Affiliate, Uffiliates, Betzest Partners, Stars Affiliate Club, RP Affiliates, JPJ Partners, Max Affiliates, PlayAttack Affiliates, IVY Affiliates, and Oshi Affiliates.

With the idea of giving the winners the acclaim they deserve, AskGamblers team is organizing the AskGamblers Awards gala night, third year in a row. The night of the final ceremony will be held on 17th January 2020 in Belgrade, allowing everyone absent to follow the event on live stream. The ceremony is expected to be the perfect blend of excitement, enthusiasm, and sweet anticipation – just as every other year before.

Being the most prestigious event in the iGaming industry, the AskGamblers Awards night is when the winners are chosen out of the following categories: Best Online Casino, Best New Casino and the Best New Slot with addition of Best Software Provider and the Best Affiliate Partner. Also, there will be a separate award called Players’ Choice.

As a crew of professionals whose primary mission is to keep its players happy and animated, AskGamblers has turned AskGamblers Awards night into a pure spectacle. By giving the players’ authority to choose the winners through nominations, AskGamblers is trusting and honouring their active dedication, trust, and commitment to the collective iGaming purpose.

AskGamblers’ Product Owner Denis Ristic reflected on the upcoming AskGamblers Awards event by saying: I am forever thrilled with the way AskGamblers team approaches improvement and innovation as well as with the way we manage to make our players feel in the process. Apart from our immense knowledge of the industry’s pitfalls and assets, I believe it is the unity of action, commitment, and creativity that keeps us pushing forward. The AskGamblers Awards night will be amazing, we can’t wait for the winners’ names to be announced!

By successfully keeping the players’ interest in the AskGamblers Awards nominations for a few years in a row, the AskGamblers team has once again proven itself worthy of everyone’s attention and trust. Pushing the envelope on more fronts than we can count has already become a fixed segment of the AskGamblers’s DNA.

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Industry News

50 alerts reported by the International Betting Integrity Association in Q3

George Miller

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IBIA PR: 50 alerts reported by the International Betting Integrity Association in Q3
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported 50 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the third quarter (Q3) of 2019, bringing the annual total so far to 138 cases. Tennis (30) and football (15) constituted 90% of all alerts reported during Q3, with Europe (42%) and Asia (36%) maintaining their positions as the primary location of sporting events on which alerts were generated during that period.

Khalid Ali, Secretary General of the International Betting Integrity Association, stated: “The year to date has seen a significant downturn in alerts, notably on tennis. We welcome the ongoing efforts of the sport to work closely with us and to identify and impose sanctions on corrupt players. The scope of the association’s unique and global leading monitoring system has been boosted by four new members during 2019, with discussions ongoing with a number of other companies interested in investing in integrity and protecting their businesses from corruption.”

The 50 alerts reported during Q3 covered six sports, spanning five different continents. This is very similar to the 51 alerts reported in Q2 2019, but is a reduction of 30% on the 72 alerts in Q3 2018. Whilst the 30 tennis alerts reported in Q3 2019 represent a 40% reduction on the 50 tennis alerts reported in Q3 2018. The annual total to date of 138 cases represents a 25% drop on the 184 cases at the same point in 2018 and is primarily a result of the fall in tennis alerts, predominantly caused by a reduction in alerts at the ITF Tour level.

The International Betting Integrity Association is the leading global voice on integrity for the licensed betting industry. It is run by operators for operators, protecting its members from corruption through collective action. Its monitoring and alert platform is a highly effective anti-corruption tool that detects and reports suspicious activity on its members’ betting markets. The association has longstanding information sharing partnerships with leading sports and gambling regulators to utilise its data and prosecute corruption. It represents the sector at high-level policy discussion forums such as the IOC, UN, Council of Europe and European Commission.

The association publishes quarterly reports covering the integrity alerts reported through its monitoring and alert platform. The Q3 report can be viewed here along with previous reports.

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