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Sweden and Norway in the focus with Gustaf Hoffstedt (BOS.nu) and Rolf Sims (Kindred Group) at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) and Rolf Sims (Public Affairs Manager for Kindred Group in Norway and Board Chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies) to share their views from all angles about the Swedish and Norwegian gambling industry at the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel and is gathering the gambling industry from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions for a full day of quality learning and networking with like-minded peers, regulators and representatives of the industry media.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Sweden has been at the forefront of the gambling industry news for the past 6 months and has been often cited as a “newly liberalized online gambling market”.

Spelinspektionen has been handing out new licenses at a rate of more than one a week since the new year, with no signs of a slowdown any time soon.

Prior to the new laws, Sweden’s gambling market was essentially a state monopoly. Unlicensed gambling operators were accepting Swedish customers, but without going through the proper legal channels. In 2018, foreign gambling sites accounted for 29% of Sweden’s $2.5 billion gambling market, up from 24% the previous year.

Sweden’s new gambling laws were designed to give the state more control over the market. The fact that 73 companies have already jumped on board shows the new laws are having their intended effect.

However, it’s not all pink for the enthusiast operators, just two months ago, Sweden’s Minister on Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi said the government will be making more stringent regulations on gambling advertisements. He also summoned representatives of the gambling industry to parliament for a discussion on this topic.

At MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) will take part in a special IMGL MASTERCLASS™ which is titled “It’s Hot in the Nordics: IMGL Mega-Panel”, giving you the opportunity to hear first-hand the updates from the Swedish gambling industry and the outcome of the harsh measures.

About Gustaf Hoffstedt

Gustaf Hoffstedt is the Secretary-General of BOS, the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling since January 2015. Among the association’s members are all major operators and suppliers that operate with a license inside the European Union, but outside of Sweden. Prior to joining BOS, Gustaf served as a Member of the Swedish Parliament for the Moderate party, and as vice mayor and chairman of the Social board in his constituency Gotland before that.

Gustaf has fought for the abolition of the Swedish gambling monopoly and the implementation of a licensing system for more than a decade. He is pleased to see that things currently appear to be moving in the right direction.

Gustaf resides in Uppsala with his wife Caroline, who serves as vice mayor in the municipality for the Social Democratic party – the traditional rival of Gustaf’s own party. In their leisure time, they enjoy hiking in the mountains of northern Scandinavia.

When it comes to the Norwegian gambling industry, it is certainly a different situation.

This year, the online gambling operators in Norway have formed a new association to press the government to rethink its restrictive gambling policy.

The online gambling operators Betsson, ComeOn, GiG, and the Kindred Group announced the formation of the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gambling (NBO).

The new association will urge Norway’s government to abandon its monopolistic stance in favor of a liberalized regime that would allow internationally licensed online gambling operators to apply for local licenses.

Carl Fredrik Stenstrøm, Rikstoto former commercial director and secretary-general at NBO, noted that he helped lead Rikstoto’s responsible gambling initiatives and his experience taught him that such efforts are not much use if they ignore the vast segment of the market over which the government has no control.

Stenstrøm said the regulatory regimes in Denmark and Sweden recognize that regulating “all the serious companies under one, responsible license model” is the proper way to go.

The Norwegian industry update will be part of the IMGL MASTERCLASS™ which is titled “It’s Hot in the Nordics: IMGL Mega-Panel”, giving you the opportunity to hear first-hand the of the Norwegian gambling industry and what changes are expected in the next period from Rolf Sims (Public Affairs Manager for Kindred Group in Norway and Board Chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies).

About Rolf Sims

Rolf Sims graduated with a law degree from the University of Oslo in 1995, specializing in intellectual property and international human rights. He has previously worked on land concessions and area planning at the Ministry of Agriculture and legislation and individual cases related to oil pollution in the North Sea at the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

Between 1998 and 2018 he worked as a gaming regulator, first with the Ministry of Justice and Police, and from 2001 with the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry is responsible for the regulation of all gaming in Norway except gaming connected to equestrian activities. His scope of work encompassed EU/EEA-law, all aspects of legislation connected to gaming machines, I-gaming, bingo, provisions and regulations on lotteries and sportsbetting. He has also supervised the administration of Norsk Tipping, the Norwegian state-owned gaming company, as well as the Norwegian Gaming Authority. He was particularly involved in the Norwegian Slot machine case and Ladbrokes case which questioned the compatibility of Norwegian gaming law to EU/EEA-law. Rolf also participated as the Norwegian Government`s representative in the European Commission’s Expert Group on Gambling Services, which provides the Commission with advice and expertise in relation to the preparation of policy initiatives and facilitates the exchange of regulatory experience and good practices between EEA Member States. He was also a director on the board of the Gaming Regulators European Forum. In August 2018 Rolf took up a new position as public affairs manager for Kindred Group in Norway.

In January 2019 Rolf was elected board chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies.

 

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

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Baltics

iSoftBet inks TOPsport content and platform agreement

George Miller

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iSoftBet inks TOPsport content and platform agreement
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Baltic markets operator to launch leading provider’s games and access 3,000+ titles via leading GAP platform

 

iSoftBet, the leading online and mobile casino content provider, has agreed a deal with Lithuanian operator TOPsport, which will see its proprietary slots and table games go live on the operator’s platform, as well as integrating its cutting-edge Game Aggregation Platform (GAP).

TOPsport customers will have access to iSoftBet’s best-performing slots portfolio, including smash hits Hot Spin and The Dalai Panda, and latest release Book of Immortals and Pinata Fiesta.

In addition, the major Baltic markets brand will gain access to iSoftBet’s GAP content portfolio, enabling it to choose from more than 3,000 slot and table games provided by the supplier’s platform partners.

iSoftBet’s GAP platform offers content from 46 of the largest third-party suppliers in the iGaming industry, as well as a host of advanced marketing and real-time gamification tools.

Michael Probert, Chief Commercial Officer at iSoftBet, said: “We’re very pleased to have signed with TOPsport, which significantly increases our presence across the Baltic markets.

“We are always looking to grow in important and emerging territories, and the Baltics is a key region for us as we continue to lead the way in regulated market growth. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with TOPsport.”

Gintaras Staniulis, CEOat TOPsport, said: “We are delighted to sign with iSoftBet, who are one of the most well-known content providers in the industry. Their leading games and GAP portfolio offer something unique in the market, and we are confident that our relationship will be a success.”

iSoftBet is a finalist in the RNG Casino Supplier of the Year and Mobile Supplier of the Year categories at the EGR B2B Awards 2019.

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Baltics

Gambling Revenue in Latvia Increases 15% for Q1 2019

Niji Narayan

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Gambling Revenue in Latvia Increases 15% for Q1 2019
Image Source: etsy.com
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The gambling revenue in Latvia has increased 15.3% year-on-year in the first three months of 2019. The revenue from gambling operations shot up by 15% year-on-year to €77.5m from €67.2m.

Gambling income also rose by 15.9% from €63.5m to €73.6m. Licensed operators grossed €56.4m in revenue from gambling machines. Their first quarter revenue increased by 12.8%. The operators made €50.0m in 2018 during the first three months. Roulette and blackjack, contributed €3.9m to the income posted.

Online casino games contributed €8.8m to the overall online gambling income. The figures are up 39.2% year-on-year. Card tournaments income was recorded €73,000, up 15.8% from the figures posted for the first quarter in 2018.

The hike in revenues for the licensed operators is being attributed to the strong steps taken by the country’s gambling regulator to block illegal and unlicensed gambling websites operating in Latvia.

 

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Baltics

UltraPlay is now the Best eSports Service Provider in the Baltics

George Miller

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UltraPlay is now the Best eSports Service Provider in the Baltic
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The company received high industry recognition in the 2019 BSG Awards

 

Twenty-one industry accolades were handed to the winning companies in the first Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards, which were held during Mare Balticum Gaming Summit, on the 9th of May, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

UltraPlay received Best eSports Service Provider in the Baltics – the first award for the year and 6th in total for the company’s unrivaled eSports odds service. Lyubomira Petrova, Chief Marketing Officer at UltraPlay commented on the award:

“UltraPlay’s leadership in eSports betting was once again highly recognized. It is an honor to be acknowledged as the Best eSports Service Provider from the BSG Awards 2019 – a true inspiration for the entire team of UltraPlay and high recognition from the industry in the region.”

Above 100 delegates from the gambling industry attended the second edition of Mare Balticum Gaming Summit. This year the Summit had a strong focus on the gaming regulations and jurisdictions in the Baltics and the Nordics. As part of the discussion panel “Gambling Industry in 2020”, Lyubomira Petrova (CMO at UltraPlay) shared her knowledge on eSports and its significance in the following years, while  Zlatan Omerspahić (Data Protection and Compliance Lawyer at NSoft),  and Robert Toth (Key Account Manager at Global Bet) talked on GDPR and Virtual Sports.

“I had the pleasure to speak at Mare Balticum Gaming Summit and present why eSports is going to play a key role in the gambling industry in 2020 and beyond. Discussing what the future holds for the industry, we see the tremendous growth of eSports and its importance in terms of betting and player’s engagement.”, added Petrova.

The company is now heading to G2E Asia, Macao and is nominated in 2 categories for the G2E Asia Awards: UltraPlay’s eSports White Label Solution is shortlisted in the “Best B2B Digital Product Solution” category, and Dariy Margaritov, founder of UltraPlay is nominated in the category “Best industry rising stars”.

UltraPlay will be attending G2E Asia, Macao, from May 21st to 23rd, 2019. How to establish a profitable eSports betting brand will be the exclusive session to be held at the company’s booth #D909 by Mario Ovcharov, CEO of UltraPlay, on May 22nd, 11:30 am. You can book your meeting in advance at sales@ultraplay.net.

 

About UltraPlay:
UltraPlay is a modern technological company, founded in 2010, with the core ambition to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry by providing advanced betting solutions, focused on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white label, online casino and blockchain technology.
Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports software and odds products to its customers. Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

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