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Third of Swedish players search for ‘unlicensed casinos’, research finds

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Third of Swedish players search for 'unlicensed casinos', research finds
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Bonusfinder.com data finds ‘channelisation’ strategy failing and growing numbers of players looking for black market sites

– Warning to German regulators to reconsider recent restrictive proposals

 Almost a third of Swedish players are searching online for ‘unlicensed casinos’, with growing numbers turning to black-market brands due to the market’s restrictive gaming regulations, according to data produced by customer-first affiliate brand Bonusfinder.com.

Research carried out by BonusFinder.com monitoring the Swedish market since it regulated in January 2019 has uncovered a spike in Swedish players searching for a basket of black-market keywords.

Up to 30% of players have searched for terms such as ‘unlicensed casino’ (casino utan licens). This reinforces the theory that aggressive restrictions on licensed operators drives players to search for, and convert to, unlicensed black-market brands.

According to recent official data from the Swedish regulator (SGA), 91% of gambling is carried out by licensed operators in a market worth more than €1.2 billion.

Data from H2 Gambling Capital estimates Sweden’s ‘channelisation’ strategy towards licensed sites to be 85%, however Bonusfinder.com research shows the proportion of Swedish players using legal casinos to be closer to 70% with almost a third being diverted to unlicensed brands.

The findings are a stark warning to other newly regulating markets including Germany that is considering even tougher regulations on online casino products.

German lawmakers recently approved regulations to legalise online poker and casino from 1 July 2021 with punitive measures including slots subject to a €1 per spin stake limit, no auto play and no jackpots, while casino games must be offered separately to table games.

One large operator in Germany, on condition of anonymity said that future licensed brands there could see casino revenues fall by up to 70% with many players flocking to black market sites if regulators passed restrictive proposals.

“With the 16 Federal States in Germany approving the new gambling regulation everyone was anticipating a regulated and safe gambling environment for online and land-based players in Germany.

“The strict policies in the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling, however, will force players and operators into illegal channels and, if this goes ahead, the market with the biggest potential in Europe will have lost its opportunity. For many operators, revenues will drop by 60 to 70%, and on top of that, taxes and fees will make this licence unattractive.”

Fintan Costello, Managing Director, Bonusfinder.com, said: “Instead of misguidedly declaring phase one of Swedish legislation a “success”, regulators should be focusing on the rising proportion of players searching for ‘unlicensed’ brands.

Equally concerning is that newly regulating markets such as Germany appear to be ignoring their mistakes. There is no regulated market on earth that is proposing such damaging rules, and we would urge them to take heed of Sweden’s rapid plunge toward encouraging unlicensed activity.

“This should serve as a real warning for German lawmakers who have plenty of time to alter their proposals to benefit and protect players and to ensure their newly regulated framework is commercially successful.

“At Bonusfinder.com we aim to give players more choice, presenting them with all the options before they commit to gambling on specific sites. Our aim is to help people “play with more” in a safe environment. Our core principles are built on a common sense approach to regulation that involve honest and open conversations between regulators, operators, affiliates and players. This is exactly the approach German regulators should be taking.”

Industry News

Apex Live Gaming Launches ChipperX

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Apex Live Gaming has launched a new device named “ChipperX” for the casinos.

Designed and manufactured by Apex, ChipperX is a dedicated chip management device. It automatically sorts chips by value or colour into one of 12 designated chip tracks. Each chip track is configured to sort and store a defined number of chip types.

“Apex Live Gaming is made up of people who understand and have experience working in land-based casinos. That’s why we make equipment that helps casino staff do their jobs faster, better, more comfortably and easier,” the company said.

ChipperX has the computing power to quickly and accurately count, sort and distribute up to 500 chips per minute. It produces game statistics with a minute-by-minute display stored in the device’s memory for one year.

Easy operation is guaranteed by remote control and diagnostics. Through remote access to ChipperX settings and management, Apex’s team of technicians can help customers control the device remotely in real time. This reduces operating costs and service time.

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Industry News

Paul Mallon Steps Down as Head of Brand Marketing at Paddy Power

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Paul Mallon has stepped down as the head of brand marketing at Paddy Power.

The ad executive spent ten years at the Flutter-owned operator. Mallon began at Paddy Power as a football writer following a time as a journalist at the Irish Daily Star.

He leaves Paddy Power to become head of special ops at the London-based advertising agency Lucky Generals, which was Paddy Power’s creative agency before Flutter’s reorganisation with its The Stars Group merger.

Mallon wrote on LinkedIn: “After an incredibly good time and 10 years at the sublime Paddy Power, I’ve transferred to the mighty Lucky Generals (with huge thanks to the colleagues, agencies and customers who made working for PP such a pleasure).”

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Industry News

EGT and Mascot Join Forces on Distribution Agreement

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EGT has joined forces with casino equipment provider Mascot on a new distribution agreement. Through the agreement, MASCOT has become the tech company’s new official distributor for France.

The two enterprises shook hands on their future endeavours last month, with plans to immediately introduce the new General series and progressive Jackpots to the French market.

Mascot is founded in 2009 and has been successfully restructuring the company in the past few years, now adopting the highest standards in the sector and motivated to bring new brands to its clients.

“We at EGT are always excited to join forces with reliable partners and cover new ground,” Nadya Popova, EGT’s Sales and Marketing Vice President, said.

“We are thrilled to work with EGT and are preparing many surprises for our clients immediately. We thank EGT for their trust,” François Bourlier, Sales Manager at Mascot, said.

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