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Land-based lottery revenue falls amid Coronavirus outbreak, but online soars

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Land-based lottery revenue falls amid Coronavirus outbreak, but online soars
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Land-based lottery operations are seeing a significant drop in sales as the global spread of Coronavirus continues to impact the traditional pen and paper market.

Emerging markets are taking the biggest hit, with operators in South America, India, and China all heavily feeling the effect of curfews and lockdowns. The latter saw sales fall 43.3 percent year-on-year in January, with other national markets expected to follow suit as the impact of COVID-19 worsens.

However, even the North American market has been badly affected. In Massachusetts, lottery revenue dropped by $1.3m in the second week of March, in Arkansas, it dropped $3.6m from January to February, and in Ohio, land-based lottery terminals in grocery stores are expected to be closed after being overrun with demand since the local casinos shut. Canadian-based operators Loto-Quebec and OLG have already completely suspended their land-based operations.

The fall in revenue for operators will also mean less money raised for good causes, and the knock-on effect will be that organisations in the public sector that depend on this type of charity funding will suffer. However, while land-based operators lag behind, online operators are acquiring new players and seeing a spike in revenue.

“In these circumstances, third party online operators become a real threat to the industry as players are turning to them in order to play the lottery games they normally get from the corner stores,” said Ade Repcenko, CEO of lottery solutions provider Spinola Gaming. “This threat, if prolonged, could make players change their habits and stick to online once the virus goes away, which will have long standing ramifications for the industry at large.”

To help counter the threat, Spinola Gaming is offering a series of online webinars to show how its products and services can allow land-based operators to compete again. The company wants to demonstrate the ease at which the transition can be made, and that it will not disturb their existing land-based operations once the market recovers.

“We want to show operators how we can get them live in a matter of weeks with very minimal financial impact,” concluded Repcenko. “We have fast, cost effective solutions to allow operators to get back to business in a matter of weeks, with our market leading solutions enabling them to reach players in the comfort of their own home.”

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GLI Appoints Alberto Ruiz-Ocaña as New Business Development Manager for EMEA

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Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has appointed Alberto Ruiz-Ocaña as new Business Development Manager for EMEA.

Ruiz-Ocaña has more than 10 years of experience in licensing, compliance, and helping businesses develop and implement successful business strategies. His skills will help enable growth in European and LATAM markets. As Business Development Manager for EMEA, he will be focused on developing opportunities for GLI with new clients across all sectors of the industry including, online, land-based and VLT Lottery.

“Alberto is a great addition to the growing GLI EMEA team, and his experience and contacts, particularly in online gaming, will provide GLI with new opportunities in a rapidly expanding market. His language skills will be beneficial to many of our European clients, which will help us build even more contacts and clients in the EMEA markets,” James Illingworth, Vice President Sales for GLI EMEA, said.

“I am really excited to be joining an industry-leading and respected global company. The EMEA team has already made me feel very welcome, and I look forward to helping them and GLI go from strength to strength,” Alberto said.

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Industry News

Betixon Secures Approval to Launch its Games in Dutch iGaming Market

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Online casino content developer Betixon has secured approval to launch its games in the recently regulated Dutch iGaming market.

Certified by national regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), Betixon will now be able to provide titles such as Boots of Luck, Wild Wolf, Book of Sheba, Vampire Call, Age of Halvar and Reign of Zeus to licensed operators in the Netherlands.

Betixon said it has already lined up a number of strategic partners in the country and will begin to roll out its content shortly. Talks are ongoing to go live with other operators active in the market.

The developer is also certified to offer games in Great Britain, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Colombia and Romania.

Lior Cohen, chief executive officer at Betixon, said: “The Netherlands is one of the most important markets in Europe and we believe that it will grow at a rapid rate in the coming months and years now that a proper regulatory framework is in place.

“Our slots have been designed to deliver an exceptional player experience on mobile and each game is packed with eye-catching graphics and animations that we combine with smart math and mechanics to ensure players are entertained with every spin.

“We will be going live with our first operators shortly and looking forward to partnering with more as we establish Betixon as a leading content provider in the Dutch market.”

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Industry News

New Study: Ten EU Member States Strengthened Consumer Protection Rules for Online Gambling Since 2018, But Significant Fragmentation and Gaps Remain

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A new study has found 10 EU Member States have made progress in strengthening their consumer protection rules for online gambling since 2018, although significant fragmentation and gaps in how these rules are implemented still remain.

The study, published by the City, University of London (CUL), reviewed specific aspects of the consumer protection rules in EU Member States, including know your customer requirements, the protection of minors, safer gambling and treatment support, and assessed whether these rules are becoming similar or not.

The CUL study concludes that while most Member States have adopted similar approaches towards consumer protection, there are significant differences in how national rules are designed or implemented and in some Member States specific consumer protection rules for online gambling are missing. For example, the study found that while 16 Member States have established a national self-exclusion register for online gambling, how gamblers are added to these registers and the duration of their self-exclusion varies significantly, and not all these Member States have rules which prohibit gambling advertising being sent to those who are self-excluded.

The study is an update to a previous study which was published by CUL in 2018. Both studies were commissioned by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) for the purpose of contributing to research knowledge about the safer gambling regulations which exist in the EU and raising awareness about the level of consumer protection offered to EU citizens in respect to online gambling.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “We welcome the progress made in strengthening the consumer protection rules in EU member states. In several areas, regulatory principles are converging, but there is increasing fragmentation in how the rules are implemented and this creates a complicated compliance and enforcement map for Europe’s gambling regulators and operators, while evidently also not benefiting the consumer. A more standardised regulatory framework would surely benefit all. While regulations and enforcement are extremely important, the study also highlights that more could be done to strengthen prevention measures and ensure that those who are affected by harm are signposted to relevant helplines and treatment centres.”

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