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Moving forward: Lessons learned for the lottery sector

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

As some countries start to ease back on nationwide lockdowns and restrictions, many are being hit with an increase in cases, with some areas renewing stay at home orders. In this time of instability, Spinola Gaming CEO Ade Repcenko takes a look at the realities that Covid-19 made businesses face over the past few months, what the ‘new normal’ looks like for the lottery sector, and lessons learned that can help businesses prepare for what might be a second wave in the coming months.

What was the state of the lottery sector before the lockdown? How has it changed over the last few months?

Ade Repcenko, CEO of Spinola Gaming: The lottery sector traditionally operates through an extensive retail network, but had been taking a slow creep towards digital solutions over the past few years. Some lottery companies were exploring options to become more digitally focused in order to reach new global audiences and give their players the opportunity to purchase tickets on demand, wherever they may be. But this digital transformation was not being adopted as rapidly as other sectors, with some huge names in lottery shooting down any notion that lotteries should move online, and others such as some states in the US not able to go online due to legal frameworks.

Covid-19 removed all player access to lottery’s established retail networks and forced companies to find digital solutions fast in order to find new ways of reaching their players, or risk not reaching them at all. Many were those who managed to make the switch, with others being forced to temporarily close and cease operations until restrictions were lifted.

How did operators adapt to the lockdown? Which ones were successful?

Lotteries which had digital sales available saw sustained revenue to see them through the pandemic, and also noted a marked increase in online sales during this period. American state lotteries whose offering included online lotteries saw online sales surge more than 10 percent. In New Hampshire, the state lottery saw a 38 percent surge in first-time digital lottery players in February and March.  

This trend was also seen in Europe. In a very interesting online webinar titled “Lotteries in COVID-19 Lockdown”, the European Lotteries (EL) Secretary General Arjan van‘t Veer reported that online lottery games were performing better than initially expected. Robert Chvatal, CEO of the Sazka Group also revealed that “many lotteries have seen a significant increase in online sales share” due to the fact that retail options were no longer viable.

What will the ‘new normal’ look like when countries reopen their retail businesses?

Some countries are slowly reopening and trying to go back to normal, but normal seems a very vague term, at least for the foreseeable future. The harsh social distancing imposed onto the public during the peak of Covid-19, although slowly lifting in some areas, still resonates with people. How we interact has changed, how we buy things has changed. Establishments are slowly re-opening, but patrons are choosing to visit physical retail less and less, especially as re-opening is resulting in a resurgence of cases. People got accustomed to getting all their needs met online from the comfort of their homes: groceries, restaurant deliveries, entertainment, and even gambling and playing the lottery – and this comfort is one that many will continue to seek long-term. The future, and what it holds in terms of a second wave and the possibility of renewed lockdowns, remains uncertain. Operators need to use this time to become more prepared and find ways to react to these market changes and player needs with long-term solutions.

How can the sector move forward following the impact of lockdown both on the market and on players? What solutions can help with this transition?

As the world becomes more digitally inclined, with Covid-19 forcing all demographics to become more digitally dependent, a unique opportunity has arisen where traditionally land-based players can easily be converted into digital ones without spending considerable time and resources educating them about the benefits of digital. The entire world has been forced into adopting a digital approach, and the lottery sector must therefore embrace technology in order to continue to reach their players and acquire new ones. Going digital would also give retail operators access to a new player base which already entertained themselves in an online gaming space, and who could easily be converted into lottery players.

In order to succeed long-term, lotteries must strive to provide a seamless, omni-channel player experience that merges digital and retail initiatives. Solutions such as those offered by Spinola Gaming are specialised in helping operators make the move to digital, while still maintaining their traditional retail operations through one seamless interface. 

Our software allows operators to monitor all lottery ticket sales and track all online and offline purchases in real-time, complete with a myriad of marketing functions and analytics available at the touch of a button. The system is available across all markets, currencies and languages and is fully customisable. 

Any land-based retail, national or state lotteries interested in learning more about Spinola Gaming’s lottery software solutions can book a demo by getting in touch on [email protected]

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Mindleap Health™ Expands its Digital Mental Health Programs for Addiction, Psychedelic Integration and Holistic Wellness

George Miller

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Mindleap Health™ Expands its Digital Mental Health Programs for Addiction, Psychedelic Integration and Holistic Wellness
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Mydecine Innovations Group™, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Mindleap Health™ (“Mindleap” or the “Company”) based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is expanding it’s digital therapeutic offerings by adding three additional programs to its platform.

Mindleap™ is working towards contributing to the evolution of mental health and enabling the mass adoption of mental health treatments across the world. In order to expand access to world-class mental health solutions, Mindleap is developing new “30-day transformation” programs that will be offered as in-app purchases on the platform this fall.

The new offerings will include comprehensive addiction, psychedelic integration, and holistic wellness programs designed to empower users to improve their wellbeing. The ability to track progress, encourage consistency through gamification will provide additional value to Mindleap users.

The Addiction Recovery Program will be led by Dr. Rick Barnett, a clinical psychologist and an alcohol and drug counselor in independent practice. Dr. Barnett has worked on the frontlines of addiction treatment for over 20 years with a variety of populations in diverse settings. He is an expert in addictive disorders and treatment, working every day to help clients change and improve their lives. Dr. Barnett has a unique ability to blend multiple approaches in meaningful ways to address and recover from numerous types of addictive behaviors (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, nicotine, gambling).

Equipped with advanced education and training in psychopharmacology, Dr. Barnett has served in numerous leadership roles both locally and nationally related to addiction, mental health, and health care reform. He is also the founder of the Center for Addiction Recognition Treatment Education and Recovery (CARTER, Inc), a 501c3 private non-profit organization dedicated to the art and science of achieving lifelong freedom from addiction. The goal of CARTER, Inc. is to transform addiction into enduring health and well-being, a value which has become the cornerstone to his Mindleap program.

The Psychedelic Integration program will be led by Dr. Danielle Wise who brings over 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist and coach, utilizing myriad techniques with a unique specialization on psychedelic integration. Dr. Wise’s clinical focus is primarily centered on relational trauma, combining depth and somatic psychology, neuroscience, and psychedelic research.

Dr. Wise has completed the Psychedelic Research and Training Institute’s (PRATI) comprehensive Ketamine and Psychedelic Medicine Training, which provides practical tools for eliciting transformational sessions and holistic and integrative tools for mental health support.

An avid decriminalization advocate, she is part of the Denver psilocybin decriminalization initiative and the founder of Women’s Leadership in Psychedelics with the Nowak Society, a non profit that provides education, training, and community building around right relationship with psychedelics and psychopharmaceuticals.

Dr. Wise also serves on the advisory board of Unlimited Sciences a psychedelic research non-profit combining data and lived experiences to serve the community, educate the public, and inform policies. Her 30-day program will offer an embodied integration journey with self care practices and contemplations that will assist users in achieving personal transformation for lifelong wholeness making.

The Holistic Wellness program will be led by Jeremy Hoffman who is an experienced spiritual leader that uses innovative modalities including energy clearing, activations, meditation, breathwork to support his clients in achieving harmony of the mind, body and spirit.

Hoffman is renowned internationally for his holistic wellness coaching, and currently works with C-Suite level executives and business leaders to assist them in achieving spiritual balance and fulfillment in their lives. Cultivating the steps that allow people to operate in life with an upgraded mindset and perspective, Hoffman will be sharing his insights on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in his Mindleap program.

Mindleap’s founder Nikolai Vassev commented: “Our focus is on creating real solutions for the mental health crisis and these new offerings will allow Mindleap to have international reach and affect more lives during these times of crisis. The pandemic has left people depressed, isolated and support is needed now more than ever.”

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Esports Sportsbook Rivalry Announces Roll Out of Cryptocurrency Payments in Partnership with CoinCorner

George Miller

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Esports Sportsbook Rivalry Announces Roll Out of Cryptocurrency Payments in Partnership with CoinCorner
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Isle of Man licensed betting platform, Rivalry, is the latest esports focused sportsbook to adapt to changing player preferences by supporting payments through Bitcoin. COVID-19 has, in many cases, served as an accelerant to slow-burning changes in consumer behaviour and preferences. Most notably: the meteoric rise of esports betting. While many operators were left scrambling to adapt to the overnight demand, a select few, such as Rivalry, were perfectly positioned to capitalize on the pandemic pivot. Much like cryptocurrencies, esports betting is proving to be anything but a fad.

Forward-thinking operators like Rivalry believe esports provide a glimpse into the future of betting. Their average esports bettor is in their twenties – an early adoptor and digital native that is no stranger to Bitcoin, but maybe less so to traditional betting mechanics and terminology. This brings new opportunities for operators to reshape and reimagine the betting experience.

Rivalry CEO, Steven Salz adds – “Our integration with CoinCorner has allowed us to offer Bitcoin as a payment option to our players and further simplify the payment experience. It’s partnerships like these that help us evolve the betting experience for a new cohort of bettors that think and behave differently”. 

UK Bitcoin exchange, CoinCorner, has seen business appetite adjusting to accommodate the recent rise in demand for online banking and payment methods, with an uptick in businesses keen to introduce Bitcoin payments as a way to gain competitive advantage by opening up to new markets, receiving cheaper fees and no chargebacks.

Sam Tipper, Business Development Manager at CoinCorner, said: “Since I joined CoinCorner in 2019, we’ve been making huge strides in assisting businesses across multiple industries to accept Bitcoin – preparing them for the new reality of a changing payment landscape. This is particularly true for businesses regulated out of the Isle of Man, like Rivalry, who cater to a global market.”

While the gambling industry debates on the staying power of esports as a profitable betting market, operators like Rivalry are adapting with ease and transforming the betting experience to meet the needs of an evolving user base.

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United Remote weave warm Wazdan welcome

George Miller

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United Remote partnership with Wazdan
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Aggregator and platform United Remote has announced a new partnership with online casino slots developer Wazdan to further extend its games portfolio and provide additional choice to the aggregator’s established B2B distribution channel.

United Remote is the conduit through which a range of innovative games studios can engage with best-of-breed gambling brands. United Remote has carefully assembled a differentiated portfolio of over 2000 entertaining, innovative and unique games that complement their own in-house titles, and this latest partnership with Wazdan brings a solid set of over 100 HTML5 games to the platform.

United Remote is a rapidly-growing aggregator, which has undergone a transformation over the last 12 months, extensively re-organising and redefining the core offering to reshape the way the company engages with operators, game partners and other stakeholders.

The company has successfully completed a period of intensive restructuring which has resulted in major technology and enterprise investments, with the organisational culture having been significantly reshaped to provide added-value to operators. In addition to technology investments and enhancements, United Remote has been adapting the agreements the company previously had put in place, de-risking the entire enterprise, and focusing very particularly on customer protection.

United Remote has on-boarded real-time tools as part of their renewed commitment to be in a position to give operators a bundle of tools that they will not find anywhere else which enable and accelerate, to drive engagement and revenue up.

United Remote has taken the strategic decision under CEO Jeremy Fall’s leadership to align with established aggregators who have critical mass to ensure maximum reach for their content partners. These powerful market-makers are drivers of putting partner games in front of more operators in more markets than ever before.

Multiple award-winner Wazdan has a stable of innovative slots, and a range of technology developed to position Wazdan at the forefront of the slots industry with the world’s first Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Ultra Lite Mode and Ultra Fast Mode, central to the company’s mobile and player-friendliness, along with Unique Wazdan Features which generate added excitement  and fun for players.

Wazdan titles include mature classics such as Mayan Ritual™, Fruit Mania Deluxe, Sizzling 777 Deluxe, Hot Party Deluxe, Corrida Romance Deluxe, Football Mania Deluxe, Highway to Hell Deluxe, Fruits Go Bananas™, Spectrum and Los Muertos™ , while more recent releases feature games such as Reel Hero, Sonic Reels, 9Tigers, Black Horse Deluxe and Lucky9, amongst others. Wazdan’s latest release, Reel Hero, has already had great feedback from players, and was awarded ‘Slot of The Week’ by Slot Beats in June.

Andrzej Hyla, Head of Sales at Wazdan said: “This partnership with United Remote allows Wazdan to extend our reach further in certain key jurisdictions. 2020 is set to be a great year for fans of our games on the back of this new partnership with United Remote.”

United Remote Group CEO Jeremy Fall said: “We are delighted to be able to help boost Wazdan’s market expansion further with their proprietary technology-packed games. Wazdan’s hallmark for developing content that seamlessly transitions from the casino floor to mobile, tablet and desktop devices will add more exciting options for our operators and their players.”

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