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Better Collective becomes majority owner in Mindway AI

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash
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Better Collective increases its ownership to 90% of the shares in Mindway AI that specialises in software solutions based on artificial intelligence and neuroscience for identifying, preventing and intervening in at-risk and problem gambling. The investment supports Better Collective’s ambition to make betting more safe.

As of January 1st 2021, Better Collective has exercised its option to acquire a further 70% of the shares in Mindway AI for a total price of 17 million DKK. The acquisition follows a preliminary investment made in 2019 where Better Collective acquired 19.99% of the company for 4 million DKK. With the new investment, Better Collective now holds 90% of the shares in Mindway AI, whereas the reimaing 10% is held by Kim Mouridsen, Founder of Mindway AI and Professor at Aarhus University.

CEO of Mindway AI, Rasmus Kjærgaard, who has played an instrumental part in commercialising the business during its growth phase over the last 12 months, continues in his current position. Kjærgaard joined Mindway AI in December 2019 from Danish IT company, Signaturgruppen A/S, where he spent over four years as VP of Sales. Also, Professor Kim Mouridsen stays on board in the role as Chief Scientific Officer and member of the board of the company. Mindway AI will continue to operate as a stand-alone company within the Better Collective Group.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective, says:

“Responsible gambling remains a strategic focus area for Better Collective where we continue to increase our efforts. We see Mindway AI’s technologies and software solutions as best-in-class and foresee the business will play an increasingly important role in the iGaming ecosystem, as responsible gambling continues to be at the very top of the industry agenda and in society as a whole. It has been impressive to follow the strong development of the company over the last year since our initial investment and I am excited to further build on the promising collaboration we have established and to find new areas where our core competencies can be crossed and utilized for the benefit of the partners and players.“

Rasmus Kjærgaard, CEO of Mindway AI, says:

“I am excited that Mindway AI now joins the Better Collective Group, an organisation that shares our purpose and values and has a genuine wish to create a safe and sustainable betting and gambling environment for players worldwide. With this investment, we now form closer ties to an organisation that has the industry network and muscles to further accelerate the development of our business. I look forward to continuing the strong growth journey Mindway AI has been on and to further expand our footprint globally.”

Strong momentum

Mindway AI is an award-winning company that develops state of the art software solutions for fully automatic monitoring and profiling of gamblers and for identifying, preventing and intervening in at-risk and problem gambling. At the core of Mindway AI’s DNA is a research-based foundation, and the development of the solutions is done by combining neuroscience, artificial intelligence and a deep collaboration with a team of industry experts. Common to Mindway AI’s software solutionsGameScanner, Gamalyze and GameChanger, is that they empower iGaming operators to create safer customer journeys as well as to become proactive if players show signs of having problems.

Mindway AI has over the last year accelerated its transformation from being an academic-based start-up focusing on building products and software solutions with a strong scientific foundation into commercialising the business. Today, Mindway AI plays an increasingly important role in the iGaming ecosystem supporting operators on a global scale such as Entain (formerly GVC Holdings), Flutter Group and Holland Casino to create safer iGaming experiences.

In October 2020, GameScanner, an AI-based solution that fully automatically 24-7-365 identifies and monitors problem gambling behavior, became the first responsible gambling solution to have its performance on detecting at-risk and problem gamblers tested and validated in a sample by Gaming Laboratories International® (GLI). GLI is the gaming industry’s leading testing and assessment company that provides gaming regulators, operators and suppliers with certification and testing with the highest level of independence and integrity. Currently, GameScanner has a patent pending for its innovative technology. Also, Mindway AI’s Gamalyze solution, a gamificated self-test of players, won the Compliance Innovation of the Year award at the Global Regulatory Awards 2020 that recognises excellence in compliance and responsible gambling.

Industry News

Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play

Niji Narayan

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Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play
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Gaming Realms has signed a licensing agreement with Pragmatic Play to produce Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gaming Realms is to license market-leading brands from Pragmatic Play’s expansive game portfolio, including Sweet Bonanza and Wolf Gold, to create Slingo games.

Michael Buckley, executive chairman of Gaming Realms, said: “This licensing partnership with Pragmatic Play opens up a range of cross-sell benefits to both parties. The collaboration between two organisations with a key focus on content innovation in the digital space is truly exciting.

“Pragmatic Play creates engaging and immersive gaming content that fits perfectly with Slingo; we’re hoping this announcement should excite both operators and players.”

Yossi Barzely, chief business development officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Creating memorable gaming experiences is a priority for us and Gaming Realms has an excellent reputation through its Slingo portfolio.

“We have an extremely positive feeling about the potential for Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games and are eager to see this partnership realise its potential.”

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ZEAL Network Reports Good Start to 2021

Niji Narayan

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ZEAL Network Reports Good Start to 2021
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German online lottery products provider ZEAL Network SE has reported a good start to 2021, with the company increasing its revenue, profitability and achieving a strong gross margin.

In the first quarter of 2021, billings rose by 17% to EUR 163.31 million (2020: EUR 140.0 million), of which the Germany segment accounted for almost the entire amount at EUR 163.3 million (2020: EUR 139.7 million). Revenue increased by as much as 19% to EUR 22.6 million (2020: EUR 19.0 million), of which EUR 21.1 million was attributable to the Germany segment (2020: EUR 17.0 million). At 12.7%, the gross margin in the Germany segment was above the prior-year level (2020: 12.1%).

During the fiscal period, the Company gained 156 thousand new registered customers in the Germany segment (2020: 206 thousand). Adjusted EBITDA rose to EUR 4.6 million (2020: EUR 2.8 million) – there were no non-recurring expenses or income. The Germany segment accounted for EUR 4.1 million of this amount (2020: EUR 1.9 million). EBIT and net profit of EUR 2.4 million and EUR 2.5 million, respectively, were also well above the prior-year figures (2020: EUR 0.0 million and EUR 0.1 million, respectively).

“We are pleased that, following the LOTTO24 takeover, the business model change and the organisational adjustments, we will again be able to publish truly comparable figures in the current and previous reporting periods with the first quarter of 2021. In addition, we already demonstrated in the past year that we are capable of exploiting market opportunities, adapting to dynamic environments and continuously fine-tuning our business model. We are consistently continuing along this path,” Jonas Mattsson, CFO of ZEAL Network SE, said.

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Industry News

Dutch Lottery Board Appoints Alexander Pechtold as Chairman

Niji Narayan

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Dutch Lottery Board Appoints Alexander Pechtold as Chairman
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The Dutch Lottery’s supervisory board has appointed retired politician Alexander Pechtold as chairman. He replaces the outgoing chairman of the board, Jan Loorbach, whose tenure has come to an end.

Pechtold is currently general director of The Netherland’s central bureau for driving licences. Before retiring from politics, he had a long career in the Democrats 66 (D66) party, including a 12-year tenure as a parliamentary leader from 2006 to 2018.

“It is an honour to be able to contribute to the future of the largest socially oriented, pre-Dutch gaming organisation. The Netherlands Lottery has proven its position in the lottery market. With just as much energy and confidence, the Netherlands Lottery will also become active in the online gambling market with a responsible offer,” Pechtold said.

“The board and the entire management of the Dutch Lottery are happy with the arrival of Alexander Pechtold. He is introduced to a healthy and future-oriented organisation, and we look forward to continuing to build on our position in the gaming market with the supervisory board,” Niels Onkenhout, CEO of Dutch Lottery, said.

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