SBC CIS Weekly Digest: 17 — 21 October

Each week, SBC CIS editors look back at the events of the previous week to highlight the most interesting and resonant ones for you.

UFC bans its athletes from placing bets on the organization’s fights, 3 Oaks Gaming Studio gets certified in Bulgaria, Conor McGregor becomes me88’s brand ambassador in Southeast Asia, Entain gets a $1Bn loan to acquire,  Playtech teams up with PokerMatch, Ukrainian Gambling Council insists on launching the State Monitoring System for gambling, new interview from the Deputy CEO at Parimatch, and PopOK’s take on the future of mobile gambling.

Read about these news in detail in our digest below.

Speaking to SBC at the recent Summit in Barcelona, PopOK’s Game Product Manager, Tsovinar Elchyan, explained why the company is doubling down on developing their games for mobile devices.

The reason for this is the growing popularity of mobile betting apps among players looking for convenient gambling options.

«The lion’s share of revenue for PopOK Gaming now comes from mobile, so our games have to be optimized for this», — summed up Tsovinar.

Anna Motruk, Deputy CEO of Parimatch Tech, told SBC CIS about the path that the company has gone through despite the ongoing war in Ukraine and about its expansion plans. 

Last year was super eventful for Parimatch Tech and made it take home two of the most prestigious awards at this year’s SBC Awards ceremony in Barcelona!

Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC) calls for the introduction of the State Online Monitoring System (SOMS). 

The monitoring system should provide unhindered round-the-clock real-time exchange of data on each operation for accepting a bet, returning a bet, paying out the winnings, and making a payment; the possibility of a remote shutdown of slot machines; facilitate the protection of gamblers’ rights and personal information, etc.

Speaking of UGC, in the latest episode of the SBC Leaders podcast, Anton Kuchukidze, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council spoke to SBC’s Managing Director, Andy McCarron about the reasons for illegal advertising growth in Ukraine, how people returned to entertainment and how to attract investments to the country.

In particular, Kuchukhidze noted that before the [Russia-Ukraine] war, it seemed that there were some legislation problems in the industry. However, now UGC and all of the gambling market representatives in Ukraine have to face existential challenges, in addition to the professional ones. 

Playtech, a leading provider of technology to the gaming industry, has teamed up with PokerMatch, the largest poker room in Eastern Europe. An exciting new partnership was announced on Wednesday. PokerMatch will join Playtech‘s popular international network of poker rooms —  iPoker.

Entain Plc successfully appraised and distributed a new term loan. As part of the corporate financing measures, a new term loan «Term Loan B (USD 1,000 million) maturing in October 2029» was made available.

Entain said it has been cleared to increase the amount to $1 billion from the original $750 million due to strong demand from global lending investors. The deal was necessary to launch a joint venture in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with EMMA Capital, which was announced on August 11.

Further funding will allow the group to complete the acquisition of Dutch online gambling operator with a new term loan. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. 

Me88, an online betting platform, has signed former two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor.

As part of the partnership, the Irish professional mixed martial artist will represent me88 as the official brand ambassador in Southeast Asia.

The combination is a partnership between Paradigm Sports, the global sports and entertainment agency and Conor McGregor’s talent management team, and me88’s Outlast Sports Entertainment.

3 Oaks Gaming Studio was approved by the Bulgarian Tax Agency and its gaming content catalog is now certified in Bulgaria.

This authorization gives 3 Oaks the right to promote its portfolio of slot machines and tools in the Bulgarian online casino market, further expanding its presence in Europe.

UFC has officially banned its athletes from betting on the organization’s fights with bookmakers. According to ESPN, the relevant document containing specific innovations was sent to athletes and their teams on Monday, October 17th.

Such a ban has long been in effect in some US states. In addition to the fighter himself, betting on UFC fights may be prohibited for members of the training team, family members of the fighter, or anyone with the inside information about the fight.

The updated betting policy does not prevent fighters from entering into sponsorship deals with bookmakers. Many bookmakers pay fighters to post their picks on social media and often offer discount codes to attract new customers. 

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