SBC CIS Weekly Digest: April, 24 — 28

SBC CIS Editorial Team is happy to present a quick recap of the gambling industry events, news, regulations and partnerships that happened last week. 

In Georgia, tax payments from gambling operators increased by 45% at the beginning of 2023.  Between January and March, gambling revenues to the state budget of Georgia increased by ₾10.6 million in fees compared to the same period in 2022. In the first three months of 2023, gambling operators sent 34.238 million lari to the treasury, compared to 23.607 million lari for the same period in 2022 — 16.2 million from slot machines operators, 13.3 million from casino table owners, and the rest from other types of gambling.  In general, data on the growth of state budget revenues from gambling indicate that the gambling sector continues to show stable growth in Georgia.

The UK gambling sector is set to rethink its approach to affordability following a long-awaited official government review (aka the White Paper). According to the White Paper, the government will use Open Banking technology to improve the sharing of customer data and knowledge about people at risk of gambling addiction. Open Banking technology can be put at the centre of the verification process, and additional information from the client will only be requested as a last resort. 

An Essex scammer was sentenced to five years in prison for participating in an illegal activity against bet365 that swindled the bookmaker out of more than £236,000 using fake names and abusing bonuses. It is reported that he has opened over 1,000 bet365 accounts using various aliases to bypass deposit restrictions and took advantage of various signup bonuses. It became known in court that the perpetrator and his accomplices used the information of people who gave them their data voluntarily. It is yet unclear when the man has begun running his scam.

In the United Kingdom a poll by YouGov found that over three-quarters (77%) of football fans in the UK support a ban on sports gambling sponsorship. The poll was conducted following the announcement by clubs to ban gaming companies from matchday sponsorships starting in the 2026-2027 season. According to the majority of football fans, the sponsorship of gambling in sports has a negative effect on young people and people who are prone to gambling. The reason for this is that many people consider gambling to be harmful and an addiction that can lead to serious financial problems.

Ukrainian Commission on the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) reported that in the first 4 months of 2023, the number of people who voluntarily decided to restrict themselves from gambling has dramatically increased. The development of the self-exclusion registry has been a priority for CRGL since the introduction of a new regulation on responsible gambling in Ukraine in 2021. The list size is small by the standards of digital self-exclusion schemes in other markets such as Gamstop in the UK and Cruks in the Netherlands; as of April 2023, there were 687 people on the list in Ukraine. Although the absolute number of such self-excluded players is small, their total number is growing rapidly. In 2021 and 2022, CRGL added 195 and 315 people to the register. For comparison, in the first four months of 2023, 245 people have already been added to the list.

Yahoo acquired the sports betting app Wagr. The acquisition will allow Yahoo, the second largest fantasy sports platform after ESPN, to include betting between friends and acquaintances in its services. Yahoo already offers real money daily fantasy games on its platform, as well as traditional sports betting in partnership with MGM. With over 20 years of fantasy sports experience, Yahoo has a wealth of data about users’ individual interests and who they play with online.

Adjarabet, one of the reputable operators in Georgia, now offers its customers full access to all 70 games from EGT Digital, including the popular titles, such as Bell Link, High Cash, Clover Chance, as well as five single progressive jackpots. Adjarabet customers now also have a new xRide multiplayer offer. This exciting new adventure will allow players to experience thrilling rides on virtual motorcycles and earn rewards by sharing the experience with other participants.

STATSCORE introduced new tracking features designed to boost Formula-1 fan experience on the LivematchPro platform. The growing popularity of the sport represents a huge opportunity for the sports business, the media and the betting industry. F1 Visualization by STATSCORE, available on LivematchPro, is the perfect way for companies to expand their F1 reach.

Logitech G announced its partnership with VCT EMEA, the organiser of professional video game tournaments. The agreement makes Logitech G the official peripherals and headset supplier for the VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA (VCT EMEA). By partnering with Logitech G, VCT EMEA will provide professional gamers and spectators with the best gaming and viewing experience possible. Logitech G will also support VALORANT’s premier women’s eSports competition, the VCT Game Changers, in the EMEA region.

MotoGP in Kazakhstan, the world’s premiere motorcycle competition, got cancelled due to the poor conditions of the host circuit. The decision to cancel was made by MotoGP organisers, Dorna Sports, motorcycling’s international governing body the FIM and the International Road-Racing Teams Association representative body. MotoGP intends to host the competition again in Kazakhstan in 2024, but this year’s race didn’t make it into the calendar, which, as a whole, consists of 20 stages.

Crystalbet and the Georgian Football Federation signed a new two-year cooperation agreement, according to which the company will continue to sponsor the Georgian National League and National League 2, as well as League 3 and League 4 of the Georgian Championship. An active campaign was carried out in the current Crystalbet National League season to promote and make Georgian football more popular. As part of the campaign, Crystalbet is giving away many prizes to National League players and fans. and Volleyball World announced a promising new collaboration on the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) tournament in 2023. This partnership continues Stake’s successful participation in the Osaka VNL in 2022 and spans all rounds of both the men’s and women’s VNL. New agreement will help increase the popularity of volleyball around the world and provide fans and customers with a unique experience of watching and betting on VNL events. Joint efforts of Volleyball World and will create even more opportunities for the development of volleyball, including sponsorship programs and events that will help attract new players and increase the viewership.

Sportradar, an internationally recognized provider of sports integrity solutions, announced that its Sportradar Integrity Services division signed a new contract with World Aquatics. The cooperation will cover more than 450 matches, including men’s and women’s water polo competitions at the World Swimming Championships. Sportradar will also work together to ensure the integrity of the Men’s and Women’s Under 20 Championships and the World Water Polo Championships. The above competitions will be monitored by Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), an artificial intelligence based surveillance system. 

RubyPlay, the leading slot games developer, announced that they have received a licence to operate in Romania. This means that all RubyPlay games can now be legally provided in the Romanian online casino market, which expands the geographic reach of RubyPlay games and demonstrates a progressive approach to the development of the company. Obtaining a Romanian gaming licence is a huge achievement for RubyPlay as Romania is one of the most important markets for online casinos in Europe.

Pariplay, a subsidiary of NeoGames S.A. received B2B licence from the Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) and will continue to operate in the country after the new rules come into force. The five-year licence allows Pariplay to offer a portfolio of over 150 games, including exclusive titles from in-house studio Wizard Games and partner Ignite, as well as market-leading third-party localised titles. Content is offered through Pariplay’s leading aggregation platform, Fusion. Pariplay’s Fusion currently offers over 14,000 titles across all product areas and will additionally provide Swedish operators with back office conversion and retention tools.

Playson, a fast-growing digital entertainment provider, announced a content distribution agreement with Winbet, strengthening its leading positions on the regulated market in Romania. Playson games will be integrated directly into the Winbet online platform, giving users access to the company’s exciting collection of slot games. Users will be able to access the company’s collection of slot games, including Luxor Gold: Hold and Win, Royal Coins: Hold and Win, and Diamond Fortunator. Through this agreement, Playson continues to build commercial opportunities and expand its presence in Europe, where the provider has been growing steadily since entering the market in 2019.

Betsson, one of the leading operators in the iGaming industry, announced the expansion of its gaming portfolio through a new collaboration with software provider Spinomenal. Spinomenal is an Israeli online casino software developer founded in 2014. The company quickly gained popularity with its innovative products for many markets and is one of the fastest growing developers today. Betsson plans to add all of the most popular Spinomenal games to its collection, including hits like Majestic King, Book of Rebirth, Book of Demi Gods 2 and Queen of Ice.

SYNOT Games announced a new partnership with Games Global. The agreement will enable SYNOT Games to significantly expand its global footprint and deliver high-quality, innovative gaming content to Games Global customers. This partnership will expand the reach on many regulated markets, offering popular SYNOT games and recently released titles such as Legends of Colosseum, Coins of Luck, Gold O’Clock and Aztec Jaguar.

BETER, a leading provider of betting content and gaming solutions, announced a new partnership with Betbazar, the global iGaming B2B marketplace. Betbazar would distribute BETER Live’s games and services to operators worldwide. Expansion of the partnership follows the successful cooperation between BETER and Betbazar in the field of content for sports betting and eSports. Entering the live casino market is an exciting development for both companies. 

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