SBC CIS Weekly Digest: September 11 — 18

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

The head of the Georgian Gambling Association (GGA), Giorgi Mamulaishvili, stated that the fundamental issue with gaming industry misinformation is its faulty interpretation. Mamulaishvili specifically cites data from Georgia’s National Statistics Office (Geostat), which showed the turnover of gaming enterprises in 2021 at 57 billion GEL ($22 billion). 

“It is worth noting that the turnover mentioned by Geostat is simply the number of bets placed, not the revenue of gambling companies. GGR – the difference between bets placed and winnings paid – should be used to compute revenue. Thus, gaming organizations’ revenue is significantly lower than reported,” — he explained.

Mamulaishvili also stated that while an increase in turnover is predicted this year, business revenue will most likely be lower than the previous year due to the rise of illegal operators in the Georgian market.

Ukrainian Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has provided further details of the upcoming gambling advertising ban set to come into effect on October 2, 2023 with the corresponding amendments to the law on advertising. The ban will apply to all forms of advertising, including press, outdoor advertising, banners, videos if the ad meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Gambling advertising uses persons under 21 years of age, including models;
  • advertising of gambling creates the opinion that it is supposedly easy to win at a game of chance, and also that participation in gambling can be a source of income or an alternative to work;
  • a depiction of a gambling product (product placement);
  • organizers of gambling, trademarks and other objects of intellectual property rights are advertised without a license to carry out the relevant type of activity in the field of organizing and conducting gambling.

In recent years, governments in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries have taken serious steps to regulate gambling advertising. However, some countries still allow gambling sponsorships, logo placement on shirts, advertising in stadiums, and selling stadium naming rights. 

For many businesses, having their logo on the front of athletes’ jerseys is not only respectable and creates a lot of competitiveness, but it also has a lot of marketing benefits: global awareness, fan involvement, new alliances, sports support, and, of course, increases in recognition and subsequently, revenue.

Our editorial team has put together a brief overview of the state of gambling sponsorships in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Poland.

Armenia’s Parliament announced that the Ministry of Finance is preparing a bill to equate the requirements for obtaining gambling licenses for foreign online casinos and betting companies with the requirements applicable to local companies. Information about upcoming changes was presented at a meeting of the National Assembly in the context of discussing a set of measures aimed at revising the current legislation on gambling in the country, as well as related legislative acts. 

Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority handed Top Sport another fine, this time in the amount of €25,000 for violating self-exclusion rules. The operator was unable to prevent its online gambling offer from being used by a player who had previously self-excluded.

GR8 Tech has introduced a standalone casino platform. GR8 Casino is an innovative platform that follows the successful launch of GR8 Sportsbook in August and aims to unlock the potential of GR8 Casino to a wider audience of customers. GR8 Tech designed their casino platform with a focus on low latency and fast integration. It is capable of processing an impressive 20,000 requests per second, with latency limited to 200 milliseconds per operator. GR8 Casino will also include a number of user-friendly features including a jackpot widget, latest wins, bonus engine mechanics and a Hall of Fame that is specially designed for VIP players and high rollers. In addition, it will offer a portfolio of more than 10,000 slot games, 350 live casino and table games, and more than 350 bingo games. Operators will have access to products from more than 175 providers, including Evolution, Playtech and Pragmatic Play.

Pin-Up has shared their key indicators that form the backbone of the company’s support for the Ukrainian economy and the gambling sector in particular — taxes paid by Pin-Up in Ukraine in 2023 amounted to more than UAH 1Bn, the company is engaged in charitable activities and helps Ukrainians who have suffered from the military invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, and in addition, manages Pin-Up Fund, which organizes humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons, families with many children, retirees, disabled and other vulnerable segments of the population.

Over the past few years, TVBET has undergone significant changes in terms of expanding its staff, increasing its product range, expanding markets and establishing partnerships, shared CEO Peter Korpusenko. With the introduction of a new brand and updated product strategy, the live dealer gaming provider is set to begin a new chapter. Speaking ahead of SBC Summit Barcelona, Mr. Korpusenko walked us through the decision to unveil phase one of TVBET’s rebranding before giving us a sneak peek into what we can expect in the second stage. He also gave us an update on his Bet on Good Foundation and its accomplishments over the past year.

Gaming Corps CCO, Danielle Calafato, sat down with SBC for an exclusive interview where she shared some of the fascinating details of operating in Romania, appeal and performance of their games in the new market and with new audience, as well as talking about an outlook on the rapidly developing gaming industry in the country and Gaming Corps’ plans of further development. 

UFC, owned by Endeavor Group Holdings, and sports entertainment company WWE have officially joined forces, completing a mega-merger announced in early April. The new company unites two of the world’s leading sports and entertainment brands — UFC and WWE, and is officially called TKO Group Holdings.

Flutter has announced the rebranding of its PokerStars VR game to Vegas Infinite as part of an extensive update to the free-to-play social casino video game. The VR product developed by PokerStars has introduced a new feature — a 3D virtual cityscape, specially created for players. In this Vegas Infinite city, players can enjoy private gaming suites, luxury casinos and exclusive rooftop getaways. Since PokerStars VR first launched in 2018, the product has been continually improving, a process that was accelerated by the Flutter acquisition in 2021.

MeridianBet announced an agreement with FC Sarajevo proving the sports betting operator’s continued investment in the development of sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina. MeridianBet is actively involved in the world of football, collaborating with more than 30 amateur and professional clubs. In addition, the company also announced its plan to supply national T-shirts signed by Edin Dzeko in support of children with spinal muscular atrophy in South-East Europe.

AC Milan and Sekabet have signed an agreement, under which the online platform will become the Official Regional Partner of Rossoneri in Turkey. This unique partnership between two leaders in their respective industries provides AC Milan with the opportunity to strengthen its position in Turkey, where the club has a large and loyal fan base. At the same time, for Sekabet, this cooperation opens up new opportunities in the Turkish market, despite the already significant achievements of the platform since its launch in 2015.

CT Interactive has received certification for 50 of its exclusive games and the Hot Luck Jackpot, allowing them to officially operate in Serbia. With this certification, the brand provides access to its world-class online casino games to players in Republika Srpska, offering a diverse portfolio that includes some of the most exciting and visually stunning games on the iGaming market.

Following the successful reception of gaming slots from EGT Digital among Adjarabet clients in Georgia, the operator has decided to provide Armenian players with access to the gaming content of the Bulgarian game developer. Now visitors to the website can enjoy more than 80 games, including popular slots such as Bell Link, Clover Chance, High Cash and Single Progressive Jackpot.

REEVO, after successfully integrating Stakelogic content into its B2B aggregation platform, continues to expand its offering. Under the new agreement, operators working with REEVO will have access to Stakelogic online casino offering “creative stories, outstanding graphics, immersive animations, robust features and exclusive 360° technology.”

In addition to that, REEVO has entered into a partnership with live-gaming provider TVBET. As a result of the partnership, REEVO’s operator partners will have access to TVBET’s rich portfolio of live content, enabling them to offer exceptional online solutions. This strategic partnership promises to enhance the gaming experience for players and ensure success for iGaming operators.

Livespins has partnered with Slotegrator to bring their social media streaming product to clients of the gaming aggregation platform provider. This agreement will open up new horizons for Livespins, allowing them to expand their presence among global operators partnering with Slotegrator and enable them to offer their customers a unique slot streaming experience.

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