bwin has joined forces with tech start-up Tokabo to launch a new betting chatbot service designed to strengthen engagement with customers 23rd May 2018 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation Tags: Mobile Online Gambling bwin has joined forces with tech start-up Tokabo to launch a new betting chatbot service designed to strengthen engagement with customers. Billed as a virtual betting buddy, ‘WettBuddy’ will initially run via the Facebook Messenger service and be available to consumers via an on-boarding sign-up process. Once a customer has signed up, WettBuddy will start conversations around their favourite team, upcoming matches and events, as well as respond to questions posed by the user. WettBuddy will provide information and data such as match stats and trivia that is tailored to each individual customer. In addition, bwin will be able to use the service to directly promote offers to the customer, based on that user’s interests. WettBuddy will initially go live in Germany and Austria for a trial period before being rolled out to bwin’s wider customer base. Stephan Heilmann, head of the DACH region at bwin’s parent company GVC, said: “Our commitment at bwin, is to provide our players with a complete betting experience. “WettBudy is all about engaging the customer to provide a more personalised, richer interaction between them and our product, maximising the enjoyment of gaming with us. “A first for the industry, all in all, it is set to be the perfect online companion for the sports betting fan this summer.” The launch comes after bwin earlier this month also rolled out launched a special marketing campaign featuring Diego Maradona ahead of this year’s Fifa World Cup national football team tournament in Russia.Related article: bwin unveils ‘Who Stole the Cup?’ campaign for Russia 2018 Sports betting AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address bwin bolsters customer engagement with WettBuddy
Black Ridge Acquisition to purchase both businesses from Ourgame International in a deal worth up to $213.8m (£168.9m/€186.7m) Casino & games World Poker Tour to merge with Allied Esports Topics: Casino & games Esports Poker Video gaming Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Black Ridge Acquisition has agreed a deal to purchase the World Poker Tour (WPT) Enterprises and Allied Esports International assets from Ourgame International Holdings and merge the two businesses to form a new entity.The combined company will operate as Allied Esports Entertainment (AESE) and focus on providing in-person experiences, multi-platform content and interactive services across poker and video gaming, catering to an audience estimated to be as large as 2.2bn people.The deal is worth up to $213.8m (£168.9m/€186.7m) and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, with the new business to be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market Exchange.The acquirer is a special purpose acquisition company, sponsored by Black Ridge Oil & Gas, and is headquartered in Minnesota. Its director Lyle Berman will become chair of AESE, with Ourgame chief executive Frank Ng taking on the CEO role at the new business. “In more than 40 years in the gaming and entertainment business, this is the most exciting opportunity I have seen,” Berman said. “The capital from the Black Ridge SPAC will be used to expand AESE’s global property network, accelerating their first-mover advantage as the company continues to build a brand that is synonymous with esports.”Ng will be supported as chief executive by many of the same team he worked with at Ourgame. Eric Yang will serve as vice chairman; Ken DeCubellis as finance chief; David Moon as chief operations officer, and Adam Pliska takes on the role of president.“This transaction will be transformational for our rapidly expanding company and provide the esports community with a fully capitalized, globally connected esports enterprise capable of producing the volume and breadth of esports entertainment products the industry is increasingly demanding,” Ng said. “By applying WPT’s proven business model to the much bigger, higher-growth global esports business, we are creating an esports entertainment platform that is long-lasting and positioned to capture the esports monetization opportunity.”The new entity will combine Allied’s network of properties and facilities with WPT’s expertise in live events, content distribution and customer engagement, with a pledge to deliver unparalleled experiences to a global esports audience.This will include creating original content to share across partner distribution platforms including digital, traditional and social media, as well as developing a proprietary online platform to deliver branded entertainment for participants and viewers globally.WPT Enterprises operates the renowned World Poker Tour, which hosts a series of land-based and online tournaments, supported by a range of assets and television deals. WPT also licenses its brand for third-party events, as well as broadcasting coverage of its tournaments online and through broadcasting partnerships. Hong Kong-based Ourgame acquired WPT from bwin.party in June 2015 in a deal worth $35m.Allied Esports International, meanwhile, runs a global network of esports properties and content production facilities, such as the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas in Nevada, where the WPT staged four of its Season 16 events. Allied’s portfolio also includes a number of affiliated esports arenas, and even specially designed trucks in which competitions can be staged.Image: World Poker Tour 20th December 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Mobile Online Gambling Video Gaming
Regions: UK & Ireland Coral cleared over World Cup advertising complaint AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Marketing & affiliates Sports betting Email Address The UK Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) has cleared Coral of any wrongdoing over a betting advert that the Campaign for Fairer Gambling challenged for being misleading.The campaign group flagged up an advert published in the Racing Post on June 16, 2018, featuring a ‘price boost’ on the Fifa World Cup football match between Argentina and Iceland on the same day.In the ad, Coral offered odds of Lionel Messi (pictured) to score two or more goals at a price of 5/1, with the words ‘WAS 3/1’ struck through underneath. Additional text said punters were limited to a maximum bet of £10 (€11/$13) online and via mobile for a limited time only.The Campaign for Fairer Gambling contacted the ASA, questioning whether both the term ‘price boost’ and the crossed out price of 3/1 were misleading.Responding to the complaint, Coral said the odds of 3/1 was the standard price when the promotion was introduced. The bookmaker admitted that this price may have fluctuated due to factors such as betting patterns and team news.Coral noted that the ad had to be filed with the newspaper in advance and this price may have changed upon publishing. The ad featured the disclaimer: “guide price only, prices subject to fluctuation”.The odds on the same bet outside of the offer dipped to 14/5 briefly on June 14 before returning to 3/1, while the price also shortened to 13/5 on the day before the game. The offer remained in place until kick-off, when it was replaced with an in-play market that saw the odds fluctuate throughout he match.Coral said that the standard priced market moved in a way that made the price boost more advantageous to customers who placed a bet at the offer price.The ASA ruled that consumers would generally be aware that such odds are subject to change. The regulator said text in the ad referring to the maximum bet of £10 and only being available online and mobile reinforced this statement.The ASA also said consumers would expect the 3/1 price to have been the main standard market price in the period before the ad was published. It also said consumers would expect this standard price to apply for bets placed outside of the Coral app or website during the boost period.In addition, the ASA said Coral provided information that showed significantly more bets were placed at the boosted price of 5/1 than at 3/1. The regulator considered the brief fluctuations in the market did not alter the status of 3 /1 as the standard market price in the period before the ad appeared.Stating that those who did not use the Coral website or app during the boosted period to place a bet did so at the standard market rate, the ASA ruled that it is unlikely the price boost text and 3/1 odds were unlikely to mislead.The ASA concluded that as Coral did not breach any CAP Code rules, it will not take any further action against the bookmaker.Image: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro) Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Marketing & affiliates Complaint by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling rejected by UK advertising watchdog 9th January 2019 | By contenteditor
Topics: Sports betting The governing body took this step after integrity monitoring partners revealed that as many as 13 matches in the division were suspected to have been rigged during the spring season. It has asked the country’s gambling regulator Spelinpsektionen to implement a blanket ban on offering odds on the league for all licensees in the market.“The situation that has arisen is so serious that we are unfortunately forced to take action to supend the betting markets to safeguard the integrity of the league and prevent manipulation for the the rest of the season,” SvFF secretary general Håkan Sjöstrand said.While Spelinspektionen is yet to make a decision on whether to implement the blanket ban requested by the SvFF, Svenska Spel has moved to suspend betting on the league.“We work daily to ensure that the gaming products we offer our customers are free from manipulation,” the operator’s head of sports betting and gaming security Dan Korhonen said. “In discussions with the Football Association, we have expressed our concerns about Division 2 Södra Svealand, as the number of matches under suspicion is so high that the integrity of the whole league can be questioned.“We see no other solution than stopping all betting [on the league].”The measure is the latest taken by Svenska Spel as a result of social responsibility concerns, following the operator’s decision to cease advertising its online casino offering as a result of concerns about excessive advertising in the newly regulated Swedish igaming market. Sports betting regulations have also come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with uncertainty over the regulator’s stance on offering odds on markets involving professional sportspeople under the age of 18. This saw eight licensees handed official warnings and penalty fees of as high as SEK10m (£848,313/€949,151/$1.07m) for offering odds on sporting events featuring a majority of participants under the age of 18.Gaming Innovation Group suspended its sportsbook operations in Sweden earlier this month (9 July), arguing that a lack of clarity on regulations put the business in “an impossible position”.Operator body Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), meanwhile, has demanded an urgent meeting with Spelinspektionen as it looks to address operators’ concerns about unintentionally falling afoul of regulations due to this lack of clarity. Svenska Spel’s Sport & Casino igaming subsidiary has taken the decision to cease offering odds on the Division 2 Södra Svealand football league until further notice.The decision has been taken as a result of suspicious betting activity around a number of matches in the division, leading to a request from the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) to suspend betting on the league. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 25th July 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Sports betting Email Address Svenska Spel suspend betting on Swedish football competition Svenska Spel’s Sport & Casino igaming subsidiary has taken the decision to cease offering odds on the Division 2 Södra Svealand football league until further notice.
Simon King provides an overview of 3Q19 igaming recruitment trends in the region where China’s anti-gambling policy is pushing up the cost of experienced talentChina’s clear anti-gambling overtones have placed added pressure on igaming markets across the Asia Pacific region over recent months.In an already complex and regulatory environment, this has further increased the value of experienced talent – those able to find opportunities in even hostile market conditions.Quick-fixes are often sought, but unfortunately this has led to short-termist – and largely ineffective – approaches to talent acquisition.Hiring timeframes tend to be compressed, salaries often come in significantly lower than candidates’ expectations and lowball offers regularly derail processes. The result, sadly, is often under-performance and high staff turnover.Key challenges to recruitment in Asia Pacific’s gaming market centre around lack of supply, which has pushed up salary expectations and made it more difficult to find top talent.Senior executives regularly expect in excess of $100,000, with managers looking for $50,000+.Whilst less experienced candidates come in cheaper, even those with 2+ years’ igaming experience, particularly any specialist territory knowledge, can expect their value to increase dramatically.Employers have been slow to come to terms with these market conditions.The industry would do well to broader their talent acquisition search to accept applications from those out of sector.Whilst knowledge of igaming is highly prized, it is often transferrable skills like territory knowledge, online product management, affiliate programmes and relationship building which will bring most value.Q3 Asia Pacific hiring trends The highest demand for talent is in B2B, with experienced sales and account managers often the number one hiring priority for many employers. • In B2C, the priority is affiliate and acquisition management – with candidates perceived as potentially providing access to new geographic markets or segments being most in demand • Language skills and knowledge of key territories such as those in South East Asia are highly prized, but clients would do well to see these hires as ‘long term’ rather than a ‘quick-fix’ way to access new customers. • Significant regulatory shifts in the Philippine market will certainly affect the local talent market – limiting new opportunities as the licence restrictions come in – but could increase the supply of talent overall. • As with the gaming market itself, the talent market is in a continual state of change, but the value of candidates – particularly their network – remains consistently high.Simon King is head of Asia Pacific for the industry’s largest executive search and recruitment agency Pentasia. He is based in Singapore. Simon King provides an overview of 3Q19 recruitment trends in the region where China’s anti-gambling policy is pushing up the cost of experienced talent Talent market update: Asia Pacific Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address 27th September 2019 | By Stephen Carter Topics: People Regions: Asia Tags: Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter People
Spain’s gambling industry is still 20% smaller than it was ahead of the 2008 financial crash according to figures collated by major trade group Cejuego. Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 31st October 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Topics: Finance Regions: Europe Southern Europe Spain CEJUEGO: Spanish market still recovering from 2008 crash Spain’s gambling industry is still 20% smaller than it was ahead of the 2008 financial crash according to figures collated by industry trade association Consejo Empresarial del Juego (CEJUEGO).Its annual Gaming in Spain Yearbook, compiled with the University of Carlos III of Madrid, shows that the entire sector was worth €9.87bn (£8.50bn/$11.00bn) in 2018, up 5% on the previous year following a fourth consecutive year of growth.According to Cejuego the industry is still worth around 20% less than it was in 2007 despite regulated online gambling being introduced in the intervening years. The €9.87bn total means gambling accounts for 0.8% of Spain’s GDP, down slightly from 0.9% in 2017.The private sector makes up 56.6% of the total at €5.9bn, which is up slightly on the 55% it accounted for in 2017. Public-owned groups ONCE and SELAE account for the rest.Online gaming accounts for just 7.3% of total turnover at €724.4m. In the previous year it was worth 6% of the total.In 2018, the gambling sector contributed €1.34bn in taxes and employed 85,047 people, of which 47,178 were in the private sector.The Cejuego report also highlights that alongside Norway, Spain leads the rankings for European countries with the lowest number of problem gamblers, as indicated by the latest study on behavioural addictions of the Spanish Observatory of Drugs and Addictions.“The data is good but we want to keep improving,” said the director general of Cejuego, Alejandro Landaluce.According to the study, the gaming sector invested €412m in advertising during 2018 at a time when critics of the industry were calling for tighter regulations.Landaluce said: “There is a commitment from the private sector to make proper regulation of advertising spend by limiting quantity, messages and schedules, specific sections during sporting events, to reduce overall impacts on sporting events and not to announce bonuses or fees and explanatory only and / or informational ads. However, this regulation must equally affect both the private sector and SELAE and ONCE.”Under plans revealed in last October’s Budget, the Government outlined plans to introduce restrictions similar to those placed on tobacco. In 2005, Spain introduced regulations that prohibit the sponsorship of tobacco products, as well as all kinds of advertising and promotion in the media, with a handful of exceptions.Earlier this year, senior politician Francisco Fernández Marugán, Spain’s citizens’ rights ombudsman, recommended that the government explore the total prohibition of advertising related to gambling and betting in the media, radio, television and internet.
Email Address The Indiana Gaming Commission has revealed that players in the state staked $91.7m on sports in October, a month-on-month increase of 160.4%.The second full month of legal wagering included the first contributions from mobile wagering, which accounted for $48.0m (52.4%) of total handle despite just three sportsbooks launching offerings in the month.DraftKings, operating under Penn National’s Ameristar Casino, and the Rush Street-operated French Lick Casino were the first, on October 3, with FanDuel, partnered with Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa, following on October 22.Across all licensees and channels, the $91.7m handle resulted in adjusted gross revenue of $11.5m, up 34.8% month-on-month. Mobile revenue amounted to $4.2m in October, of which DraftKings generated $3.5m, followed by Rush Street’s BetRivers-branded offering with $496,744, then FanDuel with $197,786.Read the full story on iGB North America. Regions: US Indiana 18th November 2019 | By contenteditor Indiana sports betting handle soars in October Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The Indiana Gaming Commission has revealed that players in the state staked $91.7m on sports in October, a month-on-month increase of 160.4%. Topics: Finance Sports betting Horse racing
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Atlantic City casinos reopen after Covid-19 shutdown Casino & games Five casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are set to reopen today (July 2) after being closed for more than three months due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 2nd July 2020 | By contenteditor Regions: US New Jersey Topics: Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Five casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are set to reopen today (July 2) after being closed for more than three months due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy last month announced that casinos would be permitted to recommence activities from July 2, at a maximum capacity of 25% for the time being.Casinos have been closed since March 16 as part of a ban on gatherings of up to 50 people in the state, in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Ocean Casino Resort, Resorts Casino Hotel, Tropicana Atlantic City and Golden Nugget Atlantic City have all advertised as opening today.Caesars Palace Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, and Harrah’s Atlantic City have announced they will reopen to customers from tomorrow.However, MGM Resorts’ Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City’s only other bricks and mortar casino, will remain closed for the foreseeable future after Governor Murphy this week postponed the reopening of indoor dining.Read the full story on iGB North America. Email Address
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter MGM names Hornbuckle permanent CEO Regions: US MGM Resorts International has named Bill Hornbuckle, its current acting chief executive and president, to those roles on a permanent basis, as well as to its board of directors.Hornbuckle took over as acting chief executive when Jim Murren stepped down following the publication of the operator’s 2019 results, in which revenue increased 9.6% to $12.90bn, while profits were buoyed by the sale of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.Murren had been MGM’s chief executive since 2008, having worked for the business since 1998.Hornbuckle (pictured) joined MGM’s executive team as chief marketing officer in 2009 before becoming chief operating officer in 2012. Before this, Hornbuckle was chief operating officer of its Mandalay Bay casino and he had previously held the same role for MGM Resorts’ European operations as well as other casinos including MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and Golden Nugget Laughlin.Read more on iGB North America. Casino & games 30th July 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Topics: Casino & games People AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter MGM Resorts International has named Bill Hornbuckle, its current acting chief executive and president, to those roles on a permanent basis, as well as to its board of directors. Email Address
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found advertisements for four gambling operators appeared in online media likely to be of particular appeal to children during the second quarter of 2020.In total 70 different ads from the quartet of unnamed operators appeared on eight websites were discovered in the advertising watchdog’s latest online monitoring sweep, used to identify and tackle age-restricted promotions appearing in children’s media.This forms part of a year-long project in which with ASA is monitoring ads served on a sample of more than 50 websites and YouTube channels with particularly large underage audiences. Once ads are identified, the ASA has contacted the advertisers to ensure the promotions are renewed, and warned them to ensure a similar breach of regulations is avoided in future.It is focusing on ads for gambling, alcohol, e-cigarettes and tobacco, slimming and weight control products, and food and drink classed as high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS). UK advertising regulations state that businesses should avoid exposing those aged 18 and below to ads for these products.In total the ASA identified 159 age-restricted ads that broke the rules, served by 35 advertisers across 34 websites and five YouTube channels.Ads for HFSS products were the most widely seen by minors, with 78 different ads for 29 advertisers appearing on 24 websites and five YouTube channels. Gambling followed in second, ahead of 10 alcohol ads for one brand, which all appeared on the same site, and one e-cigarette ad, which again appeared on a single site.“The ASA is using technology to proactively monitor online ads to help build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children,” ASA chief executive Guy Parker said. “We expect advertisers and the parties they contract with to use the sophisticated tools available to them to target their ads responsibly.“This is just one part of a wider set of initiatives we’re undertaking to ensure children are protected online and we’ll report on our further work in this area in the coming months.” The ASA first began using avatars that simulate minors’ internet browsing habits last year, to monitor the number of age-restricted ads seen by this demographic. Its initial sweep, the results of which were released in April 2019, revealed that ads from 43 gambling operators were served to its child avatars.Of this number, five were found to have broken rules relating to gambling ads being targeted at under-18s, with the companies responsible accepting fault, and in some cases blaming third-party marketing partners for the breaches.This year the ASA’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued a warning to operators over esports betting promotions, saying that this could be of particular appeal to minors.However, it says that on television, underage exposure to gambling ads is continuing to decline, with promotions for the industry making up less than 2% of all ads seen in 2019. The ASA pointed out that this was due in part to changing media consumption habits, which has seen young people migrate online to websites and YouTube channels.Gambling operators, meanwhile, are stepping up efforts to reduce minors’ exposure to ads, with a Gambling Commission working group looking to stop social media and pay per click advertising targeting those aged 25 or under. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 26th August 2020 | By contenteditor ASA finds 70 gambling ads on child-friendly sites in Q2 Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Legal & compliance The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found advertisements for four gambling operators appeared in online media likely to be of particular appeal to children during the second quarter of 2020. Email Address Regions: UK & Ireland Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliates Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter