Yggdrasil goes live in Italy later this year

Online and mobile casino games provider Yggdrasil Gaming has started the process of certifying their games and platform in compliance with Italian technical requirements with 11 of their titles which will be set to go live in Italy in Q2 of 2017.

Some of the games the Malta based company will be preparing for the Italian markets include Dark Joker Rizes, Vikings Go Wild and Holmes and the Stolen Stones.

Along with gaining access to games, operators will also have permission to Yggdrasil’s collection of in-game promotional tools, Boost, along with social sharing tool, Brag.

Italian operators have continued to be innovative on the mobile channel so they will also welcome Yggdrasil’s HTML5 iSENSE 2.0 platform that allows for smooth integrations and simultaneous releases on mobile and desktop.

CEO at Yggdrasil Fredrik Elmqvist announced: “It is about time Yggdrasil ‘crossed the Rubicon’ as Italy is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing markets in gaming.

“We already had a number of tier-one operators on our books who were active in Italy, so it really was a no-brainer to enter ourselves.

“We are delighted that Yggdrasil will have a presence in this exciting jurisdiction, and we are already in negotiations with some major operators. We hope to meet more at ENADA Primavera in Rimini in March, and plan to vitalise the Italian market further with proven titles and promotional concepts.”

SkillOnNet to use consumer expertise to help prospective owners in regulated markets

Popular B2B casino software platform and white label supplier SkillOnNet will be showcasing one of the most comprehensive casino white label products on the market when it exhibits at ICE next month, as well as its most up- to- date mobile casino product.

The company, best-known for running a string of successful consumer-facing online sites, is currently rolling out a number of joint ventures in regulated markets along with the ongoing promotion of its most recent 3rd party releases QueenVegas.com and Casinoandfriends.com.

On show at ICE will be 2 New very different casinos including one UK facing ‘challenger ‘ Brand and the second  an ‘’everything you love about Japan’’ online casino with specialized games and content that will appeal to all Japanese lovers

Operators visiting them on stand N6-222 Excel will now be able to licence SkillOnNet’s full suite of online casino games for the first time via their B2B service.

As well as producing over 80 proprietary table and slots games, they aggregate slot game content from leading suppliers including WMS, NetEnt, Amaya, Microgaming, NextGen Gaming and edict (Merkur and Bally Wulff)

Focusing on the burgeoning Live casino business SkillOnNet provides a large suite of live table games from Evolution , Xpro and newly added Extreme from Novoline.

Commented Andy Andrew, Head of Business Development at SkillOnNet, “from a games perspective we now provide close to 700 slots and table games in our White label solution with a lot more being added weekly. Along with our various licenses we can put a new casino into business with all the right content within just a few months“.

All products offered to partners are tried and tested  featuring on SkillOnNet’s popular web-based casinos, including SlotsMagic, EUcasino and recent powerhouse German facing brand DrueckGlueck.de. It’s the strength of their B2C operations that allow operators to benefit from SkillOnNet’s expertise in all areas of the casino industry from licensing, content and processing and CRM/ Support.

As a result, the company’s Andy Andrew is looking forward to welcoming delegates to their stand.

He said: “We are growing very quickly on the B2C and B2B sides, but are keen to maintain momentum and speak to as many delegates as possible to see how we might be able to help grow their businesses.

SkillOnNet has a background in creating games with cutting edge graphics and design and providing software via a first-class development and distribution service, in addition to proprietary back-end systems, that power some of the world’s biggest online casino operators.

He added: “We can’t wait to discuss opportunities at ICE because there is so much happening in online gaming all around the world.” .We’re in an almost unique position of being a successful operator and supplier in numerous countries and can offer joint ventures that can help operators be much more profitable.”

GoWild launches new igaming platform with 15 software suppliers

One of Europe’s leading online gaming operators GoWild has announced that they will be launching a new iGaming platform which will feature content from over 15 leading gaming software providers.

The Malta-based casino will deliver the new platform via their popular Quickfire platform providing the best gaming products and user experience to players.

It will feature games from providers such as Evolution Gaming, Novomatic, Scientific Gaming, Play’n GO, iSoftBet, Yggdrasil Gaming and more. The full commercial release is expected in Q2 2017.

Having over 10 years of experience in the business, GoWild’s new iGaming platform will allow them to provide a unique combination of games and deliver promotions via a sophisticated CRM system, with personalised offers and content that allows players to enhance retention and customer loyalty. The platform will also feature a banking and cashier system providing different local payment options.

Chief Executive Officer of GoWild Itai Zak commented on the announcement saying: “GoWild has enjoyed an exclusive relationship with software giant Microgaming over the past 10 years. This has been a fruitful time for us, with Microgaming powering and supporting our growth.

“As we move to our own platform, we look forward to continuing to work with Microgaming through its award-winning Quickfire platform, as well as other software providers, to deliver best-of-breed content and an exceptional user experience to our loyal players, while sharing mutual success with our partners.”

CEO at Microgaming Roger Raatgever added: “By utilising the Microgaming casino platform, GoWild has experienced exceptional growth over the past decade. With a very strong relationship in place, we will continue to support their growth by delivering the biggest and best games portfolio to their new iGaming platform via our Quickfire product, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Tiplix partners with Income Access to launch affiliate programme

The Malta-based online sports betting casino and poker brand Tiplix has launched their new affiliate programme with the Paysafe Group member Income Access.
The German language sports betting brand partners up with the iGaming-focused marketing and software provider Income Access utilising their player tracking and acquisition software.
Tiplix plans to focus their attention on growing its sports betting and casino partner services for the German and Australian markets.

Tiplix was launched in 2009, is operated by Trusfulgames Ltd and licenced by the Malta Gaming Authority. The brand offers players a variety of sports betting service that includes but is not limited to tennis, soccer, baseball and hockey.
They also feature an online casino boasting of a full suite of online slots, poker and table games not to mention a state of the art live casino.

Tiplix plans to celebrate the launch of the affiliate programme by offering new players a free bet of up to €100 on registration.

Florian Geheeb, COO of Tiplix had this to say: “When we decided to launch a new affiliate programme, we immediately considered Income Access due to its strong reputation among our peers and partners in the iGaming industry,”
“As a sports-betting company currently doing most of our business in retail shops, we are looking forward to working with Income Access to make our push into the online sphere as successful and growth-driven as possible.”

Tiplix in-house team of affiliates will oversee the affiliate programme. They will utilise the Income Access software’s Ad Serving tool targeting the affiliate marketing campaigns based on player’s geolocation, language, device and other criteria.

Managing Director of Income Access Nicky Senyard commented: “We are excited to support TIPLIX’s new affiliate programme.”

“Given its presence in a number of European jurisdictions with different languages, our Ad Serving solution and our software’s other features will ensure that its player acquisition via the affiliate marketing channel is maximised.”

Yggdrasil confirms two senior position appointments

Online casino games provider Yggdrasil Gaming has confirmed two new appointments to their senior management in a move to boost their management team. Andrew Pegler has been appointed as Chief Commercial Officer for their Gibraltar division while Krzysztof Opałka has been promoted to Chief Product Officer(CPO)

Yggdrasil appoints 12-year industry veteran Pegler entering this new year, strengthening their strategic commercial operations. Pegler will be based in Yggdrasil’s Gibraltar office and will lead business opportunities and key account management for their Gibraltar operations. He will be assigned to growing the firm’s commercial presence amongst the region’s top-tier operators.
Pegler previously served as Senior Account Director for Scientific Games Interactive (2013-2016)

Krzysztof Opałka promotion to Cheif product Officer also happens simultaneously with Pegler’s appointment.
Opałka was previously responsible for building the technology, processes and leading the multi-disciplinary team behind Yggdrasil’s award-winning games.

Chief Executive at Yggdrasil Gaming Fredrik Elmqvist commented on the changes to the management team stating:

“On behalf of everyone here at Yggdrasil Gaming I would like to welcome Andrew to the team and congratulate Krzysztof on his well-deserved promotion.

“As we continue to grow the business it is vital that we have the brightest minds and experienced hands on board, and Andrew and Krzysztof certainly meet those requirements. They will both play a key role in the future direction of the business.”

So far, Yggdrasil’s ongoing recruitment has seen the company double in size over the past 12 months to almost 100 members.

Successful “DrückGlück.de TV Show” Extended Again

Owing to the success of the newly formatted “DrückGlück TV Show” the current run on Sports1 in Germany has been extended for another 6 weeks.

The huge take up from the launch over 3 months ago has continued with the excellent results experienced by the casino allowing for more TV Shows to be filmed.

Commented Michael Golembo, Head of Marketing at DrückGlück, “since we first started the TV show the number of players signing up has been amazing and it hasn’t slowed down at all. We have extended the run 3 times now and with this current extension we will end just as our new TV Advertising Campaign starts. We are on a roll and the momentum will increase when the TV adverts break out“.

As part of the popular SkillOnNet B2C stable of major online casino brands, DrückGlück operates in the German market with a Schleswig Holstein license. The TV Show has helped cement the Brand as one of the fastest growing and most noticeable online casinos in the Country and with a major TV campaign to start early February growth is expected to increase significantly.

Added Golembo, “the support from the trade has been extra welcoming. Affiliates have responded best of all with fantastic exposure leading to high sales and excellent commission payments. There is a DrückGlück affiliate fan club and they are definitely reaping the rewards of the demand driven traffic. Things will get even better!

Young Maltese Entrepreneurs Launch New Casino

Young Maltese EntrepreneursWith over twenty years of shared iGaming experience, Lucas Godwin, 26, Adrian Borg, 30, and Chris Borg, 27, decided to join forces and put their entrepreneurial spirit to the test with their new white label casino site.

How did the Maltese trio come together? Tell us a bit about the cumulative years of experience the trio has.

The team has come together after meeting from within the industry. We got to know each other for a while where we saw that we all shared the same vision and principles. After brainstorming each other’s ideas we came up with a common vision and decided we would build a product with our principles as its core pillars, that of creating a safe, fair and fun environment for all our customers and business partners.

Together we agreed to create a product which is simple and sleek. Easy navigation is our core strength while maintaining industry standards upholding quality and efficiency across all devices.

What are your backgrounds? Strengths each player brings into the equation?

The team at FreakyVegas brings together ample experience in various roles within the online gaming industry, which are proving to be a priceless asset for a start-up like ours.

Having had experiences from ground up in companies like Betsson, Videoslots and more, we all have seen through small projects that were driven by a clear direction and passion become something unique for the players. With that in mind, we have come up with our own ideas on how the user experience of the future should look like and how the user really benefits from the operations behind the casino.

Our young team has vast experience in Marketing, CRM, UX and Operations to name a few. Knowledge is abundant and creativity is rife. What we have come up with is essentially a “Simple is better” approach yet – not simpler.

Where do you see the company heading in two, five years’ time? Any exit plans already? Selling, merging?

With the current state of legal legislation in mind we have opted to go for an “Agile practises” to our business approach, so while we have our eyes on our objectives, we would rather focus on our next challenge which is “now”. Having said that we have our eyes on multi branding which we have seen develop in the more saturated markets, sportsbook and also E-Sports.

How do you find basing your operation in Malta? Would you consider working anywhere else?

Being Maltese we “might” be a bit biased in saying “we are convinced Malta is the best place to operate an online gaming business”. We think that the current legal framework has produced a regulatory environment which is both accessible and robust allowing the operator to focus on the things that really matter. The island is abundant in talent both local and foreign in all key areas required for an operator to succeed, and one cannot ignore all the precious hours which we would need to spend travelling when most of our partners are sitting 15 minutes away.

Recent developments in Fantasy Sports within the MGA also assure us that the authorities are on tip toes, making sure the licensing regulation keeps moving along in this constantly changing environment.

Strengths and weaknesses of working from Malta?

Having most operators on such a small island tends to become challenging at times to attract the best talent so one needs to be on constantly on the lookout in order to not miss out on any potential successful candidates.

300 days of summer tends to be a popular perk for anyone interested in moving to Malta. The high level of expertise already found on the island make this island a place you want to be part of if you are interested in the gaming industry.

The industry is vibrant on the island with something going on every other week, events like the Malta Sports Day are perfect examples where the gaming industry community comes together to kick back and play.

SiGMA, of course, tops it all off to make sure for a stellar “closing of the year” by bringing the whole industry to Malta to plan for the year ahead. We are quite sure this year’s initiative to bring even more affiliates are welcomed by all operators and we will be looking forward to catching up with all of our existent and future partners at FreakyVegas.com.

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

Aspire Global Goes Live with Play’n Go Games

Aspire Global, the complete iGaming solution for operators and white labels, is pleased to announce its latest strategic agreement with Swedish game supplier Play’n GO to launch its full suite of games across the network. The new agreement includes Playn’Go’s full portfolio, including popular titles such as Gemix, Book of Dead and Cloud Quest.

Galit Shani-Michel, VP Product at Aspire Global said: “After the launch of 3 new game providers since the beginning of 2016, we are pleased to close 2016 with the launch of Playn’ Go. As part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing the gaming choice offered by our operators, this new deal will significantly contribute to our platform, and serve to increase player value even further for all our partners.”

Johan Tornqvist, CEO of Play’n GO added: “I’m delighted to confirm that we will now be supplying our award-winning collection of casino games to Aspire Global. Their worldwide reach and demonstrable success will enable us to continue our growth. We’ve had an incredibly successful 2016 already with an impressive array of new games on the way, I’m certain the best is yet to come.”

After a number of major brand launches and key hires over the past few months, this new agreement represents another stage in Aspire Global’s rapid expansion. The company is looking forward to even more planned collaborations with game providers already by Q1, 2017.

About Aspire Global
Established in 2005, Aspire Global offers a complete iGaming solution to operators and white labels, providing a fully managed gaming service. The company’s extensive experience and unique expertise enable it to supply an innovative platform, industry-leading CRM, a wide range of third party content and payment providers, and customer support across all channels. Aspire Global is licensed and regulated in all leading markets including Denmark, Italy, the U.K. and Malta. Find out more at www.aspireglobal.com

Getting to Know Ahmet Celebi

Getting to Know Ahmet Celebi

SiGMA recently met up with Ahmet Celebi to learn more about Caspo Ltd and QueenVegas.com and his roles within the companies.

As an affiliate and affiliate manager, Ahmet told us that originally there was no intention of opening a Casino. He was contacted by Skill on Net and asked to run one of their Casinos, Queenvegas.com, which had been lying around.

“I personally liked the name and spent a good amount of time researching design ideas and how to approach players, which was never really what we did. It is different from just dealing with Affiliates,” he said. “I see players as customers and I think that every one of them deserves to be treated in the best way possible.”

When discussing what factors distinguish his brand from its competitors, Mr Celebi said that he believes it is the design: “New design elements have been added to make us look different from any other Casino.”

He also added that they have 20 different languages with native-speaking supporters in all languages, as well as 9 different currencies. These factors provide players with a better, all-around experience, knowing that they can play in the comfort of their own language and currency.

Just like any other company, there are, of course, certain plans and predictions for the future of Caspo Ltd. Ahmet said that growing requires adaptation which means adding more departments and bringing in new people – the crucial part is getting the right people for the right job. With regards to his personal plans, Ahmet jokingly said: “Next, I deserve a very long holiday with no internet or phone connection, where I can just relax.”

Caspo Ltd’s offices are in Gozo, but there was no government incentives or other such factors that contributed to Ahmet’s decision to shift to Malta’s sister island. “I moved to Gozo before opening the office and I can personally say that if you are settled, have kids, and don’t need to go to Paceville every day, Gozo is the place for you,” he said, adding that it’s cheaper, safer, more quiet, and much less hectic than Malta.

While on the topic of Gozo, SiGMA brought up the idea of building a bridge or tunnel connecting the two islands and asked Ahmet whether he is for or against it, to which he enthusiastically replied: “Bridge or tunnel, I don’t care – but please, please, please with sugar on top, build one of them ASAP,” adding that he would personally choose a bridge over a tunnel.

Ahmet has also worked within the iGaming industry in other big cities, namely London and Amsterdam, but doesn’t seem to find any major differences or challenges between them and the Maltese Islands.

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

A Winning Culture Across All Levels

johan-konigslehnerWelcomed by the cheerful staff and great energy on the premises of Vera&John, our very own Eman Pulis met up with CEO Johan Königslehner to find out more about the company and where it all began.

“Complementing the pure gambling experience, we have tried to add extra features to enhance the experience,” Johan said, “and this includes our winning guarantee, which means telling everyone that big money is being won on our site every day.”

The company started out when founders Dan Andersson and Jörgen Nordlund identified an opportunity to set up a focused casino brand targeting Europe. The concept was created back in 2010 following thorough background studies, and the site was officially launched on the 23rd of February 2011.

Vera&John is a pure online casino, Johan explained, meaning that it is not a one-stop-shop with more gambling products. Apart from offering a wide range of payment options and a great overall service and experience, it also offers other fundamentals including professional support, being customer centric, and of course, the content itself.

“Complementing the pure gambling experience, we have tried to add extra features to enhance the experience,” Johan said, “and this includes our winning guarantee, which means telling everyone that big money is being won on our site every day.”

 The casino’s loyalty program allows players to play games whilst simultaneously engaging in the site and contributing to it, which Johan stated is “one thing that we’re really proud of, and of course, looking to expand.”

The Vera&John casino also offers non-provider-specific tournaments, meaning that they can mix games from different providers without relying on outside providers and promotion tools. These are merely a few of the great characteristics of the casino.

The aim for every casino is to stand out from the rest, and this is no different for Vera&John. Johan emphasised that the key is to be a bit different and stringent in what one sets out to do: “One of our goals was to integrate as many suppliers as possible where customers could find the most games available in one place. Back in 2011, a few other operators were already adding more suppliers, but there was still definitely no one offering the widest range of games. That was something we worked really hard on – to integrate as many good providers as possible, which was then complemented with great content.”

Johan compared this situation with a striking example: “Compare it to clothing stores, for instance, like a denim store: we all have our Levi’s, Lee, and so on. That’s the reality we’re facing, so by working with the brand and differentiating it, the product itself helps us to distinguish ourselves from our competitors.”

In fact, this is how the casino’s name came about. Back in the day, many casinos focused solely on the product, and therefore gave less importance to their own brand. With the urge to build a solid brand in addition to a great casino website, and also show customers that they catered for both genders, the team spent a long time brainstorming different name ideas until they reached the name that they were happy with.

The appealing colour scheme of cyan and magenta was also part of the marketing plan, which is something that they wanted from the beginning. At the time of conception, the combination of the two colours really stood out in advertising and it also complemented the site.

The Vera&John team has worked very hard in trying to make different offers available, which is why they focused so much on building their bonus engine in an attempt to come up with promotions that did not focus on percentage deposit bonuses and free spins.

“There’s still plenty to do, and I think that everyone in the industry would agree that a kind of constant evolvement is necessary. It is no good to do today what you did 5 years ago – you have to keep up with the times, which is a challenge.”

For loyal customers to feel valued, the brand promises to treat existing or active customers in the best way possible without flirting with new players with better offers. Components such as loyalty programmes, tournaments, bonuses and the winning guarantee allow Vera&John to stand out from their competitors. Johan noted: “In this competitive environment, it pays off to focus on these areas and, more importantly, the players that are investing in the packaging of the product to create a unique selling point.”

The Vera&John team is forever growing, which means that structure and processes are crucial. Johan said: “It is challenging to grow, and it does take a lot of effort to evolve the company’s organisation whilst at the same time stimulating a high level of growth and innovation. Red tape needs to be removed to minimise frustration.”

“One of our goals was to integrate as many suppliers as possible where customers could find the most games available in one place. Back in 2011, a few other operators were already adding more suppliers, but there was still definitely no one offering the widest range of games. That was something we worked really hard on – to integrate as many good providers as possible, which was then complemented with great content.”

He added that employees are the most valuable asset in any company – a growing organisation in itself is a great opportunity for people with ambition. Equally, having an inspirational working atmosphere is important. “Creating a sense of belonging and delegating responsibilities strengthen the bond within the company,” Johan added. “Our internal core values are sharing, caring and rewarding – and we try our best to live up to those with our employees as well as our customers.”

Not only is the Vera&John team expanding, but the brand itself is working to increase the strength of its product and develop it. The brand currently holds an MGA license as well as a UKGC license, and is in the process of acquiring a Danish license also. “We had a limited Danish license, but now we’re going on to the full one,” Johan explained. “The more compliant we are, the faster and easier it will be for us to pick up any new requirements on additional regulations, so we’re looking to see what other regulated markets we are currently not in, and other markets that we could potentially enter.”

More and more EU states have been introducing their regulatory frameworks and asking for specific licenses to operate in that particular jurisdiction. Johan said that it’s always important to evaluate and assess the current situation, but added that Malta and the MGA have so far done an excellent job at keeping up with the changes in the industry. “That’s why the island continues to serve as an attractive place to base a gaming company,” he explained.

Basic principals in the EU support companies within the Union, allowing them to target the whole market on equal terms. The established and emerging regulatory frameworks are put in place on a member state level in order to safeguard both national interests as well as an open market within the Union.

In order to continue enjoying the favourable position currently held amongst gaming companies today, Malta and the MGA have a number of different focus areas which they are tackling. “Measures that were taken in the past have been very successful, ranging from the initiatives to recruit highly qualified professionals for Maltese companies, to bridging different regulatory frameworks,” Johan pointed out. “Malta’s favourable corporate tax structure for companies mainly doing business outside Malta is definitely a main component at the moment.”

Leading such a successful company comes hand in hand with its fair share of stress, and according to Johan, when it comes to coping mechanisms, there are mainly two things that help: “The first is to have really good staff and excellent people working in the company,” he said with a smile, adding that this helps to take off a lot of the burden. “We work a lot with company culture and internal branding to give the much-appreciated people an inspiring environment to work in.”

The other key, he continued, is trying to stay one step ahead. “You need to try to monitor what’s going on and have an idea of where things are going. If you’re always trying to catch up, that adds a lot of stress. With all the re-regulations going on, it’s quite a challenging feat. Combine this with fierce competition, and you can easily let the stress get the better of you.”

Originally, Johan got into the iGaming area by complete coincidence. He discovered Poker in early 2000 and realised that it was great fun. At the time, he used to work with business intendants and software replication development, which is an entirely different industry. When he was on parental leave, he did the very conventional thing of answering an ad and attending an interview and became highly interested in the field.

“Eventually I joined a Bingo company in 2007, and from then on, I was hooked,” he continued. “Being a numbers’ junkie, I became addicted a couple of hours into my first day, and since then I’ve been working in the online gaming industry. The rest is history!”

Speaking of his love for Malta, Johan said: “I think Malta is a great place to live. People are genuinely friendly and open to new acquaintances. Coming from the north, the fantastic climate here gives a constant sensation of being on vacation, and offers us so much opportunity to spend time outdoors.” He mentioned how his family loves to spend time by and in the sea, and how in spite of being a small island, there are many things to discover – and being so small, all those undiscovered things are conveniently close.

Vera&John participated as gold exhibitors at SiGMA16 in November, which was their first exhibition yet. “We’ve chosen SiGMA to be our very first appearance and we’re absolutely thrilled about it – especially as it covers so many aspects of our business. We are looking forward to engaging with new fantastic people to join our team.”


This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.