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ESports: Is it Time for iGaming Companies to Cash in Now?

Football continues to be one of the biggest sports in the world not just in terms of viewership, but also in terms of the revenue it brings to the plate through betting. Gambling on football is huge and it is the biggest driving force behind the industry. BBC Sports came out with a report in 2013 about the industry being worth around $1 trillion a year; football is understood to contribute around 70% of those figures. However, recent years have seen rapid rise from the world of e-sports.

Arrival of Major Tournaments

Only a decade ago, video games were largely regarded as a favourite pastime but the growth of the e-sports has been tremendous and rapid. Today, it is possible to come across major tournaments involving e-sports like Counter Strike: Global Offensive or DOTA. These are some of the popular games at major tournaments, while individual tournaments also exist for these sports. A true sign of the industry moving away from being considered as a hobby or a pastime is the amount of work being put in by the gamers in order to achieve success; it would not be uncommon to see a professional gamer train for around 12 hours in a single day.

Esports Tournament

Esports Tournament

Partnerships

E-gamers have now started achieving celebrity status just like in the case of real-world sportspersons. FIFA tournaments may have a substantially lower prize pool compared with the other e-sports, but it has provided the opportunity for e-gamers to sign up with a real professional football teams. The partnerships being made have also extended into the world of online casinos and major betting companies. Betway E-Sports recently signed up as a partner with Ninjas in Pyjamas – a renowned team when it comes to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad.

Betting Markets

Aside from getting more involved with the gamers and the sports in general, one can also find bookmakers and online casinos are ensuring that fans are also able to interact much more. Betradar have been able to come up with partnership that allows them to provide odds on e-sports to major bookies across the world. Gone are the days when football used to get majority of the markets when it came to each event. Today, Betrader has helped e-sports punters get more than 90 high quality events to bet upon in the first tier of the e-sports.

Punters who bet on the football event will be able to get their hands on multiple betting markets like half-time/full-time, correct score, first goal scorer, anytime goalscorer, and number of goals from a player. It is estimated that each football event will get around 200 markets from various bookmakers around the world.

eSports Spectators

eSports Spectators

Prize Money

There is a huge differential when it comes to price money being offered in e-sports as of now. Some of the popular games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends, and StarCraft contribute the biggest chunk of prize money in e-sports. Today, it was in the region of around $200 million, and it has already made several e-gamers as millionaires. Yet, the popularity is expected to increase in the coming years and this would lead to a substantial jump in the prize money. The various e-sports tournaments around the world in 2017 is expected to be witnessed by around 350 million viewers, but it was only around 150 million viewers three years ago.

E-sports viewership is expected to increase to a whopping 500 million in the next three years. This would be met with an equal amount of increase in sponsorship and the quality of the gaming.

Traditional sports is incredibly popular when it comes to selling media rights, and it manages to gather most of its revenue from this medium. E-sports has a big disadvantage on this front, but it is expected to improve in the next three years.

Betting Opportunities

The clear increase in the popularity of e-sports is a huge boon for iGaming companies. There is already a clear shift towards this industry, as companies do not want to be left out of the race. However, the betting market is still at a nascent stage and it is expected to evolve as the years go by. The interest shown by the iGaming companies in e-sports is understandable considering the huge potential available. The number of fans are expected to increase with every year, and those fans want to start their interactions with tournaments like the League of Legends World Championship in a far bigger way.

E-sports betting is on the rise and sports have every reason to fear at this ascent.

BREAKING: EveryMatrix signs large operator Tipico

EveryMatrix is thrilled to sign Tipico for CasinoEngine Direct, the EveryMatrix casino solution delivering the largest selection of games in the industry through a single integration. According to the agreement, EveryMatrix will be delivering games via CasinoEngine for more than 20 casino providers considerably boosting Tipico’s website with more RNG games and premium live casino from Evolution and others.

Founded in 2004, Tipico is an international provider of sports betting and first-class online casino entertainment based and licensed in Malta. The company is a leadingoperator in Germany and Austria and a long-standing sports supporter and sponsor of the football league clubs FC Bayern München, Hamburger SV, and RB Leipzig in Germany, as well as the Austrian Tipico Bundesliga and RB Salzburg team. As a founding member of German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), the German Online Casino Association (DOCV) and active member of various Austrian betting associations, Tipico is committed to integrity and the highest standards of product, data security, and protection of players.

Marlon van der Goes, Tipico

Marlon van der Goes, Tipico

“We are impressed by CasinoEngine’s gaming portfolio and its ability to integrate with our digital platforms. The partnership with EveryMatrix is an important step to revamp our gaming offering, as we are looking to provide our customers a state of the art entertainment experience” stated Marlon van der Goes, Tipico CCO.

Ebbe Groes, EveryMatrix CEO, went on to elaborate, “We are proud to add a considerable casino portfolio into Tipico’s platform and we look forward to work with their highly professionally team. Jointly this will lead to one of the most competitive casino offerings in the region.”

CasinoEngine is the largest and foremost casino gaming aggregator in the industry. With a single integration, operators can gain access to a continuously growing library of close to 5,000 casino games from over 60 game providers seamlessly integrated into a single casino lobby and wallet. Value added services built on top of this unified application includes a highly flexible bonus system, common reporting, and easy lobby management.

Ebbe Groes, EveryMatrix CEO

Ebbe Groes, EveryMatrix

“With CasinoEngine Direct, operators may integrate the CasinoEngine directly into their own platform and in-house wallet. CasinoEngine Direct secures minimum latency and optimal game speed while giving operators complete freedom to develop and host their own website or build together with EveryMatrix,” added Groes.

Robert Dowling, EveryMatrix Malta Office

Robert Dowling, EveryMatrix Malta Office

SiGMA reached out to EveryMatrix, Malta-based, Robert Dowling, who was instrumental in securing the deal;

“I am happy to see two large Maltese companies working together to create one of the best online casino products of the moment. Malta has always been a hub of opportunity for the iGaming industry and our latest collaboration with Tipico represents a major step forward for our ongoing growth in the region.”

Both Tipico and EveryMatrix exhibited at SiGMA last year. View comments from both representatives below:

Interview with Rob Dowling, EveryMatrix

Interview with Jonathan Pace, Tipico

LeoVegas Launches Silver Lion – New Lightning Box Games Slot

The new Silver Lion game from Lightning Box Games has been given an exclusive launch on LeoVegas.

The slot game will only be available to LeoVegas.com players until it goes to general release on December 7th.

The 5×4 reel, 1024-way slot features tribesmen and animals such as zebras, hippos, and meerkats, and takes players on a safari across the sweeping plains of the African Savannah in search of the mythical Silver Lion. Players can expect bonus rounds when the lion appears through the undergrowth, along with opportunities to win big prizes.

Designed and built in premium HTML5 for desktop and standard HTML5 for mobile, the game comes with graphics and soundtracks that transport the players to the heart of the wilderness.

Commenting on the game, Lightning Box Managing Director and Co-Founder Peter Causley said: “Silver Lion is a beautiful game which offers players big prizes by multiplying their stacked wins by up to 27 times. The math model behind the game ensures players are engaged and entertained in equal measure.

“It is a great addition to our growing portfolio, and the result of months of hard work from everyone here at Lightning Box Games. We are sure players on LeoVegas will enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Head of Casino at LeoVegas, Karolina Pelc, commented on the launch of the game: “We’re very pleased to once again deliver on LeoVegas’ promise of being the first with the latest. We’re confident that Silver Lion will be one of those popular games with all our players.”

Lightning Box Games also recently struck a trio of deals with online casino operators in the UK, with its Stellar Jackpots-Chilli Gold x2 title launching with bet365, Coral and Ladbrokes simultaneously.

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NYX Gaming Extends UK Presence with Rank Group Casino Content Deal

Leading digital gaming provider NYX Gaming Group has announced that a selection of its casino titles has gone live with UK gambling operator The Rank Group.

The agreement sees NYX Gaming delivering gaming content developed by its in-house NextGen Gaming studio via the Open Gaming System (OGS). The first titles have already been rolled out.

It is also important to note that the OGS platform hosts titles developed by third-party gaming studios and that NYX Gaming will supply the UK operator with some of them, too.

The latest partnership represents an extension of the Canada-listed provider’s presence into the highly popular and competitive UK gambling market.

Commenting on the announcement, NXY Gaming Commercial Director David Johnson said that, following the quick integration of the OGS platform, his company is now able to boost Rank’s casino offering with in-house produced gaming content as well as products by recognised developers that NYX Gaming has been representing.

Adam Joseph, Director of Digital Operations at Grosvenor Casinos – Rank’s casino gambling brand, said that the deal marks a partnership between two leading gambling companies – an operator and a supplier – and that they are excited about providing “the widest breadth” of gaming content to be available in the market.

Grosvenor Casinos manages the largest chain of brick-and-mortar casinos around the UK as well as a casino website. Apart from Grosvenor Casinos, the major gambling operator also runs the UK-facing Mecca online and retail bingo brand, as well as the Spain-facing Enracha bingo brand.

The announcement about the expansion came shortly after the company posted its results from the third quarter of the year, during which NYX Gaming launched its products with eight new clients. The supplier’s revenue for the quarter ending 30th September totalled C$54.4 million, up 308.9% from the same period in the previous year. The revenue jump was attributed to recent acquisition activity, including the purchase of online sportsbook provider OpenBet.

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Betsson AB Seeks SEK Bond for Increased Corporate Acquisitions

Stockholm-listed European sports betting operator Betsson AB has published a short market update, confirming that it has issued a mandate to Nordic investment banks, DNB Markets and Swedbank, in order to “arrange fixed income investor meetings starting 14 November 2016”.

The betting operator is seeking to secure a three-year bond issue, from which the proceeds will be used to facilitate Betsson’s ongoing acquisition strategy, its refinancing debt, and general corporate purposes.

Betsson AB CEO and President, Ulrik Bengtsson, commented on the update, saying: “Betsson has a clear acquisition strategy and we constantly review opportunities that could materialise in the short or medium-term. The planned bond issue creates increased financial flexibility for Betsson to continue to be active in the consolidation of the gaming sector.”

Betsson continues its strategy of focusing its growth via acquisition in related markets. The operator’s recent acquisitions include TonyBet’s Lithuanian sports betting asset for a total consideration of €4 million, for which the deal was completed in September 2016.

Following a hard second half in 2016, Betsson governance declared that the operator was back on track after experiencing a successful third quarter performance, recording an operating income of €24 million.

Last October, Betsson revealed a new brand refresh for its flagship division Betsson.com, launching the new tagline: “Anytime’s Playtime”

This week, Betsson is also exhibiting at Malta’s biggest iGaming summit of the year, SiGMA16. If you’re interested in joining us at this gaming summit this week from today till Saturday 19th, click here to register.

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iSoftBet Forms Partnership with Amatic Industries

Leading online and mobile casino games provider iSoftBet has announced a new partnership with another software vendor; Amatic Industries GmbH.

iSoftBet’s Game Aggregation Platform – GAP – will now be able to offer content to its operators from Amatic Industries as part of its diverse games portfolio.

Well known for its complete Multi Game Solution, Amatic Industries is a family-owned business that has been successfully operating within the international gambling market as a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of casino games for two decades.

Head of Business Development for iSoftBet, Michael Probert, commented on the partnership, saying: “iSoftBet Game Aggregation Platform (GAP) has evolved impressively over the past year and holds many distinct features, such as being able to provide fresh and well-performing content continuously. Amatic has an in-depth understanding of player needs in every country, and so partnering with them will surely give iSoftBet an edge over others.”

Amatic’s Tatjana Bauer-Engstberger also commented: “We are thrilled that our games will now be available for online play on iSoftBet’s Game Aggregation Platform (GAP). Our belief and strategy has always been that proven land-based games will set the hallmark for success in online gaming, and we are sure that iSoftBet players will enjoy our content produced with this unique approach.”

iSoftBet’s Game Aggregation Platform is an advanced platform that provides operators with a library of third-party games which are sourced from over 20 software developers and can be accessed through a single, seamless integration.

iSoftBet will also be showcasing at this week’s iGaming summit, SiGMA16 – Malta’s biggest gaming event of the year. If you’re interested in joining us this week between the 16th and 19th, click here to register.

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Yggdrasil Gaming Records Impressive Results for Q3

Superior online and mobile casino games provider Yggdrasil Gaming has reported rapid growth for Q3, with revenue climbing 299% year-on-year to SEK21 million.

EBIDTA for the quarter shot up to SEK9.2 million, compared to SEK1.9 million in 2015, while EBIDTA margin amounted to 44%.

The number of players also grew dramatically during Q3, with the number of transactions increasing 427% to 438 million.

During the third quarter, Yggdrasil launched its social media sharing tool, BRAG, and also appointed Frida Gustafsson as CFO, which are of note in the company’s quarter performance.

Yggdrasil CEO Fredrik Elmqvist commented: “It has been yet another hugely successful and action-packed three months for Yggdrasil, and we now have a fantastic team in place that is fast establishing us as the industry’s number one online casino supplier.

“Yggdrasil remains in a phase of rapid expansion, as displayed by the quarter’s surging revenue growth. While the immediate results have been impressive, it is equally important that we lay the foundations for sustainable, long-term growth.”

He went on to say: “We are expected to continue growing much faster than the market and we will carry on investing in our business while also delivering results moving forward.”

He also noted the importance of expanding into regulated markets that Yggdrasil has undertaken, commenting: “Our commitment to regulated markets saw us acquire licences to provide our content to operators in Romania, where we will go live shortly.

“We are a relatively late mover in terms of regulated markets, but we are catching up fast, and will continue to enter regulated markets that make commercial sense.”

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LeoVegas Publishes Strong Third Quarter Results

Swedish mobile gaming company and online casino provider LeoVegas has announced its third quarter report ending 30th September, posting its highest ever revenue so far of €39.7 million, up 76% year-on-year.

The Nasdaq First North-listed company reported EBIDTA of €9.8 million – a margin of 25% – attributed to reducing its marketing-to-revenue ratio from 60% to 36% over the quarter, as planned in the company’s second quarter report earlier in the year.

With deposits from customers reaching €39.7 million – an increase of 87% compared to the 23% in the second quarter – the growth is considered to be entirely organic.

Gross profit for the third quarter increased to €31.1 million, corresponding to a gross margin of 78.3%.

Announcing its long-term goals, LeoVegas said that it is determined to reach €300 million in revenue by 2018. The operator also wants to achieve an EBIDTA margin of 15% within the same year.

LeoVegas CEO and Co-founder Gustaf Hagman commented: “The launches of LeoVegas Sport and LeoVegas Live Casino have laid the foundation for strong growth in new customers and gave us considerable momentum into the autumn and third quarter.”

LeoVegas will also be showcasing at Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year next week between the 16th and 19th of November. If you’re interested in joining SiGMA16, click here to register.

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Gaming Innovation Group Publishes Strong Q3 Results

Malta based Gaming Innovation Group has published its Q3 results, showing a continued strong growth in both performance and revenues.

The company’s Q3 results brought €14.5 million in the third quarter, meaning that it saw an increase of 201% from the same period last year.

With this in mind, the report also noted that the group expects to exceed the guided 100% organic growth for full year revenues, and that revenues will exceed €120 million next year.

One of the factors contributing to the strong results throughout 2016 was the acquisition of Betit Holdings, which added a total of three brands to the company’s B2C gaming operations – Kaboo.com, SuperLenny, and Thrills – which expanded its presence in the lucrative Nordic market considerably.

This acquisition is relatively recent, having been announced in late June for a fee in the region of €54 million.

The Gaming Innovation Group report also detailed that its casino brands – Guts.com, Rizk.com, and Betspin – have continued to perform well, whilst other sectors of the business saw similar successes, including the growth of the affiliate business in Innovation Labs through an expanded customer base.

In addition, the company’s operators saw an increase in active users from 81,645 in the 2nd quarter to a total of 177,587 in the 3rd quarter. Of course, Betit was a significant part of this, though there would still have been an impressive increase of 95,401 without the acquisition.

Gaming Cloud (iGC) also signed two new clients during the quarter, bringing its total to 18. Another announcement included in the report was that the company will be “undergoing an organisational change”, following this period of strong growth.

Gaming Innovation Group will also be exhibiting at Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year this month. If you’re interested in joining SiGMA16 between the 16th and 19th of November, click here to register.

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NYX Gains British Columbia Regulator Approval

Leading digital gaming provider NYX Gaming Group has announced that it has officially been granted “unconditional registration” as a Class B Supplier from the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GBEP) in British Columbia.

For the first time, NYX will now be allowed to deploy its gaming content in British Columbia.

OpenBet, the sportsbook technology business that NYX acquired in May 2016, was certified in Canada by 2012, holding partnerships with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Loto-Québec and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

In 2016, the BCLC’s combined net win grew to CAD$2.36 billion, with 24% online gaming delivering growth.

NYX Gaming Group Chief Executive Matt Davey commented: “Bringing NYX Gaming Group content to market in a growing and highly regulated jurisdiction like British Columbia is evidence of the synergies we are driving through our integration with OpenBet. “

He went on to say that: “NYX is committed to strict compliance and strong growth in regulated markets, so we are delighted to announce that we have been granted an unconditional registration in British Columbia.”

This news comes after NYX’s recent expansion into the Italian retail market. It was announced towards the end of October that the provider had secured a licensing agreement which granted NYX the right to distribute its gaming content to the Italian-based market.

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