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Playtech Confirms Best Gaming Technology Acquisition

Playtech Plc, FTSE-listed gambling software development company, has confirmed its acquisition of Best Gaming Technology (BGT) for €138 million, further strengthening its position within the sports betting market.

Best Gaming Technology creates software for self-service betting terminals; machines in betting shops which allow players access to several betting and gaming functions.

The “all-cash” acquisition sees Playtech securing a 90% stake in the Vienna-based company that specializes in retail-based sports betting provisions, multi-channel odds feeds, and risk and liability management.

Under the announced deal, founder of BGT Dr. Armin Sageder is said to remain leader of the company for the next three years. Additionally, Playtech has been granted first right to securing the remaining 105 shares of the company, valued at €55 million.

Earlier this year, the iGaming software company said that it was pursuing a number of acquisitions as it looks to expand its technology offered to customers.

BGT currently provides software and provisions for approximately 24,000 betting machines, having its core markets in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Austria. Commentators of the industry have stated that the acquisition was carried out by Playtech governance in order to support its ongoing customer omni-channel demands; a key corporate initiative.

Confirming the new acquisition, Mor Weizer, Chief Executive of Playtech, commented: “We believe that the future of gaming is for retail operators to digitise their offering, creating an opportunity to extend beyond retail and into online including web and mobile.”

“This follows the same trends we see in other commercial sectors around the world with the modernisation and digitisation of betting shops not only improving the retail experience but also adding a whole new channel as it integrates into an online offering.”

EveryMatrix Ups Business, Securing 25 New Clients in 2016

EveryMatrix, independent leading industry platform and iGaming software provider, has disclosed that is has added a whopping 25 new clients to its services portfolio.

The company placed a high emphasis on product development and delivery, which leveraged its gains in new business. OddsMatrix, its sports betting product, has now got 23,000 monthly live events, in combination with more than 300 bet types.

Furthermore, with more than 3,000 games from over 40 leading casino game providers, EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine services one of the industry’s widest range of gaming content.

In the first half of 2016, EveryMatrix expanded its client portfolio, adding new European and Asian clients which include Anna Casino, Ekstra Bladet, Codeta, BetonFinance, and Sporting Indexing.

As the company expands its operations internationally, new client wins come with EveryMatrix introducing new partner management hubs in Malta, Denmark, and the Philippines.

Issuing an H1 statement for the company, EveryMatrix said: “As for our future evolution, EveryMatrix platform is under continuous improvement and our teams continue to supply better components and reliable integration systems for our clients. Among the highlights, we can include the Unified Back Office, which is a single point of contact for operators that want to manage all the gaming products from a single log on, and the Unified Front End components, that allow faster creation of gaming websites and serve customized gaming content.”

“EveryMatrix continues its pursuit to offer the best services and our technology developers and engineers work every day to better serve our clients, improve our products and keep our top position in the market.”

EveryMatrix will also be showcasing at Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year, SiGMA16. If you would like to come and see EveryMatrix along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Betway Announces 3-Year Partnerships with Bundesliga 2

Betway, leading global online gambling company, has announced that it has entered into a strategic three-year partnership with five Bundesliga 2 clubs.

The agreement will see the online bookmaker designated as the official betting partner for the five clubs; Union Berlin, St. Pauli, Karlsruher SC, Eintracht Braunschweig and Dynamo Dresden,ahead of the new season that kicks off in August.

As a part of the deal, Betway, the main sponsor of West Ham United and Premier League Darts, will receive in-stadium branding at all five clubs, in addition to hospitality tickets to all games.

Anthony Werkman, Director of Marketing and Operations at Betway, commented: “The Bundesliga is one of the most followed leagues in the world, and we’re delighted to have signed partnerships agreements with five clubs who boast significant heritage and history in both German and European football.

“Betway has always had football coursing through its veins, and we’ve been thrilled to be the official sponsor of West Ham United amid an historic period of success and growth for the club. We look forward to supporting the five Bundesliga 2 clubs as they embark on a new season, with the glory of promotion to the top tier on offer.”

Betway is managed by Betway Limited, a Maltese registered company, and provides entertainment across a number of brands including Betway Sportsbook, Betway Vegas, Betway Casino, Betway Bingo, and Betway Poker.

Bitcoin Sportsbook Sees Strong Start to Euro16

Sportsbet.io, an online Bitcoin sportsbook operator, has enjoyed a good start to Euro 2016 following its launch earlier in June.

During the first two weeks of the tournament, the operator has seen its average daily stakes increase by over 20%. Among Bitcoin players, France has proven to be the most popular country to back, accounting for a total of 37% of Bitcoin bets, followed by England with 23% and Portugal with 17%.

More than half of all total bets placed on Sportsbet.io have come through the mobile channel, with 45% on smart-phones and 7% on tablet devices.

Having already handed out 36,000 mBTC (€22,000) worth of prizes via pre-signup raffles as well as daily draws, Sportsbet.io has shown to be quick in rewarding its users for their loyalty. Following a draw on the Sportsbet.io YouTube channel, one particular lucky user also won two tickets to the European Championship final, which will be taking place in Paris, with flights and accommodation included.

Points were awarded to users based on their winning group stage bets, with each 100 mBTC (€60) profit earning the player 100 points towards their total score. Another leaderboard challenge has been set up to reward the most successful punters during the knockout stages.

Joe Jordan, spokesperson at Sportsbet.io, said: “Our focus is to offer great odds and promotions, as demonstrated by our competition to win tickets to the Euro 2016 final, semi-final and free bitcoins. This summer’s European Championship action has been really exciting so far and there is still a lot more to come, both on the pitch and on Sportsbet.io.”

Yggdrasil Gaming Signs bwin.party Agreement

Yggdrasil Gaming, provider or market-leading online and mobile casino games, RNG lottery content and live lotto, has signed a slots content agreement to become a content supplier for operator bwin.party, leading provider of B2B and B2C services.

The deal will provide bwin.party with access to the full Yggdrasil suite of slots via a direct integration, including recent launches Wicked Circus, Cicicleta and Seasons. They will also receive Yggdrasil’s tools, BOOST™ and the Infinite API™ for gamification.

Previously, Yggdrasil had a supply deal with GVC Holdings, an online gambling company, which completed the acquisition of bwin.party earlier this year. The new agreement with bwin.party is an extension of that deal, in terms of both duration and market coverage.

Fredrik Elmqvist, CEO at Yggdrasil Gaming, commented: “Bwin.party is one of the most respected operators in our industry, so it is fantastic news that they have become the latest operator to see the value in Yggdrasil’s marketing-leading games.

“This year has already been a busy one for team Yggdrasil, with new game launches, new hires and new sign-ups, and we are looking forward to forging a long and fruitful relationship with bwin.party.”

Liron Snir, Chief Product Officer at GVC Holdings, said: “We are always on the search for the very best games to offer our customers, so we are delighted to have reached this agreement with Yggdrasil.

“We are certain that Yggdrasil’s innovative and engaging slots will prove a hit with bwin.party customers.”

William Hill Approaches KPMG for Digital & Technology Review

According to UK business news sources, William Hill has approached KPMG consultancy to undertake a strategic review focusing on the digital and technology operations of the company.

The consultancy review follows William Hill’s May financial update which saw the operator post an 11% net revenue decline in its digital division, with declines in both online games and sports betting at -4% and -17% respectively.

In 2015, in order to develop in-house technology competencies, William Hill implemented ‘Project Trafalgar’, a new proprietary platform, aiming to extend user engagement between its desktop and mobile offerings.

Mobile integration difficulties during the initial rollout of the platform, however, would impact betting growth within the firm’s UK market. William Hill governance would declare that initial expectations of ‘Project Trafalgar’ had not been met, but that the company was committed to the platform’s long-term viability.

In the opening half of 2016, William Hill’s governance has undertaken a restructure of its digital leadership, appointing Crispin Nieboer as Managing Director of Online, replacing Andrew Lee.

During the first half, the FTSE-listed operator revised its full-year earnings to the range between £260-280 million, compared to the original target of £300-318 million, and William Hill’s share price fell from 410p in February to 281p this June.

William Hill governance states that the company will continue to expand its technology capabilities, outlining its recent £275 million joint-venture acquisition of OpenBet, market-leading betting platform provider, with Canadian firm NYX Gaming.

KPMG will be showcasing at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year. If you would like to come and see KPMG along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Bet365 Increases its Grip on Italy’s Online Sports Betting Market

According to new estimates released by the AGIMEG news agency, Bet365, online gambling operator, has tightened its grip on Italy’s regulated sports betting market.

In the month of May, Italy’s overall sports betting market took in wagers of €562.4million; 15% higher than the same month last year. Sports betting turnover totalled to €2.9billion for the year-to-date, up from €2.5billion in the first five months of 2015, with online wagering accounting for €1.6billion of 2016’s total.

In may, total online wagers were up nearly one third at €317.4million, of which Bet365 claimed just below €120million for a share of 37.1%; a 1.4 point improvement over its Q1 share. Bet365’s total was enough to make it the top overall betting operator, easily shadowing SNAI–Cogetech Group’s combined online/retail total of €80million.

With €32million, Gala Coral Group’s Eurobet brand ranked a distant second on the online chart, well ahead of SISAL’s third placement with €23.9million, while SNAI’s €21.5million edged out William Hill by a mere €200k.

SNAI-Cogetech Group was the retail betting leader with €58.4million, while Lottomatica placed second with €41.4million, with Eurobet not too far behind with €39.5million.

With wagers totalling €95.3million, the second highest total this year following January, May was a strong month for virtual betting products. Betting exchanges were only approved in 2014 in Italy, but despite the relatively small base, this year has shown strong growth. In May, exchange wagers totalled around €400k, but the year-to-date number is up by more than a third over the first five months of 2015.

Bet365 will also be showcasing at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year this November. If you would like to come and see Bet365 along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit, click here to register.

William Hill –England v Wales Betting Expects £35m Turnover

Due to an unfortunate late goal, England’s Euro 2016 might not have started as well as planned, but Wales enjoyed the exact kind of start that they had been hoping for.

In a game that is expected to attract around £35million worth of turnover for the betting industry, William Hill, a bookmaker based in the United Kingdom, has priced England at 4/7 to defeat Wales.

Joe Crilly, William Hill Spokesman, said: “£35million worth of turnover would far surpass the total takings on any match this season. Despite England being clear favourites to win this match we expect anything but a rarebit of Welsh cash as they back their boys to beat the old enemy.”

Russia’s late goal against England sparked a £5million swing for William Hill, as well as projected a £25million swing for the industry.

Crilly went on to say: “An England defeat would have been around a £3m loser for us yet ended up as a £2m winner. England’s failure to defeat Russia was perhaps the best result we have seen after the favourites have largely done the business for our punters.”

LeoVegas Opens First Euro16 Mascot Market

LeoVegas Sport, a world-class mobile game entertainment provider and newcomer to the football betting scene, has opened the first market for punters to place their bets on where they think England squad’s team mascot will be seen next. So far, he’s been spotted in the background of the team’s photo boarding the plane, heading into the hotel, and even out for the day with defender John Stones.

Talk began after Chris Smalling was originally seen carrying the lion soft-toy on his luggage into the England team hotel in Chantilly, before it was revealed that the toy is in fact Leo the Lion; the squad’s playful team mascot.

Wayne Rooney arranged for the lion to travel to the tournament, and each of manager Roy Hodgson’s chosen 23 will now have to take turns in looking after Leo throughout the tournament.

For everyone to get involved with Rooney’s team building exercise, LeoVegas has now started taking “Leo the Lion” bets after launching its Sportsbook offering back in May.

There is a 3/1 chance that one of the players will misplace the mascot during the tournament, according to the odds, and a 4/1 shot that Roy Hodgson himself will be seen with the mascot sat on his lap during an England match.

All bets will be settled according to TV footage.

Other available bets include:
8/1 chance of the mascot being held by the captain during the English national anthem
1/2 chance of any England scorer to celebrate with the mascot

“It’s great to see that Rooney’s using his fun-loving attitude to keep the team grounded during the Euros. Introducing Leo takes some of the pressure off the squad, which is great to see – well, as long as they don’t lose him,” said Shenaly Amin, UK Country Manager at LeoVegas.

“We opened the market for a bit of fun and to hopefully keep everyone guessing on where he’s going to be spotted next. We’re all really backing the boys to do well and have our fingers crossed that we’ll reach the final. “

LeoVegas is inviting Twitter users to get involved on social media by tweeting @LeoVegasUK and guessing where the lion is going to show up next.

LeoVegas will be showcasing at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year. If you would like to come and see LeoVegas this November along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit, click here to register.