Novomatic picks up majority stake in Spanish bingo company OtiumGI
In an interesting new development, Novomatic Gaming Industries (NGI), a subsidiary of Novomatic, picked up a 60% stake in OtiumGI, a Spain-based video bingo company.
The two parties did not disclose the financials of the agreement but it is clear that a bingo slot offering will be made to the Mexican iGaming market via a local brand.
According to Novomatic, the new bingo machines are likely to have an immediate impact in Mexico. The company also intends to build better products for the market by banking on its global gaming experience.
Commenting on this development, NGI senior vice-president for Central and South America, Lawrence Levy, said:
“We are delighted to announce this acquisition that has the potential to establish an excellent position for Novomatic in the Mexican bingo segment and beyond.
“It further broadens our highly diversified product offer for the region and perfectly correlates with the group’s ongoing commitment and strategic expansion in the Latin American markets.”
Santiago López de Lamadrid, chief technology officer at OtiumGI, further added:
“After gaining much experience over the last few years in Mexican and Filipino markets with our video bingo products, we believe that Novomatic is the perfect partner to build our brand, with the intention of becoming an industry benchmark.”
New definition of ‘illegal sports betting’ could be huge blow to Malta’s iGaming community
In a significant new development, the Council of Europe in its Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions has recommended a new definition for the term ‘illegal sports betting’, which has come as a huge warning for Malta’s iGaming community.
The new definition considers ‘illegal sports betting’ as “any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located.”
According to the Malta Gaming Authority Executive Chairman, Joe Cuschieri, the country’s remote gambling will be on the receiving end if the new proposal becomes a law.
At the moment, the iGaming industry contributes 11% to the domestic product. Moreover, 8000 people are employed in the online gambling sector in Malta.
“This definition will effectively render illegal all operators who offer their services via their Malta Gaming Authority license in other European states,” he said.
Dr Cuschieri further added that this new definition could not be accepted by Malta. He also informed that its recommendations were ignored on the negotiation table.
The Convention was prepared by the Council of Europe that is the favor of implementing it as a full block. This however would require every member state’s consent.
Interestingly, Malta is the only country to have objected to the ratification of the convention. For this view, most members of the European Parliament criticized the country.
Bet365 becomes first operator go live with native Playtech app
In a important new development, bookmaker giant Bet365 became the first operator to go live with its brand new native mobile casino application from Playtech.
According to the latter, the loading time for the app is three times faster than its HTML5 equivalents. Users can access it on iOS and android devices.
Customers will now be able to play over 100 native games that include classics online casino games as well slots from Playtech.
Another fantastic feature that users will avail is the merging of their preferred online games in one location.
This new app is an upgrade over the company’s current mobile casino app.
Commenting on the development, Christian H. Bogstrand, chief executive of Bet365's Gibraltar subsidiary Hillside Limited, said:
“We have worked closely with Playtech on the development of the new Casino native app, ensuring we provide high quality content with a much faster and improved gaming experience.”
Shimon Akad, chief operating officer at Playtech, stated:
“Research, including a recent Nielsen report, suggests that 89% (vs. c.11% browser) of time on mobile is spent in-app, supporting the theory that native apps are what players want to use when gaming.
“Playtech has invested significantly in native technologies, backing up our strategy to provide the best solutions for our partners and their players.
“The instant and sticky native play functionality and new features will ensure our licensees can drive player values and make our new app the best on the market today.”
Betsoft signs content agreement with Gamingtec
In a key development in the iGaming world, Betsoft Gaming signed a content agreement with Gamingtec, a B2B provider.
As per terms of the contract, Gamingtec will have access to Betsoft’s wide array of premium 3D iGaming entertainment.
‘Slots3’ collection of true 3D video slots and ‘ToGo’ mobile line of products too are part of this deal.
Commenting on this deal, Gamingtec chief executive Sapar Karyagdyyev said:
“We know from research that these games are popular with players,”
“We are sure that Betsoft games will provide us with a good competitive advantage and will allow us to attract even more players.”
Tom Nyborgof Betsoft stated:
“Gamingtec is a dedicated and comprehensive platform provider; their growth has been phenomenal, a great indicator of the success they will achieve in this industry.
“We are tremendously excited to be partnering with them at this time and are looking forward to what innovative solutions they will bring to the market as they continue to develop.”
Betsson agrees deal to acquire Tonybet’s Lithuanian business
In a big move in the iGaming world, Betsson is set to acquire Lošimų Strateginė Grupė, the parent firm of TonyBet’s Lithuanian business.
According to media reports, a deal in the range of €4 million ($4.5 million) was agreed upon by the two parties.
Betsson confirmed the news and announced it had secured all TonyBet Lithuanian assets for 3.6 times the company’s revenues before interest and tax to-date for this financial year.
Another interesting feature that is part of this deal is the €2 million performance-based bonus that is linked to the assets milestones for 2017.
Commenting on this move, Betsson president and chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said:
“We see strong synergies in this acquisition, through migration of the operator to Betsson’s technical platform, and development of the casino offering.
“This acquisition is a good strategic fit for Betsson Group as Betsson’s ambition is to increase revenue from locally regulated markets.
“We have now consolidated our presence in the Baltic region by ensuring local licenses in all three markets, and continue to pursue growth across Europe, organically and through acquisition.”
Relax Gaming granted Romania license, NetEnt goes live
In a major development in the iGaming world, Relax Gaming secured a B2B supplier license Romanian's regulated market.
This will help Relax Gaming offer, via the Silver Bullet platform, its multiple casino games to operators.
Not just that, the company's partners will also have access to its bingo and poker games.
Commenting on this move, Patrik Österåker, chief executive of Relax, said:
“Moving into new regulated markets is a natural step for Relax and part of our growth strategy.
“We are very pleased to have been granted a license in Romania, which is an attractive and growing market for us.
“The license allows Relax to support our valued partners as they retain and grow their presence in this important jurisdiction.”
In another significant development, Net Entertainment (NetEnt) launched its games in Romania after acquiring a license earlier in 2015.
Enrico Bradamante, chief of European market operations and managing director of NetEnt Malta, commented:
“We keep delivering on our global growth strategy by strengthening our position on regulated markets and we are very pleased that our popular games are now also available in Romania.”