iGaming Snapshot: Month in Review | November 2023
November 2023 in the iGaming industry unfolded as a month of dynamic shifts and pivotal turns. From Georgia’s bold tax hikes on gambling operations to Sweden’s struggle with unlicensed online gambling sites, and the UK’s nuanced legal adjustments, the global iGaming landscape buzzed with activity. Legal challenges, strategic organizational changes, and responsible gaming initiatives painted a vivid picture of an industry at the crossroads of growth and regulation. Dive into the heart of these developments and explore how they’re reshaping the future of iGaming across the world.
In November, iGamingExpress featured a plethora of exclusive content. Here’s a reminder of some of the most intriguing ones, with the month particularly marked by a series of insightful interviews that delved into key industry leaders’ strategies, challenges, and plans.
A truly hectic month is behind us. Among some spectacular developments in the iGaming industry, iGamingExpress did its best to provide You with a dose of unique content.
In November we talked with the representatives of various realms, such as online casinos, compliance, marketing, sports betting and new technologies.
If you haven’t checked out our talks with industry experts, the last weeks of the year are a perfect opportunity to catch up with recent iGaming trends and get to know what will shape our business in the next 12 months.
Here’s some content that we strongly recommend to make up:
The Director of Gaming at GBG Plc, shares insights into her role within the company, the challenges faced, as well as the expansion into the Latin American markets. We also touched upon the subject of competition and the increasingly difficult battle to acquire new customers.
A fascinating journey through the world of marketing and innovation with a talented Director of Marketing, with over 10 years of experience in senior executive positions.
- Łukasz Wala: “Quality will always defend itself and it is very high on the list of values we follow”
The Chief Operations Officer at Mirraculus tells about the history of the creation of the slot game studio but also reveals what products they will rely on.
- Tomasz Przybyłowicz: “We offer customers the opportunity to increase their first deposits by 15-25%”
CEO of Media&Leads talks about the effective use of data and optimization of marketing spending by iGaming operators around the world.
With Global CTIO at Kwiff, we talked about his extensive experience in the industry, Kwiff’s activities and goals for the near future.
We talked to Vakhtang Mdivani about his many years of adventure at Adjarabet, where he held, among others, the position of Director of Performance Marketing.
Discover how the right payment solutions can boost market entry, compliance strategies, and the art of localizing content and payment options for enhanced customer engagement.
Head of SEO at Kingbet Media tells us how AI influences SEO in the iGaming industry. Of course, we also discuss the topic of keyword analysis and the fight for customers in the extremely competitive affiliate market of online casinos and bookmakers.
November 2023 in the sports betting industry was a month filled with significant developments, strategic partnerships, and leadership transitions, painting a dynamic picture of the sector’s evolution.
The month kicked off with a major announcement from NorthStar Gaming, revealing the impending departure of Jennifer Barber, their CFO, effective December 1, 2023. This leadership change hinted at a period of transition within the company.
In terms of partnerships and market expansions, several key collaborations stood out. TVBET and BETTERS united to enhance the Polish online betting landscape, marking a significant stride in enriching the betting experience for Polish customers.
Similarly, SZRT, with the support of EveryMatrix, entered the digital betting arena in Hungary, setting new standards for safe and responsible gaming.
In the U.S., Caesars Sportsbook made its debut in Maine, emphasizing tribal partnerships, and also reported strong Q3 results, highlighting their fiscal health and market expansion.
On the other hand, DraftKings reported an impressive 57% revenue growth in Q3, driven by strategic initiatives and customer engagement, while Entain saw a 9% increase in online NGR despite regulatory changes. Superbet also announced a record-breaking Q3 performance, underlining its robust growth trajectory.
Market and product innovations were also at the forefront. Kambi provided valuable insights into NFL betting trends, focusing on the impact of QB injuries.
The rise of eSports betting was notably marked by SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, which saw a significant increase in bets on League of Legends. BetConstruct’s unveiling of BetCloud, a B2B betting platform, marked a technological advancement in the industry.
Leadership and operational changes were also significant. PENN Entertainment reported robust Q3 earnings and launched ESPN BET, indicating both financial health and strategic growth.
Leadership transitions at Super Group and Superbet Group hinted at strategic redirections and new visions. Bet–at–home AG Group’s move towards strategic outsourcing exemplified an operational shift for better financial performance.
The global market saw interesting movements. Stake.com’s acquisition of Betfair Colombia marked its entry into the Latin American market, indicating a strategic expansion. FL Entertainment maintained strong performance in online betting and gaming, and Bet365 expanded its US operations by launching in Louisiana. Meanwhile, NorthStar Gaming announced plans to launch an online casino and sportsbook in Canada, signaling a major expansion.
Regulatory and social responsibility issues were not overlooked. The UK government’s consideration of unified betting duty changes, LeoVegas and Blackpool FC’s promotion of ‘Safer Gambling Week’, and the Turkeypalooza initiative by Nationals Philanthropies and BetMGM showcased the industry’s focus on responsible gambling and social contributions.
Strategic collaborations for growth were also evident. EveryMatrix’s partnership with Caesars Digital aimed to enhance the North American iGaming experience, while Kindred Group’s steady increase in Q3 revenues emphasized their continued focus on growth. The company announced its strategic decision to cease its operations in North America which made the industry talk about potentially selling Kindred’s Unibet brand.
Finally, market adjustments were observed with bet365 withdrawing from Hungary’s online gaming market, likely in response to new government regulations, showing the industry’s need to adapt to changing legal landscapes.
Overall, November 2023 was a testament to the sports betting industry’s continuous evolution, marked by financial growth, strategic partnerships, market expansions, and a heightened focus on responsible gaming and regulatory compliance.
November 2023 was a noteworthy month in the online casino industry, characterized by strategic partnerships, market expansions, and technological advancements that collectively shaped the landscape of iGaming.
Pragmatic Play took significant steps to strengthen its presence in Latin America, partnering with GanaPlay and expanding into Slovakia with Niké. This was complemented by another expansion into Spain and Sweden in collaboration with bet365, showcasing Pragmatic Play’s commitment to diversifying its reach.
In Italy, the iGaming landscape saw two major collaborations. IGT PlayDigital partnered with Microgame to expand digital content, while Amusnet and Newgioco formed a strategic alliance, aiming to enhance casino solutions and technologies in the Italian market.
Betway amplified its African presence through an exclusive deal with BetGames, introducing bespoke games tailored to the African market, including a unique version of Roulette and a football-themed game, Penalties.
BF Games launched BF HUB, designed as a launchpad for emerging studios to break into various markets. This move underscored the industry’s focus on nurturing new talent and content.
Push Gaming expanded its reach in the Dutch market through a deal with Fair Play Casino, introducing popular game titles like ‘Fish ‘n’ Nudge’ and ‘Goat Getter’. Similarly, Bragg Gaming Group reinforced its Dutch market presence by extending its partnership with BetCity.nl.
In the UK, Mr Vegas increased its visibility with a World Senior Snooker sponsorship, marking its third major sports sponsorship in a short period.
Wazdan extended its reach in New Jersey through a collaboration with Tipico and also expanded in Portugal by partnering with Solverde.pt, reflecting its strategic efforts to solidify its footprint in North America and Europe.
Gauselmann Group expanded its casino empire in Lower Saxony, Germany, securing a concession to operate up to ten casino locations under the MERKUR sun brand. This move marked a significant expansion in the European casino sector.
Betsson Group and Future Anthem joined forces to pioneer personalized AI in gaming, a move that emphasized the increasing role of technology in enhancing player experiences.
NeoGames’ Pariplay expanded in North America with a partnership with Hard Rock Digital in New Jersey, marking a significant step in its commercial expansion.
Other notable partnerships included REEVO’s collaborations with Leap Gaming and Eurasian Gaming, enhancing the gaming experience through diverse portfolios. ESA Gaming also expanded its portfolio with a collaboration with Leap Gaming.
Overall, November 2023 in the online casino industry was marked by a series of strategic collaborations, technological innovations, and market expansions, reflecting the industry’s continuous growth and adaptation to the evolving digital landscape.
November 2023 in the lottery industry was marked by significant leadership changes, strategic expansions, and technological advancements, reflecting the evolving nature of this sector.
At ZEAL Network SE, a notable executive board change occurred as Sönke Martens, the Chief Commercial Officer, announced his decision not to renew his board contract, which is set to expire at the end of June 2024.
In China, the lottery sales presented a mixed picture. Despite a year-on-year surge of 59.3%, bringing sales to 47.34 billion yuan, this figure represented the lowest in eight months, indicating a 10.3% decline compared to previous periods.
The Nederlandse Loterij announced a leadership transition, indicating the start of a new era following the conclusion of Niels Onkenhout’s term as CEO. This transition marked a period of growth and potential strategic redirection for the Dutch lottery operator.
A strategic alliance formed between FDJ and CWL built upon previous agreements from 2010 and 2013, focusing on knowledge sharing and sustainable gaming. This collaboration marked a significant step in their ongoing partnership, aiming to enhance lottery operations and promote responsible gaming.
Scientific Games secured an extension with the Oregon Lottery for its Premier Scratch-Its, continuing the creation and production of popular instant scratch games.
FDJ expanded its global footprint by acquiring a 100% stake in Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), the exclusive operator of the Irish National Lottery until 2034. This acquisition opened a new chapter in FDJ’s international expansion, demonstrating its ambition and strategic vision in the global lottery market.
IGT introduced an innovative payout solution for the South Dakota Lottery, enhancing the lottery experience in the state. The ‘Scan and Redeem’ system, part of a recent contract extension with IGT until 2031, digitized lottery payouts, showcasing IGT’s commitment to modernizing and improving the lottery experience through technology.
Overall, November 2023 in the lottery industry was characterized by strategic leadership changes, market expansions, and a focus on technological innovation. These developments underscored the industry’s adaptability and its continuous efforts to enhance operations and player experiences in a rapidly changing market landscape.
In November 2023, the suppliers sector of the gaming industry witnessed a series of significant events, emphasizing growth, technological innovation, and strategic expansions.
GiG (Gaming Innovation Group) led the way with remarkable achievements in Q3 2023, showcasing record revenues and strategic growth that solidified its robust position in the market. Chairman Petter Nylander’s enthusiasm underscored this positive trajectory.
Galaxy Gaming introduced a pivotal change in leadership by appointing Matt Reback as President and CEO, infusing a fresh perspective at the helm. Despite mixed Q3 results, the company remained focused on future growth, embracing the dynamic nature of the gaming industry.
EveryMatrix had reasons to celebrate too, with a triumphant Q3 marked by significant growth in net revenue and EBITDA. This success was a testament to the company’s strong market presence and operational efficiency.
In the realm of strategic collaborations, 3 Oaks Gaming expanded its European influence through a partnership with Alphawin, enhancing Alphawin’s game catalog. This move signaled 3 Oaks’ growing dominance in the European digital gaming space.
NuxGame and Lucky Monaco entered into a strategic slot content distribution deal, reflecting NuxGame’s commitment to offering diverse and engaging content.
The Belgian gaming landscape saw an enrichment with Galaxsys teaming up with Circus.be. This collaboration leveraged Galaxsys’ innovative game suite, broadening Circus.be’s array of gaming experiences.
Genius Sports made significant strides, not only securing a temporary gaming license in Maine but also posting strong Q3 financial results. This dual achievement indicated a robust upward trajectory for the company.
Bragg Gaming Group stood out with impressive Q3 2023 results, reinforcing its growth targets. The company also signaled potential strategic shifts with the announcement of COO Lara Falzon’s resignation.
Sportradar strengthened its North American presence by expanding into Maine’s sports betting market, continuing its regional growth.
GeoLocs and Rhino Entertainment set a new benchmark in Ontario, focusing on safe and fraud-free online gaming with an emphasis on user security and seamless location verification.
Slotegrator’s alliance with F*Bastards aimed to boost operator profits through innovative slot game integration, marking a strategic move in content enhancement.
BETBY’s new Head of Marketing, Pierre Pulis, brought a wealth of experience in large-scale marketing and communication projects, poised to drive the company’s marketing strategies forward.
In the LATAM and Bulgarian markets, Salsa Technology and Mancala Gaming, as well as Spinomenal and ELITBET.bg, embarked on new ventures, opening chapters in regional gaming landscapes.
Wazdan unveiled an exciting game lineup for Q1 2024, focusing on its energy-saving Extremely Light series, blending accessibility with entertainment.
White Hat Gaming’s rapid expansion with Bally’s Corporation in the US was a significant stride, enhancing sportsbook offerings for players.
CreedRoomz’s acquisition of a Danish license marked a crucial milestone in its growth, expanding its live casino offerings.
RubyPlay’s venture into Italy with PokerStars represented its first direct foray into the Italian market, a significant step in its expansion strategy.
CT Interactive’s expansion in Bulgaria through an Everbet collaboration underscored its growing influence in the Bulgarian gaming market.
Lastly, Merkur Gaming celebrated a decade of success in Peru, a festive acknowledgment of its enduring partnerships and client relationships.
In summary, November 2023 in the suppliers sector was characterized by strategic growth, technological advancements, and key partnerships, indicating a vibrant and evolving gaming industry landscape.
November 2023 in the legal landscape of the gaming industry was marked by a myriad of significant developments, ranging from regulatory changes to legal challenges and advancements in responsible gaming.
In a decisive move against the gambling surge, Georgia’s Prime Minister introduced a tax hike on gambling operations, raising the tax rate to 15 percent from the previous 10 percent. This step aimed to curb the burgeoning gambling activities in the country. Meanwhile, the Australian online gambling market continued its growth trajectory, reaching a value of approximately 4.6 billion dollars in 2022, underscoring the sector’s substantial appeal among Australians.
The UK government actively engaged in reshaping the gambling regulatory framework. It considered unifying betting duty taxes and exempting gambling contracts from new subscription rules, reflecting a nuanced approach to balancing industry growth with responsible gambling practices. Concurrently, Victoria in Australia called for stricter online gaming ad regulations, advocating for a ban on such ads during peak hours to address the surge in gambling activities.
Sweden faced its challenges with a more than tenfold increase in online gambling traffic to unlicensed sites, as reported by ATG. This shift in consumer behavior posed a significant challenge to the integrity of the regulated market. To address similar concerns, Sweden proposed stringent measures to curb risky credit in gambling, broadening the scope of the existing credit ban in the Gambling Act. In Belgium, the government tightened enforcement against unlicensed gambling activities, classifying such operations as criminal offenses and emphasizing a tougher regulatory stance.
Legal proceedings and organizational changes also characterized the month. The EU Court annulled the Commission’s decision on Dutch gambling license extensions in a case brought forth by the EGBA, marking a critical legal development in the industry. Veikkaus in Finland adapted to a new gambling system with significant organizational changes, highlighting the dynamic nature of the industry’s response to evolving regulations.
In the U.S., Amazon faced a class-action lawsuit over alleged illegal gambling operations, accused of earning billions from distributing casino-style apps. This legal challenge underscored the complexities and potential risks associated with the digital gambling market. At the same time, Detroit Casino workers intensified their strike, calling for a public boycott against prominent online betting platforms like FanDuel, highlighting the ongoing struggle for fairness in the industry.
The Philippine gaming industry prepared for a high-stakes future, with PAGCOR’s Chairman attributing increased demand in various sectors, including gaming, to the lifting of travel restrictions. Similarly, Kazakhstan introduced stringent gambling reporting requirements, aiming to integrate these obligations into the country’s Tax Code.
Malta and Austria engaged in diplomatic dialogue over online gambling and international affairs, with Malta facing criticism from Austrian legal professionals. This discussion highlighted the global nature of gambling legislation and the need for international cooperation and understanding.
Denmark set a precedent in the Danish iGaming sector with a landmark fine for illegal game distribution, particularly concerning the circumvention of self-exclusion systems. In Canada, iGaming Ontario sought a partnership for a centralized self-exclusion solution, demonstrating a proactive approach to responsible gaming.
These developments across various regions reflect the ongoing global efforts to regulate the gambling industry effectively, address legal challenges, and promote responsible gaming practices. They underscore the dynamic and evolving nature of the gaming industry’s legal landscape, continually adapting to new challenges and opportunities.
That wraps up all the events that electrified the iGaming industry last month. The next summary will be published on iGamingExpress at the beginning of January 2024. For those eager for behind-the-scenes insights, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter, where every week we curate the most interesting industry news and deliver it in a concise format that lands in our subscribers’ email inboxes every Friday.