Relax Gaming Adds Studio 21 to Powered By Relax Platform

Relax Gaming Adds Studio 21 to Powered By Relax Platform

Studio 21 Live Gaming, a Bulgarian state-of-the-art live casino production company, has teamed up with Relax Gaming, a world-class content aggregator. Under the agreement, Studio 21 will become Relax’s latest studio partner and will see its content integrated into the Powered By Relax aggregation platform.

As per the deal, Relax will onboard Studio 21’s exciting portfolio of games and original content. As a result, the latter company’s titles will be distributed across Relax Gaming’s rapidly expanding distribution network.

Thus, Studio 21 will be able to reach many new operators and, by extension, many new players. The Relax Apex integration platform will back the studio with unrivaled speed-to-market and jurisdictional support.

Studio 21’s content is broadcast from the company’s state-of-the-art studio and broadcasting facility in Sofia, Bulgaria. It provides operators the flexibility to add games, live game shows and bespoke studio sets. In addition, Studio 21 allows gambling companies to add customizable side bets and betting options to the offering they desire.

The Integration Further Expands Relax’s Portfolio

Christopher Haller, Studio 21 Live Gaming’s president, addressed the deal with Relax Gaming, calling it a “huge milestone” for his company. According to Haller, the agreement attests to his team’s ability to provide operators with the customized content they want and need. Haller added that Studio 21 allows companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Partnering with the preeminent online aggregation brand in the industry allows us to widely and efficiently distribute our content to a vast array of operators and markets.

Christopher Haller, president, Studio 21 Live Gaming

Meanwhile, Shelley Hannah, Relax Gaming’s director of casino products, said that her team is constantly looking for quality content to add to its portfolio. According to her, the agreement with Studio 21 will further reinforce Relax’s offering.

This supplier brings creativity, product flexibility and much-needed attention to the specific needs of each operator in the live casino market and we are certain the partnership will prove fruitful in the months and years to come.

Shelley Hannah, director of casino products, Relax Gaming

Relax Gaming is hailed as one of the best B2B suppliers of content in the gaming industry. The company’s commitment to excellence has helped it secure many awards, with some of the more recent ones including the Best Mobile Gaming Software Provider at the EGR B2B Awards, Casino/Slot Developer of the Year at the SBC Awards, and Best Game Provider at the AskGamblers Awards in 2022

Relax Gaming’s Nadiya Attard recently spoke with GamblingNews about the company’s position in the market and its expansion in Spain.

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BGaming Welcomes Ulf Norder as CCO

BGaming Welcomes Ulf Norder as CCO

BGaming, a dynamic game provider that turns gambling into gaming, has reinforced its team with Ulf Norder as its new chief commercial officer. Norder joins the supplier from QTech Games, where he also served as CCO.

The new hire is known for his intimate knowledge of the sector, as well as his strategic approach to business development. Norder is a skilled individual with years of experience in the sector who has helped his former companies form multiple key partnerships with other firms.

BGaming’s new CCO boasts over twenty years of sales experience and has worked for multiple online gambling companies. In 2004, he joined Tain, where he served as a sales manager for over two years. After that, Norder had a short stint as the sales director of Evolution Gaming. In 2007, he returned to Tain for another two years with the company.

Between 2009 and 2011, Norder served as the sales director of Cake Network, after which he joined SHFL Entertainment as a sales executive. According to his LinkedIn, his career also saw him support gaming companies such as Yggdrasil and Vermantia. He has also held positions at NYX and SG Digital.

As CCO of BGaming, Norder will oversee the company’s commercial strategy. He will focus on expanding its global reach and securing its success in local markets.

Norder Will Help BGaming Conquer Asia

Norder trusts in technology and seeks to drive innovation in iGaming. This made him an ideal candidate for joining BGaming’s team since the company is always looking to augment the player experience through high-quality games.

Norder shared his sentiments about joining BGaming, saying that he is looking forward to levering his experience to help BGaming grow. The appointee also talked about BGaming’s priorities and ambitions:

Our priority will be to establish trust and foster strong relationships with the company’s partners. Our goal is to introduce the necessary tools to increase consumer interest, strengthen player retention for businesses, and continue to shape the future of the gambling industry.

Ulf Norder, CCO, BGaming

Marina Ostrovtsova, BGaming’s chief executive officer, welcomed Norder to the company. She said that her team is delighted to have someone as experienced as Norder on board. Ostrovtsova noted that BGaming will leverage Norder’s experience with the Asian iGaming market to expand the company’s presence there.

We will benefit from his expertise as we continue growing our business and expanding our reach globally. Asia will be a big focus, utilizing Ulf’s experience there, but so too will regulated markets like Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, and Spain.

Marina Ostrovtsova, CEO, BGaming

On a separate note, BGaming just expanded its content portfolio with a new Egyptian-themed slot game called Book of Kemet.

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Pennsylvania Gaming Industry Shows Impressive Growth in February

White Hat Studios Launches in Pennsylvania Continuing US Push

The results indicate a substantial 21.6% increase from the corresponding period last year. 

Pennsylvania Casinos Report Sustained Growth in February 2023 Revenue Figures

Pennsylvania has set a new record for the second-largest revenue month ever in February, capping off a remarkable run of three consecutive record-setting months to the end of 2022. While December was the highest-grossing month on record with $166.9 million in revenue, February’s impressive revenue numbers demonstrate sustained growth in Pennsylvania’s revenue streams. This achievement highlights the robustness of Pennsylvania’s gaming industry

Although the overall revenue was slightly down from January 2023, it still shows a positive trend in the state’s gaming industry. Most casinos in the state reported an increase in revenue, with Hollywood Casino at the Meadows in Meadowlands leading the pack with $26.5 million, a massive 124.1% increase from last year.

Other casinos that saw significant year-over-year gains in February 2023 include Valley Forge Casino Resort with total revenue of $61.4 million marking a 96.6% yearly increase and Hollywood Casino in Morgantown, which generated $6.6 million, a 90.4% increase from the previous year. 

Hollywood Casino at Penn National in Grantsville was the state’s top revenue generator, raking in $72.6 million, a 21.9% year-over-year increase. Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia followed with $61.4 million, and Parx Casino in Philadelphia with $54.5 million.

Pennsylvania’s Gaming Industry Reports Across-the-Board Revenue Growth in February 2023

Slot revenue in February 2023 was $202.8 million, a 4.1% increase from February 2022. Parx Casino led in slot revenue with $30.7 million, while Wind Creek Bethlehem and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh generated $23.3 million and $22.8 million, respectively.

The state’s iGaming revenue in February 2023 totaled $131.6 million, a 28.5% year-over-year increase. Hollywood Casino at Penn National led in iGaming revenue with $56.5 million, followed by Valley Forge Casino Resort with $27.5 million and Rivers Casino Philadelphia with $26.3 million.

Sports wagering revenue in February 2023 experienced an astounding year-over-year increase of 9,861.9%. The total sports wagering handle for the period amounted to $599,529,429, marking a 0.41% increase from the previous year’s figure of $597,064,049. Meanwhile, taxable revenue figures for February 2023 amounted to $43.2 million, a substantial improvement from the negative taxable revenue figure of -$442,847 reported in February 2022. 

Valley Forge Resort Casino maintained its position as the leader in sports betting in the state, generating $23.4 million in revenue with a handle of $235.1 million. Hollywood Casino at the Meadows and Parx Casino also saw significant gains in sports betting revenue, with $10.3 million and $1.9 million, respectively. 

Overall, the report indicates that Pennsylvania’s gaming industry is experiencing a steady increase in revenue across all sectors.

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Father of Three from South Wales Blames William Hill for Gambling Addiction

Father of Three from South Wales Blames William Hill for Gambling Addiction

BBC News reported that bookmaker William Hill has been accused by a gambling addict of not doing enough to help him stop betting while he was staking thousands of pounds on single bets. According to gambling rules, bookmakers are required to intervene at signs of distress.

Father of Three and Teacher from South Wales Struggles with Gambling Addiction and Debt

Matthew, who is a father of three and a teacher from South Wales, started off by staking small amounts on major events such as the Grand National. However, he quickly started opening online accounts and taking advantage of free bets. 

He said he “chased” small losses, leading to his stakes increasing from a few pounds to GBP10,000 ($12,187) at once. William Hill made him a gold customer in its VIP scheme, and he soon started staking his GBP2,300 ($2,803) a month take-home salary on payday.

In the Radio 4 documentary “Desperate Calls,” Matthew reviewed 89 phone conversations with William Hill. He frequently used the “Quick Cash” service to withdraw money directly from the bookmaker without waiting for funds to clear in his bank account. Matthew would often leave the betting shop with GBP5,000 ($6,093) in cash and made many of these calls from a nearby phone box. He was spending so much on gambling that he couldn’t pay his mobile phone bill.

William Hill said Matthew won and withdrew thousands from his account, but he would re-stake those winnings almost immediately. His life revolved around gambling, and he struggled to recall much of the last decade, except for dark thoughts, severe lows, and occasional highs. He still owes GBP70,000 ($85,295) to family and friends, and many of his calls to William Hill showed him angry and upset.

William Hill Denies Safer Gambling Procedure Failures Despite Previous Fine

According to the Gambling Commission, operators should intervene if they identify problem gamblers showing signs of distress. However, Matthew claimed that William Hill did not check on these points and allowed him to continue betting. 

William Hill’s due diligence team called Matthew after he asked to self-exclude due to a lack of free bets. The staff member discussed self-exclusion and other ways to curb his gambling but allowed him to continue because he thought the complaint was about service and free bets, not social responsibility.

It reached a point where Matthew knew he had to stop gambling, and his family took him to their doctor. Since then, he has undergone counseling to treat his gambling disorder. He wrote a letter of complaint to William Hill after the cycle of gambling was broken, and he analyzed a mountain of data obtained under a subject access request.

William Hill denied any failures in its safer gambling procedures and emphasized its commitment to preventing gambling-related harm. However, it was fined in 2018 by the UK regulator for not protecting consumers, with many cases resembling Matthew’s and happening around the same period.

A UK government white paper is due to be published soon, with recommendations for strict affordability checks and a new ombudsman for consumer complaints expected.

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Women Gamblers in Quebec Increase Since the Pandemic

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According to Kairouz, who interviewed 4,500 Quebecers as part of her 2021 study, women have been turning to gambling at greater rates compared to pre-pandemic times. Many women have actually migrated to online gambling activities.

Women Turn to Online Gambling in Greater Numbers

The number of male gamblers still outstripped that of their female counterparts, the survey stated, but the trend was notable, nevertheless. Kairouz, who is a professor at Concordia University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, noted that women are also vulnerable to some of the more pernicious effects of gambling.

The study also dug into the preferences of both men and women, with Kairouz finding out that women were happier with games of chance whereas men were looking to play table games and poker more so than slots.

Kairouz also found out more about the specific games that women and men would play. Women were inclined to try slot machines and scratch cards, or lottery tickets. They did so mostly as an “escape” from reality. Men, though, wanted to experience a “thrill” out of their gambling habits. Conversely, women were happier to continue with lower stakes.

Kairouz’s survey is not the only one that tries to study the habits of male and female gamblers. Elizabeth Lapointe, who is the executive director of the addictions treatment and prevention center Maison Jean Lapointe, argued that about 304,000 Canadians are currently at risk of developing a gambling addiction. The ratio favors men 2:1.

Time to Change How People Think about Women and Gambling

Lapointe also noted that women are less likely to seek help when they suffer gambling-related distress. Women seem to experience far more guilt and shame, Lapointe argues, which is putting conventional wisdom under question. It’s usually men who are thought to be more private about their gambling habits.

Kairouz warns though that as more women are turning to gamble, they still tend to be underrepresented in studies which give a silted version of events and whether women are getting adequate help when it comes to problem gambling and addiction. Kairouz is determined to find out more and she is embarking on a new data collection initiative between April and September and will explore the relationship between gender and play.

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Man Blows His Defense in Gambling Fraud Case after TikTok Stream

Court Declares GGL Blocking Order against Lottoland Unlawful

He was sentenced by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court, which was inclined to show the man leniency but was then dissuaded when it transpired that Shaw had “bragged” to his TikTok followers about his crime. He, and his partner in crime, Paul Shaw, pled guilty to a conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

The Bookie Fraudster

The pair was active for a half-year period from September 2017 through May 2018. They would target betting shops and pubs in various towns across North England and use laminated £20 bills to trick the machine into thinking that they had paid. In reality, the pair was using a cord to pull the banknote out of the machines.

A total of £15,258.90 had been stolen from across 20 properties. While the crime was serious enough as it were, the court initially thought of offering a more lenient sentence. That was until Michael decided to go on a self-confession and expose his thoughts about his crime to his 70,000 TikTok followers.

He went on to explain how he was a modern-day Robinhood and came up with the moniker “the bookie fraudster” in an hour-long stream that is still on his account. Michael explained his actions as nothing to be ashamed of, and said that he wasn’t hurting people, but only taking from the bookies.

Je Ne Regrette Rien

“And people really, really, need to understand this, the bookies rob from us,” he said. Some followers suggested that he should have not shared his information, but Michael responded that it was alright – he had already pled guilty at the time. What he did not get through was the sentencing bit which was influenced by his video.

Michael explained that his alleged crime was not something bad, but something that would allow him to hold his head high. The rant may have gone mostly unnoticed, but the Liverpool Echo found out about it and reported it, which seems to have made it to Judge Garrett Byrne who put into question whether Michael was remorseful for his decisions.

His legal representative, Charles Lander, insisted that this was still very much the case, but the video proved too strong a piece of evidence that the judge ultimately thought would merit more time in prison. Michael was sentenced to 16 months as a result, instead of the 12 the judge initially thought would be appropriate.

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Hard Rock to Serve as F1 Las Vegas GP Presenting Partner

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Hard Rock International, the gaming and hospitality brand of the Seminole Tribe, has joined the roster of presenting partners for the inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix slated to take place on November 16-18 this year.

The Mirage Grandstands

The new arrangement with Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc. will allow Hard Rock to have its own Strip-adjacent grandstand structure for up to 3,000 fans, while the Mirage Hotel & Casino, which also offers a premier Strip vantage point for attendees of the race, will host a variety of F1-centric events and provide exquisite on-premises hospitality.

“We are very excited to partner with Las Vegas Grand Prix. Inc. and to create one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans and guests alike at the inaugural race,” commented Keith Sheldon, president of Hard Rock Entertainment for Hard Rock International.

From our involvement with the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and as an official team partner of Oracle Red Bull Racing, we’re thrilled to continue to grow our involvement in the sport and know first-hand what it will take to plan and execute an extraordinary race experience in the sports and entertainment capital of the world.

Keith Sheldon, president of Hard Rock Entertainment

Beginning Wednesday, March 22, all fans who have donated $7.77 to the Las Vegas Grand Prix Foundation to enter the priority interest list will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for The Mirage Grandstands during their designated time slot.

Remaining Mirage Grandstands tickets will be made available to the public via the Las Vegas Grand Prix website from Friday, March 24, while room and ticket packages for one of the most anticipated races of 2023 will be available for purchase via The Mirage website at a later date.

Match in Energy and Excitement

Chief commercial officer of Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc., Emily Prazer, hailed the worldwide popularity of the new presenting partner for the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and the excitement the Hard Rock brand brings.

Our event’s high intensity and energy are a great match for the excitement associated with the Hard Rock, and we look forward to providing fans with another opportunity to watch the race from an exciting vantage point on the Las Vegas Strip.

Emily Prazer, CCO, Las Vegas Grand Prix

Touted as the greatest racing spectacle on the planet, Formula 1 is set to arrive for the first time in the world gambling and entertainment capital and light up the Las Vegas Strip in November, providing fans of racing with an opportunity to witness an unforgettable race alongside the 3.8-mile track that weaves past world-famous landmarks, casinos and hotels right through the neon heart of the city.

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bet365, Flutter, Betsson, Betway Establish Brazil’s IBRJ

bet365, Flutter, Betsson, Betway Establish Brazil’s IBRJ

Global leaders in sports betting have joined forces to establish a new entity in Brazil, the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR), seeking to contribute to the ongoing discussion and development of the gambling market in the Latin American country.

‘Collaborate with All Sectors of Society’

The establishment of the new body focused on responsible gaming comes ahead of the upcoming regulation of the sports betting market which is technically called “fixed odds betting” in Brazil. The Federal Government is expected to introduce a new regulatory framework based on law 13.756/18.

Elected president of IBJR, André Gelfi, outlined the new body’s mission “to collaborate with all sectors of society that want to learn more about the industry and understand how it can be harmoniously integrated into the Brazilian economy, as it has in other countries.”

We want to help build a safe regulatory environment for customers while financing the public sector, and creating a sustainable operating environment for companies.

André Gelfi, president of IBJR

Gelfi then noted that IBJR members have seen successful and not-so-successful regulatory regimes and accumulated enough expertise in the field to help the government define the rules for the national market.

With bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Betsson Group, Betway Group, Yolo Group, Netbet Group, KTO Group, and Rei do Pitaco as founding members, the newly-established IBJR has representation from operators active in more than 100 countries.

Sensitive Aspects Require Responsible Treatment

Speaking about markets with successful regulation, Gelfi added that in these countries, “sports betting is seen as a source of entertainment that helps preserve the integrity [of the] sport,” adamant that “the sector’s sensitive aspects, such as compulsive gambling and money laundering,” should be addressed “in a forceful, logical and responsible manner.”

And while the country’s continental dimensions are considered a challenge for regulation, the IBJR believes the size of Brazil should not be viewed as a constraint and is eager to provide a meaningful contribution to the technical aspects of regulation based on the comprehensive experience and global expertise of its members.

“No other country has enjoyed such a favorable environment for the construction of a successful regulation that can be an example for the world,” Gelfi continued, urging the government to use “aspects of countries that have successfully regulated and adapt them to the local reality,” certain that the availability of clear and demanding compliance rules will set the local market on strong footing.

The legal director of IBJR, Rafael Marcondes, commented on the importance of regulation, comparing Brazil with the US as both countries legalized sports betting in 2018. Unlike in the US, where “regulation has been happening quickly… and bringing positive results, … Brazil has fallen behind, allowing the proliferation of companies that are not committed to responsible gaming, which jeopardizes the credibility of the market without providing minimum guarantees to consumers,” Marcondes concluded.

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Coolbet Pulls the Plug in Ontario due to Intense Competition

Coolbet Pulls the Plug in Ontario due to Intense Competition

One of the first sports betting brands to launch operations in Ontario, Coolbet, announced its decision to withdraw from the Canadian province due to the extremely competitive environment.

GAN’s sports betting brand Coolbet launched operations concurrently with the official market launch in Ontario in April last year, but is now set to become the first to leave, citing the extremely competitive market conditions.

In a recent blog post, Coolbet announced that the brand will stop operating in Ontario on April 3, 2023, advising its customers to withdraw their remaining funds as soon as possible. Coolbet also provided its players with a timetable, stating that all deposit options will be turned off on March 21 and that its casino and sportsbook will close by the end of the subsequent day, March 22.

“If you have a bet that cannot be settled by then because the outcome is still unknown, the bet will be voided and refunded,” the sportsbook told its customers, outlining that “this includes futures and in parlays, if any of the outcomes result is not known the part of that parlay will be voided and odds set to 1.00.”

As for active bonuses, Coolbet advised all players to complete the wagering requirements by March 22 but also told them that in case they could not, their bonus funds will be fully unlocked from the wagering requirements on March 23.

By the end of April 3, the operator intends to shut down its website and mobile app and stop operating in the Canadian province. It also recommended its customers switch to the online casino brand and Coolbet friend, Wildz.

Earlier in the year, the legal entity managing internet gaming in the Canadian province of Ontario, iGaming Ontario (iGO), revealed in its third-quarter report that the Ontario market had achieved significant growth, nearly doubled the previous quarter’s total wagers and generated 71% more revenue. iGO also stated that the number of active operators increased by 50%.

Only months into operations, the company stated that its start in Ontario had been slower than anticipated and that its future outlook in the province had been softened due to the competitive nature of the market. Currently, there are more than 70 iGaming operators in Ontario competing for a market share and further heightening the promotional aspect of the market.

Coolbet decided to withdraw from Ontario, focusing on maximizing profitability while assessing new regulated market opportunities that may provide good returns.

In January, Coolbet went live in Mexico in an asset-light launch relying heavily on local partnerships and sponsorships to make the country its tenth Latin American gaming jurisdiction.

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Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Premier League Odds, Time, and Prediction

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Premier League Odds, Time, and Prediction

Twenty-seven rounds have passed in the 2022-23 Premier League and Arsenal are still sitting top of the table. What’s got to worry the Gunners is that the reigning champions are breathing by their necks with only five points fewer.

What this means is that if they want to win their first EPL title since 2004, they need to keep on winning. The game with Crystal Palace seems like a great opportunity for Mikel Arteta’s men to record another win. Are we going to see them do it?

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Odds

Moneyline Odds
Arsenal -400
Draw +500
Crystal Palace +1400
Goals Over/Under Odds
Over 2.5 Goals -137
Under 2.5 Goals +110

*Odds taken from bet365 on Friday, March 17, 2023.

When, Where, and How to Watch?

  • Place: Emirates Stadium in London, England
  • Date: Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Time: 10 PM ET
  • How to Watch: Telemundo

Arsenal Taking Things Super Seriously

The Gunners are sitting at the top of the table, showing no signs that they’re gonna drop out of there anytime soon. Their form in the English top flight has been nothing short of phenomenal with five wins in a row.

They did lose on the continent, though. Last Thursday, they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Portuguese side, Sporting CP. As a result, their European journey has finished for this season. However, this isn’t a disaster necessarily. It allows the Gunners to focus entirely on the Premier League. That said, you can be certain that they’re gonna go all-in on Sunday against their rivals from South London.

Crystal Place Hoping to End Their Horrible Run

The Eagles are without a single win in 2023 in all competitions. Plus, they lost each of their last three games. As a result, they’re out of the FA Cup, while in the Premier League, they’ve dropped dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Right now, they’re in the No. 12 place in the EPL standings, which may not seem too bad at first glance. However, they got only three points more than the closest team stuck in the relegation zone.

The main reason behind their abysmal run is that their offense has been very anemic. These guys haven’t scored a single goal in their last four. Plus, the last time we saw Crystal Palace put away more than one goal was on New Year’s Eve.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Prediction

This is a must-win game for the Gunners in their effort to win their first Premier League title in 19 years. Everything is going in their favor ahead of the Crystal Palace game, so anything but a big win on Sunday would be a huge upset.

Picks: Arsenal to win & over 2.5 goals

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