As 2020 draws to a close, hurrah! many may gleefully declare, CasinoBeats is revisiting an unexpected 12 months full of ups, downs, and everything in between.

As August rolled around, individuals across many jurisdictions began look ahead to the final stages of summer and come to terms with a tough, restriction laden winter that lay ahead.

As numerous warnings continued to be shouted from the rooftops, Tesla, cryptocurrencies, ‘misguided and counterproductive’ German proposals, and Indian updates are featured in the month’s top performers.

Feature of the month

The collaboration between igaming and streaming has never been more intertwined and is one which grows closer by the week and month as stakeholders increasingly see the value, and platform, that is offered and reachable.

In a continuation, and culmination, of a roundtable session, our slot streaming series continued by looking at the role of streamers, what the future holds and the rise of online.

Insight was provided by Pawel Piotrowski, new games manager at Yggdrasil, Tamas Kusztos, head of sales and account management at Kalamba Games, Peter Causley, Lightning Box’s CEO and co-founder and Ruben Loeches, R Franco Digital CMO.

In the news

There’s a real global outlook to be had in this latest brush across a selection of the month’s top headlines, the first of which takes us to Germany where further warnings were issued regarding restrictions to be imposed as part of new gaming laws.

After the European Gaming and Betting Association called on policymakers to simplify the country’s complicated framework, Martin Lycka warned that in terms of player protection “many of these requirements are neither effective nor necessary”.

In India, Connective Games extended a five-year partnership with Spartan Poker to power a new brand in conjunction with Dan Blizerian, while LeoVegas expressed concern about damaging restrictions in Sweden.

Over to the UK, where Genting expressed confidence that its casino establishments were safe to reopen following the latest set-back, before the Betting and Gaming Council warned that over 100 venues were at risk amid a soaring cost of closure.

The BGC also called out comments made by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, after he “likened casinos to nightclubs in risk profile for the spreading of coronavirus,” before the Welsh government gave the go-ahead for its gaming facilities to reopen from the end of the month.

In the United States, the under construction $4.3bn Resorts World Las Vegas gained necessary approval from the Clark County Commission to proceed with plans for an underground passenger tunnel to be powered by Tesla.

The American Gaming Association also confirmed that Q2 commercial gaming revenue had plummeted 78.8 per cent year-on-year, as it was reported that visitor volume across Las Vegas sank 70.5 per cent to 1.06m (2019: 3.6m) during June.

Recommended reading

CasinoBeats countrywatch: Spotlight on Ukraine

The CIS region shot towards the forefront of the industry’s agenda earlier in the year, as legislative movements saw Ukraine approve its Gambling Law, the Russian Duma announce an overhaul of sports betting laws and taxes, and Uzbekistan form a counsel for the development of a national lottery.

CasinoBeats cast the spotlight on the former of those region’s and picked the brains of four industry incumbents to discuss hopes, hype and aspirations.

Insight was provided by Julian Buhagiar, co-founder of RB Capital, Alex Ivshin, Playson CEO, Yuriy Muratov, head of account management and business development at Booongo, and Vladimir Malakchi, chief business development officer at Evoplay Entertainment.

RecoverMe: Utilising CBT to overcome problem gambling habits

The importance and significance of problem gambling support and treatment has always been an integral facet to operations, however, as global lockdowns increasingly formed a part of everyday lives, the necessity to ensure that individuals could correctly access and manage such addiction had gained an enhanced presence under the spotlight.

Mobile apps are one such outlet that could be utilised to guide those in need on a path away from gambling addiction, and that is the aim of Dr Tejus Patel, a junior doctor working in the NHS and co-founder of RecoverMe.

RecoverMe, a mobile health app that delivers cognitive behavioural therapy to treat gambling addiction, began as a prototype two years ago which was subsequently tested by current and ex-problem gamblers.

However, the ambition to create an initiative that offered a route to access immediate support began much earlier: “The journey of RecoverMe started two and a half years ago when we were medical students at the University of Sheffield. We met a patient who left a lasting impact on us. When we met him, he was being treated by his GP for depression,” Patel began.