As a year in which normality has returned for many draws to a close, and increasingly fleeting glances begin to be taken towards what lies ahead, CasinoBeats is once again revisiting an unexpected 12 months full of ups, downs, and everything in between.

As the Dutch market welcomed its very long-awaited debut to the debut to the delight of many and the slight disappoint of others, Aristocrat made the first moves in what would become race to acquire Playtech, New York looked to add a trio of new casino establishments, and Penn National closed a $2bn acquisition.

Feature of the month

The industry continues to witness a host of new countries open their interactive borders to embrace online casino and igaming. 

So with that in mind, in what was the latest edition of CasinoBeats 100 Club we cast our eyes around the globe and asked our members to predict where the next big opportunity for igaming growth will come from. 

Participants included Vera Motto, business development executive at Habanero; Vladimir Malakchi, CCO at Evoplay; Utku Sarper, TVBet’s business development manager; Andreas Koeberl, BetGames CEO; David Mann, Swintt chief commercial officer; Allan Auning-Hansen, CEO of CEGO; Maor Nutkevitch, SkillOnNet head of corporate; Ekaterina Giganova, CMO at Evenbet; and Victor Pronk, commercial director at Incentive Games.

In the news

Playtech was once again in the M&A headlines, however, this time it was due to Australian gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure making a cash offer valuing the company at £2.7bn.

The trend continued with Esports Technologies disclosing the execution of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Aspire Global’s B2C business in a $75.9m transaction, as Penn National Gaming completed the purchase of Score Media and Gaming in an $2bn cash and stock deal.

The UK Gambling Commission also issued an immediate suspension of the operating licence of BGO Entertainment, as the regulator undertook a review under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005.

This, said the UKGC, came amid concerns that activities may have been carried out contrary to the Act, not in accordance with conditions of their licence and that the licensee may be unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities. Failing to protect consumers was a key consideration in the suspension decision, it was added.

Elsewhere, the New York Gaming Commission issued a request for information that was charged with gauging interest from operator’s in developing and/or operating one of three casinos in the city region.

Finally, as the Dutch regulator said that the ten permits issued as the commencement of the region’s digital ecosystem was “just the beginning,” Kindred Group confirmed that it had immediately ceased services towards Dutch citizens on a temporary basis, following previous suggestions that it would not do so.

Recommended reading

Remote working was once something that employees would have to fight for during contract negotiations, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that. 

In a continuation of our roundtable series, we heard from Charlotte Cain, HR manager of Continent 8 Technologies, David Flynn, CEO of Glitnor Group and Dirk Camilleri, chief product and technology officer at Green Jade Games, to understand their approach to remote working.

A further October feature saw Lena Nordin, chief HR officer at Betsson Group, address the online gambling group’s approach to diversity, what more needs to be done, and September’s Malta Pride.

While Jade Pecorella, head of games at Quick Gaming, elaborated on delivering the best of the land-based slots experience in a live setting, combining scheduled live draws with a single player alternative, and why the group chose the unconventional presenter-free approach to eliminate the chance of human errors.

Videos of the month 

The latest episode of the SBC Leaders podcast saw Peter-Paul de Goeij, managing director of NOGA, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association, discuss the Dutch market,  potential it has, and what the firm will be keeping an eye on. 

Moreover, Aaron Speach, founder and CEO of Esports Technologies, sat down with CasinoBeats’ James Ross to elaborate on the company’s aforementioned $75.9m transaction.