During a month that saw the final episodes of TV soap Neighbours air in Australia, drawing the curtain on a 37 year stay, British politics entered a significant period of upheaval.

A dramatic day saw a slew of government ministers and aides withdraw their support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who, amid fierce pressure and mass resignations, made his own exit the next day.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered another month, former Japanese PM Japan Shinzō Abe was assassinated while giving a speech in Nara. 

July also saw Twitter sue Elon Musk after he pulled out of a deal to buy the social media site, in what would turn into a months-long battle, while the UK recorded temperatures of over 40C (104F) for the first time amid an extreme heatwave across much of Europe.

In sport, Novak Đoković won a fourth straight and record equalling seventh Wimbledon singles title, while Simone Biles became the youngest person to receive the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Elsewhere, Rebekah Vardy lost a UK libel trial with Coleen Rooney in the so-called Wagatha Christie trial after being accused of leaking stories to The Sun newspaper.

The industry saw financial penalties continue to be a major topic of conversation, this time in the Netherlands and Sweden, while Fulham FC’s sponsorship dealings, megaways and a market oversaturation also came under the spotlight.

Feature of the month

Currently, everyone is trying to jump on the Megaways train and the market is oversaturated, suggested Daniel Mitton, Director of Gaming at Soft2Bet

Speaking at the CasinoBeats Summit 2022 in Malta earlier in the year, Mitton was part of a panel session entitled ‘Let’s talk Mechanics’ and was joined by AvatarUX’s CEO Nicola Longmuir and Kasper Bach, Head of Sales at CasinoGrounds

Continuing, he expressed that Megaways “hit the market by storm” and stated that a lot of start-up providers believe that this route is the “market edge” rather than trying to build their own mechanic. 

“You can obviously jump on the so-called gravy train, which is the revenue stream from the Megaways brand, but at the same time I think you need to work on your own innovation in-house and try and find something that’s unique to you,” it was said.

In the news

The Netherlands hit the headlines on multiple occasions through July, one aspect of which saw the Gambling Authority issue a cease and desist order, alongside a potential €4.5m fine, to Gammix for illegal games offerings.

René Jansen, Chair of the Ksa, also warned that the regulated can’t “shoot persistent illegal providers out of the sky overnight” in an update to combat illegal gambling, as well as issuing a warning to licensees regarding the use of promotional gambling products, which it was said could bring enforcement action if misused. 

Elsewhere, during parliamentary questions, Franc Weerwind, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, elaborated on the reforms being undertaken by Curaçao regarding its licensing regime.

A trio of 2019 penalty fees that stood at a combined total of SEK 23.2m (£1.84m) and were issued to SkillOnNet, Betway and Betfair, were upheld by Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court, while in the UK the regulator began to explore ways in which it can improve how financial penalties are calculated in a bid to drive enhanced compliance with licensing objectives.

On the footballing front, Fulham FC confirmed that the club has signed a “record sponsorship” with W88, with the month also seeing readers captured by a Wind Creek initiative to ease the financial pressures on employees and California’s Sky River disclosing plans to host a grand opening during the early stages of September.

Recommended reading

July saw Eilers and Krejcik Gaming and Fantini Research report that Aristocrat and Design Works Gaming have stood tall in the land-based and online North American slots charts through the second quarter.

Elsewhere, Keita Yanagawa, Country Manager Japan at Kafe Rocks, shared a belief that the presence of the igaming industry seems to be expanding in the region despite its grey zone presence.

Elliott Banks, UK Regional Direct at BetConstruct, also spoke with SBC at the Betting on Sports Europe about the company’s latest moves, notably its continued focus on European and global sports and its CreedRoomz live casino offering.

With so much attention turned toward the rapidly expanding US market, Banks was asked for his view on the importance of staying tuned in to the needs of the European sector. 

He responded: “Yes, especially in a BetConstruct Sense. You can’t lose focus on where you started. The US – it is their behemoth. Everyone is looking for their route in, how they’re going to launch and sustain that market.” 

Video of the month

“Now we are in step one. Maybe the others should be afraid of what happens in step three or four,” Thomas Wendt, Co-Founder and Director of Apparat Gaming, told CasinoBeats in the aftermath of Yolo Investments acquiring an interest in the developer for an undisclosed sum.

Despite still being relatively early in online slots journey, Wendt pulled no punches in commenting that “I would say, I’d like to have a little bit more, but we are very proud of what we did” upon assessing the company’s progress from foundation two years ago until the current day.

The developer, it was said at the time, was looking to release one game per month moving forward, a number Wendt added could shoot north should the correct conditions align.