The UK’s political turmoil continued into October when Liz Truss signalled an intention to resign as Prime Minister after 44 days, a decision that quickly saw the Conservatives appoint Rishi Sunak as new leader.

A months-long will he, won’t he saw Elon Musk take control of Twitter and immediately fire four executives, while Adidas cut all ties with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks made in interviews and on his social media.

As the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Russia’s attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory, China’s COVID-zero ambitions continued with 28 cities and 207 million people affected by some form of lockdown.

In football, Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema claimed his first men’s Ballon d’Or, with Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas triumphing in the women’s award for a second-straight season.

Elsewhere, Massachusetts named Podokesaurus holyokensis (swift-footed lizard of Holyoke) as the official state dinosaur, while Taylor Swift became the first artist in history to claim all top 10 slots on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In the industry, as beleaguered Australian casino operator Star Entertainment received a pair of further significant setbacks, the challenge of constructing a blockbuster title, developments in the Netherlands, another UKGC penalty package and updates in New York and Ontario were all among the most read.

Feature of the month

Should an ‘Idiots Guide’ to creating a blockbuster igaming title exist, the chase of that golden goose, and subsequent conversations regarding which, would be relatively dull and short-lived.

However, in what may be a shock to many, these dos and don’ts are not readily available, and so an expert panel convened in Barcelona to offer a series of insights into the key ingredients of such a game.

With mechanics, design, sound effects, music, narrative and RTP, among many more, having to be factored into the development process, how do studios choose a level of priority and ensure that they interplay with each other.

“We’re in a very hyper competitive landscape right now,” began Bryan Upton, Founder and Director of Lucksome, emphasising that production begins by setting a series of parameters for games to be built.

These, he said, include stipulating a foundation on who a title is being designed for, motivations of play, target jurisdictions, cultural tastes, regulations and numerous more, each of which play a role in the risk versus rewards dilemma.

In a long-read, further insights came via Jeremy Coleman, Commercial Director at PearFiction Studios; Mark McGinley, CEO of FunFair Games; Daniel Giuffra, Brand Manager of CasinoGrounds; and Vladyslav Garanko, CMO at Platipus.

In the news

A troubling year for Australian casinos continued into October as the first week of the 31 days saw Star Entertainment found unsuitable to hold a casino licence within Queensland, in developments that mirrored those already encountered further south in New South Wales.

This saw the latter state hit the group with a record A$100m penalty and licence suspension, before the Sunshine State warned that a similar result could follow for the group as Queensland closed the month by doubling down on its own findings.

In the Netherlands, it was detailed that LCS and MKC had discontinued their offerings to Dutch consumers following regulatory action being taken one month earlier.

Elsewhere, René Jansen, Chair of the Ksa, warned of enforcement action should a “new tidal wave of advertising” be witnessed as the men’s football World Cup approaches, which followed an assertion that “we are getting even closer to the desired ultimate goal”.

October also saw the UK Gambling Commission order GGPoker to pay £672,829 for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures; Betsson purchased KickerTech Malta, which owns a B2B sportsbook operation, for €14m, a transition period deadline in Ontario ended at close of the month and New York progressed its process of allocating licences for three casinos in its city region.

Recommended reading

A Twitch ruling sent shockwaves across the industry as many delved into the finer details of September’s announcement and the potential implications this could have.

This came in response to the company statement of new rules that were enforced from October 18, which saw the streaming platform issue a ban on content from websites offering slots, roulette or dice games that aren’t licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that “provide sufficient consumer protection”. 

In a three-part special Michael Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer of Livespins; Harry Proudley, Marketing Coordinator of 1X2 Network; Tom Galanis, Managing Director at First Look Games and Darren, a streamer at Stop and Step, offered insights.

Furthermore, in the first of a two parter, Mark McGinley, CEO at FunFair Games, elaborated on the importance of partnering with well known brands, ensuring correct representation and if we can expect similar such moves going forward from the studio.

Video of the month 

A “monumental day,” “huge validation” and “proudest moment of my career” was excitedly revealed to LinkedIn as Motti Colman, Senior Director of Sales at Optimove, eagerly confirmed what the company hailed as a “groundbreaking” alliance with bet365.

In a tie-up that maintained momentum built up over recent weeks and months, Colman took centre stage at SBC Summit Barcelona to delve into a deal that saw the operator declare “I don’t think we could have found a better partner”.

He said: “We’ve known 365 for a very long time and we’ve always spoken to them, but I think they’re, as everybody knows, a very private business, particularly around their data, so we’ve gone through many interactions of the discussion with them over the years. 

“For whatever reason from their side the time is right, but it was still a very long process as you can imagine.”

Adding: “It may well be the biggest moment of my career between now and when I retire”.