“Great Online Casino Games Becoming More Popular This Year - European Gaming Industry News” plus 2 more

“Great Online Casino Games Becoming More Popular This Year - European Gaming Industry News” plus 2 more

Great Online Casino Games Becoming More Popular This Year - European Gaming Industry News

Posted: 11 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Evolution Gaming's unprecedented $2 billion offer to purchase NetEnt sent shockwaves through the iGaming world in June. The merging of the two international powerhouses would dramatically change the landscape of the industry for decades to come.  

The fact that Evolution's offer represents a premium of 43% on NetEnt's closing share price on Nasdaq's Stockholm Exchange the day leading up to the offer speaks volumes about the absolutely incredible potential of the deal. 

It's not just this pair that are making big moves in terms of mergers and acquisitions in 2020, Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group, DraftKings and SB Tech have all made the headlines in recent months as they look to monopolise their respective sectors.

There's an intense spotlight shining on this thriving industry right now, potential investors are no doubt circling development studios like hungry sharks, looking to get their own slice of the action, particularly those studios that are looking to break into the highly lucrative American market in the not so distant future. 

In various States across the US lawmakers are beginning to legalise both sports betting and iGaming, meaning those that have managed to work their way into this fledgling market are set to benefit almost instantaneously from an influx of new players who all have an incredibly strong appetite for what they have to offer.

How one key acquisition likely revitalised NetEnt

Despite their dominance in the iGaming sphere NetEnt had suffered year-on-year declines as their share price plummeted from an all time high of 91.25 SEK (Swedish Krona) per share (Around $10.94) in May 2016 to a mere 17 SEK ($1.83) in March of this year. Strangely, despite the gradual decline, NetEnt are not a company in crisis. 

The global powerhouse finds themselves in a comfortable financial position and have seen significant market growth since the prominent acquisition of Red Tiger Gaming, a rising star in the iGaming market that was speculated to have been growing at a rate of 50% at the time of purchase. This, coupled with the iGaming industry's overall growth in 2020 has led to an astonishing rise in their share price which at the time of this article sits at 83.70 SEK ($9.00).

It does pose the question, was NetEnt's acquisition of Red Tiger Gaming the catalyst for their significant growth in share price and Evolution's interest? Or was NetEnt always the end goal for the fellow industry-giants? One thing is for sure, NetEnt, alongside many other iGaming companies have fared well as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, driving punters that would traditionally bet in physical betting shops and casinos to their online counterparts.

There's no doubt that it's a fantastic time to be involved with the veteran developer. Their proposed merger with Evolution Gaming will arm the industry leaders with the tools they need to continue releasing industry defining titles such as branded hit Street Fighter ll: The World Warrior slot and the upcoming Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen inspired online slot.

Even before the proposed merger it was clear that both companies would play key roles in the growth of the iGaming industry with their innovative games, but once the pair become one single entity it's expected that they'll elevate the landscape beyond what was thought possible.

Evolution's live casino revolution

Like NetEnt, Evolution Gaming are market leaders in their speciality area, live casino games. There are very few companies that can come close to what the veteran developers have achieved over the years, owning a number of fully operational live casino studios in nine different countries across Europe, Canada and the United States.

The award winning studio is renowned for creating a line of innovative game-show style games that are not only fun to play, but are highly exciting to watch on their own, which was always the vision of Chief Product Officer Todd Haushalter. 

In the five years that the Evolution Gaming Chief has been in post he has managed to bring both the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and the excitement of a live television game show to millions of computer screens around the world with standout releases such as Dreamcatcher, Monopoly Live, Mega Ball and most recently Crazy Time. 

Their unique stable of hybrid live casino games utilise charismatic live presenters, 3D graphics, augmented reality and new and exciting mechanics not seen anywhere else.

Not satisfied with just one facet of the iGaming industry, Evolution's future acquisition of NetEnt will see them completely dominate almost every aspect of the iGaming landscape. Utilising NetEnt's expansive IP will allow them to further build on an already impressive portfolio.

We don't expect any more big releases from Evolution in the coming months as they turn their attention to fine tuning titles they already offer ahead of US expansion. The company is laser focused on reaching new customers in states that legalise gambling, and with a merger in tow we expect them to be the most influential and important iGaming company of the new decade.

The best of the rest – iGaming development studios to keep an eye on

It would be unfair to look solely towards NetEnt and Evolution Gaming as the companies that will drive the iGaming industry forward as the year progresses, because there are a number of other talented studios out there that are breaking boundaries and have a big part to play.

Australian developer Big Time Gaming certainly deserves the plaudits this year for creating what will undoubtedly be the next big thing in online slots, Megaclusters. Why are we so sure about that? Because Big Time Gaming are the company behind what's arguably the most licensed online slot mechanic of all time, Megaways. 

We're genuinely surprised how simple the Megaclusters concept is, rather than traditional slot reels the game is played in a 4×4 grid with 16 symbols. When matching symbols land they split into smaller pieces, bringing more winning combinations into the game which then split again and again with up to 64 symbols in play at any time. 

Just like with Megaways, Big Time Gaming have once again taken something simple and transformed it into a game changing mechanic that elevates a title to new heights in terms of engagement and excitement. Chief Exec Nik Robinson has already announced that Megaclusters will be licensed out, so expect to see a number of new games utilising it in the not-so-distant future. 

Elsewhere, Play'n GO continues to release a string of incredibly popular online slot games each and every month, even expanding the universe of their hugely popular Rich Wilde series by introducing a brand new hero (and daughter of the talismanic mascot), Cat Wilde.

Interestingly, the veteran developers have also decided to roll back the years by developing a branded slot based on a famous skateboarder. Long gone are the days since Tony Hawk titles were all the rage, so for the developer to feature 6-time World Skateboarding Champion Nyjah Huston in his own game is quite a unique throwback that could well pay off.

The move isn't quite as big as Ganapati's capture of Usain Bolt, which led to the belief that 2020 would be a huge year for the fairly inconspicuous Japanese iGaming company.

The athlete is set to star in his own online slot which was highly publicised at iGB Affiliate conference in London at the start of the year, however questions have arisen as to whether it will materialise after the company were forced to surrender their Malta gaming licence amid rumours of an alleged investment scam and debts earlier this Summer. 

The game was originally due to release in tandem with the start of the 2020 Olympic Games in July, however the release date has been quietly moved to August 21st by way of a cover photo update on Facebook and Twitter. If the company's troubles are behind them then they could well still be on for a good year as they look to really break into a European market with this game. 

Who are the big brands expecting further growth in 2020? 

888 Holdings looks to be one of the big winners in what has been a troubling year so far. The veteran company announced last month that they expect their full year earnings to be significantly ahead of expectations as revenue rolled in, despite a distinct lack of sports betting. 

The natural shift to online betting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly benefited the world-renowned company who offer casino, poker, bingo and lottery games in Europe and the United States.

The recent news that 888 Holdings has extended its technology contract with Delaware's online casino and poker monopoly in the United States has also come as welcome news to investors as the company no doubt sets itself up nicely to grow as new states legalise gambling.

Boston-based daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting provider Draftkings are another company worth keeping an eye on, despite seeing a slight fall in the value of their shares recently. Up until last month the company's share price had surged after becoming a publicly traded company.

Chief Financial Officer Jason Park recently told investors that even with their recent dip Draftkings' revenue was up 30%, and would have been up 60% if it were not for the pandemic. Unique players have risen to 720,000 per month, which is up 16% from 619,000 at the same time a year prior. With sports returning around the world in some form or another further growth is very much expected.

The merger between Flutter Entertainment and the Stars Group in May also represents one of the biggest moves in the industry and we thoroughly expect them to continue to dominate the sports betting scene with Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Betting and Gaming and Fox Bet at their disposal. If they can somehow capitalise on the renewed interest in online poker then 2020 could prove a good year for their leading poker brand, PokerStars as well.

Will the industry come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger?

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown almost every worldwide industry into chaos, however iGaming hasn't faltered, having enjoyed an increase in revenue worldwide thanks to the massive migration of players from land-based casinos onto the internet. 

This migration should act as a catalyst for land-based operators to look at how they can innovate, integrate and adopt online gaming as part of their revenue stream especially in the states such as New Jersey where online gambing is already prominent.

Over in the United Kingdom, the world's iGaming hotspot, the return of sports betting has boosted revenue for many operators following a reported fall in gambling participation in the month of May. 

However, the cash injection wasn't particularly needed as online slots revenue had jumped by a generous 29.4% with monthly revenue sitting at £184.3m. 

Despite the positive financial outlook for operators in the United Kingdom there are clouds on the horizon as lawmakers push for tighter regulation of online gambling. However whether anything game-changing materialises from these calls remains to be seen.

Ultimately, the growth of the iGaming industry rests on the shoulders of lawmakers in key countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, as well Germany, Sweden and Australia, where online gambling has the potential to be a huge money-spinner. If a safe and sensible approach can be taken there's no doubt that the only way for all involved is upwards.

Tips and Tricks to Mastering Online Casino Games - European Gaming Industry News

Posted: 14 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As times have changed, online casinos have become increasingly popular with gamblers and it's not surprising as these changes have included a huge rise in the use of smartphones and other technologies, leading to people becoming reliant on them for practically everything, entertainment being no exception. Not only do online casinos provide ease and convenience to players/users, but due to the games barely differing from those in a physical casino, apps, and websites are becoming the logical location for a betting fix.

Due to this boom in popularity, the industry has seen many companies invest in ensuring that their online platforms are the best they can be, from the ease of use for all ages to fighting off competitors, of which there are a lot. Online casinos are also growing their popularity as they enable users to better their skills in the comfort of their own home, without an audience, to then bring their skills to the casino tables now and then, it is a great way to get your skills up to scratch.

There are a few tips and tricks to mastering online casino games, or any casino games in fact, so here are a few of the most popular games played by gamblers and a few things to keep up your sleeve when playing, whether you're playing online slots, or trying your luck with the roulette wheel.

Become a Roulette King

If you're a casino newbie, roulette is one of the most played games; despite how it may look in films or if you have watched others play, it can be very simple to learn and lots of fun once you know how to. The idea of the game is straightforward, you must anticipate the number or color in which the ball will land one once it has been spun on the wheel by the croupier, if the outcomes are as you predicted then you will be a winner, your return depending on the type of bet you placed, single numbers being worth more than colours or sections.

The basics of playing the game may be simple, but there are a few tricks that you may need to know if you want to master the game or even just increase your chances at a win. Outside bets offer lower odds and so winnings will be smaller than inside bets, but the risk is considerably lower. The risk is lower because an outside bet means betting on either…

  • Black or red
  • Odd or even
  • Low or high

Much like with any form of gambling or betting, roulette can cause you to get carried away with your money and so it is important to keep yourself in check, online game can allow you to do this easily as you are provided with a constant reminder of how much you have in your bankroll, limiting the possibility for your spending to become out of control. It is always wise to ask yourself, before putting down more money, if you can afford to lose it, as opposed to letting you remember to wander with the possibility of winning.

Become a Slots Champion

Slots are yet another popular choice for both actual and online casino players as there are so many to choose from and new ones being released fairly frequently. Sots are so attractive to players as they are so simple, they offer the chance to win some money without the hassle or confusion of too many rules, they simply explain the meanings of the symbols at the start of the game and indicate what you need to win and off you go. But, despite the game being easy, there are still a few tricks that can be used to maximize your chance of winning.

When choosing a slot machine/game it is good to look out for the payout and choose the one with the highest as if you want to win big you need to be playing a game that has it up for grabs. As well as the payout, the 'return to player' percentage is another thing to look out for as this indicates what percentage of all money placed in the machine is given back in winnings, the higher the better; this can be found by googling the game you are looking to play and you child be able to find it.

Slots are also beloved by players as they often offer players free spins and it is important to take advantage of these, but make sure that there are no hidden terms to doing so, the wager-free bonus offers are the ones you want as there are no conditions attached to redeeming them.

Online slots games will allow you to choose the option of playing automatically or playing for yourself, meaning that the site can spin for you, or you can decide to do it for yourself if you are superstitious about light or heavy spins. But, a tip for you when playing slots it that it doesn't make any difference, whichever option you chose, so save yourself the effort of trying to gain a favorable outcome and let it spin, by doing so you could be maximizing your chances of a win as the time spent spinning is longer.

These are the 4 Weirdest Casino Games Around the World - European Gaming Industry News

Posted: 26 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you're a fan of the traditional table games like craps, poker, roulette, blackjack, or even machine games like video poker and slots, and you think that you've played all the casino games out there — boy, do we have news for you. There is a whole host of strange, confusing, and bizarre casino games out there, as varied as people on the planet.

Playing to win big and hitting the jackpot is always fun but with these off-the-wall games, participating or even spectating might give you the same thrill. It's not always about winning, sometimes it's just about fun and that's certainly the case when you look at the games we found.

#1. Belgium Birdsong (Belgium)

Birdsong is an extremely popular betting game in Belgium. A perfect match for gamblers who can't get enough of birdsong and bets, this game features a number of songbirds in cages around the casino floor. After scoping out the birds for a bit, players place bets on which bird they think will sing the longest and loudest.

Next, it's time to wait patiently for the birds to sing their song. It's not clear how they are coerced into doing so in-turn but once they do, bets are tallied, and winners are called. Whichever birds sing the loudest, longest, or both are the winning birds and bets on those birds win the wager.

It is extremely rare to find this game in any land-based casino outside of Belgium and certainly not online, but within Belgium, it's become quite a gambling craze.

There are, however, opponents to the practice of this game as well. Animal rights activists contend this game is harmful to the foul involved and have called for its elimination. Either way, it's certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you do get to see it.

#2. Rodent Roulette (Worldwide)

Another no-no for animal lovers on our list is a crime against our little furry friends: Rodent Roulette.

Rodent Roulette? What on Earth are we talking about here? This game, also known as Race Race Roulette or Mouse Roulette, is a bizarre "spin" (see what I did there?) on the original game of roulette. But instead of the traditional variants of European or American roulette, the only choices here are what type of rodent goes in the middle of the wheel.

The most popular version of this game is Gerbil Roulette in which bets are placed in the usual way before a gerbil is placed in the center of a roulette wheel. When the wheel is spun, the gerbil will inevitably hide in one of the colored and numbered boxes. Whichever one he chooses is the winning bet.

This game has also sparked controversy for animal cruelty, sparking protests at many locations where the game is played throughout the years. It's not clear that the rodent ever gets physically hurt, however, he may be a bit dizzy by the end.

#3. Dreidel (Worldwide)

Also known as sevivon in Hebrew, dreidel is a game that's been played for two thousand years in the Jewish community. Traditionally played during Hannukah with family and friends, the wagers and winnings were usually raisins, pennies, chocolate, or matchsticks.

Before the game begins, everyone gathers 10-15 "chips" before the first person spins the dreidel. There's no limit to how many people can play, and the only rules are as follows.

  • Nun – translates to "nothing", therefore the player gets nothing.
  • Gimel – means "everything", so the player gets everything in the pot.
  • Hey – means "half", meaning that the player gets half of the pot.
  • Shin – translates to "put in", meaning that the player needs to make an additional bet in the pot.

Whenever the pot is emptied, every player must contribute a set amount. Any player that cannot contribute after landing on a "shin" or after a fellow player lands on a "gimmel" loses.

Now, the game involved cash rather than odds and ends, it's enjoyed by many groups of people around the world. Dreidel even has its own major league tournament in New York City.

#4. Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken (Atlantic City)

The last game on our list is even stranger for the mere fact that it has its own mascot! If ever you take a trip to the Tropicana Hotel in Casino in Atlantic City, be prepared to challenge the great "Ginger" to a head-to-beak match of Tic-Tac-Toe (or Naughts and Crosses).

Also known as the "Chicken Challenge," this is no simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe. After making your mark on the board, you must wait patiently for Ginger to peck around her cage for a bit. Ultimately, she'll press a button that determines where her "X" or "O" will be placed on the grid. If you win, the cash prize is a substantial $10,000!

Think it's easy? Think again. Ginger has been known to destroy her opposition, defeating almost everyone she's ever played. But if you have the "pluck," you can certainly win big.

This particular match-up has also ruffled the feathers of animal activists due to the involvement of an animal in a casino game. But Ginger is a popular icon and travels around the United States, wowing audiences with her spectacular record.

Play weird

As you can see, there are some odd games out there for players to try their luck. There are plenty more too, these just happened to be our all-time favorites. So, if you ever get the urge to play something a bit more offbeat, now you know where to look.


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