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Betsson Acquires Gaming Operator and Game Developer in the Netherlands

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Betsson announced that the Group has acquired Holland Gaming Technology Ltd, a gaming operator with a license in the Netherlands, and Holland Power Gaming B.V., a game studio that develops casino games for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd. The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million on a cash- and debt-free basis and is financed with own liquid assets.

Holland Gaming Technology Ltd is a gaming operator, which holds a gaming license for casino games in the Netherlands and offers games through the websites www.goldruncasino.nl and www.goldruncasino .com.

Holland Power Gaming B.V. is a game development company in the Netherlands that supplies casino games exclusively for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd.

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The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million, out of which EUR 16 million is paid upfront at closing, and deferred payments of EUR 9 million and EUR 2.5 million will be paid in six months and twelve months respectively.

The acquisition will over time contribute to a higher share of revenue from locally regulated markets and is in line with Betsson’s strategic ambition to deliver profitable growth through geographic expansion.

The acquisition is subject to post-closing approval by the Dutch gambling regulator KSA.

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IDnow Bridges the AI-human Divide with New Expert-led Video Verification Solution

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IDnow, a leading identity verification provider in Europe, has unveiled VideoIdent Flex, a new version of its expert-led video verification service that blends advanced AI technology with human interaction. The human-based video call solution, supported by AI, has been designed and built to boost customer conversion rates, reduce rising fraud attempts, increase inclusivity, and tackle an array of complex online verification scenarios, while offering a high-end service experience to end customers.

The company’s original expert-led product, VideoIdent, has been a cornerstone in identity verification for over a decade, serving the strictest requirements in highly regulated industries across Europe. VideoIdent Flex, re-engineered specifically for the UK market, represents a significant evolution, addressing the growing challenges of identity fraud, compliance related to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes and ensuring fair access and inclusivity in today’s digital world outside of fully automated processes.

As remote identity verification becomes more crucial yet more challenging, VideoIdent Flex combines high-quality live video identity verification with hundreds of trained verification experts, thus ensuring that genuine customers gain equal access to digital services while effectively deterring fraudsters and money mules. Unlike fully automated solutions based on document liveness and biometric liveness features, this human-machine collaboration not only boosts onboarding rates and prevents fraud but also strengthens trust and confidence in both end users and organisations. VideoIdent Flex can also serve as a fallback service in case a fully automated solution fails.

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Bertrand Bouteloup, Chief Commercial Officer at IDnow, said: “VideoIdent Flex marks a groundbreaking advancement in identity verification, merging AI-based technology with human intuition. In a landscape of evolving fraud tactics and steady UK bank branch closures, our solution draws on our decade’s worth of video verification experience and fraud insights, empowering UK businesses to maintain a competitive edge by offering a white glove service for VIP onboarding. With its unique combination of KYC-compliant identity verification, real-time fraud prevention solutions, and expert support, VideoIdent Flex is a powerful tool for the UK market.”

Whereas previously firms may have found video identification solutions to be excessive for their compliance requirement or out of reach due to costs, VideoIdent Flex opens up this option by customising checks as required by the respective regulatory bodies in financial services, mobility, telecommunications or gaming, to offer a streamlined solution fit for every industry and geography.

Bouteloup added: “Identity verification is incredibly nuanced; it’s as intricate as we are as human beings. This really compounds the importance of adopting a hybrid approach to identity – capitalising on the dual benefits of advanced technology when combined with human knowledge and awareness of social cues. With bank branches in the UK closing down, especially in the countryside, and interactions becoming more and more digital, our solution offers a means to maintain a human relationship between businesses and their end customers, no matter their age, disability or neurodiversity.

“VideoIdent Flex is designed from the ground up for organisations that cannot depend on a one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring their customers are who they say they are. In a world where fraud is consistently increasing, our video capability paired with our experts adds a powerful layer of security, especially for those businesses and customers that require a face-to-face interaction.”

The post IDnow Bridges the AI-human Divide with New Expert-led Video Verification Solution appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Real Dealer Studios: Offering a fresh spin on classic roulette

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Shane Cotter at Real Dealer Studios walks us through the groundbreaking new release, Volcano Roulette, and discusses whether classic table games need a makeover for today’s online audience.

Roulette is probably the most timeless casino game out there. Here’s what happened when we gave it a couple more balls. And a volcano.

The game we’re now launching is Volcano Roulette, and it’s fair to say that it’s a huge departure from what the industry is used to. The first thing players will see is the sleek, steampunk environment and a roulette wheel with that smoking volcano right in the middle. The game’s visuals, compared with typical RNG games, are several steps ahead thanks to the Cinematic RNG technology that Real Dealer invented. Essentially, this means the game was built on video that was produced the same way Hollywood films are made.

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As cool as this game looks, it’s really the mechanics that set it apart. In every round, once the spin starts, one or two glowing lava balls can randomly shoot out of the volcano to become part of the action. These extra balls increase the chance of hitting a straight-up bet. If the player does land any straight-up bet, a special sequence starts where the numbers on the wheel shift, steampunk style, into multipliers. Then another lava ball erupts out to pick the multiplier for the straight-up bet win. These multipliers can be as much as 333x and apply to all straight up bets that land in the round. That means the player could win up to 999x their bet.

An eruption of innovation

What sparked this game’s theme is once again related to Cinematic RNG. We’ve got this amazing technology that gives us a huge amount of flexibility. It lets us make hyper-realistic looking games with any kind of action and put them in any setting we choose.

So one of our designers got the idea to have a roulette wheel where the numbers could drop down, shift, flip over and pop back up with different numbers, all of which would happen in an old-fashioned, mechanical looking way.

We were also having ongoing discussions about how to revamp the process of releasing the ball onto the table. And after a few sessions at the drawing board, we had the great idea of including a volcano.

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Between the steaming volcano and the mechanical action of the changing numbers, the steampunk theme basically chose itself. Our 3D designers then set to work creating all the mechanical lightbulbs, cogs turning and all these different dials that give the game its character.

A degree of familiarity

Volcano Roulette is obviously a huge departure from what long-time players are used to. The challenge with revamping a classic is ensuring that when you innovate, you retain those elements of the game that the players love. That’s a balance that I believe Real Dealer Studios has managed to achieve.

That brings us to the question of whether online roulette needs a makeover. And the answer is both yes and no. As you can imagine, different players are after different experiences from the games that they play. Some prefer the classics while others want something completely new.

When this table game first moved into the digital space, it started off as a computer animation. It later improved, but still has that animated RNG feel. Later live games came in and have gained their own following. But for existing table game players used to that classic bricks-and-mortar casino feel or just looking for something higher quality, there was nothing out there.

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Seeing this, we developed cinematic RNG to deliver a much better online experience, with enhanced audio-visual quality and heightened gameplay compared to other table games you find online. I wouldn’t call this a makeover – it’s getting back to what this game is all about and doing a better job of it in the online environment.

Of course, there are other players who are expecting new twists to the game. The key to catering to these different demands from players is to have an extensive portfolio that spans multiple themes and includes a range of features. Some might be done in classic style and include a dealer, others might be automatic and have multipliers.

Attracting new audiences

Where a full-fledged makeover becomes useful is when you’re trying to cross-sell table games to the larger pools of players coming from sportsbook and slots. The challenge here, however, is that each of these two demographics requires a completely unique approach.

To reach sports bettors, for example, we have created games that tie into real-world sporting events. Just last year, we had Hockey Fever Roulette which was launched for the Ice Hockey World Championship in May. The game was set in a man cave loaded with fan memorabilia and had rock music playing in the background. It was everything you would want in a hockey-themed game.

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That was then followed by Rugby Fever Roulette, which was launched ahead of the Rugby World Cup. We wanted to make this game more personalised for each player, so we built a feature where players could choose between dealers and switch the visuals and thematics to match their favourite team.

Obviously, attracting new audiences was a major focus for these two games. But creating sports-themed titles also provided our operator partners with an opportunity to work our games into their event promotions. So, it had marketing benefits too.

Engaging with slots players is a completely different ballgame, however. Traditionally, there isn’t much cross-over between slots and table games. We therefore had to find a common ground between the two verticals. This is where slots-type features like multipliers, collect features and unique designs came into play. Cinematic RNG has really helped us here, letting us create some fantastic mechanics and immersive designs catering to the slots crowd.

Recently we took an even bolder step into the slots realm by partnering with the producers of an enormously popular slots title, 9 Masks of Fire. Our roulette version of the legendary game became an instant hit.

As 2024 progresses, we have plenty more titles in the pipeline which we are confident will offer a new spin on the classics and continue to drive engagement with players. Stay tuned!

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Cheltenham and Grand National 2025 start now

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The madness of Cheltenham and Grand National has been and gone. Congratulations on surviving; you’ve made it through and live to fight another day. So, what’s top of the agenda for today? Preparation for the 2025 edition’s of the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National, of course!

Here are the six key planning and strategy points to consider in order to give yourself the best possible chance of success next spring.

The work begins now

Yes, Cheltenham 2025 is a long time away. But everything is fresh in your mind as of this moment. Many of the changes you may end up acting on could take a long time to execute, and there’s undoubtedly going to be countless foreseen and unforeseen priorities between now and the end of the year. Start now whilst 2024 performance is fresh in your mind and fresh within the wider business psyche. Keep the festival mindset running for as long as possible to maintain momentum and get flying out the stalls.

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Involve all parts of the business

This is not just an exercise for the IT department. Every relevant stakeholder from around the business should be represented. What were customers saying to Customer Services? How did Trading cope when their bet tickers slowed down? What offers and promotions did Marketing take note of that they would like to offer next time? Bring in stakeholders from all business arms to create a holistic view of where the opportunities lie and what challenges need to be overcome.

Look at the data

Get hold of all of your performance metrics from every component of your systems and take the time to do a deep-dive analysis on those numbers. If you haven’t got all the metrics that you’d like to have to hand? Well, there’s your starting point for the list of ‘things to fix immediately’.

Be honest with yourselves

Getting business involvement, analysing all the data, and prompt planning is all well and good. But if you’re not going to be brutally honest with yourselves as an organisation, it may be all for nothing. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and remember all the things that you did right. But you also have to be your own harshest critics about what didn’t go so well and what could be improved on. There’s really no point in doing all this if you’re not going to seriously challenge yourselves to do better.

Next year won’t be the same as this year

You’re going to be delivering a various new features and functionalities, as well as making many changes to your internal systems over the next twelve months. So the technical landscape that 2025’s Cheltenham Festival and Grand National inhabited will be very different to the one just gone. How will that fancy new bet builder widget in development hold up under the unique stresses of Grand National day? What will your new AI recommendations engine do when everyone’s betting on just one event? You don’t need to answer these questions right now, and it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to answer all of these questions now. But you need to bake in consideration of Cheltenham and Grand National to your non-functional requirements for every change you make in the coming months.

Get a high-level plan diarised

You need to start now but you can’t finish now. This is something you’re going to need to come back to periodically until those Cheltenham gates open. It’s a simple but powerful scheduling task: put the key staging posts in relevant team’s diaries now. You don’t want wake up in a cold sweat one morning in January realising that you’re two months out from the Greatest Show on Turf and haven’t made notable progress on the fixes required from this year’s festivals.

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By: Graham Cassell, Partner at Circle Squared

The post Cheltenham and Grand National 2025 start now appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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