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Bacta Convention will address the key challenges of the day – states National President John Bollom

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‘The most important period for the UK industry since the introduction of the 2005 Gaming Act’ is how Bacta National President John Bollom described the backdrop to the 2023 Bacta Convention which is taking place Wednesday 22nd November at London’s County Hall.

Providing an insight to what he believes will be the key topics of the day, John Bollom noted: “The Convention will cover what are the most important changes facing Bacta members including issues that will have a long-term impact on their businesses.”

“The Gambling Review and subsequent consultations cover key issues in particular cashless payments, changes to the 80:20 rule and restrictions on Cat D cash pay-out fruit machines.

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“On top of that we have the Statutory Levy proposals, the introduction of an industry Ombudsman, a review of technical standards and our own request for an increase in stakes and prizes.

“Outside of the White Paper we have the introduction of a B2B tariff with PRS/PPL and the impact of illegally operated streaming services on our music operator members.”

The first Convention to take place following the restructure of the UK trade association, John Bollom will use his Convention address to update members on the progress that’s been made. He confirmed: “I am pleased with changes to our Governance which I believe puts us in a much better position to respond to these important issues as they arise and to drive the industry forward with policies that benefit all.

“These discussions and reports to Convention are of great importance to every Bacta member and the input and opinions of the membership are vital in helping to shape a future looking organisation. I hope members will be able to find the time to be a part of this really important annual event.”

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Brazil

PRAGMATIC PLAY GROWS EVEN FURTHER IN BRAZIL WITH JOGAR.COM.VC

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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, has maintained its market-leading position in Brazil, signing an operator agreement with Jogar.com.vc in one of Latin America’s most flourishing markets.

More Brazilian players than ever before will be able to enjoy Pragmatic Play’s extensive portfolio of games as a result of this new partnership with award-winning classics such as Gates of Olympus™ and Sugar Rush™ alongside more recently released titles such as Zeus vs Hades – Gods of War™.

Live Casino fans will be delighted by the inclusion of player-favourite games such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand™ and PowerUP Roulette™, alongside classic table games with intriguing twists.

Virtual Sports content is set to complement the huge library of Slots and Live Casino, delivering cutting-edge 3D renderings of popular sports such as horse and greyhound racing, football and motorsport.

Another multi-discipline deal in the region, this latest agreement with Jogar.com.vc follows several similar recent partnerships and strengthens Pragmatic Play’s position at the fore of the burgeoning Latin American iGaming and betting market.

Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “This is yet another delightful agreement for Pragmatic Play to sign. Its continued success with new partnerships across Brazil and Latin America as a whole shows that the brand is producing the content that players here want and are trusted to deliver them efficiently and with a speed to market that operators demand.

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“I’m confident this relationship between Pragmatic Play and Jogar.com.vc will achieve just the right kind of results they’re both expecting.”

A representative from Jogar.com.vc said: “Pragmatic Play is one of the most requested content developers by players here in Brazil and so we had to ensure we had its full complement of games and products. This new deal gives us just that and empowers us to be more competitive than ever in a crowded and growing space.”

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West Virginia signs up to multistate poker compact

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Online poker has been given a fresh lease of life after West Virginia announced it has signed up to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).

The move will see West Virginia become the fifth state to agree to the terms of MISGA, and that will enable players to compete against players from other member states.

Before West Virginia’s intervention, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware signed up to the compact created in 2014. The premise of the original agreement was to ensure liquidity could be shared with other states for online gaming.

Joining the MSIGA is seen as a precursor to offering real money poker, and those igaming providers interested in supplying multi-state poker will have to submit a letter of intent to the Lottery. After that, they will have to gain the requisite approval from West Virginia and other member jurisdictions before they can go live.

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Indeed, by throwing themselves into the MSIGA framework, West Virginia players could now have a more lucrative gambling experience. Seemingly, players will have access to larger prize pools, and with that, the added advantage of a greater selection of poker games to pick from.

It is also hoped that West Virginia’s entry into the MISGA may also provide impetus for other states that have already given the green light to online poker. Among them is Connecticut which legalized online poker in 2022, but so far, no online poker operators have set up shop in the state.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is another state that could take inspiration from West Virginia’s move, and the Keystone State legalized online poker six years ago. Were Pennsylvania or Connecticut to follow West Virginia’s lead, then it would supposedly provide a better environment for operators and players alike.

Interestingly, the USA repealed a federal ban on sports betting in 2018. Subsequently, legalizing online poker was forced to take a backseat, as it wasn’t originally considered a priority.

However, the US online poker market appears to be thriving and it has a bright future ahead of itself. Yes, being a part of the MISGA framework is perceived as being a precursor to real money online poker in West Virginia.

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In many respects, West Virginia is deemed to be a small online poker market, but it could now bring its near 1.8 million residents into the player pool. While state-approved poker operator options may be limited at the moment, all is not lost as there is another avenue that can be explored, namely offshore sites. You won’t have too much trouble locating a minimum deposit poker site that will accept all US players. For example, BetOnline and Bovada have a proven track record of hosting high-stakes cash tournaments. Usually, players will only need to make a minimum deposit of $10 to play poker, but both sites come with an array of unique features to attract players of all abilities.

As things stand, PokerStars appears to be the most likely operator to bring online poker to West Virginia despite not having unfettered access to the market.

To overcome this barrier, they would need to partner with one of the state’s five land-based casinos, but it is thought they stand a good chance of receiving regulatory clearance. Meanwhile, WSOP faces a similar issue to PokerStars, and they will be on tenterhooks to see if they pass the gaming checks.

 

The first online casino launched in West Virginia in 2020. While it could be several months before West Virginia formally launches online poker, signing up to MSIGA represents a significant step, and it will be deemed a watershed moment for the proponents of online poker who wish to spread and grow the game throughout the US. This could well be the start of a thrilling ride for poker fans in West Virginia.

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Caesars Digital

EveryMatrix partners with Caesars Digital

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EveryMatrix has agreed to a partnership with Caesars Digital to bring its casino content to Caesars Palace Online Casino and Caesars Sportsbook & Casino in North America.

Caesars Digital customers across multiple U.S. states will have access to a range of real-money games from EveryMatrix’s in-house studios, including Armadillo Studios via a direct integration with the SlotMatrix iGaming aggregation solution.

EveryMatrix has secured relationships with multiple leading U.S. operators for content and aggregation giving brands the opportunity to access its in-house content and the world’s largest library of online-mobile games.

As one of the first operators to go live in New Jersey, Caesars Digital has built a substantial presence in iGaming. The company also recently launched Caesars Palace Online Casino earlier this year, which is available in multiple U.S. states and Ontario.

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EveryMatrix has licences in New Jersey, Michigan, West Virginia, Ontario in Canada and most recently Connecticut with the regulatory process underway in Pennsylvania.

Popular Armadillo Studios titles include Book of Armadillo, Franksylvania, Mythological Mayhem Supreme Streaks, Armadillo Goes West, Fortune Dragon Queen Exotic Wilds, Hot Hot Honey and Wild Willy’s Gold Rush and branded games such as The Lioness featuring UFC fighter Amanda Nunes and legendary golfer John Daly Spin It and Win It.

Erik Nyman, President EveryMatrix Americas, said: “Adding Caesars Digital to our growing roster of stellar partners is an important milestone in EveryMatrix’s US expansion plan.

“Caesars is one of the most iconic brands in the U.S. and we are very excited to bring our unique games and aggregation capabilities onboard with them enabling them to elevate their already strong momentum in iGaming.”

Matthew Sunderland, SVP & Chief iGaming Officer at Caesars Digital, said: “We are thrilled to add a new collection of popular titles to the growing iGaming portfolio we have across our platforms. This partnership with EveryMatrix brings exciting games online for players in multiple jurisdictions, something we know they’re interested in seeing more of going forward.”

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