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Esports could emerge as a way for the NHL to grow its audience in China

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Patrik Laine, the Finnish professional ice hockey winger who ascended the ranks of youth hockey in Finland, disclosed that he came to learn about the NHL from video games.

“I learned probably just about the players.Nowadays it’s super realistic, and you can just pretty much see how everybody is playing and how good they are,” the Winnipeg Jets star added.

It is anticipated to get even more real with the NHL following the lead of the NBA, NFL, FIFA and other leagues, in making an imprint on the ever-proliferating esports market. The 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship, launched Friday, is an initiative towards a potential version of the season-long NBA 2K League that’s scheduled to begin in May or perhaps eMLS on FIFA 18.

NBC Sports Executive, Rob Simmelkjaer, who got his introduction to hockey from playing “NHL 94” on Sega Genesis said: “You’re really both tapping into and expanding the existing fanbase of the game. I think that’s something that the NHL can benefit from by putting esports front and centre in the way that they market their sport.”

Players will be able to match up 1-on-1 in EA Sports NHL 18 qualification rounds. That will be followed by regional finals in the United States, Canada and Europe on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and then the June 19 championship at Esports Arena Las Vegas during the NHL Awards with a prize pool of $100,000.

The hope is to land new fans and connect with current fans in a different way.

“This is really at its embryonic stage,” NHL Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Keith Wachtel said: “This is the most basic way for our fans to play. We’re also going to explore in the future the opportunity, and we’re going to test this with some of the guys at the regional tournaments and the final, maybe a two-versus-two or a three-versus-three.”

WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague are already experimenting with gaming at movie theatres in Canada and are in the midst of the Snider Hockey Cup tournament on EA Sports NHL 18 with the finals taking place March 22 in Philadelphia, next to the Flyers’ arena.

“After the response, we got to this tournament, we worked closely with the NHL and Electronic Arts for this programme,” WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague CEO Wim Stocks said: “They are going to be in the marketplace with really cool esports programming in the very near future.”

Sports-based esports have a long way to go to catch up to fighting games like “Dota,” ”League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike,” but National Amusements programming and corporate development executive Kevin Mitchell doesn’t believe the NHL needs to worry.

“Console gaming is just now starting to take off,” said Mitchell, who also teaches esports at Emerson College in Boston. “I think it’s really just coming up with an ambidextrous strategy on finding ways to integrate with their traditional fan base and finding ways to create cross-over engagement for this new generation that has been primarily consuming content online.”

Mitchell thinks esports ventures are ways for leagues to make fans of young people who get their sports largely through their smartphones or computers. According to Newzoo’s 2016 Esports Consumer Insights, 28 percent of hockey fans are 21-35, while 49 percent of esports enthusiasts are in that age bracket.

“We have a very attractive fan base,” Wachtel said. “It’s young, it’s very tech-savvy, and millennials these days, which is really the gamer, are consuming sports in a much different way.”

For a sport grappling with challenges of getting kids interested in hockey in places where ice time and equipment can be expensive and difficult to come by, this is another possible route. Mitchell said about 50 U.S. colleges now offer esports scholarships and expects more development at youth levels as they become more popular.

NBC Sports in the U.S., Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and Viasat in Europe will promote the event, airing regional finals and the championship and putting highlights on TV around playoff games.

How it goes will help determine the NHL’s next steps.

“We don’t really have a statement on what the future holds other than we’re going to be active in one way, shape or form,” said Chris Golier, NHL vice president of business development. “We’re going to have a lot of involvement and conversation with a lot of the top gamers, as well, make sure that it’s fun, engaging, the content works and we’ll revise as we see fit going forward.”

Esports might be a way for the NHL to grow its audience in China, where it is already broadcasting regular-season games and hosting exhibitions ahead of the 2022 Olympics.

“China is a huge gaming population,” Stocks said. “What better way to help bring the game of hockey to China than through video gaming? I think the NHL has a great opportunity.”


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Ieva Andersone (Sorainen Latvia) will add her insights about the Latvian gambling industry at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

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The online and land-based gambling industry is well connected in the Baltics and it has been just lately that region has been quoted in several industry media outlets. Especially given the fact that the City Council of Riga, Latvia’s capital, is going to close down all gaming venues in the city, including the downtown and neighborhoods.

A decree had been ordered by Nils Usakovs from the municipality’s Legal Affairs Department and Urban Development Department and the plan is to revoke all gaming venues’ licenses in Riga, except for those given to four- and five-star hotels.

According to the Law on Gambling in Latvia, if the operation of gambling on the particular premises creates a substantial impairment to the interests of the State and the residents of the respective administrative area, the city or the local government council is entitled to terminate the permit to establish a casino, a gambling hall, a bingo hall, a betting or a wagering shop and to operate the respective type of gambling on the particular premises, by means of a reasoned decision.

During the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, which will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel, experts of the industry and regulators will debate the recent actions and will also brief the attending delegates about the regulations in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and the DACH region.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Ieva Andersone, Commercial & Regulatory Practice Group partner at Sorainen Latvia, will join the “Focus on the Latvian and Estonian gambling industry” compliance panel discussion, which is consisted by 2 regulators (Signe Birne – Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia, Taivo Põrk – Ministry of Finance, Estonia) and industry representatives from the region.

About Ieva Andersone

Ieva Andersone is a partner at Sorainen, responsible for Commercial & Regulatory practice group in Latvia, including trade regulation, intellectual property & IT law, privacy and data protection, consumer law, competition law, and energy. During her practice, Ieva has made a special focus to clients from Pharmaceutical & Life sciences, and well as Technology & Media sectors, including the gaming industry.

Ieva is a frequent speaker on data protection, privacy, regulatory and compliance matters, and she also regularly provides pro bono assistance for companies in creative industries and for creative personalities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Ieva Andersone (Sorainen Latvia) will add her insights about the Latvian gambling industry at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

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Red Tiger signs SuprNation deal

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Games portfolio now available across operator’s brands

 

Award-winning supplier Red Tiger has signed a deal with SuprNation to integrate its games with the Nordic operator’s casino brands, including Duelz.

Red Tiger’s portfolio, including hit titles Thor’s Lightning and Pirates’ Plenty, will be made available to players of the gamification-focused website.

Gavin Hamilton, CEO of Red Tiger, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SuprNation, which operate a number of stellar casino brands.

“Their commitment to innovative features and gamification in particular is something that is very close to our own ethos, and we are looking forward to working with them.”

Henric Andersson, COO and Co-founder of SuprNation, said “Red Tiger offers some of the best products available, and we are delighted to be able to add them to our burgeoning offering.

“We are super excited to be welcoming them across our brands and to roll out their exciting games over a long and fruitful partnership.”

 

 

About Red Tiger:

Red Tiger is a young and dynamic casino games supplier that creates top-performing HTML5 slots and table games. It also offers a bespoke progressive jackpot system, a Smart Spins bonus management application, and its own Tournaments gamification feature to enhance the user experience. Founded in late 2014 by a group of industry veterans from major B2B and B2C gaming brands, the company is growing fast and is now served by over 200 full time staff including mathematicians, graphic designers, software developers, audio engineers, gambling experts, QAs, account managers and secret magicians; all entirely dedicated to continuously improving the slots player experience. Learn more at: www.redtiger.com


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Red Tiger signs SuprNation deal

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Patagonia Entertainment and Iforium sign content partnership

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Patagonia Entertainment has signed a content agreement with Iforium, a leading eGaming software development company focused on providing the next generation of flexible gaming solutions.

The deal will see Patagonia Entertainment integrate its library of proprietary casino content which has been recently certified by international game-testing laboratory, BMM Testlabs. Among the games being added to Iforium’s platform are the hugely popular Super Pachinko and Super Flex Bingo. Patagonia is currently certified for Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines market and is currently working on certifying its games portfolio for the regulated Spanish, Portuguese& UK e-Gaming markets between others.

Patagonia’s content will join Iforium’s innovative Gameflex™ casino aggregation platform, which combines over 8,000+ desktop and mobile gaming titles from all the leading content providers

Patagonia Entertainment’s Global Business Development Manager Victor Arias said: “Iforium is an award-winning eGaming company with cracking casino content. We’re proud to call them a partner and we’re excited about working together as we continue to grow our businesses.”

Phil Parry, Iforium CEO, said: “I am delighted to confirm Iforium’s partnership with Patagonia Entertainment. The addition of Patagonia is another important content differentiator for our Gameflex platform and one which will support our expansion into new markets. I look forward to building our partnership with the excellent team at Patagonia and exploring new opportunities together.”

 

About Patagonia Entertainment:

Patagonia Entertainment is an innovative technology developing company with an Omni-Channel platform and a rich history in producing outstanding Video Bingo games for the e-gaming industry. Video Bingo is a hybrid between Bingo and Slot games. The company has managed to become one of the most popular game developers in the Latin American market and are rapidly growing into other markets. More information about Patagonia Entertainment can be found at www.patagonia-e.com.

About Iforium:

Founded in 2006 and based in the Isle of Man, Iforium is a multi-award winning B2B software development company focused on providing next generation gaming solutions.

Gameflex™ is Iforium’s innovative casino aggregation and seamless bonusing platform. It combines over 8,000 games from 100+ gaming vendors and is available to multi-channel operators via a single and seamless API integration. Iforium are the proud recipient of the EGR B2B IT Supplier of the Year Award and CEEGC Awards 2017 & 2018. Iforium are licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and by ONJN in Romania. For more information please visit www.iforium.com


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Patagonia Entertainment and Iforium sign content partnership

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