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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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SG Gaming secures largest single UK Licensed Betting Office gaming supply deal including roll out of Equinox™ terminal range

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SG Gaming secures largest single UK Licensed Betting Office gaming supply deal including roll out of Equinox™ terminal range

LONDON, June, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) (“Scientific Games” or the “Company”) today announced that the Company’s UK divisionSG Gaminghas signed a landmark seven-year agreement with Ladbrokes Coral Group to continue to supply its cutting-edge terminals, innovative content and industry renowned service.

The agreement is a significant one for both companies and will see SG Gaming continue to supply its industry leading hardware solutions across Ladbrokes Coral retail estate of over 3,500 shops – cementing it as SG Gaming’s largest contract to date, and the single biggest gaming supply deal in the LBO sector.

Ladbrokes Coral will continue to benefit from SG Gaming’s extensive library of innovative in-house content and titles from SG Gaming’s selected third party providers, market leading service and support, as well as state-of-the-art terminals, including the Equinox range which provides an entertaining and enhanced player experience.

As part of the agreement SG Gaming will install Equinox 2.4 terminals across a significant part of the Ladbrokes Coral estate, with the initial roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2018. This follows the successful trial of the Equinox terminal, the newest member of SG Gaming’s product line, across 100 Ladbrokes Coral sites through 2018, in which the terminals demonstrated superior performance and player experience. Modular in design, SG Gaming’s next-generation terminals also feature ‘Privacy Mode’ – a unique industry innovation which provides discrete gameplay on the fully interactive new 15.6″ V-Deck+™ button panel.

The agreement demonstrates the commitment to and investment in the UK LBO sector by SG Gaming and shows that both SG Gaming and Ladbrokes Coral remain focused on delivering a strong future in UK retail gaming. The ongoing commitment to implement player protection measures and responsible gambling initiatives will also continue to remain a focus for both businesses.

CEO of SG Gaming UK, Phil Horne, said, “This deal – which is the largest in our history – comes during one of the most significant years ever for SG Gaming for product innovation as we have continued to work with our customers to develop and launch our biggest, most innovative and most exciting new product range to date, creating an offer that can help our customers adapt with confidence to the changing gaming environment. We have a longstanding relationship with Ladbrokes Coral, and our ongoing commitment to both the LBO sector and their individual business needs is reflected in our mutual desire to work together on a larger scale for the next seven years”.

“We have worked closely with the team at Ladbrokes Coral to provide them with an innovative gaming product that we believe will complement and enhance their overall retail offer, and we are very excited about working with them on the next stage of this successful partnership”.

Mark Chambers, Retail Managing Director at Ladbrokes Coral Group said, “SG Gaming has shown us that it is a forward-thinking supplier, not only with its impressive new products and investment in the sector but also with its continued focus on driving the direction and implementation of player protection measures across the industry. We look forward to continuing to work with them as we build on this partnership”.

© 2018 Scientific Games Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

About Scientific Games
Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) is a world leader in gaming entertainment offering the industry’s broadest and most integrated portfolio of game content, advanced systems, cutting-edge platforms and professional services. The company is #1 in technology-based gaming systems, digital real-money gaming and sports betting platforms, casino table games and utility products and lottery instant games, and a leading provider of games, systems and services for casino, lottery and social gaming. Committed to responsible gaming, Scientific Games delivers what customers and players value most: trusted security, engaging entertainment content, operating efficiencies and innovative technology. For more information, please visit www.scientificgames.com.

Company Contacts

Investor Relations:
Scientific Games:  Michael Quartieri +1 702-532-7658
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Media Relations:
Scientific Games:  Susan Cartwright +1 702-532-7981
Vice President, Corporate Communications
susan.cartwright@scientificgames.com

Forward-Looking Statements
In this press release, Scientific Games makes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “will,” “may,” and “should.” These statements are based upon management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates and are not guarantees of timing, future results or performance. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated in these statements due to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors, including those factors described in our filings with the SEC, including the Company’s current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and its latest annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 1, 2018 (including under the headings “Forward Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors”). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except for Scientific Games’ ongoing obligations under the U.S. federal securities laws, Scientific Games undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Scientific Games Corporation


Source: European Gaming Media

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ICE Africa venue revealed

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The venue for the first ever ICE Africa gaming show has been announced. It is the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event is scheduled to be held between October 24-25

Clarion Gaming, the organiser, declered that the choice had been made after consultations with the entire industry.

Updating the industry on the progress that’s already been made, Kate Chambers, managing director of Clarion stated: “There is a deep and genuine enthusiasm for this event which will take the characteristics of its mother brand – ICE London – and apply them to meet the requirements of the industry in Africa. Five months ahead of ICE Africa going live, we have secured the support of 15 top brands including Merkur Gaming, Kiron Interactive, Meridian, VNE and OnlinePay, all of which have committed to be part of the ICE Africa experience.

Following the hugely positive coming together of all sectors of the industry at the inaugural Gaming Africa in 2017, ICE Africa has launched – the first occasion the ICE brand has been extended beyond its London, UK, home. ICE Africa will be an event where the industry can meet, network, see the very latest gaming innovations, share best practice and progress in a strategic and sustainable manner.


Source: European Gaming Media

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Macau rejects extra live-dealer tables for Morpheus

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The SAR government has declined a request to add more live-dealer tables to the City of Dreams Macau casino resort.

Melco Resorts and Entertainment opened its US$1.1 billion Morpheus hotel at the City of Dreams Macau casino resort last Friday, but won’t be able to do exactly what it wanted to do. The Macau SAR government declined a request to add live-dealer tables at the venue both for its opening and the rest of 2018, and will only look into it again next year.

The Macau SAR government has granted approval to the respective gaming concessionaire to transfer 40 gaming tables (not including slot machines) from its other casino properties to Morpheus in 2018,” the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) told GGRAsia, adding: “Next year (2019) the Macau SAR government will study whether it will allow the gaming concessionaire to add new gaming tables to Morpheus.

When reviewing the application for gaming tables, the Macau SAR government has strictly adhered to the principle of limiting the number of gaming tables to not exceed a three per cent annual compound growth rate for 10 years starting from 2013,” the body said.

In order to reconsider its decision, the governing body will look into “the amount of non-gaming facilities, whether it will promote Macau as a ‘World Centre of Tourism and Leisure’, and if it will help to improve the quality, health and diversification of the Macau gaming industry.”

 

Source: FocusGamingNews


Source: European Gaming Media

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