FDJ Partners with Plug and Play Brand & Retail France

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Groupe FDJ has entered into a partnership with Plug and Play Brand & Retail France.

As the operating firm of France’s National Lottery, maintained by its Française des Jeux unit– Groupe FDJ will provide its expert guidance on French retail and e-commerce disciplines to new start-ups.

Recognised as one of global tech’s most successful investment platforms, Plug and Play’s accelerator programme was originally established in Silicon Valley in 2006.

Plug and Play’s programme secured early enterprise funding for PayPal, Google, Dropbox – hyper-successful investments that helped the accelerator programme expand internationally.

Launched in Paris, Plug and Play will host its dedicated e-commerce and retail programme, seeking to optimise new start-ups disrupting the complex disciplines of supply chain logistics, store management, distribution, omni-channel payments etc.

“We are supporting Plug and Play’s ecosystem to create privileged relationships with market players and develop its network in France and internationally (start-ups, entrepreneurs, partners),” Raphaël Botbol, ​​ Director of Strategy, Innovation & New Activities at FDJ, said.

“We are very happy to see FDJ join Plug and Play Brand & Retail. FDJ has made a strong choice, that of joining an innovative network of international retailers and e-merchants while keeping a local foothold,” Christian Kunz, Director of Plug and Play France, said.

“Since 2016, we have been supporting more traditional traders. It is therefore with great excitement and joy that we welcome FDJ which, through its unique positioning and its knowledge of the start-up ecosystem, will be able to bring a new point of view and a new vision to our cohort of partners.”


Entain Increases Investment in its In-house Games Studios

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Entain PLC is going to double the investment in its in-house games studios to accelerate and expand its ability to provide customers with new and exclusive products and experiences.

Headcount will double to around 300 people across Entain’s three in-house studios in the UK, Italy, and India within a year, to deliver exciting, exclusive new products and experiences across all its markets, including the US. CR Games, Entain’s UK games studio based near Oldham, Manchester, will initially create 8 new roles taking its headcount close to 50.

New content includes free-to-play slots tournaments, believed to be the first of its kind, giving customers a great choice of free games to play and win cash prizes.

Following the recent sponsorship between its PartyCasino and PartyPoker brands and McLaren, customers will get exclusive access to Formula 1 themed casino content and games later this year. Entain is also developing new experiences for customers using immersive technologies and plans to upweight this capability at its in-house studios. The Group’s first VR product for customers – a multi-activity sports club – is due later in the year.

“We love giving our customers great experiences and exciting entertainment as that is the bedrock of what we do. Increasing our investment across all three of our in-house games studios will provide more of that for our customers across all our global brands,” Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Chief Executive of Entain, said.

“By widening our offer with new and exclusive games, such as free-to-play tournaments, we give existing and new customers more reasons to use our products. This not only helps to grow our business but brings fresh insight, so we can further improve the offer for our customers,” Jette Nygaard-Andersen added.

“Our priority is always to create exciting, engaging products that give our customers choice. Not only does this enhance the experience for the millions of people who enjoy our products, but is an important driver of Entain’s growth. These exclusive, innovative, and tailored games are really valued by our customers. Developing more of our own games means we have complete control over what goes into them, not just in giving our customers a great experience, but also keeping them safe,” Colin Cole-Johnson, Gaming Director at Entain, said.


Gauselmann Announces New Management Team

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Gauselmann Group has announced that it has restructured its management team. The new changes in the management team will come into effect from 1 October 2021.

Management Board members and managing directors Jürgen Stühmeyer, Dr. Werner Schroer and Lars Felderhoff are handing over the reins of day-to-day management to Dominik Raasch, Director of Product Management, Frank Gläser, Deputy Director of Research and Development, and Jochen Clemens, Head of Finance and the company’s deputy CFO.

Jürgen Stühmeyer is handing over responsibility for Sales to Dominik Raasch. The 37-year-old started his career with the Gauselmann Group as a Bachelor student on 1 September 2004. After successfully completing a post-graduate Master of Business Administration programme and professional stints as Organisation Consultant, Head of Market Research, Head of Brand Management and Consultant to the Management Board, Dominik Raasch was appointed Head of National and International Product Development in May 2019. As successor to Jürgen Stühmeyer, he will also become Management Spokesman.

Dr. Werner Schroer is handing over the reins of Research and Development to Frank Gläser. The 52-year-old successfully completed his degree in electrical engineering and has already been working for the Gauselmann Group since 1 January 2002. In July 2011, Frank Gläser obtained a General Management degree from the St. Gallen Business School. Having held positions as Team Leader Touchscreen Development and Head of Planning and Development of New Technologies, Frank Gläser was appointed Deputy Research and Development Division Manager in early 2020.

Lars Felderhoff will cede responsibility for Administration and Finances to Jochen Clemens. The 35-year-old started as an administrative clerk in the Taxation department on 1 June 2007 and during this time successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in tax law. In September 2012, he was appointed Assistant to the Commercial Director. After obtaining his Master’s degree in tax law, Jochen Clemens was appointed Head of Finance of adp Gauselmann GmbH and deputy CFO in May 2018.

This will not bring about any changes in the overall responsibility for the MERKUR business segment. Rather, the new appointments will remove the dual function of the three previous managing directors with their respective Management Board divisions and distribute responsibility within the MERKUR business segment across several shoulders. At the same time, this new structure will guarantee that the company will continue to make a significant contribution to the corporate success of the Gauselmann Group.

Production management will remain in the capable hands of Hans-Martin Grube. Joachim Mohrmann will continue to be responsible for Service in the usual quality.


Evolution Completes Acquisition of Big Time Gaming

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Stockholm-listed casino supplier Evolution has announced that it has completed the acquisition of slots developer Big Time Gaming.

It was on April 12, Evolution entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Big Time Gaming Pty Ltd (Big Time) for a consideration payable in cash and Evolution shares (the Transaction).

All regulatory approvals which the Transaction was conditional upon have now been received, and Evolution has completed the Transaction and acquired the shares.

Due to the completion of the Transaction, Evolution’s board of directors has resolved to issue 1,105,032 shares. The right to subscribe for the new shares accrues, with deviation from the shareholders’ preferential rights, to the sellers of Big Time who have subscribed for the shares against set-off of their receivable of EUR 140,030,000 against the newly issued shares.

The subscription price in the issue amounts to EUR 126.72 per share, which – in accordance with the agreement in respect of the Transaction – is equivalent to the volume weighted average price of the Evolution share on Nasdaq Stockholm during the period 23 March–7 April 2021.


Gaming Realms Signs Multi-year Licensing and Distribution Agreement with EveryMatrix

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Gaming Realms has signed a multi-year licensing and distribution agreement with EveryMatrix, a leading B2B igaming software provider.

As per the deal, Gaming Realms’ Slingo Originals portfolio will be distributed to CasinoEngine’s global network of operators. Through CasinoEngine, EveryMatrix’s igaming integration platform, casino operators can access a wealth of content through a single integration.

“This is an exciting partnership agreement, especially as operators supporting the drive in these integrations. EveryMatrix are strategic partners with several marquee operators that we’re keen to expand our platform and portfolio of games into,” Gareth Scott, commercial director of Gaming Realms, said.

“Adding Slingo Originals’ portfolio of exciting titles to our CasinoEngine library is excellent news for our worldwide operators. Gaming Realms has a reputation of taking entertainment to a superior level and their games have already proved to be successful in many markets,” Amund Stensland, CasinoEngine COO at EveryMatrix, said.


French Gaming Regulator Partners with OFDT

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French gaming regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has entered into a partnership agreement with the French Observatory for Drugs and Drug addiction (OFDT).

The regulator has agreed to partner with the organisation to help develop its knowledge on the “phenomena of addiction.”

The ANJ said: “To maintain gambling in a sustainable perspective of recreational gambling and better protect players, it is essential to better understand the drivers of gambling behaviour and the complex phenomena of addiction they produce.”

The deal specifies the cooperation between the two, by outlining the scope of their interventions and how to reduce the prevention of excessive or pathological gambling, while also protecting minors.

As part of the agreement, the ANJ will donate 0.002% of its stakes to finance scientific studies on gambling and gambling addictions – although this does appear to be a very low amount.

There is also an agreement for the pair to share their expertise on recreational gambling, as well as data and knowledge relating to ADHD and mechanisms associated with addiction.

The ANJ said it may involve the OFDT in its work and, in particular, will invite the body to participate in the work of the advisory committee on the prevention of excessive gambling.


PokerStars to Launch Online Poker in Switzerland

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Online poker giant PokerStars is launching its online poker platform in Switzerland after closing a deal with Casino Davos. According to Pokerfuse, the business was being developed over the last two years and now the launch is all set to take place in July 2021.

The site will be launched on PokerStars.CH, which will allow new players to register and create an account. Players will have to go through the verification process and download the desktop software to gain full access to PokerStars’ global platform.

Site accounts and deposits will be managed by Casino777.ch. Once live, players will be able to “take part in all of PokerStars’ offerings, including the major international tournaments that PokerStars hosts around the world,” said Robert Kocher, Games Director at Casino777.


Playtika Promotes Erez Rachmil to Chief Technology Officer

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Mobile gaming company Playtika Holding Corp has promoted Erez Rachmil to Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

In his new role as CTO, Rachmil will oversee Playtika’s technology roadmap, at a time when the company is experiencing strong growth and expansion.

Rachmil, who has worked at Playtika for over seven years, has been instrumental in a number of key technology initiatives for the company. Rachmil joined Playtika as an IT director in 2014 to scale Playtika’s technology infrastructure and was promoted to Vice President of IT in 2016.

Most recently, Rachmil served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Playtika’s Casual games division.

With over 15 years of experience in technology and IT, Rachmil’s background also includes roles at large corporations such as Intel, HP and Amdocs, as well as fast-growing startups like 888.


Lucky Player Wins €6.5 Million Jackpot on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah

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A lucky player has won a mega jackpot of €6,597,136.10 on Microgaming’s immensely popular Mega Moolah Slot. This marks the fifth win of seven figures or more on Microgaming’s progressive jackpot network this year and the hundredth in its history.

Playing the classic Mega Moolah slot at Optibet.com, the winning player struck the massive prize on June 4. This latest Mega Moolah win comes just weeks after the legendary jackpot paid out a record-breaking €19.4 million win on Absolootly Mad: Mega Moolah.

Microgaming’s progressive jackpot network has now paid out more the €1.4 billion to date, with over €103 million awarded across all jackpots, tiers and games so far in 2021.

“I’m delighted to see another big jackpot win so soon after Mega Moolah dropped for €19.4 million in April. My congratulations go to Optibet and their player on this brilliant win. This is something of a milestone for Microgaming, being the 100th euro millionaire made on our progressive jackpot network,” John Coleman, CEO at Microgaming, said.

“We were thrilled to hear the news that one of our players had struck the Mega jackpot on the legendary Mega Moolah. Not only was it the first Mega jackpot to be hit at Optibet.com, but it’s also a tremendous multi-million-euro prize!” Chris Davis, CPO at Optibet, said.


GIG to Launch Two Online Casino Review Sites in the Netherlands

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Gaming Innovations Group (GIG) is planning to launch two Dutch language Online Casino review sites in the Netherlands in October.

Expectations are high for both TopCasinoBonus.com and CasinoTopsOnline.com to deliver high-quality content to players, featuring trustworthy and accurate reviews on Online Casinos, bonuses and online games.

Both websites will be in line with the new Dutch gambling regulations. Once the Dutch iGaming market has re-opened, players will find reliable top-notch reviews of Online Casinos legally operating in the Netherlands, as well as information on the best casino bonuses available and tips on how to gamble responsibly and safely.

TopCasinoBonus.com was a successful Dutch website until the market closed in 2017. Now that the Dutch market will open again for online gambling, the website will be relaunched together with a Dutch version of the GiG flagship site CasinoTopsOnline.com in October 2021.