MERKUR UK strike 3-year University project to research next-generation gaming technologies

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MERKUR UK is pioneering the development of the gaming machines of the future following a partnership agreement with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

A group of ten students from the University’s technology department will participate in the three year project entitled ‘The next generation of gaming technology’.

The research project will explore machine design, the use of composite materials to reduce manufacturing and transport costs and how AI can be applied in predictive machine maintenance.

Sascha Blodau, General Manager at MERKUR UK said: “I am delighted to confirm this dynamic project which will bring a fresh and exciting perspective on how technology can be deployed to develop the next generation of gaming machines.”
He added: “This type of collaboration is a first in the UK land-based sector and the outcomes could well have profound implications for the way in which gambling entertainment is delivered to and enjoyed by players.”

MERKUR UK joins an illustrious list of UCLan research partners which includes NASA, the English Football Association, the Professional Golfers Association and the International Olympic Committee.

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‘The Chase Place’ will feature exclusive games, content, and a bespoke Crack the Code competition where consumers can enter to win money-can’t-buy The Chase themed prizes

Entain owned bingo brand Gala Bingo has launched ‘The Chase Place’, a new and exclusive online hub in partnership with ITV’s The Chase. Live on 1st July, this campaign celebrates Gala Bingo’s successful long-running official sponsorship of the flagship ITV game show as it enters its eighth year.

‘The Chase Place’ landing page hosted on the Gala Bingo website will offer players exclusive games and content, including slots, ‘slingo’, bingo, and new live game, all based on one of ITV’s most popular game shows, The Chase. The online hub will also host a blockbuster competition which will be live for three weeks in July, offering gamers the chance to win major money-can’t-buy The Chase themed prizes, only available through The Chase Place.

The competition will run with a ‘crack the code’ mechanic in which videos of popular Chasers will appear on a dedicated landing page. Emulating The Chase, users will be presented with multiple-choice general knowledge questions. Players will then need to use their chosen answers to form a unique code; if the questions have been answered correctly to form the right code, the player will be entered into the prize draw for a chance to win. There will be a new series of questions uploaded each week for three weeks, giving players multiple chances to enter and win The Chase themed prizes.

First prize is an exclusive all expenses paid The Chase studio tour and meet and greet with a Chaser. The lucky runner up will win the opportunity to have a Chaser on their quiz team at the ‘Gala Bingo x The Chase Ultimate Quiz Night’ event which will be hosted in Manchester in August. Additional prizes include Gala rewards such as bingo tickets and free spins.

Gala Bingo will be promoting the competition and its unique prizes across multiple platforms, including digital and print advertising. The nationwide campaign will culminate with an in-person PR activation for the partnership, ‘Gala Bingo x The Chase Ultimate Quiz Night’. The event will be a bookable experience held in Manchester on 8th
August, offering consumers the chance to test their knowledge against a Chaser. With Anne Hegerty, Mark Labbett and Jenny Ryan in attendance, the prize winner will have a Chaser on their quiz team, whilst consumers will be able to interact with the other Chasers.

Sara Jolly, Head of Brand at Gala Bingo says: “We believe people that love The Chase will also love Gala Bingo, and the new ‘The Chase Place’ presents opportunities for us to reach a significant UK audience, and offer unique experiences for fans of the show that aren’t available anywhere else.

We are delighted to be working with ITV to bring the latest element of our partnership to life through ‘The Chase Place’. The Chase is an iconic show in the UK and we hope that our players, both old and new, will enjoy playing all the new themed games on the site, including cracking the code to enter our competition for a chance to win some incredible prizes.”

Steve Watling, SVP Gaming, ITV Studios Global Partnerships, commented: “ITV’s partnership with Gala Bingo, Entain and The Chase, has been a long running success story. We are delighted to see the new Chase Live game and Gala’s showcase destination at The Chase Place with the chance for players to win amazing The Chase themed prizes. The Chase is on!’

The Chase Place is already live at The Crack the Code competition will be open for consumers to enter from 1st July 00:01am to 22nd July 2024 11:59pm. Competition entrants must be over the age of 18. UK & ROI. For T&Cs please see




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Incentive Games, leading B2B games provider and acquisition and retention specialist, has been officially accredited as a Great Place to Work Certified™ organisation for the second consecutive year. This recognition underscores the company’s commitment to creating an engaging and people-centric environment that encourages a healthy work-life balance.

The Great Place to Work Certification is awarded to organisations that demonstrate a commitment to building a high-trust, high-performance culture. It is backed by anonymous feedback from Incentive Games employees which covers topics including trust in leadership, sense of belonging, opportunities for professional growth, and work-life balance.

As a global authority on workplace culture, Great Place To Work utilises its rigorous, data-driven ‘For All’ methodology. This accreditation confirms that a minimum of 65% of employees consistently enjoy a positive experience at Incentive Games.

Stewart Gove, Chief Operations Officer, said, “We’re thrilled to be recognised as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row. Our employees are the driving force behind Incentive Games’ success. The consistent positive feedback about their experiences with fellow colleagues, leaders, and roles is a testament to the incredible dedication, collaborative spirit, and passion that our team brings to work every day.”

Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place To Work® UK, expressed his congratulations to Incentive Games for attaining their certification, “We know that prioritising the employee experience leads to building trust among employees, fostering a remarkable workplace culture, and ultimately achieving exceptional business outcomes. Congratulations!”



Rolling in for Rank! Hacksaw Gaming and Rank UK Join Forces for an Exciting Future

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The first milestone in a list of many! Rank UK is officially live with a number of Hacksaw Gaming titles ready for players to experience! With future prospects underway, this new pairing is already looking to be an exceptional one.

Wanted Dead or a Wild, Le Bandit, R.I.P City, Chaos Crew – all Hacksaw staple titles that are known for shaking up user experience and sparking the interest of players globally. These and more are now proudly featured for the next 4 weeks on the homepage of Rank UK’s platforms, showcasing our diverse universe of content!

Rank aims to deliver exciting and entertaining experiences in safe, sustainable and rewarding environments. Their mission aligns perfectly with that of Hacksaw’s. The goal of making waves within the remote gaming community, daring to disrupt and create content that provides a one of a kind experience for the Hacksaw community.

Reflecting on this exciting endeavour, Rank spokesperson stated that “Hacksaw Gaming is launching with an exhilarating array of games, captivating themes, and thrilling gameplay. We’re not just launching slots; we’re unleashing a tidal wave of entertainment that will captivate players in the UK. Get ready to spin and experience the future of gaming like never before.”

Marcus Cordes, CEO of Hacksaw Gaming also shares Rank’s enthusiasm towards this new beginning. “Bringing our star titles to UK players will strengthen our Hacksaw community and continue to shake up the industry! A huge shout out to the dedication shown from both teams on this launch, a true testament to the determination of how we work here at Hacksaw Gaming.”

With whispers of a UK exclusive coming up very soon, you’re not going to want to take your eyes away from this new partnership.

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SkillOnNet-powered online casino brand celebrates as player lands crazy win while playing Evolution Gaming’s Crazy Time

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A lucky player at Genting Casino has won enough money to buy a house in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea after landing a massive £400k payout on a single round of Evolution Gaming’s hugely popular Crazy Time live gameshow title., operated by Kinetic Digital and powered by the award-winning SkillOnNet platform, has a vast lobby of live dealer titles but with Crazy Time among the most played.

The big win came out of the blue with Crazy Time being renowned for crazy and unpredictable action that includes four bonus games inspired by classic TV game shows including The Price is Right and The Generation Game.

But for this big win, it was the Pachinko bonus that delivered. Events were set in motion when the reel above the prize displayed Pachinko with a 50x Multiplier. The host then spun the prize wheel, and it landed perfectly on the Pachinko segment to trigger the bonus with the 50x Multiplier in play.

The excited host then led players over to the Pachinko board which then revealed its randomly determined Multiplier prizes with a top 200x present in the prime spot left of centre. The 50x Multiplier was then brought in, multiplying all prizes and taking the 200x to a massive 10,000x.

The host then gave the chip some gentle encouragement to light up before dropping it into the Pachinko board. Players then watched in amazement as it tumbled down the pegs straight into the 10,000x space.

For the lucky player who placed the initial £40 bet, they won a massive £400,040 in just a single game round. Even those players who wagered just £1 walked away with a £10k prize.

Dom Aldworth, Head of Brand Marketing at Kinetic Digital, said: “Crazy Time by name, Crazy Time by nature for our lucky player who walked away with a massive £400k prize off a single game round. It’s moments like this that we love; players having a great time at Genting Casino and walking away with big prizes.

“We have a great live casino offering thanks to both our platform partner SkillOnNet and the five live direct roulette tables streamed from Genting Land based casinos, which is a major reason why Genting Casino is so popular with players in the UK.”

Jani Kontturi, Head of Games at SkillOnNet, added: “Live dealer is loved by players in the UK and when you see the fun, entertainment and big win potential titles such as Crazy Time offer, this should come as no surprise. This is why we have curated a market-leading live dealer offering for our partners.

“It’s great to see Genting Casino crown another big winner and to further establish itself as the home of online slots, casino and live dealer for players in the UK.”


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BetMGM UK partners with Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

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LeoVegas Group is happy to announce a new multi-year partnership with Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., which will see the leading sports betting brand BetMGM becoming the club’s Official European Betting Partner. The Group has been a partner of the club since the 2023/2024 season, successfully boosting international brand awareness and recognition of the Group’s brands. 

The new partnership will see BetMGM feature on Wolves’ double row pitch-side LED advertising system, static branding sites, and media interview backdrops at Molineux Stadium and the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground for the 2024/2025 and 2025/2026 seasons.

Russell Jones, GM Marketing & Commercial Growth at Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. said “We’re delighted to announce this partnership with BetMGM UK, and thank them for their support as we head into the 24/25 Premier League season.

“Their support is invaluable to the club as we look to expand our portfolio of commercial partners and we look forward to working with the BetMGM team over the next two seasons.

Sam Behar, UK Director BetMGM, said “It’s been almost a year since we started collaborating with Wolves, and we are very excited to continue this successful, awareness-boosting partnership for the next two years. Wolves are one of the most established clubs in the Premier League, and we can’t wait to see them in the first game of the season against Arsenal in August!”

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Euros and Ascot ‘perfect storm’ point towards record-breaking user growth for UK gambling industry

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  • Gambling app industry records strong H1 2024 with Android gambling app downloads up 30% in the week prior to Euro 2024 vs. the same period last year
  • Gambling apps on average see approximately 69% increase in downloads around major horse racing events – week of Grand National saw 124k new users and Cheltenham 143k – compared to weekly average of 79k
  • Period of World Cup 2023 saw 369k new gambling Android app users 
  • Euros and Ascot could combine to see highest ever month of downloads – with Olympics to follow 
  • Sports betting sector reaches 20 million lifetime downloads on Google Play Store
A new analysis of sports betting apps on the Google Play Store by app growth solutions company, SpliMetrics, predicts that the sector may see its strongest ever month in terms of new users due to the Euros and Royal Ascot coinciding.
SplitMetrics found that the UK’s other major horse racing events – The Grand National and Cheltenham – led to download numbers increasing by an average of 69% in the week leading to the races. On average new download numbers in 2024 for the UK’s top 17 gambling apps on Android were 79k per week, however, the Grand National saw 124k and Cheltenham 143k – the highest download weeks of the year by a considerable margin.
Similarly, the first week of World Cup 2022 saw 122k downloads – with 369k recorded over the course of the tournament.
The gambling industry as a whole has seen a strong start to the year with downloads up by approximately 30% compared to 2023.
These factors could combine to see the UK’s top seventeen gambling apps registering their largest month on record and, with the Olympics still to come, put the industry on course for its largest year of growth ever.
The top 17 sports gambling apps analysed through the App Radar by SplitMetrics platform, experienced an approximate 15% increase in Android downloads in the two weeks running up to the start of Euro 2024 (3-16 June 2024) when compared to the same period in 2023 (110k vs 96k downloads).
The apps that added the most Android downloads in those two weeks are bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Coral and Ladbrokes.
Overall, sports betting apps reached an estimated 20 million lifetime downloads on 16th June 2024. These apps have gained an estimated 2 million new users in 2024 up until 16th June.
The top five apps in terms of lifetime downloads are bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Thomas Kriebernegg, General Manager, SplitMetrics Agency, said: “Our new study shows that major UK horse racing events lead to a dramatic increase in downloads for gambling apps – almost the same number per week as we see for huge global events like the World Cup.
“The combination of Royal Ascot, the Euros, and the high growth rate of the gambling app industry this year could combine into a perfect storm – generating unprecedented new customer numbers. With the Olympics also coming up, 2024 could easily become the biggest year for customer growth in the smartphone era.
“Each download represents a new user for these businesses which, if converted to long-term customers, would have a huge impact on their bottom line. An accessible and seamless user experience will be a big factor in whether these apps will be able to retain the new users and convert them into loyal customers.
“Big global events bring a lot of potential new customers to different parts of the app market but they also bring a lot of competition. Businesses that invest in smart, targeted marketing can differentiate themselves from their competitors. It’s also an opportunity for smaller businesses to punch above their weight and supercharge their growth.”

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DEBET become principal partner of Wolves in record deal

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Wolves have agreed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with DEBET, which will see the brand become the club’s new principal and front of shirt partner for the next two seasons.

The partnership is the biggest in the club’s history and will see the DEBET logo feature on the front of Wolves’ playing and training kits for the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.

Established in 2019, DEBET have become one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing gaming platforms and offer an exciting range of sports betting and casino gaming products.

Speaking at Molineux earlier this week, Alan Alger, spokesperson for DEBET, said: “This is a historic deal for DEBET and everyone is already excited for next season to begin and to see the branding on the shirts and throughout the stadium.

“Wolves is a prestigious club and everyone at DEBET is proud to be part of the biggest principal partner deal the club has ever signed.”

On the partnership, Russell Jones, Wolves’ general manager for marketing and commercial growth, said: “We are delighted to announce this record partnership between Wolves and DEBET.

“Since our discussions began, we’ve been impressed with their professional approach, and their appointment of knowledgeable individuals, who will be dedicated to making sure this partnership is a success.

“We look forward to working with DEBET over the next two seasons to grow the presence of both brands internationally.”

The deal will run for two seasons, before Premier League clubs voluntarily withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of matchday shirts at the end of the 2025/26 season.

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Allwyn Highlights Player Support for Team GB and ParalympicsGB on a National Lottery Product for the First Time

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National Lottery operator, Allwyn, is this week launching a special edition Paris 2024-themed Scratchcard to celebrate how players support Team GB and ParalympicsGB when they play National Lottery games.

Featuring two designs – one centred on Team GB and the other on ParalympicsGB –the £1 Scratchcard has a huge top prize of £100,000 and an incredible five chances to win a prize. Allwyn worked with National Lottery funding distributor UK Sport to incorporate the special message: “By playing this game, you help over 1000 elite athletes who benefit from National Lottery funding”, which appears on the front of the card.

This is the first time that any National Lottery product has specifically highlighted the amazing support that players provide to Team GB’s and ParalympicsGB’s athletes simply by playing a National Lottery game.

The special edition Scratchcard – which has the iconic team logos emblazoned on the front of the two separate designs – forms part of Allwyn’s wider marketing and communications campaign to celebrate the unique role National Lottery players have in supporting sport in the UK. The great British public are right fully proud of the part they play in the success of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, and the campaign will celebrate how The National Lottery enables the UK’s athletes to pursue Olympic and Paralympic success.

In total, £1.5 billion of National Lottery funding has been invested into elite sport – with over 6800 individual elite athletes having been supported to chase their dreams since 1997. Through selling and buying National Lottery tickets, National Lottery retailers and their customers play a vital role in helping to support our brilliant athletes at Paris 2024 and beyond.

To make the most of the new “Best Gift Ever” campaign, which Allwyn launched last month, National Lottery retailers can talk to customers about the upcoming Summer Games and suggest gifting the Scratchcard to join in with the Paris 2024 excitement. June will also see a “Best Gift Ever” in-store takeover – featuring playstation inserts, posters, wobblers and counter cards – and this will provide further support for in-store sales.

National Lottery retailers should also look out for chances to win tickets to The National Lottery’s Team GB and ParalympicsGB Homecoming events later this year. More details about both events and how to win tickets will be available in the coming weeks.

Allwyn’s Director of Channel Operations, Alex Green, said: “We’re really excited about the launch of the new Scratchcard, as it’s the first time we’re connecting the success of Team GB and ParalympicsGB with the purchase of a National Lottery Scratchcard on the product itself. And with the iconic team logos and the special funding wording featuring front and centre, it’s hard to miss!

“The arrival of the Scratchcard in National Lottery retailers will also be an attractive proposition for players, with dual benefits of either playing or gifting this card. They’ll offer excitement at the prospect of winning the huge prizes on offer, in addition to a strong awareness that they’re playing their part in helping to fund UK athletes who are taking part in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

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CopyBet partners with TrueLayer to enhance customer experience

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CopyBet has today announced a partnership with TrueLayer, Europe’s leading open banking payments network, to enable instant deposits and withdrawal payments for UK customers.

Players can now select the Instant Bank Payment option to immediately pay into their accounts on the CopyBet app or website. They can also use the Instant Bank Payment option to transfer their winnings to their bank account within seconds.

Anton Ivanov, Business Development Director, CopyBet UK, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience, and this is a crucial partnership to take the CopyBet Sportsbook to the next level. By using TrueLayer technology, we can offer customers a best-in-class payment solution that is reliable, protected, and user-friendly.”

Roberto Villani, VP of iGaming, TrueLayer, said: “Providing fast, frictionless pay-ins and payouts is key to winning and retaining players. We’re proud to partner with CopyBet to help provide the instant experience customers demand.”

Payments from TrueLayer are authenticated directly with a customer’s bank, ensuring PSD2 and SCA compliance and significantly reducing the risk of fraud and unauthorised transactions.

CopyBet recently announced a deal to become the official front of shirt partner of Queens Park Rangers Football Club for the next two seasons. It also boasts former Premier League football legend, Shay Given, and talented Irish jockey, Jonathan Burke, as brand ambassadors.

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