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Live casino pioneers take on streaming giants YouTube and Netflix

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It’s fair to suggest that most ‘sane’ executives within the iGaming world set realistic and attainable goals for the coming year… For example, make X amount of money by this quarter, break into a new and emerging market or release several new games in time for the next big conference.

All straight forward goals, right? If you were to sit in on the AGM of any major online casino or iGaming software provider you’d hear the same goals repeated again and again, however, head over to Evolution Gaming’s Stockholm headquarters and you might hear something a little bit different.

Those amongst the upper-echelons of the corporate structure at Evolution Gaming are not prescribed to this realist mindset. They’re thinking on a much larger scale than many could have ever imagined. If we’re being honest, they might even be a little bit mad for it, but we love it!

Evolution Gaming Chief Exec makes bold statement on competition

 In an interview with Gambing Insider last month Chief Executive of Evolution Gaming, Martin Carlesund told a reporter the following regarding his company’s overall ethos and mindset: “We are crazy, paranoid; we really want to be better every day. We want to be the best company in the world. How are we going to get there? If you lose that, you should quit.”

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He then went on to explain that he feels the flourishing live casino game show genre has the right idea in attracting completely new players, and that entertainment today is driven by people looking at popular streaming and social sites and apps such as YouTube, TikTok and Twitter.

Carlesund echoed his Chief Product Officer Todd Haushalter words from a year earlier, when he boldly stated that these mainstream streaming providers are Evolution Gaming’s main competition now, not just other iGaming companies such as Playtech and NetEnt. 

The Swedish Chief Exec then added: “We fight against the little time we have, where we actually do something we want to do. You, me and everyone else has a number of things we have to do: those things involve sleeping, eating and taking care of our families.

“You can go to the gym, you can watch a movie on Netflix, or you can just surf on your computer. That is the time we’re fighting for. We’re not only competing with each other; we’re competing to get a piece of that time.”

Are Evolution Gaming ahead of the industry with global trends?

The company as a whole seems to be looking at their growth on a significantly larger scale than others, which is unsurprising considering their numerous successes… Multiple Game of the Year awards, soaring share prices and most importantly, establishing themselves as the leading provider of live casino games in the last decade.

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In 2019 research conducted by GlobalWebIndex found that ‘The opportunities for social engagement, at all times of the day and in various locations, have facilitated the evolution of social platforms into entertainment hubs’. 

Evolution Gaming has taken this trend and turned it on its head, by releasing a number of interactive immersive game show style games such as Monopoly Live and Blackjack Party that heavily rely on their entertainment value, yet also have a unique social aspect to them. 

This social aspect takes inspiration from services and sites such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Twitch. It’s this social feature that’s undoubtedly the driving force behind players’ decision to remain within these types of games, even when they’re not actively betting.

The Digital in 2020 report released last month by We Are Social and HootSuite revealed that on average the world’s internet users (4.5 billion people) spend an average of 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day, with mobile devices accounting for more than half of the time we spend online in 2020. 

Digging deeper into figures from the report we found that 3 hours 18 minutes a day is spent watching television, 1 hour 10 minutes playing video games and 2 hours 24 minutes engaging with others on social media. 

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Combine all of these popular media pastimes and what have you got? You’ve got something that looks just like Evolution Gaming’s live casino game shows. 

Will Evolution Gaming seriously rival large streaming sites?

It’s fair to make the assumption that due to the reputation and wide-reaching demographics of the aforementioned streaming sites and apps, Evolution Gaming is never going to realistically reach their lofty heights… However, ultimately that’s not what they’re looking for in this grand strategy. 

If the live casino powerhouse can just take a portion of the people away from these sites and apps, even if for less than an hour, then they’re going to quickly discover that their strategy has worked to a tee and paid off, because those few minutes are all it takes to sell Evolution’s vision. 

Whilst developers are working tirelessly to make their games more engaging, the reality is that seasoned gamblers are used to watching the same five reels and identical table after identical table… So by throwing something completely new into the mix, that still has a strange air of familiarity about it, has given these players a welcome new and engaging experience.

In terms of Evolution drawing in new players, ask yourself, what could be more inviting than taking part in a real-life game show from the comfort of your own home? You’ve got social interaction coupled with unrivalled entertainment and of course the opportunity to win real cash. 

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It’s no wonder Evolution Gaming is putting all of its eggs into this highly lucrative basket.

At the time of writing this article, during what could be considered the quietest time of day for online gambling, early afternoon midweek, there are over 5,600 players in Evolution Gaming’s live casino game show rooms… 2,000 of those players are playing Lightning Roulette, compare that with the 500 that are playing in their main Live Roulette room… This should tell you everything you need to know with regards to the direction that Evolution Gaming is moving in. 

CDP

MGM Resorts International Listed on Prestigious CDP A-List

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MGM Resorts International has been recognized for leadership in corporate transparency and performance on climate change by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on the organization’s annual A List.

MGM Resorts is one of just 347 companies that received the prestigious ‘A,’ out of more than 23,000 scored, placing it in the top 0.015% of reporting companies. Grades are awarded on comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness, and management of environmental risk and best practices associated with environmental leadership.

“Our inclusion on the CDP A List is a testament to the strategic importance we place on sustainability. Environmental stewardship is more important than ever, and we remain committed to being leaders in creating long-lasting positive impacts on our planet and in our local communities,” said Jyoti Chopra, Chief People, Inclusion, and Sustainability Officer at MGM Resorts.

“Earning a place on the A List is about more than the score. It’s an indication of high quality, complete data that equips companies with a holistic view of their environmental impact, serves as a baseline for transition plans and – crucially – enables them to follow through on their ambitions. As we move deeper into the Decade of Action, and as CDP continually raises the bar for what represents environmental leadership, the work of A List companies is never complete. We look forward to seeing all companies turn their commitments into further and more meaningful and effective action,” Sherry Madera, CEO of CDP, said.

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Some of the reasons MGM Resorts achieved its ‘A’ grade for climate change:

  • A board-level committee focused on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability chaired by a global expert in clean energy advocacy.
  • Targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree pathway.
  • Nearly 110 megawatts of installed solar capacity, including the MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array, which fulfills up to 90% of MGM Resorts’ daytime power needs in Las Vegas.
  • Reductions in carbon emissions intensity by 49.5% between 2007 and 2022, resulting from significant energy efficiency measures and renewable energy development.
  • Detailed climate data disclosures that have received third-party verification for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and energy usage.

MGM Resorts also earned an ‘A-’ in water security. Some of the reasons for the score include:

  • A strategic framework for water stewardship to address water use in operations and champion stewardship across the community.
  • A Global Water Policy to codify and communicate commitment to water stewardship.
  • Achievement of reductions in water withdrawals totaling 13.9 billion gallons, reduced and/or avoided between 2007 and 2022 across U.S. operations.
  • Focus on local water issues, such as reducing consumptive water use in Southern Nevada, including replacing more than 200,000 square feet of grass with desert-friendly landscaping.
  • Enhancement of water data disclosures and external assurance on water withdrawals.
  • Linkage of executive compensation to Social Impact & Sustainability goals, including reductions in water withdrawals.

MGM Resorts is focused on creating a more environmentally sustainable future, recognizing that climate change presents significant risks and opportunities to business, people, and the planet. The Company has adopted a culture of innovation to reduce emissions and continues to take bold steps toward climate leadership in the industry.

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Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Pace-O-Matic Congratulates Casino Industry on Record Profits

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Pace-O-Matic, the leading name in skill game entertainment, is tipping its hat to the fat cats of the gambling world for yet another record-breaking year. The United States casino industry recently reported a record $66.5 billion in winnings for 2023.

That includes Pennsylvania, the second largest casino market in the country behind Nevada. While casino reps curiously blame skill games for ‘losses’, in 2023 Pennsylvania casinos brought in a record $5.7 billion in revenue from gambling. That equates to a 9.3% increase year over year.

“On behalf of the local small businesses, restaurants, bars and fraternal organizations that the casino industry is determined to put out of business, we extend the warmest congratulations to big casinos for their $66.5 billion in winnings,” the Chief Public Affairs Officer for Pace-O-Matic, Michael Barley, said. “It’s not every day you see such record profits. Now our only question is, where are these losses the industry and, specifically casinos in Pennsylvania, are claiming to be connected to skill games?”

The Pennsylvania casino industry also saw a 28% increase in iGaming year over year as well as a 4.08% increase in slot machine revenue last month across the Commonwealth over last year.

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Regardless of what big casinos say, Pace-O-Matic remains committed to its mission of providing engaging skill-based entertainment to players while supporting the heart and soul of America; local small businesses. Skill games bring supplemental, sustainable income to bars, restaurants, VFW halls, American Legion posts and other small businesses across Pennsylvania. These businesses use income from skill games to pay bills, make charitable donations, provide health benefits, pay competitive wages and more.

“The casino industry continues to attack skill games for loss of revenue yet these losses don’t seem to appear in any of their reporting,” Barley said. “While they spin misleading information, we will stick to the facts. The fact is, that skill games are a legal source of income that Pennsylvania’s small businesses rely on every day to make ends meet.”

On the heels of a unanimous Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruling that found skill games to be legal and Governor Josh Shapiro including skill game revenue in his 2024/25 budget, it’s clear that support for regulating skill games is growing among lawmakers and the public. Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw has proposed legislation, Senate Bill 706, that would tax and regulate skill games, establishing a framework for the legal games to continue to operate.

Pace-O-Matic is a leading developer of legally compliant games of skill in the United States. Its games are played in thousands of small restaurants and bars along with many social halls such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) posts. Pace-O-Matic games generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses and clubs in Pennsylvania last year.

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DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

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Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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