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From strength to strength, Ivo Doroteia, CEO of Sportingtech, looks at the growing prominence of Portugal’s betting market

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Ivo Doroteia, CEO of Sportingtech, looks at the growing prominence of Portugal’s betting market and the country’s prospects for becoming an established presence in Europe

The Portuguese market is one that has often operated in the shadow of its neighbor, Spain. With good reason: a much larger country, it possesses a player base that dwarfs Portugal’s and has always historically been further ahead in terms of regulating online gambling.

Prospects for a narrowing of the gap between the two came following the introduction of a regulated online framework in 2015, though optimism for positive change in Portugal was initially met with skepticism in equal measure. The naysayers were inevitably proved wrong; today, market growth is clear to see, with several high-profile operators performing well in the region, even in comparison to other, much larger European countries.

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From my perspective, this was expected – Portugal’s land-based industry has always been robust, with bricks-and-mortar casinos consistently displaying good numbers for the likes of lottery and bingo, and the renaissance of sports betting is just another string to the market’s bow.

These past 18 months have seen a dramatic shift in fortunes for the Portuguese market – figures from Q4 2020 onwards show strong growth for gambling in the country, with sports betting leading the charge. The growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including Covid-induced lockdowns benefiting the shift from land-based to online and a changing of fiscal policies in 2020 removing the higher rates of tax for betting and gaming.

Whatever the cause, it is clear today that the presence of top-tier industry players now makes Portugal an extremely attractive proposition indeed, and no one is better positioned to take advantage of this fact than Sportingtech, with its extensive knowledge of the market and varied range of leading sports betting platforms.

Portugal is a country with sports at its heart, and now it has an effective means to bet on it. Questions have been raised about the long-term viability of this growth, some suggesting that a post-lockdown world will revert to type, with land-based betting once again taking precedent.

I disagree with this sentiment – the ingredients for sustained success are very much present in Portugal and I see no reason to suggest that this market will be anything other than a bastion for sports betting on the worldwide stage. The difficult battle, acquisition, has already been won – retention is now the market’s key directive. Sportingtech’s Quantum platform is expertly placed to assist in this – Quantum Power, for instance, is designed to improve and boost both player acquisition and retention and is a fully localized product, featuring open APIs for full integration and customization.

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The sharp increase in numbers will level out in time, but this is to be expected. What the market must do to future-proof the progress it has made is provide stability with robust and scalable platforms. This, combined with high-quality content and good UI/UX, will provide a workable framework for a continuation of current trends. This would, in turn, attract even more tier-one operators who, once established with a tried-and-true platform like Quantum, could fuel the second wave of growth.

Online gambling in Portugal has now established itself, and emphatically so. While proceeding with caution, the market must take constructive steps to solidify its position as a potential cornerstone of the European industry. Putting faith in the platforms that have already proved they are worthy of fuelling growth, such as Quantum, is one such step. The stage is set for this market to truly make its mark on the betting industry: underestimate it at your peril.

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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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Alex Pratt

Clarion Gaming Digital Expands North American Reach with Global Gaming Business Acquisition

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iGaming Business (iGB) parent company Clarion Gaming Digital has acquired Global Gaming Business (GGB) as it accelerates its growth strategy across North America.

The purchase includes GGB magazine’s annual publications Casino Style, Tribal Government Gaming and Progressive Products Preview (P3) as well as its online assets including GGB News.

It will extend the digital publishing business’ global reach as the North American market enters a crucial phase, providing clients with access to a significantly bigger audience through its range of marketing services products.

Founded in 2002, GGB is trusted title with a reach beyond sports betting and iGaming into commercial and tribal gaming. It bolsters Clarion Gaming Digital’s ability to provide a comprehensive range of news, analysis and data to every sector of the industry.

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The acquisition is a cornerstone of a wider multimillion pound investment to enhance Clarion Gaming Digital’s data and audience development.

“This is a major milestone for our digital business as we unlock the benefits of our investment,” the Managing Director for Clarion Gaming, Alex Pratt, said. “We are acquiring a business with deep industry heritage and with it the opportunity to build on its solid foundations in the United States.”

The B2B Global Content Director for Clarion Gaming Digital, Robin Harrison, said the acquisition came amid changes to state regulations as well as new land-based and online developments across the United States and Canada.

“We are delighted to seal this deal, which brings in new industry expertise to the team, expands our reach and consolidates our presence in a crucial region,” Harrison said. “We will build an offering that acts as the final word on key industry developments and GGB’s authority and relationships takes us a step closer to that goal.”

“We have had lengthy discussions with Clarion Gaming Digital in recent years and believe it shares our passion and vision for serving our readership in a way that will maintain the quality of the publications for decades to come,” the publisher and Chief Executive Officer for Casino Connection International LLC, the parent of GGB, Roger Gros, said. “As the gaming industry continues to grow in many different ways, our relationship with Clarion will make certain that our pivotal role in the industry remains unchanged and we can continue our important work going forward.”

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Clarion Gaming Digital plans to further accelerate its North American expansion by leveraging unique partnerships on offer through the wider Clarion Events portfolio such as the DigitalPlay Summit at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention over April 10 to 11.

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Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Aristocrat Invests in Kinectify, Appoints Jason Walbridge as Board Member

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Kinectify, a pioneering technology firm spearheading risk management innovation in gaming, has announced an incremental investment by Aristocrat Leisure Limited (Aristocrat).

Aristocrat’s investment in Kinectify is joined by current investors contributing additional capital underscoring confidence in Kinectify. Contributing investors include Acies Investments, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and the former CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora. Concurrently, gaming executive Jason Walbridge has joined the Kinectify board of directors as Aristocrat’s representative to enhance strategic benefits between Aristocrat and Kinectify.

Walbridge brings extensive global operational experience in both land-based and online gaming markets. For over two decades, he has been a leader in the gaming industry. In 2022, Walbridge commenced an advisory role with Aristocrat, focused particularly on the development of their online real money gaming business, Anaxi.

Prior to his current association with Aristocrat, Walbridge held key executive positions in other established gaming entities. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of NYX Gaming and became Chief Operating Officer of SG Digital following NYX Gaming’s acquisition by Scientific Games (now Light & Wonder). Preceding these two roles, Walbridge spent 18 years with Aristocrat, holding various executive positions across global markets. His deep understanding of industry dynamics, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation, makes him an invaluable addition to Kinectify’s board.

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Walbridge said: “I am thrilled to work with Kinectify to pioneer innovation in risk management across the gaming ecosystem. I’ve been impressed by Kinectify’s track record so far with its AML and responsible gaming technology, and I’m excited to facilitate deeper collaboration between our companies.”

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