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eCOGRA Announces Leadership Transition

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eCOGRA, the leading Testing, Inspection, and Certification company serving the iGaming industry, announced two changes to its leadership structure.

Following a period of outstanding international growth, which has seen eCOGRA expand to 39 jurisdictional approvals, including most recently Peru and Brazil, as well as establish new offices in Europe and the US, the business announced Will Shuckburgh has been appointed to the newly created role of Group CEO from 1 July 2024. As part of the transition to a fully global business, the Company also announced Shaun McCallaghan, who has been with the Company for 16 years, the last 6 of which have been as CEO, will take on the new board role of Senior Director, Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

Will Shuckburgh brings a proven track record leading customer focused businesses through periods of high growth and international expansion. Will, who joined eCOGRA in January 2024, is set to assume the role of Group CEO, following a 6-month hand over period. He has previously held positions as Managing Director at Nectar, Executive Vice President & Chief Membership Officer at Rakuten, as well as Chief Executive Officer of Invincible Brands, amongst others. In these roles, he successfully designed and executed strategies, to achieve profitable growth across multiple markets where client experience was essential.

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Shaun McCallaghan has been a driving force behind eCOGRA’s success in recent years. Shaun’s approach is underscored by hard work, unwavering client loyalty and service, and the building of robust regulatory business relationships. Shaun has played a key role in securing dual accreditations, expanding jurisdictional coverage, diversifying the service offering, and enlarging eCOGRA’s client and staff base, while also successfully extending Testing, Inspection, and Certification services into North and South America. These, amongst many other achievements, have helped eCOGRA continue to grow and support clients in the ever-changing regulatory environment in which they operate.

Shaun now looks forward to taking up his newly formed role of Senior Director, Operations and Regulatory Affairs. This role will focus on ensuring clients will continue to receive the same high quality and reliable services that they have been accustomed to from eCOGRA. Shaun will continue to be a member of the board.

Mark Brooker, the Group Chairman, said: “Will’s appointment brings fresh energy, insight and strategic vision, aligning perfectly with eCOGRA’s commitment to excellence across each of its markets. The changes also reflect eCOGRA’s commitment to stability and innovation, with Shaun continuing to play a key role in the Company’s future success through his new role of Senior Director, Operations and Regulatory Affairs.”

David Cowan, representing the majority shareholder Hanover Investors, commented: “This transition signifies a natural evolution in eCOGRA’s leadership landscape in response to the strong growth of the business. Shaun’s transition enables a more hands-on approach to delivery, ensuring eCOGRA’s expansion maintains the highest standards of service to positively elevate the client journey. Meanwhile, Will Shuckburgh, is a seasoned high-growth CEO with an impressive track record, who brings visionary leadership and transformative abilities to the business. Known for identifying and capitalising on emerging opportunities, Will’s focus on fostering a culture of collaboration, and continuous improvement will elevate eCOGRA’s global presence. Together Will and Shaun will maintain our steadfast commitment to excellence and have the full support of the Board and the Shareholders.”

The post eCOGRA Announces Leadership Transition appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Press Statement from Hard Rock International Related to Star Entertainment Announcement

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Hard Rock International has released the following statement denying the report from Star Entertainment Group regarding potential transactions between the companies.

“Hard Rock International would like to address recent reports regarding a proposed purchase of the Star Entertainment Group Limited (Star) in Australia. We want to make it clear that Hard Rock International is not involved in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities or negotiations on its behalf in connection with a proposed bid for Star. Hard Rock International has similarly not authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any proposed bid for Star by any third party.

“Our brand is built on a legacy of integrity, excellence, and a commitment to our guests, partners, and team members worldwide. Any misuse of the Hard Rock name in unauthorized business dealings is taken very seriously. We are currently investigating this matter and will pursue all necessary legal actions to protect our brand and reputation.

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“We urge stakeholders and the public to rely only on official communications from Hard Rock International for accurate information regarding our business activities and partnerships.”

The post Press Statement from Hard Rock International Related to Star Entertainment Announcement appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Dubravka Burda

IGT Continues Multi-Level Progressive Momentum with New Tiger and Dragon Game on the PeakCurve49 Cabinet

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International Game Technology PLC announced that its new multi-level progressive (MLP) game, Tiger and Dragon, recently debuted on casino floors across the US. Available on the sleek PeakCurve49 cabinet, Tiger and Dragon combines new and proven mechanics with high bonus frequencies for an action-packed entertainment experience.

“We made a commitment to advancing IGT’s game performance with strong multi-level progressive content and leveraged our extensive research and focus group capabilities to achieve this with the award-winning Prosperity Link and Mystery of the Lamp MLP games. Bolstered by our strong momentum in the MLP space, we combined proven game mechanics with exciting new features and gameplay in the development of Tiger and Dragon. We’re excited to unveil this extremely fun and entertaining game with our casino operator partners and their players,” said Dubravka Burda, IGT SVP Global Studios.

The Tiger and Dragon MLP is available in two base games, Multiplier and Cash On Reels. Both games feature three unique bonuses: Tiger, Dragon, and the combined Tiger and Dragon bonus. The game introduces an entirely new lock-and-respin and reveal bonus structure featuring money ball symbols with credit values that can combine. In another new game mechanic, when gong symbols on reels land in the same row, monetary winnings are revealed. Adding to the gameplay excitement are the game’s “up arrows” that appear on reels and increase credit values exponentially.

The game’s Tiger bonus presents win opportunities on a 3×5 reel matrix, and both the Dragon bonus and the combined Tiger and Dragon bonus advance the reels to an 8×5 reel matrix for big win potential. The vibrant game stands out on the gaming floor on the PeakCurve49 cabinet with unique merchandising options, vivid graphics, and LED signage.

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Entain: Capital Allocation Committee Update

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Entain, the global sports betting and gaming group, announced the conclusion of a strategic review by the Board’s Capital Allocation Committee (CapCo) of Entain’s portfolio of markets, brands and verticals, which commenced in January 2024.

With the objective of maximising shareholder value and reflecting the operational progress of the business, the conclusions of the review are:

  • Entain has the appropriate portfolio of diversified strategic assets, brands, capabilities and geographic footprint to ensure it is well positioned to deliver high quality long term growth.
  • There remains significant upside by focusing on delivery of the Group’s strategy of returning to organic revenue growth, expanding margins and winning in the US.
  • Entain’s balance sheet and leverage position is robust and has been strengthened by the recent extension of Entain’s RCF and term loan repricing and add-ons.
  • Crystalbet, the leading gaming brand in Georgia, is non-core to the Group. As such, strategic alternatives for this business will be considered, including interest already received from potential acquirers.

As part of this review, the CapCo considered developments in Entain’s key markets and the operational progress made towards its strategic objectives including:

  • Brazil returning to strong double-digit revenue growth during Q2, with actions taken to improve customer acquisition and retention accelerating the performance.
  • The levelling of the regulatory playing field in the UK with the new voluntary industry code on customer safer gambling checks and implementation of industry wide slots limits from September, together with improving customer offer, support expectation of returning to growth later this year.
  • Delivery of the product roadmap for BetMGM is progressing well, including recently launched MLB and NBA sports betting markets supported by Angstrom’s unique capabilities, particularly in parlay products.
  • On 16 May 2024, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the applications of Entain and certain of its subsidiaries without limitation.
  • Entain CEE is performing well and the outlook for online casino liberalisation in Poland is increasingly encouraging.
  • Project Romer is on track to deliver targeted cost savings through simplifying Entain’s operations and improving efficiency.

Following the review, the CapCo will continue to regularly review strategic progress and consider options to maximise shareholder value, including ongoing oversight of all significant aspects of capital commitments.

Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, said: “I am delighted that the Capital Allocation Committee has concluded its strategic review of our portfolio. Whilst we still have more work to do to improve our operational performance, the Board is pleased with the progress Entain is making so far in 2024 in line with our strategy. The Group has the core strengths, brands and products to be competitive across its markets and continues to be a global leader in betting and gaming. The Board looks forward to updating the market further on its progress at the interim results in August.”

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