By Simon Wright Jan 2, 2023
So another 12 months have been and gone and 2022 is now behind us, so as we welcome in 2023, let’s take a look down memory lane and see what made the headlines throughout the past year.
Increased regulation, mergers and acquisitions, big wins and more, all made the news throughout 2022, as did the return of industry conferences thanks to the restrictions caused by the Covid 19 pandemic going by the wayside.
The start of the year sees us sitting down with Duncan Garvie the founder and trustee of BetBlocker.org, with Duncan providing Casinomeister and our visitors with detailed information on how the responsible gambling app actually works. Putting to bed in the process some misconceptions.
BetBlocker is run as a charity and receives it’s funding from industry donations. It is free for all users from any country and you can download it as many times as you want/need.
The month of January 2022 saw the High Street Bookmaker Ladbrokes come in for criticism, as unlike their big rivals William Hill, Ladbrokes which is part of the Entain plc group, continued to hold on to the £100m furlough payments the betting giant received from the UK government.
Compliance specialists Rightlander announced the release of their latest product, the Telegram Monitoring Tool, which allows their clients to monitor affiliates marketing their products via the Telegram instant messaging service, thus ensuring their compliance with regulations.
Whilst the UK’s National Health Service announced that as from the start of April 2022 that they will no longer rely on funding from GambleAware to fund their services to treat problem gambling.
The ‘Live Casino’ specialists Real Dealer Studios appointed their first ‘celebrity’ dealer, with the former footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones taking up position on the tables.
The Betting and Gaming Council asserted that more and more UK players are moving to unregulated online sites as a result of what they perceive as over regulation by the UKGC.
Also staying in the UK and the news that the National Lottery operator Camelot were planning to commence court action against the UKGC.
This action came about over the UKGC’s decision of awarding the next lottery operator’s licence to Allwyn, owned by the Czech billionaire Karel Komarek.
The month of March also saw the UKGC dish out penalty packages and fines totalling a staggering £15m as a result of licensees including 888.com, to have been found in breach of regulations.
Regulatory concerns and actions from regulators continues to be a running theme of 2022 so far. The month of April saw the UK’s Gambling Commission announce plans to ban sports stars and celebrities, to include social media influencers from all gambling related advertising campaigns, starting from 1st October.
Conferences resumed after a couple of years hiatus enforced as a result of the Covid Pandemic, with the ICE and London Affiliate Conference returning to Excel London this month.
However, the highlight of the conference week was undoubtedly Casinomeister ‘Director’ and owner Bryan Bailey being recognised for his contribution to the iGaming industry at the prestigious iGB Affiliate Awards.
The Casinomeister was the recipient of the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award. Way to go Bryan!
Despite the impending cost of living crisis which was beginning to build in 2022, the Stockholm based casino game studio Fantasma Games reported record financials in the first quarter of the year.
While the Malta based casino game studio Pragmatic Play continued their expansion in the burgeoning regulated Latin American market, by linking up with the leading Venezuelan operator La Troya Hípica.
The month of May also saw the UKGC mete out more fines and penalties to licensees, with Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play being said recipients of the action.
Over in Sweden, the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen took action against William Hill owned brands Mr Green and Evoke, after both were to have been found to be in breach of their reporting obligations, as laid out in the terms of their respective Swedish operator licenses.
The Peru Gaming Show got underway this month, with the two day event held in the capital Lima attracting numerous operators in what is regarded as the most important international games of chance fair in Latin America.
The regulated Ontario market continues to attract more applications for licenses, with SkillOnNet the latest to receive a licence with their operator PlayOJO.
Some good news was announced at the end of June, with the demise of Betat Casino being announced, with the former accredited casino which turned rogue, announcing they are closing their virtual doors.
Evolution Gaming enter into an agreement to acquire the casino game studio Nolimit City, for an eye watering €340m in cash.
Speculation mounts that a £5 maximum bet is to be imposed on online casinos regulated and licensed within the UK.
The UK Conservative politician Sir Ian Duncan Smith calls for the government to introduce a levy on all gambling companies which operate and are licensed in the UK. With all monies being raised by such a levy to subsequently be used to pay for gambling addiction treatment.
IGT acquire the casino game studio iSoftBet for a cash consideration of €160m.
Casinomeister is shortlisted for the ‘Best Affiliate’ at the upcoming SiGMA/ AGS Balkan Awards which is held in Belgrade at the end of August.
The Kindred Group who own and operate the likes of 32Red and Unibet, announces that they will commence exercising the buy-back mandate which was received at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 10th June earlier this year.
Novomatic’s Greentube are awarded a licence by iGaming Ontario. While fellow casino game studio 4ThePlayer announces that they have been granted a transactional waiver by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and are live across New Jersey, with top tier operators.
Entain plc get hit with a record £17m penalty by the UK Gambling Commission, after being found to have social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at its online and land-based businesses.
The MGM Resorts announce to their shareholders that they have received government clearance to go ahead with their offer to acquire the LeoVegas Group.
The United Kingdom has a new Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the government department responsible for overseeing the gambling industry in the country. Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan is appointed to the position in Whitehall.
UKGC rules covering ‘at risk customers’ come into force.
Casino game studio Swintt confirm that they have been successful in their application for a licence from the Gambling Commission in the UK.
The accredited online casino PlayOJO powered by SkillOnNet, has emerged victorious in this year’s UK Social Media awards, beating the likes of Sky, Now TV and Netflix UK along the way.
Social media site Twitch takes aim at slot streamers utilising their platform.
The Isle of Man based Microgaming are to yet again spotlight gambling charities during Safer Gambling Week, which was held from October 17th to 23rd.
The Responsible Gambling Directory is launched in conjunction with The Pogg and BetBlocker.
RAW iGaming which acquired Leander Games, rebrands their Leander LeGa platform to RAW Arena.
StakeLogic are quick out of the blocks by announcing their first festive themed slot game with the release of Santa Express.
Nominations for the Casinomeister 2022 Awards are opened to members of the forum community here on Casinomeister.
The casino game studios go into overdrive, seemingly releasing a new festive themed slot every day between them!
The small matter of the Fifa World Cup being held in Qatar garners a lot of interest and ‘banter’ on the forum. Argentina winning out over penalties after an entertaining final with France.
The Gaming Innovation Group have turned full circle from operator and announce the acquisition of the affiliate site Ask Gamblers from Catena Media for over €40m.
Casinomeister forum member me_and_ed hits the Grand Jackpot at Winz.io, while taking part in the competition they are running on the forum.