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Gaming Americas Q1 2024 Meetup: Balancing Slot Mechanics and the US Legislation Roundup

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Gaming Americas Q1 2024 Meetup: Balancing Slot Mechanics and the US Legislation Roundup

 

HIPTHER’s Virtual Quarterly Meetups for the Gaming industry have officially returned for 2024! The Gaming Americas Q1 Virtual Meetup took place on February 28, featuring an informative panel on Innovating Slot Mechanics, and our staple US Legislation Round-up.

HIPTHER’s Co-Founder, Zoltan Tuendik, hosted the first session about Slot Mechanics, featuring Connor Blinman, Head of Games at Gaming Corps, and Raph Di Guisto, Founder at Silverback Gaming. For the Q1 US Legislation Roundup, the “usual suspects” Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling at Entain, Bill J. Pascrell III, Esq, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group Inc, and Jeremy Kleiman, Gaming Attorney and Member at Saiber LLC, reunited for a session that offered ample insight into the latest regulatory updates in the United States.

The first part of the Meetup primarily focused on the future direction of the gaming industry, including emerging trends in slots and game mechanics, the potential of virtual reality and multiplayer technology in the casino industry, and the game development process. The US Legislation Roundup walked us through the challenges faced by the online gambling industry due to the popularity of unregulated offshore sites, the sports betting industry, the legalization of iGaming in various states, the regulation of online gambling and sports betting, and the future of online sports betting and iGaming services.

 

Innovating Slot Mechanics: Balancing Novelty with User Experience

Connor and Raph discussed the game development process, highlighting the importance of understanding the target audience, conducting market research, and introducing innovative mechanics. They anticipate a trend towards medium volatility games with increased player engagement. They also discussed the potential of skill-based and personalized gaming experiences, as well as integrating multiplayer technology. The conversation underscored the complexities of the market and the need for continuous innovation. They discussed the challenges of introducing a new feature in the competitive slots game market and the importance of adapting and innovating. They also focused on reducing player fatigue and burnout and adapting to evolving market needs. The discussion ended with a focus on measuring the success of new game mechanics after their release using player feedback and data analysis.

 

Q1 US Legislation Roundup: Online Gambling Challenges, New Markets,Taxation, and Sports Betting Industry

Jeremy discussed the difficulties faced by the online gambling industry due to the popularity of unregulated offshore sites among players in regulated markets. He questioned the incentives for players to switch to regulated sites and acknowledged this as a challenge for both the industry and regulators.The conversation between Jeremy, Bill, and Martin revolved around sports betting, particularly in New York and North Carolina, with a focus on tax rates and policy. The need for investing in consumer protection, innovation, and improved customer experience was emphasized.

Bill Pascrell discussed the challenges and progress of online gaming in various states, including the potential tax increase proposed in New Jersey and the readiness of other states to legalize iGaming. The conversation primarily focused on the introduction of sports betting legislation in various states and its potential impact. The panelists also briefly touched on the possibility of regulating online casino and poker games in Maryland. The conversation emphasized the importance of bringing in interested operators, incentivizing them with bonuses, deductions, and reasonable tax rates.

Bill, Martin and Jeremy had a wide-ranging discussion about the sports betting industry. They highlighted the role of Senator Hoskins and his support for the industry. They also touched upon the public perception of the industry and the need for responsible gambling. The conversation explored the challenges of regulating the Black Market and the potential for increased tax revenue. The group also acknowledged the need for the industry to proactively educate the public about its benefits. Towards the end, they discussed the difficulty of creating a positive narrative around the industry.

Bill, Jeremy, and Martin discussed the regulation of online gambling and sports betting, emphasizing the need for a balance between industry growth and job creation, and addressing concerns about dysfunction and stakeholder engagement. They also touched on the potential of technological innovation and the risk of entrenched market shares. The conversation concluded with a reminder about the importance of integrity, compliance, legality, and responsible gaming in the industry. The trio discussed the need to respect tribes and engage with them in negotiations. The issue of betting on college sports was raised, highlighting potential risks for players and the need for regulation. The discussion ended with a brief mention of the NCAA tournament and the importance of commercial operators’ support for legislation.

The panel concluded with thoughts on the future of online sports betting and iGaming services. The speakers emphasized the importance of agreements with individual states and the federal government to offer these services. The role of human interaction in understanding stakeholders’ interests and pain points was highlighted, and the potential for legalizing sports betting in California and other states was discussed, while acknowledging the problems with the black market. The need for a more efficient way to engage with tribes and the necessity of regulation were stressed as next steps to drive out the black market.

 

Coming up Next:

Watch the recording of the Gaming Americas Q1 Meetup on HIPTHER TV, and keep an eye out for our next Gaming Americas Quarterly Meetups for 2024!

 

Compliance Updates

Elys BMG Group Announces Approval for The Ugly Mug Sportsbook in Washington, DC.

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Elys BMG Group announced that The Ugly Mug in Washington D.C. has been granted provisional approval from the District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Gaming Regulation and Oversight Division (DCOLG) to open its sportsbook at 723 8th St. SE. As the fourth privately owned sportsbook venue in the District powered by Elys’ innovative Gameboard betting technology, The Ugly Mug stands as a testament to Elys’ commitment to bringing cutting-edge solutions to local businesses and sports enthusiasts.

The grand opening for The Ugly Mug sportsbook is anticipated to occur during the week of April 27th. Elys will unveil the grand opening festivities, promotions, and events as the date draws closer.

With easy access to sports wagering and a classic American menu in a relaxed setting, The Ugly Mug sportsbook is set to become a premier destination in the Navy Yard region of Washington D.C. and is another step forward for Elys becoming the leading betting technology provider for neighborhood sportsbooks in the US.

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Compliance Updates

eCOGRA Authorized to Offer Certification Services in Brazil

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eCOGRA, the Internationally renowned Independent Testing Laboratory, has been officially authorized by the Secretaria De Prêmios e Apostas (SPA) to operate as a certifying entity for betting systems, live gaming studios, and online games in Brazil. This announcement marks a significant milestone as eCOGRA continues to extend its international offering of iGaming testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services in regulated markets across the globe.

The announcement comes two months to the day after eCOGRA received approval to operate as a Certification Laboratory in Peru. The organization now operates in 39 online gambling jurisdictions, including Buenos Aires City and Province, Peru, Mendoza, Colombia, and Brazil in South America.

Since its establishment in 2003, eCOGRA has been at the forefront of online gambling certification, providing assurance on fairness and safety to players while offering the highest standards in TIC services to industry operators and software providers seeking to comply with regulatory requirements. The approval to operate in Brazil reflects both the trust eCOGRA has built in the international iGaming community and the quality of its certification services.

Bradley Khoury, Chief Technical Officer of eCOGRA, said: “We are thrilled to bring over two decades of expertise in online gambling certification to the vibrant market of Brazil. This approval from the Secretaria De Prêmios e Apostas (SPA) of the Brazilian Ministry of Finance is not only a testament to our unwavering commitment to the highest standards of competence and quality but also marks an exciting new chapter for eCOGRA. We look forward to working closely with Brazilian operators and interested parties to ensure a safe and fair gaming environment for all players.”

The new Brazilian regulatory framework aims to effectively safeguard player interests and enhance the integrity of online gambling operations within the country.

“Brazil offers a dynamic and rapidly growing market, and we are excited to contribute to its development. Our goal is to ensure that Brazilian players have access to certified iGaming experiences, akin to what has successfully been implemented in other highly regulated jurisdictions,” Khoury added.

Operators and software developers offering in the federal Brazilian jurisdiction seeking to comply with the laws and regulations by undergoing testing, inspection, and certification can now turn to eCOGRA for their renowned services, assured of their commitment to quality, impartiality, and fairness.

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Compliance Updates

IGT and Acres to Resolve All Pending Litigation

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International Game Technology (IGT) and Acres 4.0, Acres Manufacturing Company, and John Acres (Acres) announced that effective April 12, 2024, they have reached an agreement to resolve all legal disputes between the two companies. Terms of the settlement have not been announced.

The resolution was reached in the US District Court of Nevada, directed to US patents that pertain to facilitating use of a financial transaction device in a cashless wagering system in a gaming system, and Nevada State Court directed to a breach of contract claims.

“IGT is pleased to reach a mutual agreement with Acres that resolves all disputes between us. This allows us to dedicate our collective resources where they are better served, driving continued innovation in the exciting and evolving cashless gaming space,” said Nick Khin, IGT COO Gaming.

“We are thrilled to put this matter behind us and work cooperatively with IGT to build exciting new gambling experiences that can increase both player enjoyment and casino profits,” John Acres, CEO of Acres, said.

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GamingAmericas.com (part of HIPTHER) is your one-stop portal for the latest news, insights, and analyses in the gaming industry across the Americas. From legislative updates and market trends to interviews with industry leaders, we provide a comprehensive look at the dynamic landscape of both online and land-based gaming. Whether you're a stakeholder looking to stay ahead of the curve or a gaming enthusiast eager for reliable updates, GamingAmericas.com has got you covered. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for real-time updates and exclusive content. Make informed decisions and stay ahead in the game with GamingAmericas.com.

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