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Introducing the Winners of the 2024 Game Developer Awards

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Play’n GO, Playtech, Elk Studios, Pragmatic Play and streamer CasinoDaddy were some of the big names celebrating victories at the 2024 edition of the Game Developer Awards ceremony.

Concluding the final day of the highly successful CasinoBeats Summit, the illustrious awards ceremony, which took place at the Hilton Malta, was a night dedicated to honouring the remarkable achievements of the iGaming industry.

The evening witnessed the return of veteran host Trudy Kerr, alongside award-winning game developer John Romero, as they handed out 28 awards to accomplished operators, game studios and individuals.

Award categories included:

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  • Game Performance,
  • Streamers,
  • Game Creation,
  • Game People,
  • SlotCatalog,
  • Casino Platform, and
  • Best Game Release.

Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of SBC, said: “The Game Developer Awards offers a pivotal opportunity to honour the remarkable accomplishments of the industry, celebrating both regional and global brands as well as individual talent. This year’s shortlist was by far the most competitive we have seen, and I would like to congratulate all our esteemed winners.”

It was a good night for Play’n GO, who secured the prestigious SlotCatalog’s Game Studio of the Year (Large) award for the second consecutive year, whilst also picking up the Game Music / Soundtrack accolade for their title Hugo Legacy.

The game creation categories saw:

  • Playtech once again take home the Game Licensed Content award for their work on Breaking Bad: Cash Collect & Link.
  • Hacksaw Gaming was awarded Game Feature of the Year for their title Chaos Crew 2,
  • Relax Gaming was honoured with the Game Design & Art Direction award for Money Train 4, and
  • GAMOMAT was named winner of the Game Retro-Style award for Fancy Fruits Deluxe.

Pragmatic Play notably took home two awards on the night, winning both the Game Mechanic of the Year award for their MultiHold mechanic and Slot Legacy Title for Gates of Olympus.

The SlotCatalog categories saw:

  • GAMOMAT return to the stage to pick up their second award of the night for Best Game Development Company Central Europe, while
  • Playson was awarded Best Game Studio In Development Countries.
  • Reel Kingdom secured the SlotCatalog’s Game Studio of the Year (Medium) award,
  • Fortune Factory Studios was named SlotCatalog’s Game Studio of the Year (Small) and
  • IGT Play Digital claimed SlotCatalog’s Best Game Development Company North America.

The coveted SlotCatalog’s Rookie of the Year accolade was presented to industry newcomers Area Vegas.

In honour of the individual achievements in the industry, the Game People categories saw:

  • Andrei Filipovich of Aviatrix awarded Game Designer of the Year,
  • Julia Aliakseyeva from BGaming named Product Manager of the Year and
  • PearFiction Studios’ Jean-Pierre Larouche presented with the Game Composer of the Year award.

EveryMatrix won the Aggregator of the Year award, The Mill Adventure was awarded Platform Innovation of the Year, while the Best Game Release award went to Lambda Gaming for 8Bit Football Twinko.

This year’s edition saw the introduction of two new awards:

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  • the FTN Game of the Year award which was sponsored by BetConstruct and presented to Rubyplay for Mad Hit Olympic First, and
  • the CasinoBeats Annual Community Recognition Award which was awarded to SoftConstruct for its work on BFTH Arena.

It was a big night for CasinoDaddy who took home the esteemed Streamer of the Year award, while The Slot Beasts and Haddzy were recipients of two new Streamer awards, Responsible Streamer of the Year and Next-Gen Streamer of the Year, respectively.

In the Game Performance categories:

  • PowderKeg Studios claimed the Slot Debut award for their title Munition Mines,
  • Stormcraft Studios won Slot to Watch for their work on Immortal Romance 2, while
  • Light & Wonder and Netflix took home Slot Collaboration of the Year for Squid Game.

The illustrious Slot of the Year award went to Elk Studios for Pirots 2.

“Last night’s ceremony was a tremendous success and proved to be a truly memorable night. I would like to thank our official partner Gaming Malta, alongside all our supporting sponsors for their help in honouring the incredible achievements of the industry” Sojmark added.

The awards ceremony concluded the final day of the CasinoBeats Summit, which saw 4,500 industry professionals convene at the InterContinental Hotel in Malta, the hub of iGaming.

 

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Arizona

Arizona Department of Gaming Reports $43.6 Million in Tribal Gaming Contributions for the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024

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Arizona Department of Gaming Reports $43.6 Million in Tribal Gaming Contributions for the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024

 

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced today $43,586,004 in tribal gaming contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund for the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. This amount represents an approximate 3.3 percent increase when compared to the same quarter of FY 2023.

“Celebrating yet another remarkable milestone in tribal gaming, we are thrilled to announce that Arizona has witnessed yet another record-breaking year,” said Jackie Johnson, Cabinet Executive Officer, ADG. “With a record contribution of $157.2 million to the Arizona Benefits Fund, our tribal partners have once again demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the prosperity of our state and local communities. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our tribal partners for their continued dedication and collaboration.”

The Arizona Benefits Fund receives 88 percent of tribal gaming contributions, providing significant dollars to support instructional improvement in schools, trauma and emergency care, tourism, and wildlife conservation throughout the state.

Tribal gaming contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund for the 4th quarter of the State’s FY 2024 are as follows:

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Instructional Improvement Fund/Education ………………………………………………….. $22,474,451
Trauma and Emergency Services Fund ………………………………………………………….. $10,861,632
Arizona Department of Gaming operating costs ………………………………………………. $3,308,133
Arizona Wildlife Conservation Fund ……………………………………………………………….. $3,103,324
Tourism Fund ………………………………………………………………………………………………. $3,103,324
Problem Gambling Education, Treatment and Prevention …………………………………… $735,140

FY 2024 Qtr 4 Total: Tribal Gaming Contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund….. $43,586,004

 

Per the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, tribes with casinos also contribute a percentage of their Class III gross gaming revenue to cities, towns, and counties. Total tribal contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund in addition to cities, towns, and counties in the state has amounted to over $2.2 billion since FY 2004. Currently, there are 25 Class III casinos in Arizona, which ADG regulates in partnership with Arizona tribes.

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Aristocrat Gaming Unveils Official Partnership with Dallas Cowboys

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Aristocrat Gaming and the Dallas Cowboys announced a multi-year partnership naming the company an Official Partner of the Cowboys. As an Official Partner, Aristocrat Gaming will have prominent signage throughout the stadium year-round, including in-stadium, on the concourse, and in-game branding. Additional features will include in-game promotions, digital integrations, and game-day activations at AT&T Stadium.

The news of this partnership further accentuates the game-changing multi-year slot licensing agreement with Aristocrat Gaming and the National Football League (NFL). The player-favorite NFL-themed games are available to play at casinos nationwide and have demonstrated proven performance. The team-selectable feature on the games allows fans a new way to engage with their favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, both in the stadium and on the reels.

“We are proud to be the newest partner of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment organizations with a proud championed history, much like Aristocrat Gaming’s. With the success of the NFL Slots portfolio, we have been able to bring the excitement of fan-favorite teams like the Dallas Cowboys to casino floors across the country. We look forward to bringing even more innovative experiences to fans through this partnership,” Hector Fernandez, CEO of Aristocrat Gaming, said.

“The Cowboys are excited to partner with Aristocrat Gaming to bring even more ways to entertain our fans. We pride ourselves on aligning with world-class partners, and Aristocrat Gaming has been a trailblazer in the gaming industry for decades. We are thrilled to work with the Aristocrat team on activation and branding opportunities throughout the year and to have our Cowboys marks featured on their slot machines nationwide,” Chad Estis, Executive Vice President of Business Operations of the Dallas Cowboys, said.

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“As The Official Casino of the Dallas Cowboys, WinStar World Casino & Resort is ecstatic to have Aristocrat Gaming as the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys family. The top-performing NFL Slots make this partnership a natural fit and we look forward to bringing new experiences to our patrons as a result of this announcement,” Jack Parkinson, President of WinStar World Casino & Resort, said.

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Navajo Gaming Appoints John James as Chief Executive Officer

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Navajo Gaming has appointed John James as its Chief Executive Officer.

John James brings more than two decades of professional gaming and hospitality experience to Navajo Gaming. He previously served as CEO of River Rock Entertainment Authority in Geyserville California. There he exemplified his strong leadership skills by identifying and implementing innovative operational improvements to grow revenue while improving morale through thoughtful strategic direction and mentoring.

Prior to that, he led numerous tribal casinos including serving as CEO of Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Washington, CEO of Soboba Casino Resort in California, COO of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in California, and CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises in Arizona. Additionally, he has served in leadership positions for Seminole Gaming Inc., Pechanga Resort and Casino, and various successful Station Casino properties.

As CEO of Navajo Gaming, John James will oversee and manage Navajo Gaming properties in New Mexico and Arizona, as well as ensure that Navajo Gaming policies and objectives are met. His three main objectives are to strengthen Navajo Gaming and the hospitality economy, return revenue to the Navajo Nation, and provide additional jobs to members of the Navajo Nation.

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“Navajo Gaming has grown to a multi-million-dollar enterprise over the past 15 years. John James brings extensive gaming and management experience and leadership qualities to lead Navajo Gaming. James has been widely recognized as the industry’s ‘best of the best’ for his exceptional strategic and positive impact. He will stimulate continued growth and success for Navajo Gaming as we remain focused on job creation and enhancing the Navajo economy,” Quincy Natay, Chairman of the Navajo Gaming Board of Directors, said.

“I am honored to serve Navajo Gaming’s team and guests under the stewardship of the board and alongside such a strong management team. Our industry is transforming rapidly and there is tremendous opportunity for Navajo Gaming to capitalize on opportunities, elevate guest experiences and solidify our reputation as exceptional destinations where memories are made,” John James said.

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