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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 94 No.9A - Monday March 1, 2021

 

 

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IGT PlayDigital Announces Highly Successful Rollout of Wheel of Fortune® Megaways™ Slots Game

IGT and Big Time Gaming pair iconic Wheel of Fortune slots brand with proven Megaways mechanic to create dynamic game for online and mobile slots players

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LONDON, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- International Game Technology PLC ("IGT") (NYSE: IGT) announced today that it has successfully rolled out the highly anticipated Wheel of Fortune® Megaways™ slots game on IGT PlayDigital's online game delivery platform.

Wheel of Fortune Megaways first launched in New Jersey, where the game set new performance records and drove significant player acquisition and retention for IGT's customers. Earlier this week, IGT also launched the game in approved jurisdictions throughout Europe, with additional go-lives planned for 2021 in online gaming jurisdictions around the world.

The Wheel of Fortune Megaways game was built specifically for online and mobile play, and pairs the most popular slots theme of all time, Wheel of Fortune slots, with Big Time Gaming's (BTG) highly successful, patented Megaways game mechanic. The action-packed game joins the IGT PlayDigital library of more than 140 exciting PlayCasino games that entertain online and mobile players.

 

IGT Wheel of Fortune

 

BetMGM was among the first online casinos in New Jersey to offer IGT's Wheel of Fortune Megaways, developed by BTG. The game quickly became one of the online casino's most popular games in New Jersey based upon 2021 bets placed.

"BetMGM is committed to delivering a consistent, world-class gaming experience to our players. Since the addition of Wheel of Fortune Megaways to our gaming offering, it has catapulted to the top of our performance charts," said Matthew Sunderland, BetMGM VP of Gaming. "Particularly in combination with the Megaways mechanic, the quality and attraction of the Wheel of Fortune slots brand remains appealing to players across the United States."

"Big Time Gaming was honored to collaborate with the IGT PlayDigital team to bring the Wheel of Fortune Megaways online slots game to life," said Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO. "Applying Big Time Gaming's leading slots mechanics and pioneering game design to the iconic Wheel of Fortune slots brand that IGT has cultivated for more than two decades was an exceptional experience that resulted in a superior game."

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"In partnership with Big Time Gaming, IGT PlayDigital created a spectacular online game by combining the legendary Wheel of Fortune slots brand with the Megaways game mechanic, which offers players one million ways to win in the Free Spins bonus," said Enrico Drago, IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President. "In a time when digital gaming growth is critical to so many IGT customers around the world, delivering unique games such as Wheel of Fortune Megaways helps our customers drive performance and differentiate their game portfolios."

Wheel of Fortune Megaways is a six-reel, high volatility game that gives players up to 117,649 ways to win and an impressive one million ways to win in its Free Spins feature. During the title's base game, players have the chance for any wild symbol to morph into a Wild Megastack™ that is comprised of up to seven wilds that collectively can fill the entire reel. The vibrant game leverages familiar Wheel of Fortune sounds, symbols and imagery and gives players the chance to enjoy a new take on the player-favorite WHEEL-OF-FORTUNE! Wheel Bonus.

For more information and to watch Wheel of Fortune Megaways gameplay.

 

About IGT

IGT (NYSE: IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivaled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 11,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.igt.com

CONTACT:

Phil O'Shaughnessy, Global Communications, toll free in U.S./Canada +1 (844) IGT-7452; outside U.S./Canada +1 (401) 392-7452

Francesco Luti, +39 3485475493; for Italian media inquiries

James Hurley, Investor Relations, +1 (401) 392-7190

SOURCE: International Game Technology PLC.

 

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Camelot Illinois Invests in Making Illinois a Better Place to Live and Work

CHICAGO, Illinois (February 25, 2021) — Camelot Illinois today announced its latest series of grants to support local community groups across Illinois, while celebrating recognition of its positive impact on work culture through recent Built in Chicago awards.

“Camelot strives to make a positive difference in Illinois,” said Keith Horton, General Manager of Camelot Illinois. “We invest in the communities where we live, work, and play through the Camelot Illinois Grant Program and invest in our people by providing a modern, flexible workplace.”

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The Camelot Illinois Grant Program promotes community and neighborhood development by funding programs that foster educational opportunities and support technology initiatives. Camelot Illinois most recently awarded grant funds to the Association House of Chicago, Lost Boyz Inc., and the Salvation Army.

The Association House of Chicago will use this grant to provide much needed technological training in the community during an uncertain time.

“Association House of Chicago is proud to offer a virtual Technology Training Program that teaches participants entry-level digital literacy skills that allows them to pursue higher educational opportunities, and ultimately, secure long-term employment,” said Julia Rodriguez, Vice President of Association House of Chicago. “In a pandemic era that limits in-person interaction, this kind of program is essential.”

Lost Boyz Inc. was awarded a grant to support its efforts to address the social and emotional needs of Chicago’s youth boys and girls through organized sports and mentorship. 

“Lost Boyz is tremendously grateful to be a Camelot Illinois grant program recipient for the second year,” said Lexus Jackson-Watkins, Administrative Assistant of Lost Boyz Inc.  “This support will further enhance our ability to positively impact the lives of children on Chicago’s south and west sides.”

The Salvation Army is using the grant to support its COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Program, which provides residents with food and housing supplies, financial assistance, transportation and medical supplies. 

“The health and safety of the people we serve is our top priority,” said Commissioner Barry Swanson, divisional commander for The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division.  “We are here to provide hope and help to our neighbors in Chicagoland during this uncertain time.”

Camelot is committed to building and investing in the communities it works, which includes investing in its people. Camelot promotes diversity and inclusion in its employment practices, offers employees two volunteer days a year, and has provided support to enable all employees to work remotely and stay connected to the business.

Camelot is proud to receive three awards from Built In Chicago: Chicago’s Best Places to Work, Chicago’s Best Small Companies to Work For, and Chicago’s Best Paying Companies.

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Built In determines winners for Best Places to Work based on an algorithm, using company data about compensation, benefits, and cultural programs.  This year’s program weighted certain criteria more heavily, like remote opportunities and programs for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“By investing in the community we live in, our employees find ways to give back and also enjoy what they do,“ says Keith Horton.

Sheridan Orr, Chief Marketing Officer of Built In commented, “These companies raise the bar for cultural excellence and the ability to adapt to meet changing needs of employees. The 2021 winners show a commitment not just to creating meaningful cultures but to delivering talent needs as they change in a dynamic landscape.” 

Tech professionals rely on Built In’s Best Places to Work lists to discover employers that align with their preferences, passions, and values.  Since its inception three years ago, the award has expanded in reach, from online views of tens of thousands to just under one million views today.

About Camelot Illinois

Camelot Illinois is the private manager of the Illinois Lottery. In partnership with the State, Camelot operates a modern lottery that truly benefits the people of Illinois. Camelot is dedicated to working with transparency, integrity, and responsibility to grow the lottery and generate essential funding for education across the state. The company’s innovative approach places consumers and social responsibility at its core, providing funding for schools, capital projects, and special causes. To learn more, visit www.camelotillinois.com.

About Built In

Built In, a revolution in tech recruitment, serves more than 1,800 innovative companies of all sizes, from startups to the enterprise, delivering content and digital recruitment solutions that work. The platform amplifies companies’ brands as national, local, or remote employers of choice, as well as leaders in DEI. Monthly, 2.5 million tech professionals rely on Built In to stay up on trends, grow in their roles, and discover companies with missions they want to join. The platform publishes stories about companies’ tech, culture, and people. This activates sought-after professionals to apply to customers’ open roles. https://www.builtin.com

SOURCE: Camelot Illinois.

 

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Sächsische Lotto-GmbH Launch Thank you Campaign for Everyday Heroes

1,000 Euros to be Won.

 

Sachsenlotto informs:

• Thank you campaign for everyday heroes

• Win 1,000 euros

 

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LEIPZIG, Germany (March 1, 2021) -- The past year has clearly shown that everyday heroes are important and strengthen our coexistence. They often master difficult tasks unnoticed by the public. Now there is a way to say thank you to the personal hero and make him a winner.

Together with Morgenpost Sachsen, Sachsenlotto is looking for people who are committed to helping others as a matter of course.

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This commitment decisively shapes our common good and deserves recognition.

With this campaign, everyone can thank someone who helped them with their unselfish support during the Corona period.

What distinguishes an everyday hero?

Through many things. The spectrum of everyday heroes is wide, ranging from caregivers in difficult situations to caring neighbors.

Some people will be surprised that they are seen as an everyday hero. For him it is his help, for others it is part of his everyday life.

Participate and be there

All information and the link to the registration form can be found at sachsenlotto.de/alltagshelden .

Every everyday hero and the story associated with him has a chance of 1,000 euros. A total of five of these prizes will be awarded by March 31.

The first 100 registrants each week will each receive a “Diamant 7” scratch-off ticket during the campaign period, the new EUR 20 premium ticket with the chance of winning millions.

SOURCE: Sächsische Lotto-GmbH (www.sachsenlotto.de).

 

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CAIXA Lotteries Announce First Special Draw of the Year, Easter Duo Has an Estimated Prize of R$30 Million

Tickets can be purchased starting Monday (01/03)

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BRAZIL (March 1, 2021) -- The bets for the Easter Double, CAIXA Lotteries' first special contest in the year, start this Monday (03/01). The prize is estimated at R $ 30 million and the draw will be held on April 3.

As in other special contests, the Easter Duo does not accumulate. If there are no winners in the main tier, the prize will be divided among the winners of the corner of the first draw, and so on. This is the 5th edition of the special competition of Dupla-Sena. The biggest prize of the modality was paid in the Double Easter 2020, in which only one bettor from Blumenau (SC) hit the six dozen and won R $ 30.8 million.

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With just one Double Sena bet, the bettor is twice as likely to win. There are two draws per contest and you win by hitting 3, 4, 5 or 6 numbers in the first and / or second draws. The price of the single bet, with 6 numbers, is R $ 2.50.

Bets can be placed on lotteries across the country, through the special steering wheel, through the Loterias CAIXA portal (www.loteriasonline.caixa.gov.br) and through the Loterias CAIXA app, available to users of iOS and Android platforms.

The winner who chooses to invest the R $ 30 million of the prize in CAIXA Savings will receive a monthly income of approximately R $ 35 thousand. The prize money would also be enough to acquire a fleet of 750 popular cars worth R $ 40,000 each.

Easter Double Draw:

To have more chances of winning in the Double Sena, just form a group, choose the numbers, mark the number of shares and place the bet in any of the lottery companies in the country. When registered in the system, the bet generates a quota receipt for each participant, who can redeem their share of the prize individually. The tickets have a minimum value of R $ 10 and each installment must be at least R $ 2.50, making it possible to make a installment of a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 installments.

The bettor can also purchase odds of jackets organized by lottery companies. Just ask the attendant for the number of shares you want and save the receipt to check the bet on the day of the draw. In this case, an additional service fee of up to 35% of the quota value may be charged, at the discretion of the lottery.

SOURCE: CAIXA Lotteries.

 

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Massachusetts Lottery Increases Fiscal Year 2021 Net Profit Projection

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DORCHESTER, MA (March 1, 2021) -- The Massachusetts State Lottery today announced that it is increasing its net profit projection for the 2021 fiscal year from $940 million to $985 million as a result of its strong performance through the first seven months of the fiscal year.

"Even as we have continued to be impacted by the pandemic, the Lottery team has exceeded expectations while adapting operations to keep people safe. We recognize, especially now, how important lottery resources are to the 351 cities and towns and will continue to meet our mission of helping communities all over the state,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, Chair of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.

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Lottery net profit is returned to the Commonwealth for distribution of unrestricted local aid to all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The Lottery produced $986.9 million in net profit in fiscal year 2020.

“I commend our team members for their outstanding performance while adapting to the workplace dynamics that have become necessary as a result of the pandemic,” said Michael Sweeney, the Lottery’s Executive Director.

“We greatly appreciate the support of Treasurer Goldberg and our Commissioners as we have made adjustments to our operations in an effort to fulfill our mission to serve all cities and towns in Massachusetts.”

The Lottery’s 2021 fiscal year commenced July 1, 2020.

Through January 2021, total sales for this fiscal year have increased 4.5 percent over fiscal year 2020 ($3.359 billion in the first seven months of FY 2021 compared to $3.215 billion in the first seven months of FY 2020), due in part to a significant jump in sales of Mega Millions and Powerball tickets. Sales of these games soared in January 2021 as the Mega Millions jackpot rose to $1 billion and the Powerball jackpot reached $731.1 million.

The updated net profit projection is factored upon a normal business environment from March 1 through the end of June with the avoidance of any significant interruptions caused by the pandemic.

Lottery officials will announce an estimated net profit figure for the 2021 fiscal year in July, after the June 30 conclusion of the fiscal year.

The final net profit total is anticipated to be announced in September upon completion of the fiscal year 2021 financial statement of operations.

SOURCE: The Massachusetts State Lottery.

 

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NJ Lottery Announces Annual Audited Results; Over $1 Billion in Revenue Generated for the State

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TRENTON, NJ (March 1, 2021) – The New Jersey Lottery released its Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) today, marking the third consecutive year that the Lottery’s contribution to support the State’s financial obligations is over $1 billion.  The report is available for review on the Lottery’s website.

For the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020, the Lottery generated $3.215 billion in sales and contributed $1.015 billion in revenue to the State, which is used to support New Jersey’s public employee pension system for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees. While sales were down 7.7% compared to the prior year, and the contribution to the State was down 8.1%, FY20 still produced the fourth-highest contribution on record.

“Fiscal Year 2020 was challenging in several ways, and the New Jersey Lottery stepped up to meet those challenges. There was only one Jackpot that exceed the $300 million mark, which restricted (or limited) the player excitement and media interest that comes as jackpots roll higher and higher,” said Lottery Executive Director James A. Carey, Jr.

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“In March 2020, the COVID-19 was declared a national emergency and lockdown measures put in place to combat the pandemic impacted sales. After a difficult March and April, the Lottery began to rebound in May and June and has continued to perform strongly since.”

In addition to sales, the contribution to the State was also bolstered by a payment from Northstar New Jersey Lottery Group, the Lottery’s sales and marketing vendor. In May of 2019, the Lottery amended the services agreement with Northstar and increased the performance targets that are used to calculate any incentive payment owed to Northstar. If the net income targets for a given fiscal year are not met, the incentive compensation is reduced or may be eliminated entirely, and Northstar may owe a contribution shortfall payment to the Lottery. Northstar did not meet the net income targets under the contract for Fiscal Year 2020 and consequently owed a shortfall payment of $19,915,065, which became part of the Lottery’s contribution to the State. By comparison, in Fiscal Year 2019, the Lottery paid Northstar $26.1 million in incentive compensation paid.

The audit report released today also details prize payments, which are the Lottery’s largest expense. In FY20, New Jersey players won $1.970 billion. Additionally, a player from Middlesex County won the February 11, 2020 Mega Millions jackpot of $202 million. Another player from Middlesex County won the April 8, 2020 Powerball jackpot of $190 million. Seven players won second tier prizes of $1 million or more from Powerball or Mega Millions. Three players hit the Pick-6 jackpot, and another 30 players won $500,000 or more from Scratch-Offs or Jersey Cash 5. Additionally, the Lottery’s network of just under 7,000 retailers earned $185 million in commissions during the fiscal year.

The audited results show an increase to the State contribution from the press release dated July 30, 2020, which contained unaudited numbers. That increase is due to a variety of factors including: unclaimed prizes, unspent marketing money, funds saved in anticipation of an incentive payment, and Northstar’s payment as a result of the shortfall.

Since its inception in 1970, the Lottery has contributed over $28 billion to the State, helping to bolster the public employee pension system for teachers, police and fire personnel and other public employees, as well as supporting businesses and communities throughout New Jersey.

SOURCE: The New Jersey Lottery.

 

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Sächsische Lotto-GmbH Looks Back on a Successful Year

Highlights of the Sächsische Lotto-GmbH 2020:

 

-- 328 million euros in stakes

-- 123 million euros for the common good

-- 161 million euros for profits

 

LEIPZIG, Germany (February 24, 2021) -- The Sächsische Lotto-GmbH can look back on a successful year. The stakes increased by 6.5% to 328 million euros. On average, each Saxon invested 80 euros in 2020.

"That is the highest annual result since the existence of the Saxon Lotto-GmbH", sums up Frank Schwarz, managing director of the Saxon Lotto-GmbH. In the special year, which was shaped by the COVID measures and the restrictions in trade, Sachsenlotto proved to be a reliable partner. “This successful conclusion can be traced back to the trust of our customers as well as to the extraordinary commitment of the around 4,000 employees in the Sachsenlotto retailers. We would like to express our thanks to them for their loyalty. "

From tickets to scratch cards - the stakes 2020

Last year, every Saxon person averaged 1.52 euros per person per week for participating in LOTTO  6aus49, Spiel 77, SUPER  6, Eurojackpot, KENO and plus5, TOTO, the GlücksSpirale or the instant lotteries (scratch cards and Playless) invested. A total of 53 million game orders were placed or tickets played.

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LOTTO  6aus49 is the most popular product. With an increase of 9.5%, the stake is 183 million euros. This means that over half of all stakes (55.8%) go to the classic. The high jackpot phases and the product change, which was successfully implemented in September 2020, had a positive effect here. The new winning plan at LOTTO  6aus49 strengthens the individual prize categories and leads to a faster growth of the jackpot.

“Eurojackpot is in second place on the popularity scale. One reason for the good development are several jackpot phases over a longer period,” says Frank Schwarz.

The lottery offered in 18 European countries recorded a stake of 46.4 million euros in Saxony with an increase of 12.3%.

The scratch cards also developed positively. They have secured their success at a very high level and achieved a stake of 29.6 million euros with a plus of 10.9%.

Over the past few years, scratch cards have developed steadily. In addition to the year-round offer of tickets with different price points, there is the two seasonless lucky rocket and scratch calendar. You also ended the year with a plus.

With 383 707 scratch-off calendars, 45 778 scratch-off calendars were sold more than in the previous year. That is an increase of 13.5%. 416,582 lucky rocket tickets were also sold. As a result, sales increased by 8,567 lots or 2.1% over the previous year.

123 million euros paid for the common good

The transfers made by the Saxon Lotto Society to the Free State rose over 4% to a total of 122 million euros for the past year. The total amount consists of 65 million euros in net income and 57 million euros in lottery and sports betting tax. In addition, a good 1 million euros from the income from the GlücksSpirale pension lottery will be donated in equal parts to the Federal Working Group for Free Welfare, the German Olympic Sports Association, the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Saxon State Foundation for Nature and Environment.

“In the 30 years of its existence, the Sächsische Lotto-GmbH has made more than 3 billion euros available to the Free State for the community. These amounts reliably benefit the country and its people,” says Frank Schwarz.

The non-profit use of net income in the Free State in the areas of addiction prevention, sport, culture, the environment, youth and welfare is set out in the Saxon Implementation Act for the State Treaty on Gaming. In the draft for the Saxon double budget 2021/2022, section 15 - General Financial Management - lists the evidence of the appropriate use of the net income.

The following examples can be found for the year 2021:

  • Subsidies for “Other grants for current purposes in Germany (general arts and culture funding)”: 4.3 million euros.
  • Subsidies for music schools: 2.9 million euros.
  • Grants for the State Office for Archeology: 2.9 million euros.

 

Source: Saxon Budget 2021/2022 / Section 15 / General Financial Management; Page 70ff.

 

"That is the" LOTTO principle ": Through the targeted charitable use via the state budget, every citizen in Saxony benefits directly or indirectly from the transfers of the Saxon Lotto GmbH", emphasizes Frank Schwarz.

161 million euros made available for profits

The total profit distribution has also increased: The profit amount provided grew by 5.6% to 160.7 million euros. There were a total of 54 high prizes from 50,000 euros, 35 of them are over 100,000 euros.

At the top of all last year's winners are four million prizes. With a total winnings of 15,070,227 euros , a syndicate in Dresden achieved the second highest profit in the history of the Saxon Lotto GmbH. In December, “6 correct ones” at LOTTO  6aus49 brought this profit in a system tip.

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With 9,789,331 euros , the second-highest Saxon million profit of the year was achieved in August in the Ore Mountains . This is followed in the statistics by a LOTTO win in Leipzig of 1,683,496 euros (February) and one in Chemnitz, also in February, with a profit of 1,050,000 euros on the GlücksSpirale.

The safe range of games on sachsenlotto.de, via the app and in the acceptance points

The trend towards online gaming continued in 2020. The stakes grew by 43.4% to 25.8 million euros. Over 100,000 customers have now registered to participate on sachsenlotto.de or via the Sachsenlotto app.

“It is important to offer customers safe and modern gaming online too. Our service at the acceptance points is supplemented by continuous play, online play and mobile play via the app. Both customers and acceptance points benefit from the link, ”says Frank Schwarz.

As before, the 1,200 acceptance points with a total of around 4,000 employees are at the heart of Sachsenlotto. Around 78% of the stakes in 2020 were handed in at the retailers

“The Sachsen Lotto retailers play an important role. In rural areas in particular, they make a valuable contribution to infrastructure and local supply. All employees showed an outstanding commitment in this difficult year,” emphasizes Frank Schwarz.

The Sächsische Lotto-GmbH supports the acceptance points even in the corona pandemic and supports them financially as well as in the implementation of hygiene measures.

New tasks and tried and tested things in the new year

The further development of the games and services offered by Sächsische Lotto-GmbH is important for the development of the company, for the acceptance points and for our customers. You can all be sure that the Sachsenlotto will remain a reliable, future-oriented partner. Innovations in the online game offer or the optimization of the Sachsenlotto app are just as important as the strengthening of the acceptance points. Here, too, contemporary forms of distribution are implemented. A current example are the scratch card machines that are currently being tested in selected acceptance points. They meet the requirements of modern terrestrial sales and take into account the increasing digitization of everyday life.

“Sächsische Lotto-GmbH will also offer a safe and attractive lottery game in 2021, support the acceptance points and act as a partner for the common good for the Free State,” says Frank Schwarz.

SOURCE: Sächsische Lotto-GmbH.

 

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Florida Lottery Sets National Record for Highest Scratch-Off Sales Week

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (March 2, 2021) – Today, the Florida Lottery announced that Scratch-Off ticket sales for the week ending February 28, 2021, exceeded $193.5 million, setting a new industry record for the highest single-week Scratch-Off sales of any Lottery in the country! This record-breaking Scratch-Off sales week resulted in more than $35.7 million generated for the benefit of Florida students and schools.

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Last week’s record-breaking sales surpassed the previous single-week Scratch-Off sales record, also held by the Florida Lottery, of $149.8 million for the week ending March 1, 2020.

“By launching new Scratch-Off games with a variety of play styles and price points, we are giving our players what they want, and the results speak for themselves,” said Florida Lottery Secretary John F. Davis. “This means that our players have more winning opportunities, retailers are earning higher commissions, and most importantly, more revenue is being generated for education in Florida.”

Last week’s sales were led by the new $30 BILLION DOLLAR GOLD RUSH SUPREME Scratch-Off game, with more than $25.5 million in sales, followed by the $10 GOLD RUSH SUPREME Scratch-Off game, with more than $15 million in sales.

Scratch-Off games are an important part of the Lottery’s portfolio of games, comprising approximately 75 percent of ticket sales and generating more than $1.1 billion for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) in fiscal year 2019-20.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA LOTTERY

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $38 billion to education and sending more than 880,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 99 percent of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $72.5 billion in prizes and made nearly 3,000 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com.

SOURCE: The Florida Lottery.

 

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Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Launches Website to Promote Responsible Play

LITTLE ROCK, AR (March 2, 2021) -- The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) launched a new microsite today designed to help educate players on how to participate responsibly, understand game odds and get any needed help for problem gambling.

The unveiling of the new Player’s Hub microsite at MyArkansasLottery.com/PlayersHub coincides with Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March, which highlights resources available to help those who may have issues with gambling.

“We want people to enjoy the fun and excitement that comes with playing the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery,” said ASL Director J. Eric Hagler. “But we also understand that for some people, it stops being fun and becomes an addiction that can lead to other issues. For that reason, we have developed the Player’s Hub as an additional resource to help people overcome problem gambling.”

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ASL has the Responsible Gambling Certification from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). The certification is awarded to lottery organizations that demonstrate best practices for training lottery employees and retailers on problem gambling issues and on resources provided to the playing public.

The NCPG estimates that approximately two million adults in the U.S. – or about 1% of the population – meet the criteria for gambling disorder, which can result in financial distress, legal issues and negative impacts on family and professional life.

If gambling is causing a problem for you or someone you know, help is available. Call or text the 24-hour, confidential National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700. You can also visit ncpgambling.org or contact Gamblers Anonymous at gamblersanonymous.org.

About the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

More than 92 cents of every dollar of ASL revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas. Since 2009, the lottery has raised more than $1 billion in proceeds for scholarships. More than 600,000 college scholarships have been awarded to Arkansans. The lottery has awarded more than $3.5 billion in prizes to players as well as $302 million in retailer commissions. The lottery has provided more than $141 million in state and federal tax revenue.

Follow the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Visit MyArkansasLottery.com for more information on scholarships, winners, games, odds, promotions – and to join The Club for free. To hear winning numbers, call the Winning Numbers Hotline at 501-682-IWON (4966). To get help with problem gambling, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

SOURCE: The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

 

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PA Gaming Control Board Recognizes March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, PA (February 26, 2021) -- The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recognized March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in order to promote resources intended to help individuals with a gambling problem.

On Monday, March 1, 2021, representatives of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling will participate in a virtual kickoff of Problem Gambling Awareness Month.  Throughout March, the PGCB will be joining the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania and other organizations to educate Pennsylvanians about the effects of gambling disorders, provide tools necessary to identify this addiction and to recognize access to services that help minimize the consequences of disordered gambling.

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Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, stressed that, under normal circumstances, problem gambling is a known issue that can affect Pennsylvanians.  It is even more vital this year to call attention to these issues and ensure the citizens of Pennsylvania know that help is available.

“The goal of Problem Gambling Awareness Month is to spotlight the issues and educate the general public about the warning signs of problem gambling, as well as raise awareness about treatment and other programs that are available both locally and nationally,” Lanza says.

Kevin O’Toole, PGCB Executive Director, says the Board and the PA gaming industry recognizes the importance of gambling addiction programs to help individuals and hopes that during the month of March we can provide education, outreach and prevention options to anyone that may be affected by a gambling disorder.

The Board’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling works with both state and national problem gambling organizations, and with gaming license holders in Pennsylvania, to ensure its ability to provide useful methods and resources to deal with issues surrounding gambling addiction are available.

O’Toole adds that the PGCB has worked on expanding and enhancing tools for problem gambling as additional forms of gaming have been added throughout the Commonwealth and online.  These tools are in addition to the successful casino Self-Exclusion program, which has been expanded to allow individuals to ban themselves from iGaming, Fantasy Contests, and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs).  Pennsylvania’s Self-Exclusion Program has aided thousands of persons by agreeing to stay out of Pennsylvania casinos or face penalties.  To date, over 16,000 persons have signed up and taken advantage of this program to self-ban from casinos for 1-year, 5-years or a lifetime.

In addition to the Self-Exclusion program, O’Toole notes some additional problem gambling tools the PGCB has recently made available:

  • www.ResponsiblePlay.pa.gov  a new website dedicated to problem gambling, which provides information and links to assist persons in identifying a potential gambling problem and finding help;
  • The first U.S. gaming jurisdiction to adopt the PlayPause program, which allows for individuals to ban themselves from online iGaming sites in all jurisdictions that also participate in the program; and,
  • Options for participants to limit their online play or spend in fantasy contests, online casino games, online poker, and/or online sports wagering.

 

As Pennsylvania’s gambling industry continues to grow, it is important for the PGCB to continue to raise awareness, through events such as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Lanza says. “It is important for the PGCB to raise awareness on the effects of gambling addiction and showcase what resources are available to help the citizens of Pennsylvania.

The public needs to know that problem gambling tools are out there, and that gambling addiction treatment is not only available but has proven to be effective.”

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of gambling at 14 land-based casinos, online casino games, retail and online sports wagering, and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) at qualified truck stops, along with the regulation of online fantasy sports contests.

The land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania consists of six racetrack (Category 1) casinos, five stand-alone (Category 2) casinos, two resort (Category 3) casinos and one mini-casino (Category 4).

Casino expansion will continue over the next couple of years with the anticipated openings of up to four additional Category 4 casinos.

A significant job generator in the Commonwealth, casinos and the other types of Board-regulated gaming annually generate over $1.5 billion in tax revenue.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/.

You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

SOURCE: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

 

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Committee Proposes Ukraine Adopt Revised Taxation of Income from the Organization and Conduct of Gambling and Lotteries

Ukraine committee approves 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling

UKRAINE (February 25, 2021) -- On February 25, the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy met by video conference.

The Committee revised its decision of 17 June 2020 on the draft Law “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine on Taxation of Income from the Organization and Conduct of Gambling and Lotteries” (№ 2713-d), which proposed to develop a new bill on the basis of The Verkhovna Rada to adopt it as a basis.

The revised version of the project № 2713-d was presented by the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Organization and Taxation of Gambling Business of the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Oleh Marusyak.

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The bill, in particular, proposes to establish a single tax rate on income from the organization and conduct of gambling, issuance and conduct of lotteries in the amount of 10%.

In addition to income tax, the bill stipulates that business entities engaged in the organization and conduct of gambling will pay income tax at a total rate of 18%.

In this case, the tax charged by the entity on income from such activities is the difference and reduces the financial result before taxation of such entity

When gambling organizers carry out other activities, they are expected to accrue and pay income tax at the basic (basic) tax rate.

In addition, the project stipulates that large winnings in gambling and lotteries (more than eight minimum wages) are subject to personal income tax and military duty.

It is also proposed to abolish the triple fee for licenses to organize and conduct bookmaking, gambling in casinos, the Internet and slot machines.

Instead, it is envisaged not to introduce a zero income tax rate.

During the discussion, MPs stressed the need to ensure state budget revenues from the organization and conduct of gambling and lotteries and, at the same time, the transparency of tax assessment in order to legalize and de-shadow this area of activity.

The Committee decided to withdraw the previously proposed bill and instead introduce a new text of the bill №2713-d and recommend to the Verkhovna Rada to adopt it as a basis and in general.

See the complete original article.

SOURCE: Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

 

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Austria’s Online Gambling Regulation Needs the Right Instruments

VIENNA, Austria (February 18, 2021) -- Today we’re seeing EU policymakers begin to adapt their regulatory rulebooks to the new realities of the digital age, including measures to better regulate the near monopoly power of various US tech giants. But at the same time, we should also not forget the monopolies which still persist in Europe’s own internet backyard, including in Austria’s gambling market.

Across the EU, consumers are increasingly looking towards the internet for their entertainment and Austria is no different. For the gambling sector, this means more people are choosing to bet on sport, play poker or spin a roulette wheel online. More than a quarter (26.5%) of Austria’s gambling is now being done online and will grow further in the coming years. Yet this trend has been in spite of Austria’s online gambling regulation, which still maintains a monopoly which naturally restricts consumer choice.

You can’t limit the internet

If the online era has taught us anything, it’s that there are endless alternatives on the internet and gamblers have always got somewhere else to go. That’s why online monopolies, particularly in price-sensitive markets like gambling, simply don’t work. Like it or not, but choice is king. All it takes is a few clicks of a mouse and gamblers can easily access gambling websites across the world, including unsafe or unregulated websites based outside the EU (e.g. Asia or the Caribbean).

That’s why it’s important for Austria’s online gambling to take place in a safe and regulated environment and this environment should be sufficiently attractive to attract the country’s gamblers. But this task is undermined by having a monopoly which restricts choice and pushes a significant number of players to look elsewhere for alternatives. Monopolies don’t work online, and that’s the reason why nearly all EU countries have now introduced multi-licensing regulation for online gambling.[1]

Austria still has an online poker and casino monopoly

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But in Austria, multi-licensing is limited to sports betting. Because, unlike in most other European countries, the Austrian Gambling Act permits only one company – a monopoly – to offer online poker and online casino. This monopoly has been subject to criticism in recent times and its compatibility with EU law is questionable. With poker and casino making up 40% of the country’s online gambling market,[2] that’s a large chunk of the market where there is no competition or choice, leading many online poker and casino gamblers to look beyond the monopoly for the choice they want.

To fix this, the Austrian authorities should take inspiration from the classical orchestras which the country is so famous for. Maintaining a monopoly for online poker or casino is the equivalent of having the potential of a top-quality orchestra but instead limiting it to only one cello artist who can never be replaced, even if they aren’t good enough compared to other cello artists elsewhere. That is exactly what an online casino or poker monopoly does: and the real loser is the audience or consumer.

Because a full multi-licensing system – much like GGR-based taxation, high consumer protections, and a full suite of gambling products – is an essential instrument of the regulatory orchestra. Individually, these instruments aren’t sufficient to create a symphony but together, playing in concert, they can create a regulatory masterpiece, and, in gambling’s case, this means a well-regulated market which encourages the vast majority of Austria’s online gambling, including casino and poker, to stay with the country’s licensed companies.

It’s a myth that gamblers are better protected by a monopoly.

Monopolies have often been justified under the belief that the state is better placed to protect its gamblers. But that’s why countries should have stringent consumer protection rules: it’s the rules that protect the consumer, not whether there is a monopoly or not.

For example, Finland, which is the only EU country that still has a full online gambling monopoly, has a problem gambling prevalence rate of 3% of its population, while Denmark has full multi-licensing regulation and a problem gambling rate of around 0.7%.

There is no compelling evidence that gamblers are in any way better protected by a monopoly.

Austria is still in a fortunate position that many of the reputable companies licensed there, working on the basis of the Freedom to Provide Services, pay a significant amount of taxes and sustain jobs in the country and provide much-needed financial support for its sports.

In 2019 alone, these companies paid €123 million in gambling levies. This cannot be ignored, nor can they be expected to endlessly contribute to the system while the Austrian government keeps a questionable monopoly in place. If these companies leave the market, their tax revenues, jobs and sports sponsorships will leave as well – along with many of their loyal Austrian customers.

It’s now time for the Austrian authorities to revisit the Gambling Act and make it consistent with the objective to protect consumers in an increasingly digital, global and consumer-driven marketplace which is full of choice.

The best way to achieve this is to extend multi-licensing to all online gambling products in the country, including poker and casino games. Nearly all other EU countries have already done this.

The time has come for Austria to take a step forward in its internet regulation and do the same.

 

[1] Multi-licensing allows different private companies to obtain a license to offer online gambling in a country. It is the most effective way to regulate online gambling because it enables enough competition and choice to encourage a country’s online gamblers to use the licensed and regulated websites in their country, rather than those outside it.

 

[2] Based on the country’s 2019 online gambling market data, H2 Gambling Capital (2020).

 

SOURCE: The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG).

 

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NJ Lottery Anonymity and Prize Information

TRENTON, NJ (February 25, 2021) – The New Jersey Lottery today presents all prizes over $1 million that have been claimed since legislation was enacted on January 21, 2020 through the end of 2020 to allow winners to choose to remain anonymous.

Since the law was enacted, 26 players have claimed prizes ranging from $1 million to $202 million in New Jersey. All 26 of them chose to remain anonymous.

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The millionaire list includes winners from the following games: three from Cash4Life; three from Pick-6; three from Powerball; five from Jersey Cash 5; six from Mega Millions; and six from Scratch-Offs.

Two of the Mega Millions winners won jackpot prizes of $202 million and $124 million respectively, and a Powerball player won a $190 million jackpot.

Players who win $599.99 or less from the New Jersey Lottery can claim their prize at any of the Lottery’s nearly 7,000 retailers and be paid immediately in cash.  Players who win $600.00 or more must file a claim with the Lottery.  Each month, the New Jersey Lottery receives approximately 4,000 claims.

On January 21, 2020, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2019, c. 402, which amended the New Jersey Lottery Law, N.J.S.A. 5:9-7b, to provide that winners could choose to remain anonymous indefinitely, and the identity of winners shall not be included in materials available to public inspection under the State’s Open Public Records Act.

Players claiming Lottery prizes worth $600.00 or more must still provide their identity to Lottery officials in order to claim a prize.

The New Jersey Lottery is still required by law to withhold state and federal taxes from certain prizes awarded.  The New Jersey Lottery also shares the identity of winners with other State agencies, and claims are reviewed for collection of unpaid obligations such as child support, student loan arrearages, and back taxes.

Claim updates will be provided on a monthly basis and can be found at www.njlottery.com. The intent of these updates is to keep the general public aware of top-tier prize claims.

SOURCE: The New Jersey Lottery.

 

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Betting and Gaming Council Pledges to ‘Keep Up the Momentum’ as New Report Suggests Problem and At-Risk Gambling Rates Are Falling

LONDON, U.K. (February 24, 2021) -- The Betting and Gaming Council has pledged to “keep up the momentum” in its quest to raise standards after a new report suggested that problem and at-risk gambling rates are falling.

A survey by the Gambling Commission showed that the rate of problem gambling in 2020 was 0.3 per cent – down from 0.6 per cent in 2019.

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Although the regulator said the fall was not “statistically significant”, it does suggest that the BGC’s work over the past 12 months on promoting safer gambling is having an impact.

The study also showed that the rate of those gamblers classed as being at ‘moderate risk’ of harm fell from 1.2 per cent to 0.9 per cent between 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile, the ‘low risk’ rate showed a “significant decrease” from 2.7 per cent to 2.0 per cent over the same period.

According to the Government, the problem gambling rate is 0.5 per cent and has been stable for the past 20 years.

The Gambling Commission study was based on a survey of 4,007 UK adults between March and December last year.

Wes Himes, the BGC’s executive director for standards and innovation, said: “Since being established in 2019, we have worked tirelessly to drive up standards in the regulated betting and gaming industry and promote safer gambling.

“Our initiatives have included encouraging deposit limits, investing more in research, education and treatment, and introducing tough new rules on VIP schemes and game design.

“One problem gambler is one too many, however, and we are determined to keep up the momentum in the months ahead.

“For example, we’re looking at how we extend filtering for online ads, and are working with online platforms on opt outs for betting advertising.

“We look forward to engaging with the Government’s Gambling Review to ensure a safer gambling environment for our millions of customers.”

SOURCE: Betting and Gaming Council.

 

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International Game Technology PLC Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2020 Results

Fourth Quarter:

  • $885 million in revenue and $96 million in operating income from continuing operations includes highest Global Lottery revenue and profit performance in two years
  • Cash from operating activities of $255 million; combined free cash flow of $191 million in line with prior-year level
  • Net loss of $220 million, includes $155 million non-cash foreign exchange loss; combined Adjusted EBITDA of $321 million driven by high profit flow-through of Global Lottery same-store sales growth and benefit from cost-saving actions

 

Full Year:

  • 2020 revenue from continuing operations of $3.12 billion reflects resilience of Global Lottery, including double-digit same-store sales growth in North America in the second half of the year and growing contribution from Digital & Betting activities
  • Cash from operating activities totaled $866 million and combined free cash flow was $576 million, among the highest levels in five years
  • Reduced net debt by $71 million as reported, $433 million excluding unfavorable foreign currency impact

 

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LONDON, March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- International Game Technology PLC ("IGT") (NYSE:IGT) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020. Today, at 8:00 a.m. EST, management will host a conference call and webcast to present the results; access details are provided below.

 IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming.

We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivaled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth.

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We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 11,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.igt.com.

"The solid results we achieved for this pandemic-impacted year have given us momentum into 2021. They are a result of the vision, agility, and discipline of the IGT team as well as the distinct advantages of our diverse portfolio," said Marco Sala, CEO of IGT. "We also made important strategic progress.

The Company undertook a comprehensive reorganization to sharpen our focus on our core competencies and drive structural operational efficiencies.

This provides a clear path to increasing shareholder value as we build on our leadership positions with a stronger revenue and profit growth profile."

"We generated $866 million in cash from operating activities during the year, among the highest level in five years, primarily driven by resilient Global Lottery performance and rigorous cost and invested capital controls," said Max Chiara, CFO of IGT. "Liquidity improved more than $300 million to over $2.7 billion. As a leaner, stronger Company, we expect leverage to return to pre-pandemic levels in the next 12-18 months."

Click here to read the report for Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2020 Results

SOURCE: International Game Technology PLC.

 

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The National Commission to Combat the Manipulation of Sports Competitions and Betting Fraud Celebrates Its First Plenary Session of the Year

SPAIN (February 26, 2021) -- On February 24, the first meeting of the year by the Plenary of the National Commission to combat the manipulation of sports competitions and betting fraud (hereinafter CONFAD) took place, which has as main purpose to prevent and combat the manipulation of sports competitions and betting fraud through coordinated action among all its members.

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In this CONFAD session, chaired by the General Director of Sports (CSD), Joaquín de Arístegui, the Guide for the design and implementation of secure channels for the transmission of information on the manipulation of sports competitions has been presented, which seeks to provide the establishment of secure channels to which any person can go to transmit information that could be relevant in relation to the manipulation of sports competitions. 

Likewise, the plenary session has unanimously approved recommending to all organizations or entities that have a relevant connection with the world of sports and sports betting, the adoption of a channel of this type and has committed to its dissemination, especially the CSD.

On the other hand, the Sub-Directorate General for Inspection of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling has presented an update of the existing analysis on fraud and criminality risks associated with the world of gambling.

Next, several members of CONFAD (National Police, Civil Guard, Association of Spanish Footballers, La Liga, the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation) have exposed, to the rest of the attendees, some of their good practices , fundamentally in the field of prevention, training and dissemination. Knowledge of these practices, carried out by entities that are already working efficiently in this field, is essential to aim, in the future, to locate points of improvement in preventing fraud in the sector.

Finally, information was provided on the participation of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling in the meetings and working groups of the Copenhagen Group.

SOURCE: Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego.

 

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BCLC Becomes Fifth Lottery to Launch IWG’s Jackpot-enabled e-Instants

U.K. (March 3 2021) – Instant Win Gaming (IWG), the leading supplier of digital e-Instant games to NASPL/WLA-member lotteries, has strengthened its partnership with long-term customer British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) with the delivery of its highly successful InstantJackpots™ module.

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BCLC is now the fifth North American lottery to launch IWG’s Jungle Tumble Jackpots, the first game available with the supplier’s InstantJackpots technology. The lottery’s PlayNow.com customer base now has access to the game that already has a strong following across Atlantic Canada, as well as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia in the US. A growing top prize, that is well established as a popular draw game feature, has proven to fuel excitement with a broad base of e-Instant players.

IWG first partnered with BCLC in 2018 and is the primary vendor of e-Instant games to the lottery. This latest game launch significantly enhances the PlayNow.com instants offering and demonstrates IWG’s commitment to providing BCLC with fresh and engaging content on a regular basis.

The progressive jackpot module is completely contained within IWG’s InstantRGS™ (Remote Game Server), allowing lotteries to launch progressive jackpot enabled games just as seamlessly as other e-Instant titles. The supplier is set to unveil a new title featuring the technology in Q2 2021.

Rhydian Fisher, IWG CEO, said: “Having worked alongside BCLC since 2018, we couldn’t be happier to launch Jungle Tumble Jackpots with the lottery and its PlayNow.com site. The game is an important addition to what is already a strong offering.

“Our InstantJackpots technology is our latest innovation for the e-Instant category and is resonating with players across North America. We’re excited to bring the next wave of games that feature the module and build further momentum in the months ahead.”

SOURCE: Instant Win Gaming (IWG).

 

 

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