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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 94 No.8 - Monday February 22, 2021

 

 

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Pollard Banknote’s Productive Partnership with The Michigan Lottery Continues with New Contract Extension

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, February 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote”) is pleased to announce that it has been granted a one-year extension to its instant ticket games and related services contract by the Michigan Lottery (“Lottery”). Under this agreement Pollard Banknote will continue to supply the Lottery with outstanding games and strategic support through December 31, 2021.

Pollard Banknote has worked closely with the Lottery for 25 years, offering strategic insights and recommendations across a broad range of lottery products and services, including innovative games, retail initiatives, and digital engagement. Over the course of the current contract, which began on January 1, 2017, Pollard Banknote has printed many of the Lottery’s instant games. In addition to providing instant tickets and related services, Pollard Banknote, together with its family of companies, supplies the Lottery with ticket dispensing systems, digital games, pull-tabs tickets and pull-tabs vending machines, and its award-winning iLottery program.

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The Lottery has achieved exceptional sales results since the start of the current agreement, including a  25% increase in instant sales from FY 2017 to FY 2019, which is more than double the rate of average growth among U.S. lotteries (11 %) over the same period. In addition, the Lottery has earned consistent year-over-year instant sales growth in the double-digits for the past seven years.

Over the years, Pollard Banknote has helped the Lottery strengthen and complement its core games category with novel play concepts, innovative printing methods, and digital game apps. For example, 5X Cashword, launched in February 2020, delighted players with a brand-new play style and app-based second chance promotion, resulting in 10-week sales that were 47 % higher than average sales for the Lottery’s other $5 crossword games since 2017.

Pollard Banknote also has played a role in the incredible  49% sales growth of the Lottery’s higher price point ($20+) category from FY 2017 to FY 2019. Strong recent contributors to this category were $50,000,000 Cash Blowout and Millionaire Wild Time, both of which represented the inaugural $20 launch of a popular brand. Millionaire Wild Time, which launched alongside the Lottery’s redesigned Wild Time app, contributed to a 12 % increase in $20 sales based on a comparison of sales 10 weeks before and after its launch.

“We are proud of the strong relationship we’ve cultivated with the Michigan Lottery, based on a shared vision for success focused on outstanding games, retail excellence, and digital innovation,” said Donna Preziotti, Director, Sales & Marketing, Pollard Banknote. “This contract extension demonstrates the productive nature of our collaborative partnership and we look forward to helping the Lottery continue to deliver outstanding lottery experiences to its players.”

“We strive to offer Michigan players innovative and engaging products. Pollard Banknote routinely brings exciting and innovative instant ticket games and strategies to the table. Many of those games are manufactured in Pollard Banknote’s Michigan facility by Michiganders, having a positive economic impact on the state,” said Glenn Strong, Deputy Commissioner of Games and Marketing, Michigan Lottery. “Our partnership with Pollard Banknote has helped us achieve consistent, record-breaking growth over the past four years and maximize our contributions to the School Aid Fund.”

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games, Schafer Systems and Fastrak retail merchandising solutions, and a full suite of digital offerings, ranging from world-class mkodo game apps to comprehensive player engagement and iLottery solutions, including strategic marketing and management services. The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes. Pollard Banknote also provides pull-tab tickets, bingo paper, and its Diamond Game and Compliant Gaming electronic games and devices to charitable and other gaming markets in North America.  Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 66.7% by the Pollard family and 33.3% by public shareholders, and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

CONTACT:

 

Doug Pollard,

Co-Chief Executive Officer,

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: dpollard@pbl.ca

John Pollard,

Co-Chief Executive Officer

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: jpollard@pbl.ca

Rob Rose,

Chief Financial Officer,

Telephone: (204) 474-2323

E-mail: rrose@pbl.ca

 

SOURCE: Pollard Banknote Limited.

 

 

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IGT Extends Agreement with Global Payments to Provide Players with Digital Access to Funds for Cashless Wagering

Seamless integration with IGTPay™ funding gateway offers players secure access to bank accounts for online, mobile, and land-based cashless gaming

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LONDON, U.K. (February 16, 2021) – International Game Technology PLC (IGT) (NYSE: IGT) announced that its subsidiary, IGT Global Solutions Corporation (“IGT”), has extended its agreement with supplier Global Payments Gaming Solutions (“Global Payments”) to continue enabling guaranteed Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank funds transfers through seamless integration with IGT’s proprietary IGTPay™ payment gateway. The agreement extends IGT’s previous agreement with Global Payments to a minimum term of five years.

Once a player registers with Global Payments’ VIP Preferred® service via IGTPay, they can transfer funds digitally between their bank account and Cashless Wagering Account in a single step, without having to enter their information for each transaction.

“Our solutions drive industry-leading gaming experiences,” said Christopher Justice, president, Global Payments Gaming Solutions. “This agreement enables IGT to access our VIP Preferred network, the industry’s premier way to provide gaming patrons easy and convenient access to funding via bank accounts, providing a seamless and frictionless way to access cash for gaming. More than 3.5 million patrons rely on Global Payments’ VIP Preferred for simple, secure, and responsible play.”

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“Players are more likely to embrace cashless technology when the experience is simple, convenient, and offers a wide range of funding sources, including direct, secure access to their bank accounts,” said Ryan Reddy, IGT Vice President, VLT, Systems and Payments Products. “As cashless adoption continues to grow in the gaming industry, we’re proud to offer Global Payments’ trusted and proven service to our customers and their patrons as an integrated feature of our proprietary IGTPay funding gateway.”

Global Payments, which processes approximately $5 billion in transactions each year, provides IGT with one of four types of funding sources available to players through the IGTPay gateway. In addition to bank account access, players can also access credit card, debit card, and eWallet accounts to fund their Cashless Wagering Accounts. The IGTPay solution can include support from IGT’s experienced Payments team, which provides all aspects of payment-related services.

IGT’s relationship with Global Payments began in 2016 as a digital funding transfer method for IGT’s iLottery product offering. The relationship expanded in 2018 through its integration with the IGTPay online payment gateway for its digital PlayLottery offering and has since expanded across IGT’s digital verticals. It is now also available for land-based cashless gaming through IGT’s turnkey Resort Wallet™ product suite, part of the IGT ADVANTAGE® casino management system product family.

IGT’s Resort Wallet solution offers two flexible variations of IGT’s cashless offering for land-based casinos: cardless and carded. The player’s PIN-protected Cashless Wagering Account can fund both variations either digitally through bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and eWallets via IGTPay, or through cash deposits at the casino cashier, kiosks and slot machines.

With Resort Wallet cardless cashless, players use a mobile app to access their Cashless Wagering Account, tap their smartphone on a slot machine to card in, and transfer funds electronically to the game. For carded cashless, players use a loyalty club card to access their Cashless Wagering Account, insert their card into a slot machine, and transfer the funds into the game. Funds in the Cashless Wagering Account are securely maintained for the next play session or property visit, and players can also transfer funds between slot machines onsite, as well as between a casino’s other properties.

For more information, visit igt.com/cashless. Follow IGT on Facebook at facebook.com/IGT, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/IGTnews, or watch IGT videos on YouTube at youtube.com/igt.

SOURCE: International Game Technology PLC (IGT).

 

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EL Congress & Trade Show 2021 Postponed - ‘Looking Forward’ to 2023

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (February 11, 2021) -- Due to the ongoing global health crisis and the unprecedented situation, the impact on this year’s Congress and Trade show remains unpredictable. With this in mind, the EL Executive Committee has decided to follow the difficult but wise decision to postpone the 11th edition to 2023.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, EL has continued to adapt it work to serve its members – from digital working group meetings and webinars to a new e-learning platform and a virtual Corporate University.

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Although the decision to postpone the 2021 Congress was a hard one, EL looks forward to continuing its work with the Croatian Lottery as the 2023 host.

 

On behalf of the President, Executive Committee and EL team, I would like to thank the Croatian Lottery and project team for their dedication, continuous openness, and realistic approach over the past months. Cancelling this year’s Congress and Trade show was not an easy decision but we are safe in the knowledge that we are not taking any unnecessary risks. I am optimistic that we will have a fantastic event together in 2023.

Arjan van ‘t veer, Secretary General, EL

 

The original theme of the Congress ‘Looking Forward’ is more relevant as ever as we look towards a slow but none the less, a road to recovery, and the moment when we can welcome you all to sunny Sibenik in 2023. Over the coming months and years, we will seek to take stock of the most valuable lessons learned from the pandemic and look forward to sharing our ideas and experiences together in person.

Mario Musa, CEO, Croatian Lottery.

 

This year’s EL General Assembly (for EL Members only) will take place in a simpler format than usual, with a short introductory programme including some interesting keynotes planned for the original 2021 Congress.

SOURCE: The European Lotteries.

 

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INTRALOT Announces the Sale of its Stake in Intralot de Peru and the Extension of its Gaming Technology Contract

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ATHENS, Greece (February 8, 2021) -- INTRALOT announces that it has reached a binding agreement with Nexus Group in Peru to sell its entire stake of 20% in Intralot de Peru SA, an associate of INTRALOT Group, which is consolidated through the Equity method, for a cash consideration of US$21million (twenty-one million US$).

In addition, the Company has signed a three-year extension of its current contract with Intralot de Peru SA through 2024, to continue to provide its gaming technology and support services.

Closing of this transaction is subject to the completion of certain condition precedents standard for this kind of transactions.

The Company will follow-up with further announcements on the definite shares transfer and possible timing of cash inflow, as required by regulation.

SOURCE: INTRALOT.

 

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La Française des Jeux 2020 Results Preserved Despite the Impact of the Health Crisis

  • The good activity of the second half (stakes + 3%) allowed to limit the annual decline in stakes (-7%, to 16 billion euros) and turnover (-6%, to 1.9 billion euros). euros).
  • Strategic investment in the digitalization of the offer has accelerated the growth of digital bids, to nearly 10% of the Group's bids.
  • EBITDA [1] of 427 million euros, maintained at 2019 level thanks in particular to a savings plan of over 80 million euros, and net income of 214 million euros.
  • A strong, responsive and united Group.

 

BOULOGNE, France (February 12, 2021) - La Française des Jeux (FDJ), the leading gambling operator in France, publishes its 2020 results.

For Stéphane Pallez , CEO of the FDJ group: “2020 has been an unprecedented and contrasting year, during which FDJ has shown resilience and solidarity.

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The health crisis had a strong impact on our business, particularly in the first half of the year. But the good recovery recorded in the second half of the year, combined with the Group's responsiveness and the relevance of its digital strategy, have enabled us to preserve our performance and our annual results.

I would like to thank the Group's employees for their mobilization, and to renew our support for our network of points of sale, some of which have been severely affected.

At the start of 2021, even if uncertainties persist, FDJ remains confident in its prospects for sustainable growth, in line with its raison d'être. "

In this document, the 2019 data are restated, net of tax, of the new fiscal and regulatory framework effective since early 2020, the impact of exceptional long lottery cycles, of Sporting Group in a full year, as well as charges related to the privatization of the Group.

Quarterly and half-yearly variations are not restated for exceptional long lottery cycles in 2019.

In fiscal year 2020

After the significant impact of the health crisis on stakes in the first half, which fell by -18%, the gradual recovery observed during the summer was confirmed throughout the second half of the year, with stakes up + 3%. Over the year, FDJ recorded bets of 16 billion euros, down -7% compared to 2019.

  • Loto and Euromillions are showing their resistance, with an increase in stakes of + 6%, to 3.2 billion euros. Amigo, strongly affected, in particular by his stop during the first confinement, fell by more than 30%. The stakes of instant games, down -6% to 7.7 billion euros, are also affected by the impact of the health crisis on point-of-sale traffic. In total, the lottery stakes are down -6%, to 12.7 billion euros.
  • Sports betting limited their decline over the year to -10%, to 3.2 billion euros, thanks to growth of + 20% in the second half of the year compared to the second half of 2019, after a decline of nearly -40 % in the first half.
  • Stakes in the network of points of sale were stable in the second half of the year, after falling by more than -20% in the first half. FDJ has accompanied and supported its distribution network, which is maintained at nearly 30,000 points of sale.
  • Digital stakes continued to grow strongly, with new annual growth of nearly + 40%, driven by the digital lottery, up more than + 60% to more than € 1.1 billion.

 

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Turnover fell by -6% to 1,920 million euros.

EBITDA came to 427 million euros, representing an EBITDA margin on sales of 22.2%.

  • EBITDA was preserved, in particular thanks to the implementation of a savings plan of more than 80 million euros.

 

Net income came to 214 million euros.

  • It should be compared with 2019 net income of 202 million euros restated, net of tax, for the new fiscal and regulatory framework effective since early 2020, the impact of exceptional long lottery cycles, of Sporting Group in a full year, as well as expenses related to the privatization of the Group.
  • At the end of 2020, the Group strengthened its financial strength, thanks to a conversion rate of EBITDA into cash maintained at over 80%, with available cash exceeding €1 billion.

 

FDJ's board of directors will propose to the general meeting of June 16, 2021 a dividend of 80% of consolidated net income, as the Group committed to when it was floated on the stock market. The dividend of 0.90 euros per share will be paid on June 23, 2021.

  • Lottery: stable contribution margin and 33.6% margin rate.
  • Drawing games: Loto and Euromillions stakes + 6%.
  • Instant games: decrease in stakes of -6%.
  • Sports betting: stability of the contribution margin; margin rate of 27.7%

 

Click here to read/download the complete 2020 results (in French & English).

SOURCE: La Française des Jeux.

 

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Arkansas Lottery Sales Set New Record

Strong Results Help Increase Scholarship Net Proceeds

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (February 12, 2021) – January sales for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery set a new monthly record with $62,935,697, which means increased net proceeds for scholarships.

During the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2021, more than $57.6 million has been raised for scholarships, with $10.9 million of that occurring in January, which is the third highest in lottery history. Since 2009, the lottery has helped fund more than 600,000 scholarships with more than $1 billion in net proceeds.

“We are on track to reach or exceed our FY21 net proceeds goal of $78.2 million,” said ASL Director J. Eric Hagler.

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“Under the leadership of Governor Hutchinson and the Department of Finance and Administration and along with our staff, we have worked hard to continue to operate as lean as possible and have been maximizing every opportunity to enhance proceeds responsibly, which is our mission.”

Last month instant (scratch-off) ticket sales were $42,637,196 – the second highest monthly sales in Arkansas Lottery history. Cash 3 sales in January were also the second highest monthly total of $976,581.

Sales for Cash 4 and Fast Play games recorded in January were the highest for one month in Arkansas history at $553,234 and $2,059,297, respectively.

Since 2009, the lottery has awarded more than $3.5 billion in prizes to players, about $302 million in commissions to retailers and more than $141 million in state and federal tax revenue.

To read the entire financial report presented to the Arkansas Legislative Council Lottery Oversight Subcommittee today, visit MyArkansasLottery.com and click on “January 2021 Monthly Disclosure Reports” under “LOC Reports.” Link to Reports Page Here

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, about $302 million in retailer commissions and 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: Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

 

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QTech Games Launches Industry-First Network Progressive Jackpot Feature

Leading distributor cements its status across emerging markets with new cross-supplier rewards feature, showcasing latest acquisition and retention toolbox

CURAÇAO (February 11, 2021) - QTech Games, the leading games distributor for Asia and all emerging markets, has rolled out Network Progressive Jackpot, an industry-first rewards feature now on offer across allocated products from a host of renowned slot developers.

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The new feature is currently available with dedicated jackpot games from Blueprint Gaming, as QTech Games continues to attract participating brands from both new and existing eligible clients, always with the combined goal of optimizing premium content for localised distribution.

Network Progressive Jackpot already harnesses 28 dedicated jackpot games from Blueprint Gaming for ground-breaking service, including Grand (Jackpot King), Major (Regal) and Mini (Royal) progressive pots, which run off Blueprint’s signature Jackpot King Deluxe system.

The inherent ability of jackpots to drive acquisition and retention is firmly proven across worldwide markets. However, this breakthrough innovation now allies QTech’s pioneering platform and machine-learning software to a supplier-by-supplier suite of progressive products which deliver credible winning triggers. All of which assists in building authenticity, trust and digital dwell-time with the end user.

These progressive jackpots are amassed by players’ contributions, whereby a small percentage of every qualifying bet contributes towards the mounting prize pool. Furthermore, Network Progressive Jackpots are shared among several eligible casinos to ensure the jaw-dropping payouts that appeal to myriad players.

This game-changing, networked move from QTech Games also opens up added possibilities for both established and up-and-coming operators who can benefit from this pooled structure to pull up a chair at the progressive-jackpot table without the need for bottomless liquidity.

Intuitive back-office functionality and reporting also allows partners to accurately unpack all jackpot details pertaining to contributions and payout values, while QTech’s unique API lets managers effortlessly retrieve any jackpot ID, game or prize-pool info, alongside real-time balances in any given currency.

Ulf Norder, CCO at QTech Games, said: “We’re delighted to confirm that our new Network Progressive Jackpot feature is really turning players’ heads and keeping them coming back for repeat visits on a highly-playable portfolio of dedicated titles from a range of popular suppliers.

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Operators large and small understand that progressive jackpots are one of the most effective marketing tools around, and now QTech’s unique “progressives” are taking the notional risk and administration out of jackpot provision.

“QTech Games is already the leader in Asia, while other key growth territories are following suit as well. Our propriety technology means we’re the only aggregator which is not just showcasing fantastic games but also adding engaging features (such as our AI-powered recommendation engine, alongside other Tournament and Jackpot elements) to confirm QTech’s breakthrough position in the marketplace. Network Progressive Jackpots represent just part of an innovative rewards tide that is helping to lift all boats.

“Aside from being the premier platform for emerging markets, QTech Games is now so much more than just a leading platform, adding value and driving business at every consequential juncture.

So, we’re delighted to open up some of the fastest-growing and scalable jackpot games on the market to players across multiple developing regions.

“QTech’s ever-expanding reach, from Asia and Eastern Europe to LatAm, is taking engaging games to players in increasingly diverse markets, whilst this pooled cumulative-jackpot system will reliably boost acquisition and activity numbers for a wide variety of operators.”

SOURCE: QTech Games press release.

 

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Christina Kilström new Head of Sales and Marketing at Svenska Spel Tur - with responsibility for brands such as Triss, Lotto, Eurojackpot and Keno

VISBY, Sweden (February 15, 2021) -- Christina Kilström will be the new head of sales and marketing at Svenska Spel Tur with responsibility for number games and lotteries, which means brands such as Triss, Lotto, Eurojackpot and Keno.

Chriestina Kilstrom

She most recently came from a position as Marketing and Communications Director for the Stockholm Fair. She took up her new position at Svenska Spel Tur on 1 February 2021.

“I am very happy to welcome Christina Kilström to the dream factory Svenska Spel Tur.

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Her experience in customer experience, digital development, sales and brands from Coca-Cola, ebay, Vattenfall and most recently the Stockholm Fair will be a great asset.

It is an exciting time where strong brands and the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world and new customer habits are more important than ever.

I also look forward to Christina with her background in digital transformation to contribute with an agile and inclusive leadership,” says Anna Romboli, Business Area Manager Svenska Spel Tur.

“Svenska Spel is a very exciting company and an inspiring and fun workplace.

With a strong position in the gaming market where last year we had a record year in terms of the number of million winnings to customers, our connection to sports, solid gaming responsibility and strong brands such as Triss and Lotto, we realize both small and big dreams, says Christina Kilström, Head of Sales and Marketing Swedish Games Tour.

“I really look forward to working with my talented employees to lead and develop the gaming experience of the future in a sustainable way, not least now at a stage where the outside world and customer movements place demands on both our sales and marketing.

"It will be enormously exciting and fun,” says Christina Kilström.

SOURCE: Svenska Spel.

 

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IGT Drives Evolution of Lottery in Mexico through Extension of Full-Service Contract with LOTENAL

Facilities management extension includes ongoing delivery of draw-based and instant tickets system, lottery terminals, and associated services

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LONDON, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- International Game Technology PLC (IGT) (NYSE: IGT) announced that its subsidiary, IGT México Lottery, S. de R.L. de C.V. ("IGT"), has extended its agreement with La Lotería Nacional para la Asistencia Pública ("LOTENAL"), Mexico's national lottery, to continue providing an integrated draw-based/instant ticket system, draw-based lottery terminals, a communications network, and additional lottery products and ongoing services. The agreement, effective Dec. 20, 2020, extends IGT's contract with the lottery to March 2, 2022.

 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.

"For the Lotería Nacional, the extension of the contract with IGT contributes to the certainty and security that we offer to our clients in a year of great challenges for all of us, which has also been a year of transition and internal transformation," said Mario Caballero Luna, LOTENAL Chief of Advisors.

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"For more than three decades, IGT has provided our Lottery customer in Mexico with the expertise, technology, and services it has needed to generate results, which ultimately benefit social and health programs," said Jay Gendron, IGT Chief Operating Officer, Lottery. "As LOTENAL navigates this transformational period, IGT's innovative, reliable, and proven technology will continue to be a key driver of its evolution."

IGT's ongoing services to LOTENAL include lottery game transactions and instant ticket distribution across 8,200 terminals nationwide. It also includes continuous development of new B2B retail channels; installation, repair, maintenance and monitoring of its total base of lottery terminals; retailer training; field service; call center operations and hotline management; a fixed-odds sports betting retail network; and marketing support to further enhance LOTENAL's overall product and game portfolio.

In 2019, LOTENAL merged with Mexico's Pronósticos para la Asistencia Pública lottery, and the combined new organization retained the LOTENAL name.

For more information, visit igt.com. Follow IGT on Facebook at facebook.com/IGT, on Twitter at twitter.com/IGTnews, or watch IGT videos on YouTube at youtube.com/igt.

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

Rhonda Whittaker, Global Communications, +1 (506) 878-6471

 

SOURCE: International Game Technology PLC.

 

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Boyd Gaming and Aristocrat Technologies Announce BoydPay Digital Wallet

LAS VEGAS, NV (February 15, 2021) -- Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and Aristocrat Technologies today announced the launch of "BoydPay," Boyd Gaming's new digital wallet product.  

Through BoydPay, Boyd Gaming customers will have the ability to create a cashless digital wallet that can be conveniently linked to third-party funding sources driven by Sightline Payments.

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BoydPay is now live at Blue Chip Casino Resort Spa in Michigan City, Indiana, Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in field trial at Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

During its initial phase, the BoydPay digital wallet is linked to a player's B Connected card (Boyd Gaming's player loyalty program) and used to play or cash out on slot titles, also in partnership with Aristocrat.  Pending regulatory approvals, Boyd Gaming anticipates deploying this product at all of its casino properties nationwide by this summer.

During future phases, and pending regulatory approval, Boyd Gaming will utilize Aristocrat technology to link the BoydPay wallet to its B Connected Mobile app, creating a contactless experience that will allow customers to use their smartphones to play and cash out on casino games and pay for amenities throughout the property.

"BoydPay is all about enhancing the guest experience," said Blake Rampmaier, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Boyd Gaming. "Through our innovative partnership with Aristocrat, we will create a unique and seamless payment experience for Boyd Gaming customers, allowing them to use their smartphones to play casino games, cash out, and pay for restaurant meals, show tickets or hotel rooms.  By going cashless, our customers will be able to avoid the wait times and inconveniences associated with using cash and focus on enjoying their visit to our properties."

"BoydPay is the latest product of our partnership with Boyd and the foundation of a memorable customer journey," said Cath Burns, Executive Vice President of Customer Experience Solutions for Aristocrat. "We have the industry's best people making the most innovative products that enhance the guest experience."

CONTACT: Paul Speirs-Hernandez, Aristocrat Gaming, E paul@steinbeckcommunications.com.

SOURCE: Boyd Gaming Corporation.

 

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Svenska Spel New Main Sponsor of the Swedish Ski Association

VISBY, Sweden (February 15, 2021) -- Svenska Spel is the new main sponsor of the Swedish Ski Association. The agreement will take effect on 1 July.

Svenska Spel and the Swedish Ski Association sign a new agreement. From the 1 July 2021, Swedish Games new main sponsor of the Swedish Ski Association. The five-year agreement includes, among other things, a continued investment in young talent and is worth just over SEK 125 million.

“Svenska Spel has a long-term and large commitment to Swedish sports. Therefore, it feels very good to continue the collaboration that makes it possible to strengthen the Swedish Ski Association's all ten branches. In Svenska Spel, we have a partner who will do everything to create the right conditions for our active members,” says Ola Strömberg, federal director of the Swedish Ski Association.

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The new agreement enables continued investment in young talent. The plan is to create development national teams, so-called Team Svenska Spel, where money is earmarked to create the best possible opportunities for training and development. In addition, both Svenska Spel and the Swedish Ski Association agree to continue working for an equal sport and to get more people moving.

“We are happy and proud to collaborate with the Swedish Ski Association. Skiing and snowboarding are popular and stand for many positive values. Here we find many of our most beloved national teams and athletes. As the country's largest sports sponsor from grassroots to elite, we want to be involved and contribute to our national team skiers continuing to be successful and enable young talents to develop,” says Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel.

“It is gratifying to be able to expand the collaboration with Svenska Spel, after getting to know each other for two years. We know that Svenska Spel works hard to get more children and young people moving and on snow, and that is exactly what we and our activists are also passionate about. With a strong partner, we get an even better opportunity to reach out and inspire more people to experience real snow joy,” says Karin Mattsson, chairman of the Swedish Ski Association.

On July 1, 2019, Svenska Spel joined as a presenting partner for the Swedish cross-country national team. That agreement now expires and is replaced by a new main sponsorship agreement that applies from 1 July this year to 30 June 2026. The Swedish Ski Association includes the disciplines alpine, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, freeski, hump, roller skis, skicross, snowboard, speedski and telemark.

“All forms of skiing are appreciated sports in Sweden and therefore we are extra happy about this collaboration. Through the agreement, we can participate and contribute to all branches of Swedish skiing and snowboarding continue to develop, says Erik Strand , Chairman of the Board of Svenska Spel.

SOURCE: Svenska Spel.

 

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NeoPollard Interactive iLottery Network Scales to $2 Billion in FY2020

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LANSING, Michigan, February 17, 2021– NeoPollard Interactive LLC (“NeoPollard Interactive” or “NPi”), jointly owned by Pollard Banknote Limited (“Pollard Banknote”; TSX: PBL) and NeoGames S.A. (Nasdaq: NGMS), congratulates its customer network on exceptional Fiscal Year 2020 (“FY20”) results. NPi's iLottery partners, including the Michigan, Virginia, New Hampshire, and North Carolina Education Lotteries, achieved topline sales totaling a collective $2 billion. Just as impressive as this milestone achievement is the fact that these lotteries grew topline sales by a remarkable 89% from the previous fiscal year. FY20 is defined as the twelve-month period ending June 30, 2020 for each state except Michigan, which concluded FY20 on September 30, 2020; all four lotteries have continued to achieve significant growth in the current fiscal year. 

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Across NPi’s U.S. customer network, all iLottery programs experienced significant growth over FY19. The Michigan Lottery achieved a total sales increase of 86% and since launch, have contributed over half a billion dollars before operating expenses to the Michigan School Aid Fund. The Virginia Lottery saw 29% growth in FY20 eSubscription sales. FY20 marked the New Hampshire Lottery’s first full fiscal year of iLottery operations, recording over 142% growth in sales in support of funds for education in New Hampshire. North Carolina’s program, which NPi converted from the Lottery’s previous program that enabled the sale of draw games online, was live for only eight months in FY20 and surpassed topline sales from the entire prior fiscal year by 57%.

“Since its inception, NPi has been dedicated to delivering the most entertaining, engaging, and profitable iLottery programs to our customers,” said Liz Siver, General Manager, NeoPollard Interactive. “Covid-19 has highlighted the importance for lotteries to diversify their sales channels. At NPi our mission is to enable lotteries to generate revenue through online channels and FY20 proved the significance of this channel to grow our customers’ overall lottery sales performance. We are proud that our industry-leading products and services have helped our iLottery partners continue to drive sales, engage with players, and maximize revenue for the many good causes they support.”

NPi’s focused approach and operational expertise have made the company the partner of choice for lotteries looking to expand the way they interact with players through digital channels and engaging, revenue driving games. NPi’s iLottery partners consistently experience significant year-over-year incremental revenue increases through the online channel, while simultaneously driving growth at retail. In fact, NPi customers with a full iLottery offering have seen significant growth in retail instant sales after launching iLottery programs. The Michigan Lottery has seen 150% growth in retail instant sales since Fiscal Year 2013. In New Hampshire, the Lottery’s retail instant category has grown by 21% since Fiscal Year 2018.

 

About NeoPollard Interactive

Born in the digital domain, NeoPollard Interactive LLC (“NPi”) is an award-winning supplier of best-in-class iLottery solutions to the North American lottery market. Serving the largest share of U.S. lotteries that currently sell online, NPi helped pioneer the successful introduction of iLottery in the U.S. and, is North America’s proven partner of choice to enable regulated lotteries to design and deploy complex gaming solutions in support of generating incremental revenue for good causes through the online channel. NPi offers cutting-edge technology, a full suite of managed services, and the industry’s top performing game content, as part of its innovative and comprehensive approach to partnering for iLottery success. Jointly owned by Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) and NeoGames S.A. (Nasdaq: NGMS)—both globally recognized industry leaders—NPi powers the most profitable iLottery programs. Visit us at www.neopollard.com.

For More Information About Neopollard Interactive, CONTACT:

Liz Siver

General Manager

E-mail: liz.siver@neopollard.com

 

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games, Schafer Systems and Fastrak retail merchandising solutions, and a full suite of digital offerings, ranging from world-class mkodo game apps to comprehensive player engagement and iLottery solutions, including strategic marketing and management services. The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes. Pollard Banknote also provides pull-tab tickets, bingo paper, and its Diamond Game and Compliant Gaming electronic games and devices to charitable and other gaming markets in North America. Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 66.7% by the Pollard family and 33.3% by public shareholders, and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

For More Information About Pollard Banknote, CONTACT:

Doug Pollard

Co-Chief Executive Officer

Telephone: 204-474-2323

E-mail: doug.pollard@neopollard.com

 

About NeoGames

NeoGames (Nasdaq: NGMS) is a technology-driven innovator and a global provider of iLottery solutions for national and state-regulated lotteries. NeoGames’ full-service solution combines proprietary technology platforms with the experience and expertise required for successful iLottery operations. NeoGames’ pioneering game studio encompasses an extensive portfolio of engaging online lottery games that deliver an entertaining player experience. As a trusted partner to lotteries worldwide, the company works with its customers to maximize their success, offering a comprehensive solution that empowers them to deliver enjoyable and profitable iLottery programs to their players, generate more revenue, and direct proceeds to good causes. For more information visit www.neogames.com.

For More Information About Neogames, CONTACT:

Moti Malul

Chief Executive Officer

E-mail: ir@neogames.com

SOURCE: NeoPollard Interactive.

 

G2E Asia 2020

 

V1 Group Leads the Trillion-Yuan Sports Industry in China

Sports platform in Hainan and green channel in Beijing secure Drives the goal of becoming the most bullish stock for the Year of the Bull.

HONG KONG, Feb. 10, 2021 -- V1 Group Limited, ("V1 Group" or the "Company", together with its subsidiaries, the "Group"; stock code: 00082.HK) announces that the Group's business reorganization has completed. Its new members of the Board of Directors had undergone a smooth transition in early January. The Group is now concentrating its resources on developing sports lottery information services and offline lottery retail terminal business for Crazy Sports in pursuit of its goal of becoming the largest sports lottery and entertainment community operator in China. It aspires to become the most bullish stock in the Year of the Bull!

Since initiating its business restructuring, the Group has been accomplishing one major milestone development after another. At the beginning of 2021 Crazy Sports secured an approval from authorities to establish in Hainan a sports tournament platform and reward points system, through which quiz games on major sports events are conducted and winners will receive reward points to be redeemed into goods and services to stimulate tourism consumption in Hainan.

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Crazy Sports later secured official authorization from Fédération International de Footballeurs Professionels (FIFPro) to launch a soccer E-sports mobile game "Ace Soccer" featuring renowned international star soccer players from 54 countries and leagues, and names and portraits of professional players, attracting reservations from more than 1 million users. With the IP official authorization for China Super League secured earlier, Crazy Sports leveraged edges from the sport tournament platform in Hainan and launched a "Dream Super League" game under the "Fantasy" football game community. These are populating into a collection of excellent sports games in football, basketball, tennis, bowling, motor racing, etc., contributing to nurturing of Crazy Sports' leadership in feature sports IPs, core fan base and sports channel interconnectivity and global sports game development support system.

By end-January, Crazy Sports reached strategic cooperation with Lakala (Beijing) E-Billing Technology & Service Co., Ltd. ("E-Billing"). In the next three years, E-Billing will become a cooperation partner of Crazy Sports' sports lottery sales business, accelerates landing of Crazy Sports' new lottery retail business on brick-and-mortar retail points of sales, but also provides more convenient and intelligent lottery purchase services for the large lottery user base in China. Boosting Crazy Sport's reach to more than tens of thousands retail outlets, installation of sports lottery terminals will gather pace in convenience stores in different provinces and cities to offer lottery players more convenient access to the services.

In early February, Crazy Sports participated in the signing of the "two districts" under Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone and thereby becomes a key enterprise introduced to the science and culture integration project segment of the "two districts" (namely "Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone National Service Industry Expansion and Opening Comprehensive Demonstration Zone" and "China (Beijing) Free Trade High-End Industrial Pilot Zone"). It is eligible for special financial support and green channel treatment for game version number registration from the Beijing Economic Development Zone's technological innovation research, key equipment research and development, and high-end talent introduction. This accomplishment injects momentum into further development of Crazy Sports' businesses.

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Crazy Sports has developed a sports community and lottery business ecosystem that comprises Crazy Red Insights APP and Crazy Sports APP online and that integrate streaming dataflows and data sources to constitute an online content entertainment platform spanning the three major areas of sports, games, and lottery, serving a base of more than 200 million users. For offline presence, on the foundation of traditional specialty retail outlets, Crazy Sports continues to expand its network of chain convenience stores bundling terminal installation in pursuit of asset-light operation. The goal is to reach more younger lottery players and establish a closed loop of online sports lottery and entertainment services.

The Group will continue to accelerate the establishment of its nationwide network of sports lottery retail outlets; strengthen its leading position in paid content; leverage its core platform edges to develop new online games; invest in technology and data capabilities; implement marketing strategies to increase the brand awareness of Crazy Sports; and cross-selling between online and offline sports community lottery e-commerce ecosystems to improve cash conversion. Combining with big data accumulation of the Group's sports lottery entertainment community, Crazy Sports is set to secure a leading position in the trillion-yuan sports l market in China, with robust profitability for 2021. It is set to become the most bullish stock in the Year of the Bull!

The renaming of the Group as Crazy Sports Group Limited is expected to be approved in a forthcoming shareholder meeting in May, setting a strong note for its businesses and profitability to escalate to the next level in the years of major international sports events in 2021 and 2022.

SOURCE: V1 Group.

 

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