SBC Awards North America 2021-DraftKings and BetMGM triumph

DraftKingsBetMGMIGT PlaySports, and Scientific Games were among the big winners at the glittering SBC Awards North America 2021 ceremony in New York City last week.

The inaugural edition of the awards saw an audience of more than 400 executives from the US and Canadian sports betting and igaming sector gather at The Edison Ballroom for a celebration of the industry’s achievements over the last 12 months.

The ceremony, hosted by YES Network’s New York Yankees’ clubhouse reporter Meredith Marakovits, saw DraftKings named Sportsbook of the Year and BetMGM awarded Casino Operator of the Year.

In the other operator categories, the independent judging panels selected Bally Interactive as Rising Star of the Year and Entain as Socially Responsible Operator of the Year, as PointsBet took the Marketing Campaign & Sponsorship honor and GAN collected the Social Gaming Operator prize.

The two awards that span the entire industry ecosystem saw Rush Street Interactive’s Richard Schwartz named Leader of the Year and Scientific Games recognized as Employer of the Year.

Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of event organizer SBC, said: “Competition for the SBC Awards North America was fierce across all the categories, underlining the staggering progress made by the industry here over the past three years.

“Huge congratulations to all the winners selected by our independent judging panels. To have succeeded against such a high standard of opposition is a real mark of quality that the team from the victorious companies can be very proud of.”

VSiN and Group claimed the respective Sports Affiliate and Casino Affiliate trophies, while a strong showing from Catena Media saw the company take silver awards in both categories.

IGT PlaySports enjoyed a successful evening in the supplier section, winning both the Platform Provider and Land-Based Betting & Gaming Product honors, and taking silver in the Industry Innovation of the Year category won by ArdentSky.

OpenBet collected the Sportsbook Supplier award, while Sportradar was victorious in the Sports Data / Living Betting Product category, and Boom Entertainment was named Rising Star In Sports Betting & Casino.

Scientific Games pocketed a second prize of the night with the Lottery Supplier of the Year title, while Evolution claimed the Casino Supplier title, Optimove won in the Acquisition & Retention Partner category, and Intelitics took the Marketing & Services Provider honor.

USAbility landed the Compliance Solution & Partner trophy, Sightline Payments triumphed in the Payment Solution section, and Nuvei won the Payment Innovation prize.

Sojmark added: “We’d like to thank all the SBC Awards North America sponsors for their support and for helping to make this such a fantastic occasion.  We’re already looking forward to the second edition of the Awards in July 2022.”

The ceremony took place on the final evening of SBC Summit North America 2021, the leading conference and tradeshow for the sports betting and igaming sectors.
SBC Summit North America 2022 is set to take place on July 12-14, with Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey again the venue.

Kenya’s football supremo charged with corruption

Kenya’s suspended football chief was charged with corruption on Tuesday and accused of embezzling millions of shillings, less than a week after the state dropped a graft case against him.


Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa was arrested a second time on Friday for allegedly embezzling 38 million shillings ($337,000) received from the government and other sponsors.

At a hearing before a Nairobi high court, the 42-year-old denied all charges against him including fraudulently acquiring public funds and conspiracy to commit corruption. Mwendwa, who has been head of the FKF since 2016, was first arrested on November 12 after the government disbanded FKF and set up a caretaker committee to run football over alleged financial impropriety during his tenure.

However, a court last Thursday declared the case against Mwendwa closed after the state failed to provide any evidence against him. Judge Eunice Nyutu, who oversaw Tuesday’s hearing, ordered him released on bail until his next court appearance on December 20.

The embattled football chief, who is also owner of the top-flight league club Kariobangi Sharks, was ordered to deposit his passport with the court and barred from accessing the FKF offices or interfering with prosecution witnesses. Kenyan football has long been beset by financial woes often stemming from poor management and corruption, while Kenya’s national team the Harambee Stars have failed to shine on the pitch.

Chinese media and electronics company StarTimes last week announced it was cancelling a major sponsorship deal to broadcast Kenyan premier league matches.

“The persistent acrimony between the governing body and its key stakeholders among them media and top tier clubs has negatively affected the league’s brand affinity,” – the company said in a statement.

A Nigerian sports betting firm cancelled its sponsorship of Kenya’s main football league in August, days after two of the country’s top teams complained of non-payments. The league faced a financial crisis after the exit of another title sponsor, online gaming firm SportPesa, in September 2019 following a protracted tax row with the government. Football’s world governing body FIFA has warned Kenya it risked a ban if the government did not reconsider reinstating Mwendwa’s team.

Super Spade Games continues global growth with Parimatch

Leading global casino and sportsbook operator Parimatch has joined forces with Super Spade Games, a dynamic supplier of live dealer games specialized in frontier and emerging markets.


Under the agreement, Super Spade Game’s engaging array of live dealer entertainment options will launch across Parimatch operations.

The deal sees Parimatch’s impressive gaming catalogue, comprised of titles from a host of tier-one suppliers, further boosted by Super Spade Games’s premium quality content suite, which includes immersive digital iterations of table games such as Andar Bahar and Teen Patti. Super Spade Games’s latest partnership with Parimatch extends its rapidly growing international footprint.

Anton Rublevskyi, CEO at Parimatch, said:

“Super Spade Games’s impressive live dealer options match perfectly with our world-class casino offering, and we have no doubt its content will be well received by a wide variety of players.”

Albert Climent, co-founder of Super Spade Games, said:

“Parimatch is an industry leader with a widely admired product offering. We are thrilled about this partnership. Our state-of-the-art live casino options will make for a strong addition to Parimatch’s acclaimed offering. As we continue to execute our ambitious commercial roadmap globally, we look forward to an amazing partnership with Parimatch”

About Super Spade Games

B2B live dealer technology provider. Super Spade Games offers a sophisticated and flexible Live dealer system to gaming operators or white-label providers all over the world.

PremierBet Becomes AS Monaco’s official betting partner in Africa

 It was announced on the official website of the French football club, which states AS Monaco is pleased to announce a partnership with PremierBet. The leading iGaming firm in Africa has become the Club’s official betting partner for two seasons.


Premier Bet became AS Monaco’s first official regional partner in Africa, enabling the Monegasque Club, which also has regional partners in Russia and Asia, to strengthen its international presence. Through this partnership, Premier Bet will benefit from visibility in Africa via virtual Led technology of the Stade Louis-11 during AS Monaco’s Ligue 1 matches. The sports betting firm is strengthening its ambition to become the first operator in the iGaming sector in Africa within the next five years. PremierBet trades in eighteen markets and has millions of customers across its online platform and solid plans for extending into other African markets. Its leading payment technology infrastructure ensures 120+ payment integration points.

They support a 2,500+ retail solid footprint, and 90,000 kiosks give it incomparable presence and credibility. AS Monaco has long been a champion of giving young African footballers the dream of playing in one of Europe’s elite leagues, developing them into future stars of the game. From the early days of giving Ballon D’or winners George Weah his breakthrough into Europe to their current lead, Krepin Diatta, Monaco, like Premier Bet, is firmly invested in Africa. This partnership will bring the fans closer to AS Monaco with the opportunity to win exciting prizes, access to unique content, and money can’s buy experience and excellent products and services, only available at Premier Bet.

This new and exciting partnership kicks off with a multi-media, multi-market advertising campaign throughout the 2021/22 season and beyond in the countries where PremierBet operates. “This new international partnership shows that the Club is attractive beyond its borders. Colloborating with PremeirBet is proof that we want to reach new territories.

Africa is real footballing land and we look forward to developing the Club’s presence there through this partnership said Oleg Petrov Vice-President and CEO AS Monaco. CEO of PremierBet, Martin Nieri said

“As Monaco is synonymous with innovation and developing footballing talent, particularly in French-speaking countries across Africa. Their success on the pitch is matched by their innovation off it, as they set themselves up to become a digital pioneer in the same way we are doing at AS Premier Bet looks to strengthen its position in key markets like Senegal and Cameroon, where the company has an enormous presence, and we intend for this unique partnership to help create brand fame and cut-through and provide their millions of Africa-based fans with new and exciting ways to experience PremierBet.

Meanwhile, recently the company signed a similar deal by becoming the official betting partner of one of the great and decorated Italian club giants AC Milan across Africa. The new partnership will kick off with a new multi-media, multi-market advertising campaign to coincide with the launch of the 2021/22 football league season. Also, Africa’s leading sports betting brand became the Portuguese giant club Benfica as the official betting partner for the Angola and Mozambique market; Premier Bet became the Club’s first regional partner.

Stakelogic, Habanero & Scientific Games: on the spin

As a number of new igaming titles grace the CasinoBeats inbox, sit back and get to grips with a select few new slot games as we take a look at Scientific Games’ latest Monopoly title, Stakelogic’s festive treat, a German beverage from Habanero and a mystical creature from Spinomenal.

Wild Stocking – Stakelogic

Stakelogic goes dashing through the snow in its latest festive-themed slot title, Wild Stocking, a 5×4, 1,024-payline slot with a top maximum payout of up to 25,000x a players’ bet.

This highly volatile, 95.50 per cent title includes low value consisting of the traditional royals in the form of card suits, lollipops and christmas candles. These offer the player between x0.02 to x0.20 multipliers, depending on the number of symbols that land.

Higher symbols include a reindeer, snowman and elf with the highest landing payout being Santa Claus, offering players x0.08 to x2 multipliers, again, dependent on winning combinations.

Features within the slot include a super stake, expanding wild symbols, a gamble feature, pick & click, free spins and a buy bonus.

If the player lands three bonus stockings anywhere in view during a base game spin, they will be transported to a new screen where instant cash prizes can be won. Here players get to pick from a selection of treat-stuffed stockings, with each choice unveiling a random cash prize.

Should they manage to land three or more present scatter symbols during the base game, players will be awarded up to 10 free spins and will again get to make up to six stocking picks to activate additional modifiers.

“In our new Wild Stocking slot, we’re inviting players to come dashing through the snow with us on a fun-filled ride that’s packed with festive features,” explained Olga Bajela, CCO at Stakelogic.

“With free spins, expanding wilds and instant cash prizes all up for grabs, it doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice – all players will have the chance to unwrap top wins of up 25,000x their stake.”

Monopoly Lunar New Year – Scientific Games

Scientific Games has extended its portfolio of Hasbro branded titles with the launch of its Asian-themed Monopoly Lunar New Year, a 5×3 slot with 243 ways to play on each base game spin and top maximum payout of x13,771 the players’ bet.

Within the base game, lunar chests symbols are above each reel in the free spins feature, and each coin can reveal either a token value multiplier from x0.5 to x10, extra free games up to 50, crescent moon symbol, or a full moon symbol, which awards all five chests in view.

In the jackpot feature, players are given 15 picks, each revealing one or two cards, which may be property or upgrade cards. Revealing three upgrade cards upgrades all possible jackpot values to the next level and the grand jackpot to double grand jackpot, while collecting four property cards of the same group awards the corresponding jackpot prize.

Prost! – Habanero

Habanero takes players to Germany to participate in the Bavarian festival in its most recent addition to its catalogue of slots with the release of Prost!.

A 5×3, 25-payline slot, the title includes a medium volatility level with an RTP between 92.22 to 96.57 per cent, along with features such as free spins, multipliers, a map and prost feature and cash prizes.

Whenever a wild appears, players will gain access to the map feature. This can award a cash prize or it can trigger up to 25 free spins, along with up to x10 multipliers for all wins.

Furthermore, there is a Prost feature as well, which pours beer all over the reels, filling them up. This then transforms all positions into a single random symbol, which pays on 25 active lines.

“We’re delighted to offer players the chance to enjoy a stein-filled tour around Munich with our latest release, Prost!,” commented Toni Karapetrov, head of corporate communications at Habanero. “The game comes complete with a fantastic theme, captivating audio-visuals and superb gameplay that will retain players with ease.

“At Habanero we’re all about making games that can appeal to fans the world over, and we’re sure that this latest hit will be a fun-filled adventure for players everywhere.”

Blue Panther – Spinomenal

Venture deep into the jungle in Spinomenal’s newest title which sees players attempt to seek out the mysterious Blue Panther.

A 5×3, 25-payline slot, Blue Panther includes features such as a free games feature, colossus symbols and retriggers.

Within the base game, the free games feature triggers when three or more scattered waterfalls splash onto the screen. Free spin symbols only land on reels one, three and five.

During the free spins feature, all symbols will appear as colossus symbols – 3×3 in size – in the middle slot between reels two and four. Any scattered symbol – sun or free spins – that lands as a colossus symbol will trigger its feature. The free spins colossus symbol will also instantly award players with three further spins.

Furthermore, players who land six or more fiery sun scatter symbols will activate the bonus game. As the bonus begins, the symbols will remain locked on-screen and will stay in play throughout. Here, players start with three spins and the round will conclude once every spot is complete or the spins are extinguished.

Spinomenal’s CTO, Omer Henya, commented: “Players will be desperate to pounce on our latest slots title as Blue Panther oozes class and delivers a superb reel experience. The game will be a roaring success as it is packed with hot features that give players a chance for mega returns.”

Crown rejects Blackstone proposal

Blackstone Group’s recent offer proposal for Crown Resorts, valued at A8.5bn ($6.2bn), has been rejected by the company’s board, citing it “does not represent compelling value”.

In a statement, Crown noted that it had “carefully considered the proposal”, including obtaining advice from its financial and legal advisors, as well as considering feedback from shareholders and regulators.

The company stressed it is currently focused on “maximising value” for its shareholders and will “carefully consider any proposal that is consistent with this objective”.

Despite turning down the offer, Crown has offered Blackstone the opportunity to access non-public information to allow it to “undertake initial due diligence inquiries” on a non-exclusive basis so it can “formulate a revised proposal that adequately reflects the value of Crown”.

Last month, Blackstone revived its interest in the embattled Australian casino operator, returning with an offer of A$12.50 per share.

This proposal follows a pair of prior overtures made by the US investment management firm, and affiliates, earlier in the year, which valued the group at A$12.35 per share after an initial A$11.85 offer was deemed an undervaluation and “not in the best interests” of shareholders.

At the time, Crown stated that it has “not formed a view on the merits of the proposal,” adding that it will assess the submission.

Furthermore, Blackstone noted that the rejected proposal was subject to an array of conditions, including the group conducting due diligence on Crown, covering regulatory, commercial, operational, financial, taxation, legal and accounting matters, on an exclusive basis.

In addition, any potential acquisition of Crown would also be dependent on Blackstone receiving final approval from the casino regulators in each of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Blackstone highlighted earlier this month that it would be prepared to proceed with the proposed transaction amid an ongoing Perth royal commission and consultation process with the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority, in addition to legislation to implement the recommendations of the Victorian Commission. The company also stressed at the time that “the consequences or outcomes of these processes may impact the proposed transaction”.

The ongoing negotiations have continued over the backdrop of Crown Resorts being deemed ‘unsuitable’ by the royal commission on the basis that it engaged in “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” conduct – yet still retained its Melbourne casino licence.

The Kenyan regulatory board suspends 81 lottery account numbers

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), working in conjunction with Safaricom PLC, has suspended 81 pay bill numbers for various unauthorized radio and television promotions over an eight-month period ending in August.


The Board’s Director Peter Mbugi said the suspension that took place between December 202o to August 2021 is part of the ongoing crackdown aimed at curbing the rampant betting and gaming in the broadcasting space.

“These activities by the media have harmful impact on the public and especially children,” – he said.

While citing the economic effects brought forth by COVID-19, Mbugi decried that a majority of radio stations in particular had resorted to exploitative and unauthorized gambling so as to remain afloat.

Mbugi said the Board is working with the Communication Authority (CA) with a view of establishing harmonized guidelines and procedures relating to adverts and programming on gaming aired by radio and television stations.

“This will ensure the two agencies work together to reign in any media house violating gaming, lottery and the betting advertising guidelines,” – he said.

Members of the National Assembly are also considering amendments to the Gaming Bill 2019 to tighten the law on betting and gaming activities in the country. The Gaming Bill 2019 is currently before the Committee of the Whole House.

Maryland sports betting delayed before NFL kickoff as regulators craft rules

Despite the General Assembly having passed the sports betting bill and the Governor signing it, the Maryland Lottery Commission still works to develop rules on terms such as who can and can’t apply for gaming licenses. That process only got started this summer. The news comes as the 2021 NFL Season is set to attract a record number of American bettors.

Sports betting in Maryland is seeing a delay, despite the General Assembly having passed the bill and the Governor signing it, as regulators still work to develop rules.

The Maryland Lottery Commission is finishing regulatory details, including terms on who can and can’t apply for gaming licenses, with their work having reportedly only starting this summer despite the bill having been signed into law for some time now, reports FOX5.

According to the news source, several fans in the state are disappointed at sports gambling not being yet available in Maryland with only one day to go until the NFL Season kickoff. The delay could see Maryland losing out to other states.

Finalizing regulatory details is essential to the proper launching of betting in the state. Moreover, it also means the state itself might not see any gambling revenue in the first few games.

According to Maryland Matters, the rules are critical to ensure winners get paid in time. In accordance to the local news website, as many of the companies stepping forward in Maryland are new, the obligation of part of the state regulators is further raised.

Maryland has named, upon the bill’s passing, 17 entities as sports gaming sites, including casinos such as Horseshoe Casino, Live! Casino, MGM, and Hollywood Casino. Three stadiums –Oriole Park, M&T Bank Field and FedEx Field– are also set for gaming.

Sports gambling companies in the state will pay a 15% tax on their proceeds, which will go largely to public education. The bill will grant nearly 100 licenses in total to the state’s six casinos, racing tracks, stadiums, off-track betting facilities, as well as to mobile and online sports betting apps. Nonpartisan analysts estimate that the state could bring in about $17 million per year.

The news of the delay comes as the American Gaming Association says, according to a new study, that a record 45.2 million Americans plan to wager on the 2021 NFL Season, figures that represent a 36% increase from the 2020 season.

“The enthusiasm of bettors for the upcoming NFL season highlights the remarkable growth of the industry over the past three years,” said Bill Miller, President and CEO of AGA. As of this new season, 111 million Americans will be able to wager in a legal way.

888 to acquire William Hill’s non-US business for $3.03bn

Holdings has entered into an agreement with Caesars Entertainment to acquire the non-US business of William Hill for a total of £2.2bn ($3.03bn).

As stated by 888, the acquisition aims to create a global online betting and gaming leader by combining “two of the industry’s leading brands,” representing a transformational opportunity for the company to “significantly increase its scale, further diversify its product mix and accelerate the upward shift of its revenue growth profile.”

The combination of the two groups is expected to deliver pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100m per year, with 888 noting that annual revenue and adjusted EBITDA for 2020 would have been $2.5bn and $464m respectively.

“The acquisition of William Hill International is a transformational and hugely exciting moment in 888’s history,” said 888 CEO Itai Pazner. “This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, exceptional brands, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth.

“William Hill is an iconic sports brand, making it the ideal complement to 888, one of the leading global online gaming brands. Our strategies are also complementary, being digitally led, customer focused, and committed to player protection and raising industry standards around safer gambling.

“We have been incredibly impressed with the William Hill management team, and I look forward to working with them and the wider William Hill team to create great products for our customers, driven by best in class technology, powerful brands, and benefitting from our significantly enhanced scale.”

Caesars said that the transaction is subject to receipt of the approval of 888 shareholders and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Deutsche Bank and Linklaters LLP represented Caesars on the transaction.

888 Chair Lord Jon Mendelsohn commented: “This acquisition is an incredible opportunity to combine our world-class gaming brand with a unique and iconic sports betting brand to create a global leader in the online sports betting and gaming industry.

“We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting, gaming and poker, supported by top quality management talent from both businesses.”

Pragmatic Play set for African expansion with intelligent gaming deal

Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is now distributing its premium products to the first one of Intelligent Gaming’s tier one operators going live with immediate effect.


Supabets are one of South Africa’s largest and most innovative wagering operators and are proud to be the first operator in the country to offer the incredible suite of products offered by Pragmatic Play.

A renowned operator in the region, Intelligent Gaming’s players will gain access to Pragmatic Play’s repertoire of high-quality slots such as the popular John Hunter series and its range of Megaways™ games, including Power of Thor Megaways™.

Also, to debut on Intelligent Gaming’s platform will be the supplier’s Live Casino content, including classics table games Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat, as well as the innovative gameshow inspired Mega Wheel and the thrilling Mega Roulette. Intelligent Gaming are also set to take Pragmatic Play’s virtual sports and scratch cards offering.

The partnership marks Pragmatic Play’s continued momentum in South Africa and comes on the back of diligent compliance work undertaken to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of the project.

Yossi Barzely, Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said:

“South Africa is yet another region that is key to our development goals so it’s exciting to get on board with a partner such as Intelligent Gaming. Their insight and experience in the market is essential and we’re thoroughly looking forward to working with them.”

Intelligent Gaming CEO, Marc Plaxton-Harrison said:

“Intelligent Gaming are extremely excited to introduce Pragmatic Play to the South African market – it has a tremendously diverse content offering filled with quality titles. The entire Pragmatic Play team have been very agile and hands on and are set to be a strong force in the market here.”

Currently producing up to five new slot titles a month, Pragmatic Play also delivers Bingo games as part of its multi-product portfolio, available through one single API.