The Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) has revealed the scope of its ongoing investigation into the affiliate marketing of unlicensed gambling operators.

The regulator last year conducted two investigations into the advertising of offshore gambling operators via two channels; affiliate websites and online newspapers.

The KSA discovered that through these channels, Dutch consumers were being enticed to gamble with unlicensed providers.

Some of the marketing material was deliberately aimed at at-risk players who had previously blocked themselves from gambling through the country’s self-exclusion system CRUKS.

The KSA eventually discovered that 14 of the 33 investigated websites were in violation of existing marketing laws.

It further described the practice of targeting self-excluded players as “very harmful”.

Affiliates promote unlicensed operators

One investigation focused on content that tempted consumers to play with unlicensed operators through advertising on affiliate websites.

According to the KSA, four of the Netherlands’ most visited affiliate websites were found to be in breach of advertising guidelines.

The regulator has ignited a follow-up investigation as the identity of the companies and owners behind the websites could not be established.

The investigation further explored the impact of the Netherlands’ ban on untargeted advertising, including how unlicensed operators might be taking advantage of the law.

“It was expected that from July 2023, illegal providers would try to take advantage of the possible reduced visibility of legal providers,” said the KSA in a statement.

After looking into various reports of advertising by offshore operators and affiliates, 10 websites were considered to be in violation.

Five of those 10 immediately ceased prohibited marketing activity after being threatened with a sanction by the KSA.

An investigation into the other five websites is ongoing.

This specific study also revealed that seven offshore casinos were being advertised. The KSA has since started a sanctions process against all seven providers, it said.

Newspapers cease offshore advertising

Lastly, six online newspapers were instructed to stop promoting the services of unlicensed online gambling providers.

All parties are understood to have taken immediate action and are no longer hosting adverts for the blacklisted providers.

Starting on 1 July 2023, licensed operators in the Netherlands were banned from advertising on TV, radio and in public spaces, both indoor and outdoor.

The ban will also apply to sports sponsorships from July 2025.

The KSA has listed combatting unlicensed providers as a key strategic priority for 2024.

Under the influencer

The Guardian introduced us to a new study from Australia this week, which showed that children as young as 12 may be encouraged to gamble by celebrities and influencers promoting betting brands online.

The study was funded by the Australian Research Council and directly surveyed children to better understand their views on the rapidly growing world of online gambling influencers.

Many of the children surveyed noted that influencers often have young, impressionable audiences who could easily be drawn in by the promise of a luxury lifestyle, apparently funded by gambling winnings.

“They’re acting like they’re just gambling, but they’re getting paid. It’s all set up for them. It’s not at all like what real gambling is like, so it’s kind of like tricking you into wanting to do it,” said one 16-year-old girl in response to the survey.

Other children and teenagers quoted in the article suggested it was irresponsible for influencers to partner with gambling brands, given that they have limited knowledge and control of who their audience is – with young people often among the ranks of their followers.

According to one of the study authors, Professor Samanthat Thomas, Australia’s government should take the concerns of the quoted children seriously in order to prevent the next generation suffering gambling-related harms.

“It was disheartening to hear young people say they were sceptical about government action because of the gambling industry’s political influence,” she said.

And with children as young as 12-years-old saying things like: “If my idol, my favourite YouTuber, Instagrammer, TikToker is gambling maybe I should give it a try,” it’s easy to see why many believe this phenomenon is a significant cause for concern.

With quotes like the above coming from survey respondents so young, it seems Australia’s gambling regulators, like others around the rest of the world, should be listening intently and thinking about how to make the protection of children their number one priority.

Look North

Technology news website The Register this week brought us a surprising story from perhaps the world’s most mysterious country, North Korea.

According to the article, the latest money-making scheme being peddled by government-backed criminals in the country is the renting out of “malware-laden gambling websites as-a-service”.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), which has been investigating the phenomenon, suggested that for around $5,000 per month, one can rent a ready-built gambling operation built in North Korea and laden with malware ready to steal the personal and banking data of any customers who use it.

Reports allege that the operation is being driven by North Korea’s secretive “Office 39”, believed to be one of the country’s money-making machines helping to provide foreign currency to its government through a combination of legal and illegal activities.

Details of Chinese nationals are gathered through the malicious websites, while the North Korean operatives behind them pose as Chinese IT workers to get around UN sanctions prohibiting companies from working with North Korean workers.

South Korea’s NIS said whoever runs the scam has made billions of dollars in profit from it.

For players in China’s black market, scams like these represent another compelling reason to introduce a regulatory framework for online gambling.

Whether the revelation is taken seriously enough to bring about actual change, however, remains to be seen.

Chau’s house of cards keeps falling

Two businesses associated with now-jailed junket operator Alvin Chau are at risk of being delisted in Hong Kong, according to an article in Bloomberg.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has halted the trading of shares in LET Group Holdings and Summit Ascent Holdings, two firms linked to Chau, because of concerns about a $116m sale of assets which took place in Russia.

According to Bloomberg, the two companies did not comply with rules requiring shareholder approval for the deal.

The securities regulator asked both companies to address its concerns earlier this week, it said, but has received no response.

According to a report in industry publication GGRAsia, the asset that was sold is thought to be the gaming licence holder of the Tigre de Cristal casino in eastern Russia.

The warning leaves the two businesses in limbo after what has already been a tumultuous period.

After a raft of executive resignations at Summit Ascent, the business has currently been left with just one board member, chief executive Andrew Lo.

Elsewhere at LET, which holds a nearly 70% stake in Summit Ascent, things don’t look much better, as the aforementioned sale allegedly leaves both businesses without sufficient assets to warrant their continued listing in Hong Kong, according to the regulator.

While the companies may have made some quick cash through their latest asset sale, it seems they are now just two more examples of collateral damage as the house of cards of Alvin Chau’s business empire continues to crumble.

And given that there are 17 years left on the disgraced junket operator’s jail sentence, it seems unlikely there will be much Chau can do about it.

The DSWV has called on the German authorities to rethink its regulatory regime with the market currently failing on its channelisation goals.

The German online sports betting market saw a 5.4% decline in recorded revenue to €7.72bn in 2023, according to figures quoted by the country’s sports betting association DSWV.

The body argued this is being driven by a migration of players to the illegal market. It said many legal operators have been limited by the current regulation, meaning they are unable to effectively compete with the unlicensed segment.

DSWV statistics show a decline in the licensed segment

Black market operators have attained a “significant market share in Germany” argued the association.

As proof, it highlighted reports such as the November Schnabl study by the DSWV and its iGaming equivalent the DOCV.

These show approximately half of the time spent gambling by German players is spent on illegal sites.

Therefore, the DSWV called for a “reorientation of the current regulatory policy” to strengthen the legal market at the expense of the unlicensed segment.

DSWV calls for end of advertising ban

The main measure advocated for by the body was for a rolling back on the advertising ban, which was included in the original 2021 Interstate Treaty on Gambling that created the legal market.

“No company can survive if it is not allowed to advertise, and this must remain the case for sports betting providers,” said DSWV president Mathias Dahms.

“Otherwise, players are left with the black market, where there are no protective measures and controls.”

The DSWV said the upcoming UEFA European Football Championship will mean a rise in customer acquisition for both licensed and unlicensed operators.

As such, an advertising ban will make it difficult for consumers to tell the difference between them, leading to many players betting on illegal sites.

The association also called for a new study into problem gambling, carried out by either the GGL or the Federal Ministry of Health, in addition to the regular survey.

Expanding into a new market or launching a new iGaming or betting brand is a challenging and intensive period for every operator.

In his second article for, digital marketing expert Vedran Karaman covers new market expansion from a user acquisition perspective, focusing on licensed operators and regulated markets.

I’ll outline strategies and learnings from my experience of expanding into multiple markets from scratch.

When I started writing this article, my aim was to write a comprehensive piece that would cover the overall strategy, but I realised it would be too long and decided to break it down into multiple articles.

In this one, I’ll write about the two most important and primary aspects: setting up tracking and KPI alignment, and choosing marketing channels to start with.

Agile marketing strategies and setting up foundation

Our industry is very fast-paced, and what worked yesterday or what works for the competition won’t necessarily work for you.

Build an agile marketing strategy and team processes that allow for quick pivots and testing – regardless if you’re running activities in-house, with an agency, or a hybrid approach.

For this, it is essential to build an initial marketing, tracking, and reporting infrastructure that will allow you to quickly understand the contribution of each channel or campaign to your overall acquisition performance.

The sooner you get the data, the sooner you’ll be able to optimise and tweak your activities. It is important to follow the three rules below:

Ensure proper tagging of your marketing channels and establish consistent tracking rules and campaign naming conventions that are aligned across all digital marketing channels and campaigns.

Ensure that your tracking parameters are passed to your Data Warehouse, and set the KPIs for each part of the funnel first, ensuring that you fully understand conversion data and potential attribution differences between advertising platforms and your backend data.

More importantly, ensure that your KPIs and targets are in alignment between departments and senior management, and that these targets are clearly defined and mutually agreed upon by all stakeholders.

This is where many fail – do not start marketing activities before this is defined. It will help you to avoid a lot of questions, confusion, and pushbacks in the process of scaling.

Choosing the right channels and platforms to begin with

There are “branding” CMOs and “performance marketing” CMOs. I have worked with both, and everyone faces a similar challenge when entering new markets: determining the initial marketing channel breakdown. It’s actually very simple, so let’s dig into it.

Although the channel breakdown and strategy depend on your initial budgets, we’ll talk about the case of the majority of operators – when you have a limited marketing budget and want to grow profitably from the beginning.

The faster you get your initial pool of players, the faster you’ll be able to understand player values and differences between each marketing channel’s contribution to commercial success.

You’ll better understand average NGR and margin per player and be able to build your CPA targets and be more confident about how much you’re able to pay for an acquired user.

I’ve seen many times that operators want to run multiple channels and campaigns, and the only reason to do so was that they “didn’t want to be dependent on only one or two channels (Google/Meta).”

That was wrong from many angles – not only did they not fully utilise Google and Meta budgets, but they also spread budgets across more channels, didn’t measure it properly, and just burned through huge budgets, blaming markets for the failure of their strategies.

A little case study

With one of our clients who just launched their business in 2021, we started working in spring 2022, and they faced two issues: extremely high blended and digital CPA and an inability to scale further.

They had multiple digital channels running simultaneously, but none of them were properly optimised, and a lot of budgets were going into prospecting channels – display, native, and YouTube advertising.

To bring CPA under control, we decided to temporarily close some of the channels (display, native networks) to focus on the optimisation of channels that were contributing the most to the bottom line (Meta, Google, Affiliates).

We conducted a tracking and reporting audit and ensured that marketing channels and campaigns were mapped properly.

We re-allocated most of the budget to Google and Meta initially, and in three months, our overall Cost per FTD (First Time Deposit) dropped by half, while acquisition/FTDs started to gradually increase.

Six months later, when we were able to better confirm the value of the players we were bringing in, we gradually started to invest more into prospecting channels (Social reach campaigns, content amplification, YouTube, and Display) while conducting incrementality tests.

It ensured that in the long run, we doubled acquisition while actually lowering the overall CPA in half, which seems impossible, but it’s highly possible when you do things methodically.


My biggest advice when launching into a new market is simple: don’t run anything you can’t measure.

Whether with last-click attribution or incrementality tests – if neither can be done, don’t run that activity.

In the following article, I’ll break down marketing channels and give you my opinion on how to start with each to scale profitably, outlining the biggest strategic and tactical challenges of operators I’ve seen in my career and how to avoid them.

With more than 12 years of experience in growth and digital marketing, Vedran is a seasoned professional with a proven track record of success. He has managed a digital marketing budget of over €100m in the iGaming and betting industry, allowing him to gain valuable insights and knowledge through hands-on experimentation in different areas.

Throughout his career, Vedran worked for leading operators such as BetVictor, Superbet and LeoVegas.

His expertise has driven substantial growth for these organisations, while ensuring their profitability remains well-balanced. Driven by a strong passion for growth, he founded growth marketing firm KARAMAN Digital with the aim of utilising his experience to facilitate the success of others.

XLMedia generated revenue of around $50m and EBITDA of around $12m in the full-year 2023, according to its latest trading update.

The affiliate group revealed the approximate figures today (8 February) ahead of the publication of its 2023 financial results in full, expected in April.

The $50m revenue figure would put the business down around 32% compared to the full-year 2022, when it generated $73.7m in revenue.

EBITDA of $12m would also represent a year-on-year decline of around 28%.

Tough comparisons

A large spike in US betting revenue helped propel the business to higher earnings in 2022, making for a tough comparative period which included key events such as the launch of regulated sports betting in New York.

Still, XLMedia said it had seen “a strong start to the year in the US” in 2023, with the launch of Ohio’s regulated betting market.

US betting also saw “significant changes in operator customer acquisition activity,” however, as brands including Barstool Sportsbook left the market amid the entrance of newcomers such as ESPN Bet.

“Following the substantial spike in revenues in early 2022 driven by the launch of online sports betting in New York, revenues in FY23 reflect the reduced scale of state launches in the period,” XLMedia said.

The company added that it also saw the return to growth of its premium European assets including the Finland-focused Nettinkasinot, as well as UK and Ireland-focused WhichBingo and

Expectations for 2024

XLMedia said it is well-positioned for the launch of regulated sports betting in North Carolina next month.

The state is expected to deliver “a material market for sports betting,” the company said, adding that it remains well placed for launch with both owned and media partner brands.

The company also said it expects “an acceleration in the legalisation of online sports betting” following the US presidential election later this year, with five states already in active ballot measures.

In Europe, XLMedia intends to continue growing its brands throughout 2024, while also looking to deliver cost savings to “right size the business in preparation for further market growth in 2025.”

Kindred Group plc’s (Kindred) flagship brand, Unibet, has selected Optimove, the number one CRM Marketing solution for iGaming, to orchestrate and optimize all CRM marketing activities.

Kindred is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators with business across Europe, North America, and Australia.  

The partnership between the two industry leaders continues Kindred’s strategic investment in scaling retention marketing efforts and maximizing player lifetime value as a growth driver for its business.

The scientific approach embedded in Optimove’s CRM Marketing solution will empower Kindred to measure and attribute the incremental value of each player interaction and increase operational efficiencies.  

Kindred is set to utilize the complete Optimove suite including email, mobile, and SMS marketing channels, and gains the following key capabilities:    

Delivery of personalized experiences: Using Opti-X, Optimove’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP), Kindred is empowered to personalize digital experiences with dynamic content across owned properties and channels using ready-to-go widgets. They can create the ultimate personalized player experience on their website or mobile app by combining business rules with over 20 AI models. 

Access to unified customer profiles: Unify all historical, predictive, and real-time customer data from sources such as CRM, service clouds, and data warehouses via Optimove to create a comprehensive single customer view accessible to CRM Marketing teams.    

Multichannel personalization and orchestration: Orchestrating hundreds of campaigns seamlessly by leveraging Optimove’s AI-mapped CRM Journeys to deliver personalized customer communications across any channel.     

A continuous optimization loop: Leverage Optimove’s productized experimentation tools measure the incremental uplift of each campaign, journey, and strategy to continuously optimize CRM marketing performance.

“Kindred is a true leader in iGaming committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience to their players,” said Motti Colman, VP of revenue, gaming at Optimove. “This partnership forms a powerful alliance, and we are honored to have been selected.

“We appreciate Kindred’s confidence in our ability. We are excited that our combined efforts in the upcoming years will be revolutionary, propelling Kindred and iGaming marketing into a new era of growth.” 

Dan Gabay, director of retention marketing at Kindred, states, “With Optimove as the trusted CRM Marketing leader, we are confident they will contribute to our ongoing efforts to enhance players’ experiences.

“Optimove will assist us in delivering personalized and timely customer messages that align with the speed of player interactions with our sports content and casino gaming.”  

The announcement follows the recent release of the 2023 EGR Power 50 list, revealing that 56% of the operators listed work with Optimove. 

Optimove will exhibit at ICE 2024 in London on February 6-8, Booth N5-110. 

About Kindred Group 

Kindred Group is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators with business across Europe, North America and Australia, offering over 30 million customers across 9 brands a great form of entertainment in a safe, fair and sustainable environment.

The company, which employs approximately 2,500 people, is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap and is a member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and a founding member of IBIA (International Betting Integrity Association).

Kindred Group is audited and certified by eCOGRA for compliance with the 2014 EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling (2014/478/EU). Read more on  

About Optimove 

Optimove is the first Customer-Led Marketing Platform. Its solutions ensure that marketing always starts with the customer instead of a campaign or product. Customer-led marketing has been proven to deliver brands an average increase of 33% in customer lifetime value.    

It is the only customer-led marketing platform powered by the combination of 1) rich historical, real-time, and predictive customer data, 2) AI-led multichannel journey orchestration, and 3) statistically credible multitouch attribution of every marketing action.     

In Gartner’s 2023 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, Optimove was positioned the highest in execution and furthest in vision among Challengers. In Gartner’s companion report and ranked #1 by Gartner for Multichannel Marketing Journey Orchestration. 

Optimove provides industry-specific and use-case solutions for hundreds of leading brands including bet365, Betfred, BetMGM, Entain, Sisal, Pennsylvania Lottery and others across the gaming sector. 

DeepCI technology will enable PartnerMatrix customers to source untapped opportunities by discovering new affiliates in any global target market, enhance their brand’s footprint by pinpointing key publisher traffic, maximise efficiencies and earnings by identifying high-value pages on existing affiliate sites, and gain crucial insights into site ownership.

Affiliate managers who use PartnerMatrix will be able to significantly speed up their processes, saving time and resources when looking at which affiliates and sites perform best, what new affiliates to target based on performance, and action real-time optimisation based on traffic analysis at page and link level across millions of websites worldwide.

For the first time, affiliate website traffic analytics can be viewed in parallel with player data such as First Time Depositors and Net Gaming Revenue.

The integration with DeepCI, part of the EveryMatrix group, marks a pivotal moment in affiliate marketing and underlines PartnerMatrix’s commitment to providing unrivalled solutions for affiliate marketing analysis and control.

Vahe Khalatyan, CEO, PartnerMatrix, said: “Through this alliance PartnerMatrix is introducing an entirely new and exclusive level of affiliate marketing solutions, providing our customers with complete control over every element of affiliate operations. 

“Starting with adaptable commission models, access to real-time data, and now allowing comprehensive control over ad placements, we ensure absolute transparency in affiliate collaborations.

“DeepCI has access to a unique set of data, and data products, and has already established itself as a must-have resource for affiliate managers. This synergy will further bolster PartnerMatrix and equip our operators with even more enhanced competitive tools.” 

Lewis Civin, CEO, DeepCI, said: “PartnerMatrix has undeniably solidified its position as the premier provider of affiliate marketing solutions in the iGaming industry. I am confident that this integration will merge the strengths of two industry leaders to forge the most groundbreaking affiliate toolkit, heralding a revolution in the affiliate marketing landscape.

“This collaboration will empower operators globally, equipping them with the foremost analytical solutions, supercharging their affiliate efficiencies to unprecedented heights.”

DeepCI interface and functionality is available within the PartnerMatrix system, enabling PartnerMatrix clients access to the largest and most advanced data products in the industry. Similarly, PartnerMatrix financial data is available to its clients within the DeepCI platform.

EveryMatrix has appointed Bobby Longhurst as group chief commercial officer (GCCO) ahead of ICE 2024.

Longhurst, former managing director of SportingTech, has joined the business as GCCO assuming responsibility for commercial strategy including account management, sales, and marketing, working closely with each business unit to enhance EveryMatrix’s global efforts.

He has more than 20 years of industry knowledge, strategic insight, and executive leadership experience within leading iGaming suppliers such as SportingTech (managing director), Pronet Gaming (CCO) and SBTech (commercial director), where he focused on areas such as rapid revenue growth, team management, process improvements and new business development.

Bobby Longhurst replaces co-founder Stian Hornsletten as GCCO who will transition to CEO of the company’s Games division on February 1st.

Ebbe Groes, group CEO, EveryMatrix, said: “EveryMatrix is on an accelerated growth path therefore to fulfil the huge plans we have for 2024 and beyond we are continually looking to invest in the best talent the industry has to offer.

“Bobby is a well-respected and well-known individual within iGaming with extensive commercial, product and strategic experience and knowledge that will provide us with even greater firepower to expand our reach across new and existing verticals, global markets and technologies. I’d like to welcome and wish him well as we embark on an exciting chapter at EveryMatrix.”

Bobby Longhurst, group CCO, EveryMatrix, said: “Joining EveryMatrix at this stage of growth is something I was very keen to do, and I am delighted to be on board.

“There are huge opportunities on the horizon across all our major business units and products in both established and new markets such as LatAm and particularly within our turnkey platform offering following the success the business has had in recent years. I’m looking forward to leading EveryMatrix’s commercial strategy with some very exciting projects in the pipeline.”

Book a meeting TODAY with our experts at ICE 2024 on stand N6-210!

After a blockbuster 12 months, BGaming chief marketing officer (CMO) Kate Puteiko sits down with to discuss the iGaming content provider’s aims and growth aspirations for 2024.

NEXT: 2023 was a major year for BGaming. Which achievements are you most proud of?

KP: Absolutely, 2023 was a fantastic year for BGaming. We saw a great increase, like a massive +95% jump in GGR, bets shooting up by 102%, and the total bets skyrocketing by 80%. This growth extended to our market expansion efforts, with the addition of 400 new online casinos and successful entry into 10 new markets.

Picking our top achievements is tough. But as the head of the marketing department, I’m proud of our various marketing results, including Merge Up game promotion, Latam marketing campaign, and “When Art Meets Gaming” creative project.

Moreover, BGaming has made a mark in gambling streaming as well! With over 800 gambling streamers worldwide playing our games, we’ve attained positions in global rankings for gaming providers based on reach – we stand at seventh worldwide, third in Latam, and sixth in CIS.

Together with the Scatters Club community, we launched game tests with real players and streamers has also significantly impacted us. Their feedback has been invaluable in shaping BGaming’s new game releases and understanding players’ preferences.

NEXT: GGR climbed +95% year-on-year. How was this achieved?

KP: The impressive +95% year-on-year increase in GGR didn’t happen by chance. These are the results of a winning combination: a diverse game portfolio, new types of games, exceptional teamwork across all departments, compelling promotions, and remarkable customer service.

BGaming’s additional services, such as game customiSation and marketing tools like drops, have also significantly contributed to this growth. It’s also worth mentioning that new crucial partnerships with such companies as Betsson, Casimba Gaming, Maxbet, Playtech, and many more have influenced BGaming’s growth, too.

Looking ahead, we’re aiming to enhance promotional tools. BGaming is rolling out new features like tournaments, challenges, and jackpots, tailoring content to specific regions. Focusing on adapting to what our players want, these enhancements highlight our promise to create a better gaming experience.

NEXT: Which was the best-performing game of 2023?

KP: According to BGaming’s 2023 worldwide statistics, Bonanza Billion is the undisputed leader. And I’m not surprised, as this game showed record results in the first month after its launch at the beginning of 2022 and continues to hold top positions monthly and yearly.

Noteworthy is the fall release Merge UpTM, which introduces a unique merging mechanic from mobile gaming. Merge UpTM potential for 2024 looks promising and is expected to lead the charts by year-end. Yet, in the latter months of 2023, the game gained substantial popularity among players and gambling streamers, indicating a solid performance even in its initial stages.

NEXT: How is AI impacting BGaming as a business?

KP: Of course, AI has significantly impacted BGaming in the past year. It optimises our game development and improves many processes by allowing us to experiment with game design more quickly, create hypotheses, prepare user tests, and more.

We’ve created four games using AI: Alien Fruits, Wild Chicago, Luck and Magic, and Mice and Magic Wonder Spin. These AI-empowered titles stood out and became popular, especially Alien Fruits, as I mentioned before.

But it’s not just about how cool they look. Yes, excellent graphics are great, but what matters is how the game works and the math behind it. AI tools help do things faster, but using them correctly is key. We use them for rapid prototyping and artist support, where our specialists ensure top quality.

Overall, BGaming did well in 2023 with AI-based games, proving how seamlessly tech and human talent can collaborate.

NEXT: What is your opinion on crash games? Will they grow in popularity in 2024?

KP: I do believe crash games will still be a hit in 2024, especially considering their high demand in the Latin American market.

Unlike online slots that rely purely on chance, crash games offer players a degree of control over their bets and the timing of when they cash out. This element of strategy and control contributes to their engagement. Players can adjust their bets, timing, and even volatility, adding a layer of skill and tactics to the gameplay. And the multiplayer mode in these games creates a sense of competition, adding extra excitement.

In 2023, BGaming introduced the first branded crash games based on BGaming’s Space XY for various partners, and actually, we were the first among providers who customized crash games! In 2024, we plan to develop this direction further and release new crash games.

NEXT: After 36 new game launches in 2023, how many games does BGaming hope to launch in 2024?

KP: 2023 was packed with games! BGaming introduced 36 new ones, like Bone Bonanza with revamped math, Beast Band with random Multiplier, and Merge Up™ with unique merging mechanics — each adding its own spice to our game collection.

We also did A/B testing, made UX/UI better, and debuted our first scratch game Alpaca. We went big, customising over 100 games, including exclusive ones like Doddy and Hadzy for, and Betsson Plinko for Betsson.

But BGaming has always been about quality first, not just numbers. In 2024, we’re focusing on new game mechanics, exploring different game types, and keeping our games stand out. In February, we’re set to unveil Aztec Clusters, a game created in collaboration with Casinolytics, an independent analytical AI platform. Aztec Clusters is really special. It’s built on data and research from top games streamers love and watching over 10,000 hours to understand how gambling streamers play games.

NEXT: BGaming is performing brilliantly in Latam. Is that a major strategic region for the company? Which other markets are interesting in 2024?

KP: In 2023, we prioritise Latin America in our marketing endeavors. BGaming went all out with a massive campaign pushing BGaming and its games using digital and account-based marketing while teaming up with influencers and streamers in Latam.

And it all paid off — we’re now in the top three streamed providers by reach in the region, alongside Pragmatic Play and Hacksaw Gaming, as Casinolytics shows.

This year, it’s about going global and digging deeper into local scenes. In Latin America, gambling streaming is enormous, and influencers rule. We’ve joined forces with many local streamers and are looking for more.

Even though we’ll keep pushing in the Latin American market in 2024, it won’t be our primary focus. BGaming has plenty of space to grow. We’ve made headway in Greece and Romania and now have our eyes set on Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Colombia.

NEXT: How does streaming help BGaming as a business and what is your relationship with streamers?

KP: We’re stoked that streaming has become a big deal for BGaming, and it’s paying off. We collaborate constantly with gambling streamers.

We also closely worked with the Scatters Club to throw online events like Streamers Races, boosting the buzz around our games. These events let everyone dive deep into BGaming’s portfolio, try all the mechanics and features, and really get a feel for what they love about BGaming’s diverse content.

In 2023, we hosted four Streamers Races, including one in Latin America, which reached over 5.6 million minutes in viewership. Furthermore, BGaming became a partner of the world’s first online award in gambling streaming held by Scatters Club.

Overall, at the moment, we’re partnering with hundreds of streamers globally, and our games are being played by 800 streamers every day. Quite impressive, isn’t it? And I’ll keep saying it — our focus on gambling streaming has put BGaming at the seventh spot worldwide by reach, making us more familiar among players.

NEXT: Last year you launched an interesting initiative called “when art meets gaming”. Can you tell us some more about it?

KP: At BGaming, we do things a bit differently. When we hit offline events worldwide, it’s not just to showcase the games — it’s a big creative gig! In 2023, we rocked 13 expos, including four with our own stand. Each country we visited with a booth became a stage for collaboration with street artists, transforming BGaming’s game heroes into vibrant icons. We called it “When Art Meets Gaming.”

It’s not simply about looks; it transforms our perspective. Working with diverse local artists sparks creativity, inspires innovation, and motivates us to take brave leaps. Therefore, in 2023, we’ve collaborated with four outstanding street artists — Thumbs, I AM EELCO, Jay Kaes, and MARCAMIX — to bring unique experiences to our exhibition visitors, partners, and BGaming’s team.

NEXT: How does BGaming’s “when art meets gaming” project reflect its brand identity?

KP: The “When Art Meets Gaming” project truly represents BGaming’s brand identity. We’re a young, forward-thinking team, passionate about our work and always looking to push the boundaries. These art collaborations show that we’re not just about typical iGaming stuff.

It proves that BGaming team can think outside the box, coming up with something unique and different from what our competitors do. It’s all about our commitment to exploring new ideas and creating experiences that make us stand out in the industry.

NEXT: Do you have some fascinating initiatives planned for 2024 as well?

KP: This year, we’ll continue our “When Art Meets Gaming” initiative by teaming up with new street artists from London, São Paulo, Amsterdam, and Malta.

The first stop in 2024 is ICE London. This time, BGaming will collaborate with the British street artist Mr Cenz and try to go beyond our typical activities within the art project.

Inspired by hip-hop culture and graffiti art, Mr Cenz creates abstract interpretations from portraits, incorporating intricate letterforms, shapes, and cosmic themes that evoke profound emotions. Besides showcasing exclusive merchandise and the artist’s work at our stand, as always, we’re planning to push our boundaries again.

I won’t reveal all the details, as we’re gearing up for the exhibition. But I promise it’ll be a fantastic extension of our “When Art Meets Gaming” initiative. And hey, here’s a subtle hint: Catch BGaming team at ICE London, stand N8-120!

Kate Puteiko has over 10 years of experience in marketing. In 2020, she joined BGaming as a product marketing manager. Over the last two years, Kate successfully led the marketing department as CMO. Kate Puteiko currently leads a team of 15 managers, with whom she effectively implements international marketing campaigns, enhances brand awareness, and distinguishes BGaming from others in the industry.

The Italian Communications Regulatory Authority (AGCOM) has hit Meta with a €5.85m fine for violating the country’s laws on gambling advertising.

The AGCOM investigation discovered “promotional content” for gaming and betting on 18 social media profiles, including five on Instagram and 13 on Facebook, with both platforms owned by Meta.

The regulator also found 32 “sponsored” video and/or image posts aimed at promoting or advertising of online gaming and betting activities.

In a ruling handed down on 20 December, Meta was held responsible as the owner of the means of dissemination as AGCOM ruled the company was in a position “to know the illegality of the content”.

Meta is not just a passive technical hosting platform as it offers a real advertising service, AGCOM said.

Meta was handed liability for just five of the 18 flagged accounts as it removed 11 of the offending profiles after being contacted by the regulator.

The sanction from AGCOM was accompanied by an official notice and take down order.

Earlier this month, AGCOM fined video platforms YouTube (€2.5m) and Twitch (€900k) for similar gambling ad breaches.

Italy’s gambling ad ban

The Meta breach was in violation of Italy’s Dignity Decree, which came into force in July 2018 in an effort to combat problem gambling and addiction in the country.

The decree imposed a strict ban on all forms of gambling and betting advertising across multiple mediums, including sports team jerseys, stadiums, and various media platforms.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has criticised Italy’s ban on gambling ads, asserting that it inadvertently fuels a thriving offshore market.

“The country’s ban on advertising for licensed gambling operators is clearly favouring the black market,” said EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer in October.

“Without a sufficient level of advertising, there is no real way for Italians to tell the difference between a gambling website which is licensed in Italy – and applies the country’s consumer protection rules – and one that is not,” he added.