The return of live sport after Covid-19 lockdowns led to more problem gambling calls, GamCare has revealed.
The gambling charity has announced that calls to the National Gambling Helpline increased by 28% when compared to the same period of time last year. GamCare notes the increase in calls came during the Euro 2020 championship, which took place between June and July 2021.
GamCare has warned that the statistic suggests that live sport is causing an increase in dangerous gambling behaviour.
As reported by Gambling Insider, over half of the helpline’s advisers said they spoke to a recovered gambler who had relapsed during the championship while others reported that some customers went to extreme lengths to place bets, such as using their children’s phone.
GamCare Chief Executive Anna Hemmings said in a statement: “Certainly people who’ve had gambling issues in the past tell us that it really impacts on their ability to watch sport. Partly because it’s triggering and partly because of sponsorship and advertising.
“If you’ve got a consistent run of matches and different sporting activities going on, that’s a risky time in terms of gambling escalation. It’s easy for gambling to get more frequent and for longer sessions.”
Hemmings’ comments come as the UK continues its review of the Gambling Act 2005. It’s been widely suggested that the outcome of the review may lead to a ban on sports sponsorships, a ban on VIP schemes, the launch of a new gambling ombudsman, and a maximum stake limit on video slots.
Speaking about sports sponsorships, gambling firms 32Red and Unibet have been named the official betting partners of the Vanarama National League, also known as the National League.
The National League has signed a two-year partnership with 32Red and Unibet parent company Kindred Group to cover the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons. Under the partnership, 32Red and Unibet branding will appear across the National League’s social channels, in match day programs, and in stadiums too.
Mark Ives, the General Manager of the National League, said in a statement to CasinoBeats: “The National League is thrilled to welcome the Kindred Group’s Unibet and 32Red brands as our official Betting Partner.
“We are excited to be working with an organisation who want to prioritise fan and community projects and gambling awareness, which is absolutely perfect timing, as we welcome back supporters in greater numbers than we have been able to over the last 18-or-so months.”
Ives added: “That period has been extremely challenging for us all and so we are very welcoming of this partnership for at least the next two years.”
Neil Banbury, the UK General Manager of the Kindred Group, said: “This is a hugely important day for everyone connected with the Kindred Group – we are excited and proud to be the National League’s Official Betting Partner.
“Simply, non-league football is the lifeblood of our national sport. The elite level can only exist if the base of the pyramid thrives – and we hope that our investment will help to support that. At the heart of this are the supporters, of course, with their unwavering loyalty.”
He added: “The last year-and-a-half has shown us how vital they are to the clubs and to their communities. That is why we’ll be making sure that supporters see and feel a benefit from our sponsorship of their league. More broadly, Kindred remains committed to reinventing the sports sponsorship model – because we want a model that benefits the wider community.”
The news comes as numerous sports companies have made sponsorship agreements with gambling firms. Last month, BoyleSport was named the new betting partner of Newcastle United, andBetway was announced as the first betting partner of the Springboks rugby team.
Meanwhile, game developer Blueprint Gaming has announced a brand new partnership with gambling operator Rootz.
Under the brand new partnership, Blueprint Gaming’s entire portfolio of content has launched with Rootz casino brands, including websites such as Wildz, Wheels, Caxino. The deal will also see Blueprint launch its new content with Rootz’s casino brands too.
The games, which have been integrated via ORYX Hub, include popular Blueprint Gaming titles such as The Goonies, Rick And Morty Wubba Lubba Dub Dub, Ted, Fishin’ Frenzy MegaWays, Diamond Mine, and numerous others.
Tony Kjaldstrom, the Chief Operating Officer at Rootz, said in a statement to European Gaming: “We’ve worked hard to produce a robust and flexible platform that powers great online casino experiences across our brands.
“This new partnership with Blueprint Gaming, one of the industry’s biggest slot developers, significantly enhances our offering.”
“They added: “We are thrilled to work with Blueprint and deliver its quality slots to our leading brands, which I’m sure players will come to appreciate over the coming months.”
Samuel Häggblom, the Director of Key Accounts at Blueprint Gaming, commented: “It’s amazing to see our highly engaging titles go live with the Rootz platform and its online casino brands, enabling us to strengthen our presence in the European market.
“The group’s online casinos have formed an impressive customer base over recent years. With this new deal, more players than ever before will have access to our engaging suite of games.”
Similarly to Blueprint Gaming, developer Pragmatic Play has announced a brand new content partnership, helping to expand its presence in Paraguay.
Under Pragmatic Play’s partnership with BetDiamond, all of the studio’s video slots and live casino content has been made available with the online casino in Paraguay.
Some of the video slots to launch with BetDiamond include Wolf Gold, Chilli Heat, Buffalo King MegaWays, Mustang Gold, Wild Wild Riches, Power Of Thor MegaWays, Sweet Bonanza, and numerous other titles too.
Meanwhile, the Pragmatic Play live casino games include Blackjack, Mega Roulette, Dragon Tiger, Mega Wheel, Roulette, Mega Sic Bo, Baccarat, and more, all of which are available in several languages.
Victor Arias, the VP of Latin American Operations at Pragmatic Play, said in a statement: “BetDiamond is an important player in the Paraguayan market and we’re delighted to offer Pragmatic Play’s casino verticals to their players.
“Our aggressive Latin American expansion has seen us reap the benefits and we are very pleased to maintain our momentum in one of iGaming’s most exciting regions.”
Marsio Paredes, the Operations Director at BetDiamond, added: “Pragmatic Play’s multi-product offering is one that generates huge excitement among players and we’re delighted to be able to bring both its slots and Live Casino verticals to our players.
“With immersive content at their fingertips, we can’t wait to see how our customers react and look forward to a successful relationship.”
Meanwhile, game developer Stakelogic has boosted its presence in Belgium after striking a new content partnership with Gaming1.
Under the new agreement, Stakelogic’s entire catalogue of games, which includes classic and video slots, dice games and slots, has been made available with Gaming1 and the online casinos the firm powers.
Games developed by Stakelogic that are now available with Gaming1 include Black Gold 2 MegaWays, Gods Of Death, Mystery Drop, Lion Gold Super Stake Edition, Volcano Deluxe, Book Of Adventure, Super Wild MegaWays, and more.
Olga Bajela, the CCO of Stakelogic, said in a statement to Casinomeister: “Gaming1 has emerged as the leading casino and sports betting platform and content provider in Belgium so we are delighted to be making our full suite of games available to its operators and their players.
“Our titles are designed and developed to tap into the player’s mind and deliver a thrilling and exciting experience from the first spin to the last. By joining forces with Gaming1, more operators and players will gain access to our games than ever before.”
Sylvain Boniver, the COO and Co-Founder at Gaming1, added: “Stakelogic is a great addition to our content offering, adding more quality and variety. Its classic slots are among the best in the business, and its video slots have proven to top the charts in markets around the world.
“Its games will help operators powered by our platform offer their players content that is proven to deliver a highly entertaining experience.”
Finally, game developer iSoftBet has partnered with gambling operator Jokerstar to boost its presence in Germany.
Under the agreement, all of iSoftBet’s casino games, like Aztec Gold MegaWays and Euphoria, have launched with Jokerstar, along with content from iSoftBet’s GAP Platform, which offers over 8,000 games from more than 80 developers.
Lars Kollind, the Head of Business Development at iSoftBet, said in a statement: “We’re continuously on the lookout to partner with operators who match our vision, and we are very pleased to team up with Jokerstar. The German market offers plenty of opportunities so we can’t wait to approach it with our innovative product range.”
Juergen King, the CEO at Jokerstar, added: “iSoftBet has a wide mix of games that appeal to players of all tastes and demographics and we’re delighted to be able to add it to our growing offering.
“Germany is an exciting market that has recently embraced nationwide regulation and we can’t wait to offer players in the country leading content not just from iSoftBet’s own platform, but from its comprehensive aggregation offering as well.”