This Week's Top iGaming News, April 14, 2023

Enjoy this week’s iGaming news from around the world, bringing you exciting updates and intriguing facts about all things iGaming and gambling related.

ESports – The Rising Star of iGaming

Casino and Sportsbook have long been the front-runners of the iGaming world, but eSports is bringing up the rear and set to make huge leaps in global success. The third iGB annual eSports report shows that while other sectors have taken a knock-back in their climb for profits, eSports continues to grow.

Big names, such as Sony and Microsoft, have recently gotten in on the act of purchasing developers in their bid to get into the eSports game. Estimates put global revenue for eSports in 2022 at approximately $1.38 billion, up 21.8% year on year with a global audience of roughly 532 million people, up 8.7% year on year. With the expansion of regulations across the US including eSports, and recent changes in the European Union in investment, it seems the eSports bubble is not set to burst just yet.

Brazilian Sports Betting Progress

Anyone who’s been following developments in Brazil will be waiting with bated breath for further news on changes to impending regulations. Despite some resistance to the upcoming changes, encouragement has been coming in from many sides involved in the developments. Representatives from both The National Congress and sports betting sites have been involved in talks regarding taxation. Possible five-year licence fees are estimated to potentially generate around R$30 billion.

The newly anticipated sports betting MP should be in post this month, according to the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, which would cement the deal even further. Rodrigo Dunshee, Flamengo’s general and legal vice president, meanwhile, voiced his opinion on Twitter that any changes must also benefit sports clubs as well as the government. Stating, “It’s a win-win situation and we’re sure we’ll reach a good conclusion.”

Is AI the Future of iGaming?

Is 2023 the year we see artificial intelligence (AI) take off in iGaming? Most people will have noticed the sudden influx of AI in the world, from the exquisite artistry in images and clever vocal and video AI used in advertising, to programmes designed to re-write words in a better format. We are even seeing AI presenters beginning to take the helm on television. AI is prevalent in most major industries, with computers, robots and algorithms using real-time data to simulate human intelligence. Automation uses data to perform functions, whereas AI learns and changes its behaviour accordingly.

But is AI foolproof and will it actually improve iGaming over established methods? There are already many people waiting to access Dimers Bettorverse’s AI sports betting platform which claims to give customers an edge. It was also announced recently that the Hellenic Gaming Commission is working with a Danish software company, Mindway AI, to enhance Responsible Gaming in Greece. Are we set for an AI takeover? Only time will tell.

SAGSE Latam, Buenos Aires

Next week, the annual SAGSE Latam event takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 19 – 20 April. The 31st edition of the exciting expo combines land-based and online gaming all under one roof. Many big names from all areas of both markets will be in attendance, including regulators, operators, sponsors, affiliates, and more. A host of exhibitors will be present, and there’s a packed schedule of exciting talks lined up by many big names in the industry. There’s even a virtual experience for anyone wishing to network at the event who cannot make it all the way to Argentina to attend in person.

Attendees can expect to find over 47 conferences, 300 brands, and a brand-new segment, especially for the affiliate market. lan Burak, Vice President of Monografie who is taking care of the event, said, "Our goal is to provide a space for industry leaders to meet, share ideas and build valuable relationships, and we believe that SAGSE Latam 2023 will not disappoint any of its participants."

Macau Makes Increased Economy Recovery

Pre-Covid 19, Macau served as one of the world’s leading centres for gaming. However, after the pandemic’s wave of destruction, China’s zero-tolerance policy devastated the local economy, with a total loss of approximately 26.8% according to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Macau. Lifting restrictions in December 2022, however, paved the way for major growth in the city.

The good news is, over January and February of 2023, Macau's casinos hit revenue levels of almost $2.8 billion. This was a staggering 55.3% increase from the same time last year and the best in over three years (pre-Covid 19). This pattern continued with gross gaming revenue hitting $1.58 billion in March according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. It’s a 23% increase from February this year and a 247% leap compared to March 2022.  The total, therefore, for the first quarter of 2023 is approximately $4.3 billion, almost double that of Q1 in 2022. Great news for all involved in the Macau iGaming and gambling scene.

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