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Gaming Report: GGPoker Goes Lives in the Netherlands, GAME Play Network to Add iGaming to WPT’s Online Platforms & More

Gaming Report 22-10-21
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  • Namita Ghosh October 22, 2021
  • 5 Minutes Read

Global online poker room GGPoker has confirmed a full launch in the Netherlands. Earlier this month, the poker network had soft-launched in the country and is now fully accessible to Dutch players, becoming the country’s first major international operator to go live.

The international televised gaming and entertainment brand Game Play Network has tied up with the World Poker Tour (WPT) to add real-money video poker, casino games, and poker tournaments to WPT’s existing lineup of online poker and iGaming products.

Since September, DraftKings has been in talks with Entain, exploring a potential acquisition of the latter. The company has recently taken permission from the takeover regulator to extend its deadline for the deal by a month.

In another significant acquisition deal, Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure has confirmed t it will be acquiring the gambling software development company Playtech for $2.90 Billion.

BetMGM has signed on NBA legend Kevin Garnett as the brand ambassador of its sports betting and digital gaming brand. Garnett, who boasts of a long and illustrious sports career, has retired from active basketball but is involved in the realm of sports betting and content creation.


GGPoker Goes LIVE in the Netherlands

In under two years, GGPoker has shaken up the hierarchy of online poker across the globe. GGPoker recently took another major leap to strengthen its domination as the world’s top online poker brand by announcing a full launch in the Netherlands.



GGPoker had already soft-launched in the country on October 1. It has now added the Netherlands to its network of international sites. With this, GGPoker has become the first major international operator to go live in the country. Dutch players will now use the .nl extension to access GGPoker’s global network.

Netherlands introduced the Remote Gambling Act in 2013, which was finally signed into law in April 2021, requiring operators to obtain a license from the country’s gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). In September 2021, the KSA directed all unlicensed operators to exit the market before November 1.

With PokerStars bowing out of the market, GGPoker was able to gain a competitive advantage by acquiring one of the country’s first online gambling licenses. At the same time, the new law dictates that any operator that was recently active in the Netherlands without a license will not be able to apply for a license for at least six months – a mandatory “cooling period.” This essentially means GGPoker will get a significant headstart in the country without any immediate competition from its rival PokerStars.

Currently, apart from GGPoker, local operators like Casino Holland offer licensed poker services in the Netherlands.


Game Play Network to Power WPT With Extended iGaming Features

International televised gaming and entertainment brand Game Play Network has entered a tie-up with the World Poker Tour (WPT) to power the latter’s online gaming portfolio. Game Play has announced that it will be adding real-money video poker, casino games, and poker tournaments to WPT’s existing diversity of online poker and social gaming offerings.

The WPT has emerged as one of the top gaming brands and enjoys one of the most extensive user bases in the world.

Speaking on the collaboration, WPT CEO Adam Pliska said, “In addition to our extensive live tournament and distribution network global footprint, our online platforms and products make up an ever-growing portion of our company’s portfolio. Considering our loyal fan base and strong demand for more online offerings, it was essential for us to align ourselves with online products our customers would readily embrace while enhancing the WPT brand.”

Adam Pliska
Adam Pliska


He added, “After extensive legal and business diligence, GPN clearly stood out in terms of its exceptionally talented team, strong product, and unrivaled market access.

We are very enthusiastic about finalizing this partnership and its potential for industry-changing impact.”

Sam Kiki, Game Play Network’s Chief Commercial Officer, stated, “We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with such an innovative company to bring a well-rounded and exciting portfolio of games and tournaments to their dedicated customer base. Combining WPT’s events, personalities, and talent, with GPN’s platform will unleash a whole new level of bespoke iGaming content.”


DraftKings Extends Deadline to Acquire Entain to November 16

After re-approaching the UK-based gambling group, Entain, with a $22.40 Billion takeover bid, US-based fantasy sports operator DraftKings had until October 19 to close the deal. However, according to reports, DraftKings has been granted another month to execute the deal.

Before the deadline was supposed to end, both groups released official statements confirming that they would continue negotiations until November 16.

According to the official statement, “DraftKings will continue to engage in discussions between both companies and to conduct more substantive due diligence and analysis regarding its possible offer. DraftKings looks forward to exploring potential benefits that could derive from this possible combination for its and Entain’s shareholders.”

“DraftKings further notes that while it progresses its discussions with Entain, it also continues to remain very focused on opportunities in the high growth North America market,” the statement further read.

According to industry insiders, one significant issue on the deal could be that the acquisition bid made by DraftKings is higher than its own valuation. Back in January, Entain had rejected MGM Resorts International’s $11.1 Billion takeover bid. DraftKings had initially offered $20 Billion to acquire Entain but later upped the offer to $22.40 Billion. Since the news of the renewed offer went public, DraftKings stock prices dropped from $57 to $49.


Aristocrat Leisure Acquires Playtech For $3.70 Billion

The world’s second-largest manufacturer of physical slot machines, Australia-based Aristocrat Leisure is taking over gambling software development company Playtech in a deal worth $3.70 Billion!

According to Aristocrat, after the acquisition, the group will cater to customers worldwide and provide end-to-end solutions to gamers and gaming businesses.

Once the news broke out, Playtech shares soared to a three-year high as the stock price rose by 57%! Within five days, Playtech shares trading around $5.65 on October 13 had touched $9.51 by October 18.

While it appears as though the same happened for Aristocrat – it traded at $33.67 on October 12 and $35.40 on October 18 – Reuters reported on October 18 that trading of that stock had been halted until October 21.

CEO of Aristocrat Trevor Croker making his official comments on the deal, said, “The proposed combination would bring together Aristocrat’s world-class gaming content, customer and regulatory relationships with Playtech’s industry-leading global online RMG platform (B2B) and European B2C footprint. The Combined Group would offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end solutions for gaming customers around the world, as well as seamless player experiences underpinned by a shared focus on responsible gameplay and innovation. Additionally, the business will be ideally positioned to unlock sustainable shareholder value by seizing opportunities in the fast-growing global online RMG segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America.”

Playtech CEO Mor Weizer stated, “This transaction marks an exciting opportunity in the next stage of growth for Playtech, and delivers significant benefits to our stakeholders, including our customers, our shareholders, and our incredibly talented people. This deal has the potential to enhance our distribution, our capacity to build new and deeper relationships with partners and bolsters our technological capabilities.”

“The combination of our two companies builds one of the largest B2B gaming platforms in the world, with the people, infrastructure, and expertise to provide our customers with a truly best-in-class offer across all areas of gaming and sports betting,” he added.


BetMGM Onboards Legendary NBA Player Kevin Garnett as Brand Ambassador

Leading sports betting and digital gaming brand, BetMGM has onboarded the legendary NBA player Kevin Garnett as its brand ambassador. As the brand’s new face, Garnett joins the likes of another NBA legend, Jalen Rose, four-time Stanley Cup winner Wayne Gretzky, Marshawn Lynch, and Ariel Helwani in endorsing BetMGM’s upcoming promotions.

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett


Garnett said, “I’m thrilled to be working with BetMGM to share their insights with my fans. It’s a natural fit for both myself and BetMGM given our mutual desire to stay on top of the ever-changing sports business landscape.”

BetMGM also splashed the news across its social media platforms, welcoming Garnett to the brand’s fold.

At the same time, Chief Revenue Officer of BetMGM, Matt Prevost, in an official statement, said, “Kevin Garnett brings a unique energy to everything he does, on and off the court. As the basketball season tips off, we look forward to welcoming Kevin to the BetMGM family and working with him on a variety of fan-focused promotions.”

Garnett has played at 21 NBA seasons and was a member of the All-Star team in 15 seasons. He happens to be one of only five NBA players who have been awarded both the Most Valuable Player (MVP) (2004) and the Defensive Player of the Year Award (2008). He has in the past played in the NBA teams, Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets.

Though retired from active professional basketball since 2016, Garnett is involved in the sports betting sector and content creation. He recently co-founded Gaming Society, a gaming and content portal. Garnett also recently founded a production company called Content Cartel and is reportedly making a documentary called “Anything is Possible,” scheduled to premiere on Showtime on November 12.

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