News and Analysis
Caesars Online Casino ups its Game
It's been a busy week for Caesars online casino as they've added not one but two iGaming giants to their online platform. Both IGT and EveryMatrix have joined the ranks and bolstered the number of games available to US players.
The deal with EveryMatrix sees titles from the aggregator's substantial collection alongside its in-house studio, Armadillo, go live at Caesars in New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia. Pennsylvania and Connecticut will follow once full regulatory approval has been secured.
EveryMatrix President Erik Nyman commented, "Caesars is one of the most iconic brands in the US and we are very excited to bring our unique games and aggregation capabilities onboard with them enabling them to elevate their already strong momentum in igaming."
In the second deal of the week, IGT and Caesars have also joined forces to provide West Virginia players with access to the studio's iconic and vast library of games. This includes titles specifically adapted for the platform, like Caesars Cleopatra. This partnership, alongside an agreement brokered earlier in the year between Caesars and Inspired Gaming is excellent news for WV players, as to date, the platform has been limited, offering under 100 titles.
New York Launches VSE Support Program
"Assisting those in need of help through providing care and concern is at the core of what NYCPG does, and the launch of this new program exemplifies that care and concern by breaking down barriers. The new online notary services make it easier for individuals to complete remote VSE while also connecting to one of our caring staff members who are knowledgeable about the process."
NY Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director James Maney
New York's Responsible Play Partnership has doubled down, improving its Voluntary Self Exclusion (VSE) program to better direct gamblers experiencing compulsion to support services. According to the New York Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS) in 2020, their Problem Gambling Prevalence Survey reported that "4.4 percent of adults in NY are at risk for developing a gambling problem and an additional 0.7 percent meet the criteria for problem gambling or a gambling disorder."
Since the last survey, problem gambling rates have likely grown, coinciding with the 2022 launch of online sports betting in the state. Providing a support program alongside VSE programs is the right way to go, as gambling support charities recommend that additional support with longer-term exclusion leads to a higher success rate in reducing return gambling.
OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham also commented, "OASAS oversees a robust system of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery services for those affected by addiction across the state, including problem gambling. Voluntary self-exclusion can be an effective prevention strategy to reduce gambling harms, and this new support program not only provides a way for people to complete the self-exclusion process, but also offers an opportunity to connect to OASAS local problem gambling community support services to assist in mitigating further harm."
Problem gambling is becoming more salient in the USA. Most recently, the NJDGE announced that the state had a problem gambling rate of almost 6%, which prompted us to create the most comprehensive responsible gambling guide currently available to US players. If you've not caught it, check out the link.
Hacksaw Hits New Jersey
Hacksaw Gaming has been awarded a provisional license to supply games in New Jersey with plans to launch content before the end of the year. The approval follows the studio's earlier launch at BetRivers Casino in West Virginia. Hacksaw is distributed under Light & Wonder in the US.
The studio is a worldwide hit and rising star of the industry that launched in 2018 and has already created over 40 games. Their most popular titles include Cash Quest, Joker Bombs, R.I.P City, Book of Time, and Chaos Crew.
In the official press release, Marcus Cordes, CEO of Hacksaw Gaming, commented: "Hacksaw is unstoppable in its ventures. We are ecstatic to see the rate at which we are broadening our horizons, and the headway we are making in getting the recognition our content deserves. There is no doubt that Hacksaw will thrive in the US."
As big fans of this studio, we cannot wait to follow their progress with US players.
European and North American Gaming Regulators Unite
Over 100 regulators in Europe and North America are joining forces to share information and exchange knowledge in one of the most significant collaborations ever seen in gaming. Brokered between the Gambling Regulators European Forum (GREF) and the North America Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA), the partnership will strengthen links between jurisdictions and improve regulation while sharing information on risks and challenges experienced in both continents. It presents an attitude shift in the way regulators are approaching the market and regulation.
NAGRA president Ryan Winfield commented, "The power of partnership and collaboration between GREF and NAGRA is important in this ever-evolving industry. The changing landscape and the future of gaming makes it imperative that we reach out to other organizations in the industry in order to remain informed as we tirelessly serve our communities. This commitment to collaboration and communication will serve people across the globe."
This regulatory collaboration comes not long after the UK Gambling Commission's Tim Miller extended similar sentiments for worldwide gambling regulators to work together to combat illegal gambling and improve industry regulation.
Playtech Unveils Third US Live Dealer Studio
In yet another nugget of supplier news for the week, Playtech has launched its third live casino studio in the US, this time in Pennsylvania. The studio started streaming on the 28th, beginning with Blackjack and Roulette tables. Playtech already offers live content to online casinos in Michigan and New Jersey. Additional live dealer options at Pennsylvania online casinos will provide more choices for players, as currently, only Evolution Gaming titles are offered.
Game of the Week
Chaos Crew, Hacksaw Gaming, RTP 96.3%
Celebrating the launch of Hacksaw Gaming in New Jersey, our slot game of the week, Chaos Crew, is one of the studio's most popular and innovative titles. Initially released in 2020, this punky slot promises all the action you'll need for a top-class weekend and is set on 5x5 reels with 15 paylines. The game showcases what Hacksaw Gaming is all about and excellent stats, including an over-the-average RTP, a hit rate of 23%, and maximum payouts of 10,000x the bet.
While mayhem controls the reels, there are some rules you need to know, like how to activate the bonus rounds to win the max payout potential. The first bonus symbol is the Wild, AKA Cranky the Cat. This symbol subs for others to make a bet line win, and when it does, it adds a Mystery Multiplier of 2, 3, or 5x. Use more than one Wild in a winning line, and the multipliers multiply each other.
The second bonus symbol is the Scatter. To trigger the Free Spins, you must land 3+ Scatter Symbols. This awards 3 Free Spins; every time you score a winning symbol, the number of spins resets to 3. The round will only end when you hit 3 non-winning spins in a row.
You're not aiming for line wins when you play this round, and the regular symbols don't count. Instead, only Stetchy Skulls, Epic Sketchy Skills, Cranky Cats, and Epic Cranky Cats award payouts. The good news is these symbols award supped up, multiplier payouts, adding between 1-20x your reel total.
The reel total is the number above each of the 5 reels during free spins, and it's how the total payout from the round is calculated. At the end of the round, these numbers are all added up and multiplied by the current bet level for the total payout!
If you're ready to try out a different type of slot that's a little bit wild, this is the game for you. Bets start from $0.20 and go up $100 a spin, and you can find it at BetRivers online casinos!