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The Gambling Industry Monthly Review – January 2022

Judging by the first month of 2022, the rest of the year will be quite interesting for the online gambling industry. The casino streamers started with some amazing wins, providers have been busy launching numerous new games, while legislation in some countries might be up for a change.

Let’s take a look back at the highlights that have marked January in the iGaming world.

New Games Launched 

After many Christmas-themed slots launch in December and a holiday frenzy, providers have a bit of time to regroup and start thinking about some new games to launch. However, there’s no break in the iGaming industry, so January was welcomed with a lot of innovative slot releases. 

Pragmatic Play entered the new year 2020 full steam ahead, releasing one amazing slot after another. The developer has taken players into the ocean’s Wild Depths with a winning potential of 5,000x the bet, high volatility and 40 paylines across the 5×3 grid. Sticky Roaming Wilds, free spins with increasing progressive win multiplier and adorable symbols are just the start of everything this slot has to offer. 

If you prefer to travel through time, visit the prehistoric era in the provider’s Rock Vegas slot with a maximum win of 10,000 the stake. During the Mega Hold and Spin feature, a 5×3 grid extends to a 10×10 layout, while the multiplier trail offers a chance to win a random symbol multiplier of up to 500x, cash prizes and many more goodies. 

Another smashing hit released in January by Pragmatic Play is Gates of Valhalla slot. This game inspired by Norse mythology also offers the max potential of up to 10,000x the bet and it’s played on a 5×5 grid with 10 paylines and tumbling mechanics. Roaming Wilds here come with up to 5x multiplier, while the general win multiplier is introduced in free spins round and it doesn’t reset in between the spins. 

GameArt has decided to honor the Lunar New Year a bit earlier with Fortune Tiger HyperWays launched on January 25. This cascading 5×4-reel slot game comes with up to 60,466,176 ways to win, enabling the winning potential up to a massive 15,000x the stake. Fortune Tiger slot features numerous bonus rounds that keep the gameplay exciting and enable nice winning opportunities. 

Casino Streamers’ Big Wins in January

January of 2022 has begun great for the streamer VonDice. In his maybe the best stream ever, he managed to cash in an outstanding $500,000. To make things better, the win came from just one spin during the base game of the popular Mystery Museum slot by Push Gaming. 

An amazing win caught everyone by surprise, but nobody was surprised as a charismatic streamer himself. With Mystery Museum blocks landing on all 5 reels VonDice was waiting for the mystery symbol and once the Pharaoh symbol landed on the middle row, he won half a million dollars. 

VonDice's $500,000 win

His friend and No.1 casino streamer Roshtein also had great success in the first few days of the new year. While spinning again Dead or a Wild slot by Hacksaw where he got his personal-best $9 million win, Rosh has demonstrated once again the great potential of this game. 

This time, the Duel bonus round delivered him another six-figure win – $2.9 million to be exact. It it took him $500,000 to hunt this sum, but the risk was very well awarded. Overall, it was another superb stream and incredible win from the king of casino streaming. 

What better way to start the new 2022 than with such amazing wins!

Changes In iGaming Regulations

At the very start of the month, Sweden’s government has launched a consultation on a new, lower deposit limit for online casinos set to come into force from February. Alongside other temporary measures such as a SEK100 limit on sign-up bonuses, the plan was that the monthly deposit limit of SEK5,000 in place for much of 2020 and 2021 is reduced to SEK4,000.

The changes were set to be made official on January 27th. However, when the day came, the government instead opted to abandon the plan. Something that Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general of industry association BOS, supported because the cap didn’t do much in reducing gambling during the pandemic what was its purpose. 

On other European gambling markets, the legal frame stayed the same during January. On the other hand, many warnings and fines were issued this month. Starting with MGA canceling Fantasy Sports Interactive’s license for not paying their fees to the regulator. 

Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority fined 7Bet operator Amber Gaming a combined total of €31,460 for various gaming violations, as well issued an €11,183 penalty to Enlabs for sending T&C update via email – a direct infringement of article 10, section 19 of the country’s gambling law prohibiting the promotion of gambling.

UK flag

The hefty fine of £3.8m was issued to Genesis Global by UK Gambling Commission after inquiries revealed a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings. Danis regulator Spillemyndigheden was more lenient toward Mr Green and Cashpoint. Both brands were reprimanded and warned for breaching money laundering rules and slid with just a slap on the wrist. 

Glance At The US Gambling Scene

When it comes to regulations, January was more exciting overseas in the USA regarding this topic. In Washington, two bills have been reintroduced that could allow sports wagering at racetracks and cardrooms in the state. If passed, these bills would amend several aspects of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) by allowing bets to be placed through retail and online sports pools at cardrooms or racetracks in the state.

A bill to legalize both retail and online sports wagering in Missouri has been assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee after being read twice. The committee has not yet set a date for consideration of this bill that would allow sports betting to take place both at casino boats and statewide via online wagering.

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Meanwhile, its neighbor Lousiana has been working hard to launch sports betting. Sports wagering was legalized in this state, but the market’s launch was delayed until 2021 due to unusual rule – Louisiana only permitting the passing of a new tax in an odd-numbered year. 

Regulations eventually were signed into law in Jun 2021, setting the launch in motion. With a number of operators having been cleared to launch, the legal online sports betting market of Lousiana was finally opened on January 28, 2022.

Another market might open in the US with Hawaii state House passes lottery, casino and betting bills at first reading. Currently, Hawaii and Utah are the two states where all forms of gambling are illegal, so it will be interesting to see will the initiative for legalizing gambling activities on the island pass or dies in committee just like the six bills introduced last year did.