Review of the Gambling News in 2021
By Simon Wright Jan 4, 2022
At the time of writing this piece and our review of the gambling news for the previous twelve months, 2021 is now in the rear view mirror so to speak, as we have entered a new year in the kind of 2022. So let us take a look at what produced the headlines right here on Casinomeister in the course of the previous 12 months of 2021, a year that seems to have flown by.
Regrettably like 2020 just before it, 2021 continued to be impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic, with this when once again causing the cancellation and postponement of numerous market shows and events.
For players residing in the UK, 2021 also proved to be a year exactly where the regulator of the gambling industry in the country, the UKGC, continue to appear out for players collective interests. So if for example you enjoyed employing the autoplay facility when whiling away some of your time on an online slot machine, you can thank the Gambling Commission for its removal!
Well it wouldn’t be January with no the annual Casinomeister Awards shortlist becoming released at the start off of the month, with the subsequent winners becoming unveiled just ahead of the conference season commenced in early February. Wait a minute, conferences? Unfortunately the ICE Show at the London Excel, followed by the London Affiliate Conference were cancelled due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.
Of course with the UK in January 2021 being in the midst of a national lockdown, this  left the organisers Clarion Gaming no choice but to cancel mentioned shows.
2019’s Casinomeister ‘Best Casino’ award winner All British Casino had been after once again in the operating to choose up the most coveted of coveted casino awards, being joined on the shortlist by Bitstarz, Unibet and the ‘Casino of the Decade’ just gone in the form of Videoslots.
As with the ICE and LAC shows, there was also a ‘no show’ when it came to the annual Casinomeister meet up at Waxy O’Connors in Leicester Square.  So the annual Casinomeister meet, which 1st began way back in 2008 at the Atlas Pub close to the old and no longer with us Earls Court venue exactly where the ICE employed to be held, hit the buffers and its 13 year continuous run was unceremoniously stopped. Thanks a lot Covid!
Nonetheless, there was alas no stopping the unveiling of the annual Casinomeister Awards, which saw All British Casino beat off some robust competition and win for the second year operating the ‘Best Casino’ award. Other notable winners incorporated the Betsson Group who picked up the ‘Best Casino Group’ award.
The month of March saw the UK Gambling Commission once again bare their teeth, this time sharpening them on Casumo who had been when once again in the sights of the UKGC when it comes to enforcing regulatory action.
The operator were hit with a £6m fine as a outcome of the UKGC identifying that Casumo’s Social Responsibility procedures fell brief of what is essential of preserving their UK licence.
This fine followed that of one meted out back in 2018, whereby Casumo were ordered to pay a £5.85m penalty package.
The other large story of the month was Football Index’s UKGC licence being suspended amid issues of the continued viability of the internet site.
The month of April started with the news that the bet365 supremo Denise Coates was as soon as once again the highest earning individual in the UK, taking home a cool £469m for the duration of the past year. The news significantly to the chagrin of components of the mainstream media, brought on a debate after once again about the gambling business and betting businesses profiting from problem gambling.
While the independent bookmaker Betfred lost a High Court battle with their consumer Andy Green, with the court ordering Betfred to payout £1.7m in withheld winnings.
Casinomeister kicked off their new series of interviews with casino game studios and on the 14th May possibly  Mike Bauerlein from Triple Edge Studios was in the hot seat, answering our queries which we place to him.
Might 2021 also saw Microgaming celebrating their 20th year primarily based out of the Isle of Man, which also saw the casino game studio make 20 separate charitable donations in recognition of their time headquartered on the island.
Other prominent news throughout the month also saw the accountable gambling app and registered charity BetBlocker, get a donation from Novomatic’s Interactive Division Greentube.
The 10th June saw Casinomeister celebrating its 23rd birthday, with Bryan Bailey commenting: “It’s challenging to fathom that an idea that was initiated for the duration of a lunch at Oscars in San Diego became what it is right now. To me it’s not only a enterprise, but a service and a gathering of like-minded folks – many of whom I have grown close to.”
“I am humbled by the fact that Casinomeister has brought so a lot of people together, spawned friendships, romances, and in one instance (that I know of) – a marriage. I take pride in the web site, and will usually stay correct to my vision, my community, and to my friends. It is been an amazing ride these past 23 years, and I’m planning to ride this out till the finish of the Internets.”
Microgaming’s progressive jackpot slot Mega Moolah! saw its jackpot getting hit but once again, with a fortunate player reaching a life changing win of €6,597,136.10.
The end of June saw the Belgian gambling regulator announce that they had updated their blacklist of domain names, covering these web sites which attempt to operate in the Benelux nation without an acceptable licence to do so. Also the UKGC offered an update concerning Football Index.
Euro 2020 fever was nicely and genuinely among us in the course of July, with England getting to the final at Wembley against Italy, which saw the ‘home’ side shed out on a nail biting penalty shoot out. As such we publicised a thread right here on the Casinomeister forum concerning ‘Mad Euro 2020’ bets that could be had.
The Swedish operator Kindred posted powerful interim results at the finish of the month, with the owners of Unibet and 32Red proving that they are going from strength to strength.
Microgaming’s hotly anticipated reboot of their Thunderstruck slot in the kind of Thunderstruck Wild Lightning was released.
The Australian slot game developer Lightning Box were acquired by the US based Scientific Games, with Lightning Box’s CEO Peter Causley stating: “Joining the Scientific Games group and functioning even far more closely with them comes at the ideal time to drive forward our ambitious product innovation plans.”
This month also saw Pragmatic Play’s Social Tournaments celebrate paying out over $1,000,000 in money prizes, in just two years considering that its conception.
888 Holdings plc acquired all non US assets of William Hill from Caesars Entertainment for a consideration of £2.2bn, a great fit for each so it would seem! Definitely Itai Pazner, the  Chief Executive Officer of 888 seemed to feel so when he commented: “The acquisition of William Hill International is a transformational and hugely exciting moment in 888’s history.”
“This transaction will develop a single of the world’s major on the web betting and gaming groups with superior scale, exceptional brands, improved diversification, and a platform for strong development.”
888 and indeed William Hill’s on the web operations have certainly come in for significantly criticism right here on the forum at Casinomeister over the years…
The iGaming compliance specialists Rightlander announced close to the end of the month that they had partnered with BetBull  to assist and help the operator improve their affiliate compliance. Rightlander’s Nicole Mitton commenting on the news, stated: “It is fantastic to see operators like BetBull partnering with Rightlander to guarantee adherence to marketing regulations.”
“These efforts are not only noteworthy from a regulatory point of view, but are also a strong indicator that BetBull are invested in defending the interests of their stakeholders, affiliates and players in regulated markets.”
The stand out massive newsworthy story of October was the news that BGO Entertainment had their licence revoked and suspended by the UK Gambling Commission. This eventually saw the operator close its doors at the end of 2021.
Fans of the John Hunter series of slot games received some excellent news, with yet an additional John Hunter themed slot game becoming released.  Pragmatic Play the developer of the game had high hopes for John Hunter and the Quest for Bermuda Riches ™, with Yossi Barzely of Pragmatic Play stating:  “The John Hunter series has grow to be a staple of our portfolio, and we’re thrilled to inject new life into it with the launch of John Hunter and the Quest for Bermuda Riches™.”
“We’re often looking for new ways to entertain our consumers with fascinating content material, and the John Hunter series presents us with the excellent chance to continue an epic narrative with equally thrilling mechanics.”
The second annual Safer Gambling Week commenced at the start of the month, which saw a number of events becoming held throughout the week of 1st – 7 th November 2021.
Casino game studio 4ThePlayer announced that a fortunate player had scooped $75,000 win playing their 90k Yeti Gigablox™ slot game.  With Andrew Porter the Chief Executive Officer CEO of 4ThePlayer commenting on the win:
“One of our signatures is entertainment coupled with real huge win prospective, so it is brilliant to see 90k Yeti Gigablox provide such a huge win so soon following it is released. We hope the player enjoys their winnings!”
BGO Entertainment confirmed that in light of their UKGC licence being suspended, that they will be closing their operations permanently on 31st December.
Clarion Gaming also confirmed the postponement once once more of their annual ICE show at London Excel which was due to be held at the begin of Feb 2022.