2016 has been a great year for NetEnt in many ways, but especially when it comes to entering regulated online casino markets. NetEnt entered regulated markets in Romania, Mexico, Portugal, and Bulgaria. So far, 2017 has been pretty quiet when it comes to new casino licenses or new market entries, but it’s today NetEnt announces that NetEnt Americas has been approved as supplier to the only licensed operator in British Columbia, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).
Markets entered by NetEnt in 2016
I’m still amazed by the number of regulated online casino markets NetEnt has entered in 2016 with Romania being the first while three of the market entries were announced in December 2016 including Mexico, Portugal, and Bulgaria.
In May 2016, NetEnt obtained casino licenses from the online gaming regulator in Romania. The casino licenses cover production and distribution of specialised gaming software as well as management and hosting facilities for online gaming.
In April 2015, NetEnt signed its first agreement with Codere having a significant presence in Spain, Italy, and Latin America. The contract involved the Spanish market where the NetEnt Games went live in December 2015. One year later, NetEnt signed another agreement with Codere, this time aiming for the Mexican online casino market, taking its first steps into the Latin American online casino market. In February 2017, after a successful integration process, a wide range of NetEnt’s award-winning casino games went live in Codere’s online casino network in Mexico.
NetEnt started to deliver its wide range of first class games to Betclic in 2009 and it was thanks to the online sportsbook that NetEnt was able to enter the Portuguese online casino market in December 2016. Betclic started to offer online casino games in Portugal earlier in 2016, being the first operator to go live in the newly regulated iGaming market.
In December 2016, NetEnt announced that the company entered the Portuguese market for the first time with a selection of the NetEnt Games going live with existing customer Betclic.
In 2008, Bulgaria introduced gambling legislation to allow taxation of online gaming sites, but it took a while for this iGaming market to become what it is today. The 2008 gambling legislation were further reinforced with additional details in 2012, permitting casino operators to obtain an iGaming licence in Bulgaria. The heavy taxes introduced in 2013 resulted in strong opposition from the iGaming industry, leading to the 2013 Bulgarian Gambling Reform Bill.
Following the re-regulation, the largest gaming operator in Bulgaria, National Lottery Bulgaria, introduced an online casino offering for the first time, with NetEnt as an exclusive partner. In December, a selection of NetEnt’s thrilling games were launched with National Lottery Bulgaria, marking the 4th market entry in Europe for NetEnt in 2017.
NetEnt enters British Columbia, Canada
Another regulated market entry is now a fact with NetEnt Americas being accepted as a supplier to the only licensed gaming and lottery operator in the province, British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).
The Canadian gaming market is regulated through separate licensing systems in each province. British Columbia is the third largest Canadian province by population with approximately 4.6 million inhabitants and Vancouver is the largest city in the province. It was the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), the gaming regulator in the Canadian province of British Columbia, that approved NetEnt Americas as a supplier to BCLC. BCLC is a Crown corporation owned by the province of British Columbia, whose revenues go towards supporting communities, health care and education.
“I am very pleased that we have reached yet another important milestone in our expansion on regulated markets. We are the online casino supplier with the largest presence on regulated markets in terms of number of licenses and certifications that we hold, and entering the province of British Columbia in Canada is another important step for us”, says Per Eriksson, President and CEO of NetEnt.