How the European Online Gambling Industry Grew in the Last Decade

Online gambling is a huge industry in Europe and the EU has a lot to do with it. The 27 member states-organization has been a huge proponent for online casinos in the last decade. And thanks to its efforts, nearly every country in Europe hosts online casinos.

In all fairness, online gambling didn’t start ten years ago. Some European countries authorized the industry at the start of the millennium. Others didn’t have online casino laws but had no problems with citizens using offshore casinos.

All the same, these are some of the ways online gambling in Europe grew.

Mobile Casinos

Although the first mobile casino launched way back in 2004, mobile casinos became popular in the last decade. The growth of iOS and smart Android devices catapulted mobile casinos into a new level.

No longer did people need a desktop computer to play a few rounds of roulette or slots. Instead, an iPhone or Android phone was all they needed to bet on casino games. These days, mobile casinos have become so dominant that they make over 50% of the iGaming business.

There are more mobile casino players than those who use desktop computers. And the reasons are compelling. To start with, mobile devices are cheap. Then they are portable, convenient and can handle all the games available on desktop casinos.

Improved Data Privacy Laws

For a long time, online casino players had little data protection. Casinos were required to encrypt customer data and keep their funds in separate bank accounts. But no laws prevented operators from sharing user data.

These days, laws protecting customer data are well-defined. With GDPR—created by the EU—online casino players have these rights:

  • Access to your data
  • The right to decline data collection
  • The right to request data erasure
  • The right to restrict data processing

The new GDPR laws also come with heavy penalties for rule-breaking. In the past, regulators like the UKGC could only apply fines worth up to £500000 if a casino violated a person’s data privacy laws. Under the new laws, casinos can be slapped with fines worth up to £20 million.

Rapid Popularity in Countries like Finland

Finland is one of the countries the EU has been pressuring to liberalize online gambling. It’s yet to yield and still runs online casino games through a monopoly. However, it’s experienced a trend in which Finnish players flock offshore casinos in search for better services.

The thing is, Finland’s only online casino, Veikkaus, has a lot of flaws. For starters, it works with a limited number of software providers: Playtech, Red Tiger and Yggdrasil. Although these developers supply 200+ games to Veikkaus, they don’t provide the large variety of games offshore casinos have.

Take casino Dreamz as an example. It’s based in Malta and provides 1000+ slots and card games from 30+ software providers. You could play NetEnt and Microgaming slots today. And switch to Play’n GO or IGT games tomorrow.

The best part is that Dreamz casino also features personalized content for players in Finland. When you sign up, you don’t have to stick to the English language. You can switch to your native language for a better experience.

New Advanced Slots

Online slots are significantly enhanced compared to games launched a decade ago. They have more colourful graphics thanks to advanced technologies. They are a tad more complex and have a series of features that spice up gameplay.

What’s more, the average slot today pays out a better rate. It’s not unusual for some games to have a Return to Player (RTP) rate of 98% (Jackpot 6000) or 99% (Mega Joker). These games also feature multipliers that magnify your profits or free spins that you more betting time.

Additionally, there are more games on the market. Top software companies like NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming release a new slot nearly every month. Smaller companies launch a few games per year. All the same, they keep adding games to the market.

Live Casino Games

Like mobile games, live dealers have been around for over a decade. But they only became successful in the past few years. The advancement of technology, more so Internet speeds, video quality and programming knowledge helped the new sector sprout.

These days, you can play roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker in a live setting at any standard casino. For clarity, that means playing casino games in real-time while interacting with human dealers and players.

Live casino games add a sense of social games to online casinos. They also make these games competitive now that you can play them with real people. Luckily, live dealers are inexpensive and you can play a round for poker from €5 to as much as you can afford.

Faster, More Secure Payments

Although many European casinos are generally safe, not all of them work professionally. Some companies slow your payouts intentionally. Others word with dodgy payment providers. Fortunately, these companies fall into the minority section of the industry.

The best online casinos keep innovating ways to increase customer satisfaction. And one of their methods is to adopt fast banking options. You don’t need to send a check for deposits anymore. Instead, you can use PayPal or Skrill, which are faster.

On average, you can choose from five or more banking options. Many of these companies are safe and protect your data and funds accordingly. Some of them also let you work with casinos without providing KYC documents.

Problem Gambling Protection Laws

Lately, European countries have been enthusiastic in creating problem gambling laws. They are steps in the right direction anyway and help ensure casinos don’t take advantage of vulnerable players.

In the UK, most casinos are required to have tools that help players manage their betting habits. They also allow players to suspend or close their accounts if it becomes necessary. Operators in Sweden and Malta have similar policies. And in the usual style, they hold casinos accountable if they fail to protect their customers.

Killswitch Engage Signs with Metal Blade Records; Kicks Off European Tour w/ Iron Maiden

Killswitch Engage signs with Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music Germany; kicks off European tour with Iron Maiden

Photo credit: John McMurtrie

Metal Blade Records is proud to welcome Killswitch Engage to its roster! Partnering with Sony Music Entertainment outside of North America, the band will be releasing their upcoming album in 2019 worldwide.

Metal Blade’s CEO/founder Brian Slagel comments: “I have been a huge fan and friend of Killswitch for a long time, so it is truly an honor to be able to work with them. So happy to welcome them to the Metal Blade family.”

Jesse Leach (vocals): “I’m beyond stoked to sign with the legendary Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music. It’s clear they truly understand and believe in what we do as a band, and we’re psyched to have them on our side. It’s an exciting new chapter for KSE and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar): “I’m very excited to say that Killswitch Engage will be joining forces with Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music! Super stoked to join the ranks with a long list of many epic metal acts, as well as a team of excellent human beings who truly have a genuine love for metal music. Here’s to an awesome future with awesome labels!”

Benjamin Voss, Senior A&R Manager Columbia/Sony Music Germany: “I am very happy and proud to work with such an amazing band like Killswitch Engage in the future. We are absolutely excited about releasing their new album on Sony Music outside North America.”

Currently finishing work on their upcoming album, Killswitch Engage have taken a break from recording to embark on a summer European tour with Iron Maiden. The trek will also see the band appear at various premier festivals (Sweden Rock, Graspop Metal Meeting, Hellfest, etc.), along with a few special headlining shows. Then in the fall, the band will be touring across Australia with Parkway Drive. See below for all dates!

Killswitch Engage tour dates
w/ Iron Maiden
May 26 – Saku Arena – Tallinn, Estonia
May 28 – Hartwall Arena – Helsinki, Finland
May 29 – Hartwall Arena – Helsinki, Finland
May 31 – Pustervik – Goteborg, Sweden ***
June 1 – Tele2 Arena – Stockholm, Sweden
June 2 – Rockefeller Music Hall – Oslo, Norway ***
June 3 – Trondheim Rocks @ Dahls Arena – Trondheim, Norway **
June 5 – Royal Arena – Copenhagen, Denmark
June 7 – Sweden Rock Festival – Solvesborg, Sweden **
June 9 – Rockavaria – Munich, Germany **
June 10 – Expo Plaza – Hannover, Germany
June 11 – Live Music Hall – Cologne, Germany ***
June 13 – Waldbuhne – Berlin, Germany
June 14 – Kwadrat – Krakow, Poland ***
June 16 – Akvarium Klub – Budapest, Hungary ***
June 17 – Novarock Festival – Nickelsdorf, Austria **
June 19 – Proxima – Warsaw, Poland ***
June 20 – Letnany Airport – Prague, Czech Republic
June 22 – Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, Belgium **
June 24 – Hellfest – Clisson, France **
June 25 – Den Atelier – Luxembourg, Luxembourg ***
June 26 – Geneva Arena – Geneva, Switzerland
June 28 – Rock in Rome @ Ippodromo Capanelle – Rome, Italy *
June 29 – Rock the Castle @ Villafranca Castle – Verona, Italy **
June 30 – Messe Freiburg – Freiburg, Germany
July 1 – GelreDome – Arnhem, Netherlands
July 31 – Metro Radio Arena – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Aug. 1 – The Academy Dublin – Dublin, Ireland ***
Aug. 2 – SSE Arena – Belfast, UK
Aug. 4 – Aberdeen Exhibition & Conf. Centre – Aberdeen, UK
Aug. 6 – Manchester Arena – Manchester, UK
Aug. 7 – Genting Arena – Birmingham, UK
Aug. 10 – 02 Arena – London, UK
Aug. 11 – 02 Arena – London, UK
*=w/ Megadeth (no Iron Maiden)
**=festival off-date
***=Killswitch Engage headlining off-date

Killswitch Engage tour dates
w/ Parkway Drive
Oct. 25 – UC Refectory – Canberra, Australia
Oct. 26 – Hordern Pavilion – Sydney, Australia
Oct. 27 – Nex – Newcastle, Australia
Oct. 28 – Riverstage – Brisbane, Australia
Nov. 02 – Margaret Court Arena – Melbourne, Australia
Nov. 03 – Entertainment Centre – Adelaide, Australia
Nov. 06 – HBF Stadium – Perth, Australia

Formed in 1999 out of western Massachusetts, Killswitch Engage is often credited as one of the most influential metal acts in the last 20 years. Spending much of their career on the road, the band has enjoyed premium slots on major USA tours, including Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest, Music As a Weapon, and Trespass America, as well as countless international festivals around the globe. Having shared the stage with acts ranging from Rise Against to Slayer, the diversity and versatility of their touring is unparalleled. Their songs have been featured on Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, John Madden, the Resident Evil III soundtrack, and as entrance music for WWE wrestling champ CM Punk.

Twice Grammy-nominated, Killswitch Engage has sold over 3 million records worldwide, with The End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies both certified Gold in the U.S and Silver in the UK. The band’s latest album – 2016’s Incarnate – landed at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Current Rock Albums chart, and debuted at #1 overall in Canada, #5 in Australia, and #10 in both the UK and Germany – a testament to their international reach.

2018 will mark the end of the Incarnate album cycle, which saw the group reach new heights with its collection of anthems that set the heavy music world ablaze. Co-founders of Killswitch Engage – guitarist/backing vocalist Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist Joel Stroetzel, bassist Mike D’Antonio, and lead vocalist Jesse Leach (who returned six years ago after a decade-long absence) – plus longtime drummer Justin Foley, are currently working on a new album, with Adam Dutkiewicz handling producer duties once again. Employing their usual unrelenting determination to continually release powerfully potent work, Killswitch Engage plans to deliver another trend-resistant, timeless record that feeds the soul, touches the heart, and strengthens the mind. Stay tuned for more news about this new album coming soon!

Killswitch Engage line-up:
Jesse Leach – Vocals
Adam Dutkiewicz – Guitar
Joel Stroetzel – Guitar
Justin Foley – Drums
Mike D’Antonio – Bass

Killswitch Engage online:
http://www.killswitchengage.com/
https://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage/
https://twitter.com/kseofficial
https://www.instagram.com/killswitchengage

 

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Darius Rucker Follows Up European Tour with Headlining U.S. Tour

DARIUS RUCKER FOLLOWS UP EUROPEAN TOUR WITH HEADLINING U.S. TOUR
 
Rucker Earns Three Additional Digital Single Certifications
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Photo courtesy of John Schultz with the Quad-City Times.

Nashville, Tenn. (Thursday, September 1, 2011) – Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker has rejoined Brad Paisley for the H2O II: Wetter and Wilder Tour, which kicked off last week at London’s famed O2 Arena and will continue through Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  The entertainers have been receiving rave reviews and having a great time, as noted by The Times (London), Maverick Magazine, and numerous uploaded fan videos showing the pair rocking the stage with Rolling Stones legend and surprise guest Ronnie Wood.

When Rucker returns stateside, he’ll be able to celebrate more than just his first European tour since his days with Hootie, as the singer will be headlining his first U.S. tour beginning this fall.  Fans are sure to hear smash hits off both the platinum-selling country debut Learn to Live (2008) and the RIAA-Gold® certified Charleston, SC 1966 (2010), including his five No. 1 singles “Come Back Song” (newly certified Gold), “This” (newly certified Gold), “Alright” (newly certified Platinum), “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” (Gold), “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” (Gold) and Rucker’s latest “I Got Nothin’,” which is currently climbing the Top 25.  Joining Rucker for select dates will be Rodney Atkins, Frankie Ballard, Thompson Square, and Justin Moore.
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“I haven’t headlined a tour since Hootie, so to say I’m excited is an understatement,” says Rucker.  “It has been such an incredible experience to tour with Paisley and Rascal Flatts, and I’ve learned a lot being on the road with them.  With this tour, I’m just excited to perform again for our fans, and I’m thrilled to have Rodney, Frankie, Justin, and Thompson Square joining us.”

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Upcoming tour dates are as follows:
10/6      Glens Falls, NY w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/7      Indiana, PA w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/8      Syracuse, NY w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/20    Charlotte, NC w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/21    Raleigh, NC w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/22    Cincinnati, OH w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
10/23    Pikeville, KY w/ Rodney Atkins and Frankie Ballard
11/12    North Charleston, SC w/ Thompson Square and Justin Moore
* additional dates to be announced
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Darius Rucker signed with Capitol Records Nashville in 2007 and released his country debut, Learn to Live, in 2008 which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.  His first record garnered three consecutive No. 1 singles and earned him the CMA New Artist of the Year Award.  When Rucker returned to the studio with Frank Rogers to record his sophomore release, he penned 77 songs for the album with the last song written becoming the lead single, “Come Back Song.”  The result was the chart-topping October 2010 release, Charleston, SC 1966, which has produced two No. 1’s with “Come Back Song” and “This.”  USA Today raved, “Rucker has made a fine-sounding country album, full of singable choruses, bittersweet fiddle and steel, and guitars with bottomless twang,” and Rolling Stone said, “On his Nashville debut, Rucker’s rich baritone, sentimental ballads and bright hooks made him the most successful African-American country singer since Charlie Pride.  Rucker amps up that formula on album number two.”
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Rucker’s shows center around the music found on his country albums, but occasionally, he will embrace his Hootie & The Blowfish heritage by turning “Let Her Cry” into a very sad, slow country tune or rely on the acoustic intro to “Hold My Hand” to rile up the crowd before the sultry lyrics pour out.  As many times as we’ve all heard those hits, the renditions he has created with his band, The Carolina Grey Boys, create impressive countrified versions of the monster hits.  With country chart-toppers peppering the set, it’s festive crowd favorites like “Family Tradition” and “Purple Rain” that truly showcase Rucker’s vocal prowess and remind you of just how deep his southern roots run.
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For a full list of appearances, please visit www.dariusrucker.com.
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About Rodney Atkins
Curb Records recording artist Rodney Atkins has been successfully leading the country music charts and selling albums since his career began in 2006 when he hit the scene with his first number one, “If You’re Going Through Hell,” which was also the Number One Country Song of the Year according to Billboard in 2006.  The East Tennessee native has recorded three studio albums, Honesty, If You’re Going Through Hell and It’s America and charted seven Top 20 singles including five No. 1s: “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “Watching You,” “These Are My People,” “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In),” and “It’s America.” His hit “Farmer’s Daughter” is a platinum-selling single; increasing his single sales to over 4 million. He has also scored a platinum selling record and several gold releases.  Atkins has been a staple on national television.  He has performed or appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS’ The Early Show, The Tonight Show, Extreme Home Makeover, CMA and ACM awards shows, to name a few.
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Atkins current single, “Take A Back Road”, was one of the most added records at country radio debut week.  The single is from the upcoming October 4th release of the same name.  Massey Ferguson® is the “official tractor” of Atkins for 2011.  Atkins released an exclusive album with Cracker Barrel that features four number one hits including “Farmer’s Daughter” and an unreleased song. Atkins was the 2010 spokesman for the National Council for Adoption and is heavily involved within the organization. He was also the 2010 spokesman for the Chevy Silverado.  Kraft Velveeta sponsored his “Best Side of Dinner” tour last summer and he was featured as the writer/singer on the national ad campaign for Velveeta Shells and Cheese. For more information on Rodney Atkins, visit www.rodneyatkins.com.
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About Frankie Ballard
Few debut artists can compare to Frankie Ballard’s impetuous breakthrough in the music scene as country’s guitar slinging heartthrob. In just one year, Ballard has already scored a Top Five video hit with his debut single “Tell Me You Get Lonely,” toured with rock star Uncle Kracker, starred in his own GAC web series, wrote a song on Billy Currington’s new CD, issued “A Buncha Girls” as his second radio single, staged his debut at the Grand Ole Opry and appeared on FOX & Friends. And if that wasn’t enough, Ballard opened 13 shows for Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, Bob Seger, and just finished a run opening for superstar Taylor Swift on the North American leg of the “SPEAK NOW WORLD TOUR 2011.” Hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan, Ballard brings a fresh new sound with his unique blend of edgy, country rock and sheer, fleet-fingered guitar skills.  For more information on Frankie Ballard, please visit www.frankieballard.com.
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About Justin Moore
Valory Music Co. recording artist Justin Moore’s star has grown significantly since he was named Billboard’s “Top New Country Artist of 2009.” This Southern Country stylist has sold over 1.2 million digital downloads to date and his sophomore album OUTLAWS LIKE ME hit the No. 1 spot the week it was released. OUTLAWS LIKE ME includes the fastest-rising single of Moore’s career, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” which ascended to the No. 1 spot.  His debut album scored three consecutive smash singles (the No. 1 “Small Town USA” as well as the hits “Backwoods” and “How I Got To Be This Way”). Additionally, his debut was recognized by The New York Times as one of the best albums of 2009. Moore is currently out on tour with Rascal Flatts and will hit the road with Miranda Lambert later this fall. For music and more, visit www.moorejustinmusic.com.
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About Thompson Square
Stoney Creek Records’ hot new duo, Thompson Square, burst on to the country music scene with the release of their self-titled debut album earning the No. 3 spot on the Top Country Albums chart; selling over 30k in the first week of sales making it the biggest album sales debut act in 2011.  The Oklahoma-born Keifer Thompson and Alabama native Shawna Thompson joined forces as a duo, combining classic country and rock influences to forge a sound that is thoroughly modern but built on the bedrock of tradition. The husband-and-wife’s infectious hit single, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” enjoyed tremendous radio success reaching the coveted No. 1 spot on both country radio charts and selling over a million digital single sales. They have performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, Fox & Friends and Fox’s Summer Concert Series, as well as been featured in Entertainment Weekly, People Country, Country Weekly, USA Today, The Washington Post and Billboard.  Their current single, “I Got You,” is climbing up the radio charts currently at No. 17 on Billboard in just 13 short weeks.