Gaming and iGaming has been widely forecast to be one of the biggest boom sectors in the Middle East over the next few years.Improvements in the digital infrastructure coupled with an evolving regulatory landscape are providing the perfect platform for growth.
Significant investments by governments in the region are also helping to make the Middle East an attractive place for gaming and iGaming companies to operate.
With that in mind, we take a look at some of the latest stories from the industry, starting with an exciting development for a major international iGaming brand.
888 Ready for Middle East Take-Off:
Establishing an iGaming business in a new jurisdiction can be challenging, particularly if the licensing and regulatory landscape is in a state of flux.
Several leading brands have been working hard with regulators to ensure their Middle East operations are fully compliant with local legislation.
They include 888 online casinos, whose chairman Lord John Mendehlson recently confirmed the company has implemented robust policies that have been rubber-stamped by regulators.
The company is now track to benefit massively from increased interest in iGaming in the Middle East over the coming months and beyond.
Developers Aiming to Forge Links in MENA
The burgeoning nature of the gaming and iGaming industry in the Middle East undoubtedly presents a wealth of possibilities for software developers.
That point was highlighted to perfection at the recent SiGMA Eurasia exhibition and networking event staged at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City Hotel.
A plethora of respected speakers discussed the challenges faced by the MENA region and assessed trends in areas such as affiliate marketing, eSports and Web 3.
Slotegrator were among the firms that struck deals at the event, opening the door for their portfolio of products to be used by operators in the Middle East.
IOC announces eSports Series 2023
Professional gaming has already become big business globally and has been tipped to enjoy even more growth over the next few years.
The recent announcement by the International Olympic Committee that it will be staging the first-ever Olympic eSports Finals in June is massive for the sector.
Nine sports have initially been confirmed – Archery, Baseball, Chess, Cycling, Dance, Motor Sport, Sailing, Taekwondo and Tennis.
Players from around the world will take part in qualification rounds, creating the possibility that someone from the Middle East could win on the Olympic stage.
Savvy Games Group announces Scopely acquisition
Saudi Arabian eSports and gaming company Savvy Games Group (SGG) has acquired mobile game developer Scopely for a whopping $4.9 billion.
The deal will further strengthen SGG’s position in the global gaming and eSports markets, and create job opportunities for people in the Kingdom.
The move aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project, which is designed to help the nation become a global hub for business by the end of the decade.
SGG’s acquisition of Scopely follows hot on the heels of the $265 million investment they made into Chinese eSports tournament operator VSPO earlier this year.
Middle East to Stage Lucrative eSports Event:
ESL FACEIT Group is creating a new eSports circuit that will include one of the biggest events of its kind ever staged in the world.
The tournament organiser is bidding to combine DreamLeague, ESL One and the Riyadh Masters into one global eSports extravaganza.
While the first two events each have a $1m prize pool up for grabs, the Riyadh Masters is the one that gamers everywhere will want to participate in.
The tournament is scheduled to be staged at the Gamers8 Festival in July and will feature an eye-watering $45m prize pool across multiple games.