Public Gaming International July/August 2023

49 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2023 YouTube is planning to expand into online gaming with 'Playables' YouTube is internally testing a new feature that will enable users to play online games via its mobile apps and web browser on a desktop. Alphabet Inc isn’t done dipping its toes in the online gaming market just yet. After failing to capture a bigger piece of the pie with Stadia, the company is reportedly looking at other avenues to venture into gaming. Reports suggest that the company is now looking at YouTube as a possible source for tinkering into the world of online gaming. For the unversed, YouTube is already an important platform for livestreaming games, from which it earns a sizable part of its income. But now, the company is reportedly planning into expanding into gaming further with a new feature in development. The company is internally testing a product or feature called Playables. This new feature will enable users to play games online. Furthermore, the report says that the company has reportedly invited its employees to begin testing the new YouTube product and that it is adding new games to the product for testing. The list included titles such as arcade game Stack Bounce. What’s more? The report says that its new Playables feature will not only enable users to play games on YouTube’s official website via the web browsers when it is officially rolled out, but it will also enable them to do so as they access YouTube on Google’s Android mobile operating system and Apple’s iOS. A spokesperson for YouTube told Reuters that gaming has long been a focus for the company and that the company was experimenting with new features and had “nothing to announce right now.” Hosting online games on YouTube, which is a popular place for users to stream games and watch livestreamed game footage is part of CEO Neal Mohan’s push into new areas of growth amid a slowdown in advertising spending, the WSJ report said. While the feature is still in early stages of development, when rolled out, the feature will be something on the heels of Netflix’s gaming service dubbed as Netflix Games that enables users to pick and play light games that are segregated on the basis of genre and maturity ratings on its web-based platform and via its Android and iOS apps. With YouTube, Playables, is likely to follow the suit and give its views another avenue to explore. It is worth noting that the development comes just a few months after Google shut down the servers of its own cloud-based game streaming service called Google Stadia in January this year. So, it is possible that the company is planning to give online gaming another shot, albeit in a different way, with Playables. IGT Elevates Gaming Entertainment Across Alberta via New Game Set for CrystalDual 27 Video Lottery Terminals AGLC and IGT started the official rollout of the new game set in April 2023 and will continue until more than 2,600 of AGLC's legacy Video Lottery Terminals ("VLTs") are replaced with modern, high-performing IGT CrystalDual™ 27 VLTs featuring this new, in-demand game content. Bally's monopoly extended to iGaming in Rhode Island as Gov. McKee signs Bill 948 into law Senate Bill 948 officially extends Bally's landbased casino monopoly in the state to the realm of online gaming. Online slots and table games will become available in the state from April 2024. The law imposes a 50% tax on online slot revenue, with the remaining funds divided between Bally's and IGT. Table games, on the other hand, will face a lower tax rate of 18% on revenue. The regulation of iGaming in Rhode Island will fall under the purview of the Rhode Island Division of Lottery, which currently oversees the Bally's casinos in the state. Mark Furcolo, the director of the organization, will have the authority to develop "reasonable" rules and regulations for online gaming. Through the landmark approval, Rhode Island joins a limited number of states where online gaming is legal, including New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Connecticut. The online casino segment is often recognized for its ability to generate substantial revenue, surpassing that of sports betting, which is regulated in a larger number of states. Loto-Québec Produces 35% YoY increase in 2022-23 Revenue Despite rumblings of strikes at several of its casino locations, the overseer of all things gambling in Québec produced its best yearly results since 2006. For context, that year saw the debut of the Tobacco Control Act, which the Crown Corporation says significantly impacted traffic at gaming establishments. Overall, Loto-Québec accrued $2.999 billion in total revenues, marking a healthy $781.3 million (+35%) improvement over 2021-22. Thanks to such success, it was also able to deliver a whopping $1.597 billion in dividends to the provincial government. New York Lottery Uses AI to Help Players Picture Jackpot Fantasies McCann New York pioneers the brand-safe AI for the socially driven campaign -- Everyone who plays the lottery dreams of what they'd do if they won – but sometimes it’s hard to picture these dreams becoming a reality. So, the New York Lottery and McCann New York asked New Yorkers to picture what they'd do if they won and comment on social media with their most out-of-this-world fantasies, and then brought them to life in a powerful and beautiful way. To bring every New York Lottery player’s dream to life in beautiful AI-generated images, McCann New York used Shutterstock’s first-ofits-kind, brand-safe AI Image Generator which offers compensation to artists whose work contributed to the development of the model and ensures the AI images are created from images that the user has rights to. Finalising the images took anywhere between 6-10 generations for each, with the teams looking at variations and giving the generator feedback until it created the perfect image. Beyond the traditional dreams of home upgrades and vacations, the team received surprisingly descriptive comments. From there, McCann New York transformed these millionaire dreams into even dreamier AI-generated images in real-time, helping their followers visualise a jackpot win. From a skatepark in Brooklyn dedicated to helping others manifest their dreams to a dream home with a huge library inside (which AI visualised as a cape-cod style house made of bookshelves), no dream was too small – or too big. IGT Executes Long-Term Contract with Connecticut Lottery to Launch iLottery System and Mobile App, enabling players to purchase Keno and draw-based games online The iLottery gaming system is anticipated to launch in the late fall of 2023 with the contract expected to run through May 2031 and include four years of possible extension options. Under the terms of the contract, the CLC will receive IGT's high-performing iLottery system, including a comprehensive suite of solutions designed for maximum back-office efficiency for the Lottery, and intuitive and engaging player experiences. "The CLC recognizes that today's lottery player is looking for convenient and modern options to play their favorite games, and IGT's iLottery system will allow us to offer our players the same great experiences they receive at retail in a responsible, digital format," said Gregory Smith, Connecticut Lottery Corporation President & CEO."We