The Global Gaming Awards recognizes both innovation and achievement within the iGaming world, so its no wonder that these accolades are highly sought after by casinos and developers. A dozen different industry-wide prizes were up for grabs and, with the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas underway, this years winners have been announced. IGT have arguably been the most successful, taking home two awards, yet unlike other years, no one operator has dominated the ceremony.
The winners of each of the 12 awards have been picked from a list of 115 nominees and have been judged by 50 independent industry experts. Out of the 12 categories, there are six prizes that directly relate to online gaming and as that’s what we’re most concerned with here at MobileSlots4U, they’re the ones we’ll be discussing.
First up, the casino behemoth 888 Holdings have walked away with the particularly coveted Digital Operator of The Year award. They won due to their work with 888poker.com and, besides for being the company’s first award, it means they saw of stiff competition from rival site PokerStars who were also nominated.
IGT won two awards over the course of the night, including Casino Product of the Year and Land Based Industry Supplier of the Year. They took home the casino product prize due to their innovative PlaySpot feature. The feature allows players to wager using an app when inside a bricks and mortar casino and then continue playing online once they leave the premises.
Microgaming can celebrate for a second year running, as they collect yet another prize for their Quickfire platform. To win Digital Product of the Year twice in a row serves as testament to the success of their fully customisable and powerful offering.
Unibet have got their hands on the Digital Acquisition award, which is the first time the operator have ever won at the ceremony. Gambling Insider Editor Alex Hammond presented the award and said this of the company: ‘Unibet is one of the highest performing and fastest growing digital gaming operators in Europe, and much of the credit for that success can go to its successful Affiliate Program, making Unibet well worthy winner of this award.’
Playtech scooped up the Digital Industry Supplier award, in a category full of incredibly talented nominees. The developer saw off competition from the likes of NetEnt, NYX and Microgaming. The win must come as great relief for the team, as they came in at second place last year, missing out on the title to NetEnt.
And last but certainly not least, NYX’s Witch Pickings allowed them to celebrate as they took the Digital Gaming Innovation award for the year. The slot has proven to be one of the most popular releases of the year, and boasts several unique features. It allows players to choose their own bonus rounds, and this increased decision making withing slots is a look towards the future of the industry and demonstrates NYX’s ability to think outside of the box.
What Happened to NetEnt?
Being nominated for award is such a honor in itself, however this years awards did leave us a little surprised. There was a noticeable absence of NetEnt from the winners list, who we thought would have picked up at least something during the night.
Perhaps one of the most popular software designers out there, NetEnt were nominated for two awards; Digital Product of the Year and Digital Industry Supplier of the Year. This means they lost out to Microgaming and Playtech respectively.
The Digital Product of the Year prize recognizes and rewards the platforms, technology and games that have stood out in the online gaming world in 2016. NetEnt made the shortlist due to the success of their Guns N Roses slot, which stands as their most successful branded slot ever. However it seems that they cannot win when pitted against Microgaming, as the brand pipped them to the prize last year too, for their incredible Jurassic Park slot.
NetEnt’s second nomination was for Digital Industry Supplier of the year, a prize they won in the 2015 awards. This year they couldn’t quite beat former runner up Playtech. The award is for celebrating ‘the providers that the industry is relying on most to take digital gaming forward into the future’ and we’re pretty sure it would have been a tight result, as both providers have been working relentlessly to produce innovative content for their players.