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Hard Rock Digital launches new games division

| By Robert Fletcher
The acquisition of WGames will bolster in-house technology, operational and development capabilities.
Groupe Partouche Q2

Hard Rock Games will focus on developing and managing its own free-to-play online and mobile games. The unit will draw on proprietary technology, as well as operational and development capabilities, secured during the recent acquisition of social mobile gaming business WGames.

As part of the launch, WGames’ suite of games will now become part of Hard Rock Games’ portfolio of Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming igaming experiences. This gaming content will include “Jackpot Planet” and “Neverland Casino”.

Hard Rock Games’ titles will also be fully integrated into the Unity by Hard Rock loyalty programme. This, Hard Rock Digital said, offers players an introduction to Hard Rock and its cafes, hotels, resorts and casinos. 

“With the addition of WGames’ world class games, technology and operations, we have set the stage to accelerate growth for our social gaming business,” Hard Rock Digital executive managing director, Rafi Ashkenazi, said.

“Hard Rock Games’ enhanced capabilities will allow us to better engage our worldwide player communities with exceptional digital experiences and entertain our players like no one else can.”

Daniel Kajouie, who founded WGames, will serve as managing director of the new Hard Rock Games venture.

“It’s an honour to be part of the incredible Hard Rock organisation, a global entertainment and hospitality leader,” Kajouie said. “We look forward to developing immersive gaming experiences for our millions of customers worldwide.”

Playtech invests in Hard Rock Digital

The launch concludes a busy year for Hard Rock Digital, which in March announced a partnership with Playtech. This deal also saw Playtech take a minority stake in the business.

Under the wider arrangement, Hard Rock Digital is licensing a range of Playtech’s technology solutions and igaming content. This includes Playtech slots, random number generator and live dealer table games in the US and Canada.

Products are also being rolled out elsewhere, with Hard Rock Digital accessing additional software and services solutions from Playtech. 

Hard Rock counts Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia among its US markets.

Hard Rock Bet returns in Florida

Establishing the new business unit also comes after Hard Rock Bet, another joint venture by Hard Rock and the Seminole tribe, relaunched in Florida.

Hard Rock Bet, operated by the Seminole tribe, launched in Florida on 7 November. Early access was available to customers who bet previously with the operator and members of Hard Rock’s loyalty scheme.

This came despite opposition from pari-mutuel betting operator West Flagler, which filed a motion  to stop Hard Rock Bet from offering sports betting in Florida. The motion requested the court to expedite the exercise of its all writs in the jurisdiction to immediately suspend online sports betting.

However, the Florida State Supreme Court rejected the motion and Hard Rock Bet remains active online. Last week, craps, roulette and sports betting were also launched at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.

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