15 August 2019
By Elaine Murphy
There has always been a lot of crossover in the Irish and British betting and gaming industries, with numerous British betting brands arriving over here and a handful of Irish brands being prominent in the UK. Even the shadow of a hard Brexit is unlikely to change that, as many gaming companies will hold dual licences in the UK and other parts of Europe, so maintain a presence in Ireland won’t be an issue even if things go awry with Brexit.
Indeed, one of the UK’s best-loved gaming brands has made its first foray into the Irish market this summer. If you are a football fan, you will know Mansion Group from being the shirt sponsor of Tottenham Hotspur from 2006-2011, and from fellow Premier League side Bournemouth, where Mansion has been the principal sponsor for the last five years.
So, what should you expect from Mansion products? Will it be any different from the betting and gaming brands already available in Ireland? Well to start off, the group has launched its Casino.com IE brand in Ireland, which means you will get access to lots of games from top developers. These include games from Playtech, Microgaming, Blueprint, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, IGT and Quickspin.
Partnership with Playtech
Some players would argue that this means you can play the best online slots at Casino.com, because those mentioned above are among the world’s most prominent developers of casino games. For example, Microgaming is widely considered to be the pioneer of online casino, developing its first games in the mid-90s; Playtech create some of the most important premium branded games, and it is listed on the London Stock Exchange; IGT is the world’s largest slot machine manufacturer, and has a big presence on the gaming floors of Las Vegas.
Taking the example of Playtech, a company that creates a lot of branded games: In the world of online casino, that means the Playtech selection is full of games based on your favourite movies, tv shows, celebrities and so on. A good illustration of how this works would be with the Top Trumps series of football games. Football Legends, for example, is licensed to use the imagery of legendary football players like Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Charlton and Pele. It even opens a bonus “Wall of Fame” game, where you can unlock other legends like George Best, Marco Van Basten and Lothar Matthäus. Alas, there is no room for legendary Cork-man Roy Keane.
Ireland’s gaming laws are set to change
Mansion Group launches its brands in Ireland at an interesting time. There has been a lot of speculation about updating Ireland’s archaic gambling laws, but the 2013 Gambling Control Bill has still not passed into law. Even if the bill passes, it won’t impact the customer experience too much. Companies like Mansion have all the necessary licensing credentials that the government will require to operate, but the bill might lead to some differences in the way you see gambling advertised on television and at sporting events.
It’s hard to say how impactful Mansion Group will be in the Irish market. The online gaming and betting market is hugely competitive in the UK and Ireland. Yet, Mansion Group is hugely ambitious, and has already made strides in the betting industry with its MansionBet brand. In the end, its popularity in the UK, Germany, Canada and New Zealand means it will probably be a welcome addition to the Irish market.