House speaker: Jamaica deserves compensation for slavery

first_img“I encourage all Jamaicans not to dismiss the issue of reparations offhand but to try to understand the reasons behind the call and the implications it would have for our society,” he added.On behalf of Parliament, Charles commended the CARICOM Reparations Commission, and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through the National Council onReparations (NCR), for staging the Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally.Building awareness among the youth The CARICOM initiative is aimed at building awareness among young people across the region about the issues surrounding the reparations movement and agenda.Relays have been held in Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, St. Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda.The Jamaican leg of the relay commenced on October 10, and has covered the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann and St. Catherine. House Speaker Pearnel Charles The Speaker of the Jamaican House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles wants Britain to offer reparations to Jamaican for slavery. Reparation Speaker of the Jamaican House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles, says that compensation should be awarded for the many indignities heaped on the country’s ancestors during the period of slavery.Charles remarks came during the Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally at Gordon House earlier this week.The speaker of the lower house argued that the British Government felt that it was just to compensate the planters, who had already benefited from the exploitation of “our ‘foreparents’, by awarding them £20 million, the equivalent of more than £20 billion today”.Honor our ancestors“We cannot undo the injustices of slavery, but we can honor our ancestors by demanding that their contribution be properly recognized,” he noted.last_img read more

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Windies eyeing upset of Bangladesh in final, says Nurse

first_imgDUBLIN, Ireland, CMC – Frontline West Indies spinner Ashley Nurse said Monday’s defeat to Bangladesh had not dented the team’s confidence, and they were now fully focused on breaking their jinx against the Tigers in Friday’s final of the Tri-Nations Series.West Indies went down by five wickets at The Village to follow up their eight-wicket loss to Bangladesh in their second game of the tournament last week.The Caribbean side have now lost six of their last eight one-day meetings with the Asian side inside the last 12 months.“Next game is the final so it’s the most important game of the series. All the work we did over the last couple games is all well and good but to get the win in the finals is the most important thing right now,” off-spinner Nurse said following the defeat.“It’s a tournament where the final is the ultimate goal. They’ve gotten the better of us in the last two games but that doesn’t mean anything. We have to turn up on Friday and try to do the work.”In the first match, West Indies managed just 261 and Bangladesh easily chased down their target with five overs remaining. Monday’s contest was much of the same, with the Tigers chasing a modest 248 and reaching their target with nearly three overs to spare.Nurse, who has played 49 One-Day Internationals since his debut in 2016, said it was important not only for the Windies to bat well but to place pressure on the Bangladesh middle order which was yet to be really tested.“I think if we can get some more runs on the board, first and foremost, then the bowlers would have an easier job,” the 30-year-old pointed out.“Because the wickets are really easy paced and it’s a case where we have to be on the ball as a bowling unit, build some pressure in the field and put them under some serious pressure and get into their middle order.“The two games so far we haven’t really gotten into their middle order so if we can get into the middle of their batting order I think we’ll be in with a good shout.”Nurse was the Windies’ best bowler on Monday with three for 53, taking his tally for the tournament to seven. However, he said while he was pleased with his performance, he was disappointed by the result.“Today I had some more rhythm. From playing the other games I didn’t have a lot of rhythm but today was a lot warmer as well so I felt a lot more at home,” Nurse explained.“It was a slow pitch so I think the pace we bowled at was very important and today I got most of it right so it was a good performance from me but obviously to get the win was the most important thing and we didn’t do that so we have to go back to the drawing boards and come back next game.”last_img read more

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Nominations open for expanded SBC Awards

first_img Class of 2020 join Sports Betting Hall of Fame in virtual ceremony July 17, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Golden Race presents unified virtuals, slots and live games API October 9, 2019 Related Articles SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 Share Share Nominations for the new look SBC Awards have opened with an expanded 28 categories up for grabs. Held on Tuesday 5 December, this year’s SBC Awards is going even further to recognise excellence in all areas of the sports betting industry by splitting the categories into 11 Operator/Affiliate awards and 17 Supplier awards.SBC will also once again be recognising those who have contributed a great deal to the industry by inducting new entrants to the SBC Sports Betting Hall of Fame.The stunning Artillery Gardens at the HAC in Central London has been confirmed as the host venue for this year’s event, reflecting the expanded scope of the awards. 500 industry delegates will be gathering for fun networking, a sit down meal and live entertainment and possibly picking up an SBC Award trophy for excellence in their field.SBC Founder & CEO Rasmus Sojmark explained: “Given the many elements of the sports betting value chain, we felt it was only fair to expand our categories in order to recognise the hard work at all stages that goes into making the sports betting industry such an innovative and dynamic one.“Our new venue at the Artillery Gardens is spectacular and the perfect place for the last big industry meet up of the year before Christmas.”OPERATOR/AFFILIATE CATEGORIESBookmaker of the YearRising Star in Sports BettingFootball Bookmaker of the YearRacing Bookmaker of the YearMobile Bookmaker of the YearEsports Bookmaker of the YearSocially Responsible Bookmaker of the YearMarketing Campaign of the YearAffiliate of the YearBest Affiliate Product InnovationBest Affiliate Partner SchemeSUPPLIER CATEGORIESWhite Label Supplier of the YearSportsbook Supplier of the YearStandalone Platform Provider of the YearMarketing Agency of the YearEsports Supplier of the YearRising Star in Sports Betting InnovationBest Live Betting ProductBest Live Streaming ProductBest Sports SponsorshipBest Sports Data ProductBest Payment ProductBest Retail Betting ProductBest Virtual Football ProductBest Virtual Sports ProductBest DFS ProductBest Multi-Channel SupplierBest Sport Themed Game/SlotNOMINATE YOUR COMPANY HEREThis year’s SBC Awards will start with a nomination phase, which closes on Friday 22nd September, before moving into a two-pronged judging process.The Operator/Affiliate Awards will be put to a vote between anyone that attended this year’s Betting on Football and Betting on Sports Conferences, while a hand-picked judging panel will help to pick out the truly ground-breaking entries for the Supplier Awards.Anyone wishing to attend the event can book tables to celebrate an outstanding year for the sports betting industry should email [email protected] for more information.For enquiries about sponsorship opportunities please also contact us on [email protected]last_img read more

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Winning Post: Crouch bows out with “alternative facts”

first_img Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, takes a look at some key developments for the gambling industry in its ‘Winning Post’ column.UK: Politics – Crouch bows out with “alternative facts”Last week’s resignation of Tracey Crouch as UK minister for sport (and gambling) marked a new low in the recent history of Britain’s gaming and betting industry. Whether one views Crouch’s decision as a noble stand on a matter of conscience or as a futile act of petulance, it is hard to identify any good that will come from it. Her resignation seems to contain so many of the problems that have bedevilled attempts at sane policy in this sector for so long – myopic lobbying (on all sides), political dithering, bullying and unpleasantness and the triumph of emotion over reason.Whether one agrees with Crouch’s views on gambling regulation, she has undeniably been the most engaged gambling minister that we have had for at least a decade. In contrast to most of her predecessors in the role, she appeared to care and she did her best to make a good job of a thankless brief (as well as being a tireless and effective champion of sport). Her departure seems likely to set back the industry’s relationship with the Government, has caused further damage to its public image and – possibly most seriously in practical terms – may well deter her successor from investing much in the way of personal political capital in this fraught area of politics.It is difficult to fathom what precisely caused the Member for Chatham and Aylesford to resign. As a backbencher, she had expressed concern about machines in betting shops (a concern that even the ABB seems to have now accepted was justified – whether or not it agrees with the £2 stake solution). Once she was put in a position to do something about it, she pursued the matter with vigour (in contrast to many of her peers who find that with great power comes great amnesia) despite the shifting sands of Cabinet reshuffles that saw her serve three Culture Secretaries in as many years (including her maternity leave).Given the length of time it took to achieve the goal of stake reduction (15 years on from the old Gaming Board’s first attempt to rein in FOBTs), it seems somewhat perverse that Crouch should step down over the question of whether the coup de grace should be delivered in April or October next year. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the six month ‘delay’ was simply the final straw – the point of divergence with ministerial colleagues that sapped the last reserves of her patience.What happens next is anyone’s guess – the entire FOBT saga has had more twists and turns than Chubby Checker on the Cresta Run. No sooner had we thought that the matter had been put to bed than it has leapt back out again. It seems hard to believe that the Government will change the timing of FOBT stake reduction but if Crouch’s stand galvanises the support of enough disaffected Tories (Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith and Sarah Wollaston have been among the more high-profile Conservatives to speak out on the subject this week) then Labour may scent (another) chance to embarrass the Government on gambling policy. However, a further ironical twist could be that a stand against the timetable could push out the timetable further – a calculation the government (and perhaps GVC) is possibly banking on to see legislation passed in a timely manner.The question of who will replace Crouch as sports minister has wider implications for the industry – and the balance of risk is on the downside here. The episode has damaged the reputation of the new Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright (indeed, it is not inconceivable that he might be moved on) and is almost certain to accentuate his allergy to gambling matters. It is critical that operators start to find positive ways to engage with Government (for example, how they might contribute to a more vibrant post-Brexit Britain) in order to eradicate the stain of years of whining, discord and controversy.Tracey Crouch’s resignation letter provided another warning of a deeper and darker threat to gambling in Britain (and elsewhere). In explaining her decision to step down, she stated that “two people will tragically take their lives every day due to gambling-related problems”. This seems to be an entirely bogus claim, yet it is now being repeated with such unquestioning conviction and regularity that it is fast becoming accepted as a fact. We will return to this subject in more detail at a later time. For now, we simply observe that it is disappointing that in her final act as minister she should perpetuate such palpable nonsense (the claim seems to be based entirely upon the deaths of 17 people in Hong Kong more than a decade ago).Our aim here is not to trivialise the subject of gambling-related suicide – it is an extremely serious and tragic issue – but to point out that simply because we don’t know how many people take their own lives in relation to gambling problems does not justify making things up, just as it does not permit the industry to downplay the issue. Those in positions of regulatory-political authority have an ethical duty to deal in facts rather than peddle hysteria.For operators globally, the challenge is clearly to do a much better job of understanding and addressing harms – both in relation to those experienced by customers; and the damage to their own long-term interests when societal concerns are allowed to become headline news. For now, the damage still appears to be mounting faster than the attempts at repair.UK: in Parliament – Play School Politics Pans FOBT FiascoTracey Crouch’s final week at the DCMS was a certainly busy one. In his Budget Statement on Monday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond set the rate of Remote Gaming Duty at 21% (slightly higher than expected; somewhat lower than feared) with the change due to take effect from October next year (to coincide with stake reduction on FOBTs).The gambling concern lobby had made it clear that they would oppose any later date than April 2019 for action on FOBTs; and had set their traps accordingly. Anticipating disappointment, Lord Griffiths of Burryport (Lab) had already scheduled a debate for Tuesday on the timing of stake in reduction. Concerns were expressed about both FOBTs and TV advertising but the debate was rather tame by comparison with what was to come.In the Commons that day, the chair of the Health Select Committee (and former GP), Sarah Wollaston (Cons, Totnes), the Shadow Health Minister, Jonathan Ashworth (Lab, Leicester South) and Paul Blomfield (Lab, Sheffield Central) used a debate on income tax to deliver strongly worded criticisms of the Government’s decision to wait another year (Iain Duncan Smith used a further debate on income tax two days later to the same effect).Thursday brought DCMS oral Parliamentary Questions. The Labour and SNP Shadow Ministers for DCMS, Kevin Brennan (Lab, Cardiff West) and Hannah Bardell (SNP, Livingston) put the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright on the spot in relation to the perceived delay on stake reduction. Wright insisted that there had been no delay and that the date for implementation of the new regulations had actually been brought forward from April 2020.However, Wright was not to escape that easily. Later in the day, Labour’s Deputy Leader cornered the Culture Secretary with an Urgent Question on the timing of stake reduction, precipitating a prolonged debate, involving MPs from all major parties. Perhaps significantly, around half of the 20 MPs who criticised the Government during the debate were from its own party.In addition to a range of questions on FOBTS, Watson repeatedly asked Wright whether or not his sports minister, Tracey Crouch had resigned (as press reports had suggested). As he bobbed and weaved in response to questioning, Wright extolled the “outstanding job” that Crouch was doing as sports minister and denied that the commercial interests of the betting shop sector had any influence on the timing of stake reduction. It is likely to have been a source of some embarrassment to Wright that within hours of the debate, his “outstanding” minister had indeed tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister and claimed that her personal commitment to the role was incompatible with “commitments made by others to those with registered interests”.The situation in the House of Lords was also proving rather dicey for the Government. Labour’s Lord Stevenson of Balmacara and the Liberal Democrat Lord Clement-Jones branded the decision to wait until October 2019 before implementing the £2 stake maximum “a disgrace”. This was followed by a rather longer debate on gambling addiction (led by the Bishop of Portsmouth, standing in for the bookie-bashing Bishop of St Albans). Impassioned testimony on the harms of excessive gambling was drawn from a large number of peers. The ensuing discussion roamed free across the wide range of controversies that currently dog the industry, including TV advertising, sports sponsorship, funding for research, education and treatment and even little old bingo which Lord Stevenson described as “that used to be a social game for grannies, but it now seems to be a way into the wider world of gambling because of the opt-in payments and the ability to get on to it” (no, we’re not sure what this means, either).The Liberal Democrat Shadow Attorney General, Lord Thomas of Gresford left the House gave full vent to his antipathy towards the industry, depicting operators in distinctly Transylvanian tones. “These gambling companies constantly look for new blood to suck”, he said. His party colleague – and former children’s TV presenter, Baroness Benjamin drew attention to issues of gambling participation and problem gambling among children and gambling-related debt for university students. It is perhaps a sign of the low pass that the industry has reached that Humpty’s, Jemima’s and Big Ted’s best mate is now on gambling’s case.UK: horseracing – one each end and steady as we go…Betfred and Alizeti have now secured the original Tote’s long-term future on British racecourses, in a now predictable denoument to the Britbet saga in the form of a seven-year £50m deal. The latest plot twist therefore ends us back at the beginning of a story even Moliere would find too contrived and farcical to be believed. First the Tote was sidelined in favour of a new pool operated by the courses (Britbet) to have been launched on removal of the Tote’s monopoly status in July 2018, in turn causing Fred to remove all his non-contractual support for racing. The first ripple against (most of) GB racecourses’ plan occurred when Ascot confirmed it would not be joining Britbet; following which Britbet secured a temporary deal with the existing Tote from July 2018. An unexpected curve ball then arrived in the form of a 25% stake purchase by Alizeti Capital, and now finally the Fred-Alizeti Tote has secured its historical (and liquidity critical) on-course position with increased financial firepower and strategic drive (or at least hope of such).The Alizeti-backed Tote has promised a “double Levy” as well as planning to reducing deductions (increasing the payout ratio). These are noble sentiments, but so far significantly increased prize money in GB has not led to a better betting product (more runners, more competitive racing), so there is a clear danger of low productivity spending, in our view (however popular with some stakeholders). Equally, increasing prizes is a good way to stimulate gambling if targeted to recycling participants who are happy to be net losers, though this is not how the pool is typically played anymore: increased prizes which end up in the pockets of lucky punters playing at long-odds and rebaters are unlikely to stimulate sustainable demand. Plans to revitalise the Tote are welcome and much needed – but none of the levers are simple or all that well connected after years of poor management and significantly increased competition, in our view (with much of the reported ‘GB’ Tote revenue increases in GC stats being international rebaters, we believe) – a bold vision needs much more than throwing good money after bad, or the only winner will be the wily bookmaker from Warrington…Australia: online regulation – effective disruption?The ACMA has released its first annual report on enforcement progress of the amended Internet Gaming Act 2001, which became effective in September 2017 and strengthened the ban on in-play and gaming, as well as providing a legal framework for anti-offshore measures (prohibition enforcement, including for services and advertising; deterrent and disruption tools; consumer awareness). The ACMA’s Task Force (IGT) has spent the first twelve months contacting overseas regulators (POC and POS), operators and suppliers (platform, content, payments, affiliates, etc), principally flagging the ‘reinforced’ illegality of offshore supply, in-play and gaming, as well as the determination to enforce. Combined with this broad approach, 62 specific investigations were conducted, with 38 breaches identified and a 68% compliance track record on identified breaches so far – with the remainder escalated to Federal authorities (border protection, courts). Thirty-thee software providers and 10 PSPs were also notified, both of the legal change and potential liability under the Act. The reported impact of this activity has been 33 of Australia’s ‘most popular’ offshore sites ceasing to accept Australian customers of 56 site exits measured (of a 138 site sample). These are clearly material interventions, even in a potential market of c. 700 betting operators (albeit some with shared ownership) and at least double the number of gaming operators.So can the ACMA claim victory? Certainly in part. Some big brands have exited the market and the fact that many but not all exited on the passage of the Act demonstrates that the enforcement threat has been an important component. Further, broader media awareness and restricted payment options will undoubtedly make mass market penetration difficult. Consequently, the IGT has almost certainly reduced mass market participation in offshore gambling and is likely to arrest the adoption curve going forward. However, we doubt that many harder gamblers have been disrupted, making the revenue impact perhaps less than the ACMA believes. Enforcement pressure is also likely to mount with growing channel shift and diminishing consumer choice caused by the fiscal-regulatory framework. In the short/medium-term, however, the big winner is horseracing, which does not face domestic competition from either in-play or gaming; distorting the market even for racing-mad Australians.Herein lies a key question for regulators and enforcement tools. If the job is to be measured in participation rates, then Australia’s actions can be seen as at least partly successful, though the march of channel shift on a AU$17.7m landbased gaming market can only be slowed, not halted, in our view (tellingly the Australian betting market is only 22% the size of this and already 65% online for domestically regulated supply). If the job is measured in revenue (awkwardly invisible for offshore supply), then Australia’s actions are unlikely to have dented activity much beyond poker (which requires large business participation to deliver the required liquidity), in our view. There is of course a logic for regulators to focus on influencing the largest populations – but it is in harder gambling cohorts that many of the social problems and most of the potential taxes are likely to be found…US: DFS regulation – the Big Apple takes a toothless bite out of DFSA New York State Judge has ruled that DFS games violate the state constitution, challenging the 2016 Fantasy Sports Law (which stated DFS was not gambling and provided an oversite and tax framework). While the ruling has inevitably caused some concern given NY’s importance to the DFS market, we suspect there will be little practical effect at this stage. First, the state is likely to appeal, which would (or should) provide a stay while this takes place. Second, the judge recognised the elements of the 2016 DFS law that exempted the product from the definition of gambling under state penal law – which gives operators cover to continue. The (not very) worst case scenario therefore appears to be status quo during either an appeal process or a constitutional amendment. However, this process might all be made moot if New York legislates for sports betting in the meantime, which is likely to both deal with the constitutional issues of gambling in state and make DFS a far less relevant product.A perhaps more relevant if less reported court ruling occurred in Indiana last week, which found that DFS providers were not violating sports players IP through use of data, since it constituted “material that has newsworthy value”. While dangerous to extrapolate (across states or product groups), this would seem close to the critical difference between data and database rights in Europe – which might explain why US sports leagues are so keen to get some form of specific statutory value transfer rather than relying on IP. Nevertheless, while such an interpretation might make the free use of a lot of sports data possible, in-play data is likely to require the cooperation of the leagues, and this is increasingly where digital value is likely to sit as states regulate sportsbetting (where allowed).Ireland: TV sports rights – time to phone a friend…Former rivals, Sky and BT Sport have further strengthened the content sharing deal agreed last December, by extending it to Ireland. The agreement adds BT Sport to the Sky platform of channels allowing subscribers the ability to view all Premiership and Championship Football in one place. This additional arrangement, follows a similar content sharing between Sky and Channel 4 for Formula 1 arranged in September this year.The changing viewing habits from TV to streaming and OTT platforms, combined with record rights figures for sports in particular, is forcing mainstream TV and cable channels to fight for market share – forcing even long-term rivals to consider collaborations and mergers (Disney – Fox). Collaboration is a logical response to declining viewing figures in traditional channels, though it does not yet create the corollary of proving the OTT economic model (especially if rights inflation continues): the future remains dynamic and highly uncertain for all stakeholders, but broadcasters in particular, in our view. Related Articles Submit Winning Post: Third time’s the charm for England’s casinos August 17, 2020 UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020last_img read more

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Alessandro Fried – BtoBet likes Buenos Aires’ fresh prospects

first_img Submit StumbleUpon BtoBet grows LatAm portfolio with GlobalBet deal August 12, 2020 BtoBet refines African SMS payment options with Tola Mobile  August 20, 2020 Share Share Related Articles BtoBet grows Nigerian presence with Booster99 deal August 26, 2020 BtoBet Chief Executive Alessandro Fried has stated that his firm’s executive team are monitoring Buenos Aires (Argentina) movements closely.This December, led by BA Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, Buenos Aires’ executive secured the votes needed to revamp the province’s gambling frameworks, passing legislation that will regulate online gambling services within Argentina’s largest province.Fried welcomes the first initiatives to develop a safe, fair and regulated marketplace for BA consumers, aligned with BtoBet’s expanding South American online gambling profile.BtoBet closes on a landmark 2018, in which the developing markets betting platform supplier has significantly expanded its South American/LATAM commercial pipeline, securing new lead sports betting supplier contracts with – RBS Colombia and Logrand Entertainment Mexico.Fried  comments on potential BA prospects “Our South American results have exceeded our expectancies, and the prospect of a more regulated Argentinian market is an exciting development and opportunity.”Moving forward, Fried believes that an Argentine/BA online gambling marketplace will benefit from a ‘robust and transparent framework that safeguards the operators and end-user interests’.Noting BtoBet’s local knowledge expertise of South American opportunities and challenges, Fried states personal excitement at a further diverse and sports-mad market opening its doors in 2019.“Football is undoubtedly the nation’s most popular sports, and in Maradona and Messi they have two of the greatest football players of all time to grace the world. Argentinian market will surely be generating ripples of interest amongst those operators keen on further expanding their businesses in the country”last_img read more

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Jo Dennis: Random Colour Animal – Industry requires a big & brave brand rethink

first_imgShare WATCH: Jesper Svensson discusses keeping a sportsbook up to date February 26, 2019 StumbleUpon Share Hervé Schlosser: Sportnco – French experience will power growth in Spain with LATAM to follow April 5, 2019 Submit Ian Bradley: Big Bang just the start for SBTech in 2019 February 20, 2019 Following years of executing uniformed marketing strategies, can industry incumbents develop meaningful brand propositions, engaging customers, whilst tackling betting’s wider responsibility agenda?Jo Dennis is the Managing Director of Random Colour Animal (RCA), a ‘brand-first’ industry marketing agency. She tells SBC audiences that in 2019 and beyond, the sector’s winners will be those that treat brand development as the lead marketing discipline across all verticals. Founded in 2018, fast-growth RCA has worked on B2C/B2B brand-centric campaigns for The Football Pools, Carousel Group, onSport.io and SG Digital._____________________SBC: Hi Jo, thanks for this interview on an intriguing topic. From your experience, why has betting neglected ‘brand development’ as a corporate discipline? Jo Dennis: As an industry, there is a focus on game creative, and to an extent just making the technology work, which in some cases is harder than it should be – this means that brand inevitably comes down the list of ‘things to do’. Brand awareness is not traditionally considered a primary driver of revenue ahead of financial incentives and odds advertising – which ironically presents perhaps the most limited opportunity to differentiate.Not everyone who starts a gaming company (operator or supplier) understands brand; it’s a general incorrect assumption that brand is just a logo, but the visual identity is only one part of a brand experience. A logo can make people aware of the brand, and help with discovery and recognition, but it can’t tell customers who you are or what you care about, what makes you different or better.Brand and marketing are often pushed together in gaming companies (both B2B and B2C) and this means the conversation steers towards CPAs, affiliates and exhibition stands. But this neglects the real underlying brand experiences and touchpoints which make a company unique, memorable and desirable to the target audience… and that unify digital products and customer communications with consistency, strength and authenticity.Brand is also an internal thing and many people forget this. Other than aligning teams on a clear vision (which 100% makes for a more successful company) it can also remove ambiguity, create a talking point (for PR), generate an army of brand advocates (and even influencers), and help acquire and retain talent – this maintains real-world fiscal value.SBC: In 2019, the industry enters maturity across multiple markets; can incumbents really build brand value or equity this late in the game?JD: Yes. In some cases, brand is the only thing they might have as a point of differentiation… With games, platforms and associated services coming from a finite selection of industry suppliers, getting these to drive unique positioning is tricky. The development of a strong brand, strategy, and associated experience with downstream marketing and communications activity can provide that unique voice, even in saturated markets.It’s also worth noting that even in mature markets we are also seeing new technology, customer types and channels emerging to create even greater playing experiences.Voice-activated AI is a good example; knowing how your brand will use voice to support and serve customer experience and/or search is important – non-participation is definitely not an option. Could this represent a new opportunity to reinvigorate brand personality and build more equity? We don’t know yet, but I think it demonstrates that this late in the game there are still many moving pieces.Further, many operators are looking at moving into regulated only markets. Part of this will represent a certain ‘growing up’ in terms of proposition and positioning as a responsible corporate entity. Brand certainly plays a big part in telling that story as well as living it.SBC: However, the industry has been served a significant ‘social responsibility agenda’; does this not complicate building and sustaining brand competencies? JD: Brand plays a significant role in this; building and sustaining competencies in no way detracts from the CSR agenda. In fact, strategically planning a socially responsible stance into a brand story, experience and touchpoints work together to make that an authentic part of an operator or supplier’s future… and make it credible, believable and genuine.RCA is a big fan of using our position as one of the leading suppliers to the market to support the CSR agenda in many ways. In terms of our work with clients, we realise its importance and take our responsibility seriously in creating brands that are entertaining and successful but ultimately designed to be conscientious and pro-active in this area.SBC: Working with B2B and B2C incumbents, what misconception do you feel industry stakeholders have with regards to developing impactful brands – what has worked and what is going wrong? JD:  Probably the most common misconceptions are the assumption that brand is just a logo or that brand manifests in the biggest, boldest stand at ICE… No matter how creative or memorable those things are, they’re standalone. A strong brand strategy goes to the very heart of what a successful business represents and how it consistently communicates those messages to the outside world across every channel.Operationally, it’s also difficult to drive a brand when nobody is ultimately responsible for that specific task. Across the trilogy of commercial, platform and game creative/technology, only elements of the brand are communicated and not the whole. The default position is, therefore, to fall back on PR (and a mix of social repurposing) to make announcements – but that’s a one-way conversation. Curating meaningful communications relies on knowing your audience: Not starting from a place of ‘what do we want to say’ but who are we talking to, where are they, and what do they want to hear.Another issue is not understanding how the brand ties into corporate vision. A company really clicks when mission, brand and culture converge. Motivated by the culture and driven by the mission, employees become an intrinsic part of the brand – and as they’re creating the customer experience that’s critical to sales and revenue, it can’t be overlooked.There is also the misconception that good brand strategy and downstream execution has no real-world fiscal return. It very much does. While it’s tougher to attribute specific ROI, the result of a strong visual and verbal brand backed by consistent marketing tactics and reliable business practices will be steady growth. When people are familiar with and trust the brand, you can expect them to more quickly convert from a visitor to a customer, increase engagement and lifetime value. That can definitely be measured. SBC: As a discipline, doesn’t brand development clash against standard industry marketing values which have been predominantly acquisition and cost-based… are we facing somewhat of a culture clash challenge? JD: This is interesting; as we mentioned earlier, brand and marketing are often bundled together, but are not the same thing. Marketing and communications are downstream from brand (the tactical execution of a strategic blueprint), otherwise it would be the tail wagging the dog…In a nutshell, branding is who you are, and marketing is how you build awareness. Brand is a core element of corporate strategy and is brought to life through content, digital touchpoints (websites, apps, social, voice etc), internal and external communications, team operations and player/customer interactions among many other things.SBC: So where should brand development within a betting-related company – is this a marketing or leadership remit?JD: I simply can’t stress this strongly enough: Brand development is a leadership remit – tied to corporate strategy and how the business generates a fiscal return… In 2019 this dynamic has to understood by industry leaders.SBC: Moving forward, what brand-led debates and challenges should the industry leadership focus on? (How do we really improve things?)JD: The hot topics in brand development for betting-related companies to focus on, in our opinion, would be: Related Articles Thinking of brand development as an internal as well as external exerciseAsking yourself whether your brand is actually generating more customers and revenue or whether it’s an after-thought bundled into marketingGetting measurement into the brand conversation as one of the key metrics of business successUsing brand elements to develop hyper personalised experiences for players, a one-to-one contextually-relevant conversation is utopiaIncorporating social responsibility into the brand strategy to build public and regulatory trust (a pre-requisite to a future-proofed and sustainable business)For larger companies, if brand and strategy culture is not at the heart of the business, focusing on smaller super on-brand initiatives rather than trying to turn the cruise liner will be key ______________________________Jo Dennis – Managing Director –  Random Colour Animallast_img read more

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Trustly Live to help land-based casinos go cashless

first_img StumbleUpon Share Submit Related Articles Share Svenska Spel becomes 2020 eHockey Championship sponsor August 18, 2020 Svenska Spel delivers on social mandate despite COVID-19 impacts July 20, 2020 Spelinspektionen reminds operators of AML responsibilities July 2, 2020 Online payments specialist Trustly has launched Trustly Live, a brand new solution bringing instant cashless payments to land-based casinos and sportsbooks.Now that consumers are increasingly using less cash in their everyday lives, Trustly Live – the company’s first product built specifically for land-based gaming – is there to help operators keep up with this changing behaviour.For example, only 13% of consumers in Sweden – where Trustly’s Pay N Play has become an industry standard – reported using cash for a recent purchase according to a national survey. This is down from around 40% in 2010.One of the key advantages of a sportsbook or casino going ‘cashless’ is that cash handling, which should be a free commodity to receive, can typically cost up to 5% for a business.With Trustly Live, which can be integrated as a deposit method at tables, cash redemption terminals (CRTs) and the cashier’s cage, players can scan a Trustly QR code with their smartphone to instantly deposit funds from their online bank account. Therefore, operators can lower cash handling costs while catering to the preferences of their players. Additionally, Trustly Live can strengthen KYC and AML checks, ultimately helping to enhance the trackability of players and meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements.Samuel Barrett, Director of Gaming at Trustly, said: “The launch of Trustly Live will help land-based operators thrive in today’s increasingly cashless economies. “Cash handling is expensive, unsafe and, frankly, outdated. Consumers are already adopting safer and more convenient ways to pay and Trustly is excited to be bringing innovation to the land-based gaming world by helping operators keep pace with their players’ preferences.”Trustly Live is already live with Cherry Spelglädje in 45 locations in Sweden and plans to expand across Europe in the coming months.Keep your eyes peeled for a comprehensive interview about Trustly Live with Samuel Barrett. It will be live from tomorrow morning (10:30 BST) on SBC News.last_img read more

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B2B plans on hold for Betsson despite strong Q1 opening

first_img StumbleUpon Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Share Related Articles Submit Share LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Betsson AB has reported a strong opening to 2020 trading, as the company moves to significantly expand its B2C portfolio and sportsbook capacities.Publishing its Q1 2020 trading update for the three month period ending 31 March, Betsson recorded group revenues of SEK 1,417m (€130m) – up 7% on corresponding Q1 2019’s SEK 1,333m.Betsson attributed growth during the period to a strong sportsbook performance, generating income of SEK 384.9m (Q12019: SEK 298m), while its flagship online casino division maintained revenues at SEK 1014m (Q12019: SEK 1011m).“We had a strong first quarter in all areas and I look forward to the future with confidence,” said Pontus Lindwall, President and CEO of Betsson AB. “We reached a milestone in signing our first pure sportsbook customer, we have made a value accretive acquisition and we have launched a new casino product.”Facing a tougher regulatory backdrop across Nordic and Western European markets, Betsson revealed that company duties had increased by 20% to SEK 506m (€45m), corresponding to 35% of group revenues.Countering home market headwinds, Betsson has continued to diversify its regional make-up. The company detailed strong revenues for its Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) assets at SEK 424.7m (Q12019: 248.2m), an increase of 71%.Further group expenses during the quarter totalled SEK 474m, which Betsson attributed to M&A costs and expanding resources to improve its technology platforms.Closing its Q1 2020 accounts, Betsson recorded a 2% increase in EBITDA to SEK 353m (Q12019: SEK 346m) combined with a 2% increase in group operating profits to SEK 260m (Q12019: SEK 355m). For the remainder of 2020,  Betsson highlighted that the company will move to significantly expand its B2C portfolio, having acquired the brand portfolio of Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) during Q1 trading.    Lindwall added: “Betsson has the ambition to grow faster than the market, organically and via acquisitions. This quarter, we acquired an online gambling B2C business which is included in our books from mid-April and is expected to contribute positively to our earnings from day one.”The company maintains its plans to launch a B2B sportsbook segment during H2 trading, despite its schedule facing COVID-19 interruptions. Lindwall continued: “‘ibet’ is our first pure B2B sportsbook customer with the plan to launch in time for the Euro 2020. Due to the current situation, launch has been postponed until the leagues and tournaments resume. “Our intention is to sell our highly competitive sportsbook to external operators and we are seeing strong interest in this area.”Betsson signed off its trading update by detailing no major changes to its overriding corporate strategy or product planning, with the company expressing its confidence in navigating COVID-19 disruptions.Lindwall concluded: “I’m impressed with how well the Company has adapted to the current global challenge. We are performing surprisingly well with no major disruption to the business and we see no need to make any changes to our strategy or the way we operate. We will continue investing in our technology and product portfolio and will launch new products and features as planned.”last_img read more

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Superbet boosts content muscle with Sportal365

first_imgShare Share Submit Superbet, Romania’s leading bookmaker, has expanded its content capacity by entering a publishing partnership with Sportal365. The agreement will see Superbet integrate Sportal365’s publishing platform across its key market domains of Romania and Poland, developing deeper sports led content for its customers.In its statement, Superbet detailed that it seeks to ‘power-up’ its content capabilities by utilising Sportal365 publishing platform, in turn boosting engagement with its pre-match and live odds markets. Johnny Hartnett, CEO of Superbet Group, said: “We want to provide our customers with a rich, multichannel experience that allows them to do their research, reading news articles, studying historical statistics as well as be entertained through a variety of proprietary content. Sportal365 technology enables us to optimize the delivery of this proposition and we are delighted to work alongside them.”Sportal365’s publishing platform has been tailored to meet bookmaker marketing and retention demands operating across multiple markets. The company’s clients include bwin, efbet, Winbet and GSP.ro.Sportal365 content can be fully optimised with a bookmaker’s API feeds, allowing for the most accurate engagement with minimised IT resources. It is also boosted by instant tracking for social media and digital channels, allowing for quicker publishing output.Stilian Shishkov, CEO of Sportal365, added: “We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Superbet, one of the most technologically advanced betting companies on the market. Our content platform fits perfect with the ambitious plans of Superbet to become a dominant force on the betting market. “Technologically both our companies are investing and delivering great products which gives both companies the opportunity to grow rapidly together.” Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020last_img read more

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UKGC offers public guidance on ID rules, rights and responsibilities

first_img Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reminded the general public of the safer gambling requirements that operators must adhere to when customers sign-up and register with online gambling platforms. Licensed UK operators must ensure that all customers are ID varied, certifying that a customer is old enough to gamble and whether they have ever participated in self-exclusion from gambling services. The UKGC underlined that operators must cross-reference customer IDs with relevant databases to verify their identity and undertake due diligence on potential risks.  The Commission stated that there will be situations when customers are required to provide further verification documents such as passports, driving licences and household utility bills to ensure that their identity and relevant information is processed by the operator.UK operators must check that customers are old enough to gamble before making deposits or accessing any free-to-play content.An operator must also ensure that a customer is notified of self-exclusion functions and procedures operated by the company.Protecting at-risk customers, the UKGC reminded the public that operators may carry out further checks to ensure that self-excluded players are not re-registering under a different identity. The UKGC further emphasised operator ID responsibilities with regards to ensuring that funds are not related to criminal activities.UK operators must, therefore, be able to verify separate accounts that are held by one customer, in which it is up to the company to decide whether they allow the customer to have more than one account.If an operator does allow for multiple accounts, it may ask customers for further information to help it monitor their separate account activities.Operators may seek information to safeguard their offers and incentives, which will often be limited to one use per customer. Licensees will also be allowed to freeze accounts whilst checking customer ID verifications, in which there is no time limit imposed.When withdrawing funds, operators cannot demand that a customer provides additional information as a ‘condition to process the transaction’. Nevertheless, an operator can ask the customer to provide information upon withdrawal if they are required to fulfil a legal obligation.“We tell the gambling companies that they must know their customers are old enough to gamble and confirm their identity,” the UKGC stated.  “We do not say what sorts of information they should ask for. If you are not happy about the information you have been asked to give, you must contact the company directly.” UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Share UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 Share Related Articles Submitlast_img read more

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