Month: August 2020
The horrifying killing of a transgender woman in the Dominican Republic – the second such killing this year and 38th since 2006 – highlights the extreme violence faced by many transgender women in the country and the need for strengthened legal protection for discriminated groups, said Amnesty International.“The grotesque killing of Jessica Rubi Mori is a tragic reminder that the Dominican authorities need to take bolder steps to eradicate discrimination, including that based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director for Amnesty International.The body of Jessica Rubi Mori (whose legal name was Elvis Guerrero) a transgender sex worker and activist with community organization Este Amor (This Love), was found on 3 June 2017 in the eastern Dominican municipality of Higüey. Her body was found dismembered in a wasteland. According to news reports, one suspect has been placed under arrest.According to Cristian King, executive director of TRANSSA – Trans Siempre Amigas (Trans Always Friends), only four people have so far been convicted for the 38 cases of killings of transgender women that the organization has documented since 2006. King told Amnesty International his organization has been working closely with the Human Rights Unit of the Office of the Attorney General on recent cases.Several weeks ago, a 20-year-long sentence was given for the killing of another transgender woman, Kimberly Sody, in 2014.Dominican LGBTI-led organizations have long called for a gender identity law to protect the rights of transgender people. A proposal for an anti-discrimination law was drafted last year seeking to address entrenched and historical discrimination affecting many groups in the country, in particular based on gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, amongst other categories. The proposal is yet to be tabled in Parliament.According to a study by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), published in 2012, in the Dominican Republic less than 35 percent of transgender women sex workers have completed secondary school. As they are pushed away from education, many become involved in transactional sex as early as 16. This early social exclusion leads to poverty and more violence. Transgender people are often pushed into criminalized work, such as sex work, which further exposes them to police abuse and arbitrary detentions.The same study found that 80 percent of transgender sex workers felt they were more discriminated against for being trans than for being a sex worker. More than 35 percent of transgender sex workers had experienced physical violence walking on the street, more than 40 percent had suffered physical violence by clients, and more than 20 percent, physical violence by a partner. Eighty percent had been arrested or detained at least once, and 36 percent had exchanged sex with police officers to avoid being arrested.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Thousands of citizens have gathered in Puerto Rico for the fifth day, to protest and demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello, following accusations of corruptions and leaked text messages showing the Governor making sexist and homophobic remarks.Crowds of people gathered in the capital city, San Juan, for the fifth consecutive day to chant “Ricky, renuncia!” (“Ricky, resign!”). Police were eventually called to use tear gas to disperse the crowds.The protests started on Saturday after the Center for Investigative Journalism released some 900 pages of text chats on the encrypted messaging app Telegram in which Rossello and 12 other male administration members joked about Ricky Martin’s sexuality, mocked women, politicians, journalists, disabled people and the victims of Hurricane Maria, one of the United States’s worst-ever disasters.Puerto Rican celebrities and other influential figures have also called for the resignation of Rossello. On Wednesday, Ricky Martin led crowds of citizens in a protest to the governor’s house. The Singer expressed his views of Twitter, stating that “They mocked our dead, they mocked women, they mocked the LGBT community, they made fun of people with physical and mental disabilities, they made fun of obesity. It’s enough. This cannot be.”Popular Puerto Rican Reggaeton artist Bad Bunny also stopped his European tour to return to the island to protest.Puerto Ricans living in Florida have joined in protesting, even as they are away from their home island. On Wednesday, Puerto Ricans living in Central Florida gathered outside of the Puerto Rico governor’s office in Orlando, demanding that he resign. Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin and Chief Fiscal Officer Christian Sobrino, who made a joke about “salivating to shoot” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in the leaked messages, have since resigned.Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean is diverting a cruise ship away from Puerto Rico because of unrest on the U.S. territory. The cruise line has changed the itinerary for the Empress of the Seas, which sails out of Miami. The ship was re-routed to Tortola, and the company will refund guests for shore excursions.The scandal comes as two other former top government officials from Mr Rosselló’s administration were among a group arrested by US federal agents last week and charged with conspiracy and fraud involving millions in federal funding.Mr Rosselló has apologised for the messages and said he respected the right to protest peacefully. He has also vowed to provide greater transparency and accountability to his government.In response to the scandal, the White House spokesman Judd Deere issued a statement, saying that the events “prove the president’s concerns about mismanagement, politicisation and corruption have been valid”.Despite the ongoing protests, Rosselló has said that he will not resign, stating that “more than ever, a lot of people are counting on me”.
Per WiderströmEastern European gambling operator Fortuna Entertainment Group (Fortuna) has confirmed that it has entered an agreement to acquire gaming systems provider Hattrick Sports Group (Hattrick) and its related assets outright.Fortuna governance chose not to detail the sum of acquisition for Hattrick assets, but stated that the purchase would ‘further strengthen Fortuna’s position as the largest licensed multi-channel sports betting and gaming operator in Central and Southeastern Europe’.The acquisition will see Fortuna takeover Hattrick’s Romanian betting operator Casa Pariurilor. Furthermore, Fortuna will now enter the new markets of Croatia and Spain, taking on the Hattrick assets’ of Prva Sportska Kladionica PSK the second largest Croatian bookmaker. Fortuna will further takeover Hattrick’s equity in Spanish joint-venture Luckia.Updating investors on the firm’s corporate acquisition of Hattrick assets Per Widerström, CEO of Fortuna Entertainment Group stated“The acquisition of Hattrick Sports Group is a key milestone in Fortuna Entertainment Group’s plans of becoming ‘The No.1 licensed multichannel betting and gaming operator in Central and Eastern Europe’ as well as a testament for our value creation strategy. Our intention is to retain the Fortuna and Casa Pariurilor brands in Romania as well as PSK and Hattrick in Croatia. On a regional level, we will combine the best of both companies with the aim to create more exciting offers for our customers, better opportunities for our employees and business partners, thus increasing value for our shareholder”Carsten Sundberg, CEO of Hattrick Sports Group commented on the sale “The combination of Fortuna and Hattrick Sports Group has a compelling logic and aligns strategically very well. The transaction will add significant geographical reach and market diversity to Fortuna and will allow the group to further strengthen its position in the core markets and beyond,” 140 Industry leaders join SBC Digital Summit speaker line-up April 3, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon SBC Digital Summit: A crash course in adaptability and resilience April 27, 2020 Related Articles Share Share Fortuna completes Playtech IMS upgrade for Polish profile May 7, 2020
Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 Interwetten named main sponsor for Greek Super League August 4, 2020 Share Related Articles Unibet and bet365 shared top billing for May’s biggest match on bettingexpert, with both bookmakers accounting for 10.29% of the tips on last month’s Madrid derby at the Bernabeu.The pair made up the top two for each of the top five matches on bettingexpert, which also included both matches between Monaco and Juventus, San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards. Interwetten was a surprise inclusion in the top three for the Real vs Atletico match, with 6.86% of the tips on the Champions League semi-final first leg.Bet365 also came out as the favoured bookmaker for 1×2 Champions League punters in the UK, while Serbia, which last month came out on top for Champions League tips from a country not represented, showed an overriding preference for the 1×2 market in the competition (33.3%).Meanwhile, Marathonbet was the top choice for the 1×2 Champions League market in Spain, a country which has claimed the last four titles since Bayern Munich’s 2013 triumph at Wembley.Despite sharing its big match dominance with bet365, Unibet was the market leader in two of the biggest overall markets in France, with 36.8% of the over/under bets and 31.6% of the 1×2 bets for last month’s Champions League action.
Susan O’Leary, AlderneySusan O’Leary, CEO for Alderney Gambling, talks about her favourite new technology, and what impact it will have on the sector.Travelling is a big part of my role as CEO for Alderney Gambling. While long haul travel does have its downsides, the upside is that I attend most of the industry’s conferences, from G2E Asia to the Georgia Gaming Congress via ICE Totally Gaming and WrB Africa in Kenya.While attending these events, I often speak on panels and take part in debates, or can be found on the Alderney stand discussing the jurisdiction, making new connections and building on existing relationships.I also take the time to meet with other exhibitors, share our experiences and learn from each other more about the ideas and technology shaping the future of online gambling.What a bright future it is. One of the key emerging trends is automation, with developers and suppliers bringing a host of products and services to market that allow operators to streamline the day to day running of their businesses. One area of focus is sports betting, and the role of traders.Most sportsbook platforms now boast powerful algorithms that can generate real-time odds for hundreds of markets across thousands of contests from matches and leagues all over the world. It is the driving force behind in-play betting, with odds and markets changing in the blink of an eye.In some respects, we are witnessing the rise of the machines, with artificial intelligence and machine learning playing a more central – some say sinister – role in the behind the scenes tech powering most modern sports books. As computers become every smarter, their use will become more ubiquitous.This also extends to blockchain, and the potential it has to fully automate banking and payments.While learning more about these platforms and tools, I began to wonder what they mean for traders in the long-term. Will their roles become surplus to requirements; their duties taken over by machines? Or will the human touch always be required? It seems like more of the latter and less of the former.While computers and algorithms do most of the heavy lifting, traders will always be required to check numbers are being crunched correctly and to be on standby to take over in the case of a malfunction or downtime. Traders are also required to devise bespoke markets, or one-off odds – something machines can’t do so easily.When it comes to payments, transactions may become ever-more automated, but checks and balances will always have to be carried out using the human eye.Operators will undoubtedly be keen to move towards fully automated systems; they allow them to drastically reduce staffing costs and, as the technology improves and algorithms become even more complex and intelligent, deliver a faster, more efficient experience to their players.On the customer side, the industry continues to push the boundaries. A hot topic at the moment is voice activation, and how it can be leveraged to allow consumers to place bets without having to use their fingers. It’s early days for the tech, but already operators such as Betfred and Stoiximan are experimenting.Voice activated betting makes it easier for punters to place bets, as well as communicating with bookmakers. The Betfred app allows players to request odds and ask for upcoming fixtures; this allows the operator to talk to their players directly and provide a truly bespoke service.Of course, you can’t discuss the tech shaping the future of the online gambling industry without mentioning virtual and augmented reality. Suppliers are going all out for VR, with most putting the finishing touches to bold new games that move the needle in terms of tech, design, and player experience.I believe VR will play a major role in the online gambling industry, simply because it offers consumers a more immersive, engaging and ultimately fun experience. Sure, it will take time for devices to become mainstream, but if mobile is anything to go by VR goggles will be found in most households by the end of the decade.It is a very exciting time for the online gambling industry. The more I travel and the more I get to see what is in store, the more passionate and energised I become about tech, gaming and gambling. Betfred extends World Snooker Championship deal until 2022 August 17, 2020 Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 Betfred boosts US racing coverage with XB Net deal renewal August 10, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Submit
Dave McDowell, FSB: Hitting the bullseye during the global sports blackout June 8, 2020 Share Submit Share John HaganSeeking to enhance industry advertising standards and promotional best practices, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has published its new ‘Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising‘ guidelines document.The document forms part of the IGRG’s ongoing industry code, which seeks to be implemented by the end of 2017.Presenting its third edition, the Code was originally produced in 2007. The second edition of the Code introduced in 2016 a range of additional measures and included a commitment to an ongoing review process.In the document, IGRG details new guidelines and amendments for the promotion of gambling services. These include several measures designed to limit promotional exposure to minors on social media channels such as Twitter and YouTube. Furthermore, IGRG requires for all references to GambleAware to be changed to www.begambleaware.org.Edition three has seen the IGRG place a significant emphasis on affiliate marketing practices and partner compliance with operator marketing. ‘For the first time a specific reference to the need for all operators to do their best to ensure that any affiliates that market on their behalf also complies with the requirements of the Code.’Commenting on the advertising reforms, John Hagan IGRG Chairman said:‘The advertising of gambling has probably never been more in the spotlight than it is at present and we await with interest the eventual conclusions of the ongoing DCMS review. In the meantime, pursuant to our own commitment to review the Code on a regular basis, I am glad that we have brought forward now some very worthwhile additions relating to advertising on social media, affiliate marketing and the referencing of www.begambleaware.org in print and broadcast advertising.’ StumbleUpon Better Collective Spotlight: How Betarades.gr is driving engagement through YouTube July 30, 2020 Footstock signs Chris Kamara as new brand ambassador August 18, 2020 Related Articles
Related Articles Share Submit Betsson rolls out new Group Affiliates site August 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Share The affiliate sector has been shaken up by a growing wave of consolidation, combined with increased regulatory responsibilities and levels of compliance placed on affiliates.Ahead of the London Affiliate Conference (LAC), we caught up with Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard to discuss the state of the market, along with the importance of industry gatherings, and what he thinks will be the industry buzzword at this year’s event.SBC: How important is Better Collective’s presence at industry gatherings such as LAC?JS: It has always been important to present at industry gatherings, like LAC, for a variety of reasons. A fundamental motivator is of course networking – it is important to not only meet new people within the industry, but also to maintain the strong working relationships we already have with our partners.With our industry being completely digital, a lot of partners and companies are operating around the globe and rarely get facetime with the people they are speaking to daily. Global meetups, like LAC, are the perfect way to reconnect and bring our industry beyond the screen.Additionally, every one of these events are physical representations of how our industry is evolving. For Better Collective especially, we are proud to exhibit with a state-of-the-art booth at LAC, having previously exhibited at BAC 2017.With the affiliate conferences having predominantly been a place for operators to exhibit, and affiliates meeting them on their home-turf, the notion of us exhibiting illustrates how the affiliate industry is truly maturing, and how we are becoming an integral part in the entire iGaming industry.SBC: Given the increased regulatory responsibilities and levels of compliance placed on affiliates, has entering the market become less attractive?JS: I do not believe it has become less attractive, but it has become more difficult. For smaller affiliates trying to enter the market, the resources needed to assure compliance are not always available. When that happens, the small affiliates are leaving themselves vulnerable to being disconnected from their operator partners.However, affiliates that enter the market that put their energy and focus on remaining compliant will be able to profit in the long term, as they will be favoured by operators in the end. Plus, with the industry maturing, we are seeing a lot of larger affiliates acquiring smaller ones—and for those smaller affiliates looking to sell, having a compliant approach to the industry is a beneficial selling point.SBC: What do you think will be the industry buzzword at LAC 2018?JS: I think the buzzwords for LAC this year will be a continuation of the trends we saw happening last year: Compliance and M&A. It seems that these topics have been dominating the headlines in recent times, and I have a feeling they will continue throughout the year. On top of that, I think there will be chatter about the upcoming World Cup, and how everyone is preparing for one of the biggest iGaming events on our collective calendars.SBC: What are your key objectives for this year’s event?JS: My key objectives for LAC this year are all based around remaining in touch with the industry as it currently stands, and how I see it progressing. I hope to meet with the many old friends and partners that I have been seeing at these events for over 10 years now.Now that we have a booth at the event again, I’m looking forward to inviting existing and prospective partners to our meeting rooms—both to catch up on life, as well as share ideas on how we can collaborate in the future. Plus, with our aggressive M&A strategy going strong, LAC is a great time to meet with potential sellers or be introduced to those who are interested in joining our Collective. Better Collective Spotlight: How Betarades.gr is driving engagement through YouTube July 30, 2020 Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020
Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 Related Articles Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Share Share Submit SAZKA faces scrutiny following appointment of Flint Global as National Lottery advisor August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Shimon Akad – Playtech PlcFTSE gambling technology group Playtech Plc has confirmed that it will expand and upgrade its existing lead supplier relationship with Central and Eastern European (CEE) betting group Fortuna Entertainment Group. Updating the market, Playtech announces that Fortuna has approved the roll-out of its ‘IMS – player management platform’ to be integrated across its properties operating in the markets of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Croatia.The systems upgrade sees Playtech become lead technology partner for Fortuna across all its operating markets, enhancing a partnership which began in 2016 servicing the Czech Republic and Romania.Utilising Playtech systems and provisions, Fortuna saw a 93% increase in total stakes to just over €2 billion in 2017, driven primarily by online growth.A pleased Shimon Akad, COO of Playtech, commented on the extended arrangement: “This is a significant agreement for Playtech and FEG. The extension and expansion of our partnership highlight both the success we’ve had and the further growth we see ahead. This is a perfect example of how Playtech technology leads the way when it comes to enabling operator growth across regulated markets, and a further reflection of our role as the infrastructure of the industry.”Per Widerstrom – Fortuna EntertainmentPer Widerstrom, Group CEO of Fortuna Entertainment, backed the extension of Playtech as technology partner, as the CEE gambling group expands its profile and properties across new markets following a transformative 2018 incorporating the assets of Hattrick Sports Croatia and Fortbet Romania.“When we first partnered with Playtech, we stated our aim was to become the leading betting and gaming operator in the CEE region,” said Widerstrom. “Having achieved this ambition, we will continue looking to grow and build our offer further in new and existing regulated markets.“Our close partnership with Playtech will continue to be crucial in delivering on this strategy and delivering an industry leading omni-channel approach to our players.”
Share Submit Interwetten signs Yakubu as first Nigeria ambassador July 14, 2020 Interwetten named main sponsor for Greek Super League August 4, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Interwetten extends sponsorship for two Bundesliga Clubs June 4, 2020 Sports betting and online gaming operator Interwetten has targeted €100 million in gross gaming revenues (GGR) for 2019 after reaching €47.7 million for January to June (H1).Interwetten confirmed that Q2 revenues had increased by 27 per cent to €25.2 million, while the year to date (YTD) total of €47.7 million was up by 24 per cent from the corresponding period in 2018.Dominik Beier, Speaker of the Board at Interwetten, said: “Due to hard team-work we have reached the best numbers in the company’s history for H1 2019. We haven’t reached the ceiling at all yet though, further improvements will make Interwetten shine even brighter in the future.”Assisted by a drop in marketing spend, which was down 38.5 per cent year on year (YOY) – to €4.8m or 19.1 per cent of the GGR – due to last year’s World Cup in Russia, Q2 2019 EBITDA was up 12x to €7.6m.Despite the World Cup being in the comparative trading period, the company was pleased to report that Q2 sports GGR had ‘inched’ up nearly 3 per cent YOY to €10.6 million.However, the number of first-time depositors (FTDs) did suffer a drop through a reduced marketing spend, down by 20 per cent to 16,564. CPA was down by 24 per cent to €290.Despite this Q2 reduction, FTDs for H1 still came out 7 per cent ahead of last year (36,000 YTD), while CPA was down 21 per cent to €325.Lapping the World Cup period, and taking into account the inflated number of FTDs last year, H1 actives were unsurprisingly 13 per cent lower at 111,000. Average revenue per user (ARPU) was ahead by 43 per cent to €430.Meanwhile, gaming revenues jumped by a huge 58 per cent to €13.9 million, while other revenues were deemed as ‘flat’ for YOY in H1.
Spelinspektionen reminds operators of AML responsibilities July 2, 2020 LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Submit Jesper Svensson – BetssonThis weekend sees Betsson debut as the lead sponsor and betting partner of the Svenska Hockey League (SHL), Sweden’s highest tier of professional ice hockey.Secured in 2018, Betsson replaces state gambling monopoly Svenska Spel as the SHL’s main sponsor, undertaking the group’s ‘biggest ever sports sponsorship commitment’.The partnership sees Betsson undertake a number of responsibilities, moving its sponsorship ‘beyond brand coverage’ as the Stockholm-listed online gambling group will directly invest in all fourteen syndicated SHL clubs.Furthermore, Betsson will work with SHL management in the development of community-led directives seeking to improve the development and access Swedish ice hockey across all-levels of society.Ahead of this Saturday’s opening SHL matchday, Jesper Svensson, CEO of Betsson Group, commented: “We are incredibly proud to be able to support SHL and the clubs once more. We are now strengthening the good cooperation that we have built over the years.“We will continue to be the most engaging partner and certainly the most passionate one about hockey. In short, this means that we will have the best betting offers on SHL and strengthening the coverage of the league with exciting and unique content.”Operating as one of the biggest brands in Sweden’s re-regulated online gambling marketplace, Betsson underlines that its SHL partnership will be driven by fair-play and transparency, with a commitment to guaranteeing the best average payout for SHL throughout the season.Backing Betsson as lead partner, Michael Marchal, CEO of SHL, added: “For us, it was given to partner with Betsson once more. Last year they showed us that they are a truly dedicated partner to SHL – in which they produced the very appreciated web-series “Fimpens Resa”, SHL Bibles, and also the commendable #Målcirkeln “the Goal Circle” – a charity initiative that donated money to a number of associations, including some outside of hockey. We, therefore, look forward for better joint initiatives that can delight our supporters and increase interest in SHL for new audiences.” Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Share