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World sports bodies raise concern over Kenya copyright bill

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World Sports Bodies raise Concern Over Kenya Copyright Bill
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The Kenya Copyright Board (KeCOBO) champion of the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) initiative, has come out in support of the SROC letter
NAIROBI, Kenya, February 15, 2022/ — A coalition of global sports bodies has written an open letter to the Kenyan government, expressing concern about the Copyright Amendment Bill currently before parliament, and its potential impact on the availability of international sports content in Kenya.

The Sports Rights Owner Coalition (SROC) is an alliance of more than 50 international and national sport bodies, representing some of the world’s leading sport codes and competitions – including the English Premier League, the FA Cup, Wimbledon, MotoGP, and the Rugby World Cup.

In the recent letter, signed by Chairman Mark Lichtenstein, the SROC says its members are “extremely concerned” at changes that will be made to Kenya’s Copyright Act if the Copyright Amendment Bill becomes law.

The SROC is particularly worried about proposals to repeal sections 35B, 35C and 35D of the Copyright Act, which allow for take-down notices issued to internet-based service provider platforms which enable content piracy to flourish.

A take-down notice is a widely used remedy employed by copyright owners worldwide, compelling online platforms to rapidly remove content from their websites if it is suspected that the content infringes copyright.

The Kenya Copyright Board (KeCOBO) champion of the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) initiative, has come out in support of the SROC letter.

“Take-down notices are a critical tool for copyright holders and related rights holders to fight digital content piracy by controlling the distribution and economic viability of their work and how it is accessed online,” says Edward Sigei, KeCOBO Executive Director.

“Across the world, they help to safeguard the intellectual property rights of sports rights owners. If rights owners cannot request that pirated sports content is taken down immediately, that will threaten the future of live sports broadcasts in Kenya. Why would international sports media allow sports broadcasts in Kenya, if they have no way of stopping them from being pirated!”

Kenya’s 2019 Copyright Amendment Bill, incorporates principles from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Internet Treaties of 1996, aimed at preventing unauthorised access to and use of creative works. Takedown notices are among these principles and are necessary tools to enforce copyright protections for rights owners and distributors.

If the Amendment Bill is passed into law, Kenya will be out of step with global trends, the average Kenyan will lose out on great sports entertainment. A further negative consequence of this Amendment Bill passing would be the reputational and economic investment quagmire it would create is jeopardising Kenya’s ability to renew participation in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Agreement (AGOA) program, as one of the additional provisions of renewal requires a demonstrated commitment to copyright protection as a prerequisite to signing. Repealing section 35 of the Copyright Act, would do the exact opposite and threaten investor confidence.

The SROC points out that in Europe, policy makers are strengthening not weakening the effectiveness of take-down notices, particularly regarding live content. New proposals to protect live content more effectively in Europe are expected in the first half of 2022.

“Were the Copyright Amendment Bill to be enacted, it could have devastating consequences for both the Kenyan economy and Kenyan consumers,” says the SROC letter. “Rights holders from sport and other creative industries are extremely unlikely to license their content in a jurisdiction that effectively legitimises piracy. Consumers would therefore be deprived from watching their favourite sports and television shows, and leave Kenya isolated on the global copyright stage.”

The coalition – which includes the English FA, UEFA, the IAAF, and the International Tennis Federation – goes on to ask that the proposed new law be urgently reconsidered “so as not to harm Kenyan consumers and threaten the availability of sports and entertainment content in Kenya.”

 

Africa

KingMakers’ Nigerian operating business, BetKing, selects Genius Sports to power growth with in-play trading services

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KingMakers’ Nigerian operating business, BetKing, selects Genius Sports to power growth with in-play trading services
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New partnership sees KingMakers’ BetKing business benefit from Genius Sports’ leading portfolio of in-play content in Nigeria, including football, tennis and basketball

Genius Sports Limited has today announced a new agreement to supply KingMakers, one of the fastest-growing group of betting operators in Africa, with a range of in-play trading services.

The deal sees BetKing power its live betting product with ultra-fast venue content for the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, English Football League, FIBA basketball and every other major European and South American football league.

Genius Sports will also provide BetKing with its market-leading trading services which include modelled odds feeds for major football competitions.

With in-play sports betting growing rapidly across Africa, fast and accurate odds are vital to maximising revenues by increasing the availability of betting markets.

Tim Smeets, Trading Director at Kingmakers said “We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with Genius Sports. Their trusted trading solutions, including low-latency in-play content on crucial football leagues like the Premier League, will enable us to offer market-leading betting experiences for BetKing users in Nigeria.”

Will Westcott, Head of Business Development at Genius Sports said “Every year, we continue to invest in delivering the highest-quality trading services for the African market. With the value of in-play betting growing across Africa, we’re excited to help BetKing execute its online sports betting vision in Nigeria, by providing it with the fastest, most reliable live content on the market for major sports.”

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Africa

‘Supa’ Celebration as Hacksaw Gaming Takes First Steps into South African Market with Supabets

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‘Supa’ Celebration as Hacksaw Gaming Takes First Steps into South African Market with Supabets
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After nearly a year in making, both Hacksaw Gaming and Supabets are reaping the rewards of their partnership this week! As of the 30th March 2024, Supabets’ players now have access to a  plethora of Hacksaw games at their fingertips, and their platform currently stands as the only place players can access our games in South Africa.

The South African market has been on our radar for a while now, but like all good things, this partnership took time, refinery and hard work from both parties. A relatively new market to our expanding industry, but with the potential to be one of the most lucrative we’ve seen in a while. Needless to say, we are thrilled to now be a part of it!

Household Hacksaw names such as Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild and The Bowery Boys are now available for Supabet users, and we’re ‘supa’ excited for South African players to immerse themselves in the true Hacksaw experience for the first time ever. But we’re not stopping there. As a homage to this new partnership, we’re planning on increasing our portfolio to over 30 of our games by August, and there are even whispers of game exclusives for South Africa in the future.

Supabets, founded for the people, have been at the forefront of promoting innovative and dynamic experiences for their customers since 2008. Head of Product at Supabet, Bavu Mpama, couldn’t contain his excitement on this recent launch – “What a ride it’s been trying to make this all possible, with the help of the Hacksaw team we are now able to launch one of the best providers in the market at Supabets. It’s been incredible to see the growth of the iGaming industry in South Africa. It’s a huge moment for Supabets, our customers and the iGaming industry in South Africa. We cannot wait!”

“It’s a thrilling expansion into a new region for Hacksaw Gaming, one that I’m confident will see mutual growth of both Hacksaw and Supabets.” Marcus Cordes, CEO of Hacksaw Gaming stated that “as always, our focus remains on delivering the Hacksaw quality we’re known for. Supplying unique and innovative content  that is not only visually stunning, but provides players with inventive mechanics that they know and love us for.”

Looking towards that stunning South African horizon, we’re certain that this is just the beginning of what we can provide to this new region of Hacksaw Gaming enthusiasts.

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Africa

ESA Gaming adds to Africa presence with multi-country Betway deal

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ESA Gaming adds to Africa presence with multi-country Betway deal
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ESA Gaming, the innovative games provider, has signed a significant commercial deal with leading global online betting and gaming brand Betway, to bolster its reach across the African continent.

The agreement will see an initial tranche of top-performing content, including Mine and Crash games, go live across key targeted markets, such as Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi.

The tie-up with the Super Group-owned brand has significantly boosted ESA Gaming’s footprint in Africa.

The continent has emerged as a key target for the provider, with its array of light-weight games proving extremely popular in markets where mobile connectivity speeds may vary wildly.

Thomas Smallwood, Chief Commercial Officer at ESA Gaming, said: “Betway is a brand with a large global presence, and we’re delighted to expand across Africa with this latest partnership.

“Our products have been immensely well received across the continent and we look forward to bringing our games to Betway’s player base.”

Laurence Michel, CEO of Betway in Africa, said: “ESA Gaming’s mobile-friendly portfolio continues to resonate well with players across the continent, and we’re very pleased to launch their top-performing titles to our customers in five of our key markets in Africa, further enhancing our offering with unique and popular content that we know our customers will enjoy the experience of playing.”

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