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Tabcorp Awarded New 20-Year Victoria Licence

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Tabcorp has been awarded the new 20-year Victorian wagering and betting licence by the Victorian government, commencing from August 2024.

The new licence comes without a racing industry joint venture or obligations, ending the current agreement with the Victorian Racing Industry.

Tabcorp said that had the licence terms been applicable in FY23, it estimates the licence would have generated group EBITDA of AU$531m and EBIT of $282m on a pro-forma basis, representing an uplift of $140m and $132m, respectively.

Tabcorp will pay a $600m licence fee to the Victorian government on June 28 before 19 annual payments of $30m to commence in August 2025, with the company planning to use existing debt facilities to fund the 2024 payment.

Tabcorp said the licence will result in a “level playing field in Victoria,” with it paying wagering taxes and racing and sports product fees “on the same basis as other wagering operators.”

Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp’s managing director and CEO, said the new licence “directly addresses the structural reform required in the modern wagering environment.”

He added: “This announcement continues the strong momentum of our transformation. We are a faster, simpler and more nimble company.

“We’re delivering on what we promise and offering our customers a better experience with faster speed to market and an attractive product offer.

“We are pleased to have worked with the Victorian government on a retail and tote licence that appropriately takes into account the structural changes created by the proliferation of online bookmakers licensed in the Northern Territory.

“This is a strong licence for the modern era and is the prototype moving forward – it ensures a safe wagering ecosystem for the community and incorporates stronger protections to ensure genuine retail exclusivity.”

Australia

Australian eSports Star Joins Team Liquid

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Excitement in the global Counter-Strike community is reaching fever pitch as fans gear up for the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2024.
Sixteen teams will compete in groups of four to claim six spots in the Fall Final. Those who fail to qualify will be entered into the 2024 BLAST Premier Fall Showdown in August.
There have been plenty of changes in the build-up as teams finalise their rosters. One move that stands out as a potential game-changer is Justin ‘jks’ Savage’s addition to Team Liquid.
Roster changes can easily be the difference between glory and despair, and Savage’s move to Team Liquid is undeniably a statement of intent.

 

Savage Ready to Make an Impact

Savage is widely regarded as one of the best players on the Counter-Strike scene. He brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of performing at the highest level.
The Australian eSports star is renowned for his exceptional aim, versatility, tactical brilliance and clutch potential.
His addition to a team already boasting the firepower of Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic, Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken, and Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis is an exciting prospect for Team Liquid.
Savage has been a key player for several top-tier teams, including Renegades, 100 Thieves, FaZe Clan, and Complexities.
His experience, ability to adapt to different roles and composure under pressure make him a valuable asset for Team Liquid, bolstering their lofty ambitions ahead of the tournament.
The 28-year-old finished in the top three in six of his last nine S-Tier Counter-Strike Global Offensive tournaments. He claimed the top spot in four of those six podium finishes, emphasising his exceptional skill and consistency at the highest level of competition.
While it remains to be seen if he can translate those performances into Counter-Strike 2, all eyes will be on the Australian as he bids to cement his position as a powerhouse in the gaming scene.
Savage’s addition to Team Liquid will attract the attention of the gambling community in his homeland, with eSports enthusiasts keen to see if he will live up to expectations at the Fall Groups.
With betting agencies in Australia expanding their offerings to encompass eSports competitions, Savage will likely be a popular option for punters over the next few months.
Team Liquid could also be the perfect platform for Savage to remind the eSports scene of his remarkable abilities as a Counter-Strike star.
The world-renowned gaming organisation has won five LCS titles, and their Counter-Strike Global Offensive team was awarded the Intel Grand Slam prize in 2019 after winning four tournaments in just 63 days.
Team Liquid will fancy their chances of claiming glory at the Fall Group 2024, and Savage is poised to play a key role in their lofty ambitions.

 

Roster Changes Galore as Teams Prepare for Fall Groups

There has been a whirlwind of activity during the off-season, with teams making changes in preparation for the upcoming BLAST Premier Fall Groups.
Liquid were one of the biggest movers in the off-season as they were forced to make two changes after benching ‘cadiaN’ and ‘skullz’.
The latter subsequently joined FURIA, with Liquid recruiting Polish gamer Roland ‘ultimate’ Tomkowiak as a replacement. Danish Counter Strike 2 coach Torbjorn ‘mithR’ Nyborg has also joined.
It will be interesting to see how Liquid performs on the big stage, especially Tomkowiak, who was a relatively unknown quantity before joining the team.
While Liquid’s shake-up was a major talking point, German organisation G2 eSports made a move poised to send shivers down the spines of old-school Counter-Strike fans.
G2 has brought back the legendary duo of ‘Snax’ and ‘TaZ’. Both players haven’t played together since ‘TaZ’ left Virtus.pro in 2018, making their reunion a major headline for the upcoming season.
Cloud9 made the most changes during the off-season. After a disappointing run, they have recruited three new players in a massive rebuild for the organisation.
After a one-year hiatus, ‘Interz’ returns to the team and will be joined by fresh firepower in ‘ICY’ and ‘HeavyGod’. Cloud9 will hope their revamped roster can halt their recent barren streak.
Continuing their recent trend of utilising international talent, BIG has recruited ‘rigoN’ to strengthen their line-up. The organisation traditionally favours an all-German line-up, but their recent move suggests a commitment to building a roster capable of landing the championship this season.
The departure of ‘HeavyGod’ left a big hole in OG’s line-up. Instead of replacing him directly, they freed up ‘k1to’ for fragging duties.
With ‘Snax’ departing for G2, GamerLegion wasted no time naming a new leader with the addition of highly-rated Swedish player ‘ztr’.
The final off-season reshuffle saw HEROIC replace ‘nicoodoz’ with ‘degster’ after an extended break. He could provide the firepower needed to propel the team to the top of the charts.

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Australia

ACMA Blocks More Illegal Gambling Websites

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block more illegal gambling websites, after investigations found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

The latest sites blocked include Richard Casino and Wanted Win.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal gambling services. This action can be taken if a service is:

  • providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia (such as online casinos, online slot machines and services that allow in-play online sports betting)
  • providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to customers in Australia (such as online betting services that don’t have a valid Australian licence)
  • publishing ads for prohibited interactive gambling services or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services in Australia.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 1,011 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.

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Australia

The Star Shuts Down EGMs and ETGs at All Three Australian Casinos Due to “System Performance Issues”

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Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and electronic table games (ETGs) at all three of Star Entertainment Group’s Australian casinos remained offline on Monday following what it describes as “system performance issues” related to the introduction of cashless gaming technology. The machines had gone dark on Saturday evening.

According to information released by the company via an ASX announcement, the issue relates to planned upgrades to The Star’s systems in readiness for the introduction of cashless gaming.

“Certain of The Star’s systems have been disrupted due to system performance issues identified in post-upgrade testing which resulted in the decision to switch off all Electronic Gaming Machines and Electronic Table Games in each of The Star’s three properties from 10:00 pm onwards on 13 July 2024 until the issue is resolved,” Star said.

“The decision was taken by The Star to ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and to maintain the company’s commitment to safer gambling procedures.”

Star explained that it is working with its systems provider Konami to address the issues but said its properties – Treasury Brisbane, The Star Gold Coast and The Star Sydney – remain open with table games still operational.

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