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Hard Rock International Unveils Full-Scale Model of its World-Class Entertainment Resort Concept to Japan

Zoltan Tundik

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Rendering of Hard Rock Japan's World-Class Entertainment Resort
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Hard Rock Japan Announces Multiple Partnerships and Exclusive Japan Distribution Rights with Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment for the Broadway Musical, King Kong

Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International, revealed a full-scale model of Hard Rock Japan’s World-Class Entertainment Resort concept during Hokkaido’s Integrated Resort Showcase on January 9. Key elements of the design include monorail access from Chitose International Airport, Hard Rock’s signature guitar-shaped hotel, a Four Seasons Resort, a Hard Rock Live venue, multipurpose Broadway-style theaters, a state-of-the-art wellness center and more than 215,000 square feet of world-class retail and dining space. The new design also features an authentic Ainu village experience, designed to help raise awareness for the local indigenous Ainu people and educate those who visit the proposed Japan Hard Rock Resort destination in the city of Tomakomai.

Allen also announced other key partnerships, including:

  • New York Yankees – Expanding on its 12-year relationship with the New York Yankees, Hard Rock International will be looking to expand its NYY Steak concept and New York Yankee experience at its proposed Hard Rock Resort Destination in Tomakomai, Hokkaido Japan.
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts – Hard Rock will be working with HPL Hotel and Resorts in Asia to bring the Four Seasons experience to Hokkaido.
  • NEC – Hard Rock International will bring the latest facial recognition and security services to its integrated resorts development project in Hokkaido.
  • Music Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame – Hard Rock International will work to bring praise and awareness to the musical accomplishments of Japanese, Asian and global artists.
  • Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment – This partnership will bring premier Broadway Theater to Japanese Audiences, including exclusive rights to their latest debut, King Kong.

“Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment has a long history of working in Asia, and we are extremely excited about partnering with Hard Rock International,” said Robert Nederlander Jr., chairman and CEO of Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment. “With Hard Rock’s 35 years of business experience in the Japan market, we look forward to developing a premiere world-class Broadway theater in Hokkaido, so both Japanese and international visitors can enjoy a variety of popular theatrical shows throughout the year.”

In addition to announcing Hard Rock’s partnership and development plans at the Hokkaido Integrated Resort Showcase, Allen announced its participation in Hokkaido’s world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary. In commemoration, Hard Rock Japan is constructing a massive snow sculpture, towering over four stories and showcasing famous Japanese animated rock star Hatsune Miku — a full 3D holographic ‘Vocaloid’ who appears in concerts all over the globe and is accompanied by a live band performing in sync to her performance.

Allen also took time to personally thank Yoshikazu Nonomura, chairman and CEO of the Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo Professional Soccer Club, on Hard Rock’s recent top sponsorship with them and to wish them a successful 2019 season. It was at this time that Allen contributed a personal check of $100,000 to the team’s Hokkaido Earthquake Charitable Relief Fund, which provides direct aid to Hokkaido residents who suffered losses in the massive September earthquake.

“For more than 45 years, our motto ‘Love All – Serve All’ has been a focal point of our company — making Hard Rock one of the most recognized and respected entertainment brands around the world,” said Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International. “We are extremely excited about the prospect of introducing our Hard Rock family to the people of Hokkaido, Japan with this world-class entertainment resort. It will not only bring economic benefits to the local community, but also act as a gateway to learn more about the wonderful heritage of Japan and all that it has to offer.”

For more information about Hard Rock or Hard Rock Japan, visit HardRock.com or HardRock.co.jp.

Hard Rock International
With venues in 75 countries, including 183 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise and Hard Rock Live performance venues. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including LondonNew YorkSan FranciscoSydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic CityBaliCancunDaytona Beach, Ibiza, OrlandoShenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include, MaldivesManilaMalagaGeorgetownFortalezaRosario and Chengdu. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include BerlinBudapestDublinLondonLos CabosMadridMaldivesNew York City, Ottawa, SacramentoDalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.

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Video: Presentation of LeoVegas by CEO Gustaf Hagman

George Miller

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Video: Presentation of LeoVegas by CEO Gustaf Hagman
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Presentation of LeoVegas by CEO Gustaf Hagman. The first quarter, the situation today and an outlook.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Gambling Sector: ConnectPay Calls to Fortify Payment Security as Industry Fraud on Rise

George Miller

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Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Gambling Sector: ConnectPay Calls to Fortify Payment Security as Industry Fraud on Rise
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Online gambling has increased during the pandemic. Evidently, so did the illegal activity related to the industry. Scammers are abusing the vulnerability of the circumstances, which is reflected by the rise in financial fraud and exploitation schemes. ConnectPay, an online banking service provider, encourages businesses, especially the ones considered to be higher-risk, to make the security of payment transactions their top priority in order to build trust with new and existing clients, and protect them from falling victim to fraudulent payments.

Illicit activity concerning monetary transactions has been a long-standing issue for the virtual gaming industry even prior to the pandemic, with financial crime estimated to be at $2.1 trillion per annum. That said, the COVID-19 crisis has brought new challenges as new fraud schemes started to plague various markets. This has influenced some countries, fearing an increase of illicit activity in online gambling, to issue tighter measures for the vendors to protect consumers during the lockdown.

“The increased online gambling sessions correlate with the noticeable jump in payment transactions”, explained Liutauras Varanavičius, Head of Business Development at ConnectPay. “When comparing data from January with the stats from April, we have noticed a 30% increase in gambling-related transactions. Even though it’s hard to predict how prolonged will the aftermath of the pandemic be, the necessity of instating more precautionary measures to support secure payments is too apparent to be left unaddressed.”

The surge of online gambling activity has greatly increased the public’s exposure to digital risks. While others are capitalizing on the crisis, businesses have to face the conundrum on how to disassociate from the perpetrators, remain credible and retain their target audience.

“The spike in fraudulent financial activity could hit the sector even harder than others: it’s already under a magnifying glass due to the nature of acquired revenue, thus any association with financial fraud could be leveraged as a pretext to revoke acquired licenses and restrict business”, said L. Varanavičius.

As the global health crisis continues, the need for reliable security measures and prevention of illicit financial flows will only continue to grow. Implementing timely and adequately prepared safeguards to combat arising threats is paramount, as, until brick-and-mortar casinos are once again operational, gambling industry relies on digital-only vendors.

Preserving secure payment transactions could be the difference between remaining operational or having to close up shop. The pandemic has already hampered AML supervision and presented new threats that could aid criminals in avoiding customer due diligence. However, having acknowledged current obstacles enables businesses to evaluate measures that would help avoid being juxtaposed with illicit activity and choose partnerships accordingly.

To keep the scammers at bay, ConnectPay continuously invests in innovative fraud prevention solutions, latest AML safeguards and other smart tools, helping companies in underserved markets to maintain credibility and keep the associated risks to the bare minimum. Furthermore, the company places high emphasis on a thorough screening process: this prevents taking on clients involved in unethical business practices, limiting the grounds for financial fraud. In 2020, ConnectPay is planning to invest additional 750 thousand euros in Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism compliance solutions.

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International Game Technology PLC Releases Notice of 2020 Annual General Meeting and 2019 Annual Report and Accounts

George Miller

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International Game Technology PLC Releases Notice of 2020 Annual General Meeting and 2019 Annual Report and Accounts
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International Game Technology PLC announces that it has today published its Notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) and 2019 Annual Report and Accounts for the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. IGT provided information for the AGM, which will be held at IGT’s Registered Office, Marble Arch House, 66 Seymour Street, Second Floor, London, W1H 5BT, on June 25, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. British Summer Time (BST).

The Notice of the AGM and the 2019 Annual Report and Accounts can be found in the Investor Relations section of www.IGT.com, along with IGT’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 20-F. These materials can be viewed online and are also available for download in PDF format. IGT’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 20-F was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 3, 2020 and is accessible at www.sec.gov.

2020 AGM and COVID-19  

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with latest UK Government’s measures to restrict travel and public gatherings of more than two people, the AGM will be restricted to two attendees (for example, the Chairperson and one other Director), both of whom will be shareholders for the purposes of forming a quorum, in addition to the usual supporting staff, reduced to a minimum and bound to the strictest observance of the Governmental recommended precautions. The Company advises that other shareholders must not attend the AGM in person. Any other shareholder above the number necessary to form a quorum seeking to attend the AGM will be refused entry.

The AGM will be restricted to formal business only, and resolutions will be put to a vote on a poll. All shareholders are encouraged to vote using proxy voting in accordance with the instructions printed on the proxy form. Shareholders are strongly advised to appoint the Chairperson of the meeting as proxy to ensure their vote is counted. Details on how shareholders can vote via a proxy are available in the Notice of the AGM and in the accompanying proxy form. Proxy votes should be returned by 3.00 p.m. (BST) on June 23, 2020, in line with the requirements set out in the Notice of the AGM.

As usual, the results of voting on the proposed AGM resolutions will be published after the AGM and will be available on the Company’s website.

Shareholders can send any questions relating to the business of the AGM in advance of the meeting to the Company Secretary, International Game Technology Plc, Marble Arch House, 66 Seymour Street, Second Floor, London, W1H 5BT or [email protected]  Answers will be published as soon as possible in the Investor Relations section of www.IGT.com.

Further AGM updates  

Shareholders should be aware that arrangements for the AGM may change at short notice. The Board will keep the COVID-19 pandemic in consideration and recommend that shareholders continue to monitor the Company’s website and announcements for any updates in relation to the AGM.

 

About IGT :

IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivalled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.IGT.com.

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