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SAZKA Group teams up with Sir Keith Mills in bid for Fourth UK National Lottery Licence

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SAZKA Group teams up with Sir Keith Mills in bid for Fourth UK National Lottery Licence
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SAZKA Group, Europe’s largest lottery operator, today announced it has appointed Sir Keith Mills as Bid Chair of the UK team for the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition. Sir Keith, a successful entrepreneur whose creative talent conceived the loyalty programmes so ubiquitous today, brings a wealth of experience from his roles across sport, charities, and business. He played a pivotal role in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and subsequently, their successful staging. For the past six years he has chaired the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a role he hands over to Lord William Hague next month. He is also Chairman of the Invictus Games, the international adaptive multi-sport event created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

Commenting on the announcement, Sir Keith said, “I am driven by organisations that make a real contribution to society. I chose to team up with Sazka for the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition because I believe the UK National Lottery needs to grow and be engaging if it is to continue to fund the thousands of good causes every year. Our lottery is a national treasure with nearly 26 years of history; however, the landscape has changed immeasurably since it was first launched back in 1994. The challenge now is to ensure the lottery connects with people right across the country, making it fresh and exciting as it once was, bringing new ways that are relevant for today and tomorrow’s generation. I feel passionately that it needs to be restored to the nation’s hearts, especially in these difficult times. I teamed up with Sazka because they have a proven record of taking established lotteries, growing them and evolving them to be relevant for the future. I am cognisant that much has to be done for us to make a winning case in this competition, but I believe that over the course of this process we will be able to demonstrate how Sazka’s expertise coupled with the experienced British team that we are building in the UK will offer the right stewardship for the UKNL for 2023 and beyond.”

As Bid Chairman, Sir Keith will lead a team with world-class bidding and delivery experience, including for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Comic Relief. Sazka has appointed former London 2012 employee, Alastair Ruxton, as the Bid Director, together with British experts in key areas such as Player Protection, Good Causes, Innovation, Digital, Retail and Customer Experience.

Commenting on the agreement, SAZKA Group CEO Robert Chvátal said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sir Keith Mills and have him lead our entry in the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition. We are hugely excited to be participating in this competition and for the chance to take stewardship of the National Lottery, helping the UK to fall back in love with this vital institution. Operating in five different national markets (Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus) has given us an unprecedented level of insight and experience in running lotteries. In addition, we have consistently increased participation and revenues for the lotteries we operate. We want to bring this deep knowledge and customer insight to revitalise the UK National Lottery increasing sales and money raised for good causes, thereby providing a much-needed long-term boost to community, arts, sports and heritage institutions across the UK.”

After submitting the Selection Questionnaire earlier this month, SAZKA Group has been accepted into the competition by the Gambling Commission, the body running the Competition. The team will now review the final bid application documents and continue to assemble a strong consortium capable of submitting a winning bid in 2021.

About Sir Keith Mills
Sir Keith Mills GBE DL is a British business entrepreneur who founded the Air Miles and Nectar customer loyalty programmes and has established numerous businesses, both in the UK and internationally.  In September 2003, Sir Keith was appointed International President and CEO of London 2012 established to bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Having won the bid, he established LOCOG to organise the Games, where he was Deputy Chairman alongside Lord Sebastian Coe.  In 2007 Sir Keith established an Olympic related charity, International Inspiration, which he chaired, and in 2008 he established a UK charity, Sported, which he funded and chaired for 10 years. In 2014 Sir Keith established, and was Chairman of, the Invictus Games, working with Prince Harry to deliver a new major international sport event for wounded servicemen and women.  Sir Keith Chairs the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Invictus Games Foundation.  Sir Keith is also a Director and an investor in a number of private companies.
Sir Keith has received numerous awards including: Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Chief Executive of the Year, and the Sports Industry Businessman of the Year, and was knighted by The Queen in 2006 and again in 2013 when he received the Grand Knight Cross for his services to sport.

About SAZKA Group
The SAZKA Group is a national lottery, instant lottery and digital gaming operator, with our trusted brands and industry-leading technology delivering over €17bn in annual sales. Established in 2012, SAZKA Group is already one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing lottery companies and our strong performance across our markets is helping to fund good causes in the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, and Italy.
Since entering the lottery market in 2012, SAZKA Group has quickly expanded from the Czech Republic into four other European markets. SAZKA Group has consistently taken on established lotteries and made them better, while also expanding into new market segments through market-leading technology platforms. The Group’s unique experience of operating in different jurisdictions enables it to adopt a tailored approach to customer experience in each market, helping to increase sales and returns to good causes.
Responsible gaming and funding good causes are at the heart of SAZKA Group’s business and culture. it promotes responsible gaming in all of its markets and is committed to having a positive impact where it operates. From building children’s hospitals in Greece to support for the Czech Olympic Foundation, SAZKA Group has put its business skills to the benefit of the local community.

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PayPal Introduces New Software to Help Block Gambling Transactions

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PayPal Introduces New Software to Help Block Gambling Transactions
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PayPal, one of the largest and most popular online payments services, has recently adopted new software to help give customers better control over their gambling habits. The software, developed by Gamban, allows users to set up a block to prevent their accounts from being used for gambling transactions. This move comes not long after the UK banned gambling sites from accepting credit card payments.

PayPal is widely used around the world, processing over 3 billion transactions a year, with a value of $311 billion US dollars. While the majority of these are for online shopping and other online purchases, the service is also used on gambling platforms. PayPal has become a popular way of making deposits and withdrawals at online gambling sites, as it’s fast, safe and easy to use. Users can create an account, add funds from their bank or card and then make simple online payments.

Because of how popular it is all over the world, most online gambling services accept payments made using PayPal. It’s used international, so a wide range of the best online casinos and sports betting sites offer support for PayPal payments. Most iGaming platforms advertise this fact to their users, letting them know they can sign up and easily make a deposit to start playing.

Why Does PayPal Allow Users to Block Gambling Transactions?

Although gambling is fun for most people, it can become a habit and even an addiction. There has been a strong push lately for iGaming sites to encourage responsible gaming, as well as offering support for those with a problem. Most iGaming licence providers will only offer licences to sites that protect players and encourage them to gamble responsibly.

One of the most effective ways of encouraging responsible gambling is giving users the ability to block transactions. Most sites will offer deposit limits that allow players to set how much they’re allowed to deposit each week or month. In addition, the UK recently banned all gambling sites from accepting payments from credit cards.

In 2019, PayPal reviewed its services and found that a significant percentage of transactions were used for online gambling. While this wouldn’t normally be an issue, the review also found that a lot of these transactions were linked to problem gambling. As such, it partnered with Gamban, a software provider, to introduce an automatic blocking system.

PayPal users can now go into their settings and set the service to automatically block all payments made to an iGaming site. This allows anyone with a gambling problem to easily refrain from adding funds to a gambling site if they’re trying to recover. In a statement, Gamban announced that the move was a welcome one that, along with self-exclusion and support, would give players a better chance of recovery.

What Does This Mean for the Future of iGaming Payments?

With gambling authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission now paying close attention to responsible gambling, iGaming sites need to be more mindful of what payments they offer and how they treat players. Additionally, payment services themselves need to consider the impact of allowing unrestricted gambling payments.

As software solutions improve, payment providers have more options that allow them to give players control over their spending habits. This software can automatically detect if a payment is made at any kind of gambling site, including those that are gambling-related. Users can set it to block transactions at gambling tip sites or other sites involved in iGaming.

Other payment services may also follow suit over the coming months and years, with most payment providers also wary about being associated with problem gambling. The more payment services that get on board, the better, as problem gamblers will be able to control their habits more easily and avoid falling into debt. 

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OKTO joins bacta

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OKTO joins bacta
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OKTO, the award-winning fintech specialist, has strengthened further its relationship with the UK market by joining the domestic trade association bacta. The announcement follows the appointment of experienced gaming industry senior executive Rob Peché to the position of UK Country Manager.

Simon Dorsen, CCO of OKTO, believes joining bacta reflects OKTO’s commitment to the UK industry and is indicative of the brand’s strategy moving forward. He explained: “Rather than being an arms-length technology provider OKTO’s approach is to immerse itself in the markets where it is active. The UK is one of the most important jurisdictions internationally and one in which the brand has rapidly achieved considerable success partnering with leading brands.

“Being a member of bacta places OKTO where we want to be, which is at the centre of all of the key discussions and debates surrounding payments in the UK gaming industry, across AGC, Bingo, Casino, LBO, Pub and Bar sectors.”

Simon added: “This is another example of our company showcasing its ongoing commitment to work with the local industry in order to provide safe, secure, and responsible payment solutions in the gaming, leisure and entertainment sectors.”

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Bali Confirmed as Host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals

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Bali Confirmed as Host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals
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Indonesia looks to set new standard of Esports competition at the 14th WE Championships

 The International Esports Federation (IESF) has confirmed that Bali, Indonesia will be the host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals. Bali was handed over the honors during a special ceremony following the conclusion of the 13th World Esports Championships in Eilat, Israel.

The 14th edition of the WE Championships Finals is slated for 27 November to 8 December 2022 and will feature the world’s best Esports athletes competing across multiple games on the beautiful island of Bali. Over 120 countries are expected to compete in the regional and national qualifiers for a coveted spot in the Finals. 

IESF President Vlad Marinescu congratulated host city Bali and said: “Big thank you to the President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and to the entire Indonesian team here with us. We appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing the biggest and most inclusive World Esports Championships in history! We are bringing the largest and freshest sport to this beautiful tropical destination for the first time.”

IESF has staged the WE Championships every year since 2009, and it remains the sole international Esports event where athletes represent their countries. After a successful 2021 edition, the World Esports community looks to come back even stronger and generate more international opportunities and media exposure for the sport in the lead-up-to and during Bali 2022. 

Indonesian Olympic Committee Commission Chairman Desra Firza Ghazfan said during the press conference: “Bali is the island of GOD, it’s always been the melting pot of rich traditional and modern culture. Now with the 14th World Esports Championships happening in Bali, Bali is the melting pot of the past, the present and the future. I would like to welcome you all to Bali 2022 and to meet with our 45 million players in Indonesia. Be prepared and let the best win!”

 

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