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UK Bookmakers Agree Cash Boost for Horseracing

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UK Bookmakers Agree Cash Boost for Horseracing
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Bookmakers in the UK have agreed to pay additional fees on existing streaming and data deals until December 2, to provide much-needed financial help for the horseracing sector during the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

The extra revenue from online operators will help racecourses to make up for some of the funding shortfalls caused by the widespread closure of betting shops in the UK and Ireland for the next month. Bookmakers agreed to similar increased pricing in June and July when betting shops were closed.

More than half of racecourses’ revenue comes from spectators, meaning the ongoing ban is crippling the sport – and putting the future viability of courses at risk unless the Government allows their return.

“We are very grateful for the betting industry to agree to paying increased fees for the next month, while most of Britain and Ireland will be locked down. Newbury Racecourse has long enjoyed valued partnerships with bookmakers, and we are of course looking forward to the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival this month,” Julian Thick, CEO of Newbury Racecourse, said.

“This additional funding will be much valued by racecourses but it won’t plug the hole left by lost revenues from LBO closures for the next month. Make no mistake, racecourses are really suffering at the moment, and the return of crowds is absolutely critical to us operating but we are grateful for betting industry’s support throughout the difficulties of the Covid-19 crisis,” Julian Thick added.

The close collaboration is evidence of the betting and gaming industry’s determination to help racing through the crisis. The timely support comes as racing fights to deal with the financial impact of the ban on spectators and the closure of betting shops.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “There has always been a close relationship between betting and racing. So, with the Government’s ongoing Covid restrictions affecting the sport so severely, it’s welcome that bookmakers are stepping up to further support the sport.

“This extra funding for streaming and data rights will undoubtedly help racing’s finances for the next month and I’m delighted to see BGC members assisting the sport in this way.

“We will continue to make the case to the Government that betting shops should be allowed to re-open, in line with the rest of non-essential retail, once the national lockdown ends, and that socially-distanced crowds return to race meetings as soon as possible.

“I’m equally sure that the whole of racing will be making the case ahead of the Government’s gambling review that a healthy betting industry is critical to the future of the sport.”

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PushFar and Limit Break team up to improve diversity in gaming industry

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PushFar and Limit Break team up to improve diversity in gaming industry
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PushFar, a mentoring and career progression platform, has partnered with Limit Break, a mentorship program in the games industry, to help improve diversity, inclusion and equality.

Limit Break is using PushFar’s platform to offer a mentorship program for underrepresented people working in the UK gaming industry. Recent figures show that 70% of people working in the gaming industry are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers, and that 10% of people are Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME).

Founder Anisa Sanusi established Limit Break in 2019 when she found it challenging to find a mentor in the gaming industry. She recognised the value of guidance and role models for underrepresented genders, LGBQT+ and people of colour, with representation in the workforce significantly below the national average of those in work.

Limit Break turned to Pushfar for a solution because the popularity of the mentoring program meant it was time consuming and required scaling. PushFar set up an accessible and intuitive platform, making it easy to match members based on their specific profiles, and allowing the program to have international reach. The platform also enables people to connect with people from specific backgrounds through a self-matching feature. Limit Break now has up to 700 people on their mentoring program, and has seen an increase in member retention.

Ed Johnson, CEO and Founder of PushFar, said: “Having a mentoring relationship is often noted as being one of the most beneficial things you can do for career development. Employees feel motivated and supported when they see senior leaders with whom they can relate. Limit Break has recognised the advantages mentoring can bring to their industry, and taken an active role in addressing diversity and inclusion issues through it. We’re delighted to be part of this solution and hope that our platform will help more people from under-represented groups join the games industry”.

Anisa Sanusi, Founder of Limit Break, said: “Actively mentoring candidates enables us to facilitate connections for a young workforce to those with experience. We want to help to keep the games industry rich with diverse talent and passion, and hope that our program will enable more people from under-represented groups to join the industry. Creating a mentorship program can be a time consuming and complicated task, but by using PushFar we’ve been able to make it simple and easy for everyone involved.”

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Compliance Updates

MGA | Updates to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive & Key Function Eligibility Criteria Policy

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MGA | Updates to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive & Key Function Eligibility Criteria Policy
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The Malta Gaming Authority is hereby publishing a series of amendments to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018). The amendments mainly relate to the following:

  • The overall number of key function roles and their underlying responsibilities;
  • The deadlines by when certain key function requirements are to be observed;
  • The persons who shall shoulder responsibility in the absence of duly appointed key function holders;
  • The manner and form in which declarations and assurances are to be made by auditors on behalf of licensees during submission of audited financial statements; and
  • The applicability of suspicious betting reporting requirements.

These amendments are being published together with a Policy on the Eligibility and Ongoing Competency Criteria for Key Persons. This Policy is intended to revise and collate the existing eligibility criteria while also introducing authorisation renewal requirements related to continuous professional development for existing key persons. Moreover, the Policy clarifies the MGA’s position regarding the compatibility of key function roles with each other in light of the amendments to the Directive.

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It’s Official! SoftGamings and Golden Hero Collaboration Is Underway

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It’s Official! SoftGamings and Golden Hero Collaboration Is Underway
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For SoftGamings, there are never enough good-quality game providers in its network, and the newest addition of Golden Hero is a testament to that fact.

Golden Hero is an Isle-of-Man-based operator known for its production and development of video slots and pachislos, a special series of slots based on Japanese pachinko games. The brand’s popularity in Japan and other Asian markets comes from its successful games and partnerships with the industry giants such as JTG. This success prompted it to seek a reliable aggregation platform to expand its reach beyond the existing markets, and SoftGamings was a natural choice.

All of Golden Hero’s games are created using the latest HTML5 technology, which focuses on mobile casino gaming. Even though its portfolio is not grandiose in number, the quality of the games it offers is undeniable. One of its most successful titles is the Battle Dwarf pachislo, voted the 2019 Game of the Year at Slotcatalog.com. Other player-favourites include Jewel Race, Hawaiian Dream, and many more.

Golden Hero is a game provider licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and certified by SIQ, which guarantees the fairness and safety of its games. In addition, the Gamesys Group, a company that owns Golden Hero, has recently been acquired by Bally’s Corporation, making Golden Hero a part of one of the world’s largest casino corporations.

Here’s what Irina Sazonova, the director of partnerships at SoftGamings, said when reflecting on the deal: “We are overjoyed to welcome Golden Hero to our fold and, with it, give our operators a chance to improve their game portfolios with exciting and never-before-seen titles. By working with us, Golden Hero will get a chance to expand to new markets and showcase its products in the best possible way, so this partnership is the essence of a win-win situation for all parties concerned.”

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