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Affordability checks will undermine the safer gambling success story, argues Gambling Business Group CEO, Peter Hannibal

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Former Gambling Commission executive joins the GBG
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Peter Hannibal, chief executive of the cross-sector Gambling Business Group, has warned that the introduction of affordability checks as proposed by the UK Gambling Commission, will jeopardise the current low incidence of problem gambling and in the process undo much of the positive work that’s been achieved by the industry in partnership with its regulator and the wider stakeholder community, including the safer gambling agencies and charities.

Commenting on the Gambling Commission’s proposal that players should be required to provide evidence of affordability based on the highly controversial creation of a monthly discretionary spend ceiling – a figure which the cross-party think-tank the Social Market Foundation has recommended is set at £23 a week (£100 pcm) – Peter Hannibal said: “I would like to stress from the outset that although the Gambling Commission’s affordability proposal has been framed in relation to online players, it would be naïve in the extreme to assume that the principles and philosophy will not be extended to all gambling entertainment activities across all verticals including Adult Gaming Centres, Licensed Betting Offices and Bingo Clubs in some shape or form.

“While this proposal is wrong on virtually every level imaginable, the biggest concern for all those who genuinely care about safer gambling and continuing the UK industry’s internationally acclaimed success story in consistently maintaining problem gambling levels to below 1 percent for the last three decades, is the impact affordability checks will have on driving players away from regulated and responsible sites to unregulated offshore sites.

He added: “Currently the demand to play on unregulated sites is limited but the unintended and I assume unforeseen consequences of affordability checks will be to create such a market and then to sustain it.

“Make no mistake, this is prohibition by another name and wherever you look in the world prohibition has never worked and will never work, more than often creating exactly the set of problems that it sets out to address.”

Hannibal believes there’s a danger a proposal of this significance does not receive the necessary degree of scrutiny particularly in relation to its’ impact on safer gambling. He explained: “In December I contacted DCMS regarding what I feel was a balanced and logical set of Terms of Reference for the Review of Gambling, but pointing out that it was illogical for the Gambling Commission to be continuing their own unilateral consultation into what it refers somewhat euphemistically as ‘customer interaction requirements and guidance’.

“I argued that it would be more logical to include any proposals for controls on consumption – that could have a profound impact on the public – as part of the Government Review. It would also be in the public’s interest for proposals for such intrusions into personal affairs to be subject to the same Aim and Objectives as those DCMS have set out for the Review of the Act which appear free of preconceptions and well considered.

“The affordability proposal raises a huge range of quite fundamental ethical, legal and practical issues – not least a precedent for state intervention in consumer spending alongside a quite startling presumption that gambling entertainment, enjoyed responsibly by 99 percent of consumers, represents a public health issue way beyond that of tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption or obesity. As such it merits much deeper, evidence-based scrutiny.”

Gaming

Brenda and John Romero to be presented with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at GamerFest for their outstanding contribution to the gaming industry

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  • 5,000+ gamers will gather at GamerFest in the RDS on October 22nd and 23rd to celebrate an epic weekend of gaming
  • Special guests lined up include content creators DeeBeeGeek, Antitinkerbell, Jamie Jay Car, The Gara Show,  Miss Audrey and many more

Gaming legends Brenda and John Romero have been announced as the recipients of the inaugural GamerFest Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding contribution to the gaming industry both in Ireland and internationally.

Brenda and John, founders of Romero Games, were chosen as recipients for this award as a result of their unparalleled success in the game development world and their tireless work supporting gaming related projects and initiatives in Ireland.

Brenda Romero is a BAFTA award-winning game director, entrepreneur, artist and is currently game director and creator of the ‘Empire of Sin’ franchise. She has worked on 50 games and contributed to many titles, including the well-loved ‘Wizardry’ video game and the ‘Jagged Alliance’ series. John Romero is an award-winning game designer, level designer and programmer who has worked on over 130 games including legendary games ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ and ‘DOOM.’

After visiting Ireland in 2014, the husband-and-wife duo decided to move to Galway permanently and founded Romero Games, a move that has transformed the gaming industry in Ireland by offering career opportunities in the sector and contributing to the overall growth of gaming in Ireland. The Romero Games team released ‘Sigil’ the unofficial fifth episode of the 1993 video game ‘DOOM’  in 2019 and ‘Empire of Sin’ in 2020 which was directed by Brenda herself.

GamerFest takes place in Dublin’s RDS on October 22nd and 23rd and promises to be a jam-packed weekend of all things gaming including the latest games, esports, VR, special guests and live stage content. 5,000+ gamers will gather to celebrate the weekend for the first time since Covid in the RDS.

As well as Brenda and John Romero, content creators DeeBeeGeek, Antitinkerbell, Jamie Jay Car, The Gara Show and Miss Audrey will be special guests at GamerFest, Ireland’s biggest gaming and esports festival.

GamerFest CEO Stuart Dempsey said:

“John and Brenda are absolute giants of the gaming world and we are incredibly excited to welcome them to GamerFest this year. We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of our inaugural GamerFest Lifetime Achievement Award. Since arriving in Ireland and establishing Romero Games, they have been wonderful supporters of the gaming community here, regularly making time in their busy schedules to support a huge array of gaming projects and initiatives. It’s fitting that they be honoured this way and we can’t wait to see them on the GamerFest Live Stage.”

Brenda and John Romero said:

“We are both so honoured to receive these awards, especially here in our adopted home of Ireland. The game development scene here is only going from strength to strength and we are delighted to be a part of it. More and more new developers join the industry each year, taught by the excellent institutions all around the country. We love seeing the excitement building as gaming gets bigger.”

GamerFest takes place at The RDS, Dublin this October 22nd and 23rd

with tickets on sale now at GamerFest .ie.

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Australia

Cricket NSW, Wanderers and Macarthur FC continue to help fans to reclaim the game

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Cricket NSW, Wanderers and Macarthur FC continue to help fans to reclaim the game
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Sports fans are set to enjoy more games free of sports betting ads with Cricket NSW and A-League football clubs Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Macarthur FC extending their partnerships under the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative.

CEO of Hospitality and Racing, Anthony Keon, said the extensions are a major boost for Reclaim the Game, which is challenging the idea that betting is a normal part of sport.

“The extended partnerships are a strong show of faith in Reclaim the Game as sporting franchises realise the importance of rejecting sports betting advertising and promoting gambling awareness among their supporters,” Mr Keon said.

“We now have fourteen teams from five codes turning down sports betting sponsorships and making gambling awareness and education an important part of their work.”

Cricket NSW’s two-year extension will see the rejection of sports betting advertising at home games of the men’s and women’s Big Bash teams, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder and also their state teams NSW Blues and NSW Breakers.

Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said the partnership extension would allow Cricket NSW to continue to make important inroads in helping to prevent – and reduce – the harm gambling can cause individuals, families, and society.

“Since joining forces with the Office of Responsible Gambling, Cricket NSW has made a meaningful contribution towards changing the community’s attitudes towards betting on sport,” said Mr Germon.

“We’re proud to be able to continue to play an active part in educating children that gambling is not a part of sport, and that gambling on sport is a bad bet.

“Cricket NSW will continue to do all we can to counter the constant sports betting advertising and the adverse effect it has on young people – young men, in particular – and their families.”

Western Sydney Wanderers’ partnership has been extended for a further two seasons and includes the women’s team for the first time, while Macarthur FC has signed on for an extra season. These extensions will be in place for the upcoming A-league season which kicks off on Friday 7 October.

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO Scott Hudson said he was proud to be continuing the relationship for the next two seasons.

“It is important for us to have an impact beyond the field and together with Reclaim the Game we have brought awareness of the impact that sports betting can have in professional sport,” said Mr Hudson.

“We are delighted that this partnership has now extended to our A-League Women’s team, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Reclaim the Game over the next two years.”

Macarthur FC Group CEO, Sam Krslovic said “We are proud to continue our partnership with Reclaim the Game and be part of this positive initiative. Our community wellbeing is our primary focus and we feel it is important to promote a healthy connection between our game and our fans.”

Mr Keon said Reclaim the Game partners play a vital role in educating fans, players and staff about the risks associated with gambling.

“Reclaim the Game is a great way to reach young men who are most at risk of gambling harm with an estimated 41 per cent of regular sports bettors experiencing one or more gambling-related problems,” Mr Keon said.

“Online sports betting is on the rise with one in 20 adults in NSW betting on sports and growing community concern that children and young people are being exposed to too much gambling advertising.

“Research shows that almost 50 per cent of 12–17-year-olds saw gambling advertising on television during sports and racing events on a weekly basis and almost 1 in 3 young people considered betting on sports to be normal.

“Reclaim the Game is about getting back to what sport is all about – watching, enjoying and cheering on your team without intrusive sports betting ads getting in the way.

“We are so pleased that Cricket NSW, Western Sydney Wanderers and Macarthur FC will continue to reclaim the game and provide a family friendly environment for their fans to enjoy games without being bombarded by betting ads.”

If you or someone you care about needs support or advice, please call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential help and support 24/7.

These Reclaim the Game partnership extensions come in the leadup to GambleAware Week, an annual initiative for the NSW community to raise awareness about the risks of gambling and gambling harm. GambleAware Week will take place from Monday 17 October – Sunday 23 October 2022.

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Genius Sports launches In-Play MultiBet for the next generation of same game parlay bets

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Genius Sports launches In-Play MultiBet for the next generation of same game parlay bets
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  • Genius Sports to provide sportsbooks with automated, AI-powered live odds enabling bettors to place same-game parlays during live play or game intervals   
  • The new product will be available for the FIFA World Cup, NFL, English Premier League and thousands of other official Genius events

Genius Sports Limited (“Genius Sports”), the official data, technology and broadcast partner that powers the ecosystem connecting sports, betting and media, has launched In-Play MultiBet, providing sportsbooks with a powerful new tool to engage players and grow revenues in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and ongoing NFL season.

Same-game parlay bets, which enable bettors to wager on multiple events occurring within the same game, have become an essential part of every major sportsbook’s offering, giving customer’s greater control over their bets and enhanced margins for the operators themselves.

Now, through In-Play MultiBet, these bespoke bets can be placed once the game has begun, enabling players to place bets after every goal, touchdown and during intervals.

Launched in time to give sportsbooks a new dimension at the FIFA World Cup, In-Play MultiBet is powered by the highest quality AI-powered live odds, tried and tested on Genius Sports’ leading LiveTrading service.

InPlay MultiBet will also be available across the NFL, English Premier League, Liga MX, and dozens of FIBA basketball and FIVB volleyball leagues worldwide.

“Combining same game parlays with the unstoppable growth of in-play betting is a breakthrough innovation for us and our partners,” said Jack Davison, Chief Commercial Officer of Genius Sports. “Starting with the biggest sports event of the year, the FIFA World Cup, InPlay MultiBet will enable our partners to unlock bigger margins and drive engagement between key match events and breaks.”

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