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French star Sarrazin completes Veloce Racing driver line-up

George Miller

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French star Sarrazin completes Veloce Racing driver line-up
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  • Versatile French legend joins W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick for Season One
  • Sarrazin aiming to add Extreme E success to impressive career CV
  • Cross-country specialist Lance Woolridge appointed reserve and development driver

Veloce Racing has completed its driver line-up for the inaugural season of Extreme E, after signing successful French all-rounder Stéphane Sarrazin to partner reigning W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick. In support of this duo, South African cross-country and off-road specialist Lance Woolridge joins the team as reserve and development driver.

Sarrazin has enjoyed a long and diverse career in the sport, and arrives at Veloce boasting an impressive résumé. Whilst perhaps best-known for his sportscar racing exploits – with six podium finishes in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, two Le Mans Series titles and multiple victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship to his name – he has a far more versatile CV than many of his Extreme E rivals, which should serve him well in the pioneering new electric off-road racing series.

In 1999, Sarrazin contested the Brazilian Grand Prix and continued to carry out Formula 1 testing duties until the end of 2002. Four seasons in the FIA Formula E Championship yielded three rostrum visits and 21 points finishes, while in 2011 and 2012, he tested his mettle in Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship.

Since 2004, the Gard native has also made successful appearances in the FIA World Rally Championship, increasingly honing his off-road expertise. From 22 starts at the highest level, he has achieved ten points-scoring results – highlighted by a brace of fourth places – and in both Germany and France in 2005, he finished just one position behind Subaru World Rally Team stablemate and 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg.

Sarrazin’s first international rallying triumph came on the 2014 Tour de Corse – the finale of that year’s FIA European Rally Championship season – and from three Monte-Carlo Rally outings as part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, he has never finished lower than fourth, with a podium to his credit in 2009. That experience makes him well-equipped indeed to deal with the variety of surfaces and conditions competitors are likely to encounter in Extreme E.

Stéphane Sarrazin, Driver, Veloce Racing, said:

“I am delighted to have agreed terms with Veloce Racing to contest the first season of Extreme E. This is a hugely appealing new series that has already attracted a lot of international attention – and all before the racing has even begun! As a driver, the concept is tremendously exciting and motivating – both on a competitive and personal level – and the challenge will be like no other.

“I’ve driven a lot of different types of car during my career, but the ODYSSEY 21 really is something special and it’s going to generate some incredible action. When we went testing together, it did not take me long to ‘click’ with the Veloce Racing guys – like me, they arrive in Extreme E with a lot of experience from different disciplines in the sport, and that can only be to our advantage over the forthcoming campaign. I can’t wait to go racing!”

Sarrazin and Chadwick will be supported throughout the forthcoming campaign by Lance Woolridge, who has established a fearsome reputation for his off-road endurance skills in his home country.

Born into a motorsport family – his father Neil Woolridge is a multiple cross-country champion on both two wheels and four, and tackled the iconic Dakar Rally in 1998 and 1999 – Woolridge already has 12 seasons of competition under his belt at the age of just 29. Not only that, but he has been breaking records every step of the way, including becoming the youngest driver in South African history to win a national championship cross-country event.

One of the leading protagonists in the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS), he secured consecutive Class T championship crowns in 2018 and 2019.

Lance Woolridge, Reserve and Development Driver, Veloce Racing, said:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Veloce Racing as reserve and development driver. Having tested the ODYSSEY 21 a couple of times now, I can vouch for the fact that it is a seriously impressive piece of kit and I’m confident that my background in cross-country rallying and with similar vehicles will enable me to offer valuable feedback to Stéphane, Jamie and the engineering crew. I’m looking forward to playing a key role behind-the-scenes to help give the whole Veloce Racing team the best possible chance of success.”

The 2021 Extreme E season will travel to five remote locations around the world, all of them damaged by climate change, as the series aims to shine a spotlight upon global environmental issues. The action will begin in AlUla, Saudi Arabia (3-4 April) before moving on to Dakar, Senegal (29-30 May), Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (28-29 August), Para, Brazil (23-24 October) and Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina (11-12 December).

Ian Davies, Team Manager, Veloce Racing, said:

“We are delighted to announce Stéphane as our male driver for the first season of Extreme E and to confirm Lance’s reserve and development role within the team. Both of them tested with us at MotorLand Aragón last month, and to be honest, they gave us a real headache in terms of who to choose. Since we didn’t want to lose either, in the end, we decided to sign them both.

“Both Stéphane and Lance worked extremely well with Jamie and Veloce’s engineering team at the test, and their different skillsets and experience complemented each other perfectly. Stéphane is very much an all-rounder – a master of endurance racing but also clearly extremely adept in sprint and off-road competition – while Lance is well-accustomed to vehicles like the ODYSSEY 21 from his cross-country racing and has a very well-developed mechanical understanding.

“Both guys were quick out-of-the-box in Spain, and we believe both will bring a great deal to Veloce Racing as we aim to hit the ground running in Saudi Arabia. We are confident that with Jamie and Stéphane driving and Lance working hard behind-the-scenes, we have a very strong team indeed.”

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Cloudbet Enhancements Take Aim at Professional Sports Bettors

George Miller

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Cloudbet Enhancements Take Aim at Professional Sports Bettors
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Cloudbet, the pioneering bitcoin casino and sportsbook, has unveiled a raft of new features, including a world-first rollout aimed at professional sports players.

In a first for bitcoin betting operators, Cloudbet will grant all customers and affiliates open access to its machine interface (API), allowing them to more closely integrate their activities with the operator’s sportsbook.

This feature is geared towards professional sports bettors, and, at a minimum, will allow players to see changes in market odds at a vastly accelerated rate. Meanwhile, a partner API tier allows other bookmakers to interface with Cloudbet to manage their customer liabilities.

Other Cloudbet enhancements announced today include:

  • Sportsbook: Easy to edit “My Favorites” section, an updated bet slip that accommodates more parlay flexibility, and “Money Talks,” a feature that highlights for selected events any divergence in opinion between market odds and actual bets placed.
  • Casino: More variety and flexibility in bonus activations, and a new bonus reward for deposits greater than 20 euros.
  • Fiat currency integration: Players can now deposit and bet with US dollars, Canadian dollars and euros.

The wave of improvements comes hot on the heels of a milestone 2020 for Cloudbet, during which the operator integrated six new cryptocurrencies and added features including esports, politics betting, virtual sports, social-media bet sharing and easy credit-card coin purchases.

“We had a busy year, and we continue to raise the bar for ourselves,” a Cloudbet spokesperson said. “We’re constantly looking for ways to provide players with the best bitcoin betting experience in the world.”

Founded in 2013, Cloudbet established itself as one of the world’s leading bitcoin betting operators, with a reputation built on unparalleled security and speedy withdrawals. Cloudbet’s sportsbook has made a name for itself with its low-margin odds on a multitude of markets around the world, while the Cloudbet casino has hundreds of slots and a live-dealer experience with all classic table games.

The operator now supports betting in nine cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, USD Tether, USDC, Pax, Pax Gold, Dai and Link.

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EGT Interactive Expands its Partnership with Senator

Niji Narayan

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EGT Interactive grows Croatia footprint with Adria Casino content deal
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EGT Interactive has reinforced its position in the Croatian iGaming market through a partnership with Adria Casino Croatia under Senator’s brand.

The deal is a logical expansion of the long-term collaboration between the gaming equipment manufacturer EGT and the land-based casino operator Senator. Now their success is transferring into the iGaming industry.

Croatia is a successful market for EGT Interactive, and the provider continues to increase its presence by adding Senator to its market’s client portfolio. Through its vast experience in the iGaming market, EGT Interactive has grown significantly over the years to become an industry leader in this territory.

Senator already released some of the provider’s top-notch content. The impressive collection of online video slots that are already available for the players includes titles like Burning Hot, Great 27, Frog Story, Rise of Ra, Shining Crown and many more.

“Senator is a well-known brand in Croatia with an impressive reach on the market. We are certain that the well-known portfolio of EGT games in Croatia will additionally support the growth of the online brand of Senator and bring great results for both of us,” Todor Zahariev, Managing Director of EGT Interactive, said.

“We are happy to expand our collaboration with EGT Interactive to an exciting iGaming market and we believe that together we can achieve the best results and ensure the growth of our companies, both in the Croatian and international market,” Dimitar Deskoski, CEO of Senator Croatia, said.

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Denmark’s Gross Gaming Revenue Down 8.7% YoY in 2020

Niji Narayan

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Denmark’s Gross Gaming Revenue Down 8.7% YoY in 2020
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Denmark’s gross gaming revenue has declined 8.7% year-on-year in 2020. The closure of land-based gambling facilities, coupled with the cancellation and postponement of many sports events, is the reason for the revenue decline.

Figures released by the national gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden showed that revenue in 2020 amounted to DKK6.00bn (€806.7m), down from DKK6.57bn in the previous year.

Online casino overtook sports betting to become the primary source of gambling income, for the first time since regulation, with revenue here rising by 4.5% to DKK2.45bn. Spillemyndigheden said this was due to players switching to iGaming while land-based facilities were closed, but noted that the 4.5% increase was lower than the average annual increase of 13.0% since regulation in 2012.

Sports betting revenue declined 8.9% year-on-year to DKK2.29bn, while retail slot machine revenue dropped 29.3% to DKK986.0m. Revenue at land-based casinos was also down 31.7% to DKK239.0m.

“One might have expected that there would have been a marked increase in online casino games when the physical gaming halls and casinos were closed down and the opportunities to bet on sports were severely limited,” Anders Dorph, Director of Spillemyndigheden, said.

“However, that is far from the case. Although online casino increased a bit, it is the smallest increase since 2012, and it therefore far outweighs the massive decline we have seen in the other areas.”

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