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Betting Shops in England Eligible for Grants of up to £6000 a Site in £5B Recovery Plan

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Betting Shops in England Eligible for Grants of up to £6000 a Site in £5B Recovery Plan
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The UK Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the announcement ahead of Wednesday’s Budget that non-essential retail businesses such as betting shops will be eligible for direct cash grants of up to £6000 per site, although the bookmaker trade body has reiterated its call for an extension of business rates relief for a further year.

Details of the grant scheme came as part of a series of announcements ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s annual budget speech, in which he is set to reveal a new grant scheme totalling £5 billion to aid the recovery of high-street businesses in England.

Nearly 700,000 shops, restaurants, hotels, hair salons, gyms and other businesses in England will be eligible for “restart grants,” to be distributed directly to firms by local authorities from April. It will replace the current monthly grant system.

Under the budget plans, non-essential retail will be eligible for direct cash grants of up to £6000 to help them start trading again when allowed to do so, while hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England – which will remain closed for longer under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown – will be able to apply for grants of £18,000 per site.

“The BGC would warmly welcome any additional support for betting shops, be that business rates or grants, particularly giving the pressure independent betting shops are under,” a spokesman for the BGC said.

Racecourses and bookmakers in England were given a clear set of dates to work towards for reopening last week when prime minister Boris Johnson gave the first details of a timetable for leaving lockdown.

Non-essential retail, which has for most of the pandemic included betting shops, will form part of phase two of the plan, with April 12 the provisional date for reopening if vaccination rates rise and hospitalisations drop sufficiently.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher has written to Sunak ahead of the budget setting out a five-point plan for more business support to “unlock the power of the high street and drive economic growth.”

Dugher said in his letter: “With premises shut for much of the past year, this would help protect jobs and remove a major financial pressure on businesses that have suffered a significant loss of income during the pandemic.”

Dugher pointed to the fact that licensed betting offices had been severely impacted by the various regional and national lockdowns over the past ten months, with revenues for this sector falling by 45% in 2020.

The letter also seeks assurance that funding for devolved administrations is made available to all business sectors in need. While businesses in England and Northern Ireland have benefited from business rates relief since last April, the Scottish and Welsh governments took the decision not to provide support for gambling companies.

“The UK Government’s backing for business stands in stark contrast to the refusal of the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland to offer business rates relief to our members,” states the letter.

“This has sadly had a disproportionate impact on our smaller independent businesses, many of them family run, which have faced making staff redundant and an uncertain future.”

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MERKUR UK strike 3-year University project to research next-generation gaming technologies

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MERKUR UK is pioneering the development of the gaming machines of the future following a partnership agreement with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

A group of ten students from the University’s technology department will participate in the three year project entitled ‘The next generation of gaming technology’.

The research project will explore machine design, the use of composite materials to reduce manufacturing and transport costs and how AI can be applied in predictive machine maintenance.

Sascha Blodau, General Manager at MERKUR UK said: “I am delighted to confirm this dynamic project which will bring a fresh and exciting perspective on how technology can be deployed to develop the next generation of gaming machines.”
He added: “This type of collaboration is a first in the UK land-based sector and the outcomes could well have profound implications for the way in which gambling entertainment is delivered to and enjoyed by players.”

MERKUR UK joins an illustrious list of UCLan research partners which includes NASA, the English Football Association, the Professional Golfers Association and the International Olympic Committee.

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FeedConstruct Extends Partnership with ECL Beachtour for Exclusive Streaming and Data Collection Rights

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FeedConstruct Extends Partnership with ECL Beachtour for Exclusive Streaming and Data Collection Rights
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FeedConstruct is excited to announce the prolongation of its partnership with ECL Beachtour, securing exclusive international streaming and data collection rights for the prestigious beach volleyball tournament series.

Under this renewed partnership, FeedConstruct will provide comprehensive coverage of all five events held in Zurich, St. Gallen, Basel, Luzern, and Bern, ensuring that fans do not miss any of the thrilling matches. The exclusive rights will enable FeedConstruct to deliver high-quality streaming and precise data, offering in-depth insights into the matches.

The Swiss ECL Beachtour, established in 1996, is renowned as the highest national tournament series in beach volleyball in Switzerland and is considered one of the best beach volleyball tournament series worldwide. ECL Beachtour is especially popular among spectators, with an average attendance of 5,000 people per tournament.

FeedConstruct’s partnership extension with the Swiss ECL Beachtour highlights the company’s dedication to providing fans with exceptional access to premier beach volleyball content. This collaboration is set to bring the excitement and energy of beach volleyball, solidifying FeedConstruct’s position as a top sports streaming and data provider.

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BETCORE Announces Partnership with Unliment

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BETCORE Announces Partnership with Unliment
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BETCORE is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Unliment, a leading provider of sports betting and iGaming solutions. This strategic collaboration promises to deliver unparalleled entertainment and innovation to players worldwide.

Unliment is renowned for its innovative solutions, offering a full range of products and services, including Sportsbook, RNG & Live Dealer Casino, Skill Games, Virtual Sport, and more. Their latest innovation, the limitless Bonus Engine, revolutionizes player rewards by creating multistep awards at every point of the player’s journey.
As part of this exciting partnership, Unliment has seamlessly integrated BETCORE’s TVBET and FASTSPORT verticals into their comprehensive iGaming platform. This integration enhances Unliment’s offerings, providing players with an even richer gaming experience.

Danuta Janicka-Mierzwa, Deputy Head of Sales at BETCORE, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We’re thrilled to partner with Unliment and integrate our TVBET and FASTSPORT verticals into their cutting-edge iGaming solutions. This partnership signifies our commitment to delivering unparalleled entertainment and innovation to players worldwide.”

This collaboration marks a significant milestone for both BETCORE and Unliment as they embark on this exciting journey together. Players and partners can look forward to more groundbreaking developments and enhanced gaming experiences in the near future.

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