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YGAM announce new Board members

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YGAM appoint new Board members
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The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has welcomed three new Trustees to its Board as part of a commitment to diversify leadership at the charity.

The Charity Commission has confirmed the appointments of Christina Okorocha, Anne Casey and Kwaku Owusu-Ansah. The additions are the result of a targeted recruitment drive with the objective of attracting education specialists as well as young professionals from ethnic minority communities.

Christina Okorocha, 27, is a successful entrepreneur who founded VAMP, the first agency to solely focus on the representation and development of black digital talent in the UK. Christina also launched TAG, a network for young black professional, creative and entrepreneurial women. She is an ambassador for the ‘Mayor’s Fund for London’.

Christina said: “I am honoured and excited to join YGAM as a trustee. I look forward to using my digital marketing experience and network to support YGAM in engaging and reaching vulnerable people and those from diverse communities.”

Anne Casey joins the YGAM board after over 30 years of education experience as a teacher, principal, local authority officer and senior civil servant. From 2013-2016, Anne was the Founding Principal for the UTC in Media City UK in Manchester, taking it from vision to reality. Anne is now a director of her own company, ACE Limited, an educational solutions company supporting MATs, free schools, universities and school boards. She is also a part-time Department for Education Adviser.

Anne said: “We have seen the power of technology in education, especially over the last year, and want to ensure that all young people understand their digital footprint and the lifelong impact of the choices they make. Every child should be entitled to live a healthy, safe, secure and well-educated life and I want YGAM to make a major contribution to that.”

Kwaku Owusu-Ansah is a recent Mechanical Engineering (MEng) graduate From University College London and he is currently working as an analyst in the Structured Finance, Investment Banking Division of Japanese bank, MUFG. Kwaku is a keen gamer and former footballer having played for Millwall FC, Leyton Orient FC and Colchester United FC.

Kwaku said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the board and being part of the YGAM journey. What YGAM has accomplished so far is fantastic. I think it’s important to continue to tackle the issues faced by young people caused by gambling and gaming. I’m a big gamer myself and I definitely believe more can be done to safeguard young people online and address issues such as excessive spending on loot boxes and gaming addiction.”

YGAM’s Chair, Mike Wojcik, welcomed the new board members saying: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have such talent joining the Board at such a pivotal time for YGAM. As we ambitiously look towards the future and develop our new strategic plan, it’s critical the make-up of our Board and team has greater representation and insight of our society. They all bring something different to the Board, which goes beyond the typical skills and experience, and we are already benefitting from their energised perspective.”

All members of the YGAM Board are independent from both the gaming and gambling industry and offer their time voluntarily. The new board will lead the charity through its continued growth and build the organisations strategy for the coming years.

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BALLY’S CORPORATION ACQUIRES USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DEGREE 53

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BALLY’S CORPORATION ACQUIRES USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DEGREE 53
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Bally’s Corporation announced its acquisition of Degree 53, a Manchester, UK-based creative agency that specializes in multi-channel website and personalized mobile app and software development for the online gambling and sports industries. The agency’s award-winning approach and diversified skillset will advance Bally’s global omni-channel offering, providing key functionality for integrating Bally’s various mobile platforms. Degree 53’s team of 54 design and technical experts will continue to operate out of its Manchester studio.

Adi Dhandhania, Chief Operating Officer – North America, Bally Interactive, the Company’s digital division, said, “We are delighted to welcome Degree 53 to the Bally’s family. As we prepare to launch our Bally Bet 2.0 mobile sportsbook app early next year, we look forward to leveraging the Degree 53 team to develop our mobile sportsbook products and enhance our customers’ overall betting experience.”

Degree 53’s team offers a range of services, including sportsbook and casino mobile app and website development, complex system integration, data feed management, and API development. By delivering customized technology solutions, Degree 53 will enhance Bally’s diversified mobile platform, which includes integration to the Gamesys Group’s player account management and iGaming solution, in addition to supporting key audience engagement initiatives with Monkey Knife Fight and SportCaller. Degree 53 will also support product development as part of Bally’s media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“We have ambitious plans for our multi-faceted sports offering as we strive to appeal to new audiences across North America,” said Raja B-Sheikh, Senior Vice President of Sports Products for Bally Interactive. “The Degree 53 team arms us with a unique perspective and skillset that will further advance not only the core Bally Sports product, but also our ambitious plans for innovative and connected experiences. I am excited to work closely with the team as they contribute to our quest of making Bally’s the number one destination for gaming entertainment.”

Richard Wagstaff, Managing Director at Degree 53, said, “Degree 53 was founded in 2013 to provide creative and innovative online and software solutions for the online gaming industry. We are pleased that Bally’s has recognized the differentiated approach that we bring to the market and to join with them during such an exciting period of the Company’s evolution. This is an exciting time for online gaming and the sports betting industry, and we look forward to immersing ourselves in the diversified projects that Bally’s provides.”

Degree 53 has worked with some of the largest companies in the betting and gaming industry, including Betfred, Scientific Games, FDJ Gaming Solutions, Penn National and GBG, as well as Gamesys brands Vera&John and Rainbow Riches. Degree 53 holds the Remote Gambling Software license from the UK Gambling Commission, which allows the organization to build and adapt gambling software for the UK licensed operators. They are also an Associate Member of the European Lotteries.

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eSports

Eight partners on board for BLAST Premier’s return to arena events at November’s Fall Final

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Eight partners on board for BLAST Premier's return to arena events at November's Fall Final
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BLAST Premier teams up with Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Xbox, OMEN, Stimorol, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen ahead of next month’s Fall Final in Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena

BLAST Premier has brought on board eight new partners ahead of next month’s highly-anticipated Fall Final (24-28 November) – the esports tournament organiser’s first LAN event in over 20 months.

Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Xbox, OMEN, Stimorol, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen will all team up with BLAST Premier ahead of the long-awaited return of fans and physical events at Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena venue in late November.

The return of arena events with spectators provides a number of exciting in-person opportunities to engage and excite BLAST Premier’s Counter-Strike community at the first LAN event since the London Spring Series in February 2020.

Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk and Xbox team up with BLAST Premier for the first time, with the three brands making their first move into Counter-Strike, while the remaining line-up of partners have a strong history with the Copenhagen-based event.

Greater Copenhagen and BLAST Premier worked together to create Counter-Strike’s first ever live in-game prediction tool for last year’s Fall Final and will be sponsoring their first BLAST Premier event next month.

KPMG, OMEN and Stimorol will be partnering with BLAST for a third event – following last year’s online Fall Final and the 2019 Pro Series in Royal Arena. November’s tournament will be Elgiganten’s second event after the 2019 Pro Series.

All partners will be activating at BLAST Premier’s eagerly-anticipated return to LAN events at November’s Fall Final – via a number of fan engagement initiatives, giveaways and designated spaces at the venue to activate around on top of digital branding that will reach BLAST’s global audience watching from home.

The eight brands will join current partners, Betway, CS.MONEY, EPOS, SteelSeries and L33T Gaming – taking BLAST Premier’s portfolio of partners for the Fall Final to 13 in total.

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming a great, diverse line-up of partners for the BLAST Premier Fall Final in Copenhagen – one of Counter-Strike’s most eagerly-anticipated events of the year. We look forward to creating new activations and content together while capturing the huge fan excitement around BLAST’s return to LAN events and the iconic Royal Arena in November. The return of fans and physical events means we can provide our partners with further value and opportunities to engage and interact with the audience in-person.”

The Fall Final is BLAST Premier’s sixth event of the 2021 season and will see eight of world’s best CS:GO teams fighting it out for $425,000 in prize money along with a place in December’s World Final.

Full list of partners for the BLAST Premier Fall Final: Betway, CS Money, EPOS, SteelSeries, L33T Gaming, Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, OMEN, Stimorol, Xbox, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen.

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Top Interesting Facts About Online Casinos in Czechia

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Photo source: vegasslotsonline.com
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Whenever someone discusses a topic of gambling we usually immediately think of the US and Las Vegas. However, the majority of gambling activity actually happens online nowadays and it’s a very popular hobby in Canada, Australia, and all over the world in fact. Czechia is another country where this hobby is really popular, and there are some interesting facts about online gambling here.

The Czech Republic also has a strong community that enjoys online gaming. They have a big eSports audience, lots of people who love to bet, and among other things gamble online. So, let’s go over some of the interesting facts related to online casinos and the Czech Republic.

History of Gambling in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic became indecent back in 1993, and yet its gambling laws were in place even before that happened. In 1990 the only approved activities that were regulated by the government were lotteries. This changed in 2012 when the country decided to modernize its outdated laws.

Their new Gambling Act at that time actually allowed for online casinos to operate and accept their citizens as players. The condition here was that the operators had to have a land-based institution on the territory of the Czech Republic. In 2017, online sites that are based in the Czech Republic were made legal, and they didn’t have to have a land-based establishment. However, you will see that this act isn’t actually too lenient on the operators, especially when it comes to their expenses.

Legal Status of Online Gambling

As mentioned it’s legal to maintain an online casino here and to gamble online. That’s not all though, as users are allowed to gamble in institutions that belong to foreign operators. Even sites that operate illegally are not banned here, but players access them at their own risk. Luckily, they can find safe online casinos Czechia sites or available in Czechia by visiting other platforms that review those operators. This way they can ensure to benefit from different bonuses and promo codes, as well as gain access to more diverse gaming libraries.

Bonuses and Promotions

You might wonder why players from Czechia would even create an account with a foreign operator since it’s in their interest to support the local economy. Well, one of the main appeals of online gambling lies in bonuses and promotions, and that’s where things get tricky. The law here states that any operator licensed in Europe cannot offer bonuses or user incentives to attract new players. So, while some countries ban illegal offshore operators, and nobody considers it a big deal, for players in the Czech Republic it would actually be a big deal. They would lose access to some of the best promotions and cashback offers out there.

Revenue

One of the reasons why this country wants online casino operators to come here is because of the revenue. Casino gaming revenue from 2010 to 2017 increased by more than 100 million euros, and it made massive leaps ever since. In the year 2017, the revenue from online gambling was around 370 million dollars, and it continued to grow by around 16% on an annual basis. In the year 2019, the revenue from both land-based and online gambling was 1.36 billion euros. This is a huge deal which brings us to our next fun fact.

Taxing of Online Gambling Operators

Operators here pay massive tax on their income, 35% to be precise. In other words, more than a third of generated profits go to the government, which makes this industry in a way integral for their economy. Unfortunately, a lot of operators simply couldn’t put up with this tax and had to leave. Luckily, all of the reputable and well-established online gambling parlors are still around, and players can enjoy their content.

Number of Gamblers

In the Czech Republic you have to be over 18 in order to be allowed to gamble but the report from 2019 revealed that there are underaged gamblers in the Czech Republic. Now, this is pretty much the case in any country where gambling is legal, and it’s why this is a controversial topic. Still, almost 44% of people who are older than 15 gambled in the year 2019. This number is likely much higher for the years 2020 and 2021, as the pandemic led to a huge traffic increase on these sites.

Conclusion

These were some of the interesting facts about online casinos and gambling in general in the country of Czechia. Hopefully, you learned something new, and useful. If you ever wondered why the welcome offers and bonuses are lacking in some of the online casinos, it’s probably because they need to comply with the gambling act. Always remember to gamble responsibly, and to only maintain accounts with safe operators. Avoid reckless spending, and play primarily to have fun.

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