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AESF Seals MoU with South Korea’s Game Ratings and Administration Committee (GRAC)

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AESF Seals MoU with South Korea’s Game Ratings and Administration Committee (GRAC)
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The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Games Ratings and Administration Committee of South Korea (GRAC) which will further bolster the preparations for esports at the AESF Game Title Selection Pool Program for future Esports events.

This MoU which comes into effect on 29th of July 2021 will remain valid for the next three years.

Known by many to be the birthplace of esports, the Korean esports scene is highly regarded to be at the forefront of the industry and the official organization tied to the Korean government and affiliated with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) is responsible for providing approval of games for local use while playing a significant role in shaping the gaming industry and esports culture in Korea.

In 2017, GRAC signed an agreement with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), making it the newest and only rating authority in Asia to participate in the global rating system for digital games and mobile apps.

This puts GRAC on-par with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in North America, PEGI in Europe, ClassInd in Brazil, USK in Germany and the Classification Board in Australia in utilising the streamlined IARC system to ensure that today’s digital consumers have consistent access to established and trusted age ratings across game devices.

Along with the GRAC, early this year the AESF has formed an internal Task Force to oversee game selection called the ‘Game Title Selection Pool Program.’ Composed of industry experts and professionals, the Task Force is formed to ensure fairness, accessibility, legitimacy of contents and transparency in selection of esports titles played at all AESF-sanctioned tournaments in the future.

By working closely with industry experts and relevant stakeholders, this Task Force aims to uphold the integrity and maintain the high professional standards of esports.

Through this agreement, the GRAC, represented by Chairperson, Mr. Lee Jae Hong, will share its knowledge and expertise and act primarily as reference for the matters pertaining to game contents evaluation of all applied titles for the ‘AESF Game Title Selection Pool Program’ in the future. The evaluation process will be mainly related to the suitability of content for esports in accordance with established criteria for game contents assessment.

With the aim of creating a transparent and fair outcome, the games selection process for future AESF and Olympic competitions will also adhere to the highest standards introduced and implemented by the AESF and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Commenting on the momentous occasion, GRAC Chairperson, Mr Lee Jae Hong said “We are very excited to be part of this initiative which plays a huge role in ensuring the integrity of esports at future competitions. Alongside our counterparts at the AESF, I look forward to a fruitful collaboration which will, in the long term, pave the road for esports in being recognized on-par with other traditional sports on the biggest sporting stage.”

“We will cooperate with AESF to create a healthy esports culture and invigorate this scene for many years to come. We will also try to enhance our national status and extend the collaboration fields in game related ecosystems by promoting the international standardization of game rating classification,” he added.

AESF Director General, Mr. Sebastian Lau echoed the sentiment, saying “This partnership with GRAC is in-line with our focus in ensuring the highest standard for all continental and regional esports tournaments under the administration of the AESF. Not only does it show transparency in the esports titles selection, but it also hopefully sets a benchmark which all future tournaments follow.”

Esports have experienced a massive growth in Asia through official participation in various regional sporting events, most notably as a demonstration game at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, and at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. In 2019, at the Southeast Games in Manila, esports was included as a full-fledged medal sport. The momentum continues as Esports will feature as an official medal sport at the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand and the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China PR.

Asia

AGB confirms return of ASEAN Gaming Summit in March, 2022

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AGB confirms return of ASEAN Gaming Summit in March, 2022
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Asia Gaming Brief, the organizer of regional gaming conference the ASEAN Gaming Summit, has confirmed the much-awaited return of its yearly conference on 21-23 March, 2022, at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Manila.

The conference, known for gathering influential gaming executives from the Philippines and across Asia, has been on a two-year hiatus as Covid-19 made it impossible to safely host a physical event.

However over the last few months, Manila in particular, has been making enormous strides to reopen its economy. Just this week, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. announced that Manila’s population is expected to reach 92 percent vaccination status by December. This has given Asia Gaming Brief confidence about the viability of its planned March dates in 2022.

“We’re excited to be able to bring back the ASEAN Gaming Summit next year, and we are encouraged by the rapid vaccination rate in the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila,” said Felix Ng, conference director at Asia Gaming Brief.

“We’re now gearing up to bring the industry its first conference in Manila post-pandemic, aimed at reigniting growth in one of Asia’s biggest gaming jurisdictions. We look forward to welcoming anyone looking to reconnect with the gaming industry in Asia once again.”

The three-day event is expected to bring around 300 gaming executives from Asia’s land-based and online gaming industry, including the region’s regulators and government officials.

“Our 2022 event will be bringing back our world-class conference, with a packed agenda made up of some of the industry’s most influential players. Taking center stage this year will be our networking activities – which are aimed at bringing business partners together, new and old,” Felix Ng highlighted.

The ASEAN Gaming Summit will be held on March 21-23, 2022 in Manila.

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Asia

Establishment of New Gambling Regulator in Singapore Faces Delays

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The establishment of a new gambling regulator in Singapore has been delayed.

In July, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said it wanted to launch a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), this year but Tan Tee How, Casino Regulatory Authority chairman says the schedule has been delayed.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had made it difficult for the CRA officers to focus on creating the new regulator; a process that requires “intensive face-to-face discussions”. It is unknown if the new gambling regulator will finally be launched this year.

The proposed changes by the Ministry of Home Affairs included fines of up to $500,000 and seven years imprisonment for an operator of illegal gambling services.

Another amendment would allow physical social gambling among family and friends while online social gambling among families and friends would remain banned “due to the complexities of differentiation.”

The MHA also wants to introduce a prize cap of SGD100 (US$74) for mystery boxes, arcade games and claw machines arguing that this will be sufficient to address the inducement effect of high-value prizes, without increasing the regulatory burden on operators.

Singapore’s gambling regulation is currently supervised by various government agencies. Casino Regulatory Authority regulates the casinos, while MHA’s gaming regulatory agency regulates remote gambling services and fruit machines.

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Asia

QTech Games secures more premium content with NetEnt deal

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QTech Games secures more premium content with NetEnt deal
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Leading distributor extends its premier portfolio with more top slots from revered supplier

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across Asia and all growth markets, has announced its latest top-flight partnership with premium casino content supplier, NetEnt.

Under the terms of the new deal, NetEnt‘s award-winning portfolio of slots has been integrated and targeted for QTech Games’ clients and their players, adding more muscle to a powerhouse platform setting the pace for bringing the best online games to market across developing territories.

Now, this ever-evolving production line will help bolster QTech Games’ comprehensive catalogue of gaming domains, part of a definitive one-stop shop for global operators, known as QTech ONE™. In addition to incorporating NetEnt’s revered suite of slots, QTech Games will also be able to harness powerful and popular engagement mechanics, which serve to promote player engagement and retention with every spin.

The agreement organically widens NetEnt’s worldwide footprint, opening up a raft of emerging markets for accelerated growth. As the fastest-growing distributor over the past few years, QTech’s platform is localised for each region with native mobile apps, robust reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Ulf Norder, CCO at QTech Games, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with NetEnt whose jaw-dropping games rank among the finest on the marketThe QTech Games platform is integrated with the best games from the planet’s top providers – and NetEnt now sits at the top of this ramified tree.

“Their ability to drive engagement and digital dwell-time with their immersive gameplay and clever mechanics neatly embrace QTech’s shared emphasis on innovative tech driving a superior gaming experience for all players – wherever you set your scene among a range of exciting markets. These slots are certain to appeal to different demographics across assorted territories, so we can’t wait to see the results.”

Earlier this year, QTech Games broke further ground as the leading distributor across emerging markets with the launch of an industry-first, cross-supplier rewards feature, Network Progressive Jackpot, unpacking a cutting-edge acquisition and retention toolbox for its global partners.

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