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The Best Remaining Sports Bets of 2021



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Talk about a controversial title – we didn’t choose it at random, as you very well may have guessed! Sports can be a very personal thing, and whilst one person may commit his life to the NFL, others could find the sport quite dull. I’ll admit that is a bad example, though – who in America doesn’t love the NFL?

We’re in December now, and many people’s thoughts are on Christmas dinners, purchasing the perfect gifts and making the day an exciting one their children. Even if you have all of this going on though, there are still several sports betting events left on the 2021 calendar which are ripe to be taken advantage of – and you could well score better odds on your favorite as a result of the lower number of bets being placed day as people concentrate their time on more seasonal matters.

Women’s Handball

Ever thought of placing a bet on the women’s Handball World Championship? The 2021 result is still to be decided, and you may just be surprised at how exciting and thrilling this sport can be. Group stage games are currently taking place, with France, Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, and Spain leading the eight four-team groups. Norway are the current favorites to win the tournament with most sportsbooks, though Hungary’s Katrin Klujber looks to have a good shot at the Best Goalscorer of 2021 award. If you’ve never watched a game, give it a try! This is an entertaining sport that never gets enough attention from mainstream media.


Or perhaps Motorsport is more your thing? The Drivers Championship of F1 has come down to two men this year – Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. With Hamilton winning six of the last seven Championships, he is the favorite despite Verstappen currently having the lead over his opponent. There’s a bet worth looking at there, for sure!

Depending on the result of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the drivers Championship could have been decided by the time you read this – but even if that does prove to be the case, there is one more race left in this year’s season – next weeks Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Bookies will be taking bets on the winner of that race, as well as the Constructor’s Championship, which is currently balanced on a knife edge between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing Honda.


How about eSports? The VCT (Valorant) Championship is proving popular with gamers this year, and there are lots of bets worth placing in the 2021 VCT Championship. The tournament’s group stages have already begun, but the playoffs will soon be taking place – these will be played in a single-elimination format, with eight teams playing best-of-three games to decide who will be fighting for glory in the grand final.

If you haven’t looked at eSports before, Valorant is a great place to start – the practice, experience, and eventual skill required to play these sorts of games at the highest level is amazing to watch. Just because these are “electronic” sports – or video games, if we’re going to break it down to the most fundamental level – doesn’t mean there isn’t some serious money being staked on these sports – why? The prize pool for the 2021 VCT Championship is a million dollars. eSports are becoming bigger and bigger every year, and this is only the second major Valorant Championship – who knows how big it might become in the future!


There are two major MMA events left in 2021 – UFC 269 is due to take place on December 11th, and top of the fight card is the UFC Lightweight Championship bout between current champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. Poirier has been making some serious waves in the UFC in 2021 and is currently the favorite to win this bout and steal the Championship away from Oliveira.

There’s also UFC Vegas 45 due to take place on December 18th, and although the fight card has yet to be confirmed, we are likely to see Derrick Lewis attempt to make his way back to title contention by fighting heavyweight master Chris Daukaus. Daukaus has won the last five of his fights, so Lewis will have to put on the showing of a lifetime to achieve his ambition.

We are also likely to see welterweight up-and-comer Belal Muhammed continue his climb towards a fight with the Karate “Wonder-boy” Stephen Thompson. The APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada will be buzzing with activity on December 18th whatever the final fight card turns out to be, and these fights will make for some amazing bets.

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LeoVegas Group granted three licenses to offer gaming software in Sweden



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LeoVegas Group has been granted three five-year licenses by the Swedish Gambling Authority—known as “B2B licenses”— to develop and offer gaming software in Sweden. These licenses, effective from 1 July 2023, have been granted to the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games and two platforms. Licenses are a prerequisite for providing software to licensed operators and an important step to prevent unlicensed gaming companies, consequently strengthening channelisation in the Swedish gaming market.

Since its inception, LeoVegas Group has experienced rapid growth, evolving from an operator into an integral player within the igaming industry’s value chain via game and platform development. Effective from July 1, 2023, under the Swedish Gambling Act, companies involved in the manufacture, provision, installation, or modification of game software utilised in online gaming are required to possess a license.

LeoVegas Group has now been granted three five-year licenses—referred to as “B2B licenses”—by the Swedish Gambling Authority. These licenses have been conferred upon the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games, as well as the Group’s two platforms (PAM).

Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas Group, said “We welcome the introduction of B2B licenses, a decisive step towards mitigating the impact of key gaming software being simultaneously provided to licensed operators and unlicensed operators targeting Swedish players. With the new regulations in force, it is now critical that authorities focus on those suppliers deliberately undermining the Swedish licensing system by facilitating unlicensed gaming“.

The 2019 initiation of Swedish gaming licenses marked a significant reform to regulate and supervise gaming companies operating in Sweden. This reform fortified regulations pertaining to marketing and consumer protection, while also ensuring substantial gambling tax revenues. The success of the B2B licensing system heavily depends on the Swedish Gambling Authority’s capacity to restrict key gaming software intended for licensed Swedish companies from simultaneously being used by unlicensed operators seeking to attract Swedish players.

On 1 May, LeoVegas Group announced its intentions to acquire game developer Push Gaming, which is also licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority and holds two B2B licenses. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

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Casino Guru Awards presents The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category



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Casino Guru Awards’ 2nd edition is coming back on the core promise to provide one of the most equitable and fairest formats for industry stakeholders to distinguish their companies across numerous categories focused on responsibility and customer care. Since the first event, Casino Guru Awards has been actively thinking how to best capture the myriad efforts put into making the industry a better, safer, and more transparent place for consumers and businesses.

This has led the team to introduce The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing, nominations for which are now open. Companies applying in this category will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they apply robust standards to their advertising practices in making their gambling messages heard.

This category aims to recognize iGaming companies that showcase a strong commitment to responsible marketing practices. Our judges will be evaluating the style and content of marketing efforts and materials, such as newsletters, social media campaigns, and others, with a clear focus on ethical marketing practices and responsible messaging. Apart from Casino Guru’s own judges, all applicants will be evaluated by an external panel of industry experts with vast experience in marketing, including:

  • Shane Stafford, Interim Head of Channel Marketing at Three Ireland
  • Martin Calvert, Marketing Director at ICS-digital
  • Dmitry Belianin, Chief Commercial Officer at Parimatch
  • James Bennett, Group Communications at EveryMatrix

The jury will weigh in on the strategies and tactics used by all nominees to promote their products and services. Applicants will be expected to clearly and unambiguously demonstrate how their marketing materials promote their brands while also accurately representing the risks associated with gambling and offering truthful and transparent information that is not ambiguous.

Casino Guru Awards Project Lead Daniela Kianicová, who is also one of the judges for the category, said: “The introduction of The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category is a continuation of our ongoing commitment to making sure that we create a format that is ground-breaking and addresses the most urgent aspects of our industry, and shine light on the true torchbearers that have unflinching attitude towards doing the right thing.

We are looking forward to seeing robust examples of marketing ethics that put the consumer front and center and provide accurate, truthful, factual, and unambiguous information. An experienced panel of marketers will be weighing in to help shortlist, evaluate, and ultimately pick a winner in this important category.” 

Nominations for Casino Guru Awards opened on May 152023, and will be going through October 312023. Shortlisted companies will be revealed on December 12023, when the voting for Voice of the People category will begin as well. The official event will take place in February 2024.

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Sandsoft Games – the mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent, is thrilled to announce the launch of the second season of its pioneering internship program, Press Start. Available to local residents with an interest in getting into the games industry, the full-time internships aim to foster and nurture exceptional talent for the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia.

Following the success of the first Press Start initiative which began in December 2022, aspiring games industry professionals are once again invited to embark on the journey of creating a playable mobile game within a span of six months. Aligned with Vision 2030, the Press Start initiative has been engineered to nurture diverse local talent and provide a boost to the regional games industry. The Press Start cohort will receive support from Sandsoft’s leading industry experts in various areas, allowing them to specialize in one of three disciplines: design, art, or coding.

Successful applicants will work from Sandsoft’s flagship Riyadh Studio, with access to cutting-edge equipment and resources. Press Start is overseen by a team of esteemed games industry veterans who have contributed to renowned gaming franchises like Candy Crush Saga, FIFA, World of Tanks, Need For Speed and more, including Sandsoft’s Head of Studio in Riyadh, Yahsir Qureshi.

Yahsir Qureshi commented:

“Riyadh is a city full of exceptional, diverse talent and love of gaming. It’s our job to identify this talent and help nurture future leaders who will shape the legacy of the KSA and global games industries. The tremendous success of our original Press Start program has been immensely rewarding for both the participants and Sandsoft Games as a whole, with a number of interns expected to join us as full time team members. Initiatives such as Press Start play a significant role in boosting employment prospects in the region and we can’t wait to welcome a new cohort to our Riyadh studio.”

Basem Alasmar, Game Designer at Sandsoft Games and member of the inaugural Press Start program, continued:

“When I first saw the program on LinkedIn, I was immediately drawn to the idea and the challenge it presented. Working in a gaming company has always been a dream of mine, so I was naturally intrigued. What captivated me even more were the experienced individuals at Sandsoft Games and the impressive game titles they had worked on. Their expertise and track record truly impressed me. This program continues to inspire me to strive for greatness, pushing me to create amazing things, learn extensively, and enhance my skills in my chosen field.”

Press Start is open to Saudi Individuals of any age and educational background who have a demonstrable interest in game development and are available to work in Riyadh. Applications are open until July 7, 2023, at 23:59 AST.

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