Nazara Technologies Limited an India based, diversified gaming and sports media company and its wholly owned subsidiary Nazara Technologies FZ LLC announced investment in Griffin Gaming Partners (Griffin) Fund II, L.P as a Limited Partner in the Fund. Nazara Dubai is a Limited partner in Griffin Gaming Partners Fund II, L.P for a capital commitment not exceeding USD 4 Million (INR 30 Crores), payable in cash, in one or more tranches. Nazara Dubai will invest up to USD 1.34 Million (INR 10 Crores) upfront while the rest of USD 2.66 Million (INR 20 Crores) will be deployed over a period of 3 years.
Griffin Gaming Partners Fund II was founded by Peter Levin, Phil Sanderson, and Nick Tuosto, with LionTree as a strategic partner to the Fund. The firm prefers to invest in gaming platforms and infrastructure, gaming content, and game studios. Griffin Gaming Partners Fund II is a leading venture capital firm singularly focused on investing in the global gaming market. The company has decades of investment, advisory and operational experience in the space.
Nazara, with this proposed investment, aims to become part of global network of Limited Partners (“LP”) of Griffin as well as its investee companies. Access to this network should foster strategic partnership with Nazara’s subsidiaries including but not limited to emerging market partnerships, investments etc. Management believes that the company aims to leverage the Griffin network for the following strategic initiatives:
- Potential partnerships and/ or potential investment into Nazara and its subsidiaries.
- Securing deal flow for future M&A from the current portfolio of the funds as well as inflow of deals coming to funds.
- Co-investment opportunities into highly sought-after founders/ companies.
Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal, “Griffin Gaming Partners led by Peter, Phil and Nick has established itself the go to gaming fund for entrepreneurs across the world looking to raise smart money. The value addition which the Griffin team brings to the founding team is priceless and hence this partnership with Griffin will act as catalyst to accelerate growth of Nazara’s footprint in local Indian and global gaming ecosystem.”
“Gaming is truly global and is projected to reach a staggering $256 billion of annual consumer spend in 2025. Having key strategic partnerships such as Nazara in the rapidly scaling geography of the Indian subcontinent is a significant benefit for Griffin. What Manish and the team at Nazara have built is highly differentiated and their culture is a spot-on fit with our strategy,” said Peter Levin, Managing Director, Griffin Gaming Partners.
In addition to the investment in Griffin Gaming Partners Fund II Nazara has acquired multiple companies over the past few years. Nazara has placed itself in a leading position in esports, interactive gaming and gamified early learning space with the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network. Nazara has acquired a majority stake in Nodwin Gaming Pvt. Ltd; Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd., which operates World Cricket Championship (WCC), the largest mobile-based cricket simulation game, in addition to investment in Absolute Sports Private Limited, which operates Sportskeeda and Paper Boat Apps Private Limited – gamified early learning subscription app and OpenPlay – Skill Gaming.
Fan Engagement Startup STAN Enters Digital Collectibles Partnerships with Esports Superstars
- Fan Engagement Startup STAN Enters Digital Collectibles Partnerships with Esports Superstars and S8UL Co-Founders Mortal, Thug and Goldy
- STAN has now become India’s first platform to partner with elite gaming creators, S8UL Mortal and Godlike Jonathan.
Bengaluru-headquartered blockchain-based esports fan engagement startup STAN has announced that it has entered into strategic partnerships with three of the leading esports creators in India – Naman Mathur aka Mortal, Animesh Agarwal aka Thug, and Lokesh Jain aka Goldy. These 3 creators, who collectively have a follower base of more than 15 million on social platforms like Instagram and Youtube, are extremely well-known and popular amongst the gaming and esports enthusiasts’ community in India. Also, Thug, Goldy and Mortal are the co-founders of S8UL, one of the largest esports orgs in India. With this development, STAN has now become India’s first platform to partner with elite gaming creators, S8UL Mortal and Godlike Jonathan.
The key objective of the partnership between STAN and these creators is to build an ecosystem for Motal’s, Goldy’s and Thug’s fans in order to connect with them as well as to unlock new-age exciting and engaging experiences for the burgeoning fan base. It enables STAN to have the exclusive rights to create non-NFT digital collectibles of these legendary creators.
Furthermore, this is a step forward by STAN in offering other types of services and rewards with and for these creators and their fans, including but not limited to Instagram Shoutouts, Play-A-Match, and Talkshow with the Creator. Besides, vis-à-vis the collaborations with Thug and Goldy, STAN users would have access to these two creators’ respective Voice Rooms (a newly-launched feature on the STAN app where a creator joins a space where he/she can interact with their fans via voice messages).
Speaking on the recent partnerships, Nauman Mulla, Co-Founder & COO, STAN says, “We are delighted and proud to announce the collaborations with reputable creators like Mortal, Thug and Goldy, for creating their official digital collectibles and ushering in innovative fan engagement strategies and outcomes for their fans. As a web3 fan engagement startup that is deeply focused on bolstering the gaming and esports ecosystem of the nation, it was a no-brainer to partner with these leading creators, each of whose fan base runs in millions. With this, STAN has now joined hands with almost all the leading esports creators in India; it allows us to cover the entire ecosystem of the Indian gaming community and helps us move closer to realize our vision of empowering each fan to achieve all of their fan dreams.”
Speaking about the partnerships, Naman Mathur Aka S8ul Mortal said, “Partnering up with STAN has given me an opportunity to feel my fan’s love for me in a more innovative way! I have always wanted to connect with my fans on a personal level and STAN has made this possible. This sublime partnership with STAN is the first step towards making sure my fans get the best experience out there.”
Animesh Agarwal Aka Thug said, “I’m really happy to be a part of this invigorating experience that STAN is providing to their fans, as this gives me a chance for my fans to interact with them directly. I am very excited to see this partnership open new avenues of growth in fan engagement.”
Besides being a part of S8UL, both Thug and Goldy individually are massive creators as well. Whereas, Mortal is one of the most-celebrated BGMI content creators in India currently who has represented India on many international platforms and tournaments and won many awards, titles and accolades throughout his professional esports career. On the other hand, STAN has built a uniquely-crafted one-stop platform for the constantly growing pool of esports fans in India and the world to optimally engage, play and grow closer to their idols. The startup has already inked both NFT and non-NFT digital collectible partnerships with several leading FreeFire and BGMI athletes and creators in our country.
Wynn Marjan Confirmed As First Casino Resort In UAE
Wynn Resorts, one of the world’s largest high-end hotel developers and operators, has issued an official statement confirming that their upcoming resort in Ras Al Khaimah, located in the United Arab Emirates, will contain a gambling establishment.
Wynn Resorts’ CEO Spoke About The Project
The Chief Executive Officer of Wynn Resorts, Craig Billings, stated that the casino at the new integrated resort that will be called Wynn Marjan would have a much larger scope than that of Wynn Las Vegas, the operator’s crown jewel in the United States.
Details about the Wynn Marjan resort were made public for the first time in 2022, and all 1000 rooms are expected to be ready to accommodate guests in Ras Al Khaimah in 2026. Only now, however, do we have unequivocal proof that the resort will be the first in the United Arab Emirates Gulf Cooperation Council region to offer gambling establishments like casinos.
The CEO even stated that the Marjan and the United Emirates Project are the main focus of Wynn Resorts’ complete design and development power, working tirelessly to ensure they get this highly lucrative opportunity right from the get-go. However, while acknowledging that the region is a significant luxury and leisure market, Billings also admitted that the casino aspect of the resort is one of many focus points.
The Wynn is currently in the final stages of construction planning and will release more details in 2023. Supposedly the location should be flexible for whatever Wynn is planning since the site will be on an artificial island without any pre-existing structures.
The Nation’s Laws Make This A Success For Wynn
The resort’s planning has piqued the interest of many investors and people in the gambling industry because it will be built in the UAE and operated under strict Islamic laws.
These laws give gambling and any activities related to it adverse treatment, and the GCC has been hesitant to allow any loopholes up to this point. Because of this, there was some uncertainty regarding whether or not Wynn Marjan would have a gambling area. However, the CEO of Wynn has stated that the group appreciates the importance and opportunity of the Marjan being the only resort of its kind in the region to offer casino services and confirmed they intend to build the resort large enough for the activities and attractions not to become stale.
Gambling In The UAE Today
Due to the strict anti-gambling laws, many people living in the Arab Gulf countries gamble online at offshore operators. However, this is a legal grey area, and there are frequent attempts by government authorities to block local citizens from accessing these overseas sites.
With the help of VPNs and anonymous banking options, many UAE citizens register at operators licensed in Malta or the UK. Moreover, websites catering to Arab gambling, such as 7alalcasino.com, list the operators with customer support, payment options, and promotions in Arabic. There is no shortage of bookmakers or online casinos in Arabic on the internet, but it still needs to be determined whether local citizens can gamble at the new Wynn resort.
An Opportunity For The Country And Other Investors
It will also be interesting to see if Caesar’s Palace, which has a resort in the region without a casino, will try to build a gambling venue adjacent to the resort. MGM is also building a nearby resort, reportedly without a casino. One thing for sure is that there will be many eyes on these two giants to see what their next step will be once Wynn opens their casino venue. More than this, it’s inevitable that other investors and developers will be looking to get the necessary green light to open other casino venues.
Ras Al Khaimah’s Tourism Authority representative Raki Phillips has also presented positive feelings towards Wynn Resorts’ plans and believes that it will significantly boost the tourism and hospitality sectors and create new jobs for locals. The fact that Wynn is even planning the casino featured at the Marjan to be even bigger than their flagship venue in Las Vegas shows just how high the hopes are from both sides that this may be a door-opening event for many future other developments in the region, and perhaps it will result in a shift in attitude towards gambling in the area.
MPL bans over a million accounts in 2022 to reinforce transparency and fairplay on the platform
MPL, one of the world’s largest mobile and skill gaming platforms has banned over a million user accounts to continue to provide a secure and fair gaming experience to the users. The step has been taken by the company to remove players who did not comply with the rules and resorted to unfair means to manipulate gameplay results in their favor. Some of the key reasons that led to the user accounts getting blocked include using multiple accounts by the same user to access the platform, uploading fake or doctored KYC documents, using unauthorized payment means like stolen cards and cheating during the gameplay by using any hacks or collusion techniques. It is important to note that these are not temporary suspensions and MPL has permanently banned these users from the system.
MPL has robust security measures in place that enables them to effectively identify and ban the fake accounts within a short span of them being created. The company also uses best in class technology practices that enables detection of fraud accounts at a granular level which includes identification of the devices used to create the accounts. Once a user is blocked, typically they tend to create a new account using different email ids. However, with the help of advanced technology, MPL identifies these unauthorized login attempts made using the same device and permanently revokes their access. This ensures fraudulent gamers to be suspended and removed from the platform, allowing genuine players to join tournaments with confidence.
MPL’s security initiatives have recently been recognized by the SHIELD Trust Certification, which attests that the platform has more than 96.57% genuine users and a user to device ratio of 1 : 0.9568 which is an exceptional trust standard in the industry. SHIELD is a global risk intelligence company and the certificate considers a company’s trust profile and assesses key risk metrics such as the number of genuine users, user-to-device ratio, and the prevalence of malicious tools used on a given platform. With a trust score of 95.95%, MPL has become the world’s first multi-gaming company to acquire this certification after fulfilling the vital requirements of SHIELD’s Trust Check, which renders it the most credible and a safe platform for gaming enthusiasts.
Commenting on this, Ruchir Patwa, VP Security and Compliance, MPL, said,“At MPL, providing the highest degree of protection against fraud is our topmost priority and we are committed to offer the users a secure and unhindered gaming experience. This move is aligned to our player-first approach and also highlights MPL’s zero tolerance towards users who resort to illegal practices in order to alter gameplay results and gain an unfair advantage.With initiatives like this, MPL is poised to continue being a safe and user friendly platform that is trusted by the users.”
MPL has also announced multiple initiatives to further the player-first approach and foster a safe and risk free gameplay experience for the users. As a part of this, the company launched a bug bounty program that has been designed to reward security researchers up to INR 10 lakhs for successfully identifying a valid vulnerability on the platform. The bug bounty program also allows researchers to report any possibility that can give a player an unfair advantage.
To provide a risk free gaming experience, MPL had recently launched India’s first ever multi-game Loss Protection policy through which gamers can claim a refund of up to 100% of the net loss that they may have incurred after playing 10 gameplay sessions with specified thresholds. Available on some of the top titles, this initiative empowered users to enjoy their favorite games without worrying about losing money.
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