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SBK, the sportsbook app created by Smarkets, spoke to jockey ambassador Tom Bellamy after it was confirmed that Eclair Surf had made it into the Grand National as number 39 out of 40



SBK, the sportsbook app created by Smarkets, spoke to jockey ambassador Tom Bellamy after it was confirmed that Eclair Surf had made it into the Grand National as number 39 out of 40
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  • The Emma Lavelle-trained Eclair Surf was confirmed this morning as number 39 in the list of declared runners for Saturday’s 2022 running of the Grand National, so we spoke to SBK ambassador Tom Bellamy, who will be hoping to guide the eight-year-old to victory.
  • On Eclair Surf’s recent form:
    • “He’s got a good chance. His form looks rock solid thanks to Win My Wings who won the Scottish National very well at the weekend. We gave that horse 10lbs in the Eider at Newcastle and got to within two lengths. I think Win My Wings came forward from Newcastle, whether that was fitness or she was just in a better frame of mind. The form is there in black and white though, so we go there with every chance.”
  • On how Eclair Surf will handle the Grand National test:
    • “It will go one way or the other. He will either take to it and it will define him as a horse or he won’t get away with it. He has got better as time has gone on and hopefully there aren’t any mistakes. He just lacks a bit of concentration at the odd fence. Around Aintree, the fences come up so quickly that I don’t think he’ll get a chance to think about anything other than looking forward and jumping.”
  • On who he would ride if he had a choice of all the runners:
    • “If I could ride one horse in the Grand National I would stick with the one I’ve already got in Eclair Surf. I’m very lucky to have a good ride going into the race so I really can’t wait.”
  • On his National record, and general thoughts on the race:
    • “My time in the National hasn’t been great – pulled up, fell, fell! So I’m hoping to improve on that this time. I’ve watched the National for as long as I can remember, my Dad rode in it a couple of times so I went and watched him in 2000 but it was all over by the first fence! It’s a race steeped in history and it’s great to be a part of it, and winning would be a dream. There are 40 other jockeys saying that though, not just me. Everyone wants to win the Grand National and to have a horse with a chance is very special.”
  • ​​​​​​​Eclair Surf is fifth in the current Grand National betting on SBK at 15/1, behind Delta Work and Snow Leopardess (both 9/1), Any Second Now (12/1) and Escaria Ten (14/1).
  • Meanwhile, SBK tipster Tom Collins gave his thoughts on Eclair Surf’s prospects as well as his main fancies in the race, Escaria Ten and Enjoy D’allen.
  • On Eclair Surf:
    • “It’s fantastic to see Eclair Surf get in at the foot of the handicap after a nervy wait this week, providing SBK ambassador Tom Bellamy with a ride in the Grand National. Racing fans and punters alike want to see the best horses running and Eclair Surf, who won the Classic Chase at Warwick in January before running subsequent Scottish National winner Win My Wings close in the Eider, fully deserves his place in the field. He’s officially 4lb well-in off a mark of 143 and looks a live player given his confirmed stamina.”
  • ​​​​​​​Collins’ two main Grand National selections, both of which are Irish raiders:
    • “There is little doubt in my mind that Escaria Ten is a Graded horse running in a handicap, and the Grand National has been his target all year. His jumping is impeccable and he’s weighted to win.”
    • “JP McManus purchased Enjoy D’allen after his latest run over hurdles at Leopardstown, which proves connections were trying to keep his chasing mark in the high 140s. He’s not the most prolific of performers but he’s been crying out for a stamina-sapping test.”

Compliance Updates

ClearStake awarded ISO 27001 certification cementing its position as a trusted financial risk check provider



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Real-time risk profiling tool provider ClearStake has been awarded ISO 27001 certification, the globally recognised standard for data protection and system security, cementing its position as a trusted provider to the gambling industry.

To qualify for the ISO 27001, ClearStake was required to actively demonstrate the successful deployment and adherence to a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS), as part of a rigorous two-stage accreditation process with an independent auditor.

A key endorsement when expanding across global markets, the certification proves ClearStake’s team is fully compliant with international data protection and security standards, which were most recently updated by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2022.

Martin Burt, CEO at ClearStake, said: “At the heart of what we do at ClearStake is building a secure environment for operators to handle and process data. As such, we are delighted to receive the ISO 27001 certification, which reaffirms our position as a reliable and compliant technology provider.

“This is a vital step in our growth as a company and will give clients further assurance that we operate to the highest standards.”

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ProgressPlay brings forward the future of casino management with revolutionary AI



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Once again, casino and sports platform provider ProgressPlay are ahead of their time with a new wave of technology innovation that has helped the company to attend major shows during 2023 with soaring confidence based on pioneering proprietary technological advances that have featured strongly in annual awards shows.

The company’s future-centred thinking and ambitious AI product development attracted a raft of operators and partners attending last week’s SiGMA Europe in Malta. A raft of casino operators during the show had the opportunity to see firsthand ProgressPlay’s new tech which offers a comprehensive gaming management solution across multiple channels and products.

ProgressPlay’s enhanced iGaming platform provides operators with a powerful real-time AI-driven proprietary flow tool for optimising the performance of an online casino in a dynamic data ecosystem. Real-time player interaction provides compliance teams with the information to manage and interact with players.

Last year, ProgressPlay undertook an ambitious reframe of their technology with new proprietary Responsible Gambling automation and tools at its heart. ProgressPlay’s new platform manages player accounts, payments, bonuses, loyalty programs, fraud prevention and games, using robust tools and analytics.

ProgressPlay Sales Manager Marina Nahhas said: “ProgressPlay’s innovative Responsible Gambling software covers topics like KYC, player activity, affordability levels, and a transparent audit trail. These topics resonate heavily with operators and we were delighted with the level of engagement around this revenue-critical activity during the week we spent in Malta.”

ProgressPlay’s combo sportsbook and comprehensive turnkey solution, including casino platform, player management, payments module, and affiliate software are designed to boost operators seeking to effectively drive both revenue and efficiency with the latest cutting-edge technology.

Over 150 online casino brands have partnered with ProgressPlay covering a unique combination of casino games and sports-betting. ProgressPlay’s sportsbook offers up to 40,000 live betting markets and services across 20 languages while the latest platform offers a slick AI-driven UI/UX, and extensive value-added services alongside thousands of casino games, including slots, online casino, live casino, poker, table games, and sportsbook, across all devices and currencies.

ProgressPlay CEO Itai Loewenstein said: “Commercial agreements are being driven by our breakthrough technology that enables deployment of our AI tools for greater efficiency and revenue-generation. SiGMA Europe has been the last stop in a busy year and we believe that since we first launched our new technology in London at the beginning of the year our sophisticated Responsible Gambling tool has quickly moved beyond the early-adopter stage.”

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Latest News

Yggdrasil fires up festive fun with Rock Star Santa MultiMax™



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Leading iGaming publisher Yggdrasil has dialled up the Christmas cheer with a hellraising new hit, Rock Star Santa MultiMax™.

A 6×6 grid awaits players, with the cluster pays mechanic requiring five or more matching symbols to be conjoined for a winning spin. Every wining cluster is then removed from the reels, with more icons cascading down from above, and a wild also joins the party.

The multiplier at the top of the reelset will then increase, with the popular MultiMax Game Engagement Mechanic (GEM) swiftly seeing cascades cranked up in volume into massive wins. These can also combine if the cluster straddles reels, for supersonic rewards.

In addition, the Present symbol can land on any spin, awarding up to 100x, 11 free spins, or four extra wilds. This can also include an extra spin or an increased multiplier if it falls during the free spins.

Three or more Golden Ticket Free Spins icons will trigger the bonus round, giving players at least seven spins. During this, the multiplier at the top of each reel does not reset, allowing it to quickly pile up with every winning combination. Free Spins may also be gambled for the chance to win more.

The game also features two separate Buy Bonus options, depending on the jurisdiction, and a Golden Bet option, which increases the chances of a player hitting the bonus for an increased stake.

Rock Star Santa MultiMax is the latest core game developed by Yggdrasil, following recent vibrant releases Defenders of Mystica and Wild Stack Frenzy.

Mark McGinley, Chief Gaming Officer at Yggdrasil, said: “We’ve taken a different approach when it comes to festive hits and introduced the world to our showstopping Santa in our rocking new release, Rock Star Santa MultiMax.

“Incorporating a cluster-pays mechanic is an exciting addition to our portfolio, where we strive to deliver incredible experiences for our players.”

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