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Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley to Step Down from Star Entertainment Board



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Two non-executive directors of the Star Entertainment Group have announced their intention to step down from the Board.

According to an ASX announcement by the company on Friday following another damaging week of public hearings – part of a regular review into Star’s suitability to retain its casino license for The Star Sydney – non-executive directors Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley will both stand down in the coming months. Pitkin will step down “by the end of the financial year” and Bradley “in the coming months”, the announcement said, with other changes expected to occur in due course.

Having largely dodged scrutiny in recent years while Crown endured an inquiry in NSW, home to Crown Sydney, and Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia, home to Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, Star now finds itself treading a familiar path as it fights to save its reputation.

In Friday’s ASX filing, Star said it “notes the evidence in relation to Board renewal given in the public hearings in connection with the review of The Star Sydney being undertaken by Mr Adam Bell SC.

“As advised on 1 April 2022 in announcing the appointment of interim Executive Chairman John O’Neill AO, the Board acknowledged the need for accelerated Board change and would embark on a program of renewal in a timely manner. The Board is also mindful of the need for stability in this transitional period.”


Australian eSports Star Eyeing World Cup Glory



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Australian simulation racer Joshua Rogers recently secured the ESL R1 drivers’ championship after dominating the virtual Circuit de Spa in his digital Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The victory cements his status as a dominant force in the sim racing world and has propelled him to the eSports World Cup (EWC) in Saudi Arabia.
Rogers and his teammates will now aim to showcase their talents at an event which is putting the Middle East firmly on the global eSports map.

Rogers on Track to Win Big for Porsche

Under the banner of the Porsche Coanda eSports Racing team, Rogers entered the final round of the ESL R1 championship as the clear favorite, and he didn’t disappoint.
The Australian delivered an outstanding performance at the Circuit de Spa, launching a dramatic last-gasp attack to secure his third consecutive win.
The victory solidified his position at the top of the ESL R1 Drivers’ rankings with 183 points and ensured his spot in the final round of the EWC finals.
Scheduled to be staged in Riyadh from August 22-25, the EWC promises to be a fiercely competitive tournament as 48 drivers battle for a mouth-watering $100,000 prize purse.
The wining driver will walk away with $25,000, while Team Porsche stands to win up to $170,000 in the team competition.
Rogers’ presence in the competition will garner plenty of interest in his homeland, particularly among sports bettors who enjoy wagering on motorsports.
Horse racing has traditionally dominated the landscape in Australia – a point evidenced by the number of sites which offer racing tips on the sport.
However, a different type of racing looks set to capture the imagination of the Australian betting community, largely fueled by Rogers’ exploits in eSports.
Betting on EWC events has already proved to be popular this summer, but looks guaranteed to ramp up a notch when the motorsports tournament is staged.

EWC Attracts Interest from Global Brands

The betting sector is not alone in recognizing the potential in eSports, with numerous major brands eager to jump on the bandwagon.
They include integrated energy and chemicals company Aramco, who have announced the extension of their partnership with the eSports World Cup Foundation (EWCF).
The firm has sponsored this summer’s EWC tournament in Riyadh, building on previous sponsorships of tournaments such as Gamers Without Borders and Gamers8: The Land of Heroes.
Aramco’s involvement with the EWC aligns with the company’s long-term ambition to promote economic development and diversification in Saudi Arabia.
Partnering with the EWCF will help Aramco provide new opportunities for young people, deliver critical educational skills, and help build a diverse and dynamic Saudi economy.
The collaboration will also create a lasting positive impact on the world of eSports. It will showcase Saudi talent on the global stage and inspire today’s youth through the exciting world of gaming.

New Global Sport Conference Will be a Fitting Climax to the EWC

The EWC showpiece also coincides with the second edition of the New Global Sport Conference (NGSC) 2024 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh on August 24-25.
Themed ‘The Future of Fandom’, the conference will explore how fan engagement has transformed the gaming industry, creating new opportunities for unique experiences, innovative revenue streams and groundbreaking technological development.
The NGSC’s goal is to support the growth of the gaming and eSports sectors in Saudi Arabia, aligning with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to become a global gaming hub.
This year’s event will be an integral part of the action-packed closing weekend of the EWC, featuring a grand closing ceremony and the newly announced eSports Awards.
The conference will bring together the biggest names in gaming, sports, business and technology, serving as a platform to discuss the future of these industries.
NGSC 2023 set a high standard last year by announcing the launch of the EWC with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and other industry leaders from across the globe in attendance.
Building on that success, the NGSC 2024 will feature multiple stages and workshops over a new two-day program, accommodating around 800 guests to discuss the future of eSports, sports and gaming.

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TQG Lottery Solutions Operates Australia’s Newest Lottery



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4D Lotto is a new regulated online lottery in Australia. With the games 2D Red or Black, 3D, 4D Classic and 5D the Lottery offers a fast gaming experience and the chance to win more prizes. With this, 4D Lotto is opening a completely new range of games for millions of Australians. These games are very successful in Asia and particular in the US.

For TQG Lottery Solutions, it was once again a confirmation of its product strategy. The new games 2D Red or Black, 3D, 4D Classic and 5D are implemented directly via the game configurator in the lottery management system TQG- LotterySuite. No programming is needed and the quality and performance are given. And the total project could be handled remotely.

The Player Account Management (PAM) was expanded to include specific customer requirements and Australian specifications. For example, a new payment provider and a specific auditing system for the Gambling Authority were integrated.

Thanks to the mobile-first approach, players now have access to a user interface optimized for smartphones. Fast payment via Apple Pay and Google Pay are just as much a matter of course as the provision of apps in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

The entire system has been certified by an external auditor in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Gambling Authority.

“It was very important for us to select an experienced technical service provider that has a high level of expertise in the lottery market and can adapt flexibly to our requirements. The collaboration has confirmed that our decision was absolutely right,” Tatt Ghee Saw, Director of 4D Lotto, said.

“This is an important milestone for TQG. The TQG-LotterySuite has once again confirmed itself as a lottery platform and we are now also represented outside Europe with our range of services. We are proud of our product offering and the TQG team,” said Karsten Hagemeister, COO of TQG-LS and responsible for business development.

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New Harm Minimisation Measures for Pubs and Clubs with Gaming Machines Come into Effect in New South Wales



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Pubs and clubs in New South Wales with gaming machines are now required to comply with important new measures intended to embed a culture of harm minimisation in venues to support people at risk of gambling harm.

Venues with more than 20 gaming machines now need to have a dedicated Responsible Gambling Officer (RGO) on duty while gaming machines are in operation.

Under the changes, licensed venues are also banned from placing any signage or advertising relating to gaming machines either on, or visible from, an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) or EFTPOS terminal.

Any sign that advertises or gives direction to ATMs or EFTPOS terminals will also not be allowed to be visible from a gaming machine or any part of a gaming area.

Venues will be given a month’s grace period to ensure they are compliant with the new ATM signage rules before enforcement activity commences in August.

The NSW Government has consulted industry and stakeholders on the new requirements.

Venues will be responsible for identifying and training suitable staffs to fulfil the role of Responsible Gambling Officers, who will help identify and support patrons displaying concerning gambling behaviour, make referrals to gambling support services and facilitate requests for self-exclusion.

The number of officers required to be on duty will be scaled depending on the number of gaming machine entitlements a venue has.

Venues will also be required to keep a Gambling Incident Register to record details of occurrences including where a patron displays behaviour that indicates they are at risk of, or experiencing gambling harm, and any requests for self-exclusion.

Further changes will be rolled out from 1 January 2025, when all ATMs must:

  • Be located at least five metres from the entry to a gaming room or area where gaming machines are located.
  • Not be visible from:
    • The entry to a gaming room, or area or room where gaming machines are located.
    • A gaming machine.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors have already commenced visiting venues across the state to ensure they are aware of the new 1 July obligations, and will be providing further guidance to industry about the changes that apply from 1 January 2025.

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said: “We know that gaming machines represent the most serious risk of gambling harm, impacting individuals and their loved ones.

“The NSW Government is committed to implementing gambling reform to reduce these harms, including this introduction of Responsible Gambling Officers in pubs and clubs, and changes to the placement and visibility of ATMs in venues.

“Responsible Gambling Officers will work to identify those patrons most at risk, or who are already experiencing gambling harm, check on their wellbeing and help refer them to support services if required.

“Having cash dispensing facilities further away from gaming machines encourages a clean break in play for patrons who may be losing track of what they are spending.

“We’ll be monitoring compliance in these areas closely to see if we need to look at strengthening harm minimisation laws even further.”

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