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Merkur UK serve-up world class brand ambassador

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World Number 1 Paralympic table tennis star Will Bayley has been unveiled as Merkur UK’s first Brand Ambassador. Will, who has appeared in a number of television shows, most memorably the 2019 series of BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing will take a central role in the development of the Merkur Initiative programme which has provided financial support to 44 community-based charities and good causes over the last 12-months.

Welcoming Will to the Merkur UK family, General Manager, Sascha Blodau said: “First of all it’s a total pleasure to have the World Number 1 join the winning team at Merkur UK!

“Will has a remarkable story having been born with a rare congenital disorder that affected all four of his limbs. He underwent numerous operations at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital from the age of just three months and returned to the acclaimed children’s hospital for chemotherapy treatment after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma aged 7-years.

“Having taken up table tennis while recovering from cancer he has gone on a remarkable and inspirational journey to become the most successful British Paralympic Table Tennis player of all time and was confirmed as the World Number 1 at a recent tournament in Finland. His fascinating story also includes a period attending the Brit School for performing arts and drama as well as being made an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.”

He added: “Will has overcome so many challenges and demonstrated the fortitude and skills which have seen him succeed in many different fields. His motto is ‘Inspire: Believe: Achieve’ and I look forward to working with him on a programme of activities not least our inspirational Merkur Initiative scheme which has already helped so many charities and good causes nominated by our venues for their outstanding work in the community.

“It is a great honour for Merkur UK to be supporting Will as he prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

Speaking at a photo-shoot to launch the partnership Will Bayley added: “I am really looking forward to working with Sascha and the team at Merkur UK. The work they are doing in the community is outstanding and I hope to be able to contribute my insight and life experience, working with the team to identify recipient charities, seeing how they are progressing and doing what I can to help. The photo-shoot was great fun and it took place just days before I won the tournament in Finland to be confirmed as World Number 1. I can’t wait to get started!”

Gaming

Kinetix launches world first user-generated AI-powered Emotes for gaming & metaverse

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Kinetix launches world first user-generated AI-powered Emotes for gaming & metaverse
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Kinetix, a pioneering 3D animation and AI tech startup, today proudly launches its revolutionary user-generated emotes for video games and virtual worlds, signifying a vital first step towards true self-expression in gaming and the metaverse.

The Kinetix generative AI-powered platform and no-code editing tools enable users, creators, video game makers, metaverse platforms, and brands to create and edit animated 3D content in seconds. This democratizes the process of creating custom 3D animated content, extending to millions of people a skill set that was previously limited to a few thousand trained artists and animators.

Today, Kinetix launches the first ever user-generated emotes to tackle the challenge of limited self-expression in gaming and metaverse worlds. Emotes are animations that can express emotion in video games and virtual worlds, such as dances, celebrations and gestures. Uniquely, emotes made with Kinetix can work in any avatar-based video game or metaverse, and fit effortlessly into any virtual environment from hyper-realism to voxel blocky worlds.

Yassine Tahi, CEO and Co-founder of Kinetix, commented:

“We want to champion a new standard for self-expression in video games and metaverse worlds by opening up the creation of emotes. Our emotes are live now for anyone to create, marking a true watershed moment for digital self-expression and our mission to humanize the metaverse.”

He added, “A once in a lifetime concert without dancing, or a drag queen show without ‘Death Drop’ are missed opportunities for self-expression, realism, individuality, and human connection. We invite everyone to embrace this new trend by playing with our easy-to-use, no-code platform and trying out their best moves on their favorite character or avatar.”

Creators can own their emotes by taking up the option to ‘mint’ them on the Kinetix platform: transforming them into digital assets called ‘Emote NFTs’. With the Kinetix marketplace, creators can then promote and monetize their work and receive 95% of the sale price, creating a fairer revenue model. Brands and IP owners can also use Kinetix tech to make custom emotes. In November 2022, Kinetix teamed up with TF1 and BBC Studios to launch an exclusive collection for international TV hit ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

Founded in Paris in 2020 by CEO Yassine Tahi and CTO Henri Mirande, Kinetix has a team of 45 and was recently named by WIRED as one of the hottest startups in Paris. Earlier this year, Kinetix raised $11 million in seed funding in a round led by Adam Ghobarah, founder of Top Harvest Capital, with participation from Sparkle Ventures, and multiple virtual world platforms and successful entrepreneurs. Kinetix already has established partnerships with leading and emerging virtual worlds including Roblox, The Sandbox, ZEPETO, Decentraland, and PolyLand.

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Blueprint Gaming flaunts its talent with Ballin’

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Blueprint Gaming flaunts its talent with Ballin’
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Blueprint Gaming’s latest slot release turns players into ‘playas’ in Ballin’, a game that demonstrates its versatility in game design.

Sun-soaked boulevards and exclusive marinas provide the backdrop for the achingly cool and confident big cats that supply the symbols, along with big bling watches and jewellery across five reels in a 3x4x4x4x3 configuration.

There are 576 pay ways and multiplying wilds that offer the potential for big wins, while triggering The Big Balls Free Spins activates sticky multiplying wilds. Each wild can be up to x3, with each one boosting the next for baller wins.

Triggering the Even Bigger Balls Free Spins bonus round rewards with Super Star Wilds. If one lands in view, it turns that position and all above it into multiplying wilds. If a whole reel is filled it awards two extra spins and any wilds that are already in view are upgraded to x3 wilds.

Ballin’ delivers a dose of high-rolling bling and a generous helping of Blueprint’s signature sense of fun and humour to a slot that highlights its flexibility as a studio in developing a wide range of themes and playstyles to a high standard.

Jo Purvis, Director of Key Accounts and Marketing UK at Blueprint Gaming, said: “Ballin’ has been a huge amount of fun to create and has allowed our development team to run wild with exquisite animation, lending a real sparkle to make the gameplay shine.

“Two bonus rounds offer the chance for players to show they’ve got some real balls in their hunt for wins!”

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GAMZIX HAS JOINED THE DIVERSE QUANTUM GAMING PORTFOLIO

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GAMZIX HAS JOINED THE DIVERSE QUANTUM GAMING PORTFOLIO
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Thanks to Gamzix, one of the hottest new game developers out there, with whom we signed a distribution deal, our versatile iGaming library is unstoppably growing.

We are all witnessing the constant evolution of the iGaming market, where new trends and fashions are popping up from every corner. Though a tremendous number of software companies are there, trying to gain traction with their products, only a few are really up to the task and capable of following these rapid changes.

And Gamzix definitely cuts the mustard.

With its ultra-fresh approach to iGaming development, Gamzix has become one of the top-rated and most promising slot providers in the online gambling sphere. Its game portfolio boasts over 30 unique slots of the highest quality – full of innovative features, realistic animation, colorful graphics, and impressive payouts.

All of them are now available on the Quantum Gaming platform, including the most popular and new ones, like Sunny Coin: Hold the Spin, Rich Granny, Gold Mania, 3X3: Hell spin, and 3х3: 27 ways. We undoubtedly believe that our vast network of casino operators will benefit from these cutting-edge slot games.

Oliver de Bono, Quantum Gaming CEO, expressed his contentment with this partnership:

“It’s fantastic to cooperate with such a fast-growing company. Over the past years, the industry has seen extreme popularity growth, so the biggest buzz is how to stand out from the crowd. I believe onboarding partners like Gamzix will definitely help us to achieve that.”

Lida Kosogova, CCO at Gamzix, opened up about upcoming cooperation: “We are proud not just of our team, but of partners who support us. Growing and becoming stronger together is such an amazing opportunity we fully trust. And Gamzix is ​​ready to bring and take the best. I’m proud that Gamzix games became a part of the Quantum Gaming portfolio. There’s no doubt, our cooperation will be successful and prosperous”.

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