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World Pool extends global network with biggest ever World Pool season in 2023

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World Pool, the globe’s largest commingled horse racing pools created and powered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), will be extended further in 2023 with the addition of major fixtures, including Lightning Stakes Day in Australia, The Saudi Cup and the Irish Derby.

Following the successful introduction of World Pool Moment of the Year in 2022 in Great Britain and Ireland, this has now been extended to all global World Pool meetings and will reward stable staff with a total of over HK$1 million (approx. £103,000) in prizes, as well as a VIP trip to Hong Kong, thanks to additional funding from the HKJC, UK Tote Group, Racecourse Media Group (RMG) and Ascot Racecourse.

Starting on Saturday 28 January with Met Day at Kenilworth in South Africa, the first meeting where racing fans from over 20 countries will be able to bet into the World Pool, and ending on Melbourne Cup Day on 7 February in Australia, one World Pool Moment of the Day will be selected at each World Pool meeting to win a prize of £4,000 (HK$38,785).

Each winning groom from the season’s 25 World Pool days will also enter the chance to be named World Pool Moment of the Year and win a VIP trip for four to Hong Kong for either the 2024 Hong Kong Derby or 2024 FWD Champions Day.

The 25 individual World Pool Moment of the Day winners will be narrowed down to a final four by a panel of global racing experts, before being voted on by the public for World Pool Moment of the Year, which will be revealed at the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin in December.

Last year’s World Pool Moment of the Year winner was Alpinista and winning groom Annabel Willis, who lit up the Knavesmire at York Racecourse when landing the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks before going on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Saudi Cup and Lightning Stakes to make World Pool debuts in Q1 2023

 

Lightning Stakes Day at Flemington on 18 February and Saudi Cup night in Riyadh on 25 February have been confirmed as the two new additions to the first quarter of World Pool races for 2023.

The opening quarter of the year now boasts five fixtures, with two visits to Meydan for Super Saturday (4 March) and Dubai World Cup Night (25 March), as well as the aforementioned Met Day (28 January) at Kenilworth.

Irish Derby and Lockinge Stakes among 18 UK and Irish World Pool events

For the first time, World Pool will be in operation at Newbury Racecourse in the UK with two races added to the World Pool season on Lockinge Stakes Day on 20 May, while Irish Derby Day is also set to feature amongst 18 UK and Irish events on 2 July. Coverage of Irish Derby Day will also include the Deutsches Derby at Hamburg-Horn, marking the first World Pool race from Germany.

In 2022, World Pool betting turnover hit a new high of HK$6 billion (approx. £622m), up from HK$4.8 billion (approx. £498m) in 2021, across the 21 racedays that were commingled, while Derby Day at Epsom recorded the single highest day of turnover with HK$66.1 million (approx. £6.8m) – *note: turnover is recorded in HK$, and approximate pound sterling figures are therefore based on current exchange rates.

Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director Wagering Products of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said“We were absolutely thrilled with the results from our 21 World Pool meetings in 2022 and are excited to be extending that offering to 25 days this year.

“Having Australia and Saudi Arabia on the fixture list of 2023 World Pool meetings is another important step in the globalisation of World Pool, while adding some high-profile British and Irish meetings to the schedule is another exciting advancement.

“To complement our expanding list of World Pool meetings are the Moment of the Day and Moment of the Year initiatives, which for the first time will reward winning stable staff from all countries hosting World Pool races.

“Last year’s launch of the competition in the UK and Ireland was met with great feedback from yards across the region and we look forward to opening that up to our World Pool days in South Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.”

Alex Frost, Chief Executive of the UK Tote Group, said: “We are looking forward to another World Pool season which now extends its reach across eight countries worldwide. For the UK and Ireland, it is welcome to see new additions to this year’s schedule, with two races from Newbury’s Lockinge Day added, along with Irish Derby Day, taking World Pool events hosted in the UK and Ireland to a total of 18.

“The ambitions for a global wagering platform are already being realised with over 20 pool betting operators now part of World Pool. Last year alone, the UK and Ireland saw record turnover of £521 million across 17 World Pool events, showcasing the best of our racing to a global audience, ensuring an improved value proposition for our own wagering customers and creating a more sustainable funding mechanism for horseracing in the future, with additional income for our racecourse partners.

“Our continued thanks go to our partners the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and in collaboration with RMG and Ascot, we are delighted to see Moment of the Day and Moment of the Year now extended to include all countries hosting World Pool races.”

Martin Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of Racecourse Media Group (RMG), which represents the media interests of The Jockey Club, Newbury, Goodwood, and York racecourses, said: “RMG is delighted to partner with Hong Kong Jockey Club, UK Tote and our racecourses to bring 11 high-quality British and Irish days to the innovative and important World Pool schedule.

“RMG looks forward to working with all the parties in growing both the sport’s revenues and global appeal. We’re also excited to see the World Pool Moment of the Day and Year awards increase in prize money and evolve into a global initiative for stable staff – the real unsung heroes of our sport.”

Alastair Warwick, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ascot Racecourse, said: “It’s fantastic to see this truly global expansion of the meetings included in the World Pool for 2023. The continued growth of World Pool since launching at Royal Ascot in 2019 has been very impressive and hugely important for British racing. We look forward to being involved again across our major meetings this year.”

Gregory Bortz, the Executive Chairman of Cape Racing, the operator of racing in the Western Cape of South Africa, said: “We are honoured to have WSB Met Day, one of the biggest and most prestigious days on the South African racing calendar, be included as a World Pool event. We believe the sight and sounds of nineteen of our finest equine athletes competing for this prestigious Grade 1 race, with the views and sounds of Cape Town playing out in the background, will make for an unforgettable experience for the countless racing enthusiasts around the globe betting into the World Pool.

“The Hong Kong Jockey Club represents the gold standard for racing operators around the world, and we at Cape Racing look forward to following their lead by ensuring our top-class racing provides the entertainment and turnover befitting of World Pool status.”

Provisional World Pool events to be hosted on the following days in 2023:

 

January

Saturday 28: Met Day – Kenilworth Racecourse, South Africa

 

February

Saturday 18: Black Caviar Lightning Race Day – Flemington Racecourse, Australia

Saturday 25: Saudi Cup – King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 

March

Saturday 4 March: Super Saturday – Meydan Racecourse, Dubai

Saturday 25 March: Dubai World Cup – Meydan Racecourse, Dubai

Other key fixtures will be finalised later in the year, but major meetings including Royal Ascot, King George Day, Goodwood Festival, York Ebor Meeting, British Champions Day and Melbourne Cup Day will also form part of World Pool 2023.

Balkans

Gaming Corps lands in Bulgaria with Kaizen Gaming deal

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Gaming Corps lands in Bulgaria with Kaizen Gaming deal
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Gaming Corps, a publicly-listed game studio based in Sweden that has earned a reputation for developing market-leading casino games, has expanded its global reach into Bulgaria through a major content partnership with Kaizen Gaming.

The deal means that Kaizen Gaming will be able to offer Gaming Corp’s full suite of games to its players on an exclusive basis for the next six months before the studio can strike additional partnerships with other operators in the market.

Kaizen Gaming operates the hugely popular Betano and Stoiximan brands in Bulgaria, a market that has gone from strength to strength since regulating online gambling back in 2012 with high consumer demand for online casino and slot content from new and exciting providers.

The partnership between Gaming Corps and Kaizen Gaming brings the studio’s internationally acclaimed slots to the Bulgarian market for the first time. This includes proven player-favourite titles like 777 Jackpot Diamond Hold & Win, Bon Bon Bonanza and Samba Soccer.

Players will also gain access to Gaming Corps hit portfolio of Smash4Cash™ titles, including both Piggy Smash and RAMPAGE! Smash4Cash™ which were launched earlier this year.

Danielle Calafato, CCO at Gaming Corps, said: “We could not ask for a better operator partner to make our debut in Bulgaria with. Kaizen Gaming operates two of the most popular brands in the market and we are thrilled to see of games land in its lobbies for the first time.

“Bulgaria is a thriving market with plenty of growth potential for operators that bring new and exciting content to their players. Kaizen Gaming has done just that through this partnership, and we are especially excited to see players engage with our Smash4CashTM titles.

“We are committed to expanding our reach into more regulated markets over the coming months as we continue to establish Gaming Corps as a major content provider.”

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Latest News

LaunchPad finalists announced for iGB L!VE

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LaunchPad finalists announced for iGB L!VE
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iGB L!VE organisers have confirmed the five trailblazing start-up businesses who will be showcasing their ground-breaking ideas to a panel of industry entrepreneurs in the final of LaunchPad which is taking place in the Pulse Theatre 16:30 – 18:00 on 18 July. 

The visionary enterprises who will be pitching to the judging panel are Match Hype, Swap Profit, AMARIX, SavageTech GmbH and Lucky Lady Games.

Confirming the shortlist which was handpicked by the iGB L!VE team, Clarion Gaming’s Jamie Coles who is leading the exciting new initiative said: “These businesses will not only gain invaluable exposure, but they will also compete for substantial cash prizes and receive expert guidance from our judging panel of industry titans comprising Michael Caselli, Non-Executive Chairman – Clarion Events; David Sargeant, Investor, Advisor, Consultant – iGaming Ideas; Vladimir Malakchi, CEO and Managing Partner – Xanada Investments; Tony Pearce, CEO and co-founder – Reality+ and Justin Anastasi, CEO, VentureMax Group.

“We are also extremely grateful to Becky Liggero Fontana, Reporter, Producer and Host of Coingeek for agreeing to chair this first edition of LaunchPad @ iGB L!VE.”

He continued: “LaunchPad is not simply a competition; it’s a platform to showcase ground-breaking ideas, pitch to a panel of influential leaders, and secure the support required to take start-ups to the next level. Our vision is to discover those scalable solutions which have the potential to revolutionise the market.”

LaunchPad judge Michael Caselli who also serves as Non-Executive Chairman at Clarion Events highlighted iGB L!VE’s status as a hub for innovation in the industry. He explained: “With Launchpad we are highlighting the latest innovations in the industry and providing a formal platform for innovating businesses to attract the funding or partners they need to make their visions a reality. That is very much the ethos and the DNA of the show.

“Bank finance is a difficult issue as some banks and funds are excluded from backing gaming companies. iGB L!VE is totally different in that we have individual and institutional investors that are actively looking to invest in this space and have the knowledge and experience in the sector to know what projects fit their portfolios.”

“We don’t see supporting entrepreneurs as a responsibility as much as a pillar of what we do and what we stand for. The core value of iGB L!VE is to bring all elements of the industry together to foster collaboration and partnerships in order to drive the iGaming industry forward. Supporting iGaming entrepreneurs is fundamental to that formula.”

Part Dragons Den part Shark Tank, LaunchPad has been curated to add to the onsite experience. Finalists will be limited to a 10-minute on-stage presentation followed by a scrutiny session by the judging panel. The top three will receive a cash prize comprising €6,000 for first place, €3,000 for second and €1,200 for third.

A projected 10,000 delegates are expected at iGB L!VE 2024 which will feature 300+ exhibitors and sponsors occupying 21,000+ square metres of gross space, a figure which is 35% higher than in 2023.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden Calls Attention to FATF’s Updated Lists of High-risk Jurisdictions

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The Danish Gambling Authority has called attention to FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) updated lists of high-risk jurisdictions: the Grey List (jurisdictions under increased monitoring) and Black List (call for actions). Among other things, gambling operators must include FATF’s lists of high-risk jurisdictions when assessing players’ risk.

Jurisdictions listed on the Grey List are Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia, DR Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Jurisdictions listed on the Black List are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar.

Gambling operators are required to conduct enhanced customer due diligence (EDD) pursuant to section 17(1) of the Danish AML Act, if a player is assessed to impose a higher risk of the gambling operator being misused for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Gambling operators shall conduct this risk assessment based on Annex 3 to the AML Act (high-risk factors) which includes the FATF high-risk country lists (the so called black list and grey list).

It is not required that gambling operators perform EDD if a country is listed on the FATF’s list. EDD are only a requirement for players from jurisdictions listed in the EU Regulation of High Risk Third Country list pursuant to 17(2) of the AML Act.

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