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Premier League 2023/24 Preview: Finding Value in Underdogs



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The most popular domestic league in world football is back, bringing with it a whole host of expectant fans dreaming of a successful season. Success means different things for each club, but here are three teams who could well defy the odds and overachieve this season.

Aston Villa in the Ascendancy

As the football bets roll in ahead of a fresh campaign, Unai Emery’s Villa find themselves as eighth favourites to win the Premier League at 50/1, trailing only the traditional ‘Big Six’ and Newcastle. The Villans are currently at 9/2 to clinch a top-four spot, while their odds of relegation are 80/1. There are a lot of people expecting an impressive season at Villa Park, and for good reason.

Emery has done some masterful work in the window, bringing in the European experience of Youri Tielemans and Pau Torres to bolster Villa’s chances of competing at the top. When you add these two talents to an already promising squad that had begun to click toward the end of last season, you can’t blame Villa fans for having high hopes. It is crowded at the top, and although a top-four finish might be beyond Emery’s side, there is no reason they can’t breach the top six.

Vincent Kompany’s High-Flying Burnley

For anyone looking to place Premier League bets on relegation, Burnely are tied as the seventh most likely team to drop straight back into the Championship at 10/3, along with Fulham. Everton (11/4), Nottingham Forest (23/10), Wolves (23/10), Bournemouth (11/5), Sheffield United (4/6), and Luton (4/11) are all viewed as more likely to finish in the bottom three.

The odds are still relatively damning given Burnley was widely regarded as one of the best Championship teams ever last season. Vincent Kompany has performed a remarkable turnaround at Turf Moor since his arrival from Anderlecht, completely shifting the club philosophy from direct, effective tactics to free-flowing, liquid football. As well as leaning on his knowledge of Belgian football to acquire the talents of Manuel Benson and Josh Cullen, he has since added the class of Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge, significantly weakening Sheffield United in the process.

The top flight of English football will prove an entirely different prospect for Kompany, but having won 34 and lost just five of his 54 games in charge prior to the season commencing, it appears the Manchester City legend has every attribute to elevate Burnley even further.

Bournemouth to Cruise to Safety

Nobody really knows how Andoni Iraola will get on in his first season in English football, but he has managed some big clubs including AEK Larnaca and Rayo Vallecano. If his business in the transfer window is anything to go by, the Spaniard will be just fine. He has snapped up some eye-catching youngsters from top European clubs, and perhaps more importantly, has managed to keep hold of Philip Billing and Dominic Solanke, two standout performers last season.

Bournemouth are third favourites priced at 11/5 to be relegated, which looks to be seriously undervaluing the work the new manager has done this summer. The Cherries could shock a few this season, and although a top-half finish is slightly unrealistic, they have the squad to comfortably avoid the drop.

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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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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Prague Gaming and TECH Summit 2024


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