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GVC Launches ‘Changing for the Bettor’ Safer Gambling Campaign and Announces Major Research Collaboration

George Miller

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GVC appoints of Sandeep Tiku as Chief Operating Officer
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GVC Holdings PLC , the multinational sports betting and gaming group, has announced a global responsible gambling campaign, Changing for the Bettor, which is being spearheaded by a major new research project into problem gambling with the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

The guiding principle of Changing for the Bettor is to further establish GVC as the most trusted and enjoyable betting operator in the world.  The campaign comprises of seven pillars, each of which have substantive projects attached:

  1. Understanding the problem and best solutions – Including today’s announcement of a five-year, multi-million pound research project with the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital (further details below).
  2. Educating our key stakeholders – Including the national roll out of youth education programmes with the charity GamCare in the UK – the largest project of its kind in the UK, as well as a state-school awareness campaign with EPIC Risk Management.
  3. Promoting responsible attitudes – Leading the industry in recently agreeing a ban on pre-watershed gambling adverts on television, around live sports.
  4. Empowering customers – Rolling out a ‘markers of harm’ algorithm to all UK facing parts of the business.
  5. Funding treatment for those in need – Doubling our donation to research, education and treatment on problem gambling to 0.2% of gross gaming revenue (GGR).
  6. Championing responsible product design – Developing more responsible product design principles.
  7. Drive cultural change within our business – Ensuring that a safer gambling approach underpins all aspects of our business. Accordingly we are working in consultation with the Safer Online Gambling Group.

Fundamental to GVC’s commitment to better understand and reduce the potential for problem gambling behaviour to develop will be investment in rigorous research. Accordingly, the Group will be investing $5 million into a new partnership with Harvard Medical School faculty at the Division on Addiction over the next five years.  GVC will provide Harvard faculty at the Division with access to anonymised player data across a range of its brands, sports betting, and gaming products.

The research will be broad ranging, focusing on a number of areas including, but not limited to:

  • Patterns of normal internet gambling behaviour
  • Behavioural markers of gambling problems among internet players generally and on specific betting and game types
  • Cross-product analyses
  • Cross-brand analyses
  • The effects of the expansion of gambling in new markets

Within this approach, researchers will seek to evaluate the effectiveness of algorithms used by GVC and other operators to detect at-risk behaviours, assess the effectiveness of intervention messaging and the impact of operator’s responsible gaming tools.

Commenting on the announcement, GVC’s Director of Responsible Gaming, Grainne Hurst said:

“Whilst the vast majority of our customers enjoy playing with us in a safe and fun environment we are aware that for some players, gambling can impact their lives negatively. We are committed to leading the industry in minimising potential harm caused by problem gambling. That is why we are today launching Changing for the Bettor and have partnered with Harvard faculty at the Division on Addiction to help us to better understand and tackle the issues around problem gambling.”

Mims Davies MP the UK’s Gambling Minister, said:

“Gambling operators have a key role to play in protecting people from harm and identifying potentially risky betting behaviour. Research is essential to progress in this area and GVC’s ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign will make an important contribution to tackling problem gambling. We are committed to protecting consumers across the country and are working with industry to create a healthy and more socially responsible sector.”

Dr. Howard Shaffer, Morris E. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Behavioural Sciences, Harvard Medical School and Director, Division on Addiction added:

“It is only by taking an evidence-based approach to examining gambling that we can develop better strategies and tools to limit its potential to cause harm. The collaboration with GVC that we have announced today will play a significant role in advancing our knowledge about gambling and intemperate gambling and is warmly welcomed.”

 

About GVC:
GVC Holdings PLC is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector.  The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. GVC acquired Ladbrokes Coral Group plc on 28 March 2018 and is now the UK’s largest high street bookmaker, with over 3,500 betting shops.  The Group, incorporated in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index and has licences in more than 20 countries, across five continents. GVC was a founding member of the Senet Group and is committed to leading the industry in Responsible Gambling standards.

For more information see the Group’s website: www.gvc-plc.com

About Division on Addiction:
Our mission is to alleviate addiction-related social, medical, and economic burdens through research, education, training, and outreach. We offer encouragement, education, and training to a diverse group, including health care providers, policy makers, and scientists. The Division was founded at the Harvard Medical School 25 years ago. We are part of the Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Our faculty and staff come from diverse professional backgrounds helping us to expand our understanding, prevention, and treatment of addiction. We are funded through a variety of private and public agencies, businesses, and foundations. Those interested in joining our team, should review our latest fellowship and job opportunities.

For more information see: https://www.divisiononaddiction.org/

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Esports Entertainment Group Signs LOI to Acquire Assets of FLIP Sports

George Miller

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Esports Entertainment Group Signs LOI to Acquire Assets of FLIP Sports
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Esports Entertainment Group, Inc., a licensed online gambling company with a focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to acquire certain assets of FLIP Sports Limited (“FLIP”), including staff and all intellectual property.

“The FLIP team are leaders in building iGaming platforms that take the player experience to new heights,” stated John Brackens, CIO/CTO of Esports Entertainment Group. “Their expertise will strengthen our efforts in esports and help us further create a best-in-class immersive experience for esports fans.”

FLIP Sports is a dynamic and entrepreneurial mobile games studio innovating how fans enjoy and engage with live sports. Through its proprietary in-play, peer-to-peer technology, FLIP provides a unique multi-platform second-screen experience within an entertaining, social, and competitive gaming environment for fun-seeking sports and wagering enthusiasts who enjoy watching live sports and events.

“FLIP has brought together a talented team with proven industry experience that we believe will provide immense value to Esports Entertainment Group as we enter a period of tremendous opportunity and rapid growth,” commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “As the first US-based iGaming company to list on NASDAQ, we are in a great position to capitalize on the fragmented esports market and will continue to pursue acquisition opportunities. FLIP is set to be the latest example of the success of our roll-up strategy.”

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Compliance Updates

Parimatch makes statement of intent for newly legalised Ukraine gambling industry

George Miller

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Parimatch makes statement of intent for newly legalised Ukraine gambling industry
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Following the signing of Bill No. 2285-d by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to legalise the gambling industry in Ukraine, Parimatch, the international betting and technology company, has confirmed it will be bidding for the new operating licences in the country.

Parimatch, was founded in Ukraine in 1994 and was amongst the first bookmakers in the CIS region to transition into a digital betting platform. Today, Parimatch has expanded internationally to become a global betting and technology brand. The company now looks to build on its heritage to become the largest and most innovative operator in its home market.

Commenting on today’s signing, Sergey Portnov, CEO of Parimatch said: “I would firstly like to congratulate President Zelenskyi for delivering on his pledge to legalize gambling in Ukraine. He has a shown that he is a man of his word and we fully support his agenda to liberalize the local economy. Parimatch has long argued that the development of a fair and regulated betting industry will really benefit Ukraine.”

Parimatch’s strong commitment to the market is despite further clarity and reforms being required on the existing tax system in order to create a fair landscape for operators.

“We are fully committed to conquering our home market by delivering a product that can entertain the people of Ukraine. We are also proud that we can now contribute to the country’s economy and help grow its technology industry. However, for us to deliver these benefits in the long-term we need a fairer tax system which is currently too punitive and uncompetitive compared to similar international markets. It is vital that this is addressed as soon as possible to ensure the enduring viability of the industry in Ukraine.”

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Parimatch Tech hosts Universal Sports & Games Hackathon

George Miller

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Parimatch Tech hosts Universal Sports & Games Hackathon
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Over 100 ideas generated in just 48 hours

Between 7th-9th of August Parimatch Tech hosted a two-day online Universal Sports & Games Hackathon at its state-of-the-art “PMHUB” event space. The hackathon, organized by Parimatch Tech together with JKR in partnership with Amazon and SectorX, bought together over 400 developers, marketers and designers to come up with innovative solutions in the gaming and gaming services industry.

Participants came from nine countries including Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Belarus and Poland, generating 111 ideas over 48 hours, including games, streaming tools, analytics services and various applications. 37 teams made it to the final, but only one could be crowned winner.

The Hackathon was won by “The Dragon’s team”, made up of developers Nikolay Ursatiy and Sergey Poverennov. The duo created “RunOut”, a runner platform game. They took home the first place prize of $1500.

“It is great to see people keep generating ideas, even though they can’t get together in the same room as normal. An online hackathon is a new format for us and we are pleased with the result: organizers, judges, and mentors saw many different high concept ideas being generated.” — noted Stepan Shulga, head of Esports at Parimatch.

“We are delighted with our victory. The hackathon was a great experience for us. Many teams came up with some really interesting and exciting ideas. This event gave us a chance to test our capabilities and get feedback from mentors and judges. We’re going to continue working on the game, and shortly, we will move on to negotiations with publishers.” — comments Nikolay Ursatiy, team leader of the  Dragon’s Team.

Second and third places were taken by teams “Narwhal” who came up with a service for the multification of sporting events, and “PixelGaming”, whose idea was a mobile game in the MOBA clicker genre. They received $1000 and $500 respectively.

As part of the hackathon, select teams carried out particular challenges set by the judges. The teams “Team B” and “Kodoklyaksa” were each awarded $500 for their innovative ideas. The JKR Foundation also invited team “PolyRef” to further develop their idea of a service for collecting sports statistics.

As well as the prize money, the winner and two runners-up get exclusive access to the Parimatch Tech team and its facilities. Here, together with Parimatch’s tech specialists, the participants will have the opportunity to test their ideas on an audience of thousands of people.

But the hackathon doesn’t end there. The judges took an extra week to look through all the applications one more time to advance some additional ideas. The results of this will be announced on 19th August 2020.

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