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University of Minnesota to host Sportradar’s Innovation Challenge

George Miller

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University of Minnesota to host Sportradar’s Innovation Challenge
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Sportradar’s Innovation Challenge returns on February 23rd, when the University of Minnesota will become the latest venue to host the one-day ideation competition.

Taking place at the Carlson School of Management’s Gary S. Holmes Centre for Entrepreneurship, next month’s Challenge will be the first to take place in the United States.

The event, which has been held regularly across Europe in recent years, will give students from in and around Minneapolis the opportunity to design and create ideas and services using Sportradar’s market-leading data. As well as learning how to best create and develop ideas, students will also have the chance to network and compete for a chance to win part of the $3,000 prize money on offer. Ahead of the Innovation Challenge’s first venture Stateside, Sportradar caught up with Innovation Director Javier Altamirano and Malte Siegle, Head of Sportradar’s University and Research Programme, to discuss what is another step forward for the company’s innovation setup.

Sportradar: What’s the thinking behind taking the Innovation Challenge outside Europe for the first time?

MS: Because Sportradar already enjoys a strong market presence in the US, and is expanding further all the time, it seems only natural that we should have the Innovation Challenge in the States. We’re always looking to encourage and network with the next generation of talent, in all our territories, and having already seen our partnership with the University of Minnesota start strongly, it’s great to reach another essential milestone for the company.

JA: This is part of a greater strategy of external innovation in the US whereby Sportradar collaborates on a deep level with top-notch universities which happen to be aligned with Sportradar offices and have strong data programs. This proximity allows for follow-up projects and overall closer contact. We want these students to familiarise themselves with Sportradar data.

Sportradar: What do you expect to see from the students in Minneapolis?

JA: We’ve already seen some fantastic ideas from our past competitions in Europe and we’re confident that will continue next month here in Minnesota. Aside from innovative and interesting products, the main thing we want to see is enthusiasm and a positive approach because the Innovation Challenge is as much about networking and making connections as it is around creating products. Lots of digital-era innovations come from this side of the pond (Facebook, Stubhub, Snapchat, etc.) so we want to see if the students can carry on in that vein next month.

MS: We’ve also had former winners come and join Sportradar in a working capacity before now and that’s an example of what we want to achieve as a company – having that talent pipeline and a strong connection with entrepreneurial talent. Sportradar: The US is obviously a huge market for Sportradar, does this make next month’s Challenge even more exciting?

JA: The American sports tech market has obviously been one of the biggest in the world for some time now, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the students in Minneapolis come up with. There’s also the recent developments with the betting market in the US, so that’s another area that might be of interest to participants when it comes to formulating ideas.

MS: It doesn’t have to be around betting of course, we’ll have Sportradar experts from different parts of the business who can advise and offer insight to students. Ultimately, we want to see something new and different and that’s always what impresses the judges most.

Sportradar: Why should students look to take part in the event?

MS: If you’re a student who has a passion for sports data, enjoys thinking outside the box and wants to make some useful connections with people who know the industry inside out, the Innovation Challenge is for you. We give full access to our API and SDK for the day and provide guidance courtesy of our mentors, so it really is a great opportunity to see what you can come up with, using sports data.

Sportradar: …and not to mention the $3,000 prize pool?

JA: Obviously, a $3,000 prize pool is a good incentive, too, and that’s what usually grabs the attention, but we don’t think it should be the main focus for groups. One-on-one time with our mentors and the chance to put our API to good use, all while networking with new connections – you can’t really put a price on that. For all the details about February’s event, including information on how to enter, you can visit the Innovation Challenge website – challenge.sportradar.com.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

Stadium Casino Secures Category 4 Casino License from Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Niji Narayan

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has awarded a license to Stadium Casino LLC, a division of The Cordish Companies, to construct a Category 4 casino in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County.

The award concludes the process which the Board began on January 24, 2018 when Stadium Casino LLC secured a 15-mile radius area in which it could locate a casino with a winning bid of $40,100,005 at the second Category 4 auction held by the Board.

The Board conducted an in-depth background investigation of the application along with the collection of public input from citizens, community groups and public officials at a hearing held in Hempfield Township.

Category 4 Slot Machine License permits the Stadium Casino to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines. The entity could also petition for permission to initially operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding an additional 10 table games after one year. The table games certification was also approved by the Board.

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Gambling in the USA

Steve Ruddock Joins BettingUSA.com

Niji Narayan

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BettingUSA.com has appointed the industry veteran Steve Ruddock as its lead analyst, content director and equity partner.

In his role with BettingUSA.com, Ruddock will spearhead content and provide his unique brand of news, analysis, and insights on the regulated US gaming industry. Ruddock will also help lead the launch of additional national and regional brands.

“I’m thrilled to join BettingUSA and work with Mike, Wes, and the rest of the team to deliver the highest quality coverage and analysis of the legal US online gambling industry. This is an exciting time to be a part of this growing and evolving industry, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind BettingUSA will be a central figure in the space,” Steve Ruddock said.

Ruddock has spent the last decade covering the legal and legislative developments in the rapidly evolving US gambling sector and brings a breadth of knowledge and relationships to BettingUSA.com.

“We’re excited to bring Steve Ruddock on board. People listen when Ruddock speaks – and for good reason. He has long served as one of the most perceptive and intelligent voices in the regulated sports betting and gambling industries. Bringing Steve on board is a big win for us and our readers alike,” Wes Burns, Editor in Chief of BettingUSA.com said.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Steve Ruddock to the team. There is no doubt BettingUSA has gained a great asset in Steve and we look forward to working together as BettingUSA grows and new markets emerge,” Mike Murphy, CEO of BettingUSA.com said.

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Gambling in the USA

Nasdaq and Interactive Brokers Become the Latest Wall Street Institutions to Enter into Sports Betting

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: history.com
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Nasdaq Inc. has revealed a new partnership with U.K. sports-betting company Football Index. The biggest trading companies in Wall Street are pushing further into the sports-betting industry.

Nasdaq agreed to provide the company with a trading engine, not unlike the one that underlies its signature stock exchanges. Football Index allows its clients to place bets, called shares, on the future success of professional soccer players.

“We’re the heavy-duty plumbing that can sit underneath [betting systems]. We are not taking peoples’ bets. It’s a matter of providing technology,” Scott Shechtman, Nasdaq’s head of new markets said.

Sports wagering is undergoing a wave of change driven by loosening regulations in the U.S. and a transformation in how bets occur. That has created new opportunities for financial services companies to deploy their trading knowledge and technologies in sports-betting business.

“The potential in sports is huge. The more legal it becomes, the more legal money that’ll flow into the pockets of the people who control the back-end infrastructure, as well as the front end,” David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research said.

Just weeks before Nasdaq’s announcement, Interactive Brokers Group Inc. launched a simulated sports betting platform that allows users to place bets on real games using virtual credits provided by the company. The company is using the platform as a tool to convince users to open up brokerage accounts, as they can win up to $1000 in actual commission credits through the simulated platform.

With their announcements, Nasdaq and Interactive Brokers become the latest Wall Street institutions to dive headfirst into sports betting.

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