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YGAM progress gaming debate at Parliamentary Symposium

George Miller

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YGAM progress gaming debate at Parliamentary Symposium
From left to right: Shahriar Coupal, Director of Committees, Advertising Standards Authority, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, consultant psychiatrist in Addictions, CNWL NHS Trust and Ian Lucas MP, pictured at YGAM’s Lootboxes, Apps and Freemium Content, Parliamentary Symposium
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YGAM has used the insight and experience gained from its successful work with the gambling sector to help inform its recent Parliamentary Symposium entitled Lootboxes, Apps and Freemium Content.  The Symposium, which was held in the Jubilee Room situated in the annexe of Westminster Hall, was Chaired by Ian Lucas MP, a member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and featured a speaker panel comprising Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), Shahriar Coupal, Director of Committees, Advertising Standards Authority, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, consultant psychiatrist in Addictions, CNWL NHS Trust, former gaming addict, James Good, and  YGAM’s Founder and Chief Executive, Lee Willows.

Reflecting on the success of the Parliamentary Symposium, which was attended by close to 70 stakeholders, Lee Willows said: “There has been increasing concern from parents, teachers, youth workers and medical professionals about time spent playing video games, monetary transactions within games and the potential mental and economic impact that this has on day to day life.  In response to this feedback and to coincide with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s current inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies, as well as the launch of the Gambling Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, and the launch of the YGAM Prevention and Education Strategy, we invited senior professionals from the advertising, gaming and medical industries, people with lived experience, parliament and government to discuss how we can work together to protect and safeguard young people.  The outcomes of the discussion will help YGAM tailor approaches to gaming companies, inform educational outputs and encourage further collaboration.”

Dr Twist, emphasised the many positive benefits of gaming, highlighting data showing only 1% of the population are classified as being vulnerable.  Dr Twist was clear in calling for a focus on digital navigation skills, empowering parents to enforce video gaming/online restrictions and increasing the evidence base of gaming disorder.

Dr Bowden-Jones explained that video gaming is increasingly recognised as a space for addiction and that educating the wider public in digital skills can help people tackle addictive habits. She highlighted that tech can be useful in handling such habits and called for more research, including the establishment of a gaming think-tank.

Lee Willows believes there are lessons from the gambling industry that can help drive the debate.  He said: “Key themes of the discussion focused on developing an evidence base to better understand the characteristics of gaming disorder, the need for education, digital skills and learning from successes in gambling sector regulations.  YGAM is keen to work with Dr Twist on resources and education, sharing information and advice that has already been created and explore the development of any new ideas or collaborations to achieve a greater reach.”  He added:  “There is the appetite for a further Symposium and/or gaming think-tank which will be planned for the autumn to coincide with the publication of YGAM’s latest academic impact assessment.”

The full report form YGAM’s Symposium will be available to download from www.ygam.org in June.

Press Releases

PubCos want to test Game Payment app following successful pilot and dramatic increase in demand for cashless

George Miller

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PubCos want to test Game Payment app following successful pilot and dramatic increase in demand for cashless
L-R- John Rozek, Financial Compliance Director at Game Payment Technology and Greg Wood, Bacta Vice-President
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A total of 30 pub sites drawn from a cross-section of PubCos are eagerly waiting to trial the Game Payment cashless app following its successful technical pilot. Although the pilot was truncated by the prime minister’s March 20 Covid-19 instruction to close all pubs with immediate effect, it nonetheless provided the Game Payment system with a robust test of its technology which it passed with flying colours.

“Obviously we were disappointed at having to curtail the pilot for reasons beyond our control, but we were able to monitor the app in real time and in the field operating successfully on both digital and analogue machines” stated bacta Vice-President, Greg Wood, part of the senior team responsible for bringing Game Payment to market. “I am delighted to confirm that the app showed itself to be extremely robust and the pilot served as a vindication of the technology that lies behind it.”

He added: “We demonstrated the app to a number of leading UK and European operators first at EAG and then at ICE London in February.  Since then and partly as a result of the response to Covid-19, the demand for safe and reliable cashless payment solutions has soared and a significant number of our UK contacts have come back to us asking to test across a sample of their pub estates.

“We have also received lots of interest from AGC operators which has resulted in us bringing forward our development plans for this sector by six months.  As the restrictions on lockdown begin to lift, the team is looking forward to implementing the business development plan secure in the knowledge that the Game Payment app has the strongest of technical foundations.”

The Game Payment app underwent its successful pilot following completion of a payment acquiring agreement with one of the top three UK acquirers. The agreement, which was struck in February, represents the first such deal with a tier 1 UK bank for cashless gaming in pubs and other venues and is a testament of the acquirer’s confidence in Game Payment’s business plan, product credentials and financial structure, as well as the team’s ability to manage a gambling e-wallet.

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Malta

The sky’s the limit at United Remote

George Miller

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The sky's the limit at United Remote
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Aggregator United Remote has moved its headquarters to the state-of-the-art 14 East skyscraper, Malta’s second tallest building, and the landmark building seen from capital city Valletta.

These new premises for the aggregator are not the only change, but this is a very visible statement by the aggregator that it means business, and comes as the restructuring of the enterprise nears completion. 14 East skyscraper stands out not least due to the stunning views it showcases, reaching from Sliema and St Julian’s to Manoel Island and Valletta, right on to Mdina, which is in the middle of Malta, several miles from the prestigious office location. Moreover, the iconic building and its views can be enjoyed from anywhere within due to glass partitions, without, crucially, compromising on privacy, thanks to expert acoustic treatments.

United Remote’s aggregation platform provides a broad portfolio of games from respected international partners combined with pioneering real-time backend tools for casino operators. The company has successfully completed a period of intensive restructuring which has resulted in major technology and enterprise investments, with the organisational culture having been significantly reshaped to provide added-value to operators and the company investing in new office surroundings at 14 East for the United Remote team that mirrors management’s ambition to be a leading industry platform.

A team of over 30 people inhabits three levels within the stunning new 14 East skyscraper, delivering technology and services that are used by the global iGaming industry. Part of the floorspace is occupied by a re-energised United Remote Games, who are innovating around a legacy portfolio and bringing new releases to market with increasing frequency.

In addition to technology investments and enhancements, United Remote has been adapting the agreements the company previously had put in place, de-risking the entire enterprise, and focusing very particularly on customer protection. In addition, United Remote has been building a strong compliance culture as well as raising standards in terms of transparency, the glass fronted 14 East symbolising this transparency on a daily basis for every member of the team.

United Remote has embraced substantial change to streamline new integrations and provide operators more profitable real-time data. This is all part of upping United Remote’s service to the iGaming industry and ensuring that the B2B-channel is given priority with an easy-to-use back-end where operators can quickly set up the tools available on the platform.

Jeremy Fall, CEO of United Remote added: “It’s great to see this global company thriving in this new environment at 14 East to the extent that it has necessitated this move to these excellent new offices. It is also a great endorsement of Malta as an excellent and supportive jurisdiction for a technology company of this caliber. Working in an office like this is inspiring for the whole team and we look forward to significantly growing our business here over the next couple of years.”

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Industry News

Frankie’s on board with Sporting Index

George Miller

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Frankie's on board with Sporting Index
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World’s top jockey joins leading bookmaker to offer unique insight for the 2020 Flat racing season

Sporting Index has made the landmark signing of world-class jockey Frankie Dettori, widely regarded as one of the greatest riders of all time, as a brand ambassador.

The deal will see Dettori carry the Sporting Index logo on his breeches and collar, offer exclusive thoughts on his rides at sportingindex.com and support with social media posts and daily previews during the season’s major meetings, such as Royal Ascot.

The Italian’s unrivalled achievements in the Flat racing sphere consist of 19 British Classics, including two Derby wins at Epsom, and an astonishing 251 Group 1 victories worldwide. He currently holds the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award and has done so for three of the last five years.

Sporting Index, who launched a fixed odds offering in 2019 to run alongside its well-established spread betting service, also currently sponsor leading National Hunt jockey Barry Geraghty, who celebrated a vintage Cheltenham Festival with five wins in March.

Simon Trim, CEO at Sporting Index, said: “Frankie is the face of Flat racing, if not horse racing as a whole, so it’s hugely exciting to have him as a Sporting Index brand ambassador.

“He is often riding the most talked about horses of the season, like Enable and Stradivarius, and we’re delighted to be able to bring racing fans closer to that with his regular blog.

“Even though he has cost us plenty of money over the years, no-one has done more to promote the sport of horse racing and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.”

Frankie Dettori, said: “I’m over the moon to be joining Sporting Index ahead of the new Flat season. There are some top-quality horses that I can’t wait to get on this year, and I look forward to telling readers all about them.

“I saw over the winter that Barry Geraghty had plenty of success with Sporting Index on his breeches, so hopefully it’s the same for me too!”

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