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Ireland government seeks independent gambling regulator

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 12:56 PM PST

ireland-gambling-regulatorIreland's gambling industry will be overseen by an independent regulatory body, assuming a new government proposal can meet with legislative approval.

On Wednesday, The Journal reported that Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton (pictured) had requested approval from Cabinet for yet another revision to the country's proposed but never approved Gambling Control Bill.

That 2013 bill proposed setting up a national gambling control office within the Department of Justice, but Stanton is proposing an independent statutory authority be established to oversee all gambling and betting activity in the Republic.

The new regulator would be responsible for overseeing gambling advertising, sports sponsorship, conducting research into gambling activity and controlling a fund to provide treatment for problem gamblers.

The push for an independent, industry-funded regulator gathered momentum last November, with the country's largest opposition party Fianna Fáil pressing the Fine Gael-led government to get a move on.

Stanton didn't put a timeframe on when this new regulator might be up and running but did say the government would consult with stakeholders in an attempt to finally push this revised version of the Gambling Control Bill over the legislative hump sometime this year.

Irish-based operators, including Paddy Power and Boylesports, have long pressed the government to get on with passage of the gambling bill to ensure they're on a level playing field with the multitude of internationally licensed online gambling operators sering the Irish market.

Ireland approved a new online sports betting tax scheme a few years ago, requiring all Irish-facing operators to secure local licenses and pay 1% tax on betting turnover derived from Irish punters. In December, the government shelved plans to double this tax based on industry concerns that their operations would no longer be viable.

The post Ireland government seeks independent gambling regulator appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Paddy Power Betfair’s new CEO shuffles senior management

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 12:13 PM PST

paddy-power-betfair-management-shuffleUK-listed gambling operator Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has appointed new CEOs for Europe and Australia, just days after the company's new group CEO took control.

On Wednesday, PPB announced that it had named Dan Taylor as CEO of its European operations (a newly created role), responsible for both Paddy Power and Betfair brands across all channels and geographies outside the United States. Taylor previously served as managing director of PPB's UK & Ireland operations, and before that managed Paddy Power's retail operations.

Barni Evans has been named new CEO of Sportsbet, PPB's Australian online betting division. Evans transitions from his previous role as Sportsbet's chief commercial officer and replaces Cormac Barry, who is leaving for a position outside of the gambling industry. Barry has agreed to stay on for the next few months to ensure an orderly transition of power.

Both Taylor and Evans will report to PPB group CEO Peter Jackson (pictured), who officially assumed the comfy corner office on Monday from outgoing CEO Breon Corcoran. Jackson will direct PPB's operations from Paddy Power's Dublin HQ.

Morgan Stanley analyst Ed Young didn't roll out the welcome wagon for Jackson, issuing a note on Monday suggesting PPB's "premium valuation" could tumble due to the "major strategic issues" facing the company. PPB's shares dipped nearly 3% on Monday and fell a further 4% on Wednesday after stating a minor recovery on Tuesday.

PPB's most recent quarterly earnings report showed a strong performance by Sportsbet but overall online revenue declined 3% year-on-year. Morgan Stanley's Young warned that the market's expectation of significant online growth following the post-merger fusion of Paddy Power and Betfair's operations onto a single platform "may not materialize."

The overall UK gambling market is facing retrenchment on all fronts, including increasingly strict oversight of online operations, while retail operations face reductions in maximum wagers on fixed-odds betting terminals. The latter change will affect PPB less than some of its rivals, which have a much larger retail presence. Regardless, Jackson has his work cut out for him.

The post Paddy Power Betfair’s new CEO shuffles senior management appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

South Korea probes Coinone crypto exchange’s margin trades

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:27 AM PST

korea-coinone-crypto-exchange-margin-trading-gamblingSouth Korean authorities are investigating the country's third-largest cryptocurrency exchange for allegedly providing a "gambling service."

On Wednesday, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported that the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency had launched a probe into the Coinone exchange's margin trading scheme, in which customers could effectively wager on whether the price of a cryptocurrency would rise or fall.

The police claim that margin trading is gambling by another name due to customers risking money on an outcome determined by chance. Coinone disputes this interpretation, noting that short-selling is common on Korea's traditional stock exchange platforms, but the police insist that crypto exchanges don't rise to the same standards.

South Korea keeps an extremely tight lid on its citizens' ability to gamble. Local residents are allowed to gamble at exactly one of the country's land-based casinos, and the only other legal options include the lottery, plus limited forms of sports and race wagering.

South Korea isn't shy about prosecuting unauthorized gambling operators and also prosecutes individual gamblers, regardless of whether they gamble at home or abroad. An unidentified Coinone rep told the media outlet that it would "provide legal representation for users who received requests from the police."

Coinone suspended margin trading last month due to what it described as the government's increasingly 'strict' policies regarding cryptocurrencies. Other Korean crypto exchanges, including the market's largest exchange Bithumb, also suspended margin trading last year.

Also on Wednesday, the country's financial watchdogs conducted their planned "intensive probe" into six major banks to determine whether they "carried out their obligations to prevent money laundering in managing virtual accounts." It's not known when the results of this probe will be released.

The post South Korea probes Coinone crypto exchange’s margin trades appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Penn National wants court to declare new state gambling law unconstitutional

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 05:41 AM PST

Casino owner Penn National Gaming has mounted a legal challenge to Pennsylvania's newly enacted gambling expansion law.

Penn National wants court to declare new state gambling law unconstitutionalThe York Dispatch reported that Penn National has asked the federal court in Harrisburg to declare Pennsylvania's new gaming expansion law unconstitutional, claiming that it violates the company's rights to equal protection and due process.

Penn National's lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, a day before the state regulator auctions the first of 10 mini-casino licenses in the state, according to The Sacramento Bee report.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that the starting bid for the coveted casino licenses is at $7.5 million. The license allows winning bidders to operate 750 slot machines and they can also purchase another $2.5 million separate certificate to operate at least 30 table games.

But before the state regulators started unsealing the bids, Penn National has already sought the intervention of the local court to prevent the "significant and unique" harm that the mini-casinos will inflict to its Hollywood Casino in suburban Harrisburg.

Under Pennsylvania's 2-month-old gambling law, existing Pennsylvania casinos are given a 25-mile protection zone in order to prevent casino cannibalization in the state. Mini-casinos, on the other hand, have protected buffer zones of 15 miles.

Penn National isn't convinced that the buffer will work since the divisions set by the state tend to overlap. The casino operator has estimated that its casino stands to lose $34 million annually if the mini-casinos open.

They also pointed out the seeming special treatment that the government accorded to Mount Airy Casino Resort in northeastern Pennsylvania. According to Penn National, there were provisions under the new law that barred mini-casinos from being constructed in the counties of Pike, Wayne, and Carbon.

Penn National's lawsuit was the latest petition filed against Pennsylvania's new gambling law. In December, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem asked the Supreme Court to strike down the controversial law, claiming that it will leave existing casinos vulnerable to customer poaching.

The post Penn National wants court to declare new state gambling law unconstitutional appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Tasmanian liberals vow to protect pokies, not monopoly

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 05:03 AM PST

The Tasmanian Liberal Party has begun wooing voters to re-elect its candidates in the upcoming March elections by assuring them that pokies will remain in pubs and clubs.

Tasmanian liberals vow to protect pokies, not monopolyThe Australian Financial Review reported that Premier Will Hodgman committed to allowing poker machines in the state, saying that his party "respect the fact that the gaming and gambling is a lawful activity."

Distancing themselves from their Labor opposition, Hodgman contended that "Tasmanians should be able to exercise choice and to participate in gambling activities."

“We are not a government or political party that believes in dictating to people,” Hodgman said, according to the news outlet.

Gambling has been a thorny political issue in Tasmania, especially when thousands of jobs are at risk as a result of Labor’s proposal to scrap pokies.

Hodgman's party proposes that Tasmania will see four new casinos while poker machines remain in pubs and clubs until 2043. The party, however, wants to break up the Federal Group’s pokies monopoly and allow pubs and clubs to directly license their own machines from the government.

Federal Group has been holding the exclusive right to operate casinos, pokies and keno throughout Tasmania. It opened its first casino in Hobart, Tasmania in 1973.

If the Liberals have their way, the number of pokies in clubs and pubs would be capped at 2,350 and venues would be allowed to take a larger return from the machines. The Liberals are also proposing to increase the amount of money set aside for harm minimization and community projects from AUD4.4 million (US$3.45 million) in 2016-17 to around AUD9 million ($7.06 million).

Labor leader Rebecca White, however, finds Hodgman's rhetoric to be bordering on “selling out” to the gaming lobby.

If Labor beats the Liberals in the upcoming elections, Tasmania will become the second state in Australia to have pokies-free pubs and clubs.

"We need to be really careful here when we consider the rhetoric being used by the pro-pokies lobby because it's not truthful," she said, according to The Mercury. "That money that's currently lost to poker machines will be redirected to spending in other areas of our economy creating more jobs."

The post Tasmanian liberals vow to protect pokies, not monopoly appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Silver Heritage targets March grand opening for Nepal casino

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 04:52 AM PST

The Nepal operations of Australia-listed casino operator Silver Heritage Group Ltd. will go full throttle this year, starting with the grand opening of its new integrated resort in Kathmandu.

Silver Heritage targets March grand opening for Nepal casinoIn a regulatory filing on Wednesday, Silver Heritage announced that the hotel, gaming and hospitality facilities of Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa will become fully operational in March, while its VIP rooms with eight tables will launch in the fourth quarter.

Silver Heritage claims that Tiger Palace Resort is the "the first purpose-built integrated resort in South Asia," excluding the floating casinos in Goa, India.

Silver Heritage has been chasing Indian high-rollers who have been overlooked and undervalued by other casino operators due to the appeal of Chinese gamblers. According to the company, "India will have the world's largest middle class consumption on an annual basis in 2030," growing by as much as $12.8 trillion compared with China's $10 trillion.

Tiger Palace, which is located near two UNESCO world heritage sites, has 100 rooms and suites, in addition to two two-bedroom villas. Its casino currently has 44 gaming tables and 216 electronic gaming machines.

Silver Heritage initially planned to open Tiger Palace last February but a shortage of liquidity in Nepal's banking system and unanticipated delays in getting approval to increase the equity ceiling of its Nepal corporate investment vehicle pushed the opening date of the integrated resort to August.

Tiger Palace's original cost was estimated at $40 million but construction delays drove up the price tag to $51.8 million.

In September, Silver Heritage held a dry run of its casino resort facility by welcoming its first paying hotel guests, which included Silver Heritage co-founders Mike Bolsover and Tim Shepherd. Just last week, Silver Heritage announced that it has secured a casino operations license from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal through its subsidiary SHL Management Services.

The post Silver Heritage targets March grand opening for Nepal casino appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Bitcoin BCH entrepreneur, Calvin Ayre, goes mining!

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 03:45 AM PST

calvin-ayre-bitcoin-bch-mining-3An early and vocal advocate of Bitcoin BCH, Antiguan citizen Calvin Ayre, has now taken the inevitable next step in his investment into the cryptocurrency by opening up his first mining operation.

Most of those with a long history of Bitcoin adoption are now of the view that BCH is the only genuine low-fee, peer-to-peer digital currency. With that vision in mind Ayre has invested significantly in both hardware and software in order to build the 'hash rate' of BCH and highlight the all-important scalability of the chain. Ayre will mine only Bitcoin BCH, the one true Bitcoin that follows the original Satoshi White paper.

The new mining operation will be under the same brand as Ayre Media's recently purchased Bitcoin news portal, CoinGeek.com. CoinGeek.com just launched its new website and focuses on Bitcoin Commerce (bComm), which means, Bitcoin BCH, as the only technology positioned for this function.

Ayre explains: "This is the first step in a whole host of activity in the BCH space that we are rolling out this year. For instance, we are also embarking on a full merchant adoption marketing program. This will help educate not only those who have already embraced the now-dysfunctional, legacy Segwit Coin but also those who are thinking of taking the plunge for the first time; that BCH is the only option for low-fee micro-payments. This will include the industry's first bComm merchant adoption conference in Hong Kong, May 18th at the Four Seasons." [CoinGeek.com Conference].

Bitcoin BCH offers secure, reliable, low cost micro-transactions and in 2018 will prove itself to be "the one" that can do it all.

For more information please contact:

ed@pownall.eu or to be informed about registration please email: conference@coingeek.com

The post Bitcoin BCH entrepreneur, Calvin Ayre, goes mining! appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Yggdrasil announces entry into table games vertical

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 02:35 AM PST

10th January, 2018 ­­– Yggdrasil Gaming is set to revolutionise the table games sector when it enters the vertical during the first quarter of 2018 with a game-changing new collection of products.

Yggdrasil announces entry into table games verticalThe supplier is developing several popular multiplayer table games, with Blackjack the first to go live, using its progressive, in-house technology, REDUX™. The product will also include popular sidebets and a range of powers unique to each dealer.

REDUX™ combines the best aspects of both live and RNG casino, providing the perfect platform for players to fully immerse themselves in a 3D casino environment, which uses motion capture technology to model the movements of the dealer.

Several different, high-quality dealer characters are being developed using the technology, and each will be programmed with detailed hand movements and facial expressions to interact and communicate with the player.

Alongside a standard branding package, there will also be the option for exclusive, customised tables and dealers. Operators will be able to dress up the game according to their visual identity or special themes.

Roulette and Baccarat will then be added to its portfolio of table games, all utilising a highly-detailed 3D dealer and innovative social experiences, which will allow players to sit and communicate with other players at the gaming table.

Yggdrasil table games will initially go live with operators Vera&John and Intercasino, both part of the Jackpotjoy Group, in a beta partnership with a view to being fully operational later this year.

Yggdrasil CPO Krzysztof Opałka, said: "Our table games provision, starting with Blackjack, is set to break new ground in online casino gaming. The table games vertical has been fairly static in recent years. But our product's combination of social interaction and high-end playability is unlike any other currently on the market.

"It won't just be a single player trying to beat the house, but instead thousands of real players from all over the world, who are all able to join the game simultaneously with the aim of hitting big hands and bigger wins.

"We have a packed roadmap of innovative new games and features. Our aim is to innovate table games in a similar fashion to slots, where a constant product cycle of new variations built on familiar mechanics drives growth."

Jackpotjoy Group Head of Gaming Victor Olinger, said: "Yggdrasil is a well-known name across the industry that has become a byword for innovation in the slots sector. It is fantastic news to hear they are turning their attention to table games.

"It is a major coup to be the first operator to go live with Yggdrasil's table games, and we look forward to bringing this exciting new product to our full customer base this year."

The table games' proprietary 3D engine, REDUX™, has been developed internally from scratch and uses the latest technologies to ensure seamless performance and rapid loading.

The product will open extensive cross-selling possibilities for operators, and will also sync with Yggdrasil's collection of in-game promotional tools, BOOST™, facilitating network campaigns.

Yggdrasil's table games will complement its expansive product range, which has recently seen the addition of bingo alongside its extensive collection of slots titles.

The first table game will be demonstrated at ICE Totally Gaming in February 6-8 in London at the Yggdrasil stand N3-140. Book a demo with sales@yggdrasilgaming.com.

For more information please visit: www.yggdrasiltablegames.com.

For more information, please contact:

Square in the Air Communications

David Bartram

+44 (0) 20 3586 1978


About Yggdrasil Gaming

Yggdrasil Gaming is a provider of superior online and mobile casino games. It has emerged as one of the industry's most respected and acclaimed suppliers and provides games for some of the world's biggest operators, including: bet365, Betsson Group, bwin.party, Cherry, LeoVegas, Mr Green, Casumo and Unibet.

The company is headquartered in Malta, with a major development office in Krakow, Poland and regional offices in Stockholm and Gibraltar. The firm holds licences in Malta, Romania, Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.

Yggdrasil's slots are renowned for their outstanding graphics and gameplay and many have become global hits. They are integrated via the industry-changing iSENSE 2.0 HTML client framework which allows for simultaneous launches on desktop and mobile, and is supported by BOOST™, a collection of in-game promotional tools focused on engagement and retention via concepts such as Missions, Super Free Spins™ and Cash Race, and BRAG, an industry-first concept which allows for the promotion of games via social channels.

iSENSE 2.0+, launched in April 2017, includes a number of industry-leading features, including retina support for crisper visuals, a new minimalistic mobile UI with a sleek and fresh feel, and a new and easy in-game deposit process.

Yggdrasil was the winner of Innovator of the Year at the 2017 International Gaming Awards, Slot Provider of the Year at the 2016 and 2017 EGR B2B Awards, Gaming Software Supplier of the Year at the 2016 International Gaming Awards and Software Rising Star at the 2015 EGR B2B Awards.

The post Yggdrasil announces entry into table games vertical appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Bede Gaming to expand virtual sports offering on PLAY with Kiron deal

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 02:31 AM PST

10th January 2018 – Bede Gaming, an award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, is further expanding its content offering via an agreement with leading virtual sports provider Kiron Interactive.

Bede Gaming to expand virtual sports offering on PLAY with Kiron dealThe deal will see Kiron's full suite of 20 virtual sports and numbers games integrated into Bede's content aggregator platform, PLAY.

Kiron's market-leading virtuals portfolio includes football, horse racing, greyhound racing and motor racing titles.

The games will be available to all of Bede's partners, including Tier 1 operator The Rank Group.

Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: "Virtual sports have become an increasingly important gaming vertical in recent years and sits well between casino and sports betting.

"We're always looking to build on our products with high end games, so it was important to extend Bede PLAY's virtuals offering, and with Kiron's portfolio among the strongest of its type in the industry, adding Kiron made sense.

"Our operator partners will have access to world-class virtual sports games, which will significantly improve retention, cross-sell and engagement."

Steven Spartinos, CEO of Kiron Interactive, said: "Many innovative operators have partnered with, and benefited from, Bede over the past few years, so we are excited to bring our games to new audiences, where we know they will perform strongly."

Bede's platforms offer completely flexible gaming solutions with robust security measures, and is fast establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally.

Founded in 2012, Bede Gaming employs the latest in modern technology to provide operators with high performing software used to create world class gaming experiences.

For more information, please contact:

Square in the Air Communications

David Bartram

+44 (0) 20 3586 1978


About Bede Gaming

Bede Gaming is a leading supplier of software to the online gaming industry, powering some of the biggest brands globally. The platform provider works in regulated markets and processes tens of millions of transactions per month.

The Bede platform is flexible, scalable, modular and fully open meaning operators can integrate any third-party software required into the platform or use its bespoke solutions. Bede's platform also integrates into land based systems, offering operators a genuine omni-channel convergence solution.

Bede Gaming, which is headquartered in Newcastle upon-Tyne, in the heart of the north-east of England, UK, is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and is an approved supplier of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

The post Bede Gaming to expand virtual sports offering on PLAY with Kiron deal appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

Habanero gears up for Italian market entry

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 02:20 AM PST

10th January 2018 – Premium slots and table games provider Habanero is to push into Italy in 2018, kick-starting a year of targeted commercial expansion throughout Western Europe.

All 33 games developed by the supplier in 2016 and 2017 have now been certified to the requirements of the Italian regulator (AAMS), with the remaining titles in their catalogue and all new releases to follow in future.

Habanero gears up for Italian market entryHabanero is also in advanced discussions to take the games live with several leading operators in Italy. The company's expansion is being spearheaded by experienced gaming executive Arcangelo Lonoce, who was appointed as European Head of Business Development in November 2017.

Former BetVictor executive Lonoce said: "We have progressed our global reach significantly in recent months and are delighted to have all of our most recent games certified in Italy.

"Habanero is entering an exciting phase of its growth, with expansion across Western Europe one of our core priorities as we lead into 2018."

Habanero agreed a number of operator and supplier integrations in 2017, most-recently signing with multi-channel casino platform provider Digitain in December.

The supplier now offers over 80 video slots titles, 10 table games, and 10 video poker titles, which are integrated with over 60 operators and aggregators and available in 24 European and Asian languages.

For more information on this press please contact Square in the Air on 0203 586 8272 or enquiries@squareintheair.com

About Habanero

Habanero is a supplier of quality slots and table games for the online and land-based casino industries. Hosted on Habanero's own platform and made available at a competitive rate, these games are tailored to the widest possible variety of devices, allowing operators in multiple territories to maximise their incomes.

Purchased by a group of European investors in 2012, the company now boasts a host of skilled designers, developers and mathematicians. Its management team has over four decades' worth of experience in betting and gaming. For more information, please contact info@habanerosystems.com. For additional images and other media enquiries, please email enquiries@squareintheair.com. For sales enquiries, please contact sales@habanerosystems.com

The post Habanero gears up for Italian market entry appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.