Monthly Archives: August 2020

Barbados Prepares to Shut Down as Tropical Storm Dorian Approaches

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados government has announced plans to shut down the island as Tropical Storm Dorian draws closer to the island.A government statement said that the shutdown procedures would begin at 10.00 am (local time) and that “only essential services in the private and public sectors should open today”.Home Affairs Minister, Edmund Hinkson has called on Barbadians to be off the streets no later than noon and that the last Transport Board bus to any destination will leave the bus terminals at 11:00 a.m (local time).“According to the Policy Framework and Standard Operating Procedures for the Systematic Shutdown and Reactivation of Barbados, essential services in the private sector are: utility companies, supermarkets, mini-marts, shops, pharmacies, general stores including hardware stores and lumberyards, companies that provide public transportation and telecommunication providers,” the government statement said.In its latest bulletin, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Dorian was getting “better organised” and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Windward Islands later on Monday.It said that the storm, the fourth for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season was located about 205 miles, east southeast of Barbados, 315 miles, east southeast of St. Lucia with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (mph).A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while a tropical storm watch remains in effect for Dominica, Martinique, Grenada and its dependencies, Saba and St. Eustatius.The NHC said that Dorian is moving toward the west near 14 mph and a turn towards the west-northwest is expected later Tuesday, with this motion continuing through Tuesday night.“On the forecast track, the center of Dorian is expected to be near the Windward Islands late today and tonight and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday,” NHC said, noting that Dorian could be near hurricane strength on Tuesday and Wednesday while it moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea.“Dorian is expected to produce total rain accumulations of two to four inches in Barbados, the Windward Islands, and Dominica through Tuesday.  Isolated maximum amounts of six inches are possible in Barbados and the Windward Islands.”Hinkson said that staff of the Sanitation Service Authority, the Ministry of Public Works and Maintenance, the National Conservation Commission and the National Housing Corporation will also be deployed to continue the clean-up ahead of the storm’s impact.“All other government employees in services not essential would not be required to report for work,” he said, noting that senior public servants are expected to ensure the security of government property within their respective domains.last_img read more

Road to Recovery! Industry awaits William Hill full-year 2016 results

first_img Rank Group extends support for Carers Trust July 28, 2020 Submit Share Related Articles William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Industry analyst are awaiting William Hill Plc’s full-year 2016 results which will be published on Monday 9 January.Following a year of woes for the FTSE-listed bookmaker, in which it had to issue an early profit warning following its first 2016 business quarter, industry commentators are eager to evaluate William Hill’s position coming into 2017.Hindered by the digital decline of its online verticals, which saw James Henderson resign as Chief Executive last July, William Hill governance are expected to present investors further insights on the company’s performance turnaround.As the first UK legacy operator to present its full-year 2016 results, William Hill governance faces a very different marketplace in 2017 following the consolidation and combination of numerous competitors (Paddy Power Betfair, Ladbrokes-Coral, GVC Holdings).During 2016, William Hill had been at the centre of industry M&A speculation, with the company rejecting a three-way consortium bid made by Rank Group and 888 Holdings in August and a further end of year merger with Toronto TSX-listed Amaya Inc.The constant speculation regarding the firm’s position has led to investor criticism of the company’s board. Following the failed Amaya merger proposal, William Hill’s governance was criticised by its largest investor Parvus (14% equity) of ‘time wasting’.Seeking to sooth investor concerns, Chairman Gareth Davis has stated that the company has the ‘capabilities to overcome its digital woes’. In November the bookmaker carried out a tech-led governance restructure appointing John O’Reilly, (former Managing Director at Coral Interactive), Robin Terrell (former Chief Customer Officer at Tesco PLC) and Mark Brooker (former Chief Operating Officer at Betfair) as board advisors.Further to its planned performance turnaround, William Hill investors will be keen to find out on progress relating to the appointment of a new CEO. Since Henderson’s departure, William Hill leadership being filled by interim-CEO Philip Bowcock, who joined the company last November as CFO from UK cinema chain ‘Cineworld’.As yet FTSE operator has made no ‘formal offers’ to potential candidates, despite its board undertaking a six-month hunt for a new leader.last_img read more

Playtech extends decade-long partnership with Mecca Bingo

first_img Rank Group extends support for Carers Trust July 28, 2020 John O’Reilly – Erratic orders have placed UK casinos on life support August 4, 2020 Share Submit Related Articles Share Government denies casinos a July reopening July 10, 2020 StumbleUpon Updating the market, Playtech Plc has confirmed that it has renewed principal online bingo and games supplier terms with Rank Group Plc subsidiary Mecca Bingo, the firm’s biggest online bingo partner.The FTSE-listed gambling technology supplier was pleased to renew its ‘more than a decade long’ partnership with Mecca Bingo, turning the brand into a leading online bingo destination for UK consumers.Agreeing a multi-year extension of services, Playtech retains its position as exclusive provider of bingo and games content, and will further cover provisions to bolster Mecca Bingo with further points of differentiation.The agreement also includes Playtech’s Open Platform enabling Mecca to offer its players a vast array of leading Playtech and third -party games content to its rapidly growing player base.Daniel Phillips, VP UK Operations, Playtech, said: “The network is performing well with stakes and active players at their highest ever levels and our licensees have made a great start to 2017.“Mecca is one of those so we are therefore very pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with the Rank Group and our collaborative approach will help drive their bingo business into the next decade and beyond.”Colin Cole-Johnson, Group Director, Rank Group, said: “It is a suite of products our customers know and love, and this has been an important partnership for Mecca since 2006, so naturally we are pleased that an agreement has been reached to develop this further.”last_img read more

DAREBS: InBet stands out with unique betting terminal solution

first_imgShare Inbet and Iforium join forces to create successful software deal November 13, 2018 Inbet to boost betting volume through Atomic platform December 20, 2018 Software solutions provider InBet Games has released DAREBS, a betting terminal which allows players to make bets on real-life events.Gaming machines, while enjoying great popularity among players, have always faced severe regulations in many jurisdictions. For example, UK law restricts the number of terminals operating with a single establishment to four, as well as placing a limit on monthly revenue derived from slots.Derived from the acronym Dynamically Animated Real Events Betting System, DAREBS stands out to owners of online and offline bookmaking operations. The real-event mechanism means that it can be operated on a bookmaking licence, making it “a fine addition to any betting shop”, while it wouldn’t cannibalize the existent infrastructure that is already in use, since no restrictions apply to it.DAREBS takes bets on airplane positioning with data acquired from international open systems such as flight radar. Airplane coordinates, displayed on the screen in the betting shop, can be easily tracked and cross checked through a variety of services to ensure transparency for the player.Based on a software platform called Lima, DAREBS, which can be installed on a regular computer, comes with ready-to-use cashier and administrator interfaces, alongside numerous options for customisation, from animation settings to regulation of the jackpot size.With up to 120 animations and integrated customer account management, the terminal also serves as an effective CRM tool for operators, who can also benefit from its automated payment processes.Pavel Korolev, Business Development Director for InBet Games, said: “We are constantly adding new features and functionality to the groundbreaking DAREBS solution. The latest improvement has seen the platform equipped with a system of customer account management.“This tool allows players to resume the game from the last checkpoint, even if earlier they have left the gaming hall for a while. Meanwhile, the easily searchable customer account database also simplifies cash-in. For operators, it acts as a convenient CRM instrument, indispensable for maintaining a customer database and automating payment processes.“This system holds a proprietary patent, certified by BMM and several other testing labs, and has been successfully implemented in dozens of regulated markets. Boasting enhanced player engagement, DAREBS’ profitability rate is almost the same as for B2 terminals.” Related Articles StumbleUpon Hot Swap delivers “instant win” for Inbet’s retail betting clients January 2, 2019 Submit Sharelast_img read more

Ladbrokes Coral commits to pay voluntary off shore greyhound levy

first_img Submit StumbleUpon GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Revenues down 11% but product depth helps GVC through lockdown July 16, 2020 Share GVC ‘surprised’ at widening of HMRC’s Turkey investigation July 21, 2020 Share Related Articles Issuing a corporate update, Ladbrokes Coral Plc has today informed that it will be paying a ‘voluntary levy to greyhound racing based on off shore greyhound turnover from the start of 2018.’The FTSE firm states that its commitment to the greyhound levy will be ‘unconditionally’, making its payments through the British Greyhound Racing Fund or the body advised by Lord Lipsey’s review of the sport, which is currently ongoing.At present, Ladbrokes Coral operates four greyhound tracks at Crayford, Hove, Monmore and Romford, the levy funding is in addition to retail levy and will contribute a significant investment in welfare and infrastructure at these tracks.Updating investors Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes Coral Chief Executive commented on greyhound levy contributions: “We are passionate supporters of greyhound racing.  While it may be declining in popularity it is still a much loved and staple part of our offer both in shops and through our digital channels.”“The debate on its funding has been going on for some time and while we have not always agreed that the sport is under-funded, we do recognise that it is time for the industry to move on and start to rebuild the sport.“We run our tracks to the highest standards of integrity and welfare and hope that this additional funding can help the wider industry join us in the aim of building a better sport and spectacle for the modern day customer. We hope this gesture will help Lord Lipsey bring a period of stability to the sport when he produces his findings and that others will follow.”last_img read more

Strategic governance review sees Sportech put up for sale

first_img Submit Share Betfred debuts new rockabilly TV campaign promoting ‘Nifty Fifty’ live draws July 31, 2020 Sportech highlights new client wins under lockdown June 26, 2020 Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Top 50 clubs suffer €751m decline in brand value July 31, 2020 Richard McGuireIssuing a governance statement, London-listed betting systems provider Sportech Plc has today announced that it is seeking a corporate sale of its entire enterprise.Its decision follows a comprehensive strategy review undertaken by Sportech governance with a view to maximising shareholder value.Launching its bidding process, Sportech informs that it has appointed London investment firm Canaccord Genuity as lead financial advisor for its planned sale.Canaccord Genuity will work alongside  Sportech’s Takeover Panel reviewing bids which will bring optimal value for the firm’s investors. Updating the media and stakeholders, Richard McGuire, Non-Executive Chairman of Sportech, commented:“We announced last month a comprehensive strategic review to assess options to enhance shareholder value. Further to this investigation, we have today launched this formal sales process.  Whilst we note there is no certainty that an offer, or suitable offer, will be forthcoming, our confidence in our businesses, in our growth opportunities and in our dedicated professional colleagues means that a potential sale is only one of the strategic options open to the Company.”In its latest H1 interim statement, Sportech governance detailed that the company had undertaken a ‘transitional period’ for its business, having agreed to sell-off its Football Pools division for £83 million (March 2017) and having further been cleared of its £97 million tax dispute with UK HMRC.Throughout 2016/2017 Sportech has pushed for the company to expand its services internationally, focusing growth within the US market for its racing systems division ‘Sportech Racing & Digital’ services.Last September, Sportech’s leadership duo of CEO Ian Penrose and CFO Mickey Kalifa informed the board that their intended departures. Kalifa resigned with immediate effect, whilst Penrose is expected to maintain the position of Sportech leader until 31 December.Moving forward with its sale, the Sportech board will publish a full strategic review with its corporate trading statement on 9 November.last_img read more

UKGC invites comments on its gambling proposals

first_img Share StumbleUpon UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles Share The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has invited comments on its proposals “to make gambling more fair and open,” at the same time as welcoming a new report by Citizens Advice.Consumers, gambling businesses, stakeholders and members of the public are all able to voice opinions on proposed changes, related to marketing and advertising, unfair terms, and complaints and disputes. Proposed changes to license conditions and codes of practice, forming one part of a wider programme, are to ensure consumers are being treated in a fair and open manner by operators.Amongst the proposals are a focus on compliance with UK advertising codes, ensuring operators comply with all relevant consumer protection legislation and improvements to consumer complaints handling, which includes the introduction of an eight-week time limit for licensees to deal with gambling complaints. Sarah Gardner, Commission Executive Director, said: “We are proposing these changes because of the risk of consumer harm, concern about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling and concerns about advertising. We’re very keen to hear the views of all those with an interest in the gambling industry.”The UKGC, who last year launched a three year commitment to prevent harm to consumers and the public, has welcomed a new report published by Citizens Advice, which considers the causes and impacts of problem gambling.Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, commented: “Citizens Advice provides a vital gateway to vulnerable consumers, particularly those that are already seeking support for their issues, including problematic gambling. “We welcome this report which puts a focussed lens on those that are at the extreme end of gambling-related harm, and provides a strong start in us being able to understand the impact problem gambling can have beyond the individual gambler themselves; on friends, family, work colleagues and communities.  “This report will also help us understand the costs associated with its impact on public health services, on families and communities, on employment and debt, and on justice and court services. “Understanding the full impact of problem gambling will help the industry, the Commission and other key stakeholders to properly manage and minimise those impacts.  Together we can work towards the prevention of gambling-related harm, as well as ensuring that effective support and treatment is readily available for those who need it.” Submit UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020last_img read more

British Racing reveals increase in meetings for 2019

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Submit UK Racing pushes for drastic levy reforms as deep recession looms August 25, 2020 Julie Harrington takes the reins as BHA CEO August 11, 2020 Share Publishing its 2019 Fixture List, British Racing has outlined a slight increase in the number of race meetings in 2019.The announcement comes after a unanimous agreement from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA) and Horsemen’s Group, as well as the approval by the BHA Board.It has emphasised that the focus in compiling the 2019 Fixture List has been to bring in measures to assist those who work in the sport whilst simultaneously aligning the fixture schedule to the changing needs of the betting industry.Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the BHA commented: “Producing a Fixture List which strikes the right balance between sufficient support for all those who work so hard in racing, opportunities and rewards for owners and a compelling betting product to grow vital revenues for the sport has been a cross-industry effort.“We hope that the 2019 Fixture List gives racing’s participants and customer groups confidence that the sport is working together in their best interests, and its early publication will allow the industry, racecourses and bookmakers adequate time to plan for next year.”The policies governing the compilation of the 2019 Fixture List were set out earlier this year, and led to a number of new initiatives including breaks for Flat participants in March and November and all floodlit fixtures between January to mid-April and September to December having a final race time of no later than 8:30pm to help jockeys and racing staff.These measures aim to support jockeys and racing staff and are designed to help alleviate some of the demands that the Fixture List might place on their physical and mental wellbeing through extensive travel and late working hours.Additionally, to benefit both retail and digital betting operators, measures have been agreed to schedule floodlit cards to try and provide a more continuous and consistent betting product throughout the course of afternoon and evening racing, as well as the scheduling of a trial of 15 additional floodlit fixtures in the autumn to test the popularity of staging two such fixtures on the same evening with the betting public.These initiatives are partly in response to the fact that over half of all betting on British racing is now placed remotely and that the Fixture List must to an extent be tailored to meet the needs of that audience if the sport is to grow.Andy Clifton, Racing Director at the RCA, added: “The production of the 2019 Fixture List has been a great example of the strength of the tripartite structure of British Racing.“The end result is a fixture list which balances the very different requirements of sections of the racing and betting industries as well as it can, and we look forward to continuing that process in the years to come, to the benefit of the sport as a whole.”Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners’ Association and nominated representative of the Horsemen’s Group, also said: “The culmination of the 2019 Fixture List process produced a balanced fixture list with due rewards and opportunities for all those who invest in British racing. The Tripartite structure was seen at its best, delivering a Fixture List with the interest of the whole industry at its core.“Balancing the interests of all of racing’s stakeholders through the process is not always straightforward and so it is with great confidence that we look forward to 2019 and continuing to work together for the benefit of the whole sport.”Key details from the 2019 fixture list:A total of 1,511 fixtures have been scheduled, 3 more than were originally scheduled in 2018Ratio of fixtures in 2019 – Jump: 39.4%, Flat Turf 37.3%, All Weather 23.2% (2018: Jump: 39.7%, Flat Turf 37.7%, All Weather 22.6%)915 Flat fixtures scheduled (14 more than in 2017). Of these fixtures, 564 are Flat Turf fixtures (five fewer than 2018) while 351 are All Weather fixtures (10 more than originally scheduled in 2018)596 Jump fixtures scheduled (two fewer than 2018)By betting session, there will be 1,081 afternoon fixtures (15 fewer than 2018) and 430 evening fixtures (18 more than 2018). Scottish racing to resume from 22 June June 19, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE takes charge of RGSB governance

first_img Related Articles UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Share UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 Share Submit StumbleUpon Bill Moyes – UKGCThe UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed the appointment of Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE as new Chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).Dr van der Gaag will succeed Sir Christopher Kelly, who is set to finish his leadership tenure of the RGSB on March 2019.An experienced executive in regulatory policy development for health and social care, Dr van der Gaag is the current Visiting Professor for Ethics & Regulation at the University of Surrey.As new RGSB Chair, Dr van der Gaag will lead R&D, knowledge, treatment and insight structures for supporting the UKGC and gambling-related harm stakeholders.Backing the appointment, Bill Moyes, UKGC Chair said: “It is with pleasure that we announce Dr Anna van der Gaag as the new Chair of RGSB. She brings with her a wealth of experience in health, social care and the prevention of harm that will be an asset in advising on how to implement the next National Strategy, which will launch in April 2019 and on which we will shortly be consulting.”The former Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council, Dr van der Gaag is a current non-executive director for Health Education England.  Furthermore, she is a founding member of health and social workers advice forum – the Q Community.  In 2015, Dr van der Gaag was awarded a CBE for services to health and social care recognising a 30-year career supporting vital public services.Dr Anna van der Gaag, speaking about her appointment said: “Gambling-related harms are increasingly recognised as a public health issue requiring robust collective action. I am thrilled by this opportunity to join a team with such a passionate commitment to understanding and reducing harms and raising awareness of the personal and societal costs that can arise from gambling activities.”last_img read more

APBGG: Industry cannot afford complacency on underage gambling

first_img YGAM achieves City & Guilds status for second year August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Successful summer leaves Leadstar positive over industry’s recovery August 18, 2020 Share Submit maintains momentum against COVID-19 impacts August 19, 2020 Share Related Articles Industry figureheads and wider health and education stakeholders addressed the issue of whether children are really gambling – at the latest meeting of the ‘Parliamentary All Party Betting and Gaming Group’ (APBGG – 26 February 2019). The subject matter which has become a prominent issue for the UK gambling industry was discussed by –  David Williams, Director of Public Affairs at Rank Group; Richard Flint, Executive Chairman at Sky Betting & Gaming; Ben Haden, Programme Director for Insight at the Gambling Commission and Lee Willows, CEO of Young Gamblers Education Trust (YGam).All panellists overwhelmingly agreed that ‘children do gamble’, as everyone offered solutions to the issues at hand. The ways in which a solution could be found differed, somewhat, with some suggesting technology-led ideas while others focused more on the educational approach. Nevertheless, panellists agreed that a multifaceted approach was needed was unanimously agreed upon.David Williams pointed out that the industry as a whole has “failed to grasp some nettles”, but in recent years, there has been both an appetite and determination to face problems head-on.He stated: “The betting and gaming industry must shoulder its fair share of blame for the binary and polarised climate that we all too often find ourselves in. As an industry we have been far too slow to cotton on to social concerns and public trends, and meet them head-on with intelligent and reasonable solutions.“We’re in danger of reducing everything to a “permit” or “prohibit” position; it’s not where we want to be.”The danger of polarising the debate, according to Williams, disregards the progressive work that the gambling industry is currently doing and has previously done to address the issues at hand.With the introduction of the self-imposed ‘whistle-to-whistle ban’, the increasing use of revenues to fund research education and treatment,  it is essential that the industry as a whole seeks to find more effective solutions.Williams added: “The Commission has made considerable progress in addressing many of these issues, and recent judgements handed out over the appearance of gambling brands in popular TV programmes have been understandable. The announcement earlier this month to tighten up the process around age verification is welcomed.“I think there is less disagreement around the desired outcomes of change than some would have us believe.“We must take ourselves away from the extremes of a debate, and in doing so, we stand a better chance of making the progress that every single person in this room surely wants to see delivered.”While implementing legislation may have previously been seen as the sole way to resolve the issue, the conversation turned towards the need for conversation and collaboration between operators, parents, the media and the Government.Leading charity figure at YGam, Lee Willows, addressed the ways in which parents can facilitate education. He stated: “There is an importance in giving parents the tools they need to take the conversation on gambling into living rooms up and down the country. So it should be second nature when you hand your child an ipad or phone, that there is a conversation on digital resilience.“There isn’t an education component to the new safer gambling strategy, and I’m not saying this should be it, but our brochure shows what education could provide.”By providing education to both children and parents, a framework of responsibility can be created which can further prevention. Willows and the other panellists discussed the necessity of maintaining a functional, fruitful relationship with the Government through ensuring that Government figures are kept informed on issues.Richard Flint backed Willow’s suggestion that education should be a key way in ensuring that under-aged gambling is prevented. Participation in gambling has decreased across the board since 2013, with a decline of 29.7 per cent. Flint implied that the inclusion of messaging which highlights the risks posed by irresponsible gambling may have played a significant role in this decline – and it is these messages that have opened the dialogue across living rooms in the UK.The Gambling Commission, according to Flint, is doing ‘relatively well’ in addressing the issue, but the narrative portrayed by wider stakeholders must be changed. He argued: “Waking up to negative headlines is something executives in the gaming sector have regrettably become used to in recent years and the headlines of 21 November were particularly troubling.“I would say to many people not close to the gambling industry, by this I include many politicians, this has become the accepted narrative.  These headlines are troubling for me.“Running an online gambling company for 15 years, and choosing like I do, to be available on social media, means I get a lot of data on the reality of the industry. In our data, I do become aware of people who have experienced harm from online gambling. I personally have met people who have been negatively affected by gambling, but have subsequently turned their lives around through treatment. I strongly believe children need education on the risks of gambling.”Education should be extended to both parents and children, as stressed by Flint, and it is by doing this that attitudes can be changed and the risks fully understood.Flint added: “Firstly, we need to make sure that children aren’t gambling under age or illegally, using the ID verification methods that we have online, and we agree that these checks should be done before bets can be placed.“Then we need to engage with the media to correct the myth that children are gambling with UK licenced operators in anything like the numbers implied in the reports– it is very hard for children to gamble online and withdraw any winnings, and the reality is that it isn’t a widespread phenomenon (and the Gambling Commission data agrees with this view).”While it has been suggested that the industry is not doing enough to tackle the matter, it is significant progress to note that the industry is in fact meeting with stakeholders and providing funding to research groups in order to source effective solutions for everyone. A duty to report cases of under-age gambling, according to Lord Bernard Donoughue, lies with the operators. With this in mind, educational and technological initiatives can be incorporated into future UK Gambling Commission strategies in the tackling of children gambling.Observing the discussion, Lord Donoughue emphasised that complacency from industry figures has previously led to harsh regulations being implemented, which have arguably hindered the gambling community.last_img read more