Gambling Commission appoints four senior commissioners

Gambling Commission appoints four senior commissioners

The Gambling Commission has announced the appointment of four commissioners to start effective immediately.

Terry Babbs, Brian Bannister, Jo Hill and Sir Martin Narey will take up their positions on the Gambling Commission’s Board of Commissioners, after being appointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden.

Each will be in the role for five years from 30 April 2020.

Babbs joins alongside his roles as the senior independent director at the General Dental Council, vice char of the Investment Committee of Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme, and non-executive director of HMRC’s Valuation Office Agency.

Bannister, a former PwC UK Director of Public Affairs, is also currently the executive director for strategic insight and influence at the England and Wales Law Society.

Executive director of strategy and risk at The Pensions Regulator, Jo Hill has also held senior roles in the banking and insurance sectors. Government adviser on children’s social care, Narey has previously been director general of the England and Wales Prison Service.

Gambling Commission Chairman, Bill Moyes said: “Their collective experience will help us as we look to implement further protections for consumers and strongly regulate what is a fast-moving and innovative industry.

“I’d like to welcome them to the Commission and look forward to working closely with them.”

Learn About the Bitcoin Market

Bitcoin is the digital currency used to purchase a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. It works just like paper money, but there are important differences between the two. Bitcoin also exists in physical form but is available in a digital way. This is the main form of online trading in portfolio software or other online services. Bitcoins can be obtained by mining or exchanging different types of money or even certain goods and services.

Bitcoin market

The Bitcoin market is the market in which Bitcoins are traded. If you have bitcoins, you can use them to purchase almost anything for which this currency is accepted. There are some types of transactions for which bitcoins are the only generally accepted payment method. To buy this specific asset, bitcoins must complete the transaction.

When you enter the Bitcoin market, you must first learn how to buy Bitcoin. The first way is to buy them. In this way, it takes little effort. The second way is to take advantage of this. It is used on software that performs certain mathematical equations for which the dealer is rewarded with bitcoin. It takes time, and many retailers claim that it contains a small portion of fruit.

Bitcoin purchase process

To be part of the Bitcoin market, wallet software is required. You can also get online service. Online wallet services are available in all major countries, so you can easily set up your wallet account.

In order to buy, you need to link your wallet to your bank account. Depending on the portfolio service, it may take several days.

Once your bank account is linked, a purchase of a Bitcoin link will be displayed in the software window. It will be easy. Once the transaction is complete, the bitcoins are transferred to your wallet.

The Bitcoin market operates according to the same strategies as all other types of trading markets. If the price of bitcoins is low, this is a signal to buy them. If the price goes up, you can sell them profitably.

Mining can be difficult, but all operators have yet to try it from time to time. It’s a little slow, so you have to be patient. You need Bitcoin mining software. There are even mining pools. Simply decode a block with the joint effort of a mining group. You will then receive bitcoins based on your contribution.

Note that the bitcoin value increases and decreases in seconds. If you don’t make the right choice at the right time, you can lose a significant part of your investment. The good thing is that you can make a lot of profit from this form of trading if you understand the basics perfectly.

Tencent launches Blockchain Accelerator to Drive Blockchain Adoption in China

Chinese Internet company Tencent has launched a blockchain accelerator to help 30 startups in the implementation of blockchain in various industrial aspects.

Chinese Internet giant and operator of famous social media app WeChat, Tencent is all set to launch a blockchain accelerator. Tencent on its website officially confirmed the news. According to it, the “Tencent Industrial Accelerator” is ready to accelerate 30 startups irrespective of whether they are just starting up or matured. The only pre-requisite is that the applying startups must have at least one prior financial round. Tencent is accepting applications until the 6th of June. The application cost around 100,000 RMB, which amounts to just about $14,000. 

The announcement stated, “Tencent Blockchain Accelerator is an important part of Tencent Industrial Accelerator. By integrating global blockchain industry resources and linking excellent blockchain companies, a multi-dimensional service platform based on technology, scenarios, business opportunities, and capital is created to achieve strategic planning. All-round acceleration to the implementation of applications, jointly promote the independent innovation of blockchain technology, help the application of technical applications to the industrial scene, and jointly build an industrial prosperity ecology.”

Some of the areas on which the accelerator will focus are industrial blockchain solutions and blockchain applications for data sharing, supply chain financing, digital asset transactions, government affairs, energy, education, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, and public welfare.

All the selected applicants will have access to one entire year of mentorship, along with Tencent’s blockchain-as-a-service platform. Moreover, they will also be presented with industry networking and business opportunities. 


German Blockchain-based Startup Gapless Secured $5.5M

Blockchain-based vehicle management developer Gapless has brought Porsche on board to lead its $5.5 million funding round. 

German startup Gapless which focuses on blockchain-based vehicle management systems is executing a $5.9 million funding round, and automobile giant Porsche is participating in it. According to the reports, other participants include FinLab EOS VC Fund and insurance entrepreneur Kersten Jodexnis. Gapless intends to use the fresh capital to further develop its blockchain-based application that is aimed to enable users to record a complete history of vehicles. It also plans to expand and increase its existing customer base. As of now, the firm has as many as 50,000 users on its platform. 

Futuristic Technology

In an interview with the blockchain news publication Cointelegraph, a Porsche spokesperson claimed that the company is constantly monitoring new technologies and finding ways to implement those into Porsche, in a quest to further enhance user experience. Porsche made a statement, “We evaluated and piloted several blockchain-based solutions. Blockchain can be a potential benefit for any trust-based interactions that require a decentralized approach.”

On the other hand, Stefan Schütze, Managing Director of the FinLab EOS VC Fund commented, “We are pleased to welcome Gapless as a new investment in our portfolio. Gapless shows how blockchain technology can change services from the ground up – and always thinks from the user’s perspective.” 

Blockchain Technology in Automobile Industry

Off late, a number of vehicle manufacturers have been adopting blockchain to track the life cycle of automobiles and improving driver experience. Recently, Indian blockchain firm Smart Sight Innovation introduced a blockchain-based application that helps to track maintenance data of vehicles.

Moreover, General Motors also filed a patent application for its blockchain-based real-time updatable navigation system. BMW is also planning to launch its blockchain-based supply chain system by the end of this year. 

Save the Date: Flutter, Stars Group’s £10 Billion Marriage Set for May 5

Irish gambling powerhouse Flutter Entertainment today announced that it is set to complete its £10 billion tie-up with The Stars Group on May 5.

The announcement comes after both Flutter and The Stars shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal last week and the two companies secured all the remaining regulatory approvals.

RELATED: Flutter Shareholders Greenlight Stars Group Combination

After the closure of the deal, Flutter will own a 54.64% stake in the enlarged gambling group, while The Stars will hold a 45.36% stake in it. The combined business will be headquartered in Dublin with premium listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listing on Euronext Dublin.

In a statement on its official website, Flutter said today that it will continue to employ a federal operating model, which it first adopted in early 2018. The company explained that said model “leverages the teams’ local knowledge and ensures that they have the autonomy to respond to developments in each of their local markets while still having access to the substantial resources that the broader Group has to offer.”

RELATED: Stars Group Investors OK Flutter Mega-Merger

Five Reporting Segments

Once the deal closes later this week, Flutter will initially have five reporting segments, the company pointed out today.

These five are:

  • The Stars Group International, excluding current US operations
  • Paddy Power Betfair, including Paddy Power online, Betfair, Adjarabet, Paddy Power retail and B2B arm
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • Australia, including Sportsbet and BetEasy
  • US, including FanDuel and all of The Stars Group’s US-facing operations

Later on, the enlarged group intends to move to a four-divisional management and operational structure that will be adopted in two steps. Firstly, the group will merge the current The Stars Group International division with Paddy Power Betfair’s operations. Secondly, Paddy Power will move into a new UK & Ireland division along with SkyBet.

Flutter said that each of the changes due to be implemented will aim to maintain momentum within each business as the group looks to “achieve the potential revenue and cost benefits of integration.”

RELATED: Flutter-Stars to Pursue Single Brand Strategy in Australia after £10 Billion Tie-Up

A Transformational Combination

Commenting on the approaching finalization of Flutter’s tie-up with The Stars, Peter Jackson, CEO of the Irish operator and future CEO of the enlarged organization, said that the combined group “brings together exceptional brands, products, and businesses, a hugely talented and experienced team, and a diverse global presence.”

Mr. Jackson went on to say that “the strength of our combined portfolio of assets means that we approach the future with confidence in these uncertain times.”

RELATED: Flutter, Stars Group Marriage Gets Informal Approval in Australia

The executive also praised The Stars’ CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi, for “creating the exceptional business that [the group] is today” and that his role in “transforming TSG from a single product operator to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings” has been instrumental.

As mentioned earlier, the merger can now be completed after both Flutter and The Stars investors blessed the deal at special meetings last week. The tie-up awaited approvals from the gambling regulators of the US states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in Bulgaria as well as approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in order to be finalized. All these were obtained this past week.

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Danish Watchdog Penalizes 16 Illegal Gambling Websites

The Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, has blocked access to 16 gambling websites operating illegally on the territory of Denmark, the regulator announced on Wednesday.

The agency sought a district court permission to block the unauthorized gambling operations this past February. It was given the green light to proceed with the planned blocking a month later.

The regulator informed the public on Wednesday that it has carried out the task successfully in collaboration with Danish Internet service providers.

Denmark reorganized its gambling market in 2012 when it adopted a legal framework authorizing the Danish Gambling Authority to issue licenses to online gaming and sports betting operators interested to provide their services in a regulated environment.

After the reorganization of the local market, the regulator has also been monitoring the space for unauthorized operations and has uncovered multiple unlicensed activities being conducted on the territory of Denmark.

Including the latest 16 websites, the Gambling Authority has brought successful actions before the district court for a total of 90 illegal online gambling operations.

According to information posted on the regulator’s official website earlier this week, the latest 16 penalized operations included seven online casino websites, seven skin betting websites, and two sports betting websites.

Skin betting constitutes gambling with virtual items from video games under Denmark’s gambling law.

Clamping Down on Unauthorized Gambling

Commenting on their latest action against illegal gambling operations, Spillemyndigheden Director Morten Niels Jakobsen said that they “work to protect players against illegal gambling” and that they also need to make sure that locally licensed operators “can run their businesses under orderly conditions.”

The gambling regulator went on to say that this is the reason why it is “very important for us to clamp down on gambling offered without a license.”

It is part of the Danish Gambling Authority’s responsibilities to monitor the local market by conducting regular searches for potentially illegal operations targeting Danish players. The regulator does this in collaboration with the Danish Tax Agency.

When Spillemyndigheden uncovers websites that offer illegal gambling or “illegal mediation of gambling”, it sends a petition to the owners of the websites, notifying them that they are violating the country’s gambling laws and that they should shut their operations for Danish customers.

If the websites continue to service Danish gamblers after receiving the petition, the Danish Gambling Authority can have them blocked by local Internet service providers after receiving district court permission.

As mentioned above, 90 websites have been blocked after the regulator had interfered since the reorganization of Denmark’s online gambling space in 2012. The Gambling Authority has uncovered more unauthorized operations but most of them have ceased targeting Danish customers after receiving a petition, the regulatory body says.

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Flutter announces Stars Group acquisition to be completed 5 May

Flutter Entertainment has announced its acquisition and merger with The Stars Group (TSG) will be completed on 5 May.

The deal will see Flutter acquire all TSG’s issued and outstanding shares, to create a merged entity worth £3.8bn ($4.7bn), which was first announced last October.

Last week, 99.9% of TSG shareholders voted to support to special resolution, with Flutter shareholders voting 99.19% in favour, a week prior.

Flutter has now received all of the remaining regulatory and competition authority clearances, with trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities, and Euronext’s Dublin Main Securities Market, to commence at 8am on 5 May.

The combined business will initially have five reporting segments, including TSG International – excluding current US operators – Sky Betting and Gaming and Paddy Power Betfair (PPB)

Flutter anticipates the Group will report 2020 full-year earnings on that basis, before moving to a four-divisional operating structure, merging TSG International operations with PPB. Paddy Power will then move into a new UK & Ireland division, along with Sky Betting and Gaming.

Flutter CEO, Peter Jackson, said: “The enlarged group brings together exceptional brands, products and businesses, a hugely talented and experienced team, and a diverse global presence.

“The strength of our combined portfolio of assets means that we approach the future with confidence in these uncertain times.”

Operators not taking current situation lightly, says William Hill director

Operators are not taking the current situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic lightly and are very much focused on player protection, according to a panellist from William Hill.

Speaking at payments day of the SBC Digital Summit, William Hill AML group director Steven Armstrong said player information is key in this current period so operators are aware what could lead to a change in behavior.

He said: “It’s important for us to know personal information such as if someone has been furloughed from a long-term job which might change their behavior and lead them to play a different product or for more hours than usual.

“Knowing their situation allows us to manage their and all that data collected is so vital for us to make that decision. The pandemic has heighted the need for such information but operators should be doing this anyway.”

Armstrong also praised the industry after it was announced this week members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK have agreed to no longer advertise on TV or radio during the lockdown. He added that the industry needs to come together during this current crisis.

“There has been a lot more focus on player checks from the industry during this time. We always react to bad news in the industry, but the work I’ve seen with us and from other members – including those of the BGC – shows we haven’t taken this situation lightly.

“We’re certainly not taking advantage, if anything it’s hitting us hard. We’re a hibernating sports business and it will return which will give us a chance to refresh but other operators don’t have that luxury and it will still be hitting them hard over the head. As an industry we need to come together to make sure the customers are protected during this period.

“What we’re really looking at is if a player’s situation has changed and if they are now looking at gambling to make ends meet.”



As live sport starts to slowly return, Sportradar, the global provider of sports content and intelligence, today announced partnerships with PlaySight Interactive and Base Tennis Academy to launch the Tennis Point Exhibition Series, a three date series of events starting in Germany this Friday, 1 May.

The four day event, featuring eight top men’s players from the ATP ranks, will be streamed live via Tennis Channel’s new Over-the-Top (OTT) platform – Tennis Channel International. Utilising Sportradar’s market leading OTT platform, Tennis Channel International is available as a paid for app to tennis fans in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and was launched this week with a one month free trial. The service is also available on Tennis Channel’s website.

Organised and hosted by Base Tennis Academy at their sports complex in Höhr-Grenzhausen, Sportradar is delivering a range of live tennis content solutions directly from the event. This includes data production, using data collection software which the umpires will use to score matches and transmit data back to Sportradar.

Additional live content from the event includes a state-of-the-art audio-visual offering. Working alongside PlaySight Interactive, Sportradar’s live video content will feature a seven camera production, with live mixing and replays, graphics and German commentary. 

Sportradar is also providing integrity monitoring services for the event series, with this weekend’s fixture being one of the first competitions to take place between ATP ranked players since professional tennis was suspended in early March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

David Lampitt, Managing Director Sport Partnerships at Sportradar, said: “This is a significant moment as we move to bring back live tennis. The players have received compliance clearance from the ATP and TIU to participate in the events and we will be monitoring event progress, as well as providing remote production services to maximise safety on-site.

“We’re tapping into the full breadth of our technological capabilities to deliver safely and responsibly at this time for our partners.” 

Playsight Managing Director Rodney Rapson said: “We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Sportradar in other past endeavours, and are excited to lead the return of tennis with them – in a safe and responsible manner.

“We are taking the opportunity to utilize video and production technology in new ways to provide the very best viewing experience for tennis players around the world, while ensuring stringent compliance with Germany’s coronavirus measures.”

Andy Reif, Senior Vice President, Tennis Channel International, added: “Sportradar is an integral partner in the global rollout of Tennis Channel International and the platform’s ongoing performance for our customers.

“Once live tennis returns, we are especially excited to introduce MatchCast, our new play-by-play and statistics graphical interface powered by Sportradar that will allow tennis fans to follow live competition around the world in real time with dynamic graphics, advanced data and statistical information you can’t find anywhere else.”

Base Tennis Director Ruben Herrera added: “At Base Tennis, we asked ourselves a simple question: what can we do today that will help serve the tennis community’? We wanted to bring the joy of tennis back to peoples’ lives, and that is how the event came to be. It has grown well beyond our initial expectations thanks to the great partners and players that have joined in.”

The first Tennis Point Exhibition Series event begins this weekend with subsequent events taking place between 7 – 10 May and 14 – 17 May. Each event of the Series will be available via the Tennis Channel International app.

Coding and cannabis: Santa Clara County to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions

SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County plans to expunge 13,000 minor marijuana convictions that were rendered moot by the state’s 2016 legalization of recreational pot use and sales, two months before a deadline set by the landmark law.

But in the South Bay, it’s not just criminal-justice or drug policy story. Keeping in line with the region’s technological lineage, the District Attorney’s Office also made it a coding story.

That’s because with the anticipated signature of Judge Eric Geffon in a Hall of Justice courtroom Wednesday, prosecutors are planning to automatically clear those conviction records from local, regional and federal law-enforcement databases with software created in-house by the DA’s technology staff.

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