Tag Archive : pandemic

Pandemic has become “a real leveller” between fans and players

Kevin Dale, CEO, Faraway Sports, says the current coronavirus pandemic has brought sports fans and athletes closer together.

It’s a concept which has helped FSB’s Remote Darts League (RDL) succeed, according to Dale, who helped the supplier with the project.

Speaking at the SBC Digital Summit alongside FSB CEO Dave McDowell and CTO Sam Lawrence, Dale said: “The pandemic is a real leveller, particularly between fans and players.

“Fans for the first time can see into players’ homes, so it brings everybody closer.

“We’re all in the same boat and we were able to capitalise on that with some fan competitions at the end, with the winner being able to play against a pro on finals night from their own home.

“Players, organisers and fans are that much closer together now.”

Moving forward, Dale and FSB have plans to expand the tournament while the current lockdown shows no signs of abating.

He added: “We’re moving now to Remote Darts League Two, with 16 players and some top lady players too.

“And we’re going worldwide this time, too. Logistically and technically, that will be slightly more problematic!”

Problem gambling has not increased as we were expecting during pandemic

Yanica Saint, head of EU affairs & policy, Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) says the data the regulator has received does not show as “drastic” a change in player behaviour as was expected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking as part of a safer gambling panel during the SBC Digital Summit, Saint said the MGA is looking to implement an evidence-based approach to regulation and is still analysing current online gaming data.

What Saint has seen so far, however, matches what operators have been telling the MGA and the messages they were also expressing during the panel.

She said: “The MGA is also attempting an evidence-based approach, like the UK. We are still analysing the data we’ve received. The data does tally with what operators are saying. What we were expecting was a much more drastic change in player behaviour than has actually happened.

“Some operators did attempt to exploit the situation via marketing but the majority of regulated operators have been very responsible. Some operators are quite good on this front.

“The law requires operators to market their product in a socially responsible way. That was always the law. What we’ve done during the pandemic is merely issue a note on this emphasising any mention of COVID-19 would be in breach of these regulations.”

Panel moderator Andy Danson, partner, Bird & Bird, also emphasised what could be perceived as an exaggerated reporting of increases in gambling – and thereby problem gambling – from external news outlets.

Echoing the thoughts of the panellists, he said: “There have been less changes in player behaviour than has been reported outside the industry; certainly not the drastic changes that have been suggested.”

Atlantic City’s gaming revenue plummets due to pandemic

According to figures released on Wednesday by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City casino gaming March revenue was down to $163 million, a 44% decline compared to last year. 

James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission said the numbers are a surprise to no one as the direct outcome of casino shutdowns. “I know that, at this time, the paramount concern for all of the casino licensees in Atlantic City is the safety of their employees and customers,” he says. “I share their concern.” Sports gambling revenue was also hugely impacted as the Coronavirus outbreak cancelled professional and amateur leagues, leading to a revenue of only $6.4 million, a 44% decrease compared to March of 2019. 

Meanwhile, due to casino closures, New Jersey’s gamblers have clearly turned to online gaming as numbers demonstrated a $65 million win for Atlantic City’s casinos online, a 65% increase from March 2019. “Online casinos can’t sustain the industry forever, but those with the healthiest online products should be in the best position to emerge from these incredible circumstances, and the tax revenue from online casinos is welcome when so much pressure has been put on the state budget,” said Eric Ramsey, an online gaming analyst for PlayNJ.com. 

Denver marijuana dispensaries see increase in burglaries during coronavirus pandemic

Denver marijuana businesses have seen an increase in burglaries during the coronavirus pandemic as the cannabis industry continues to see an uptick in crime in the city, according to police.

Allowed to continue operations as essential businesses, dispensaries and cultivations reported 10 burglaries in the first two weeks of April, Denver police said. That’s up from eight burglaries reported during the whole month of April 2019.

Burglaries of Denver marijuana businesses hit a three-year high in 2019, with 122 reported within city limits. However, statistics are up every month of 2020 from the year prior, totaling 31 reported burglaries so far.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Jack Dorsey Starts $1 Billion Fund to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

As per the recent reports, Twitter CEO and Square founder, Jack Dorsey has opened a new initiative named Start Small LLC and has funded it with $1 Billion which is approximately 28% of his wealth. Jack confirmed via twitter that the funds raised through this initiative will be used to support the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He clarified that once the crisis is over, the remaining funds will be directed towards girl’s health, education, and universal basic income (UBI) initiatives. 

Explaining his inclination towards UBI and girl’s education, Jack mentioned, “Why UBI and girl’s health and education? I believe they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world. UBI is a great idea needing experimentation. Girl’s health and education is critical to balance”

While assuring that the funding will be completely transparent, Jack added that this initiative is the best long-term solution to the existential problems facing the world.

Talking about Start Small LLC, he clarified that all grants will be made from the foundation directly to the beneficiary organization. Furthermore, all financial transactions in this regard including sales and grants will be available publicly through a tracking sheet. 

Interestingly, Jack has extracted the entire funding amount from Square. He reasoned that he owns a lot more of Square than he does of Twitter. Hence it makes more sense to draw the funds from his Square shares. However, he acknowledged the fact that this initiative will benefit both Square and Twitter in the long run. He stated, “The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long-term because it’s helping the people we want to serve.”

Dorsey’s support for Bitcoin is well-known. BTC has been one of the most prominent revenue generators for Square’s CashApp. He recently offered the USE OF Square’s CashApp to distribute the U.S. stimulus package. 

We hope Jack’s initiative to donate and fund the fight against COVID-19 will be an example for others to come up and do their bit. 

Gambling an ‘easy target’ for UK Government after coronavirus pandemic, say barristers

The gambling industry could be seen as an easy target for the UK Government as it looks to raise funds in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Richard Littler QC and Ian Whitehurst from Exchange Chambers.

The two barristers believe the Gambling Commission could start to base fines on a gambling company’s turnover, being handed greater power by the Government with public support in favour of coming down harder on the sector.

In a press briefing, Littler QC and Whitehurst outlined the political landscape gambling finds itself in, especially in light of societal concerns surrounding the industry, and that the UK Government has “set its sights” on gambling.

They wrote: “There is a risk of the Commission becoming judge, jury and executioner with operators becoming compliant for fear of something worse occurring.

“The risk is dramatically increased if the fines in future are or could be linked to the overall turnover of the corporate enterprise.

“Following the current COVID-19 crisis, there will no doubt be an increase in licensing and regulatory activity across a number of industrial sectors, with a view in substantial part to generating funds for the Treasury.

“The gambling industry will not be immune from further regulatory activity and may be perceived as a somewhat ‘easy mark’ in a changed political and economic landscape.”

Given the current climate, the barristers believe there is a “substantial risk” the UK Government and Gambling Commission will continue to “flex their muscles,” viewing gambling as a low-risk source of revenue and “easy political capital.”

Key Benefits of the Online Conference on Betting Business During the Pandemic

Betting in face of COVID-19: Key Benefits of the Online Conference on Betting Business During the Pandemic

On April 17, Smile-Expo will hold an online conference for the European market – Betting in face of COVID-19. This event is dedicated to the peculiarities of operating a betting business during the quarantine imposed by different countries because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Best practices of overcoming the crisis, a heated discussion about relevant betting areas and networking in a new format – all of this will be available to the conference audience!

The event starts at 11:00.

Who will speak at the online event?

The conference will bring together representatives of the European betting market, members of sports associations, as well as providers of betting products and services.

Speakers will include:

  • Harry Lang, Founder of Brand Architects;
  • Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC);
  • Mark O’Sullivan, Assistant Manager at KPMG Malta;
  • Martin Wachter, CEO & founder of Golden Race;
  • Ivan Alonso,General Manager at Club Nacional de Football (Uruguay).

Experts will talk about betting market changes caused by the cancellation of sports matches and explain how to grow businesses within the crisis. They will examine the most sought-after betting lines and the future of the industry. 

Besides, speakers will thoroughly analyze the features and prospects of such betting directions as traditional, virtual, esports and fantasy sports.

Tickets to Betting in face of COVID-19at the best price

Smile-Expo is carrying out a special offeronly from 6 to 10 of April. Buying a ticket to the online conference, you can obtain the second one for free.

Two tickets will cost just€100 during the offer. Their price will increase after April 10.

Hurry up to use the special offer and buy tickets to the event at a profitable price!

Reasons to visit the event

All participants of the online conference will discover how to save and enhance their businesses in the context of the pandemic. Moreover, listeners will be able to establish favorable contacts, find new customers or potential partners. 

Core advantages of the online event:

  • Networking in a convenient format.A general chat room will allow all attendees to introduce themselves, present their companies and fields of interest. Therefore, participants will realize easier whom to make an acquaintance with and continue communication in the future.
  • An opportunity to talk directly to speakers and sponsors. The organizers will create an individual chat room on WhatsApp, adding all speakers, sponsors andparticipants of the conference. They will be able to ask their questions to each other and share expert opinions.
  • No risks for health.With the conference being held in the online format, participants won’t have to risk their health to join the event.
  • Free access to useful content. Speakers’ presentations and event video recording will be sent to emails of each participant.

Organizer and date of the event

The Betting in face of COVID-19online conference will take place on April 17, 2020.

The event is organized by Smile-Expo, an international company with experience in conducting offline events dedicated to the potential and prospects of gambling. 

 Buy tickets to the event at the best price and get a chance to find out about anti-crisis strategies of betting business operations!

Colorado’s marijuana businesses can remain open during pandemic, but they say they’re still struggling

As the coronavirus fueled changes in regulation for Colorado’s cannabis industry, leaders at LivWell Enlightened Health knew they needed to make dramatic moves to keep the business and its workers thriving. And fast.

On March 30, 18 company executives and department heads agreed to suspend their compensation for three months to avoid making cuts elsewhere, including personnel.

The company employs 690 people between its cultivation sites, business administration and 18 dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon. Most are what Executive Director Dean Heizer calls “heartbeat” employees, namely, those on the front lines serving customers in marijuana dispensaries and working in its grow facilities sites to ensure there’s product to sell.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

GVC Ups Social Responsibility Practices during Covid-19 Pandemic

Multi-brand gambling group GVC Holdings on Friday announced that it would implement a set of practices to strengthen its responsible gambling safeguards amid the coronavirus pandemic.

GVC’s Friday announcement came just hours after the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the independent body representing all sectors of UK’s gambling industry, unveiled a 10-pledge action plan that set out the standards expected of its members during the unprecedented global crisis.

The coordinated approach introduced by the BGC urged betting and gaming operators servicing UK customers to up their customer protection and responsible marketing practices to ensure that the highest standards are implemented in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak.

As people are urged to stay home, self-isolating, to help contain the spread of the virus, online gambling operators, particularly ones offering digital casino-style products, have seen increased activity on their websites and across apps.

And that increased gaming activity has prompted concerns that more people are now at risk of developing problem behavior or addiction and calls for the industry to take actions against this.

GVC’s Upgraded Safeguards

GVC said that it would be proactively communicating with “all customers, across all Group brands and in all territories” to remind them to gamble responsibly and direct them to its set of safer gambling tools.

The company currently offers tools for deposit and time limits and self exclusion. It said Friday that it is set to roll out curfew setting, stake limit setting on slots, and reverse withdrawal settings in the coming weeks.

GVC also noted that it has added two new Markers of Harm indicators to its safer gambling algorithm that aim to enable it to identify potentially problematic gambling behavior at an early stage while a gambler is home-isolating.

To urge gamblers to gamble in a safe and responsible manner, the operator said that it would increase responsible gambling messaging throughout its websites and would run multi-channel responsible gambling marketing campaigns.

Finally, GVC said that it would monitor and take actions to prevent affiliates “from referencing the pandemic or encouraging excessive play due to boredom or isolation.” The company would provide its third-party advertising partners with a specific blacklist of banned terms they will not be able to use in their marketing campaigns.

Covid-19 Eats Into GVC Earnings

In an update on the expected impact from the global coronavirus spread and the cancellation/postponenment of sports amid the global pandemic, GVC said that it expects big impact on its full-year performance.

The company said that assuming there would be substantially fewer sporting events through August 2020, it expected its full-year EBITDA to be reduced by £130-£150 million. The closure of GVC’s betting shops across the UK is expected to reduce GVC’s EBITDA by an additional £45-£50 million per month.

The cancellation of horse racing in the UK is estimated to cut the operator’s EBITDA by an additional £20-£25 million per month.

Source: GVC introduces additional safer gambling safeguards and welcomes coordinated industry action led by the Betting and Gaming Council

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Messari Finds a Way to Analyze Crypto Assets Amid Corona Pandemic

Crypto analytics startup Messari recently faced a shadowban from twitter for covering COVID-19 related news. However, it has now come up with a way to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the crypto market. 

While COVID-19 has been sweeping through the global economy including crypto over the last few weeks, Messari is helping its users to have a clear understanding of where various assets stand at the moment. The firm announced its latest COVID-19 charting features, that will allow users to assess the performance of a number of assets amid the coronavirus outbreak. These include – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, stocks and indexes,  metals, crude oil, and uranium.

In order to access this feature, users will have to choose an option called ‘Covid V Markets’ from the chart search bar and select their desired asset to tally it against COVID data. 

Ryan Selkis, founder of Messari tweeted:

Messari claimed that it is sourcing the data from eodhistoricaldata.com, which allows users to keep track of the COVID-19 cases worldwide in a country-wise manner. 

To explain how the data charting works, Messari tweeted from its Twitter handle:

Apart from exclusively giving information about COVID-19, Messari’s charts are providing comparable data for users to analyze the performance of various assets before, after and during the Corona massacre.