Month: August 2020


Reggae Sumfest brings stellar line-p to Montego Bay July 17-22, 2019

first_imgBuju Banton slated to perform at Reggae Sumfest 2019. MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA  – This summer marks the 27th anniversary of Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica’s iconic music festival, set for Montego Bay from July 17-22, 2019. Organized by Downsound Entertainment and sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the premier music festival comes on the heels of UNESCO’s designation of reggae as an intangible cultural heritage. Reggae Sumfest brings together reggae legends with local and mainstream acts of other popular music genres that have originated on the island and broadly influenced the chart topping urban and pop hits of today. The star-studded line-up on Festival Nights 1 & 2 will include global reggae sensation Buju Banton, dancehall veterans Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, as well as Chronixx, Spice, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Protégé, Beres Hammond, and more.This year the festival offers a 7-night line-up of events:July 14 – Mornin’ Medz Brunch PartyJuly 15 – Street Dance PartyJuly 16 – All White PartyJuly 17 – Blitz All Black Party / Bunji Garlin’s Birthday CelebrationJuly 18 – Global Sound ClashJuly 19 – Festival Night 1July 20 – Festival Night 2“It’s been a historic year for both tourist arrivals and Reggae music, and we are thrilled to host this premier music festival again,” noted Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Reggae Sumfest continues to add unprecedented value to Jamaica, the birthplace of the music genre, as it offers one of the most authentic cultural experiences on the island for locals and visitors alike.”As one of the most viewed festivals in the world, Reggae Sumfest will be live streamed across broadcast and other platforms, taking Jamaican music, artists, and culture to every continent and country around the world. You can view at: read more


AUDIO: Benin Would Have Natural Pitch Advantage, Says Super Eagles Assistant Coach

first_imgAssistant coach of the home-based Super Eagles, Imama Amapakabo, says Benin Republic would have the advantage of playing on a natural turf when they face Nigeria on Sunday in a 2018 Championship for African Nations (CHAN) qualifier.The Nigerian team, which left for Benin on Friday, had been camped in Kano state for the last two weeks—training at the Sani Abacha stadium which has an artificial pitch but would come up against the Squirrels of Benin on natural grass at the Stade de l’Amitié in Cotonou.“Let us not forget we have the challenge of going to play on grass while we have been training on Astro [turf],” Amakapabo said in an exclusive interview with “Most of our players here are used to the Astro turf.”Despite the difficulties the team could face in Benin, Amakapabo, who—last year—led Rangers Football Club of Enugu to win its first Nigerian league title in 32 years, said Nigeria has studied its opponents and is confident of a positive outing in Cotonou this Sunday.“We’ve been able to gather enough information,” Amapakabo said. He further stressed that the coaches have amassed “as much as we could get knowing fully well that they played two games against Togo and a friendly against Cote d’Ivoire.” Nigeria is seeking to make its 3rd appearance in the competition. The country failed to qualify for the first two editions before winning bronze in 2014 and getting knocked out in the group stage in 2016. It’s a tournament that has never been kind to the Super Eagles, and the team handlers are well aware that making it to next year’s finals could prove difficult. “We know the task ahead because for a country we’ve not been able to win this tournament and we feel that the responsibility is on our shoulders,” Amapakabo said. “We are doing everything within our powers to make sure we will be able to qualify and actually go on and lift the trophy.”On Thursday, head coach, Salisu Yusuf named a 20-man squad for the fixture made up of three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and five strikers. The 2018 CHAN would take place in Kenya From January 11 to February 2.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.RelatedGonzalo HiguainJune 30, 2017Similar postAUDIO: We Won’t Underrate Benin In CHAN Qualifiers – Salisu YusufJuly 25, 2017In “Africa”West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton FCJune 30, 2017Similar postlast_img read more


Sky Bet’s Affiliate Hub closure due to ‘increasingly tough enforcement stances’

first_img Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Sky Bet’s decision to close its affiliate hub has been the hot topic of the week in online betting and gaming and it’s one which will get great scrutiny at next week’s Betting on Sports Conference. The closure of Sky’s affiliate programme has the potential to send ripples throughout the industry on several levels, which is why the issue will be debated on a number of sessions across the event, held at Olympia Conference Centre from 12-15 September.Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint is appearing on the panel on social responsibility – the main reason that Sky has given for closing its affiliate hub, but whether the decision needs to be followed up by other operators will be discussed in the 14:45 session entitled: “IMGL Masterclass: Regulation – Liability management: Why the buck doesn’t stop with operators”.Morten Ronde, CEO of Danish Online Gambling Association & Director of IMGL, Gaming Attorney at Saiber LLC Jeremy Kleiman, Clifton Davies Co-Founder David Clifton and Tal Itzhak Ron, Chairman and CEO of Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm will all be discussing where an operator’s line of liability lies. Clifton explained: “This seems to me an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of the principle behind the combined regulatory requirements of data protection legislation, advertising rules and Gambling Commission LCCP demands, namely that gambling operators must take responsibility for the misdemeanours of their affiliates. “Sky B&G appears to have decided that managing the compliance risks posed by its affiliates is too challenging a task and, with regulators adopting increasingly tough enforcement stances, one can’t help but wonder how many other operators will reach the same view.”Ronde added: “From an operator view it’s very unsatisfactory that the affiliates do not seem to have any responsibility or liability of their own. The authorities have chosen to go after the operators because they are easier to locate. We see the same pattern in Denmark.”Kleiman said a similar thing has happened in the US: “In an odd way, strong regulation in the US has had a similar effect, namely, killing off the affiliate business. Most affiliates do not want to undergo licensing, which is required in NJ depending on the compensation structure, for fear that their operations in other markets will be scrutinized by the regulator. And operators do not want the compliance obligation of policing their affiliates.”However many affiliates are not pleased with the way they are being portrayed. Lee-Ann Johnstone, CEO at Best Odds Marketing, is moderating a panel on super affiliates on day one of the conference. She commented: “This decision appears to quite reactive from Sky Bet, through it’s not the only option out there as operators do have other choices when it comes to managing affiliate performance against regulatory requirements.”Better Collective CEO Jesper Soegaard, Chief Affiliate Officer at Clever Advertising Group Marcos Oliveira, Managing Director Matthew Glazier and XL Media CEO Ory Weihs will be on that panel discussing the business landscape for affiliates. Glazier added: “Sky Bet’s decision to close their UK affiliate programme was seismic, leaving affiliate partners searching for answers. Some affiliates have been affected to the degree that their business has been decimated, while many are now left wondering whether other operators will follow suit or if Sky Bet have just been the lone wolf.”There will be a whole range of other issues debated on the Betting on Affiliates Track. The four-session agenda at #boscon2017 will cover selling your affiliate business and protecting revenues through diversification, along with an update on the most pressing issues for affiliates in today’s climate and predictions for the future amidst a period of consolidation.Gemma Boore, Associate at Mishcon de Reya LLP, is talking about ‘Speaking with a single voice’, an issue that she feels is particularly appropriate in the current climate.“The news that Sky Betting and Gaming has closed down its affiliate programme has caused shockwaves in the sector,” she said. “However, it is a timely reminder for affiliates who, if they want their industry to succeed, will need to ensure they continue not only to comply with existing regulations, but may also need to improve standards.”“Sky’s decision to close its programme on 28 days’ notice was in accordance with its contractual rights, which actually allow the operator to cancel the programme without notice. This is common practice in the industry and leaves affiliates at risk as their commercial partners can terminate agreements at any time and halt affiliates’ income streams. “In order to reduce the risk of losing valuable contracts in this way, affiliates will need to demonstrate their value by not only delivering on their promises to direct sufficient traffic, but also by doing so in a socially responsible way.  If the future success of the sector is to be assured, affiliates need to work in harmony with operators.”A few tickets for the event are still available, and right now you can get a fantastic 25% Group Discount when buying 3 or more – get them HERE.Betting on Sports is organised by SBC Events, part of the SBC Global group of companies which works with industry leaders to develop the sports and sports betting industries. Services include news coverage, knowledge creation, marketing and product consultancy, conferences, seminars and industry awards. Related Articles Share Betsson rolls out new Group Affiliates site August 7, 2020 PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Submit Sharelast_img read more


WLA accreditation sees Sporting Group aim for next-level RM development

first_img Share StumbleUpon SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 Submit John Williamson to oversee UK Tote Group’s international growth August 28, 2020 Related Articles Kansspelautoriteit enters into MoU with Malta Gaming Authority August 28, 2020 Sporting Group, the parent company of sportsbook services and systems supplier Sporting Solutions, has obtained a World Lottery Association (WLA) – ‘Security Control Standard (WLA-SCS) certification’.The WLA accreditation marks an important milestone for the company, which during 2018 has extended its suite of pricing and risk management provisions for the global lotteries sector,  securing several new client operators, including Danish state-owned gambling firm Danske Spil.Updating investors, Simon Trim, Chief Executive of the Sporting Group, said: “We’re delighted to announce the attainment of our WLA-SCS certification during the World Lottery Summit in Argentina.“Our longstanding partnerships with several WLA members are founded on the highest standards of trust, integrity and operational excellence. This accreditation recognises that our procedures for data and information security are among the best in a sector facing unprecedented levels of competition and regulatory & public scrutiny.”Moving forward, the certification will support Sporting Group’s continued development of its unique solution for highly automated Risk Adjusted Pricing, which is designed to deliver a superior player experience, improve both welfare insight and margin on turnover for operators and reduce the non-scalable operational cost pressure that its partners incur.Ed Peace, Head of Commercial at Sporting Solutions, said: “Achieving this certification is a significant milestone, and with it, our message is clear. Working in partnership with lotteries we will deliver a service that has the security and welfare of the player at its heart but reconciles this with a market-leading customer experience, increased profit certainty and bottom-line growth.” Sharelast_img read more


188Bet shuts down UK & IRE betting presence

first_img StumbleUpon Share Annatar Limited, the holding company of online bookmaker 188BET, has announced that it will no longer service the UK and Irish online gambling markets.This morning Annatar published a full closure announcement on the website, stating that it had ceased providing services to players located in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Gibraltar.In its statement, Annatar maintains that the company is ‘solvent’ and will meet its financial/licensee obligations terminating 188BET UK/IRE services, including the ring-fencing and refunding of player accounts.Annatar details that its UK/IRE closure is a ‘commercial decision operating in a very competitive marketplace’. The betting group will cooperate with all relevant regulators as it handles its website closure and customer refunds in an orderly manner.The bookmaker confirms that it will honour all ante-post, pending, and multiple bets that have been placed on markets up to 23:59 hrs (GMT+1) on 30 June 2019. Furthermore, single-bets placed for events after 23:59 hrs (GMT+1) on 30 June 2019 will be voided and the stake returned within 48 hours.188BET has operated in the UK market since 2006, initially launched as a specialist bookmaker in in-play markets, and becoming the first online bookmaker to sponsor two Premier League football clubs’ Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.Furthermore, the betting group has maintained one of the sector’s most diverse sports sponsorship portfolios, forming partnerships within cricket, racing, snooker and rugby league.At present, the management of Annatar and 188BET has yet to release an official statement on its market closure. EFL urges government to rethink gambling sponsorship ban July 3, 2020 Related Articles Peter Nolan joins Digitain as strategic consultant May 29, 2020 Share 188BET becomes official sponsor of F1 Asia January 10, 2020 Submitlast_img read more


EveryMatrix enters Spain with CasinoEngine

first_img StumbleUpon Submit Share PartnerMatrix drives user engagement with two new deals August 13, 2020 Industry platform and systems provider EveryMatrix has continued to build upon its European expansion strategy after it confirmed the launch of its CasinoEngine product in the Spanish market.CasinoEngine is fully certified and complies with the technical, security, and vulnerability standards imposed by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).Stian Hornsletten, Group Chief Commercial Officer of EveryMatrix, commented: “Helping casino operators to enter new jurisdictions is a key objective of our long-term plans. We are happy to be setting our footprint into new regulated markets and prove that our technology can be effectively adapted to meet specific regulatory requirements.“Our casino product is ready to be offered to operators in one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe, and this is a fantastic development for CasinoEngine, allowing us to strengthen our presence in Europe and unlock new opportunities for online operators.”The CasinoEngine product aims to support operators entering the region’s online casino market by offering a selection of Spanish certified casino vendors as well as integration platform services.As it stands, Currently, EveryMatrix holds licenses or certificates to act as a software provider to licensed operators in Malta, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania and Curacao.CasinoEngine, meanwhile, is complying with several jurisdictions including Sweden, Norway, Armenia, Georgia, Lithuania, and now Spain. CasinoEngine is also Schleswig-Holstein integrated and remote gambling certified.CasinoEngine focuses on streamlining the processes around content aggregation and provides services to a variety of large operators including Norsk Tipping, Tipico, Wunderino, and mybet. Erik Nyman joins EveryMatrix as US lead August 6, 2020 Share MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more


BHA seeks new CEO as Rust confirms 2020 leadership departure

first_img Julie Harrington takes the reins as BHA CEO August 11, 2020 Share UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has begun its search for a new leader, after Nick Rust confirmed that he will end his Chief Executive tenure at the end of the year.A former Ladbrokes executive, Rust was appointed BHA CEO in November 2014, becoming British horseracing’s first leadership appointment from the betting sector.Upon taking charge of the BHA, Rust was tasked with restructuring UK racing’s levy system to secure new revenues, funding vital racing provisions and the upkeep of the sports and its wider stakeholders.Rust would oversee a tense three-year renegotiation featuring public fallouts between racing and betting leadership, as UK racing moved to expand its levy system’s incorporating a 10% fee on the gross profits of remote operators secured through racing wagers.Racing’s funding dispute would be settled by the DCMS in 2017, which backed the BHA’s newly formed ‘Horserace Betting Levy’ – stating that is plans were fair charges, necessary to securing the future of horseracing and ensure a fair return for the sport’.“The BHA team I lead worked hard over several years to put forward the arguments to government and the industry ensured that a consistent, simple message was communicated to parliamentarians and the media,” said Rust.“Of course, there’s always more to do and racing faces its share of challenges as any sport or business does. The job’s never done. But my successor can look forward to the support of a top-class chair and an expert board, a capable and excellent team and an industry that when it comes together and works in a collaborative way can be highly effective.”The BHA’s new chair Anne-Marie Phelps, who will lead the organisation’s executive search, underlined Rust’s achievements in securing racing new funding structure and improving welfare standards.“We’re all going to miss Nick’s passion and drive. It is typical of his deep commitment to British racing that he’s given us plenty of time to find a new leader, avoiding a vacuum and ensuring a seamless transition.” Phelps stated. Share StumbleUpon UK Racing pushes for drastic levy reforms as deep recession looms August 25, 2020 Related Articles Submitlast_img read more


Transformation directives see Rank confident of beating year expectations

first_imgShare Issuing a corporate filing, the governance of LSE-listed gambling group Rank Plc has this morning disclosed that ‘further positive trading’ will see the company deliver underlying operating profits ahead of market expectations.Updating investors, Rank governance underlines significant progress in its ‘corporate transformation programme’ which has underpinned growth within its Digital, Grosvenor and International units.Based on current trading trends, Rank governance maintains that it will deliver corporate underlying operating profits in the range of £105-115 million, tracking above the market consensus of £93-103 million for the year ending 30 June 2020.Since December 2018, Rank governance has operated its transformation programme, overseen by Group Chief Executive John O’Reilly, with executive Jim Marsh leading the scheme directive as ‘Chief Transformation Officer’.Publishing its 2019 annual accounts, Rank governance disclosed that the transformation directives had delivered £11 million in group-wide cost reductions during the second half of 2018/2019, which should transfer to an expected £9.3 million in savings during current year trading.Rank governance is scheduled to announce its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2019 on 30 January 2020. Rank Group extends support for Carers Trust July 28, 2020 Share Related Articles Rank lowers profit guidance as Mecca venues begin reopening  July 3, 2020 Submit Rank outlines plans to reopen Grosvenor venues July 22, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more


Neel Davda, Bold360: Delivering the “best of bots” to boost human support

first_img Related Articles The three C’s of digital customer experience within gaming July 6, 2020 Submit Share StumbleUpon Share Bold360 delivers an artificial intelligence (AI) based digital engagement solution designed to marry the “best of bots” with a company’s existing human support agents. We spoke to Bold360’s Head of Gaming Accounts Neel Davda about bringing “fast time to value” for customer service, how a propensity for messaging amongst the younger generation is a help to the gaming operators adopting the solution, and why he thinks a personal touch will always be necessary to deal with “emotive issues or complexity”.SBC: As a software solutions provider to some of the largest global gaming providers and the fast growing mid tier, Bold360 is not a newcomer to the industry. But just for people unaware of what it is you do, can you give a quick rundown of your services? ND: Bold360’s digital engagement solution brings the best of bots and live agents to your customers and employees when they need it most. From the first interaction with a prospect through ongoing customer support, Bold360 delivers rich, personalised experiences across digital channels. Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI), Bold360 helps you engage more efficiently from the contact center, the front desk, or the field. And to help businesses drive greater ongoing value, our technology includes tools and insights needed to continuously optimise the customer experience. For example, real time trends into the customer queries which accelerates the ability to improve the customer experience by making the necessary changes in real time.SBC: You mention facilitating omni-channel customer engagement as a key USP for your business. First of all, why is this so important? ND: I would say actually our key USP is centered around working with businesses which are seeking fast time to value with an AI solution which complements and works with their human support agents. By marrying Bold360’s strong pedigree in digital engagement channels with our conversational AI technology, we are able to show significant results for deployments in which bots and live agents work together to provide seamless customer experiences. One component of providing this is being able to meet those customers where they want to communicate with your brand, and as a result requires we provide businesses the tools to be present across channels.SBC: And secondly, what are the key differences you see with how customers engage from channel to channel? Perhaps these differences may also have unconsciously driven how agents have previously managed their time?ND: Customers will choose a specific channel based on complexity and urgency of the situation as well as the time they have to invest in the engagement. For example, synchronous channels like voice and chat are used for more immediate needs while asynchronous channels like email and messaging tools are used with the expectation that responses might not be immediate but can at the same time don’t require the customer to maintain continuous engagement.Additionally, we definitely see a propensity amongst the younger generation to communicate via chat and messaging rather than voice or email. This represents a benefit to the organisation as they have the ability to handle multiple conversations (a recommended three to four chats) at any one time improving SLAs and Agent KPIs. When you layer in AI capabilities like Bold360’s additional value is received as the AI handles more of those simple queries allowing your agents to handle more revenue generating or complex queries.SBC: Finding this ‘best of both worlds’ in terms of human intervention vs automated tech is a key talking point across the industry for things such as odds compiling, trading and even more recently with compliance tools; what are the potential impacts on cost, and what is a realistic reduction to make to the agent workforce? ND: What we see are common use cases that are prominent in the gaming industry around deposits, withdrawals, bonuses, promotions, sports betting, account verification and reset of password. Our flexible API architecture allows us to integrate into back end systems and allow automation; this offers deflection and lowers operational cost. We see this as an opportunity for live agents to improve their skills sets and handle more complexity which in turn improves retention rates and value to the organisation. We often see in gaming that the contact center is split between sales and support occasionally with a 50/50 split. If we are automating more contacts, a contact center could feasibly change this ratio to 60/40 in favour of sales improving revenue potential for our client.SBC: Do you think that an AI bot service is more attractive to a certain demographic? For example, is there more trust – and in turn use – from the younger player base? ND: We don’t believe it is a matter of trust or non trust it is about resolution. While poor Bot industry wide deployments of years ago did provide a bad stigma, perceptions have generally turned more favorable in recent years. Overall, if we can provide a better customer experience by answering a customer’s queries as efficiently and accurately as possible it will promote the propensity for all age groups to use it. Bold360 analyses the intent behind a customers’ query with over 93% levels of accuracy. This offers a superior experience for the customer where they can self service without the need to escalate to a live agent.SBC: Is a totally automated bot run service achievable, or even desirable, at some point in the future? ND: We see automation as a facilitator, an avenue to remove simplicity and frequently asked questions from an organisation. We then through a phased approach see an approach of personalisation and transactional capability that offers more and more deflection from 30% through to 50%. We think a personal touch is always necessary, whether it be for emotive issues or complexity. Ultimately it is about offering value to you as a partner but also an optimal customer experience so they game with you for longer.SBC: And finally, if you had to state one key positive business outcome you have brought about for a gaming client so far, what would it be? ND: It would be the 30/40/50 rule for deflection. Immediate returns from simple use case resolution which are tried and tested in the gaming industry, a next phase to offer a simple, direct path for resolution for the top six queries and an additional 10% from integration to allow a customer to self serve through a single user interface. The final piece in the puzzle is proactively reaching out to customers to enhance conversion and retention via chat.last_img read more


French Open 2019: Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer to reach final

first_img Source: BBC Rafael Nadal is one step away from his 12th French Open title after a 6-3 6-4 6-2 semi-final win over Roger Federer.Strong winds prevented the contest from hitting the heights anticipated, but there were plenty of majestic moments to please the Philippe-Chatrier crowd.The Spaniard broke the Swiss icon six times, crucially in the third and ninth games of the second set, en route to doubling his advantage.He then broke twice more in the third set as he completed his masterclass.Nadal will now play either Novak Djokovic, looking to hold all four Grand Slam titles, or Austrian Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final.The 33-year-old winner said: “It’s incredible to play Roger here – congratulations to him. He’s probably the best player in history for me.“It’s always a tough match against Roger. It was tough conditions with the wind. I’m happy to have the chance to play another final here. It’s the most important tournament in my career.”Nadal underlines why he is the ‘King of Clay’Federer, playing his first clay season in two years, produced exceptional tennis that would have defeated anyone else – sadly for him he was up against the greatest on this surface.There were a handful of occasions when the 37-year-old, seeking his 21st major, threatened to improve upon his 2-13 record against Nadal on clay.After going a break down early in the match, Federer’s wand-like backhand and pressure on the Nadal serve saw him break back. However, the Spaniard responded once more in a thrilling sixth game in which he finally wore down his resilient opponent, who had saved five break points.Nadal was again on the back foot at the start of the second set as his error, following a brilliant forehand from Federer, saw him down 2-0.But key to the King of Clay’s win on Friday was his ability to respond immediately. He broke back with a stunning forehand winner and set himself up for another break in the ninth game after coming out on top following a lengthy rally.By this stage Federer appeared a beaten man. Both players not only had to contend with each other’s brilliance but also the mini dust-storms created by the intense gusts, however Nadal dealt with the situation better.After he broke the Swiss again in the third game of the third set, the match was all but over. It was finally settled in the eighth game when Federer went long following another impressive first serve from Nadal.Federer left Philippe-Chatrier to chants of “Roger! Roger!” after what could have been the tennis great’s final appearance at this Slam.last_img read more