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The WEEK in REVIEW
A Weekly Snapshot of the Top Lottery and Gaming News Stories


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Vol. 85 No.10 - Monday December 3, 2018

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IGT Delivers Its Fourteenth After School Advantage Centre in Jamaica

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JAMAICA (November 22, 2018) – Local media outlets report IGT Jamaica opened its fifth IGT After School Advantage (ASA) Centre for Mustard Seed Communities in celebration of the 40th anniversary of an organisation that serves more than 500 individuals living with special needs and children living with HIV/AIDS.

According to the local media reports the centre, consisting of six computers, pre-loaded with learning software and a printer, was opened on November 14 at the Mustard Seed Communities' Matthew 25:40 home for boys living with HIV/AIDS, a recent release said.

This will be very helpful for our boys,” said Donna Reynolds, operations manager at Mustard Seed Communities, who noted that Matthew 25:40 currently accommodates 21 boys of high school age.

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The home is located in the inner city, where access to technology is not always easy. It will also benefit some of the boys from surrounding communities who will be able to use it alongside our own students,” she added. “We are very grateful to IGT for the assistance they have provided to several Mustard Seed Communities homes.”

The partnership between IGT Jamaica and the Mustard Seed Communities began in September 2015, the release said, when IGT Jamaica donated to the Jerusalem home in Spanish Town.

The Mary's Child and St Anthony's Homes, as well as the Gift of Hope Children's Home in Mandeville and Sophie's Place in Gordon Town, have already benefited from IGT's educational support through the ASA Centres.

Most recently, The Little Angels Learning Centre benefited from a redesigned computer lab at Sophie's Place with five additional computers and furniture, handed over on September 18, the release said.

This is our fourteenth After School Advantage Centre in Jamaica. The donation underlines our continued commitment to providing digital resources for Jamaica's most vulnerable children,” said IGT Jamaica, General Manager Debbie Green.

Mustard Seed Communities is a remarkable organisation and we wish to congratulate them on their fortieth anniversary. The children they serve will benefit from access to the latest technology, affording them the opportunity to expand their educational horizons. We are proud to continue our partnership with Mustard Seed, to the benefit of its wonderful children.”

IGT Regional Director Brendan Hames reiterated the company's delight in partnering with Mustard Seed.

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This outstanding organisation has risen to the challenge of serving some of the most vulnerable in the society, and it is our distinct honour to support them in providing a higher standard of educational delivery through technology.”

The release said the After School Advantage Programme seeks to bridge the “Digital Divide” for children (aged five to 18 years) who are normally unable to access computers in their daily lives.

The ASA Programme provides non-profit organisations with digital resource centres, each specially designed to fit the recipient's needs.

Matthew 25:40, established in 2002, is one of three homes in Kingston serving abandoned and orphaned children living with HIV/AIDS under the umbrella of its Dare to Care programme.

The homes provide shelter and support for approximately 80 children.

Dare to Care's unique programme ensures that the children live their best possible lives, encompassing medical care, education, and emotional and spiritual support.

The After School Advantage Programme is the major philanthropic initiative for IGT, formerly GTECH, which has been the online lottery technology provider to Supreme Ventures Limited since it began selling online draw games in 2001.

SOURCE: News.

 

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INTRALOT Group Announcement of Financial Results for the Nine-Month Period Ended September 30th, 2018

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INTRALOT Announce Revenue on Par (+0.5%), Consolidated EBITDA Contraction (-6.6% Y-o-Y) following FX Turmoil in Key Markets, and Stable Organic EBITDA Y-o-Y for 9M18

ATHENS, Greece (November 26, 2018) -- INTRALOT SA (RIC: INLr.AT, Bloomberg: INLOT GA), an international gaming solutions and operations leader, announces its financial results for the nine-month period ended September 30th, 2018, prepared in accordance with IFRS.

  • Revenue and EBITDA growth of +10.3% and +9.3% year over year respectively on a constant currency basis.
  • Group Revenues at similar levels in 9M18, compared to 9M17 (+0.5%).
  • EBITDA in the nine-month period lower by 6.6% year over year.
  • EBITDA margins on sales and on GGR contracted by 1.1pps (at 14.4%) and 1.5pps (at 28.6%), respectively.
  • EBT concluded to €46.3m higher by 85.2% vs. 9M17. EBT margin developed to 5.8% (+2.7pps vs. 9M17).
  • NIATMI (Net Income After Tax and Minority Interest) from continuing operations improved by €11.7m vs. last year, developing to €-11.0m.
  • Operating Cash Flow in 9M18 below last year by €-60.2m.
  • Net Debt stood at €598.5m, up €87.8m compared to December 31st 2017.
  • On September 5th, 2018, INTRALOT announced the signing of a 10-year contract with the German State Lottery “LOTTO Hamburg GmbH” for the provision of a new Lottery System Platform based on LotosX.
  • On October 10th INTRALOT announced a 10-year contract with the Croatian State Lottery “Hrvatska Lutrija” for the implementation of the new integrated LotosX ecosystem and the provision of operational support.
  • In late October 2018, INTRALOT signed a 2-year contract extension with the New Mexico Lottery along with the green light to be the provider of the New Mexico Sports Lottery Game available through the Lottery’s entire retail network.
  • On November 21st, 2018, Inteltek, the business partnership of Turkcell and Intralot, capitalizing on 15 years of successful operation of the iddaa game, announced its plans for the creation of a global research and software development center in the area of mobile games in Turkey.

 

 

INTRALOT Group CEO Antonios Kerastaris noted:

INTRALOT has successfully won new projects in the past two months such as Lotto Hamburg and the Croatian Lottery as well as extended its New Mexico contract in the US; in the latter case including approval for a new sports prognostics game, available through the entire retail footprint of the lottery. All these projects will apply new technological solutions developed by INTRALOT, reflecting the positive prospects created by our significant investments in the last two years. We are also looking forward to the commencement of our operations in Illinois, a project that has heavily impacted our financials in 9M18. Such developments confirm our positive outlook after the current transition year according to our business plan.

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Click here to download Group Announcement of Financial Results for the Nine-Month Period Ended September 30th, 2018

 

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active in 50 regulated jurisdictions around the globe. With €1.1 billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately 5,100 employees (3,100 of which in subsidiaries and 2,000 in associates) in 2017, INTRALOT is an innovation – driven corporation focusing its product development on the customer experience.

The company is uniquely positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations across geographies market-tested solutions and retail operational expertise. Through the use of a dynamic and omni-channel approach, INTRALOT offers an integrated portfolio of best-in-class gaming systems and product solutions & services addressing all gaming verticals (Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT).

Players can enjoy a seamless and personalized experience through exciting games and premium content across multiple delivery channels, both retail and interactive.

INTRALOT has been awarded with the prestigious WLA Responsible Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its global lottery operations.

For more info:

  • Mr. Chris Sfatos, Group Director Corporate Affairs, email: sfatos@intralot.com or
  • Investor Relations Dept. email: ir@intralot.com
  • Phone: +30-210 6156000, Fax: +30-210 6106800

 

Click here to download Group Announcement of Financial Results for the Nine-Month Period Ended September 30th, 2018

 

SOURCE: INTRALOT (www.intralot.com).

 

 

Rebecca Paul Hargrove Elected WLA President

BASEL, Switzerland (November 22, 2018) -- At the 13th General Meeting of the World Lottery Association (WLA), held this past Wednesday November 21 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rebecca Paul Hargrove, President and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, was unanimously elected President of the WLA.

Rebecca Hargrove

She succeeds outgoing WLA President Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, Director General of Switzerland’s Société de la Loterie de la Suisse Romande.

The election of the first woman to the position of president of the WLA was a landmark occasion both for the Association and the global lottery community. Ms. Hargrove is a 33-year lottery industry veteran and has served as the Chief Executive of four U.S. lotteries: Illinois Lottery, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery and, since September 2003, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Her resume includes a long list of lottery industry, business, and civic accomplishments and honors.

In particular, she has served as Senior Vice President of the World Lottery Association (September 2012-November 2018), and is a Past President of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), and of AILE (International Association of State Lotteries).

She remains one of the most respected, experienced, and admired leaders in the lottery industry.

At the General Meeting, delegates also unanimously elected the following people to serve as members on the WLA Executive Committee:

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  • Fabio Cairoli, Chairman and CEO of Lottomatica, Italy
  • Gilson César Braga, National Superintendent of Lotteries at Caixa Econômica Federal, Brazil
  • Jannie Haek, CEO, Nationale Loterij, Belgium
  • Andreas Kötter, CEO, Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG, Germany
  • Stéphane Pallez, President and CEO of La Française des Jeux, France
  • Nigel Railton, CEO, Camelot UK Lotteries, United Kingdom
  • Richard Cheung, Executive Director, Customer and International Business Development, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong.

 

The following people have been appointed by the regional associations to serve as representatives on the WLA Executive Committee:

  • Younes El Mechrafi, General Director, La Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports, Morocco - representing ALA
  • Luis Gama, Director, Dirección de Loterías y Quinielas, Uruguay - representing CIBELAE
  • Lynne Roiter, President and CEO of Loto-Québec, Canada - representing NASPL
  • Seah Chin Siong, CEO, Singapore Pools Private Limited, Singapore - representing APLA.

 

The appointment of an EL representative to the WLA Executive Committee is pending.

The newly elected Executive Committee held its first meeting directly following the WLA General Meeting. At this meeting:

  • Nigel Railton of Camelot UK Lotteries, United Kingdom, was appointed as Senior Vice President
  • Gilson César Braga of Caixa Econômica Federal, Brazil, and Richard Cheung of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong, were both appointed co-Vice Presidents.

 

SOURCE: World Lottery Association.

 

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Danske Lotteri, FDJ, Norsk Tipping, Veikkaus Announce the Establishment of a New Joint Venture Company – LEIA

HAMAR, Norway (November 27 2018) -- The participating lotteries have on the 1st October 2018 signed an agreement to establish a Joint Venture Company (JVC) between Danske Lotteri Spil, Française des Jeux, Norsk Tipping and Veikkaus named Lotteries Entertainment Innovation Alliance AS (LEIA).

The four lotteries share the same values and public interest goals, and they have been granted a mandate by their respective authorities in the lottery gaming industry.

They have decided to create a joint company to share resources in order to build a wider and efficient digital gaming offer, allowing these lotteries to address some of the common main challenges in the digital space, and foster open innovation. The aim is to develop liquidity games and to offer an enhanced range of games to the consumers.

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Morten Eriksen, from Norsk Tipping, has been appointed as the CEO of the new venture. Eriksen has more than 20 years of experience from the Telecom industry and recently 5 years from the lottery industry.

The consumer behaviour in the Lottery industry is changing rapidly which requires faster development and adaption from both the operators and suppliers. We are happy to announce this new Joint Venture and I believe we will be stronger together in the long term in delivering strong value propositions to each market” says Olli Sarekoski, Chairman of LEIA and CEO of Veikkaus.

LEIA is a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of Norway, and has its registered address at Måsåbekkvegen 20, 2315 Hamar, Norway.

FDJ (Française des Jeux) is ranked 4th lottery worldwide with 15.1 Bn EUR of sales in 2017. FDJ offers lottery and sports betting to its 26+ million customers, providing secure and responsible entertainment.

The group including its B2B subsidiaries FDJ GAMING SOLUTIONS employs 2,130 people. FDJ distributes lottery and betting through a retail network of 30.800 points of sale and online to 1.3 M players.

Veikkaus is a Finnish gaming company with a special mission. We want people to play our games safely and with moderation. Almost all adult Finns play our games; we have over two million loyal customers.

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Thanks to the players, over one billion euros a year are accumulated for the common good. The gaming revenue is used to offer people chances for better lives.

Danske Spil A/S, the Danish National Lottery, was founded in 1948 and is currently the market leader on the Danish gambling market. Danske Spil offers gambling through its subsidiaries, Danske Lotteri Spil and Danske Licens Spil, both online and through a network of more than 4,400 retail partners across the country.

Today a substantial variety of good causes benefit from the more than DKK 1 billion (DKK 1.1 billion in 2017), which Danske Spil returns annually to society via the lottery funds. In total Danske Spil’s societal contribution amounted to DKK 2.674 billion in 2017.

Norsk Tipping AS (Norsk Tipping) is Norway’s state-owned gaming company with sole rights as operator of several gaming activities in the Norwegian domestic market. Norsk Tipping engages every year approximately 2 million players from the adult population of 4 million every year.

In 2017 the company had a turnover of approximately 35 billion Norwegian kroner. The company has approximately 400 employees, and a network of nearly 3600 retailers throughout the country where the players can play.

Approximately 50% of the company's revenue comes from Internet and other digital channels.

SOURCE: LEIA press release distributed by Lyceum Media.

 

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Skilrock Unveils INFINITI - ITS NEW 4th Generation Platform at WLS, Argentina

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GURUGRAM, India (November 27, 2018) -- Team Skilrock is back after a wonderful show at WLS 2018, Buenos Aires. The star attraction involved unveiling of its all new 4th Generation Platform called ‘INFINITI’ that promises to bring a paradigm shift in the way our technology solutions will address the diverse and ever changing requirements of our global clientele – making them better prepared to take on the New World. The novel approach to support innovation by design at every layer coupled with smart solution offerings embedded within ‘INFINITI’ was well appreciated by industry veterans, seasoned business leaders and other delegates.

With an increased focus on Americas, this was the fourth major event in a series of major events in the lottery and gaming industry, where Skilrock has exhibited.

Skilrock Technologies

Mr. Sujit Lahiry, Executive Director at Skilrock Technologies Pvt. Ltd, commented

It was worth the effort for every delegate to come half way across the world to be in Buenos Aires to attend the WLS 2018 event. Right from the inspiring keynote delivered by Nando Parrado about his survival in Andes to the opening of gala tradeshow to the engrossing networking events and various engagements in the backdrop of the enchanting Puente De La Mujer of Buenos Aires, it couldn’t have been better.

It was a very special occasion for Skilrock to launch its all new INFINITI platform that truly resounded the theme of the conference ‘Gaining the edge in the new world’. This was made more special under the perfect setting of the enchanting venue and blending with every bit of the conference programmes. The clients and enthusiasts appreciated how we aligned ourselves with the show and appreciated ‘Infinite Solutions for Limitless Gaming’ that our new platform offers to leverage the New World” 

About Skilrock Technologies

Skilrock Technologies is a leading technology solution provider for the lottery, gaming and payment industry with its R&D centres located at global IT hubs. It is technology arm of $2 billion Sugal & Damani Group, who are leaders of Indian lottery & gaming operations.

The Omni-Channel Gaming Platform ‘Infiniti’ of Skilrock serves RETAIL, iGAMING & SELF SERVICE channels with equal ease and at the same time supporting a wide variety of games like Lotto, Keno, Bingo, Instant, Sports, Poker, Rummy, Casino and Slots.

More than 120,000 retail touch points and over 5 million iGaming players across 22 jurisdictions have been serviced by Skilrock.

CONTACT: Sourabh Goyal, Manager – Marketing & Sales, Office: +91 124 4193500, Mobile: +91 88 2631 5550, Email: sourabh.goyal@skilrock.com.

SOURCE:  Skilrock Technologies (www.skilrock.com).

 

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Future of Lotteries to be Discussed at Winter Meeting of Legislators from Gaming States, January 4-6 in New Orleans

News Provided By: National Council of Legislators from Gaming States

NEW ORLEANS (November 28, 2018) -- Lotteries across the United States are confronting multiple, unprecedented challenges and opportunities such as ilotteries, sports betting and the convergence of lottery and casino games in the online space. Lottery directors, legislators and other experts will examine these issues when the Committee on Lotteries meets at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Winter Meeting, January 4-6 in New Orleans.

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Registration and host-hotel reservations for the three-day conference are now open at http://www.nclgs.org/meetings.html. A limited number of rooms at host Harrah's New Orleans are still available at special attendee rates.

Rhode Island this week became the first lottery to operate sports betting and several others may follow suit. This is just one example of how lotteries are moving beyond their traditional games to sustain and grow their revenue.

"The business model that state lotteries have relied on for many years is changing rapidly, due to forces ranging from technology and demographics to sports betting, igaming and political considerations," said Committee Chair Joe Verrengia, a Representative from Connecticut. "This panel of experts will help legislators ensure that emerging business models continue to serve the public interest."

The Committee will hear from the following presenters:

  • Gerald Aubin, Director, Rhode Island Lottery
  • Rose Hudson, President and CEO, Louisiana Lottery Corporation
  • Gordon Medenica, Director, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
  • Bill Pascrell III, Lobbyist, Princeton Public Affairs Group
  • Peggy Daniel, US General Manager, The Lotter Group

 

More than 200 attendees, including dozens of state legislators, are expected to attend the three-day NCLGS Winter Meeting. The conference agenda includes:

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  • Keynote Luncheon Address from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose arguments before the Supreme Court resulted in overturning the federal prohibition on sports betting
  • Six legislative committee sessions: Casinos, Emerging Forms of Gaming, Lotteries, Pari-Mutuels, Sports Betting/iGaming, and State-Federal Relations
  • The Big Picture: Focus on Freshman Class of Legislators – an introduction to gaming
  • Two Masterclasses presented by the International Masters of Gaming Law
  • Friday evening welcome reception
  • Saturday afternoon offsite event
  • Sunday general session focusing on the relationship between gaming and tourism

 

The Winter Meeting has been approved for 10.25 and 10.0 Continuing Legal Eduction credits by the Louisiana and Nevada bars, respectively, underscoring its importance as a premier gaming policy forum.

To view the NCLGS Winter Meeting agenda, register, and book hotel rooms at the host hotel at special attendee rates, visit http://www.nclgs.org/meetings.html.

For sponsorship information, contact Dawn Wagner at dawn@nclgs.org. Legislators and others seeking NCLGS membership information should contact Wayne Marlin at wayne.marlin@nclgs.org.

NCLGS is the only organization of state lawmakers that meets on a regular basis to discuss issues relating to gaming. Members of NCLGS serve as chairpersons or members of state legislative committees responsible for the regulation of gaming in their state legislative houses. NCLGS does not promote or oppose gaming but is primarily concerned with the regulation and economic and social impacts of the industry. The NCLGS Foundation is the educational and research arm of NCLGS. The 501(c)(3) non-profit is a source of non-partisan data on issues of gaming legislation and regulation.

Spectrum Gaming Group, which has performed advisory and consulting work for gaming operators, regulators and legislatures in 36 US states and territories and in 47 countries on six continents, serves as the Executive Director of NCLGS.

SOURCE: National Council of Legislators from Gaming States

 

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Hoosier Lottery Extends Holiday Fun to Instagram, Holiday Mystery Website

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Nov. 23, 2018) -- This holiday season, the fun, prizes and giving back with the Hoosier Lottery go beyond playing Holiday Scratch-offs.

The Hoosier Lottery is giving players a chance to win a Scratch-off wreath made of $100 in Scratch-offs while giving back to local fire departments, and players have another chance at winning $200 in Holiday Scratch-offs by solving a mystery.

For Hoosiers, giving back is as easy as posting a selfie

Through the Give the Play holiday promotion, five Hoosier Lottery players will be selected to win a wreath made of $100 in Scratch-offs by posting a selfie with their Holiday Scratch-offs to Instagram using #GiveThePlay. But it doesn’t end there. For every Scratch-off wreath won by a Hoosier Lottery player, the Hoosier Lottery will also give one to a local fire department in Indiana.

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Entries for the #GiveThePlay promotion are being accepted now. The deadline to enter with your selfie is Sunday, Dec. 9. Click here for complete rules.

Can you solve the Hoosier Holiday Mystery?

’Twas the night of the holiday party and one sneaky guest brought a little more mischief than the rest. “Who hid the Scratch-offs?” is what everyone is asking.

This limited-time-only online experience from Hoosier Lottery immerses players into a quirky mystery with subtle clues and a lot of laughs. Help them solve the mystery and you could be one of five Hoosiers to win $200 in Holiday Scratch-offs. Check out hoosierlotterymystery.com to meet the characters and take your best guess.

The Hoosier Lottery wants players to bring the play with Holiday Scratch-offs this season. The Scratch-offs include $1 Festive $50s, $2 Holiday $100s, $3 Candy Cane Crossword Tripler, and $5 Silver & Gold.

Odds of winning the #GiveThePlay and Hoosier Holiday Mystery promotions are dependent upon the number of entries received. Estimated Overall Odds: $1 Festive 50s 1 in 4.66, $2 Holiday 100s 1 in 4.42, $3 Candy Cane Crossword Tripler 1 in 3.98, $5 Silver & Gold 1 in 3.91.

ABOUT THE HOOSIER LOTTERY:

Hoosier Lottery distributions benefit every county throughout Indiana. The Hoosier Lottery contributes $30 million to local police and firefighters' pensions and $30 million to the Teachers' Retirement Fund. In fiscal year 2017, the Hoosier Lottery contributed $228 million to the Build Indiana Fund. To learn more about the Hoosier Lottery, visit www.hoosierlottery.com/givingback and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTACT: Jerry Grider, Hoosier Lottery, Sr. Manager of Public Relations, T: 317-264-4676 office, E: jgrider@hoosierlottery.com.

SOURCE: Hoosier Lottery press release.

 

 

BCLC CFO Named One of Canada’s Most Powerful Women

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VANCOUVER, BC, Canada  (November 22, 2018) -- BCLC is proud to announce that its Chief Financial Officer and VP of Finance and Corporate Services, Amanda Hobson, is one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. The Women’s Executive Network (WXN) recognition, announced today, pays tribute to those who have advocated for diversity in the workforce and who serve as an inspiration for the next generation of leaders.

Hobson joined BCLC in 2013 as a Finance Director and quickly earned herself a seat at the Executive table, where she oversees the organization’s finance operations, external reporting, financial planning, procurement and corporate services.

Amanda Hobson

Through her leadership style of empowerment and engagement, Hobson has helped drive BCLC’s continued financial success.

Hobson’s collaborative approach to engaging with internal and external stakeholders has supported numerous successes for BCLC. Through her work with BCLC’s Casino business unit, Hobson helped to secure one of the largest contracts in the Corporation’s history: new 20-year Operational Services Agreements with casino service providers. The Agreements set the course for greater accountability, long-term private-sector investment and sustained revenue to the Province and communities.

Hobson is also a founding member and supporter of AIM, a grassroots group to connect, inspire and motivate women at BCLC, with a focus on networking, professional and personal development and giving back.

In addition to her numerous career successes, Amanda’s contributions span well beyond the workplace,” said BCLC President and CEO Jim Lightbody.

She is a driving force in the community of Kamloops and takes an active role with many groups including as a Board Director with the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and an avid supporter of the Kamloops Food Bank. She embodies BCLC’s ideals of giving back and helping communities grow.”

Anyone recognized by WXN is in good company. Past Award Winners include Canadian icons such as author Margaret Atwood, astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar, CEO of Venture Communications and Dragon’s Den personality Arlene Dickinson, and many more.

SOURCE: BCLC press release.

 

 

Gambling Commission Publishes New Report on Children and Gambling Trends

Young People and Gambling Report 2018

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BIRMINGHAM, U.K. (November 23, 2018) – The Gambling Commission has said stronger partnerships are needed to protect children following a new report published today. The gambling regulator has called for regulators and businesses across industries to work together, but the research also shows the important influence parents can have on children’s gambling behaviour.

This year’s Young People and Gambling report reveals that gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds has increased in the last 12 months but remains lower compared to all previous years. However, the research indicated that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling.

The report identifies the most common gambling activities that children are engaging in are often outside of the Gambling Commission's direct regulatory control - such as bets between friends, lottery scratch cards purchased by parents and playing of fruit machines in pubs.

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It highlights the need for a more collaborative proactive approach to protect young people.

Despite the increase in problem gambling rates the report found that only 19% of children said their parents had set strict rules about gambling.

Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, said: “Protecting children from the harms that can come from gambling remains one of our highest priorities. In the areas we have regulatory control, we continue to strengthen the protections in place to prevent underage gambling, such as our recent proposals for enhanced age verifications checks for online gambling.”

“But regulation alone cannot address all of the risks that young people may face from gambling. Our latest research shows that the most common forms of gambling by children do not happen in gambling premises. Some of these are legal, such as bets between friends; some of these are unlawful, such as gambling on machines in pubs. But all of them present risks to young people as there is no form of gambling that is risk-free. It is therefore vital that all those with a part to play in protecting children and young people - parents, businesses and regulators - work together.”

Last week, the Commission called on the pubs industry to take urgent action following serious failures to stop children playing on 18+ gaming machines. In addition, in September 17 global gambling regulators teamed up with the Commission to work together to address the risks created by the blurring of lines between video games, social gaming and gambling. The Commission is also currently consulting on strengthening age verification processes.

Key findings:

  • 14% of 11-16 year olds had spent their own money on gambling in the past week, this is up from 12% in 2017 but still lower than rates seen prior to 2017
  • This compared to 13% who had drunk alcohol in the past week, 4% who had smoked cigarettes and 2% who had taken illegal drugs
  • The principal forms of gambling in the past week are placing a private bet for money with friends (6%), National Lottery scratchcards (4%), fruit/slot machines (3%) and playing cards for money with friends (3%)
  • Young people who have gambled in the past week spent an average of £16 on gambling during this period
  • Over the past 12 months, 39% of 11-16 year olds have spent their own money on gambling
  • 6% have gambled online using a parent or guardian’s account
  • 31% have ever opened loot boxes in a computer game or app, to try to acquire in-game items, while 3% claim to have ever bet with in-game items (so called ‘skins’ gambling)
  • 59% agree that gambling is dangerous and only 14% agree that it is OK for someone their age to gamble
  • Around half (49%) of respondents said that someone had spoken to them about the problems that gambling can lead to, with the conversation typically taking place with a parent (40%) or teacher (21%).
  • 60% of young people think their parents would prefer them not to gamble at all, however only 19% stated that their parents set strict rules about gambling with no negotiation
  • 1.7% of 11-16 year olds are classified as ‘problem’ gamblers, 2.2% as ‘at risk’

 

SOURCE: Gambling Commission.

 

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Belgium to Lead Project to Unify European Online Gambling Regulations

Written by: Joe Ewens

BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 20, 2018) -- Belgian Gaming Commission director Peter Naessens has been chosen to spearhead a new pan-European project to standardise online gambling regulation.

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Under the banner of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), a group of international regulators and industry bodies will produce compliance reporting rules designed to be adopted across the continent.

The project’s ultimate aim is to create guidelines on what data online gambling operators should send to their regulators and how they should do it.

The overall group responsible for producing the standards, Technical Committee 456, is chaired by ARJEL international affairs officer Claire Pinson.

She hosted a meeting of the committee in Paris on Thursday, where Belgian regulatory chief Peter Naessens was elected as project leader, handing him ultimate responsibility for drafting the guidelines.

He defeated Mark Pace, managing director of industry group the Gaming Standards Association, who will be considered for the role of co-leader through an online vote before the end of the year.

The group hopes the completed standards will ideally be adopted across most EU countries, but will in practice be completely voluntary.

Lending the venture additional weight, however, are its origins in Brussels. The project began as the result of a direct request to CEN from the European Commission, an institution that officially “washed its hands” of all gambling issues in December 2017.

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That has contributed in part to substantial interest in the project from a number of industry trade groups. Some of whom see it as preparing the ground for a new commission’s approach to online gambling.

The current commission, under the premiership of Jean-Claude Juncker, ends its term next year.

Representatives from the European Gambling and Betting Association, European Lotteries and the European Casino Association were among those attending the Thursday meeting.

Naessens is an interesting choice to lead the project, having been critical of previous attempts to harmonise gambling regulation at EU level.

Naessens told GamblingCompliance that he and his colleagues believed that previous harmonisation efforts "were trying to implement a unilateral liberal policy on the member states, defending the interests of online operators who wanted to offer their services in the most possible countries".

Now, with the voluntary nature of the CEN standards in mind and a gambling regulator at the helm, Naessens sees value in harmony.

"For me this is not contradictory," he said. "All member states that want to be involved [in the CEN project] are involved. And I think if there is no direct involvement from public authorities or regulators you will arrive at solutions that will never be used."

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Pinson also insisted that "the requested standards do not attempt to harmonise national online gambling regulation".

The specific elements touched by the project include standards for how operators should report on player accounts, payment methods, spending limits and self-exclusions.

Overall transactions recorded by an operator for a specific product, activity in each market, gross gambling revenue and marketing activities will also be covered.

"While ensuring integrity and security of the data as well as personal data protection, the requested standard will provide a voluntary tool to gambling regulatory authorities," said Pinson.

She added that the guidelines would be produced "without prejudice to the scope of competence of member states in the regulation of online gambling and without imposing any obligation on them to introduce reporting requirements or to authorise or deny authorisation to any operators or suppliers".

The next stage of the project will begin in Stockholm on January 17 and 18, when a group of national experts will meet to formally begin work on the project, the full title of which is CEN/TC 456 "Reporting in support of online gambling supervision".

SOURCE: The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

 

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The Malta Gaming Authority Publishes a Survey to Better Understand Existing Skills Gap in the Gaming Industry

MALTA (November 22, 2018) -- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), through its Information Unit, has conducted a survey among its licensed remote gaming operators in order to obtain a better understanding of the existing skills gap in the gaming industry. The survey was conducted during the first quarter of 2018, and its analysis was carried out for each job category, level and firm size.

The following are the key highlights from this survey:

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  • A total of 781 unfilled positions have been reported by the remote gaming companies in Malta as at the end of 2017;
  • Unfilled job vacancies are primarily in the game operation and development category at the operational level, presenting significant potential for the local educational system to contribute in addressing the issues of job vacancies in skills that are specific to the gaming industry in Malta;
  • According to the survey results, 57% of respondents consider the lack of appropriate skills, in terms of either work experience or qualifications, as the main cause of unfilled vacancies;
  • The sourcing of experienced talent from other firms in Malta is practised by over 60% of surveyed firms; the majority of operators recruited workers already employed by other firms in the online sector (37%) or in other industries (24%);
  • The recruitment of workers immediately after the completion of their formal education was reported by 15% of firms, confirming the potentially stronger role which could be played by educational institutions; and;
  • Various initiatives are undertaken by the gaming companies to address the skill shortage in the industry with majority of firms (55%) organising in-house training for their employees or investing in overseas training (21%).

 

Over the past months, several policy efforts have been made to address this skills gap. In fact, in November 2017, the European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM) was launched following an agreement signed between the MGA and MCAST.

This strategic initiative aims to increase the talent pool in the gaming industry and create more long term careers for both local and foreign students. Educational programmes through EGIM started being offered as from October 2018.

A full copy of the survey can be downloaded from here.

SOURCE: Malta Gaming Authority.

 

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Gambling Companies Spend £1.2 Billion Marketing Online, Five Times More Than on Television Ads

LONDON, U.K. (November 24, 2018) -- New financial analysis from respected gambling industry specialists Regulus Partners has estimated that the total spend by gambling companies on marketing has gone up by 56% since 2014, and has now hit £1.5bn. Most marketing activity is now on the internet, with companies spending five times more online than on television.

The new figures, derived from audited accounts of the top publicly listed operators and other available financial data for private and offshore companies, indicate the areas where gambling companies spent the most money on marketing in 2017:

  • Direct online internet marketing costs - £747m, almost half (48%) of total gambling marketing spend
  • Advertising through marketing ‘affiliates’ – websites, tipsters and publications who earn commission for generating new business for the gambling companies- £301m, nearly one fifth (19%) of total expenditure
  • TV gambling advertising - £234m, just 15% of total gambling marketing spend
  • Social media - £149m, more than tripling over three years, and 10% of total gambling marketing spend
  • Sponsorship - £60m, double the amount spent in 2014 (£30m).

 

80% of all gambling marketing spend is now online. There has been significant debate about the amount of advertising by bookmakers, bingo websites and virtual casinos on television, but these figures shine a light onto the huge amount of money being spent promoting gambling on the internet.

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Detailed marketing expenditure is considered commercially confidential, so obtaining definitive figures is not possible. But Regulus Partners have applied similar techniques used by city analysts to generate estimates which will have strong credibility within the gambling industry, and clearly indicate the relative extent of online marketing activity.

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware said:

Children are growing up in a very different world than their parents. The Gambling Commission reports that 59% of 11-16 year olds have seen gambling advertisements on social media, compared to 66% on television. One in eight 11 to 16 year olds follow gambling companies on social media, and they are three times more likely to spend money on gambling. Of those who have ever played online gambling-style games, 24% follow gambling companies online.”

Compared to other potentially harmful activities, the rate of gambling in the past week among young people is higher than the rates of drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and taking illegal drugs. This underlines the need to treat gambling as a public health issue.

The Regulus analysis shows that much more attention needs to be payed to the extent of gambling-related marketing online, and that internet companies and social media platforms must share in the responsibility to protect children, and to generally raise awareness of the nature of gambling, associated risks of harm, and where to go for help and advice if it is needed.”

About GambleAware

GambleAware is an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help to reduce gambling-related harms in Great Britain.

GambleAware is a commissioning and grant-making body, not a provider of services.

CONTACT: Sarah Evans, T: +44 7523609413, E: gambleaware@atlas-partners.co.uk.

SOURCE: GambleAware.

 

 

Careers in the Games Industry Have Moved Beyond Entertainment

Article by: John Montesi (Azusa Pacific University)

AZUSA, CA (November 27, 2018) -- It is no secret that careers in the technology sector have grown faster than any other field over the past couple of decades. Tech is a wide-ranging industry and many different areas have created new career paths. One of the most explosive growth areas in the technology and software realm is careers in the video game industry. As an emerging -- and rapidly-growing -- sector, the trajectory for a career in games is varied.

The video game industry currently generates more than $100 billion in revenue each year, with the United States making up more than $36 billion of that total. “Video Game Designer” was listed as one of CNN Money’s Best Jobs in America, reporting a median salary of $81,600 and a 10-year job growth of 13 percent.

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Accordingly, schools like Azusa Pacific University have come to recognize the segmentation and specialization within software and technology, and now offer multiple degrees to help graduates hone their skills and stand out in the growing pool of qualified applicants. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to pursue a career in the game industry.

The Beginning of Video Games

Video games have come a long way from when the industry began, back in the early ‘80s when home PCs became widely available. Games were far less complex than they are today; some of the best-selling games were text-based, with no graphics at all! Because of this, game development companies could be fairly small and operate on very little money. Those businesses typically published and marketed their own games, giving early video games a unique “underground” feel.

Game companies in the ‘80s were a lot like those that are a part of the indie game scene of today,” said Tim Samoff, program director of the games and interactive media program at APU. “As games grew more and more complex, game development companies had to grow as well. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see a hundred or more people work on a major $200 million release.”

The Evolution of the Game Industry

Since the industry’s inception, it has proven remarkably resilient to periods of economic distress and continues to enjoy upward growth. Like any industry, it has been through trends of major growth and seen corrections, but the overarching theme is one of consistent demand for constantly-improving games as a source of entertainment and even professional development.

It’s actually a great time to get into the industry right now,” Samoff noted. “Companies are looking for individuals who have unique skill sets, people who can fulfil multiple functions on a team, and who are trained to start working right away.”

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New market sectors like eSports, theme parks, health care, military, and other applications for realistic simulations have dramatically widened the reach of the video game industry. This means that video game development is more resistant to changes in trends or discretionary spending habits than ever before.

Careers in the Game Industry

Video game development can be both a dream job for avid video game fans and a practical career path that provides ample opportunity for the dynamic future of technology. Roles range from video game designers and programmers to digital artists and creative directors. Because the industry is relatively new, each graduating class brings new skills based on the rapidly evolving curriculum and unique life experiences. The industry favors creative and flexible applicants -- as well as people who are passionate about games!

Samoff has some decidedly entertaining advice for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in game development. “Those who want to work in the industry should start playing any game they can get their hands on, regardless of whether it’s the type of game they like or the game genre they prefer,” he said. “Mobile devices and app stores make this easy now because so many games are free to play or provided as free demos. People need to understand the trends and know what others in the industry are doing.”

Much like other software-based industries, many of the skills and tools related to developing video games are available online. Most of the industry standard game engines (like Unity and Unreal Engine) are free to use. There are also thousands of tutorials on the game engine sites as well as other outlets like YouTube. Samoff noted that if a person wants to work in the industry, “they should start learning how to make games on their own now.”

Getting a Games Education at APU

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While the software revolution allows anyone with internet access to learn about—and participate in—the digital economy, the focused rigors and portfolio requirements of an academic setting can help graduates stand out amid the competitive tech landscape. Earning a degree can better prepare individuals for success and career advancement in their chosen fields.

Azusa Pacific University’s program is geared towards getting students to be highly productive, learn the value of iteration and failure, and ultimately produce polished, industry-level games,” Samoff said. “Similarly, the games and interactive media program was created with an openness that will allow students to focus in a minor such as computer science, art, music, business, or whatever it is that they want to do within (or outside of) the industry.”

The game industry offers many opportunities for career advancement, stability, and continued growth. From surgical simulations to entertaining role-playing games to educational platforms, the video game industry today covers ground in a wide variety of sectors. Students who graduate from the games and interactive media program at APU will have a deep understanding of how to make engaging, playable games from scratch, how the industry works, and how to apply it all to their current and future career goals.

Are you interested in learning more about the video game industry and how you can pursue an innovative degree in a promising and dynamic career path? Take some time to check out the games and interactive media program at Azusa Pacific University.

SOURCE: Azusa Pacific University.

 


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