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Digital Single Market: EU negotiators reach a political agreement to update the EU’s telecoms rules

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Brussels, 6 June 2018 – The European Parliament and the Council reached late last night a political agreement to update the EU’s telecoms rules. The new European Electronic Communications Code, proposed by the Commission, will boost investments in very high-capacity networks across the EU, including in remote and rural areas.

Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip said: “This agreement is essential to meet Europeans’ growing connectivity needs and boost Europe’s competitiveness. We are laying the groundwork for the deployment of 5G across Europe.

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, said: “The new telecoms rules are an essential building block for Europe’s digital future. After several months of tough negotiations, we have agreed on bold and balanced rules to provide faster access to radio spectrum, better services and more protection for consumers, as well as greater investment in very high-speed networks.

The agreed rules are crucial for achieving Europe’s connectivity targets and providing everyone in the EU the best possible internet connection, so they can participate fully in the digital economy.

The new Electronic Communications Code will:

  • Enhance the deployment of 5G networks by ensuring the availability of 5G radio spectrum by end of 2020 in the EU and providing operators with predictability for at least 20 years in terms of spectrum licensing; including on the basis of better coordination of planned radio spectrum assignments.

  • Facilitate the roll-out of new, very high capacity fixed networks by making rules for co-investment more predictable and promoting risk sharing in the deployment of very high capacity networks; promoting sustainable competition for the benefit of consumers, with a regulatory emphasis on the real bottlenecks, such as wiring, ducts and cables inside buildings; and a specific regulatory regime for wholesale only operators. Moreover, the new rules will also ensure closer cooperation between the Commission and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) in supervising measures related to the new key access provisions of co-investment and symmetric regulation.

  • Benefit and protect consumers, irrespective of whether end-users communicate through traditional (calls, sms) or web-based services (Skype, WhatsApp, etc.) by:

  • ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable communications services, including universally available internet access, for services such as egovernment, online banking or video calls;
  • ensuring that international calls within the EU will not cost more than 19 cents per minute, while making sure that the new rules would not distort competition, innovation and investment;
  • giving equivalent access to communications for end-users with disabilities;
  • promoting better tariff transparency and comparison of contractual offers;
  • guaranteeing better security against hacking, malware, etc.;
  • better protecting consumers subscribing to bundled service packages;
  • making it easier to change service provider and keep the same phone number, including rules for compensations if the process goes wrong or takes too long;
  • increasing protection of citizens in emergency situations, including retrieving more accurate caller location in emergency situations, broadening emergency communications to  text messaging and video calls, and establishing a system to transmit public warnings on mobile phones.

 

Background

At work, at home or on the move, Europeans expect an internet connection that is fast and reliable. Encouraging investments in very high-capacity networks is increasingly important for education, healthcare, manufacturing or transport. To meet these challenges and prepare Europe’s digital future, in September 2016 the Commission proposed the establishment of a European Electronic Communications Code and a proposal for a Regulation on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. The Code will modernise the current EU telecoms rules, which were last updated in 2009, stimulate competition to drive investments and strengthen the internal market and consumer rights.

In March 2018 the Parliament and the Council agreed on the way forward for radio spectrum management to be able to introduce 5G in the EU. Once fully adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, Member States will have two years to transpose the Electronic Communications Code into national law.

For More Information

Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) including data on connectivity per country

More on telecoms

 

IP/18/4070

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Québec sees increase in online gambling popularity in 2017–2018

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The Canadian province of Quebec witnessed a surge in the popularity of online gambling in 2017–2018. The total business in the whole province touched CA$118 million in the fiscal 2017/2018 year, according to the annual report published by Loto Québec, the provincial crown corporation that conducts and manages all gaming operations in Quebec. The report revealed positive growth across all business sectors and a total sales amount of $3.769 billion.

In early 2018, the Loto Quebec portal was launched, offering a variety of games, more user-friendly experience and simplified navigation. During the fiscal 2017/2018 year, the revenues from this segment surged 37.5 per cent from the previous year to $118 million, official figures show.

In fact, online gambling saw the largest revenue increase of all sectors outlined in Loto Québec’s 2017–2018 Annual Report. The financial results were submitted in the National Assembly Thursday morning by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão. According to Lynne Roiter, President and CEO of Loto-Québec, the corporation’s excellent performance is due to the improved gaming and lottery offerings. Indeed, 2017 was successful for gambling operations in the province, as all sectors saw growth as seen by the 3.7 per cent increase in total annual sales. They totalled $3.769 billion in the year ending March 31, which is $133.6 million more than the results for the previous period.

The corporation generated a net profit of $1.335 billion, up 8.5 per cent compared to the previous fiscal year. It also paid a higher dividend to the province of around $1.31 billion, which is $104.9 million more than last year and $169 million more than government estimations. There is also a slight increase in the prizes paid out to lottery and gaming hall winners – during the 2017/2018, Loto Québec paid them $1.027 billion, up 1.5 per cent from the previous period.

Lotteries Maintain the Biggest Market Share

Lotteries are “on the upswing”, according to Loto Québec, which reports a 2.9 per cent increase year-on-year in the revenues generated by this sector. Bringing in $1.88 billion in the 12 months ending March 31, 2018, lotteries account for nearly two-thirds of the corporation’s total revenues. Quebecers, it says, have embraced Grande Vie, the pan-Canadian lottery product launched in October 2016.

The business sector that generates the second-largest revenues is the gaming establishment sector. It includes video lottery terminals in bars and brasseries, as well as gaming, bingo and Kinzo halls, which are quite popular among people in the province. Gaming establishments recorded slightly higher profits in the financial 2016/2017 year – revenues were up 1.3 per cent to a little over $1 billion.

A significantly higher growth in revenues can be seen for the four Quebec casinos – it is 8.1 per cent from the previous year to a total revenue of $906.9 million. This success can be attributed to the diversification of gaming offerings at casinos and the increased traffic. Casinos saw 290,000 additional visits, up 3.1 per cent from 2016/2017.

Source: Casinoreports.ca

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Demand for including esports in Olympics strengthens

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GiocoNews, the gaming news website based in Italy, has conducted a panel discussion on esports as part of Social Media Week in Rome on the possibility of the esports’ inclusion in the Olympics.

Angelo Cito, Fita president, which organises the Olympic Taekwondo preparations, said: “The idea of seeing esports at the Olympic Games is not a dream, but an achievable goal. But to do it, we need to create a culture of this sector with safe and appropriate rules that put the player at the centre.”

Laura D’Angeli, head of the gamification business at Mag Consulenti e Associati, said: “If we look at the numbers, the esports phenomenon at a global level we realise that we are dealing with a huge phenomenon, with over 500 million virtual players, playing to a competitive level and among them, more than 220 million do it at least once a month.”

The lawyer Chiara Sambaldi, director of the Eurispes’ Osservatorio sul gioco, spoke about the legal aspect of the phenomenon and stressed: “The right place for esports could be within a national federation, given the competitive rate.” She warned that its inclusion would blur the lines as to what is considered a sport.

In response, Mattia Guarracino, a member of the Sampdoria’s esports team, said: “Actually, competitive players train at least three or four hours per day, in some cases even five or more compared to the type of game they play. Although the physical effort is certainly lower than that of a traditional sportsman, it is nevertheless true that there is a real and intense training from a technical and tactical point of view that should not be underestimated.”

Although it is certainly a fragmented industry, there are discussions on-going about it being a viable sport in time for Paris 2024.

 

Source: InterGameOnline

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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FastBet ICO (FBET Token): A new entrant in blockchain-based Gambling world

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FastBet, a Malta-registered entity operated by Bethard Group, has thrown its hat into the mushrooming ring of mobile crypto gambling based on blockchain technology. It claims it would revolutionise the gambling industry even further using Blockchain technology.

Its pre-ICO phase has started. The ICO will begin on the 1st of July. Here is all you want to learn about the new entity in one of the most happening verticals of the gambling industry.

What Is FastBet?

It’s an online casino project which will provide many games to its users such as dice, jackpot and roulette. However, unlike other online casinos, FastBet seeks to offer gamblers something unique – anonymity! Users will not be required to undergo an identity verification process. Moreover, the platform is accessible from anywhere in the world and guarantees one their privacy in using the site.

Additionally, FastBet charges zero fees for using their platform and it has low commissions. What is more, token holders get to earn money by owning FBET tokens in their wallets. Each month, token holders are entitled to a 50 per cent commission on the total earnings of the casino during that month.

FastBet Mobile Blockchain Crypto Gambling Casino Features

FastBet seeks to bring everything you need for a comprehensive gambling experience closer to you in your smartphone! Through its smartphone application users will be able to make payments, transfers, currency exchange and play casino games.

  • Anonymity on your phone.
  • Access to the online casino anywhere, anytime.
  • Unlimited deposits and withdrawals.
  • Instant payouts in the form of cryptocurrency.
  • A commission calculator is given to token holders.

FastBet FBET Token ICO Details

  • Token Symbol: FBET
  • Decimals: 18
  • Token Background: It’s built as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain
  • Total Emission: 12,000,000 FBET
  • Pre-ICO Begins 1st June 2018 – 30th June 2018 1 FBET = $0.40
  • ICO Begins 1st July 2018
  • Phase 1 Begins 10th July 2018 – 17th July 2018 1FBET = $0.85
  • Phase 2 Begins 17th July 2018 – 24th July 2018 1FBET = $0.90
  • Phase 3 Begins 24th July 2018 – 1st August 2018 1FBET = $1.00
  • Phase 4 Begins 1st August 2018 – 15th August 2018 1FBET = $1.05
  • Soft cap: 200,000 USD
  • Hard cap: 2,000,000 USD

The ICO sale will be carried out on the FASTBET platform

Accepted forms of payment: Ethereum (ETH), Dash, DOGE, NEO, Bitcoin (BTC), ETC, LSK, ZEC, LTC, XEM, BCH, XMR, WAVES and more!

All unsold tokens will be burnt after conclusion of ICO.

 

Source: bitcoinexchangeguide.com

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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