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As World Cup arrives, Asian authorities begin defence against illegal gambling

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The Football world cup in Russia is just a couple of days away, and the law enforcement and regulatory authorities in Asia are facing a different sort of battle away from the limelight. They are readying themselves for a battle against illegal gambling operators. These illegal operators upped the ante in the region ahead of the World Cup, using state-of-the-art technology and cryptocurrencies to evade prosecution.

Such illegal activities are prevalent mostly in countries like Thailand and Malaysia, mainly for two reasons: First, football is hugely popular here. Second, people do not have any legal alternative for gambling.

However, in South Korea and the Chinese territory of Hong Kong – where betting is legal under registered bodies – the illegal gambling activities are rampant.

Illegal bookmakers have shifted to online and mobile platforms, which offer a wider range of betting options than legal vendors, making it harder for enforcement agencies to police, the experts say.

Hong Kong and Macau police have said crime syndicates have often used platforms like WeChat to place bets.

Online payment providers and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have also made it easier for illegal operators to facilitate illegal bets, according to Interpol, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which runs Hong Kong’s horse racing and football betting franchise.

“There is a need to develop and execute a sustainable enforcement strategy for a lasting impact against illegal betting and related transnational organized crime,” said Martin Purbrick, the club’s director of security and integrity.

The Jockey Club estimates Hong Kong’s illegal betting turnover this year, including the World Cup, will be at least $68 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in Singapore and $79 billion in South Korea annually.

Hong Kong earns around 5 per cent of its budget from taxing legal gambling and views illegal betting as lost potential revenue. The Jockey Club put the potential loss at about HK$13 billion ($1.7 billion) this year.

Illegal bookmakers in Hong Kong are expected to reap HK$750 million during the World Cup alone, the club said.

Illegal betting this year is expected to be far larger than during the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, helped by the closer time zones between Russia and countries in the Asia region, according to gambling industry executives.

Asia accounts for 80 per cent of the estimated $500 billion in illegal betting volumes globally, according to Transparency International and the Asian Racing Federation.

Much of the illegal betting is facilitated by companies registered offshore, particularly in the Philippines, which sells online betting licenses to operators.

While operators can claim to be licensed in the Philippines, their sites are illegal in most jurisdictions in Asia, including Hong Kong and South Korea.

Since 2016, Philippine authorities have clamped down on illegal betting operators but there has still been a proliferation in the number of sites in operation, according to officials and executives in the country.

Alfredo Lim, president of PAGCOR, the Philippine gaming regulator, said the bureau was collaborating with government agencies to fight illegal gambling.

“We lose millions from unlawful gambling,” Lim said.

In South Korea, police said they would closely monitor illegal sports betting during the World Cup. Hong Kong police said they were conducting a large anti-gambling operation called “Crowbreak” to crack down on illegal gambling activities.

Macau, the world’s biggest gambling centre, is expected to see revenues squeezed in June due to more Chinese gamblers wagering on the World Cup than in the enclave’s glitzy casinos, according to gaming analysts.

Police in China broke up a large illegal online gambling ring in April, arresting more than 100 people, the Xinhua news agency reported, while Macau police have broken up illegal betting operations conducted via the popular WeChat app.

At the last World Cup in 2014, Interpol said during a six-week operation across China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, law enforcement officers cracked crime gangs estimated to have handled around $2.2 billion worth of bets, mainly through illicit websites.

(Reporting by Farah Master; additional reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul, Jerome Morales in Manila,)

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters.

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Aristocrat Licenses Hit TV Show “Billions” for New Slot Game to Premiere at G2E 2018

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Billions™ Slot Game Showing in Booth #1141

The high stakes world of the hit SHOWTIME® TV show Billions will soon be coming to casinos, thanks to a licensing agreement between Aristocrat, CBS Consumer Products, and Showtime Networks.

Aristocrat’s new Billions™ Slot Game will make its premiere in booth #1141 at the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.

“Engaging and edgy shows like Billions are incredibly fun for our design teams to work with and fuel our passion to create entertaining games for our customers and their players,” said Siobhan Lane, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Gaming Operations from Aristocrat. “The CBS Consumer Products and Showtime Networks teams have been inspiring to work with, and we are very excited to present the new Billions Slot Game at G2E 2018.”

Now in production on its fourth season, Billions stars Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti as U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis as hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. Billions is a complex, highly engaging drama that tells the timely and provocative story of these two powerful New York figures.

The Billions Slot Game is based on Season 1 and 2, which includes fans’ favorite characters such as Chuck RhoadesBobby AxelrodWendy RhoadesLara Axelrod, and Taylor Mason. Adding to the fun, the game will include the popular Mighty Cash™ feature, as well as a $500,000 multi-site progressive start-up jackpot.

The game appears on Aristocrat’s revolutionary flame55™ cabinet. The flame55 is complete with a 55″ double-curved HD monitor – the largest portrait double-curved display in the non-jumbo segment – ergonomic engineering, 4k-capable display, 2.1 stereo audio, individually controlled dynamic infinity edge LED lighting, a virtual button deck, and an exclusive beacon sign package.

About Aristocrat
Aristocrat Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), a leading global provider of land-based and online gaming solutions. The Company is licensed by more than 200 regulators and its products and services are available in more than 90 countries around the world. Aristocrat offers a diverse range of products and services including electronic gaming machines and casino management systems. For further information, visit the company’s website at www.aristocrat-us.com.

About CBS Consumer Products
CBS Consumer Products manages worldwide licensing and merchandising for a diverse slate of television brands and series from CBS, CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution, as well as from the company’s extensive library of titles, Showtime and CBS Films. Additionally, the group oversees online sales of programming merchandise. For more information, visit www.cbsconsumerproducts.com.

About SHOWTIME
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung and Xbox One. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, DirecTV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, Sony PlayStation™ Vue, and YouTube TV or on Showtime.com. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™, and offers Smithsonian Earth™ through SN Digital LLC. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.

Aristocrat Contact:
Paul Speirs-Hernandez, Steinbeck Communications
paul@steinbeckcommunications.com

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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Industry Leading Race & Sports SuperBook® Set For Expansion Outside Nevada

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Nevada’s premier sports book will set the standard for legalized sports betting in the United States

The largest and most successful sports book in America – the SuperBook® at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, is set to expand its gaming platform across the United States. With its best-in-class technology, customer service, and wagering options, the SuperBook® brand will guide the industry forward as more states make sports betting part of their gaming and hospitality offerings.

The expansion comes via a partnership between SuperBook® licensor Westgate Resorts and Paragon Gaming, operator of casino and resort operations for Westgate’s 3000-room luxury casino hotel in Las Vegas that brings white label sportsbook solutions to new markets.

“The SuperBook® brand has been the leader of the sports book industry for more than 30 years,” says Diana Bennett, CEO for Paragon Gaming. “Gaming regulators across the country will now have a trusted partner as they move forward, and casino operators will be able to draw on the experience and expertise that has made SuperBook® the benchmark for sports betting.”

Famous for its 360-degree experience, highlighted by the largest indoor TV in the world – a 220-foot long 4K video wall at Westgate Las Vegas, the SuperBook® brand delivers the largest race and sports wagering menu in Nevada, and continues to lead the evolution of sports betting processes and applications. Its successful rollout of the Westgate SuperBook® App has already seamlessly delivered this wagering menu to the hands of thousands of fans.

“This is the natural next step in the evolution of our industry,” says SuperBook® Executive Vice President of Race & Sports Book Operations Jay Kornegay. “We have maintained the highest levels of technology and service in a highly-regulated industry. We have written the playbook, and now we will put it in action across the national field.”

“We are excited to know that our investment in the SuperBook® has been extremely successful and this venture is now prepared to expand nationwide,” adds David Siegel, Westgate Resorts Founder, President and CEO. “We look forward to the future success of our SuperBook® brand at locations across the nation as it continues to grow and set new standards for the sports betting landscape.”

Future SuperBook® sites, turnkey sportsbook products, and gaming partners will be announced at later dates. Fans can follow SuperBook® for updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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CashBet appoints Ed Brennan as Company President

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iGaming platform provider CashBet has moved to bolster its senior team by installing advisory board member Ed Brennan as company President.

Ed Brennan will lead CashBet in the next period of its development, following one of the world’s largest casino gaming ICOs, with the goal of establishing it as the leading blockchain-powered platform.

He brings a wealth of experience to the position after 25 years in the internet, software, hardware and financial services industries, working with a host of Fortune 500 companies such as Merrill Lynch, Seagate, Adobe, Microsoft and NexTag.

Commenting on his appointment, Brennan said: “I have enjoyed serving as an advisor to CashBet and am confident that my understanding of the business and its position in the iGaming market will help me step up to this new position as we look to grow even further.”

Even with the unforeseen challenges presented by the crypto bear market, CashBet has never been in a better position to achieve its full potential. I am honoured to begin serving as the company’s new President with guidance from the Board.”

Brennan’s appointment follows the Board of Director’s decision to begin search for a new CEO to replace Co-founder Mike Reaves.

Reaves co-founded CashBet in 2012 following a long career in online gambling. The platform he helped create is designed to encapsulate everything an operator needs to run a modern iGaming business.

Over the past five years, it has developed patented technologies and built the world’s first-crypto enabled iGaming platform, as well as becoming the first cryptocurrency partner in English Premier League history when it agreed to sponsor Arsenal Football Club.

 

About CashBet

CashBet is a leading mobile-first iGaming platform provider and turnkey operator. CashBet’s platform empowers real-money, social, and skill-based gaming apps and websites worldwide. By integrating CashBet’s software, game developers can legally launch online gambling games without needing to be licensed. With CashBet’s feature-rich platform, operators gain access to player segmentation, bonusing, campaign management, and other patent-pending features to enable a profitable iGaming operation from day one. CashBet is licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the UK Gambling Commission. For more information, please visit www.cashbet.com.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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