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English professional football players banned from betting

The English Football Association (FA) national governing body has announced that all professional footballers in the country will be banned from betting on any match or competition in the world from next season.

An earlier proposal by the FA to implement the new rules was ratified by the governing body’s shareholders at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.

The new rules, which will come into force on August 1, will apply to professional players in the top eight tiers of English football – the English Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, Conference and top Northern, Southern and Isthmian leagues.

Under the changes, players will also be prohibited from betting on any other football-related matter, such as the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection.

Players will also be unable to pass on inside information to a third-party who uses it for betting purposes.

Current FA rules state that no participant can bet on a match or competition in which they are involved or can influence that season, or any other football-related matter concerning the league in which they play.

Ross leaves Affinity Gaming

US land-based and online sportsbook Affinity Gaming has announced that David Ross is to step down from his role as chief executive officer as part of what the company described as a ‘CEO Transition Plan’.

Ross, who will vacate the position on July 31, has also stepped down as a member of Affinity Gaming’s board of directors, effective February 7.

In response to Ross’s departure, the board has formed a search committee to appoint a successor when the chief executive role is vacated at the end of July.

Richard Parisi, chairman of the board and Thomas Benninger, director and chairman of the board’s compensation committee, will lead the search committee.

Upon the announcement, Ross said he was “proud” of what the company had achieved during his tenure.

“Over the last three years, we successfully emerged from bankruptcy and have repositioned the company for growth through several important strategic transactions,” he said.

“During my time at Affinity, we restructured our balance sheet, sold off non-core properties and have diversified our asset base from a largely Nevada-based casino and slot route operator into a well-capitalised and solidly positioned regional casino operator.”

Parisi also expressed his gratitude for Ross agreeing to remain at the firm until the end of July in order to help the Affinity find a replacement.

“His continued presence will enable us to find the right individual to lead the Company in its next phase of growth by building on the strong foundation David has helped to create,” Parisi said.

GameAccount and Foxwoods Resort Casino agree an online casino deal

resort casinoOnline gaming systems and software provider GameAccount Network has agreed a deal with US operator Foxwoods Resort Casino to launch what it claims is the first 'Simulated Gaming' online casino experience in the country.

Legal nationwide in the US, the online casino offers players the opportunity to access Foxwoods' gaming services via their own electronic device.

The Simulated Gaming online casino will feature over 50 games from the GameAccount Network library, including a number of slot and table game titles that will in turn be supported by promotional offers from Foxwoods.

The online casino will be available to players around the world through various mobile platforms including Android devices, iPhones, iPads and mobile-formatted browser-based play.

“Launching the first simulated online casino in the US with our partner GameAccount Network is another way for our guests to enjoy all that Foxwoods gaming has to offer,” Foxwoods Resort Casino's president and chief executive officer, Scott Butera, said.

“We think this cutting edge technology will enhance the overall guest experience and allow them to bring the excitement of Foxwoods with them wherever they go.”

Dermot Smurfit, chief executive officer of GameAccount Network, added: “Converging online with land-based gaming is central among our key missions and Simulated Gaming demonstrates our ability to monetise free-to-play gaming and will drive increased visitation to the operator's property.”

FDJ strengthen online branding with Facebook partnership

fdjFrançaise des Jeux has agreed a promotional campaign with Facebook France that will see FDJ increase its digital presence through campaigns linked to major dates such as Valentine’s Day this week or major sporting events like the football Wold Cup in June.

The aim of the partnership is for FDJ to strengthen its online branding and sales as it aims to hit the €1bn mark in online sales by 2018 from €410m in 2013. A spokesperson for FDJ said it would look to recruit new customers rather than increase spending from existing ones. 

The Facebook partnership will only feature FDJ’s core lottery products and new product launches and follows in the footsteps of FDJ’s launch of its Euromillion-related product ‘My Million’ at the start of February.

The group said the campaign “had reached 13,4 million French people in less than 24 hours” and it “wanted to strengthen its collaboration with the leading social network in France. These promising results have shown Facebook’s potential to reach existing and potential customers thanks to its exceptional coverage and highly accurate targeting”.

The campaign will focus on major jackpots and events, encourage interaction with customers and celebrate winners. FDJ will look to leverage Facebook’s 26 million monthly active users and 11 million daily mobile users in France.

Patrick Buffard, deputy chief executive of FDJ, said the agreement showed FDJ wanted to evolve alongside its users’ habits. “We want to communicate with the French public wherever they happen to be and are logged on. We know Fracebook has the ability and tools to reach the biggest number of people possible in an efficient manner,” said Buffard.

New vice-president of games for IGT

double down casinoGaming products designer and manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) has announced the appointment of Jim Veevaert as the new vice-president of games at its DoubleDown Casino.

Veevaert has spent 20 years in the gaming industry, having held a number of executive positions at the likes of Zynga, Jerry Bruckheimer Games, Microsoft and Vivendi/Sierra Entertainment.

In his new role, Veevaert will oversee the long-term game strategy for DoubleDown Casino on social networking website Facebook and mobile devices, as well as championing product initiatives.

“IGT's DoubleDown Casino is the authentic social casino experience, and I'm excited to be joining the team here in Seattle,” Veevaert said.

“DoubleDown Casino is transforming gaming entertainment, and I'm passionate to bring great games to players across the web and on mobile devices around the world.”

John Vandemore, IGT’s executive vice-president of emerging businesses, chief financial officer and treasurer, added: “Jim is truly at the top of his game, and he brings great talents that complement the strong existing senior leadership team at DoubleDown.

“We look forward to propelling DoubleDown's ascent, fueled by Jim's leadership and ingenious vision, as we deliver best-in-class gaming content and player experiences.”