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Odds publicizing prohibition in Australia

In a bid to curb problem gambling, broadcasters in Australia have unveiled plans that will see bookmakers prohibited from publicising odds on radio and television during live sporting events.

Current estimates have up to 500,000 Australians at risk of becoming problem gamblers with the most recent move from the nation’s radio and television industry coming in the wake of Prime Minister Julia Gillard stating that citizens are becoming ‘increasingly frustrated’ with the promotion of odds.

“From the moment that the players step onto the field, to the moment that they leave the field, there will be no live odds,” said Gillard.

“This is good news for families because families I think have become increasingly frustrated about the penetration of live odds into sporting coverage.”

However, critics have panned the new measure as not going far enough because the broadcast of odds will still be permitted before or after a game or during a scheduled break in play such as quarter-time and halftime.

“The bans should commence from the beginning of the programme not necessarily the beginning of the match,” George Souris, Arts Minister for New South Wales told ABC.

“And, of course, they must apply during the halftime and quarter-time intervals otherwise these bans by the Commonwealth will end up being a farce. They'll be exploited.”

The partial ban also does not prohibit the showing of live odds on screens inside stadiums during games, which may then get televised as part of normal broadcasts.

The National Rugby League, which governs one of Australia’s most popular sports and in the past has allowed bookmakers to give odds during broadcasts, declared that it has agreed to follow the new plan.

“The overwhelming sentiment is that we do not want to see betting as the primary focus of our game,” said Dave Smith, Chief Executive Officer for the National Rugby League.

“Fans and particularly young fans should not be subject to excessive promotion of betting during matches. We want young kids to be enjoying the skills of their favourite team [and] not quoting the odds.”

Online gaming portal from EveryMatrix for Dragonara Casino

Independent ‘white-label’ iGaming software provider EveryMatrix Limited has signed an agreement that will see it provide the land-based Dragonara Casino in Malta with an online gaming portal.

London-based EveryMatrix described Dragonara Casino as ‘the leading land-based casino in Malta’ and revealed that the deal was signed with the venue’s new Dragonara Interactive entity.

EveryMatrix stated that the new online casino is set to utilise its Casino Engine solution and offer ‘a strong selection’ of more than 700 games from developers such as Net Entertainment, International Game Technology (IGT) and Microgaming.

“EveryMatrix is happy and proud to be assisting Dragonara Casino make the transition into online gaming,” said Ebbe Groes, Chief Executive Officer for EveryMatrix.

“There’s great potential to provide players visiting Dragonara Casino the opportunity to extend the land-based casino experience Online. Dragonara Casino is an established, strong and trusted brand in gaming and we are excited that we will support it to go online.”

EveryMatrix said that the various products for the new online casino are to be ‘seamlessly integrated into a single wallet and entirely managed through a single back-office for FPP allocation and bonus construction’ while HTML5 content for mobiles is additionally set to be provided.

“This is a natural step forward for Dragonara Casino,” said Johann Schembri, Managing Director for Dragonara Interactive.

“Through the launch of our online gaming portal we will provide easy access to thousands of patrons visiting the casino to play their favourite casino games online. The investment in online forms part of a broader strategy for the casino as it continues to expand its operations with the aim of creating the premier entertainment destination in the Mediterranean.”

Indictments for football match-fixing in Hungary

Following a four-year investigation by domestic authorities in cooperation with anti-crime agency Europol, the head prosecutor in Hungary has charged 45 people on charges of football match-fixing.

According to a report from the AFP news service, the alleged match-fixing involved 32 domestic games in Hungary, Finland and Italy as well as a pair of internationals with the prosecutor issuing arrest warrants on Thursday for 44 locals in addition to Singapore national Tan Seet Eng, who is better known by his pseudonym of Dan Tan.

Geza Fazekas from the office the Chief Prosecutor of Hungary stated that four separate trials will now be held due to the large number of people and matches involved.

“The main trial will involve the organisers and ringleaders, those who were liaisons with the Asian syndicate,' Fazekas told AFP.

“The report has been filed with the Budapest court now so we estimate trials should begin within months probably no later than September.”

Current and former players are among those being charged along with referees, club owners, managers and coaches. Budapest soccer team Rakospalotai EAC has been particularly hard hit with 14 present and past members of its staff indicted with the defendants facing prison terms of two to 16 years if found guilty.

The Hungarian prosecutor alleged that games affected by match-fixing included recent domestic league and cup matches along with three top-tier league meetings in Finland and one in Italy.

Describing the match-fixing syndicate's methods, the spokesman for the Chief Prosecutor of Hungary declared that the ring selected matches in which there was ‘a realistic chance’ of manipulating the result via bribing referees or players with defenders particularly targeted. The group then placed large quantities of low-level bets usually around €100 with betting shops around the world.

Michel Platini, President for European football governing body UEFA, stated on Friday that match-fixing and betting were ‘the main problems’ facing soccer and additionally called for the creation of a Europe-wide organisation to police sport.

“We are not dealing with petty criminals looking to make ends meet,' said Platini.

“It seems that we are in some cases dealing with mafia-type organisations that use some games, and therefore our sport, to launder dirty money. One game rigged is one match too many as it strikes at the soul of our sport, the very essence of the game.”

Europol revealed in February that hundreds of games around the world had been targeted by match-fixers linked to crime syndicates in Singapore

The Nevada Gaming Commission makes of GambleID its 23rd licensee

American technology development and integration services provider GambleID LLC has announced that it has become the 23rd firm to receive an interactive gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission.

GambleID revealed that the Class 2 service provider authorisation will allow it to provide licensed gambling operators and their partners in Nevada with its Customer Insight end-to-end patron identification and geo-location verification service.

“The approval places the company in a position among a select few that can provide this service,” read a statement from GambleID, which has offices in Las Vegas and Houston.

GambleID stated that its platforms provide clients with real-time managed solutions for customer data verification, location validation and session security along with access to dynamic reporting services and customised secure web-based management tools.

“Upon hearing the granting, it became an especially important day for us,” said JD Garner, President for Gamble ID.

“The news of the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board and [Nevada Gaming] Commission's final approval is instrumental in our next steps so that is to say we're extremely pleased.

“While the license will provide GambleID with greater scale to equip and support our casino operators and partners with our Customer Insight solutions, we feel our solutions will be vital and beneficial to other regulatory markets as they continue to progress online.”

888 sponsors PGA EuroPro Tour for another year

Online gambling operator 888 Holdings has signed a contract extension that will see its 888 Poker brand continue to serve as the title sponsor of the men’s developmental PGA EuroPro Tour golf tour for another year.

Established in 2001, the PGA EuroPro Tour is a partnership between the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) and promoter Matchroom Sport and has become a fertile breeding ground for players seeking to reach the top of the game.

“Last year's PGA EuroPro Tour was a great success for our poker brand and offered our online player's access to the prestigious PGA Tour,” said Itai Pazner, Senior Vice-President for 888.

“We hope this year our new integrations will take the partnership to the next level.”

The PGA EuroPro Tour is widely regarded as one of Europe's leading developmental golf tours with the top five in each season’s Order of Merit advancing to the Challenge Tour. A number of its players have progressed to compete on the main European Tour alongside some of the world’s elite while last year’s Order of Merit winner, Paul Maddy, collected over £32,000 in winnings.

“I am absolutely delighted that 888 Poker will be the title sponsor of the PGA EuroPro Tour once again in 2013,” said Barry Hearn, Chairman for Matchroom Sport.

“We enjoyed a fruitful relationship with 888 Poker in 2012 and are thrilled that it wants to be a part of the PGA EuroPro Tour once again this summer. 888 Poker is an extremely professional, forward-thinking and highly successful company that has an established name and brand that is great for the PGA EuroPro Tour to be linked with.

“The PGA EuroPro Tour is stronger than ever this year and I am really looking forward to what should be a great year as the PGA EuroPro Tour and 888 Poker continue to build on the strong relationship built in 2012.”

Extension of Bwin.com’s sponsorship for MotoGP agreement

Bwin.com has signed a deal with Dorna Sports SL that will see it continue to sponsor the MotoGP World Championship motorcycle racing tour for another two years.

The agreement extends bwin.com’s partnership with the MotoGP World Championship, which began in 2004, until 2015 and will see the domain remain as title sponsor for races in Jerez, Spain, and Brno, Czech Republic.

“We are proud to be extending our partnership with the MotoGP World Championship for another two seasons,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Chief Executive Officer for Gibraltar-based bwin.party digital entertainment.

“[The] MotoGP World Championship is one of most exciting sports in the world and is a perfect fit for the bwin.com brand.”

In addition, bwin.com is to have ‘a highly visible presence’ at the Misano, Mugello and Silverstone Grand Prix events with branding featured throughout the track, pit lane, podium and press centre areas while additionally utilising the MotoGP World Championship’s digital channels in order to offer exclusive race experiences.

“I’m very happy about this renewal we are announcing today,” said Pau Serracanta, Commercial Area Managing Director for Dorna Sports.

“Mainly because it is a sign that the relationship between bwin.com and the MotoGP World Championship is firmly established still ten years after it was started. I am sure that this new two-year agreement will last several more as the success of this partnership has more than satisfied both parties.”

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