Quebec Study Says Pandemic Leads to Increase in Online Gambling

Homestand Sports Partnered with SportsGrid in Canada

In 2020, the world faced a global COVID-19 pandemic which impacted all industries around the world. The hospitality and entertainment sector was also not missed with pandemic restrictions enforcing temporary closures for different types of venues, including gambling and betting outlets.

Now, a new report shares invaluable insight into how the pandemic changed the online gambling sector in Quebec, Canada, which has seen exponential growth recently. The study completed by researchers from Concordia University reveals that for the first full year of the pandemic, between 2020 and 2021, online gambling activities in Quebec increased exponentially.

Overall, 4,500 Quebecers participated in the study that was conducted in 2021 and released only recently. The respondents were asked to share details about their gambling behavior for the last 12 months or the first full year of the pandemic. Sylvia Kairouz, a Concordia professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Research Chair on Gambling, explained that the study uncovered a staggering increase in online gambling activities during the pandemic.

Online Gambling Is Easy to Reach

Not unexpectedly, some of the gamblers that enjoyed land-based activities switched to online gambling when the pandemic hit. However, during the pandemic, there were many new users that engaged in sports betting, as well as online gambling, the new study found.

Keeping in mind the convenience of gambling via a laptop or a mobile phone, four out of 10 respondents admitted they gambled at least once a week. What’s more concerning is that three out of 10 respondents confirmed they gambled several times a week.

The increase in online gambling was the result of multiple factors that were combined. Respondents in the study that increased their gambling admitted that they felt lonely, bored or felt isolated. Some 20% of the participants admitted that they gambled because they wanted to make money, while only 13% said they gambled less during the pandemic.

There is a push from operators and gambling providers towards sports betting because regulations in Canada have changed.

Sylvia Kairouz, Concordia professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Research Chair on Gambling

At the same time, the new report revealed that an increase in advertising was observed. This helped push further people to online gambling websites and into sports betting, an activity that has been growing exponentially in Canada, as well as the US.

Besides an uptick in gambling activities, the new study uncovered an increase in self-reported gambling-related issues. Kairouz said that 10 times more people, who gambled online, engaged in self-reporting due to issues related to gambling. She pointed out that the rate of self-reported gambling-related issues was 1.6% in 2018 and skyrocketed to 16% in 2021.

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Western Australia Wants to See Betting and Time Limits at Crown Perth

Australian Regulator Self-Exclusion System Failed 48 Problem Gamblers

In a report by Asgam, the Royal Commission has deemed it appropriate to put forward for discussion a ream of proposals that would make Crown Perth more secure and less likely to commit offenses in the future.

Royal Commission Takes Good Look at EGMs

Among those recommendations is a suggestion to put a mandatory AU$10 ($7) betting limit on electronic gaming machines (EGMs), as well as pre-set weekly loss and time limit, along with carded play for all machines. These are just some of the proposals pitched by the Royal Commission which is looking to make the property safer.

The case of Crown Resorts, which has been linked to junket operators, has served as a catalyst for much bigger changes in the industry. Crown Perth is currently undergoing an impendent review which will carry through September 2024 to find out if the property is suitable to hold a license.

Meanwhile, the government has said that the new proposals made about EGMs will in fact help strengthen the overall regulation of the gambling sector in the industry. EGMs are not readily available across Western Australia, nor is there any intention to make them available beyond Burswood.

Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby reminded that Crown Perth was already found not fit to hold a license but remarked that it was now undergoing a remediation process which would decide if things can return back to normal. Either way, the state’s determined to hold very tight control over the industry and ensure that Crown Perth, which is the only casino in the state, is held to rigorous standards.

Gambling Industry Regulation Gets Tighter

“Significant reforms have already been implemented and more are underway. This is the next step in addressing the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations and it’s crucial we get this right,” the government said. Other states in Australia have also undertaken a similar move to investigate the operations of Crown Resorts and Star Group, finding the properties in each respective jurisdiction to be unsuitable for a license.

Lack of suitability does not mean the companies are going to lose control of operations as in all cases a special remediation period has been enacted. Compliance with government-led reforms though is mandatory for the remediation period to be deemed a success.

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Vivo Gaming Debuts Promotional Tournament Tool

Vivo Gaming Debuts Promotional Tournament Tool

The tool is seen as a major opportunity to significantly boost collaboration with operators and brands, and it has already debuted successfully with LatSoft. Operators will be able to create their own in-game tournaments and feature them across a number of sites all at once, increasing player engagement as they do.

Vivo Gaming also has the hard numbers to back its claims, arguing that the tool leads to a 65% increase in daily active players and an 82% overall increase in the daily number of rounds that have been played. The Promotional Tool comes with boosters and it offers a detailed breakdown of everything that players would need to know, including where they rank in the overall leaderboard and more.

The solution is built to first help with Vivo Gaming’s premium roulette title, but it will be extended to the company’s baccarat and blackjack products. Vivo Gaming CCO Neil Howells was very optimistic about the arrival of this new product and said:

We are thrilled with how our Promotional Tournament Tool has performed so far and the feedback from our operator partners has been phenomenal. What’s more, we are absolutely delighted to have diversified our award-winning offering with such an innovative and engaging product as this.

Vivo Gaming CCO Neil Howells

The opportunity was similarly welcomed by LatSoft director of marketing Damian Ramirez who hailed the arrival of Vivo Gaming’s Promotional Tournament Tool as a great way to increase retention for the company’s brands. Ramirez argued that any operator that is looking to increase their performance may want to take a closer look at Vivo Gaming’s solution.

Vivo Gaming is looking to spearhead strong expansion in 2023, following a very strong 2022 for the company. The Promotional Tournament Tool is a step in the right direction.

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AFL Boss Heeds Concerns about Oversaturation of Gambling Content

AFL Players Can Stop Sportsbet from Using Their Images

This concern has finally made it to the very top of the organizaiton, with the AFL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, acknowledging that there seem to be too many gambling ads currently permeating the sport.

AFL Boss Suggests Organization Doubling Down on Gambling Restrictions

His remarks come at a time when there has been growing opposition to gambling advertisements in the AFL and other sports, with academics, politicians, researchers, and consumers all calling for sports bodies to do the right thing and suspend gambling advertisements altogether.

Yet, this presents its own challenges, as many sports clubs and competitions have grown too reliant on funding from the betting and gambling industry. McLachlan did acknowledge that there are way too many ads as of right now, although he sounded reluctant to push for banning ads altogether.

“I don’t have a problem that other people do around wagering, I just think the volume is too much. It’s in your face,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW. McLachlan confirmed that his organizaiton is currently looking into a proposal to restrict the number of ads seen during sports competitions and events.

But there are fears, too, including among AFL loyalists. Many people worry that should the number of ads be reduced, this would have an impact on grassroots investment and will leave many sports bodies without the means to nurture a healthy community at the lower tiers. The AFL even objected officially to a reduction in the rate of gambling ads.

McLachlan’s words now seem to not follow up on this previous position, although his words may also reflect a broader change in attitude in the organization. McLachlan was pretty clear on prohibition, though, arguing that the AFL would not back a full ban on gambling. While this may be true, regulators are worried that advertisement does not happen the right way.

Support for Banning Gambling Ads in Australia Ever Stronger

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, children are still able to see gambling adverts, and this should be avoided. There also seems to be a record support for suspending gambling advertisements on TV and the radio, with 76% out of 3,000 surveyed people by the AFL’s Fan Association confirming that they were all for a ban.

The AFL continues to reassess its gambling practices and policies. A spokesperson confirmed that the AFL is broadcasting gambling ads at particular times of day when children are not able to see them.

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Sycuan Casino to Continue as San Diego Loyal’s Casino Partner

Sycuan Casino to Continue as San Diego Loyal’s Casino Partner

San Diego Loyal Soccer Club, a professional soccer team from San Diego, California, competing in the USL Championship, announced it has renewed its partnership with Sycuan Casino to keep the casino as its official and exclusive casino partner for the 2023 season.

Fruitful Collaboration Will Continue

The agreement with Sycuan Casino would see the AAA Four Diamond-rated property continue to hold the presenting rights of the all-inclusive premium seating area at Torero Stadium, the “Sycuan Endline Suites,” deliver the 40th Minute Presented by Sycuan broadcast and the all-season Halftime Kick Contest for fans.

Commenting on the contract renewal, Rob Cinelli, general manager at Sycuan Casino, expressed his and the casino team’s excitement to be the exclusive casino partner of the San Diego Loyal SC for a second consecutive year.

“After an exciting 2022 season, we know the team has a lot of great things in store for San Diego fans again this year,” Cinelli said, wishing everyone at the team great success and looking forward “to cheering them throughout the season.”

Located on-field along the east endline of the Torero Stadium, the “Sycuan Endline Suites” offer an up and close personal view of the game action, allowing ticket holders for this premium seating area to enjoy an all-exclusive experience comprising food and beverage and premium parking.

For the Benefit of San Diego Residents

Ricardo Campos, president of the San Diego Loyal SC, also commented on the continuation of the exclusive arrangement with Sycuan Casino the soccer club began in 2022 with a view to elevating the matchday experience for its fans.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Sycuan Casino Resort for the 2023 season,” Campos said, convinced that the collaboration with the casino resort is for the benefit of the fans, the club’s partners and all the people of San Diego.

The 40th Minute Presented by Sycuan programming will also continue to broadcast presented by the casino, offering fans a chance to win a digital sweepstake before each home game of the Sand Diego Loyals, while in cases where the team scores a goal in the 40th minute, one random entrant to the stadium will receive a Sycuan resort prize pack.

Following an exciting debut last season, the “Sycuan 25k Halftime Kick Contest” will be back, offering fans a chance to win $25,000 during select home matches in the 2023 season. Participants in the contest are being randomly selected and try to kick their way to the prize live during the half-time break.

At the beginning of the year, Sycuan Casino partnered with Europe’s leading MMA organization, Cage Warriors, to become the exclusive location for Cage Warriors in the US and bring four events to the casino.

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Tipico Signed Partnership with MiLB’s Dayton Dragons in Ohio

Tipico Signed Partnership with MiLB’s Dayton Dragons in Ohio

Global sportsbook operator Tipico continued to expand its presence in Ohio via an agreement with the Dayton Dragons, the high-A Minor League Baseball (MiLB) affiliate team of the Cincinnati Reds.

Exclusive Opportunities for the Fans

The new partnership with the Dayton Dragons will see Tipico become the exclusive fireworks series sponsor of the MiLB team this season and a section at Day Air Ballpark named after the sports betting firm with US headquarters in New Jersey.

“Baseball has long been America’s favorite pastime, and this is especially true in Dayton, the proud home of the Dragons,” commented chief commercial officer of Tipico North America, David Paschkes, “thrilled to partner with one of the most successful teams in minor league baseball” and its “truly devoted fan base with the longest sellout streak” in the league’s history.

It is this level of fan dedication that we seek to build in the Ohio region and are ecstatic to provide Dragons fans with exclusive opportunities to enhance their love of the game.

David Paschkes, CCO, Tipico NA

The partnership will also provide 1,000 new Tipico users from Ohio with a welcome offer comprising two game tickets and a $20 team store e-gift card. Users will be able to claim their tickets and e-card once they make their first-time deposit with the sportsbook.

‘The Perfect Partner’ Going Forward

“The unveiling of the Tipico Centerfield Party Deck, the fireworks series sponsorship and the opportunity for our fans to receive tickets are all extremely exciting promotions that we are thrilled to offer in partnership with a brand that is just as dedicated to Ohio sports fans as we are,” said the president and general manager of the Dayton Dragons, Robert Murphy, pointing to the club’s sellout streak as evidence that everyone at the club is “truly dedicated to creating the ultimate fan experience.”

Tipico is the perfect partner to help us achieve this goal by providing outstanding perks for our loyal fans.

Robert Murphy, GM, Dayton Dragons

With its US headquarters in Hoboken, New Jersey, Tipico is offering online and mobile wagering on sporting events, as well as online casino gaming, focusing on delivering engaging play, thrilling experiences and player protection.

As the exclusive sports betting and iGaming provider for Gannett, a subscription-led and digitally focused media and marketing solutions company, Tipico is the odds provider for the entire USA Today Network.

The partnership with the Dayton Dragons is Tipico’s latest sports-focused arrangement in Ohio as the European operator is looking to engage with sports fans and expand its presence in the state.

In February, Tipico became the exclusive sports betting partner of the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival at the Great Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, and just days ago, announced a fan contest tied to NCAA’s March Madness.

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Francesco Postiglione Designated as Casumo CEO

Francesco Postiglione Designated as Casumo CEO

Casumo, an innovative, award-winning and mobile-first iGaming company, has reinforced its leadership team with the addition of Francesco Postiglione as its chief executive offer. In this role, Postiglione will replace Oscar Simonsson, Casumo’s co-founder, who served as CEO for a time.

Simonsson is certain that the new appointee has what it takes to take Casumo to new heights. Postiglione brings over 10 years of experience to the company and will help it shape the future of iGaming.

His experience in gaming includes over two years as a member of the executive committee at Fortuna Entertainment Group, one of the biggest gambling and sports betting operators in Central Europe.

Postiglione also boasts four years with Napoleon Sports and Casino. He joined the operator as its general manager in 2017 and became CEO of its online operations in late 2018.

Prior to joining Napoleon Sports and Casino, Casumo’s new hire worked for Betclic Group for almost four years. His tenure with Betclic saw him work as head of Italy between 2013 and 2016, and as a managing director of international markets between 2016 and 2017.

His earlier experiences saw him create and head Neomobile Gaming, which was behind Casino Planet – Italy’s first mobile-only casino operator. Postiglione also founded and served as CEO of its Internet division.

Simonsson Welcomed Postiglione to the Casumo Family

Oscar Simonsson, one of Casumo’s founders, welcomed Postiglione on board. He said that the new appointee was the perfect pick for CEO and is certain that Postiglione will help his team drive innovation.

Francesco is the ideal candidate to take the helm at Casumo and we are confident that he will bring his wealth of experience and passion for innovation to the role.

Oscar Simonsson, co-founder, Casumo Group

Simonsson added that the Casumo Group team is thrilled to welcome Postiglione as its CEO and is looking forward to working under him.

Postiglione also released a statement on his new position, sharing that he is glad to join Casumo. He praised the company for its knack for innovation and said that he cannot wait to lead the team to new heights.

I am thrilled to join Casumo, a company that I have long admired for its innovative and customer-centric approach to online gaming. I look forward to leading the team as we continue to grow and deliver the best possible gaming experience to our players.

Francesco Postiglione, CEO, Casumo Group

Last year, Casumo successfully launched its products in Ontario.

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Ukraine’s Gambling Council Believes Sanctioning Parimatch and PokerMatch Is a Mistake

Ukraine’s Gambling Council Believes Sanctioning Parimatch and PokerMatch Is a Mistake

Ukraine recently sanctioned almost hundreds of companies and individuals for alleged ties with Russia. While the country’s desire to cut all ties with its aggressor is understandable, some of the entities on the list might have been sanctioned by mistake. One such example is Parimatch.

The example echoes the inclusion of PokerMatch in the list. The latter company just released a statement on the matter, highlighting its devotion to Ukraine and asking the country to review its decision. Now, the Ukraine Gambling Council (UGC) has also taken action, asking the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to rethink its stance.

Anton Kuchukhidze, chairman of the UGC, believes that Parimatch Ukraine is a far cry from a pro-Russian company. He also defended PokerMatch, claiming that both companies have been wrongly included in the list of sanctioned companies.

Kuchukhidze Asserted that Parimatch and PokerMatch Are Pro-Ukraine

In a LinkedIn statement, Kuchukhidze addressed the situation in detail. He acknowledged the National Security and Defense Council’s desire to protect the local market from “ruscists’ brands.” However, Kuchukhidze argues that the Defense Council has mistakenly included pro-Ukraine companies in the list.

The chair said that he is certain that Parimatch will be able to prove that it is not a pro-Russian company. He said that Parimatch had taken a pro-Ukrainian stance early on and that it has provided valuable financial aid to the defense and security forces of the country. As of the time of this writing, the brand has donated over $13.6 million for these purposes.

Kuchukhidze added that if tax inconsistencies are the problem, they should be tackled through the tax service or the court. He believes that harsh measures make it harder to prevent mistakes.

The chair concluded that he believes legal gambling will prevail:

In addition to that, I would like to make a big request to the public and the media NOT to pick up the thesis of illegal gambling businesses that such a situation can lead to the failure of the reform or the closure of the white market. A legal gambling business will pass all trials with dignity.

Anton Kuchukhidze, chair, UGC

Parimatch, originally a Kyiv-based company, has contacted President Zelensky in relation to its recent sanction. The measure by the National Security and Defense Council would see 287 companies and 120 individuals barred from conducting business in the country for the next 50 years.

This harsh measure comes amid an ever-intensifying war of attrition where Ukraine struggles for its survival against the Russian invaders.

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Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers MLS Odds, Time, and Prediction

Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers MLS Odds, Time, and Prediction

Atlanta United are sitting top of the Eastern Conference after three rounds of the 2023 MLS. They’re 2-1-0 at the moment and are hopeful of adding another victory to the list. At first glance, it seems that they should have no problems beating the Portland Timbers who are 1-0-2 so far, with back-to-back losses. However, those two losses happened against the top two teams from the Western Conference.

Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers Odds

Moneyline Odds
Atlanta United -154
Draw +300
Portland Timbers +425
Goals Over/Under Odds
Over 2.5 Goals -167
Under 2.5 Goals +129
*Odds taken from bet365 on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

When, Where, and How to Watch?

  • Place: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • Time: 7:30 PM ET
  • How to Watch: Apple TV

Atlanta United Look Like MLS Cup Contenders

Although it’s still early to predict what’s going to happen at the end of the season, this team does look like a potential candidate for the 2023 MLS Cup. Atlanta United got wins against the San Jose Earthquakes (2-1) and Charlotte (3-0), as well as one draw with Toronto FC (1-1).

You shouldn’t be surprised that they’re doing good in 2023, as they got the second-most expensive roster in the MLS. What should surprise you is that last season they failed to make the playoffs. This time, however, such a thing seems almost impossible to happen.

It’s because their young stars have grown and turned into real world-beaters. The best example is the Argentine World Cup-winning midfielder Thiago Almada who’s been playing at an MVP level since the start of the season. Atlanta’s 21-year-old playmaker has scored two goals so far, as well as made two assists.

Then, there’s Atlanta’s 18-year-old defender Caleb Wiley who’s coming off a vintage performance in Charlotte, which saw him score two goals and make one assist.

Portland Timbers are Better Than What Their Record Suggests

The Timbers started the season with a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City. It wasn’t a great game but the boys from Portland managed to do what they planned. Unfortunately for them, things didn’t go according to plan in the following two games. The Timbers lost to Los Angeles FC 3-2 and to St. Louis City 2-1. 

Still, losing to St. Louis City and LAFC is nothing to be embarrassed about as those two are currently occupying the top two spots in the Western Conference. Plus, they managed to find the net in each of those games.

Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers Prediction

This is going to be a close game, but we’re certain it’s not going to be a boring one. In fact, we believe there will be plenty of goals in this match, probably on both ends. We also believe that Atlanta United will be the side to score more.

Pick: Atlanta United to win; over 2.5 goals

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Riot Games Refutes Claims about Changes to Its Sponsorship Policy

Riot Games Refutes Claims about Changes to Its Sponsorship Policy

A recent report by Esporkolik, a Turkish esports news outlet, claimed that Riot Games may soon allow VALORANT teams to pen sponsorship agreements with gambling companies. The claim was shared on Twitter, sparking immediate interest in the news.

The original claim was posted yesterday and immediately became a hot topic. Teams in other esports disciplines are allowed to have gambling brands as sponsors. However, Riot Games has been historically very strict on its policies regarding sponsors.

Because of Riot’s stance, esports teams are sometimes struggling financially. Many believe that gambling companies, which are known for their lucrative sponsorship agreements, would benefit the sector.

As a result, Esporkolik’s claim shocked many fans. Some VALORANT enthusiasts were excited, while others took the news with a grain of salt. Those who doubted the news turned out to be right as Riot Games told journalists that the rumors were indeed incorrect.

Esporkolik’s Claim Was Incorrect

On March 15, Max Katz reported that sources say Riot will not change its sponsorship policies. Katz added that Riot representatives remain committed to delivering safe, secure and meaningful experiences that “best support the growth” of the global esports ecosystem. Later, George Geddes replied to Katz, saying that he had received the same statement.

Dot Esports, one of the biggest esports news outlets, managed to successfully contact Riot Games on the matter. The video games company told Dot Esports that Riot Games will indeed keep its current policy for the time being while remaining open to new opportunities.

Here is Riot’s exact statement, as reported by Dot Esports:

While there has been no change in the current policy regarding approved team sponsor categories, we will continue to evaluate all opportunities that deliver safe, secure, and meaningful experiences that best support the growth of our esports ecosystem globally.

Riot Games statement

Riot confirmed what Katz had said, saying that it remains open to new opportunities that ”ensure the integrity of all our esports, enable great experiences for fans, and unlock revenue streams for our teams.”

Dot Esports said that it also contacted team owners in Europe. They said that they were aware of Riot’s open policy. However, it is still unlikely that European teams would be allowed to have gambling sponsors because of the Old Continent’s stricter stance on gambling. As of the time of this writing, North American franchise owners aren’t aware of a potential policy change either.

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