Alpha8 Returns as WPT Partners With One Drop Foundation For 2023 Wynn Summer Classic

Alpha8 Returns as WPT Partners With One Drop Foundation For 2023 Wynn Summer Classic

Having previously announced a partnership with the One Drop Foundation, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has unveiled two charity tournaments set to take place at this year’s Wynn Summer Classic.

See the 2023 Wynn Summer Classic schedule here!

Last year, ex-pro-gamer Jinho Hong took down the Wynn Summer Classic Championship, and many will be looking to follow in his footsteps.

Today’s announcement is no surprise, with the WPT having a long history of partnering with non-profit organizations, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Tiger Woods Foundation

However, today’s announcement adds extra excitement to the Wynn festival, with WPT CEO Adam Pliska praising the speed it took to add the events to the festival’s schedule.

Wynn Poker

“We are proud to once again pair up with Wynn Las Vegas as the host venue for our maiden WPT EveryOne for One Drop event, and the return of Alpha8, during the Wynn Summer Classic,” said Pliska. “It is remarkable how quickly these events came together, but not surprising given One Drop’s worthy charitable cause of ensuring sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to communities around the world.”

“We are excited to put on our first-ever One Drop Foundation events in partnership with WPT and the WPT Foundation,” said One Drop Foundation Chief Marketing and Events Officer Alexandre Meunier. “It is a pleasure to be hosted at the beautiful Wynn Las Vegas. We thank them for their hospitality and support in advancing our global mission.”

World Poker Tour, One Drop Foundation Partner for Charity Poker Initiatives

The One Drop Foundation

The One Drop Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. The organization is dedicated to providing sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education for communities around the world.

One Drop aims to address the global water crisis, which affects over 840 million people worldwide who do not have access to safe drinking water. The organization works with local communities to implement water access solutions, such as digging wells and constructing water systems, as well as providing education and training on water management and sanitation practices.

WPT EveryOne for One Drop

The first charity event announced is the WPT EveryOne for One Drop which comes with a buy-in of $10,500 and a guarantee of $10 million.

There will be three Day 1s, starting on July 9, 2023, and will conclude with a live-streamed final table on July 14.

WPT EveryOne for One Drop Schedule

Day Event Buy-in Guarantee
Sunday, July 9 WPT EveryOne for One Drop Day 1a $10,500 $10,000,000
Monday, July 10 WPT EveryOne for One DropDay 1b $10,500 $10,000,000
Tuesday, July 11 WPT EveryOne for One DropDay 1c $10,500 $10,000,000
Wednesday, July 12 WPT EveryOne for One DropDay 2 $10,000,000
Thursday, July 13 WPT EveryOne for One DropDay 3 $10,000,000
Friday, July 14 WPT EveryOne for One DropFinal Table* $10,000,000

*denotes live-streamed coverage

One Drop

WPT Alpha8 for One Drop

The second charity event announced is the return of a WPT classic with the WPT Alpha8 for One Drop. This three-day $111,000 High Roller tournament is the first Alpha8 tournament to take place since December 2015. It starts on July 14, with live-streamed coverage on both Day 2 and for the final table on July 16.

WPT Alpha8 for One Drop Schedule

Day Event Buy-in
Friday, July 14 WPT Alpha8 for One Drop Day 1 $111,000
Saturday, July 15 WPT Alpha8 for One Drop Day 2*
Sunday, July 16 WPT Alpha8 for One Drop Final Table*

*denotes live-streamed coverage

Alpha8 History

The World Poker Tour first announced Alpha8 in July 2013, unveiling a global series of super high-roller poker tournaments that were to be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

The first season saw four events, two of which were won sensationally won by Philipp Gruissem (pictured), who picked up titles in London and St. Kitts for over $2.4 million in combined winnings.

Philipp Gruissem WPT Alpha8

The first two seasons of Alpha8 were chockful of early-2010 high-roller tournament crushers, such as Dan Colman, Jason Mercier and Noah Schwartz, who won the last event of Season II in January 2015.

The final Alpha8 event, until now, came in December 2015 with a stop at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The last Alpha8 champion crowned? Fedor Holz, in what was the first seven-figure score of his career and perhaps precipitating his 2016 “Sun Run”

Fedor Holz Wins WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas for $1,589,219; Daniel Negreanu Takes Third

Former WPT Alpha8 Champions

With a new Alpha8 tournament announced, who will add themselves to the list of winners on the World Poker Tour’s most high-stakes tournament series?

Season Event Date Buy-in Entries Winner Payout
I Alpha8 Florida Aug-13 $100,000 21 Steven Silverman $891,660
I Alpha8 London Oct-13 £100,000 20 Philipp Gruissem $1,379,840
I Alpha8 St. Kitts Nov-13 $100,000 28 Philipp Gruissem $1,086,400
I Alpha8 Johannesburg Feb-14 $100,000 10 Dan Cates $500,000
II Alpha8 London Oct-14 £60,000 23 Dan Colman $957,390
II Alpha8 St. Kitts Dec-14 $100,000 15 Jason Mercier $727,500
II Alpha8 Las Vegas Dec-14 $100,000 55 Andrew Lichtenberger $2,104,245
II Alpha8 Florida Jan-15 $100,000 6 Noah Schwartz $585,000
III Alpha8 Las Vegas Dec-15 $100,000 45 Fedor Holz $1,589,219

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of the first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.


  • The $10,500 buy-in EveryOne for One Drop and $111,111 Alpha8 for One Drop form part of this year’s Wynn Summer Classic festival

Name Surname
Will Shillibier

European Executive Editor

Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019.

He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.

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NeoPollard Expands NC Lottery’s Online Offering with New Games

NeoPollard Expands NC Lottery’s Online Offering with New Games

NeoGames and Pollard Banknote’s jointly owned company NeoPollard Interactive, announced it delivered new games for the North Carolina Education Lottery. On Monday, the company confirmed it expanded the Lottery’s Online Play offerings by introducing Pick 3 and Pick 4, two new online draw games. The addition of the games complemented the existing online game offerings that include Carolina Cash 5, Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life.

The expansion of the online draw game offering comes at a time when the Lottery has recently reported the success of its Online Play program. In fact, the sales within the program have seen 224% since its launch. Moreover, 22% of the draw games sold online and via retail in North Carolina were a part of the Lottery’s Online Play program.

At the same time, the Lottery said that Pick 3 and Pick 4 were responsible for 60% of the retail draw games sales in FY 2022. Those results reaffirm the potential of the games and their appeal to lottery fans in North Carolina. By expanding the Online Play program with Pick 3 and Pick 4 online games, the Lottery is also expected to help increase the revenues raised for good causes.

The Addition of Games Brings Excitement

Moti Malul, NeoPollard Interactive’s co-CEO, explained that the strong results reported by the Online Play program of the Lottery reaffirm the demand of the players to access lottery games in a convenient way. He added that more than 75% of the online sales in North Carolina are completed via mobile devices. Finally, Malul said: “We look forward to continued innovation and growth in the Online Play program through our partnership with the Lottery.”

The year-over-year growth experienced by the Lottery’s Online Play program is a testament to players’ demand for access to lottery games through their preferred channels.

Moti Malul, co-CEO at NeoPollard Interactive

Pick 3 and Pick 4 are powered by NeoPollard Interactive’s NeoDraw Interactive Central Gaming System. Players that want to participate in the games can either pick a random selection of numbers via the Quick Pick feature, use their own saved favorite numbers or pick new numbers. The add more combinations, the lottery players can also use the Fireball feature.

We are excited to now give players the opportunity to purchase Pick 3 and Pick 4 games on web and mobile channels.

Mark Michalko, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery

Mark Michalko, the Lottery’s executive director, explained that delivering unique experiences and games to players in North Carolina is a main priority for the Lottery. He pointed out that the Online Play program helps deliver entertaining experiences for the lottery players in the state and at the same time supports the Lottery’s commitment to helping good causes. Finally, Michalko said that the Lottery is excited to expand its online offering.

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£500,000 Guaranteed WPT500 UK Heads to Dusk Till Dawn From May 26

£500,000 Guaranteed WPT500 UK Heads to Dusk Till Dawn From May 26

Dusk Till Dawn poker club in Nottingham, United Kingdom, is set to host the latest edition of the exciting WPT 500 event. May 26-29 are the dates you need to keep free in your diaries if you plan on becoming a WPT500 UK champion and reeling in the largest slice of a prize pool guaranteed to weigh in at £500,000.

The £560 buy-in £500,000 guaranteed WPT500 UK features five Day 1s running from May 26-28, including a turbo-structured Day 1E. Day 2 commences on May 28, with the worthy champion crowned on May 29.

Dusk Till Dawn is hosting five live satellites, each costing £65, with a total of 60x £560 seats guaranteed. They take place before the festival on May 20, 21, 24, and 25, and between Day 1B and 1C on May 26.

Dusk Till Dawn Excited to Host WPT500 UK

Live Poker Director at Dusk Till Dawn, Simon Trumper, is delighted to see the Nottingham venue, regarded as the home of British poker, host the WPT500 UK again after a seven-year hiatus.

We’re very excited to be hosting the WPT500 UK at the club. It is an event we expect to highly resonate with our customers, and we hope the timing of the event over a UK bank holiday gives players an even better opportunity to take part.”

Previous WPT500 Results

Dusk Till Dawn hosted the inaugural WPT500 UK in November 2014, and saw 2,133 players take to the tables. Eleanor Gudger emerged triumphantly from that event, turning her £500 investment into £140,000. Gudger went on to become a sponsored pro of the now-defunct online poker site PKR.

WPT500 UK returned the following year and saw Welshman Richard Harris walk away with the title, the trophy, and £150,000 in prize money after outlasting 1,615 opponents. The last time Dusk Till Dawn played host to the WPT500 UK was in October 2016, when Benjamin Winsor helped himself to the £182,700 top prize, leaving 1,834 opponents in his wake.

The 2023 WPT500 UK is the first such tournament in a live setting since December 2019 thanks, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last three editions have all taken place online at PartyPoker, making Pedro Cavalieri of Brazil, champion in August 2021, the reigning champion.

There was a WPT500 held online in June 2021 that David Afework won, but he was subsequently disqualified for a breach of the PartyPoker terms and conditions.

Date Location Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool Champion Prize
July 2014 Aria, Las Vegas $565 3,599 $1,561,000 Sean Yu $260,000
November 2014 Dusk Till Dawn, UK £500 2,133 £1,066,500 Eleanor Gudger £140,000
July 2015 Aria, Las Vegas $565 5,113 $2,556,500 Craig Varnell $185,800
October 2015 Dusk Till Dawn, UK £550 1,616 £1,000,000 Richard Harris £150,000
July 2016 Aria, Las Vegas $565 3,956 $1,978,000 Andreas Olympios $260,000
October 2016 Dusk Till Dawn, UK £550 1,835 £1,000,000 Benjamin Winsor £182,700
May 2017 Gardens Casino, Los Angeles $565 3,266 $1,633,000 Dong Lee $224,500
July 2017 Aria, Las Vegas $565 3,541 $1,770,500 Jonathan Borenstein $230,000
March 2018 Aspers, London £420 1,810 £626,550 Gary Miller £114,000
July 2018 Aria, Las Vegas $565 2,983 $1,259,200 Kyriakos Papdopoulos $184,900
August 2018 Gardens Casino, Los Angeles $570 2,509 $1,254,500 Michael Copeland $170,125
November 2018 Playground Poker Club, Canada C$550 2,536 C$1,229,960 Miguel Goncalo C$173,030
March 2019 Casino Barcelona, Spain €550 2,763 €1,340,055 Lukasz Fraczek €215,000
June 2019 Aria, Las Vegas $565 1,932 $966,000 Ben Farrell $155,000
December 2019 Gardens Casino, Los Angeles $570 2,310 $1,155,000 Griffin Paul $174,850
May 2020 PartyPoker, Online $530 4,828 $2,414,000 Fabio Sperling $281,126
March 2021 PartyPoker, Online $530 2,420 $1,211,000 Dylan Rowe $181,544
August 2021 PartyPoker, Online $530 2,295 $1,147,500 Pedro Cavalieri $153,504

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

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888 Is Prepared to Pay the $24M William Hill Fine

888 Is Prepared to Pay the $24M William Hill Fine

888, William Hill’s ownership company, released a statement regarding the fine imposed by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission. As the group had previously announced, it is prepared to take responsibility for its subsidiary’s past failures.

Earlier today, the UKGC slammed the British operator with a £19.2 million ($23.67 million), the largest penalty it has ever handed to an operator in the UK.

The fine stems from William Hill’s past failings. Between 2020 and 2021, the British gambling company breached many social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations. The investigation found William Hill guilty of not providing customers with sufficient safeguards, allowing new players to lose thousands of pounds in a single sitting and failing to check the source of funds of its customers, among other breaches.

The regulator said that had even considered suspending William Hill’s license but decided not to because of the operator’s cooperation and willingness to improve its practices.

888 Will Make Sure William Hill Does Better

Despite its recent struggles, 888, which acquired William Hill last year, said that it is prepared to pay the regulatory settlement and has set enough money aside in its accounts.

A spokesperson from the 888 emphasized that William Hill will do better under the new management and will follow a strict plan to address its past failings:

The settlement relates to the period when William Hill was under the previous ownership and management. After William Hill was acquired, the company quickly addressed the identified issues with the implementation of a rigorous action plan.

888 statement

The spokesperson added that the entire 888 shares the UKGC’s commitment to improving compliance standards across Britain’s gaming industry. As a result, 888 vowed to continue working closely with the regulator and other stakeholders to prevent future violations.

A Brief History of 888’s Acquisition of William Hill

888 acquired William Hill from Caesars Entertainment for approximately $2.5 billion. The deal, approved by almost all of 888’s stakeholders, had to be amended because of changes to the macroeconomic and regulatory landscape before closing. Soon after the acquisition, 888 introduced major changes to William Hill’s team, appointing new executives to oversee the business.

888 was always prepared to cover the fine. Despite that, the regulatory settlement comes at a somewhat inconvenient time for the company, which has been experiencing various hurdles over the past few months. The company’s latest financial reports highlighted the continuous declines in certain metrics. At the same time, the company faces regulatory problems in Austria and Gibraltar.

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AGA Releases Updated Sports Betting Advertising Standards

Closeup of sports fan holding remote control

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has updated its code of ethics for sports betting advertising, restricting certain language and adding protection for college students.

Changes were made to the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, also known as the “Code,” to further protect against many of the issues that have plagued Americans since sports betting and general gambling took off.

our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures”

“Established in 2019, AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code reflects the commitment of our members to set and adhere to a high bar for responsible advertising,” said AGA President and CEO, Bill Miller in Tuesday’s press release. “Today’s updates advance that commitment and represent our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures.”

The refinements to the Code are considered the most impactful since it was first written. This follows regulators in New York cracking down on online sports betting ads and others in Connecticut and Pennsylvania moving to limit how sports betting operators can market themselves.

As per the updates to the Code, colleges can no longer sign partnerships that promote or endorse sports betting in any way outside of alumni groups, unless the content pertains to the promotion and education of responsible gambling.

Individuals featured in sports betting ads must also be 21 or older, and references to “legal age” must say 21-plus. In addition, companies can no longer use the term “risk-free” during promotions. Annual conferences will be held to review and update the Code as necessary. 

The updates will go into immediate effect. Existing entities have a grace period until July 1 to comply with the new standards.

The post AGA Releases Updated Sports Betting Advertising Standards appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Why won’t the Gambling Commission suspend licences of firms that break rules? | Rob Davies

What would a big gambling company have to do in order for its operating licence to be suspended?

It’s a question that has been tested to its limits by the behaviour of the £11bn industry over the past decade, culminating in the record £19.2m fine handed down to William Hill this week over a rap sheet that beggars belief.

Putting the context aside for a moment, some of the lowlights of this latest chapter in the history of the British gambling industry are mind-boggling enough.

William Hill and its sister brand Mr Green allowed punters to squander thousands of pounds within minutes, without bothering to perform the required checks to ensure customers weren’t losing the shirts off their backs.

More than 300 people were allowed to bet despite having signed up to a company-wide system meant to block them from doing so. Volunteering for such “self-exclusion” schemes is usually a sign that a customer is in financial distress, or wrestling with addiction.

But it’s only when you factor in the backdrop to these transgressions that the jaw really hits the floor.

The litany of misdeeds began in May 2020 and continued through to October 2021, including several nationwide and regional Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Gambling Commission had explicitly warned the industry to be extra careful not to exploit punters who were trapped at home – bored depressed and vulnerable – with little but the spin of a digital casino wheel to entertain them.

Yet the failures continued.

In December 2020, the government launched a once-in-a-generation review of gambling laws, prompting the industry – mindful of the threat of draconian restrictions – to make solemn promises that behaviour would improve.

Yet the failures continued.

William Hill, Mr Green and 888 had previously been hit with sizeable fines for similar breaches of their licence conditions.

In the case of Mr Green, it had taken a £3m fine in February 2020 for “systemic failings” just three months before the period covered by this latest sanction from the Gambling Commission.

All of this suggests that fines – usually deemed “settlements in lieu of penalties” but let’s call them what they are – are no deterrent. Take the record £19.2m penalty meted out to 888, for instance. The company will make that back in less than four days of trading. Some might call it a cost of doing business.

The Gambling Commission has the power to go further, in theory. It can suspend the licence of a bookmaker or casino to operate in Great Britain (its jurisdiction does not cover Northern Ireland).

The regulator said it had considered doing so this time but decided against it because William Hill had taken steps to improve.

Given the extraordinary circumstances – the lockdowns, the explicit warnings, the repeat offences, the government review – why wasn’t the licence suspended?

According to the regulator, an operator would have to have “failed to cooperate with a review or [be deemed] unsuitable to hold a licence issued by the commission.”

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Industry sources think the threat of legal action could be just as pertinent.

The commission is understood to have threatened big operators with licence suspension before, only to be hit with 500 pages of legal blood-and-thunder, warning that not only would operators challenge such a decision, they would challenge the commission’s very right to make it.

The commission, it seems, has neither the stomach nor the budget to take such a fight.

That’s not to say that operators haven’t had their licences suspended or revoked before. Those on the receiving end include such, Triplebet and Goldchip. Not exactly household names. The underpowered regulator chooses the battles it can win.

In a matter of weeks, the government will publish a white paper setting out proposals for overhauling outdated gambling laws that were drawn up by Tony Blair’s government in 2005, before the invention of the smartphone put a casino in every pocket.

Reforms could include affordability checks designed to prevent the very behaviour exhibited by William Hill, 888, Mr Green and countless other operators over the years.

Industry lobbyists have fought hard against such measures, issuing sombre warnings about the black market and nanny statism, in an effort to play on libertarian heartstrings of the Conservative right.

The timing of this latest fine, which could easily have been announced sooner, feels like the Gambling Commission’s way of fighting back shrewdly.

In the absence of greater firepower, it can at least show ministers the industry’s true face at the most opportune moment.

The rest is up to culture minister Lucy Frazer and Rishi Sunak.

Jackpot by Rob Davies (Guardian Faber, £14.99). To order a copy for £8.79 go to Delivery charges may apply.

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April 2023 New Games Release

April 2023 New Games Release Age of the Gods Helios Playtech Slot Games Online casino gaming Gambling

Spring has sprung and has got some bloomin’ good games coming out this month! The Greek sun Helios is beaming brightly for a new slot adventure, and nostalgia is out to play in the form of Monopoly marvel!

Explore the escapades of our new online gaming slots as we take a closer look at what will be added the new lobby this season. All of the upcoming varieties have wide bet ranges, varying special in-game features and exciting themes and display layouts.

Here are a few of the new games that are being released in April 2023. 

Age of the Gods: Helios

Shine bright like a diamond! From game provider Playtech comes Age of the Gods: Helios, the newest instalment in the ever-popular Age of the Gods slot series. Scorch across the skies and see if you can win big in this mythic adventure game that contains 40 paylines, an RTP of 94.98%, and a 4-reel x 5-row game grid.

This sunny game offers in-game free spins, multiple winning icons and bets starting from as low as €0.10. Not only is the Greek theme seen through the design layout and soundtrack, but this exciting slot game also caters its winning symbols to fit the ancient theme too.

Look out for these icons for a big win potential: 

  • Sun Symbol These offer cash prizes and will trigger the Mystery Prize feature.
  • Solar Spins – These offer multipliers up to 5x.
  • Collect Symbols – This symbol can collect prizes on all Sun Symbols in view and will also trigger the Solar Spins feature.
  • Mystery Prize – If you land one of the above symbols with a diamond anywhere on it, the reels will trigger this feature. Between 1 and 4 diamonds can multiply your bet from 10x all the way up to 2,500x!

If that wasn’t enough, there are still amazing Jackpot possibilities to be played for. Helios’ jackpots are a multi-level mystery progressive version compared to the rest of the other slots in the series. If you are entered into the Jackpot games, you can win 1 of the 4 which are: Power Jackpot, Extra Power Jackpot, Super Power Jackpot and Ultimate Power Jackpot.

A detailed breakdown of all win potentials and symbols can be found in the paytable if you click on the ‘i’, which is accessible at any point, before or after each spin.

Grab your shades and explore the Titan!

Gerard’s Gambit

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BetConstruct Secures License from the Danish Gambling Authority

BetConstruct Secures License from the Danish Gambling Authority

BetConstruct, a leading provider of iGaming and online sports betting solutions, announced that it has successfully earned a license from the Danish Gambling Authority. As a result, the supplier will be able to enter Denmark and offer its products to local operators.

Denmark, BetConstruct remarked, is known as one of the “most reputable and strictly regulated” gambling markets in the world. The local market is under the watch of the Danish Gambling Authority, which has been very proactive in fighting unlicensed gambling.

Having secured a license in the Nordic country, BetConstruct will be able to make a foray into a flourishing and well-regulated iGaming market that offers tons of new opportunities. The provider said that most of its products and services have been greenlit for launch, which will greatly expand its overall reach in Europe.

The License Is a “Sublime Advantage“

BetConstruct noted that gambling and sports betting operators in Denmark will now be able to benefit from its cutting-edge solutions, which include iGaming titles, sports betting offerings, live casino games and various solutions for retail betting locations.

The new license allows BetConstruct to work together with other operators, content suppliers, marketing affiliates and payment providers that have been granted a license by the Danish Gambling Authority.

BetConstruct concluded that it is honored to be one of the first providers to secure a Danish Online Casino and Betting license and noted that this will provide it with a major advantage over its European competitors.

Obtaining a license from The Danish Gambling Authority is a sublime advantage for businesses to widen their game offerings, enter a new, less saturated market in Europe and provide safe and engaging services to players. Hence, BetConstruct is proud to become one of the first providers to receive this prestigious license.

BetConstruct statement

The Provider Continues to Expand Its Presence and Product Suite

Earlier this year, BetConstruct also secured a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, which allowed its Vivaro Limited brand to accept wagers and deposits in cryptocurrencies. The major development allowed BetConstruct to further its foray into the crypto space and promote blockchain solutions in iGaming.

A few weeks later, the provider also signed a new round-the-clock partnership with Sports Information Services, a major racing company. Under the deal, SIS agreed to supply BetConstruct with live content from the world of racing. As a result, BetConstruct was able to enhance its offering with content from 35,000 horse races and 38,000 greyhound events.

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Philippine Assemblyman Demands Ban Of POGOs Within 3 Months

Philippine Assemblyman Demands Ban Of POGOs Within 3 Months

Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means, recommended the country’s government to officially shut down Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), which are responsible for the increasing number of cases of kidnapping and other crimes in the country.

Furthermore, according to local media reports, Gatchalian also advocated shutting down POGOs in 3 months.

In this regard, earlier in March, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), said: “We terminated the contract with a third-party auditor responsible for auditing POGOs.

“The service provider was found to be in default of its obligations and has committed unlawful acts.”

Report on the consequences of POGOs on the country’s economy:

Last week, Mr. Gatchalian publicly released a report on the consequences of POGOs on the country’s economy, which was based on an investigation conducted by his panel and the Senate’s economic affairs committee.

In this regard, he reportedly said: “The data and evidence on hand all point to the same conclusion: enough is enough. It is time to ban offshore gaming operations in the Philippines, once and for all.

“First of all, the economic managers are saying that (POGOs) are not good for the country’s image. And we will not have peace of mind while they’re still here.”

The report claimed that ” POGOs did not make any significant economic contributions to the country’s economy, but were exerting what could be perceived as growing criminal influence on some the nation’s law enforcement agencies.”

However, the report also advocates for relief to affected Filipinos who were employed by POGOs, calls for the collection of the outstanding tax debts from POGOs licensees, service suppliers and the third-party auditor, and calls for the revocation of work visas for POGOs foreign workers.

On that note, he added: “The fear of Filipinos getting kidnapped will linger while they are still operating… We should not clutch at the knife’s edge because there are other businesses that will not affect our country’s peace and order.”

Poor report support:

The Senator made the report public only after he had acquired enough signatures from committee members to permit him to officially introduce the report to the full Senate. However, by Friday he had only gained 7 signatures.

On that note, the senator said: “I would furnish a copy of the report to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who I expect to support my recommendations, because it wouldn’t make sense for the President to support the continued presence of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) when his economic team wanted them shut down.

“I expected more of my colleagues to back the report since I sent them all the documentary evidence showing that POGOs had brought the country more harm than good.”

He emphasized that “the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) had both expressed their opposition to POGOs, which thrived during the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos’ predecessor.”

Furthermore, in September 2022, Juan Miguel Zubiri, said: “I would support the move by other senators to ban Pogos, following reports of serious crimes, including killings and abductions, that had victimized POGO workers from China.”

However, the other members of the Senate (18 of them) recommended that POGOs be offered more time to halt operations.

On that note, Senator Sonny Angara told the official Philippine News Agency that “giving POGOs, especially the legitimate ones, three months to stop their operations may not be enough.”

In a written statement he said: “I don’t believe three months is adequate time and notice to wrap up operations, especially for those who have made substantial investments.

“A longer period would be more reasonable/justified given it was also the government which invited them to invest in the first place.”

The only country in the world that hosts POGOs:

In this regard, the Senator said: “Based on estimates of the DOF and Neda, the country would be losing more than P8 billion a year in tourism revenues and investment opportunities.

“We are the only country in the world hosting POGOs… If this is a really good business, then all countries should be fighting to entice them.”

History of POGOs in the Philippines:

POGOs first started in the country in 2016, which was the first year of Duterte’s presidency, who allowed them to operate in the country because he wanted closer relations with China.

POGOs have cashed in on the country’s liberal gaming laws to officially target customers in China, where gambling is forbidden.

However, the increase in POGOs operations in the country has prompted reports of blackmail, kidnapping, prostitution among other crimes, including the victimization of the Chinese workers in the industry.

But that’s not all; as multiple Filipinos also protested the POGOs that raised property rates together with incidents of racism.

Small income from POGOs:

Most critics pointed out that “Chinese President XI Jinping himself had requested the Philippines in 2019 to ban online gambling establishments catering to Chinese nationals.”

In this regard, Zubiri said: “He had doubts about whether the small revenues from POGOs were worth it.”

On a related note, in terms of POGOs taxes to the country, from P7.18 billion in 2020, taxes generated by the POGO industry and collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue fell down 46% to P3.91 billion in 2021.

The much higher predicted revenue this year is P32 billion, but just P3 billion has been generated to date, according to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

The Chinese-Filipino group Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO), whose members or relatives have been kidnapped, has officially endorsed the ban on POGOs, amid a spate of reported crimes involving their workers, mostly Chinese nationals.

POGOs as a victims:

Teresita Ang See, MRPO’s founding chairperson and chief convener, said: “Some legal POGO companies have told me that they are also suffering because of the bad image given to them.”

Furthermore, she emphasized that “for every legal POGO company, there were six to seven illegal sub-licensees, through which Chinese nationals were subjected to human trafficking.”

On that note, September 2022 data from the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) displayed that 32 POGOs and 127 service suppliers are licensed to operate in the country.

PAGCOR said: “Online gaming began in 2003, but it started to regulate gaming hubs only in 2016.”

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Crown Resorts Reports GoAnywhere Data Breach

Crown Resorts Reports GoAnywhere Data Breach

The leading entertainment group, operator, and developer of integrated resorts from the land Down Under has announced that a ransomware group had reached out to them with claims of accessing “a limited number of Crown files”. 

The incident occurred during a file transfer procedure via the GoAnywhere platform. The latter offers managed file transfer software provided by US-based cybersecurity company Fortra.

No Customer Data Was Been Comprised 

According to a Crown Resorts spokesperson, the company’s operations have not suffered any impact as a result of the data breach. At the same time, there were no customer data breaches reported. 

The group that owns Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth, Crown Sydney, and Crown London Apinalls further explained that an investigation into the claims of the ransomware group and the truth behind them has been initiated. 

The spokesperson added that the group has already notified its gaming regulators and that it will continue to offer “relevant updates” while expressing the intention to collaborate with law enforcement. 

The suspicious activity at the file transfer platform was originally identified and reported by Fortra, almost two months ago. A number of other groups and companies were allegedly impacted as a result of the same breach, including mining company Rio Tinto. 

While the ransomware group threatened they would release the stolen Rio Tinto data including payroll information of a limited number of employees onto the dark web, this has not yet occurred. 

Similar to Crown Resorts, the mining giant is still investigating the truthfulness behind the cybercriminal group’s claims. So far, the leading global mining group with a focus on mining and processing mineral resources has found an indication of a “possibility that Rio Tinto data may be impacted”.

At the end of November 2023, Crown Resorts released the results for the financial year up to June 30, marking AU$945 million ($633 million) in losses.  

Rising Number of Cybersecurity Breaches 

In recent weeks, an increasing number of international companies and government institutions have reported similar data breach incidents in connection to the same GoAnywhere platform. 

Among them, we can mention Hitachi Energy, Hitachi’s Japanese unit that also reported a ransomware attack by a cybercriminal group called “CL0P”. The attack resulted in cybercriminals getting unauthorized access to their employees’ data in some countries.

The same CL0P group also explored the security vulnerabilities in the servers belonging to California-based Accellion in 2021. This resulted in a number of data breaches in several important institutions including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Morgan Stanley, and Kroger Co. 

US exchange Community Health Systems also confirmed that the personal and medical data of around one million individuals may have been subject to a security breach in relation to the same Fortra-owned managed file transfer software.

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