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Gaming Report: Ahmedabad-Based Gambling Operator Dies in Police Custody, FIH Teams Up With Dream11 to Introduce Hockey Fantasy League & More

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  • Namita Ghosh December 12, 2018
  • 6 Minutes Read

Fresh developments have kept the gaming industry on its toes. An Ahmedabad-based gambling operator who was taken in police custody along with another associate has passed away. The incident is embroiled in controversy, since the family of the deceased has accused police of torture.

Meanwhile, India’s frontal fantasy sports operator Dream11 has now added hockey to its list of fantasy contest offerings. The company has tied up with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to develop and operate official fantasy games for all FIH events, including the FIH Pro League (2019-22).

Headlining international updates is news of Sweden’s state-run gambling regulator issuing two more new online gambling licenses, even as the regulator has made its re-branding move. We also hear UK-facing gambling operators clarifying that a recent BBC report on Remote Gambling Association (RGA) agreeing to a self-imposed, stringent ban on gambling advertising during live sports broadcasts was not true.

Leading software provider, Microgaming has expanded its poker platform in Bulgaria through partnership with National Lottery AD.

Ahmedabad-Based Gambling Operator Dies in Police Custody

An Ahmedabad-based gambling operator, who was in police custody, has passed away. Identified as Shamsuddin Shaikh, the victim was arrested by Vatva police along with anassociate. After his death, Shaikh’s family has charged the police of torture alleging that Shaikh died after suffering from a convulsion from mistreatment.

Vatva police station

However, police have denied the allegations. Station House Officer (SHO) of Vatva police station, HV Sisara claimed that there was not a single visible injury mark on Shaikh’s body.

“He died after he suffered convulsions and was rushed to the hospital. The exact cause of his death will only be known after his postmortem report comes,” Sisara added.

Shaikh, who resided in Sajid Row House, was nabbed last Tuesday with his accomplice for allegedly running a gambling den. According to the deceased’s family, the cops informed them about Shaikh’s death only on Wednesday morning. Shaikh’s family members reached the police station and charged the police of torturing him. A group of locals also pelted stones at the police station late night on Wednesday.

Senior police officers rushed to Vatva police station and extra police force was deployed to bring the situation under control. For now, a case of custodial death has been registered and the autopsy report is awaited.

Dream11 Partners With FIH to Introduce Hockey Fantasy League

India’s leading fantasy sports provider Dream11 has inked a four-year agreement with International Hockey Federation (FIH) to add Hockey fantasy league in its list of offerings. As part of this partnership, Dream11 will develop and run official fantasy games for all FIH events, including FIH Pro League (2019-22), FIH Series Finals (2019 and 2021), Olympic Qualifiers Men & Women (2019) and World Cups of both Men and Women.

Dream11-FTH partnership

We are happy to be the global Official Fantasy Game of FIH. The FIH Dream11 partnership marks the launch of a new sport on Dream11 and also the beginning of fantasy field hockey on a global scale,” said Dream11 co-founder and CEO Harsh Jain.

 

“The partnership will encourage hockey fans to further popularise hockey and encourage fans to deeply engage with the sport thereby increasing participation and viewership. This is a great opportunity to increase hockey consumption driven by Dream11 users,” Jain added.

Talking about the partnership, CEO of FIH Theirry Weil said, “I’m very pleased that Dream11 is a Global Partner of FIH for the men’s World Cup and will deliver the official fantasy game for the next 4 years. This deal will help engage more people with hockey, in particular, the current 45 million gamers on the Dream11 platform.

 

The move is a recent big step taken by the company that also offers fantasy sports contests in cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball.

Earlier this year, Dream11 had signed a five-year deal with International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of which Dream11 will cover every international ICC tournament over the next five year as ICC`s official partner. The fantasy sports provider has also brought in cricketer MS Dhoni on board as brand ambassador, and joined hands with VIVO IPL as associate sponsor.

Starting on the partnership, Dream11 will be offering fantasy games for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

Sweden Gambling Regulator Makes Rebranding Move

On the heels of issuing two new online gambling licenses, the state gambling regulator in Sweden aka Lotteriinspektionen has also unveiled a new brand identity. From January 1, 2019 as the country’s new and liberalized online gambling policy is implemented, the gambling regulator will be known as Spelinspektionen. The regulator will henceforth have a brand new logo.

 

Sweden gambling regulator

All the online operators licensed to operate would be required to display the regulator’s logo on their new Swedish-facing gambling sites.

Communications officers of the regulator, Ander Sims said that the new logo “Should be clearly visible by licensed gaming companies, as a symbol for their approval by the Authority, and therefore obliged to take responsibility by protecting customers from excessive gaming.”

Meanwhile, last week, the regulator announced that under the new liberalized online gambling policy, two more online companies had been issued licenses to operate.

Last month, director-general of Lotteriinspektionen, Camilla Rosenberg had informed that 70 online applications had been received and the regulator was working overtime to process the applications.

Recently, 16 license applications were approved. This includes Malta-based Videoslots Ltd. that has been granted an online gambling license for its Videoslots.com domain. The company had recently been penalized £1M by the UK Gambling Commission for inadequate checks and follow-ups on customers’ source of funds and their deposit habits.

Global Gaming subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd was awarded authorization for online betting and gaming for its two sites, Ninjacasino.com and Spellandet.com.

UK’s RGA Says BBC Report of TV Ad Ban Incorrect

UK’s Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has clarified that a recent BBC report that RGA members have agreed to a self-imposed ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on gambling advertising is incorrect.

RGA

In November, the RGA’s board of directors held a meeting to discuss new voluntary checks, reportedly the most stringent imposed to date, on its members.

 

RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood has now told media persons that “The BBC have got it wrong. There is no agreement on any proposals yet, let alone an announcement,” he said.

The BBC report had evoked big reactions across different investor platforms. Shares in William Hill reported a downslide by 3.6%, GVC Holdings went down by 4.5%, while Playtech and Paddy Power Betfair and a number of other UK’s gambling broadcasters saw their shares tumbling down due to investor panic.

For now, Hawkswood statement clearly indicates that the RGA members are yet to agree to a complete ban on advertising during live sports broadcasts.

Microgaming Expands Poker Network to Bulgaria

Premier global gaming software provider, Microgaming has inked a deal with Bulgaria’s National Lottery AD to launch its poker network in the country. The major poker deal has been signed through Prima Networks Limited. This is the first time that Microgaming’s poker network will be available in the Bulgarian market.

Microgaming

Via the exclusive deal, customers of National Lottery AD will be able to play on Microgaming’s new and improve poker software.

“This marks a significant step in growing the poker network and reflects our commitment to continued growth and expansion into regulated markets. We are delighted to work with National Lottery AD as their exclusive supplier of poker in Bulgaria,” CEO of Microgaming, Andrew Clucas said.

Managing partner of National Lottery AD, Milen Ganev also welcomed the partnership. “This strategic partnership enables us to continue to diversify our product offering and to deliver entertaining and award-winning poker games to our customers. We look forward to our Bulgarian customers playing on Microgaming’s feature-rich poker solution,” he said.

Notably, Microgaming developed its first true online casino in 1994. It hosts the world’s largest progressive jackpot network and Microgaming products include Live Dealer, Sportsbook, Business Solutions and Quickfire. Prima Networks is the authorized licenser for Microgaming branded software to third parties in all regulated markets of Europe.

Since National Lottery AD enjoys a strong position in Bulgaria, the partnership works in line with Microgaming’s strategy for global expansion.

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