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Taking their first steps in India’s fantasy sports market, Twitter-backed social networking app, ShareChat has developed and launched its very own fantasy sports app called Jeet11.
Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi High Court, on February 10, pronounced gambling to be illegal in the country and directed authorities to take measures to stop the practice across the country.
On the same day, the announcement was made by the High Court of Bangladesh, ViacomCBS (VIAC) Sports revealed that it had joined hands with U.K bookmaker William Hill (WIMHY) in a strategic partnership that would give the former access to the sportsbook operator’s betting odds and other gambling data.
Coming to the US, Democratic Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, who had become the poker community’s ‘darling’ after advocating for the legalization of online poker, has chosen to drop out of the race to become the 46th American President.
In other reports, the Lithuanian Parliament passed a bill, proposed by Homeland Union Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party member Mykolas Majauskas, requiring all gambling advertisements to include a warning about gambling-related harm starting from July 1.
Twitter-Backed ShareChat Enters Fantasy Sports Through Jeet11
Last year in August, ShareChat had raised $100 Million in a financing round led by Twitter. Their fantasy sports app has been under testing for six months. Sources say that the app allows betting on cricket and football matches and has already culminated more than 120,000 registered users. The website runs as a web-view of the app.
A ShareChat spokesperson confirmed the existence of the app and said: “This is presently at an experimentation stage. Based on the outcome of the experiment, we will decide on the future of the product.”
Due to the android maker’s guidelines on fantasy sports apps, Jeet11 is not available for download on the Google Play Store. Still, ShareChat has been distributing it through Xiaomi’s GetApps app store and the Jeet11 website, along with running Instagram promotions.
Like ShareChat, Jeet11 will also target the vernacular audiences and so it is available in 13 regional languages.
ShareChat, even after having 60 million-plus users, posted a loss of about $58 million in the financial year ending March 31. In recent months it has been experimenting with ads and has raised about $223 million to-date.
Fantasy sports have gained immense traction in India in recent years. The dominant market leader, Dream11, claimed to have over 65 million registered users early last year. It has raised about $100 million to date and is already valued at over $1 billion.
Bangalore-based Mobile Premier League (MPL) has raised more than $40 million. It has recently renewed its association for another year with its Brand Ambassador Virat Kohli, the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team.
Fantasy sports in India are self-regulated by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), which was earlier known as the Indian Federation of Sports and Gaming.
Bangladesh Court Announces Gambling Illegal
On February 10, the High Court in Bangladesh declared gambling illegal in the country and asked authorities to take measures to stop the practice. The two-judge bench comprising of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder delivered the verdict, after dismissing a rule.
In 2016, two Supreme Court lawyers had filed a petition seeking a complete ban on gambling across Bangladesh, along with a ban on the 13 clubs operating in five districts and other areas across the country. The petition citing the DMP Ordinance 1976, Chittagong Metropolitan Police Ordinance 1978 and Public Gambling Act 1867, said that any kind of gambling was illegal.
Lawyer Redwan Ahmed Ranjib said the court also asked the government to enhance punishment for gambling. They also asked for an amendment of the British-era anti-betting law, Public Gambling Act of 1867, offenses under which are punishable with a maximum of three months of imprisonment and a financial penalty of ৳200 (₹168).
The law enforcement agencies have been directed to confiscate equipment presently being used for gambling in clubs, where limited gambling was permitted with the permission of local authorities.
Last year, the government launched a crackdown on illegal casinos all across Bangladesh. The court’s order comes nearly five months after enforcement agencies shut several casinos, which were being run illegally on the premises of five football clubs in Dhaka.
ViacomCBS Partners With U.K-Based Sports-Book Operator William Hill
On February 10, ViacomCBS (VIAC) Sports made public that it has entered a strategic partnership with U.K bookmaker William Hill (WIMHY), which will give the media giant CBS Sports unit access to the sportsbook operator’s betting odds and other gambling data to strengthen its current digital offerings. In return, William Hill, which has operations in 10 US states, will receive exclusive rights to promote its brand across CBS Sports’ digital properties, including CBS Sports Fantasy, which has a potential reach of 80 million online users.
The partnership will begin in March with initial integrations on CBS Sports digital platforms, and the full rollout is planned around the fantasy football season.
Elaborating on this collaboration, CBS Sports Digital’s Executive Vice President and General manager, Jeffrey Gerttula, said, “The power of our distribution, combined with the strength of our brands and the expertise of William Hill, has us well-positioned to tap into the explosive growth of the legal sports betting industry in the US. Together, we will deliver even more value to this rapidly growing segment of sports fans.”
CBS is just the latest among a long list of media companies to partner with a sportsbook. The most prominent of them all was Fox Corp’s deal with Stars Group on FOX Bet.
Last month, casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc. had concluded an agreement to obtain an equity stake in Barstool Sports.
Last May, ESPN had entered a multi-year pact with Caesars Entertainment, which included an ESPN-branded studio at the LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Last October, Yahoo Sports had signed a wide-ranging agreement with BetMGM to allow betting on the Yahoo platform and to work together on content and live events.
Speaking on this partnership, CEO of William Hill US, Joe Asher, said, “CBS Sports, similar to William Hill, has a longstanding history of connecting fans directly to the biggest events and most iconic moments in sports, we are excited about this partnership, with assets including mass-reach digital content products, one of the largest fantasy sports databases and platforms in the world, and leading sports television programming, which will allow us to expand the William Hill brand across America quickly and efficiently.”
Poker Community’s Favorite Andrew Yang Drops Out of the US Presidential Race
Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang won over the hearts of the poker community when he started advocating for the legalization of online poker nationwide last year. His strong pitch for poker legalization endeared him to the American poker community with six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu even hosting a poker tournament in support of Yang’s presidential campaign in December. Sadly, the founder of Venture For America announced on February 11 his decision to drop out of the race to become the 46th President of the United States of America.
While the 45-year-old entrepreneur had a loyal base of followers, especially in the poker community, he was unable to gain much traction to compete against the likes of other Democratic heavyweights likes Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Joe Biden.
As of Tuesday evening, Yang has less than 3 percent of the votes in New Hampshire. Sanders, at over 26 percent, led the way, followed closely by Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. Yang also struggled in the Iowa caucuses last week, receiving just 1 percent of the votes.
Bowing out gracefully, Yang told reporters, “We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction. And while there is great work left to be done, you know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race.”
Despite Yang choosing to drop out of the Presidential race, Negreanu came out in support of his favorite candidate on Twitter.
Very proud of the campaign @AndrewYang ran and believe this is only the beginning in terms of his impact on the country.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 12, 2020
Yang was scheduled to appear at the charity poker fundraiser in Las Vegas on Thursday to raise money for his campaign. According to Negreanu’s tweet, the function is still on.
Gambling Ad Warnings Made Mandatory by Lithuanian Parliament
Lithuania’s legislature, also known as the Vilnius Seimas, recently passed a bill that will require all gambling advertisements to include a warning about gambling-related harm from July 1.
The bill is an amendment to Article 10 of the country’s gambling laws and was proposed by Mykolas Majauskas of the Homeland Union Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party. The bill was passed by consensus after no objections were raised at its first reading.
Majauskas said that although “gambling is not an evil in itself,” it is crucial to be able to control the risks involved and minimize the negative consequences.
“There is no need to jam poles into the spokes of the gaming market’s wheels in a way that would pull it off the road, but at least you need to attach reflectors. By law, we would oblige the Gambling Authority to set clear rules and to make notes that would change every time. And we also expect a responsible and sensible approach to how these rules should be applied. That is, they would not apply, for example, to gambling branding on basketball players’ uniforms,” Majauskas further added.
By implementing the bill, Majauskas explained that Lithuania would be able to replicate the systems in place across many other EU countries.
“Other countries in the European Union have very similar problems, they say: first, we need to educate; secondly, we must help those who have problems; third, we need to help people who have loved ones who have gambling problems,” he explained. “One of the basic tools for solving problems is public education, education through social advertising.”