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Gaming Report: Sony & Star Cease Advertising Deals With Offshore Betting Firms After Advisory From I&B Ministry & PokerStars VR to Launch on October 25

Gaming Report
  • Naman Sharma October 13, 2022
  • 5 Minutes Read

Over a week ago, the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) prohibited television channels, digital news publishers, and OTT platforms from displaying advertisements from offshore betting sites. In compliance with the advisory, Sony ended its year-long contract with Parimatch, while Star Network has decided to do a compliance audit.

In what promises to be a significant breakthrough for the poker industry, PokerStars VR, part of Flutter Entertainment, will be available on Meta’s Quest Pro headset when it launches on October 25.

PokerStars VR is one of a select number of game titles chosen to launch alongside Meta’s flagship device, which offers players enhanced performance and full-color passthrough for a full mixed-reality experience, face and eye tracking, and other cutting-edge technologies.

 

Sony & Star Cease Advertising Deals With Offshore Betting Firms After Advisory From I&B Ministry

A little over a week after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) asked private television channels, digital news publishers, and OTT platforms to refrain from showing advertisements for online betting sites, including surrogate ads in the forms of media or news sites, top sports broadcasters Star and Sony have decided to move away from promoting offshore betting firms.

Recently offshore gambling firms, under the radar of the I&B Ministry, were allegedly found posing as sports or sports websites while promoting their online gambling services in India through substitute ads on various OTT and TV platforms. According to data from TAM for up to the first week of October, the ads for these “sports news,” which are basically a front for offshore gambling firms, have seen a growth of about 20 times in the last two years through television and a 14 times increase in digital mediums.

On October 3, the I&B Ministry released an advisory urging broadcasters to refrain from promoting offshore gambling firms like Fairplay News, PariMatch, Betway, Wolf 777, and 1xBet as they allegedly promote gambling in India with sports news front even when gambling is prohibited in most states.

After receiving the advisory, Sony ended its year-long advertising deal with Ukraine-based Parimatch. Meanwhile, Star Network, which owns telecast rights for international cricket matches and ICC tournaments, has decided to do a compliance audit. Star, in all likelihood, will discontinue its relations with offshore betting firms.

Betting and gambling are illegal in India, including online offshore websites. The I&B Ministry has issued advisories to broadcasters and digital media twice this year – once in June and a second time earlier this month.

In the second advisory, the I&B Ministry identified advertisements in the media sector violating laws with blatant disregard for the first notification. Star, Sony continued promotions of surrogate betting firms even after the June notification. The revocation of broadcast licenses is a significant threat that broadcasters could face for promoting gambling websites.

In the advisory issued earlier this month, the government noted that the logos of surrogate news platforms operated by the online betting sites were similar to the betting platforms. It also clarified that neither these betting platforms nor the corresponding news websites were registered with any legal authority under Indian laws.

 

PokerStars VR Set to Launch on the New Meta Quest Pro on October 25

In what promises to be a big breakthrough for the poker industry, PokerStars VR, part of Flutter Entertainment, will be available on Meta’s Quest Pro headset when it launches on October 25.

PokerStars VR is one of a select number of game titles chosen to launch alongside Meta’s flagship device, which offers players enhanced performance and full-color passthrough for a full mixed-reality experience, face and eye tracking, and other cutting-edge technologies.

The PokerStars VR developers, Lucky VR, have been busy behind the scenes dreaming up new ways to take full advantage of these next-generation capabilities and integrate them into the free-to-play social casino video game.

Players using Quest Pro can adapt their surroundings to suit their playing habits. Options include a fully immersive virtual reality experience, a partial immersion that brings objects or spaces from their physical world into the game through editable ‘passthrough windows,’ and full mixed reality that enables players to bring core virtual game elements into their own world.

Sophisticated face and eye-tracking will also bring a brand-new social dimension to PokerStars VR. The hallmark upgrade enables players to make and see realistic facial expressions in their customized avatars. Players can sit together and smile, frown, and glance at their cards, just like in a live environment.

Advanced haptics will add to a richer, more engaging gameplay, with players getting the complete experience of the hundreds of toys, props, and items available.

“Our goal with PokerStars VR is to push the potential of new technologies as far as we can to create a fun and authentic social casino game that really is limitless,” said James O’Reilly, Director of VR and Innovation at PokerStars. “We’re extremely proud to be part of the launch of Meta’s Quest Pro, which is a transformation in virtual and mixed reality. Our developers have been having great fun exploring what this technology means for our players, and we can’t wait to show them what we have in store.”

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