Anxious casino operators seek clarity as Japan opens public debate


Casino heavyweights are anxiously watching the public debate on casinos in Japan as they seek clarity in a multi-billion dollar prospect that is now muddled by evolving gambling regulations.

Anxious casino operators seek clarity as Japan opens public debateAnalysts have been warning for months that the Japanese government is nipping the casino industry’s full potential in the bud as it toys with the idea of imposing regulatory curbs.

Bloomberg reported that many operators are following the developments in the public debate on Japan’s effort to allow casinos over fears that the multi-billion dollar potential in the island nation will turn into a dud.

“Our common goal is to see the introduction of world-class integrated resorts in Japan that drive economic, tourism and employment growth,” Steven Tight, president of international development at Caesars Entertainment, told the news agency.

“The government policy makers should ensure that the legislative framework doesn’t inadvertently hinder these aims.”

During the public debate, the Japanese parliament will deliberate anything that concerns the casinos – from gaming floor space to taxes imposed on operators. Casino operators, however, are keen on knowing whether the locals will be allowed to gamble in casinos or not.

Many Japanese are cool to the idea of having casinos in their country, especially when most of the residents associate gambling with organized crime and addiction.

In a study conducted by news service Jiji last month, most of the respondents cited disruption to public order and the negative influence on youth as the top reasons why they opposed casinos in Japan.

Then there’s also the issue on where to put these integrated resorts. The clear favorite cities so far are Osaka, Yokohama and Tokyo.

“I don’t think there’s any need to establish a facility so dangerous that it needs this much regulation,” Takeo Shibata, a professor at Seigakuin University in Tokyo, said at the hearing, according to the report. “We can be a tourist destination without casinos and with a clean image that will be reassuring for visiting families.”

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    Bede Gaming strikes Ezugi partnership


    Platform provider enhances live casino offering

    14th August, 2017 – Bede Gaming, a leading supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has strengthened its casino offering by striking a deal with live dealer provider Ezugi.

    Bede Gaming strikes Ezugi partnershipUnder the agreement, Ezugi’s full suite of live casino games including blackjack, roulette and baccarat, have all been integrated onto Bede’s content platform, PLAY.

    Through Ezugi’s products and services, Bede’s clients will be able to provide their players with the same excitement, trust, and sophistication found in the real casino gaming experience.

    Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “The live casino market is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry and as such is highly important that we offer our partners a wide-selection of live dealer games to choose from.

    “Partnering with Ezugi, one of the industry’s premier providers, will ensure we meet our client’s expectations. We’re thrilled to be working alongside them and to share their full portfolio of innovative games.”

    Sagi Ifrach, Commercial Director of Ezugi, added: “We’ve been admirers of Bede Gaming for some time now and it’s great to be working alongside such a high-performing gaming platform.

    “Partnering with Bede was a no brainer for us and following a straightforward integration, our games are now available to their customers via Bede PLAY. Enhancing our partners’ offerings is what we strive for and this will clearly bring fantastic opportunities for both Ezugi and Bede.”

    Bede PLAY offers a completely flexible gaming solution, combining the top content in the industry with first class marketing tools and robust security measures, and it is quickly establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally.

    Founded in 2012, Bede Gaming employs the latest in modern technology to provide secure, high-quality products to create a world class gaming experience.

    For more information, please contact:

    Square in the Air Communications

    David Bartram

    +44 (0) 20 3586 1978

    david@squareintheair.com

    About Bede Gaming

    Bede Gaming is a leading supplier of software to the online gambling and social gaming industries. The Bede platform is flexible, scalable and modular, powering some of gaming’s biggest brands, including lotteries in Europe and North America, across regulated markets. It processes tens of millions of transactions each month.

    The fully open, omni-channel platform offers enhanced gaming, high performance marketing tools, full platform and premium services. Bede’s games studio also produces high quality HTML5 online slots, bingo, keno and table games.

    Bede Gaming is headquartered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK and the firm also has offices in London and Sofia, Bulgaria, employing more than 150 people in total. It is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and is an approved supplier of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

    About Ezugi

    Ezugi is a leading technology provider specializing in live dealer casino gaming. The Ezugi products & services provide casino operators with the ability to engage their players through the excitement, trust, and sophistication found in the real casino gaming experience.

    With Live Casino Gaming off-site players can see, hear, and interact with actual tables and dealers in a live and interactive environment.

    Ezugi offers numerous Live Dealer games which include Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Bet on Numbers and many more games we have developed for specific markets. Our Over the Table (OTT) product is doing extremely well and offers Land based Casino’s the opportunity to grow their offering exponentially. Ezugi has also recently released their Unlimited Blackjack.

    Ezugi has numerous offices based in strategic locations and the Live Dealer Studios are also located in numerous countries thus allowing Ezugi to offer a localised service to their players.

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    Paradise Co extends losses in Q2


    South Korea’s largest casino operator Paradise Co. Ltd suffered yet another multi-million loss in the second quarter of the year despite the opening of its newest casino resort Paradise City.

    In a disclosure to the Korean Composite Stock Price Index, the casino operator incurred an operating loss of KRW27.3 billion (US$24.24 million) in April to July 2017 period against KRW32.8 billion ($29.31 million) a year earlier.

    Paradise Co extends losses in Q2Total sales revenue of Paradise Co. plummeted 26 percent to KRW139.9 billion ($124.3 million) in the second quarter, with casino sales tumbling to 31.1 percent to KRW114.9 billion ($102.05 million).

    The company attributed the dismal performance of their gaming segments to weak VIP luck, as well as a decline in the number of Chinese VIP customers following a diplomatic row between South Korea and China.

    Since March, South Korea’s casinos have suffered from the ongoing diplomatic spat between South Korea and China – Jeju’s traditional main supplier of international tourists – over the deployment of a US anti-missile missile system. Bejing, which traditionally sides with North Korea in international disputes, subsequently put the kibosh on group tours – by air or sea – to Jeju.

    Data from the Korea Tourism Organization showed that the number of Chinese visitors to South Korea – an important source of customers for foreigner-only South Korean casinos – fell 41 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2017.

    This explains why Paradise Co posted a table drop of KRW 1.12 trillion ($994 million) for the second quarter, compared to KRW1.20 trillion ($1.06 billion) in the prior-year period. Chinese VIP patrons to the firm’s casinos accounted for 34.8 percent of the total table drop in the April to June period, according to Tuesday’s statement.

    In the second quarter of 2016, Chinese VIPs had accounted for 50.6 percent of the total table drop in that period.

    The revenue results were collated from Paradise’s four foreigner-only casinos: Walkerhill in Seoul; Jeju Grand on Jeju Island; Busan Casino in the southern port city of Busan; and Paradise City, in Incheon, near the main international airport serving the country’s capital Seoul.

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    Antigua and Barbuda Government welcomes vindication of Calvin Ayre as part of the failure by US to comply with WTO ruling on Internet Gaming


    St John’s…    The Government of Antigua and Barbuda congratulates Mr. Calvin Ayre on the resolution of the criminal case brought against him in the United States.

    The dismissal of all felony charges against Mr. Ayre, in a matter that dragged on for over 5 years, vindicates him entirely.

    Mr. Ayre took up permanent residence in Antigua and Barbuda in 2007 after acquiring an existing gaming company. At all material times, his company was licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) to carry on gaming activities and complied with the stringent laws and regulations governing Internet Gaming.

    Antigua and Barbuda Government welcomes vindication of Calvin Ayre as part of the failure by US to comply with WTO ruling on Internet GamingIn February 2012, Mr. Ayre was indicted by the US Attorney for Maryland on charges of illegal gambling, despite a legally-binding ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in March 2004 that the US government, by outlawing access of cross-border gaming, violated its treaty obligations to Antigua and Barbuda, under the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

    In 2005, a WTO Arbitration panel dismissed an appeal brought by the United States. Two years later in 2007, the WTO instructed that Antigua and Barbuda has suffered harm to the tune of US$21 million annually, and the country may seek authorization from the WTO to sell US intellectual property, without the payment of fees and royalties, in order to recover the trade losses to its economy.

    Over the past 10 years successive governments of Antigua and Barbuda have engaged the United States government, at the latter’s request, to settle the matter in a fair manner. To date, these efforts have failed despite reasonable proposals by Antigua and Barbuda.

    The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is continuing its efforts to reach a fair and amicable settlement with the US, but will reinvigorate the issue at the WTO at the next meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body this year if there is no appropriate action by the US.

    In light of the WTO ruling in Antigua and Barbuda’s favour, prosecutions by the United States of licensed gaming entities and their principals in Antigua and Barbuda, such as Calvin Ayre, are completely contrary to binding international agreements. In this context, Calvin Ayre and all other Antigua and Barbuda licensed gaming operators, who were indicted in the United States on Internet Gaming charges, are victims not culprits.

    The Government of Antigua and Barbuda welcomes Mr. Ayre’s investments in the economy of Antigua and Barbuda. The construction of the US$25 million multi-story office complex off Friar’s Hill Road and the expansion of his business locally, with the resultant increase in employment, are applauded. His philanthropic work, including assistance to needy and abandoned children and empowerment of young people through education, is also laudable.

    The Government acknowledges that Mr. Ayre has been an upstanding part of the Antigua and Barbuda society, and looks forward to his continued involvement in the socio-economic development of the country and its people.

    The Director-General of Communications for the Government is Mr. Maurice Merchant. He can be reached at Maurice.Merchant@ab.gov.ag.

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    Bitcoin fork watch: New digital currency takes off post-blockchain split


    bitcoin-cash-value-forkFor the first time in the history of cryptocurrency, a new version of Bitcoin is now being mined. And it’s not as scary as some reports would have you believe.

    On Tuesday, a group of miners split off from the main bitcoin blockchain—meaning they started using a new, incompatible software—creating a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash.

    The blockchain split is the culmination of the years-long scaling debate within the bitcoin community as they search for a way to increase the network’s capacity from the original 1MB.

    Bitcoin Cash is a project of some of SegWit2X’s original backers who have lost confidence that the proposal, which combines Bitcoin Core’s Segregated Witness and a block size increase, will implement the “2X” part and decided to take the matters into their own hands.

    Unlike SegWit2X, which will send transactions off-chain and increase the block size to 2MB, Bitcoin Cash will increase the block size to 8MB and remove SegWit. And because Bitcoin Cash starts with the same blockchain, this means that people who own coins on the main bitcoin blockchain are entitled to the same number of coins on the new Bitcoin Cash blockchain, effectively receiving a free dividend.

    Off to the races
    The hours following the blockchain split saw the price for Bitcoin Cash rose from around $214 to $628 as more transactions using the new digital currency take place, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin Cash is currently trading comfortably at $500.

    Despite the price increase, the value of fresh-faced Bitcoin Cash is still a fraction of the original bitcoin, which is currently holding at around $2,700.

    Bitcoin Cash has received support from members of the community who want a block size increase as well as developers of proposals like Bitcoin Unlimited. Australian academic and inventor Dr. Craig Wright recently lauded the initiative for seeking “to achieve a truly decentralized, peer-to-peer electronic cash with higher, more efficient transaction capacity.”

    However, other camps remain skeptic of the new digital currency. Fran Strajnar, co-founder and CEO of Brave New Coin, told CNBC that “the network needs further support and infrastructure needs to be as easy as bitcoin; otherwise it’s over.”

    Still, there’s no denying that many sectors—digital currency exchanges and retailers in Japan, for instance—are now gearing up to credit their customers with the new cryptocurrency. In the online gambling industry, many operators are already on process of adding Bitcoin Cash to their payment options.

    Bitcoin, and now Bitcoin Cash, holds particular appeal for the sector that’s historically been the target of misguided government policies that aim to protect state-owned gambling monopolies and restrict the individual’s freedom to decide how to spend their entertainment dollars.

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    WATCH: New survey sheds light on the US fertility rate


    Transcript for New survey sheds light on the US fertility rate

    To you to that “Gma” health alert about fertility. The CDC revealing it’s at an all-time low and a new survey exclusively to “Gma” may help shed light on some of the reasons why. Our senior medical contributor Dr. Jen Ashton is here with more on this. All-time low. Age is a major factor. What is it revealing. Done by health line called the state of fertility and wanted to look at awareness, belief, mostly among millennials following a CDC report showing for women under the age of 30 the for silt rate is going down. For women over 30 in their 30s and 40s it’s going up. And, you know, really the findings of the survey say the attitudes and just overall educational level of people about where their fertility is and where it can be in the future at that magic age of 35 for a woman is like the line in the sand not so good. Other reason joost. It’s a complex issue. I think there are medical reasons. There are social reasons. Financial reason, according to the survey the top two reasons for delaying parenthood amongst millennial, financial security, it costs a lot of money and career aspirations. These are very much up front. Okay, so explain what’s going on in the woman’s body. All right, so fun fertility facts and demonstrate with — What are these? Ping-pong balls. I would very much like to show eggs but it’s morning TV. This represents the number of eggs that a female fetus has in utero, 6 to 7 million eggs when still in utero at the time of birth that number drops to about 1 million eggs. When she hits puberty these are 11, 12, 13-year-old girls she’s left with about 300,000 eggs and over the course of her reproductive lifetime she only releases about 300. When she gets to her 30s and 40s, not just the number but the quality represented by these black ping-pong balls. It only takes one egg to make a baby but it is very clear your peak fertility is in your late teens and early 20s and from there it drops. Quite dramatic when you see it that way. The numbers are dramatic. A lot of women here, a lot of women watching saying, okay, if we’re over 35, under 35, what do we do. This is the take home message and I’m excited about this. I think this is a discussion women should be having with their health care provider, ob/gyn in their 20s about their options, awareness and education. Not everyone chooses to be a parent which is totally fine but you want to know the facts and what is on your horizon so I think for women that is key and that dialogue should start immediately. Sooner rather than later because that is only going to be helpful. We have to remember it’s not just women, recent studies about male fertility, their rates globally are dropping and so it takes two. This is a very important awareness. Certainly does take two. Let’s go outside to ginger.

    This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.



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    Ohio State favorite to win first Big Ten Championship since 2014


    After two somewhat disappointing campaigns, the Ohio State Buckeyes are hoping to bounce back in 2017 and put themselves in position for their second national championship in four years.

    The Buckeyes have failed to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game the past two years yet find themselves as strong -120 favorites to take home the title this year, according to oddsmakers.

    Last year, Ohio State lost a tiebreaker with the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big Ten East, with each of them finishing at 8-1 in conference play. The Buckeyes still made their way into the College Football Playoff semifinals though, getting blanked by the eventual national champion Clemson Tigers 31-0 to end up 11-2 overall.

    Ohio State favorite to win first Big Ten Championship since 2014This year, defending Big Ten champ Penn State returns quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley, who has already set school records for most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore. Barkley looks to be one of the early favorites to win the Heisman Trophy along with Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, with both players sitting at +800.

    The Nittany Lions are the +550 co-third choice to repeat as conference champs with the Michigan Wolverines.

    The Wolverines lost a thrilling double-overtime affair against the Buckeyes 30-27 in their annual rivalry game a year ago and have yet to get to the Big Ten Championship Game since Jim Harbaugh became their head coach. Michigan went 7-2 in the Big Ten East last season behind Ohio State and Penn State and 10-3 overall.

    The Wisconsin Badgers are the +375 second choice to win the Big Ten, mostly because they compete in the conference’s West Division. The Badgers have played in two of the last three Big Ten Championship Games as the West representative, losing 38-31 to the Nittany Lions in 2016 after blowing a 28-7 lead.

    The Nebraska Cornhuskers, Iowa Hawkeyes and Northwestern Wildcats are the top challengers for Wisconsin in the West. The Cornhuskers are the +1600 co-fifth choice to win the Big Ten with the Wildcats, while the Hawkeyes are right behind them at +2000.

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