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Swiss officials launch Qatar World Cup bribery investigation

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Swiss officials launch Qatar World Cup bribery investigation

Swiss officials have launched an investigation into World Cup bribery allegations involving the Chairman of Paris St Germain and Sepp Blatter’s former right hand man.

 

The tiny country found on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula is currently being ostracized by its neighboring Gulf nations, who have accused Qatar of funding terrorism, but it didn’t stop FIFA from awarding the nation with the 2022 World Cup.

It had to be rigged right, after all this is FIFA we are talking about.

Despite the fears of bribery and corruption nothing concrete has surfaced regarding the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, but a recent investigation by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General, has thrown up bribery allegations relating to TV broadcast rights.

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The quadrennial event is worth $5 billion to FIFA, and a big slice of that pie will be television broadcast rights. On Thursday, reports began surfacing that the Swiss authorities were interested in questioning Nasser al-Khelaifi, a Qatari businessman, Chairman of Paris St Germain (PSG) and the CEO of the beIN Media Group on allegations that he bribed the former FIFA general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, in return for lucrative broadcast rights.

The link to Valcke doesn’t help al-Kehlaifi’s case. Valcke is currently staring down the barrel of a ten year ban from all football relating activities after US Officials found him guilty of a number of ethical violations including misuse of private jets, dodgy World Cup ticket sales, and other financial discrepancies. He is preparing to appeal the decision. A third person is involved, but is being referred to as an ‘unknown businessman.’

The bribery allegations concern media rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026 & 2030 World Cup Finals. Investigators have searched the BeIN offices in Paris and a series of other locations in Greece, Italy, and Spain. A statement from BeIN says they, ‘refute all the allegations,’ and the PSG Chairman has not been questioned.

The latest investigations come two-years after the US Authorities announced a broad array of indictments connected to corruption within the corridors of power at FIFA leading to the removal from office of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his number two Valcke.

Nasser al-Khelaifi is the man who brokered the ridiculous €222m fee to take Neymar Jr from Barcelona to PSG, and is also considering a similar fee to make the loan signing of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco a permanent fixture.

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Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Shareef Al-Emadi has said they are willing to spend over $200 billion on stadiums, roads, and a variety of other amenities including a new airport and hospitals. At least four people have died during stadium construction prompting more stringent audits and checks. Over 36,000 people are employed just for the World Cup project.

Worker deaths, allegations of ties with terrorist groups, and suspicions of corruption have prompted William Hill to offer odds on a replacement World Cup host list for 2022.

The post Swiss officials launch Qatar World Cup bribery investigation appeared first on Eastern European Gaming – News – Interviews – Legal Market Updates – Premium Reports – Events – Directory.


Source: EEGaming.

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Digicode

Digicode Appoints Itai Zak as Executive Director for iGaming Division

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Digicode, a leading provider of innovative software solutions, has appointed Itai Zak as Executive Director for the iGaming division. In this role, Itai will drive the growth and strategic direction.

With over 15 years of experience in the iGaming industry, Zak brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Digicode. He has a proven track record of successfully leading and scaling businesses in the online gaming sector, gaining experience as the CEO of SBTech, GoWild Gaming, and Spiral Solutions.

Under Itai’s visionary leadership, GoWild Casino not only seamlessly transitioned to a state-of-the-art iGaming platform but also achieved an astounding 450% increase in profitability, driven by Itai’s strategic expansion into new markets and his ability to build and lead a formidable team of over 300 professionals.

At SBTech, Itai was instrumental in redefining the company’s sales, marketing, and business development approach, transforming SBTech into a leading provider of turnkey sports betting and iGaming solutions. His efforts have helped grow the company from 60 to over 600 employees across multiple global locations, with significant year-on-year growth in net profit.

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Itai’s appointment is a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and strategic growth within the iGaming sector. His proven track record in navigating complex regulatory environments, coupled with his forward-thinking approach to product and market strategy, positions Digicode for exciting advancements in its iGaming offerings.

“We are thrilled to have Itai Zak join our team. His deep understanding of the iGaming landscape and leadership skills will be invaluable as we continue to innovate and expand our foothold in this dynamic industry. Also, Itai’s proven track record in navigating complex regulatory environments, coupled with his forward-thinking approach to product and market strategy, positions Digicode for exciting advancements in its iGaming offerings,” Max Maslii, President and global CEO at Digicode, said.

In his new role, Zak will develop and execute Digicode’s iGaming strategy, focusing on driving revenue and growth. He will work closely with the product development and sales teams to deliver cutting-edge solutions tailored to the unique needs of iGaming operators.

“I am excited to join Digicode and lead their iGaming division. Digicode has a proven track record of delivering innovative software solutions, and I am eager to contribute to their continued success in the iGaming market,” Itai Zak said.

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City Center Online

Pragmatic Play Goes Live with City Center Online in Argentina

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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is enhancing its standing in Argentina and is now live with City Center Online.

Taking its leading Slots portfolio to the online casino, City Center Online’s players are now set to benefit from leading titles, including award-winning hits like Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus as well as more recent releases from Pragmatic Play’s ever-expanding portfolio such as Pub Kings and Mustang Trail.

This latest agreement follows a series of partnerships that Pragmatic Play has struck across the regulated LatAm markets, combined with several regional industry awards, further cements its position as the leading supplier in Latin America.

Victor Arias, VP of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “We are delighted to announce Pragmatic Play’s agreement with City Center Online as the brand continues its upward trajectory and supply even more LatAm operators with its acclaimed, industry-leading titles.

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“With Pragmatic Play’s renowned slot library now live on the platform, we are confident they will be a hit with City Center Online’s players, and we look forward to see its content provision expanding even more in the near future.”

Samanta Zio, Online Gaming Manager at City Center Online, said: “The quality and brand recognition that is brought on by Pragmatic Play games cannot be understated and we are delighted to now offer its portfolio to our players.

“Underpinning our commitment to providing premium gaming experiences to audiences in Argentina, we are confident this partnership is a momentous win for City Center Online.”

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iGaming Industry

Pragmatic Play Adds TriunfoBet to Growing List of Latin American Partners

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Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, will soon bring its dynamic multi-product portfolio to more customers with Venezuelan operator TriunfoBet, encompassing its Slots, Live Casino, and Virtual Sports offering as part of the deal.

The supplier has continued to build on its impressive Live Casino offering with the launch of Treasure Island. The action-packed gameshow follows in the footsteps of similar hit titles such as Sweet Bonanza Candyland and Snakes & Ladders Live which are also fan favorites across LatAm.

In addition, casino classics such as Roulette and Blackjack will be brought to an even wider audience in the region thanks to this latest tie-up.

Pragmatic Play’s renowned Slot portfolio will promptly be available for TriunfoBet players to enjoy including new titles such as Gates of Olympus 1000 in addition to Christmas-themed versions of its player-favourite franchises including Big Bass Christmas Bash and Sugar Rush Xmas.

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Rounding off the collection is Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports which delivers cutting-edge 3D renderings of popular sports betting markets that match real-life equivalents across horse and greyhound racing, football, and motorsport.

The new agreement with TriunfoBet further boosts Pragmatic Play’s profile across the LatAm market as it cements itself as the industry-leading supplier in the region.

Victor Arias, VP of LatAm Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play’s content has become a household name in LatAm, and we are confident that TriunfoBet will achieve similar levels of success as other partners. The LatAm market continues to be a key area of expansion for Pragmatic Play, as evidenced by the consistent stream of new partnerships launched each month. TriunfoBet is the perfect addition to Pragmatic Play’s growing portfolio of partners in this region.”

Luis Lizarazo, CEO of TriunfoBet, said: “We strive to provide our players with an exceptional experience on our platform, and our latest partnership with Pragmatic Play allows us to significantly enhance our offering with their extensive range of products. Pragmatic Play’s remarkable growth in Latin America has been truly impressive, and we are thrilled to be among their latest partners. We are confident that their Slots, Live Casino, and Virtual Sports will be met with the same resounding success they have garnered worldwide.”

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