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Pocket Gamer Connects Triumphs with its Third Annual Seattle Event

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The leading mobile games industry event achieves remarkable success in Seattle this week

Attendees from 30 countries came together in Seattle to celebrate the thriving games industry and make connections

Pocket Gamer Connects, the premier mobile games event in the industry, recently concluded its highly successful two-day gaming event in Seattle. The event, held on May 16 and 17 brought together over 700 attendees including industry professionals and enthusiasts from around the globe to celebrate the thriving games industry and connect with others.

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle showcased the true essence of the gaming industry, attracting participants from 30 countries. The event featured game makers, developers, publishers and 110 influential speakers, creating an invaluable platform for networking, growth and recognition within the mobile games and technology community.

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Renowned worldwide, Pocket Gamer Connects is recognized for uniting the brightest minds and visionaries in the gaming industry. This year’s Seattle event attracted top-tier investment funds, angel investors, tool providers and platforms. With 390 participating companies, the event introduced exciting new themes including an AI edition, allowing expert speakers such as Tom Pigott, founder and Chief Executive Officer for Ludo AI, and Riyadh Drebika, the DIrector of Volley, the leading developer of voice AI games to address the hottest current topic worldwide, artificial intelligence (AI).

This year marked the introduction of the Pocket Gamer Connects Career Zone, which involved a unique recruitment fair bringing together ten leading local companies from Seattle such as the Pokemon Company, Big Fish and Shrapnel that provided an excellent platform for job seekers and recruitment companies to engage with some of the industry’s most influential players. Additionally, this year’s event included four roundtable sessions that proved to be a massive hit, creating open forums where attendees could engage directly with experts on hot industry topics, fostering insightful discussions and knowledge sharing.

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2023 once again affirmed its position as a resounding success for the Steel Media brand. Dave Bradley, Chief Operating Officer for Steel Media, expressed his excitement about the success of the event, saying: “We are thrilled to have brought Pocket Gamer Connects to Seattle once again. As one of the world’s largest tech hubs, Seattle has always been a favorite destination for our event. This year, we highlighted cutting-edge topics such as AI, Web3 and the metaverse in our panels, shedding light on emerging trends propelling our industry forward.”

Set to make Dubai the epicenter of the gaming world, Pocket Gamer Connects is returning on June 21 and 22 with The Dubai GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects. Tickets for the event are now live. After that, in July, the roadshow lands in Toronto for a second year.

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Canada

OLG and Team Canada Launch Official Partnership Ahead of Paris 2024

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has entered into a partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee and has become the Official Ontario Lottery Partner of Team Canada for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Ontario is ready to cheer on Team Canada athletes as they compete in Paris this summer. This new partnership is showcasing one of the many ways OLG’s support makes a difference to people and communities across the province,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Gaming.

“We are thrilled to welcome OLG to Team Canada. Ontario has such a rich sporting history and OLG has long been a supporter of sport and amateur athletes. We know this support has made a profound impact on athletes across the province, whether they’re engaged in sport at the grassroots level or pursuing their Olympic dreams,” said Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

“We are so pleased to be entering a new partnership with OLG and welcoming them into the Canadian Paralympic community. We know support for sport and athletes has been important to OLG for many years, and we are excited to work with them to continue to champion Ontario’s Para athletes and inclusive sport across Ontario,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee.

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As momentum builds toward the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, OLG is also shining a spotlight on its players, who have helped support amateur athletes in Ontario by playing with OLG. The new “Sponsored by You” campaign reinforces that when you play with OLG, you support Ontario athletes.

Since 2006, OLG and the Ontario government have supported high-performance amateur athletes through the Quest for Gold athlete assistance program. The program has provided direct financial support to thousands of amateur athletes, enhancing their ability to train by offsetting the costs of training and living expenses.

“Many people don’t realize 100 per cent of OLG’s profits are reinvested into Ontario, and that we have a longstanding history of supporting amateur athletes. OLG’s ability to give back to communities is only possible thanks to our players, so we wanted to use this opportunity to recognize and celebrate them,” said Maxine Chapman, VP Brand & Marketing Officer at OLG.

OLG’s campaign features Team Canada athletes Andre De Grasse, Penny Oleksiak, Maggie Mac Neil, Jillian Weir and other Ontario athletes and Para athletes who have received funding from Ontario’s Quest for Gold program.

“Training for the Olympics takes a lot of preparation – physically, mentally and financially – and it’s not something you can succeed at alone. Having programs like Quest for Gold to help and knowing your community is supporting you makes all the difference, especially when you’re competing on the world stage,” said six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse.

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The success of the Quest for Gold program shows in the numbers – in the last four Olympic cycles, over 90% of Ontario medal winners had received Quest for Gold funding during their career.

“The Quest for Gold program showcases our government’s continued efforts to enable Ontario athletes to achieve their full potential at the highest levels of competition. We are proud to join with the OLG, our partners across the sport sector and all Ontarians in wishing our Olympic and Paralympic athletes the best of luck in Paris,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Sport.

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Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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