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Kent State close to launching varsity esports video gaming program

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Kent State close to launching varsity esports video gaming programReading Time: 2 minutes

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Kent State University is looking to join MAC rivals Akron and Miami in launching a varsity esports program.

The specifics of the program haven’t been announced yet, but university officials say they’re close to making their plans known.

The interest level in this is pretty high,” Steven Toepfer, a faculty member who oversees a group of student gamers at Kent’s Salem campus, said. “We’re behind this significantly.

Varsity esports programs have sprouted up at more than 50 colleges across the country in recent years. Teams of student gamers compete with other colleges and at tournaments in popular games such as League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. Many of the schools like Akron and Ashland offer scholarships to students to play video games.

Kent will too, although the number and amounts are still being discussed. The Salem campus is already recruiting players for scholarships in Hearthstone and Overwatch.

We’re going to have six players in the Salem campus coming into the university in the fall,” Toepfer said. “Most of the regional campuses are going to field at least one team as well. So, that’s seven locations (in addition to the main campus). We’re talking about a sizable program.

In addition to the varsity-level program, the school is planning to field club teams as well. 

There are currently more than two dozen student organizations at Kent involved in competitive video gaming. The university hopes to lure them and prospective students to a school-wide tournament on April 6-7. The goal: to gauge interest, recruit players and educate the rest of the university about esports.

We’re going to see how competitive we can be in a couple of different games. We’re also going to find out what games we want to dive into in year one,” Tim Pagliari, project manager of KSU’s esports initiative, said.

As far as possible future matchups against their arch nemesis Akron Zips, university officials say that’s part of the goal.

The MAC doesn’t have a current stance on esports, although they’re getting there,” Pagliari said. “We certainly hope to have both friendly competitions and to see them in regional and national tournaments.

While the scope and timeline for an esports program is still being finalized, organizers say the process of selling the merits of gaming to the university as a whole is ongoing.

“We show them some of the numbers in terms of what the industry is doing ($1.5 billion in revenue globally last year) and how much these [pros] are making and it really drives home the point,” Toepfer said. “But we also try to sell this as a community building endeavor.

We really think [an esports program] is going to help our students feel attached to the university in a similar way that athletics help athletes feel like their part of the university. … These kids are so excited to be representing the university, so it has a lot to do with attachment to place and feeling proud of Kent State.

 

For more information, go to kent.edu/esports.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Russian Online Casinos Supply the Donbass Separatists

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Russian Online Casinos Supply the Donbass SeparatistsReading Time: 1 minute

Pro-Russian separatist groups of the Donbass War (Eastern Ukraine) receive material funds from illegal gambling business, states a recent article published in the Russian Sobesednik magazine. According to article, part of the illegal profits of the online casinos is used to finance the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

As reported by GC Alor analysts, the black turnover of these Russian online casinos is around 200 billion RUR (2,725,065,200.00 Euro). The Majority of these online casinos are registered in foreign administrations, like Azino777 being registered in Curacao.

As experts say, many online casinos are physically based in Ukraine, where the legislation is slightly more loyal than Russian. It is allowed, for example, to develop gaming software for third-party customers. Lucky Labs company, which is linked to the online casino “Vulcan”, operates in Ukraine as software developer.

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, which conducted searches at the office of the company lately, Lacky Labs also controls the websites of CasinoX and Joycasino. The company’s office is big. It is a 4-storey building designed for 150 people. There is also a basement area where there is a kitchen and a dining room, a gym.

Lucky Labs was founded by two Russians. Because of the sanctions imposed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, now they are not allowed to enter the country. However, Lucky Labs continues to exist. Now the company is registered by an Ukrainian citizen.

If some of the profits of illegal online casino go to pro-Russian patriotic purposes, it becomes clear why Roskomnadzor does not block their Internet addresses. The correspondent of “Sobesednik” managed to access the mentioned online casinos without any obstacles, using no VPN or “mirrors”.

 

Source: sobesednik.ru


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Play’n GO ‘Slots’ Into 1st Place!

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Play'n GO 'Slots' Into 1st Place!Reading Time: 2 minutes

Company celebrates EGR victory with Slot Provider of the Year Award

 

June 22, 2018 – Play’n GO were honoured at the EGR B2B Awards on Wednesday (20thJune) as they took home the highly coveted Slot Provider of the Year Award, beating out some strong competition.

The awards, held in London’s prestigious Hurlingham Club, “celebrates and rewards the very best service suppliers in the online gaming industry” and Play’n GO were honoured to have been nominated in numerous categories including Innovation in Mobile and Best Multi-Channel Supplier.

Play’n GO were recognised for their remarkable offerings in the slot market over the past year including innovative games such as Viking Runecraft, Sweet Alchemy and Moon Princessas well as many other popular titles.

CEO Johan Törnqvist was delighted to pick up the win, and believes it is a reflection of the company’s hard work.

“It’s an honour to pick up such a sought-after award, especially with the level of competition in the category. As a company we work hard to put out the finest, most entertaining, offering to our partners in the market, and winning this award is a testament to that. We have consistently been recognised in the industry for the innovative products we release and it’s our job not to rest on our laurels, but to continue innovating”

 

About Play’n GO

Play’n GO is an award-winning supplier of high quality gaming content to many of the world’s leading casino brands.  Its genuine omni-channel solution can be tailored to suit the needs of individual online and land-based partners, regardless of geographical, regulatory, or market-specific requirements. Its games are developed in HTML5 to provide an enhanced user experience on all devices and operating systems. These are complemented by superior back-office administration tools which provide expansive reporting and marketing capabilities, ensuring operators are equipped to provide the ultimate gaming experience. The supplier’s extensive portfolio was recently recognised by the award of the IGA Slot Provider of the Year 2017 title. Play’n GO currently hold offices in Sweden, Malta, Hungary, and the UK. Please visit http://www.playngo.com for more details.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Poland: Accepted Changes In Taxes, Including Gambling

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Poland: Accepted Changes In Taxes, Including GamblingReading Time: 1 minute

Poland’s lower house (Sejm) has voted down five Senate amendments to a comprehensive amendment to several tax bills, including gambling.

The adopted amendments may be applied retroactively, which is to the income earned from January 1 2018.
Gamblers will be treated in a uniform manner after the changes.

Adopted by the Sejm on May 10th of this year extensive amendment to the Personal Income Tax Act (PIT), the Corporate Income Tax Act (CIT) and the Act on flat-rate income tax on certain revenues earned by natural persons; that all winnings on machines will be exempt from PIT, the tax relief for creators will be extended to the next creative professions, the real estate income tax will be larger. This applies to provisions adopted last autumn and effective from January 1st 2018.

Unlike the regulations adopted in autumn, the amendment assumes for example, that participants of legal gambling will be treated in a uniform manner. Regardless of whether the games are organized by casino operators or a company performing a state monopoly in this area, which would be Totalizator Sportowy. In line with the provisions changed by the Sejm and approved by the Senate on Thursday, winnings in slot machine games, card games, dice games and cylindrical games – regardless of which legally operating entities organize them – will be exempt from personal income tax.

In the remaining scope, the rules of taxing winnings (in numerical games, cash lotteries, mutual bets, etc.) are to remain unchanged in relation to the provisions currently in force. Pursuant to the amendment of October 27th 2017, winnings in gambling are subject to a l0% PIT tax on winning if their one-time value of winning exceeds PLN 2,280 (528 Euro).


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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