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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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NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event

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The sports betting technology provider NSoft will be showcasing its comprehensive suite of products including a full Sportsbook platform, Virtual games and the latest innovations in AI solutions at ICE London 2019.

NSoft’s Self-Managed Pre Match application is fully integrated into Seven Platform and gives the betting operators full autonomy of sports events creation, odds management and risk management. Except for already supported option of importing Betradar Unified Odds Feed, the customer has the ability to manually create any sport, tournament, market and event, as well as to resolve the markets.

The upcoming ICE London 2019 is the only B2B gaming event that truly brings together the international online and offline gaming sectors. During this event, held from February 5 to February 7, 2019, NSoft’s focus shall be on promotion of new products and comprehensive business solutions.

NSoft team is performing the latest product polishing before presenting it to the industry’s leading stakeholders. This year we shall be hosting you on our stand with impressive design and demo zones.

Don’t miss out on the chance to find out more about NSoft’s products. Please meet us at Stand S1-260. Book a meeting with our team or contact sales@nsoft.com.

 


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: NSoft brings iGaming Future to february London event

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PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market

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PointsBet has launched its online sports betting platform in New Jersey, had become the ninth operator to enter the legal New Jersey sports betting market. PointsBetting is essentially a high-risk form of spread-betting that rewards players with more money.

The company explained how PointsBetting works: “If a user bets $10 on the over, and the total ends 10 points over, that nets users $100. Stop-loss settings are able to be set by a bettor if they wish to limit their win and loss position. Users will still be able to make fixed odds wagers, which give a simple win-or-lose scenario.”

New Jersey residents can access PointsBet in web browsers via PointsBet.com or by downloading the PointsBet mobile app for Android or iOS.

Johnny Aitken, PointsBet US CEO said: “We’re extremely excited to bring PointsBet’s premium and game-changing sportsbook and signature betting options to the US.

“By offering some of the world’s sharpest betting offers and prices, we have the back of all sports bettors, no matter how sophisticated they are, and we’re serious about offering a one-of-a-kind VIP betting experience.”

PointsBet is also partnered with Tioga Downs Casino in New York and will launch sports betting operations in New York if the state moves to legalise sports betting.

 


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: PointsBet enters the legal New Jersey betting market

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FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development

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FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its developmentReading Time: 2 minutes

 

FDJ Group announced €15.8 bn in player stakes in 2018. FDJ distributed €10.7 bn to players, a return rate of nearly 68%, an increase close to 1 point over 2017.

Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FDJ Group said “The continued growth in player stakes reflects the good execution of our FDJ 2020 strategy around areas such as innovation and digital, enhancing the appeal of our games and distribution channels. 2018 has been characterised by numerous successes, notably Mission Patrimoine games, illustrating FDJ’s redistribution model. These results underpin our ambition to anticipate changes in the gaming and entertainment sector to increase the Group’s leadership with richer and innovative gaming experiences”.

 The FDJ 2020 strategic plan aims at accelerating the Group’s digital transformation to fuel its development. In 2018, the group got benefited from increase in digitalisation of all games. This success confirms our strategic goal of reaching 20% by 2020. This digital growth was driven by online gaming as well as electronic player stakes at points of sale.

ParionsSport sports betting posted strong gains in player stakes. FDJ is one of the Top 10 sports betting operators worldwide. Player stakes recorded during the World cup reached €333 m, an increase of +75% over the 2014 event, mostly attributable to the French team’s performance. The overall trend remained strong, with +8% growth in non-World Cup player stakes.

ParionsSport also signed major four-year partnerships with four leading French football clubs (Olympique de Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco, and FC Nantes), and launched the “Parions Club” challenge with each of them, giving the top punters in each club a VIP treatment in stadiums or at points of sale, in addition to their winnings.

Player stakes in lottery, instant lottery and draw-based games, grew 1.1% to €12,770 m. Player stakes on instant lottery games (scratch-card games in point of sale and digital) continued to grow, +3.2% to €7694 m.

Digitalisation drives growth in all lottery games, whether instant lottery or draw-based games. On-line lottery games were up +12% thanks to the steady increase in new players, with close to 1.9 million players at the end of 2018, and very frequent marketing events in the online gaming portfolio, with a launch, a relaunch, or a modification every week.

In 2018, FDJ stopped charging rent for point of sale equipment and started paying commission on promotional and free coupons. This year, a new commission structure has been introduced, with different rates across the various product lines and price ranges. In this context, net commissions earned by FDJ retailers were €785 m in 2018, up 5.7% on 2017.

After internalising its sales force and setting up its own logistics, FDJ has completed its business transformation and has direct control of its network.

The Group has continued to make substantial investments in points of sale, specifically in technology and equipment.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: FDJ aims digital transformation to fuel its development

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