Monthly Archives: June 2020

Push Technology’s Diffusion chosen by Betsson Group for global sportsbook cloud rollout

SILICON VALLEY, CA, July 1, 2020 – Push Technology, the pioneer and leader in real-time data streaming and messaging solutions, today announced that Betsson Group, a multinational entertainment company, has chosen Diffusion, Push’s Real-Time API Management, to provide real time betting odds, across a wide range of sporting events, to many geographic markets. For Betsson, the deployment delivers network efficiencies and reduces infrastructure costs, while simplifying sportsbook application development.

Scalability and assured real-time application performance are crucial to Betsson Group, as they not only support multiple brands within the organization, but also deliver gaming technology solutions to other brands around the globe. Therefore, when looking for a real-time cloud-based solution to meet rigorous eGaming requirements, Betsson had several key considerations: the efficiency and cost of delivering betting odds to customers; the ability to replicate sportsbook data globally in real-time; the proficient management of network load; and the capacity to scale to meet high volume customer demand.

Fredrik Ogden, Director of Cloud and DevOps at Betsson Group, explains why they chose Diffusion to meet these requirements: “Diffusion gives us the real-time data delivery capability we require to successfully compete globally. Diffusion’s data efficiency and delta streaming technology allow us to update our sportsbook in real-time to a high volume of customers worldwide. The platform can also be used to enhance future operations.”

Ogden continued: “With Diffusion, we have the agility to commission the infrastructure necessary to expand our own branded products and to provide our technology platform to other brands.”

Norway to unify gambling laws, beef up enforcement tools

Norway’s government is proposing to streamline the country’s gambling laws while sending a message that the future of the two state-run gambling monopolies is not up for debate.

On Monday, Norway’s Ministry of Culture submitted a proposal to unify the country’s three existing gambling laws – the Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalizator Act – under a single legislative banner. The government has launched a consultation on the proposal that will run through September 29.

Abid Raja, Minister of Culture & Gender Equality, said the aim was to “secure responsible gaming and to prevent gambling problems and other negative consequences.” A “more comprehensive perspective” on gambling policy will see Raja’s Ministry assume all regulatory responsibility, eliminating input from the Lottery Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture & Food.

The new policy aims to ensure that gambling marketing is not “too extensive” or aimed at minors and vulnerable individuals. Raja also seeks more “efficient” operation from the Norsk Tipping (betting) and Norsk Rikstoto (racing) monopolies by putting government in charge of appointing their senior executives and board members.

DraftKings, Casino Queen ink Illinois sports betting deal

Sports betting operator DraftKings has found a way around Illinois rules aimed at delaying the entry of online-only sportsbooks into the state’s regulated wagering market.

Two weeks ago, DraftKings filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) detailing plans by company insiders to unload some of their shares while the price was still in the post-IPO stratospheric range. But the filing also contained an update on the company’s Illinois opportunities.

As first noticed by Sportico, the filing notes that on June 10, DraftKings “entered into a multi-year arrangement with Casino Queen Inc. for retail and online sportsbook services providing us access to the Illinois market.” Casino Queen, an employee-owned venue in East St. Louis, was among the recipients of an Illinois ‘master betting license’ earlier this month.

The betting legislation that Illinois approved last year called for an 18-month delay between the launch of retail betting and the launch of a maximum three online-only licensees. This ‘time out’ was intended to allow the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos a window in which to establish relationships with local bettors before the big boys rolled in from out of state and sucked all the oxygen out of the room.

French gambling activity declining, problem gambling increasing

Gambling participation is on the decline in France but the ranks of problem gamblers is on the rise, presenting a dilemma for the country’s new gambling regulatory body.

A new report by Observatoire des jeux (ODJ), a French government agency tasked with monitoring the nation’s gambling activity, found that 47.2% of over 10k respondents admitted to engaging in some form of gambling in 2019. That’s a significant decline from the 57.2% who admitted gambling in the 2014 survey.

However, the 2019 report showed 1.6% of gamblers displayed signs of excessive gambling activity – twice the 0.8% rate of 2014 – while a further 4.4% were deemed to be at moderate risk of becoming problem gamblers, up from 3.8% in 2014.

Extrapolating these figures to the population at large, 0.8% (370k) of French adults can be considered problem gamblers while another 2.1% (1m) are at moderate risk of earning that dubious designation.

Nevada casino gaming revenue plummets 99.4% in May

Nevada’s gambling regulator’s monthly revenue releases are starting to resemble classified intelligence reports, leaving us absolutely no clearer as to who might have playing that slot machine on the grassy knoll.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) released its casino gaming revenue figures for the month of May, which showed total statewide revenue of just $5,808,507, a 99.4% decline from the same month last year. That said, it was up from just $3.65m that the casinos reported in April, so yay progress.

In addition to being decimated by the COVID-19 closure of all casinos, the reports for both April and May are also notable for the big black bars hiding the minimal revenue contributions from online poker and sports betting. If you squint your eyes, you can almost convince yourself that you’re reading virtually any page from the Mueller report.

The data lockdown is based on NGCB rules that require its gaming verticals to have “three or more” licensees in order to reveal revenue specifics, ostensibly to protect proprietary operator info. The state currently has only one active online poker licensee – Caesars Entertainment’s – so breaking out the betting data would reveal how much (or how little) the site is currently generating.

Bolivia eyes online gambling regulation to boost employment

Bolivia is the latest jurisdiction taking a fresh look at legalizing online gambling as the country’s efforts to disrupt unauthorized operations prove inadequate.

Last Friday, Juan Carlos Antonio Abrego (pictured), executive director of Bolivia’s Gambling Control Authority (AJ), presented his group’s new guidelines for the regulation and control of the nation’s gaming sector.  Among the possible changes that lie ahead are the introduction of “regulations that will allow controlling and regulating online gambling.”

For the record, this isn’t the first time Bolivia has publicly mulled about a regulated online market, having produced reports on the subject as far back as 2012. In 2017, the AJ conducted a study of how other Latin American markets, including Colombia and Costa Rica, had approached online gambling regulation, but Bolivia’s government failed to give the regulator the green light to proceed.

Bolivia’s gambling market is currently limited to a national lottery, one private casino operator (Curucusi Games) and a handful of sports betting shops, in part due to the government setting an onerous 30% tax on gambling revenue. This has created fertile opportunities for unauthorized operators, both land-based and online, with which the AJ is perpetually at war.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview

Odds courtesy of

As the NBA and NHL attempt to restart their seasons, and Major League Baseball and the NFL plan to start theirs, the coronavirus sent a harsh reminder on the PGA Tour last week how tough it’s going to be for those leagues to operate during a pandemic. And it’s fairly easy to practice social distancing in golf.

Six players withdrew before last week’s Travelers Championship outside Hartford. The two who did so because they personally tested positive for the coronavirus were Cameron Champ and Denny McCarthy, while the two biggest-name players who withdrew, former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and recent RBC Heritage winner Webb Simpson, did so out of caution because someone close to them tested positive. They have tested negative for COVID-19 (on Sunday night, Dylan Frittelli also tested positive).

In the wake of those withdrawals, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has instituted more stringent health and safety protocols ahead of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. For example, there will be additional testing, and player instructors now will be subject to the same testing protocols as players and caddies. Once again, no fans will be in attendance this week.

Poker in Print: PKO Poker Strategy (2020)

Each week here on Calvin Ayre, we look at poker in the popular form of the written word. Books have always been important to poker players, with volumes such as Doyle Brunson’s Super System paving the way for thousands of different strategy-based books that are designed to help poker players improve.

At the tail-end of 2019, we wrote about the newly-released Poker Satellite Strategy which was put together by legendary Irish poker professional Dara O’Kearney and respected poker author Barry Carter. This week, the two men released their latest tome, which promises to help players become better at playing PKO (Progressive Knockout) or Bounty tournaments.

The release of PKO Poker Strategy is timely to say the least. Not only are PKO or Bounty events getting to be more and more popular, but half the world seems to be playing online given the restrictions on live poker that have affected over 95% of the world’s poker events.

While PKO and Bounty events have grown in popularity, just like with poker satellites, there aren’t too many professionals who talk up their skill in the formats. That’s where PKO Poker Strategy comes in. The strategy is markedly different to a regular MTT (multi-table tournament), and the book does a very good job in explaining how to adjust your ranges to PKO events or to fire for a bounty. There are other factors at play in PKO or Bounty events, of course. The size of an opponent’s bounty on their head needs to dictate a change in whether you’re prepared to call, but not only that.