(Reuters) – Spain’s all-time top scorer David Villa announced yesterday he is retiring from football at the end of the Japanese top flight season. Villa, who has been playing in Japan with Vissel Kobe since the beginning of this year, made the announcement with a statement on his official Twitter account as well as calling a news conference.“After 19 years as a professional, I have decided to retire from playing football at the end of this season. Thank you to all the teams, coaches and teammates that have allowed me to enjoy this dream career,” he wrote.“It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor’s Cup with Vissel Kobe. From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we’re currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love.” Villa, 37, began his career with Sporting Gijon, later moving to Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid before leaving Spain in 2014 for MLS-side New York City. He also had a brief loan spell at Melbourne City.He won two La Liga titles with Barca and one with Atletico among other trophies, also lifting the 2011 Champions League title with the Catalans, scoring in the 3-1 win over Manchester United.Villa also won the 2008 European Championships with Spain and the 2010 World Cup. He retired from international football in 2014 and remains his country’s record scorer with 59 goals in 97 games.
LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Lakers will pay tribute to Kobe Bryant today when the team plays its first game since the NBA great died, although details of what that will entail remain unclear. Bryant perished along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in foggy weather on a hillside northwest of Los Angeles on Sunday.“I’m gonna let that play out tomorrow night, let you guys see it,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters yesterday when asked what tributes fans could expect to see when the team takes on the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.“I’ve been briefed on some of the things that we’re going to see. But I’m going to let that play out tomorrow night.” The Lakers postponed a game scheduled for Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers after news of the accident broke and it is unclear when that game will be made up.Practice on Thursday began with some flag football on an outside field near the team’s practice facility in what Vogel called “therapeutic” Southern California sunshine.“We are striking a balance of trying to make us feel good,” Vogel said. “Laughter is always a good remedy for something like this when it’s appropriate. “We’ve had some of that at today’s workout outside … it’s not the first time we’ve done that but it does feel good to be out there, you know, just a little bit of a change up.“It was really just a warm-up, once we came inside it was business, get back to business and lock into the work.”Vogel said the team is beginning to get back to normal but admitted staying focused on the task at hand on Friday will be challenging amid tributes to Bryant, who played 20 seasons with the Lakers, winning five championships and millions of fans. “I would imagine it probably makes it a little harder than an ordinary game, with all the emotions and that stuff, but we shouldn’t do it any other way,” he said.“It’s the right thing to do, you know it will be an important night for our franchise and for Laker nation.”
LONDON, (Reuters) – Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have spent this week finalising their preparations for the London Marathon but the two best distance runners in history are instead out alone on the trails of East Africa not knowing when they will race again. Sunday’s planned showdown between the only two men to have gone under two hours, two minutes for the classic distance was an early victim of the coronavirus pandemic.
Guyana Chess Federation’s (GCF) Tournament Director, Rashaad Hussain believes the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic could be a blessing in disguise for local chess players. In an interview with this publication, Hussain explained that, like the rest of the world, chess activity has been devastated by the pandemic’s effects which include the postponement of several key tournaments in the GCF’s calendar for 2020.One such tournament is the National Championships, which, he stated, has been “postponed until players are comfortable to play or until we find a way to incorporate social distancing in chess.”Apart from the National Championships, Guyana was set to host the ninth Carifta junior chess tournament. They were also down to prepare for possible participation at this year’s Chess Olympiad.Hussain vented his frustration on the abrupt nature of the virus that also forced schools to close their doors and expressed, “I am disappointed that we did not get to initiate the Chess in Schools programme in more schools since corona pandemic creates the ideal opportunity to train.”With these programmes halted, the GCF executive decided to look at the bright side of the situation. “Players are having a great chance to practice for the Nationals which were supposed to have already been completed.”He posited that a number of alternatives could be explored ranging from online competitions and software to research and personal development.Additionally, the tournaments co-ordinator revealed that the body is exploring the potential of hosting a tournament where players will use the necessary precautions such as sanitizers and face masks. This is tentatively set for late May. Hussain disclosed that the body is aware of the logistical side of the situation and the willingness of players to participate as well as a venue for the event since most spaces have closed their doors but is optimistic that spaces will open, even if it means playing outdoors.
Following days of thrilling action Emuwnah Pross was crowned the inaugural champion of the iBet Supreme FIFA 20 ‘League of Champions’ e-Sports tournament, defeating Tevin Bremner Thursday evening in a hard-fought contest. In what was a virtual rematch of the 2018 UEFA Champions League final, Pross, who represented the famous white shirt of Spain’s Real Madrid, defeated Bremner and England’s Liverpool 3-1 to clinch the coveted title. Ironically, the match mirrored the identical score of the aforementioned 2018 grand finale.Pross won the first prize of $50,000, two pennyweights of gold, a trophy, a case of Monster Energy Drink and a special Church’s Chicken Meal. Bremner’s second prize was $25,000, a case of Monster Energy Drink and a Church’s Chicken meal.
Share bet-at-home maintains 2020 outlook despite dire opening May 4, 2020 Flutter strengthens igaming offering with CasinoEngine December 17, 2019 mybet returns with Deutsche Eishockey play-off sponsorship March 6, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit Related Articles Updating the market on its half-year 2016 performance (period ending 30 June), Frankfurt-listed sports betting operator mybet Holdings SE (mybet) stated that the period was characterised by two factors; its continued decline in revenues and the sale of German horseracing wagering operator pferdewetten.de.Closing a tough H1 period, mybet would record a -16% decline in group revenues to €24 million (H1 2015: €28.7 million).The operator would disclose severe revenue declines to its online assets, with sports betting revenues down –35% to €4.4 million and casino revenues down a further -25% to €8.3 million.The continued digital decline would impact period EBITDA at – €1.3 million (H1 2015: – €816,000).mybet period earnings would be salvaged by the June sale of pferdewetten.de to a group of private investors for €9.9 million, which would result in the operator posting profits of €4.2 million.As stated in previous corporate updates, mybet governance will use the pferdewetten.de sale funds to boost its internal operations as the company aims to launch its new digital platform, which mybet stated would allow it to offer ‘four times the amount of betting markets and twice as many casino games’.mybet enters the second half of 2016, under the leadership of CFO Markus Peuler, as this month Zeno Ossko resigned from the company taking on the Managing Director role for Amaya Inc’s BetStars.
Share Related Articles Share Submit StumbleUpon Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Updating the market, Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has announced that it has agreed a long-term racing media rights deal The Racing Partnership (TRP).The partnership will see TRP content distributed throughout PPB’s Paddy Power retail betting estates from the 1 January 2017.TRP racing content will now include UK all-weather racing from Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton tracks. Additionally, Paddy Power estates will gain broadcasts of all 15 Arena Racing Company owned-racecourses and seven independent racecourses from January 2018.Commenting on the agreement, Manging Director for Retail at Paddy Power Betfair, Dan Taylor said: “Paddy Power Betfair is delighted to have entered into this agreement with The Racing Partnership to ensure that customers in all of our shops across Ireland and the UK will continue to see fixtures from TRP racecourses, as well as racing from South Africa.”Director of The Racing Partnership, Mark Kingston, welcomed PPB as content partners: “This is a significant step for The Racing Partnership as it continues to establish itself in the market. As one of the leading operators in the UK and Ireland, we are delighted to have agreed a deal with Paddy Power Betfair. This follows strong take up from independents in both the UK and Ireland.”The deal with Paddy Power Betfair brings the total number of UK and Irish betting shops (Licensed Betting Offices – “LBOs”) who are signed up to TRP to more than 1,800 shops. Larger independent LBOs who are taking the service include Boylesports, Jenningsbet and Stan James, with more recent signings including McLeans, Mark Jarvis and Toal’s bookmakers Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020
Related Articles Amitabh GhatakThe industry’s relationship with new technology and its impact on consumer trends and behaviour will be a key point of discussion at this week’s EIG 2016 Conference (Arena Berlin 18-20 October).Amitabh Ghatak former William Hill Head of Product Development details to SBC how operators and industry stakeholders should assess and value new technologies entering the industry’s value chain.__________________________SBC: Hi Amitabh, you will be speaking at EIG Berlin on new technology impacts, Why should industry stakeholders be concerned by this subject matter? Amitabh Ghatak: All industries across the world are either leveraging technology to gain a competitive edge or are worried about the next startup that could potentially disrupt an industry entirely.In gaming industry itself, you only have to look back to 2012 – the point at which mobile became the dominant emerging channel. It was such a seismic shift and companies that didn’t have a mobile-first approach got left behind fairly quickly.SBC: In your opinion are igaming and betting industry stakeholders good at embracing new technologies? What can be done to have a more innovative marketplace? AG: We need to recognise that we are not tech companies – although some companies are making genuine efforts to be one. Till the time we have the desire and the tech platform to be “Innovators”, I don’t see anything wrong in being the “Early Majority.”That said, as a technology enthusiast, Im genuinely surprised by how little progress we’ve made on the gaming side. Are our slots particularly different from what they were in 70’s? Yes, the device has changed, but with such amazing (non-gambling) games coming to mobile devices, the current suite looks a little dated. Even if you look at the social casino world, they are quite ahead in terms of an “entertaining experience” compared to RMG.SBC: Assessing current consumer trends and habits, what technology do you feel will lead to the next industry ‘paradigm shift’?AG: Almost certainly VR/AR. You only have to look at Mark Zuckerberg’s Oculus Connect talk to understand where the future is. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others are pumping in money by the billions in order to nail this. Pokemon Go has paved the way for people to think of AR as a genuine revenue generating opportunity. Augmented Reality has always been one of those technologies that was looking for a purpose, and I think its finally come of age.SBC: With regards to new technology impacts, which outside industries should igaming and online betting stakeholder look to learn from?AG: There are several similarities between the world financial trading and sports betting (market makers vs book makers, trading, high transaction volumes, joy and pain of playing). Hedge funds now trade algorithmically in private pools with transaction times in milliseconds. They’ve even physically moved offices to be closer their data centres to save on transaction time. Of course this is a bit excessive (for now) but you can see how they maximise the use of tech.On the consumer side, the sports and gaming sites are modelled around an e-commerce experience (add-to-cart & checkout), although i think the large sites are still not very impressive – look to the niche e-commerce apps to get inspiration. l also see a blend of content and commerce becoming more relevant.SBC: As new technologies enter the market what industry legacy values do you feel will be tested or ultimately made redundant?AG: Retail is a steady ship but with a changing demographic, its getting harder to stay profitable. Certainly, there needs to be a pivot within retail towards a different profile – and that could be tech-driven, or could even be a partnership with another established chain.There’s also a greater set of options for the customer’s wallet, gaming is just one of the many. There would have to be a shift towards making the propositions more entertaining and intertwined with content as well as real-world (not just digital) opportunities to enhance the ride.SBC: Finally…what do you want EIG delegates to take away from your speaker session on new technology impacts?AG: One, there’s nothing wrong in being the “Early Majority.”, just be in a place to understand where the trends are outside the industry. Two, set yourself up for doing innovation, but always tie it to your core proposition – don’t try moonshots. and finally, partner with a company who specialises in the type of innovation you’re looking to experiment in. This is also not for the faint hearted, it requires time, effort and iterations._____________________Amitabh Ghatak Submit William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Share
It goes without saying that Baltimore isn’t quite yet embracing this 2012 version of Baltimore Orioles pennant fever. No matter how dramatic the victories or how unlikely this late August run for postseason glory seems, nothing about The Birds has moved the sports fans of Maryland.Even into the great beyond via the long reach of MASN – not to mention the reach into your pockets every month like a public utility – for whatever reason people aren’t coming back in droves to give King Peter Angelos their money to watch the likes of Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and even boy wonder Manny Machado, who has been worth the price of admission alone this week.Oh, I know I’m being “Negative Nestor” by even writing this blog when the Orioles are winning baseball games and on the verge of a sweep of the hated Boston Red Sox. But every time the TV cameras pan the more than half-empty stadium, I can’t help but thinking the same thing you’re thinking: “I wonder why people aren’t going to Camden Yards to support this winning team?”Yeah, we all thought Camden Yards would be packed once the Orioles started winning. And as the team closes a 10-game homestand tonight in full control of a wild card berth and still within striking distance of the New York Yankees, a true “pennant fever” atmosphere has yet to emerge in Baltimore.It seems that a few months of prosperity hasn’t wiped out 14 years of bad vibes, bad baseball, steroid needles, lies from the owner and the emergence of the Washington Nationals as the regional team with marketing legs and, dare we say, “Natitude.”And here’s where we’ll piss off both side of the Baltimore fence.I have one question for you: “Are you excited about the Baltimore Ravens’ upcoming season?”My gut is that you just yelled, “YES!”My gut also says that your neighbor is excited, your cousins, your co-workers, the folks in your social group – wherever your friends and loved ones reside — they’re ready to don purple and are counting down the minutes until the 7 p.m. kickoff on Monday, Sept. 10 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.I’m not sure when it became sort of fashionable to only support one of the two teams in Baltimore and perhaps for the younger generation there has never been a good time to embrace the Orioles. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m ready for Ravens’ season and that my love for the purple guys has superseded my spirit and energy for the Orioles. But I do love them both. And I will support them both equally for what it means for Baltimore to have a winning sports team and a chance to hang red, white and blue bunting here in October.And, somehow during this emergence of the purple birds of Baltimore since 1996, this weird kind of divide has occurred here in the Charm City where some folks only have enough “love” – if not dollars and time and energy – for one of the two teams.Do you know people who love the Orioles and have no use for football or the Ravens? Almost to the point where they root against the purple birds in football season?I do.And, conversely, from what I can tell there are a myriad of people everywhere around town who are fervent Baltimore Ravens fans and have long-since given up following the Orioles on a nightly basis, even now that the team on the field is representative of the community’s desire for hard work, overachieving and beating the Yankees and Red Sox.I know many, many people who have purple “Man Caves” – an entire kingdom and closets dedicated to all things Baltimore Ravens. There are whole stores like The Raven Zone dedicated to selling merchandise year-round.I don’t know anyone who has a basement that is an homage to the Orioles these days, despite the fact that you get 162 chances to enjoy games vs. just 16 that count.I also admit that the amount of hours necessary to follow the Orioles is extraordinary. It’s a lifestyle commitment to watch four hours of baseball six nights a week for six months. It’s almost like a full-time job if you’re going to vest into MLB fandom.And certainly this isn’t a new phenomenon for sports teams anywhere in America. It seems that there’s plenty of love for all four sports teams in places like Boston, Philadelphia, etc. where the seasons and the reasons all seem to blur together into a full calendar of activity and passion.But it might be time to ask, “Where’s the emotional investment for Baltimore fans?”Is it possible that you only have room in your heart — or wallet — for one successful local team?
(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)The Super Bowl ring ceremony was quite the extravagant party in Owings Mills that served as a reunion for the 2012 Ravens as well as the final big celebration of the second championship in franchise history.Yes, Baltimore’s home opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 15 will include the unveiling of a second Super Bowl championship banner, but that ceremony will be overshadowed by an actual game and won’t include those who’ve moved on to other organizations but were able to return to the team’s facility to receive their lavish Super Bowl rings.Media access was limited at Friday night’s event as it was a party for members of the organization, but the Ravens provided an interesting foursome of players to speak to the media minutes after the rings were unveiled.Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, and Torrey Smith all stood at different stages of their career as they received their championship rings with the 38-year-old Lewis speaking to reporters first. Having retired after winning his second championship, Lewis spoke as a fatherly figure throughout the postseason and once again expressed his satisfaction over not only having the opportunity to go out on top but to see his teammates experience what it meant to be a champion.“I always told them I wanted them to really feel what the confetti felt like. Now to be here, to have something that symbolizes it, it’s the ultimate because now it connects us forever,” said Lewis, who also wore his Super Bowl XXXV ring after receiving the Super Bowl XLVII one to wear on his opposite hand. “It took me 12 years to get back and get another ring. I want them to cherish what this moment feels like right now while we’re world champions.”Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP, responded only how he could with the honest assessment of a gaudy ring that includes white gold and 243 round-cut diamonds. As Lewis pointed out, Flacco won a championship in his fifth season — like the linebacker did with the 2000 Ravens — and the championship surely provided validation in the minds of those who wondered whether he could lead Baltimore to a championship.The quarterback admitted he probably won’t wear the ring, but it won’t be sitting locked up in his closet either.“It’s kind of unwearable,” said Flacco, drawing laughter from reporters. “When I see people for the first time, I’m sure they’re going to have some interest in seeing it or at least I’m going to have some interest in showing it off to them. I’m definitely going to bring it a couple of places. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m going to wear it, but it’s pretty special.”Entering his third season, Smith represented the younger players on the roster fortunate enough not to wait long to taste Super Bowl glory in their NFL careers.And the former University of Maryland product struggled to keep his eyes off the hardware as he spoke to media.“I told you all what I was going to be like. I didn’t cry or anything, but I can see how women feel when they get a ring,” said Smith as he laughed. “It has a lot of different meanings. There will never be another season like this. We can win the Super Bowl every year while I’m in the league and there will be nothing like this one.”The most intriguing of the four to speak was 11th-year linebacker Terrell Suggs, who finally earned the Super Bowl ring he’s dreamed about after starring on the vaunted Baltimore defense for a decade. While Lewis, Flacco, and future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed received most of the attention for different reasons, Suggs won his first championship after the most difficult season of his career in which he recovered from a torn Achilles tendon in late April and then played with a torn biceps for the final two months of the 2012 season.Always one to provide a colorful quote and having the reputation of being the class clown of the Ravens locker room, Suggs’ sincerity in describing how he felt upon finally seeing his first piece of championship jewelry was the highlight of the brief session.“To have it so close, it finally hit me what exactly we accomplished together,” said Suggs, who figured out his ring was hidden in front of him when he was discouraged from moving his seat at the beginning of the ceremony. “It didn’t take a year. It took me 11 years to get it. It took coach [John] Harbaugh from when he got here in 2008 — we’ve been chasing this. It finally paid off, all that blood given. There’s not a word that describes what I’m feeling right now and all the emotions.“The journey was long, but it was worth it. But I will tell you this, I damn sure want to feel like this again.”Owner Steve Bisciotti took care of former members of the organization by not only awarding Super Bowl rings to David and John Modell, the sons of the late owner Art Modell, but to the five members of the team’s Ring of Honor who played on the Super Bowl XXXV championship team. It appears Bisciotti is setting a precedent by giving rings to Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Matt Stover, and Jamal Lewis, but fellow Ring of Honor member Earnest Byner wasn’t included in that group.Byner was the only member of the Ring of Honor to have played for the Ravens — the Hall of Fame members of the Baltimore Colts are also honored — who did not receive a ring, so it appears this is a subtle way of ignoring the former Browns, Redskins, and Ravens running back’s inclusion, which was never accepted by fans from the time Byner was inducted in 2001.He was a favorite of the late Modell, but seeing Byner’s name listed among Ravens greats as well as the Hall of Fame Colts has always looked out of place.