St. Vincent to introduce legislation outlawing killing of orcas

first_imgThe government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines says it will pass legislation outlawing the killing of orcas, after fishermen killed two of the marine mammals in the presence of a whale-watching group last week.The killing of the orcas — commonly called killer whales – bring to six the number of the dolphins known to have been killed in St. Vincent since July 2015.Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the law to be introduced by his government,will be in keeping with an international ban that the country signed on to years ago.Gonsalves made the announcement on radio five days after the two orcas were killed while being watched by some 40 cruise ship passengers on a whale and dolphin watching tour with a local operator.Thomson Cruises, owners of TUI Discovery, the cruise ship on which the tourists arrived in St. Vincent, have since cancelled all of its whale and dolphin watch bookings with Fantasea Tours, the local operator that conducted the tours last week.While on a radio programme on Tuesday, Gonsalves said that “the person or persons who were involved in killing the two ‘killer whales’, the orcas, … is a very hard working fisherman.“But what he did was plain wrong. What he did, I want to emphasise this, what he did was plain wrong. Not just because it happened in front of tourists, but (because) he must not kill the orcas.”last_img read more

SCAM ALERT!

first_imgAs immigrants in South Florida and other parts of the US seek to ensure their status is legal, unscrupulous individuals aware of their plight continue to perpetuate costly scams against them.Some are taking advantage of people seeking to go to Canada as immigration regulations in the US become more stringent. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has cautioned people of a telephone scam in which persons pretend to be calling from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the agency that facilitates arrival of immigrants to Canada.Using false caller IDs to make the call appear legal, scammers call residents threatening them they’re under investigation, or there’s a legal case against them. They request immediate payment by way of money transfer, prepaid or gift card to avert the alleged investigation.The IRCC cautions it isn’t calling people in the US, and doesn’t collect money or payments by phone, by money transfer, or by prepaid or gift cards. They don’t ask people to confirm basic personal information they already gave on an immigration application (for example, date of birth or passport number). And, they don’t threaten to  arrest or deport people.USCIS also disclosed it doesn’t do any of those things. It cautions anyone getting calls like these not to make wire payments, or give out personal information. If residents have applied for a Canadian visa, they should immediately call the Canadian immigration authorities.If the call relates to an immigration case with USCIS, people should immediately call USCIS’s National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to inquire if there’s a problem with their immigration application.USCIS also warns of another con where scammers are ripping off undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. A valid driver’s license is a critical document needed to verify one’s legal immigration status to work in South Florida and other US regions. This document requirement has created a critical demand for driver’s licenses, and scammers are taking advantage of this demand.Recently, a couple in Tampa, Florida was sentenced to multiple years in prison for scamming immigrants of over $740,000 purporting to provide them with driver’s licenses. The immigrants were charged fees of $500 and $1,300 each to obtain drivers licenses, based on fraudulent immigration documents the scammers made them complete.last_img read more

To Reopen or Not: One Hell of a Conundrum

first_imgProtestors, some obviously politically mobilized, are taking to the streets demanding their rights to go about their regular routine, notwithstanding the fact that the US has approximately 800,000 cased of COVID-19, and over 41,000 deaths, and rising. The main problem is, according to the scientists, there are many people who have contracted COVID-19 are walking around asymptomatic, not showing symptoms of the virus. As a result, the scientists have been saying, but in America, few seem to be listening, that the safest way to reopen businesses and relinquish stay-at-home orders is to significantly test people for the virus. These tests will separate the infected from the uninfected and offer some guidance of who can return to normal activities. Now, less than six weeks after most US states have locked down all but essential businesses and ordered residents to stay-at-home, increasingly residents are protesting the measures. Every day governors and mayors across America have been appealing to the federal government to assist with more testing, but there’s no real federal plan to increase testing. Herein lies the core of the conundrum. Unless there’s a profound national plan to test Americans, significantly increasing testing is unlikely. The less people tested, the greater will be the risk of the resurgence of COVID-19 contamination nationally should stay-at-home orders are lifted, America, like the rest of the world, is faced with a very elusive new virus, the treatment and cure of which is baffling the most learned scientists. One thing, most of these scientists agree on, and proving effective is that social distancing, including stay-at-home and business closure orders, are effective in controlling the viral spread. But, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and while protests also take place in other countries, there have been several instances, for example in Singapore, where attempts to lift stay-at-home measures have been followed by a resurgence of spikes in the virus. The solution is obvious. If the nation’s leaders want to open the nation, prevent further spread of COVID-19 and significant social upheaval they must step up testing for the virus immediately! While this works, it’s simply not normal to expect people, especially young, energetic and passionate people, to be deprived of socially acceptable norms indefinitely. People are going to continue to protest at an increasing rate, and social upheaval become a real risk, the longer they are mandated to stay-at-home. There are plenty of recommendations of what can be done to protect residents if they are to return to normalcy. These include people spacing at the workplace, making wearing masks and gloves mandatory in public and at work; increasing personal, equipment, furnishing, transportation and building sanitization, etc. But there is no guarantee these measures will prevent contamination when the general public leave their homes. Although it’s obvious some of the protests have a political bias, encouraged by political leaders, some of whom called for states like Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia with strict stay-at-home measures to be “liberated.” It’s also obvious economic challenges are fostering the growing protests.Conservatively, it’s estimated some 22-million Americans are currently unemployed because hundreds of businesses are closed. In most communities, people are growing desperate for money to buy food. Despite the federal government’s initiative in helping residents and businesses with financial relief, it is yet to reach many of those it’s supposed to help. The adage “a hungry man, is an angry man” is proving incredibly true as hungry Americans continue to stay-at-home. When states around the country began issuing stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in mid-March a South Florida psychiatrist told this newspaper if these orders exceeded one month there would be a “great risk of social disorder.” In Florida, where cases of COVID-19 contamination and related deaths have been increasing exponentially daily, the South Florida Tri-County Car Caravan have been publicly protesting, calling for the lifting of restrictions on businesses and the reopening public spaces. Here in America, only 4 million people, less than 2 percent of the population, have been tested for COVID-19, despite boasts of America having conducted more tests than any other country. The psychiatrist argued that forcing people to be locked in their homes, away from normal ways of life including, work, school, recreation, and the church is “against modern social norms.” For most people home is a place of refuge and rest, the place to recharge one’s energy after outdoor activities, not to be locked in for weeks. It is now incumbent on elected officials from the American President down to city mayors to adapt a unified approach to see how, and if, some businesses and public places can be opened, and residents eased out of their homes. In a startling Harvard University report titled, “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience” released on Monday, a group of scientists, social scientist, economists and others concluded for the country to safely open and be fully economically mobilized by late July, “Test producers will need to deliver at least 5 million tests daily by early June.”last_img read more

CNW90 April 20, 2020

first_imgWith a look at some of the top stories making the news today, April 20 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida.Today’s newscast is brought to you by the Florida Department of Health;To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Florida Department of Health in Broward County reminds everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.Coming up in the newscast, some beaches in Florida start reopening as COVID-19 cases surpass 25,000, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony faces a vote of no-confidence this week, and Jamaica’s COVID-19 cases double in just one week.Now for the news in the detailFlorida beaches began reopening on April 17, even while the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state surpassed 25,000. Governor Ron DeSantis announced that beaches were permitted to reopen Friday afternoon if they could do so safely, and by early evening, some beaches in Jacksonville had removed police barriers, allowing residents to stroll and surf. The decision to reopen some beaches came on the same day that Florida saw 1,400 new cases of the virus, marking the biggest single-day increase in the number of new infections since the crisis began. As of April 19, Florida reported nearly 26,000 COVID-19 cases and over 750 deaths.In the meantime, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is now facing a vote of no-confidence following the suspension of Jeff Bell, the president of Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association. Bell was suspended with pay on April 10 after he accused the sheriff of allegedly not having enough personal protective gear for deputies, first responders and those working in the Broward County Jail system. An investigation into the suspension listed lying and conduct unbecoming as two of the five allegations against Bell. The deputies’ union announced that it would hold a no-confidence vote over Tony. Voting began on April 14 and will end on Monday (April 20), when the votes will be counted and announced.In the meantime, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services says they have given Caribbean and other non-immigrants the opportunity to extend their stay in the US amid the COVID-19 pandemic, provided that they file their applications in a timely manner. The news comes as Jamaica’s ambassador to the U.S. Audrey Marks revealed that Jamaicans may not be able to go home this month due to the island’s spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. Marks said she is currently in talks with the department of homeland security to get a waiver of the visa renewal fee. The fee is currently US $450, which is approximately $60,000 Jamaican dollars.In Caribbean News, Jamaica now leads the CARICOM nations in confirmed COVID-19 cases. In just one week, the number of cases doubled from 72 on April 12 to almost 200. The alarming spike in cases has many residents fearing that a total lockdown of the island will be announced soon. Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the spike has thrown off plans to allow residents stuck overseas to return to the island. As businesses and schools have closed across the United States, many seasonal workers, tourists and international students are impatiently waiting on Jamaica to announce re-entry.For more information on these and other stories, visit CNWNETWORK.com. Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet.You’ve been watching CNW90last_img read more

Lydia Barbara – Microgaming – What 2016 meant to me

first_imgShare Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 Submit Related Articles Delasport elevates online casino offering with Betsoft deal June 3, 2020 Lydia Barbara, MicrogamingAs the sports betting and gaming industry gets back down to business in 2017, SBC News caught up with Lydia Barbara, Head of Pegasus Gaming Solutions at Microgaming, to reflect on a successful 2016 for the company.Favourite Memory of 2016  I’ve been running an internal challenge/innovation incubator at Microgaming throughout the year. My favourite memory is announcing our winners at the company-wide Christmas party, and having everyone applaud these fantastic people whose brilliant ideas will be built and implemented in 2017.The inaugural contest was a great success with a wide range of ideas submitted, and I’m excited to be running Round 2 from January 2017.Worst MemoryFor me and for many others, this year was horrific for deaths of personal heroes and family.Most Important Industry DevelopmentIt’s difficult to pinpoint a specific development, but what I do get excited about is new technology. And this year I watched the developments in VR and AR very carefully. I think we’re still a way off in terms of these technologies becoming mainstream, but I believe we are a few steps closer.At ICE every year, our research and development team showcase a series of product innovations using the latest headsets and technologies that have the potential to impact not only on our industry, but our daily lives. Having unveiled some seriously cool prototypes in the past, such as VR Roulette, I’m keen to see what they will be presenting at February’s show.Favourite Industry EventAlways ICE. Everyone who is anyone is there. I love catching up with old friends and colleagues, and meeting new ones! I expect ICE 2017 will be bigger and better and I’m eager to see what companies will be promoting at the show.One to watch for 2017I’m intrigued by what’s going on in the world of mobile-only soft games. This is an area with huge potential, and I’m keen to see where companies take it. StumbleUpon Share Soft2Bet: Why diversification of white label products is essential in complex times May 28, 2020last_img read more

Camelot appoints Wayne Pickup as incoming Global Division CEO

first_imgShare Share Camelot receives GamCare Safer Gambling Standard December 16, 2019 Related Articles Camelot B2B division secures WLA accreditation as a ‘responsible supplier’ July 21, 2020 UKGC maintains National Lottery tender timetable March 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Wayne PickupUK National Lottery operator Camelot continues its executive leadership restructure, confirming the appointment of Wayne Pickup as designate Chief Executive Officer for its ‘Camelot Global’ B2B division.Pickup the current CEO of Lotto New Zealand is expected to takeover Camelot Global leadership in H1 2018. Pickup replaces former incumbent Nigel Railton, who this week was promoted to UK CEO by Camelot governance.A global lottery commercial and tender process veteran, Pickup has worked in the gaming sector since 2001. The New Zealand executive was the former Head of Government Markets for GTECH (2008-2012) the legacy of gambling/lottery technology division of IGT Group.As CEO of Camelot Global, Pickup will be responsible for growing the lottery firm’s B2B services and partnerships in a number of international markets, as Camelot seeks new revenue channels to support its home UK operations.Updating the media, Camelot Global Chairman Bogdan Cenanovic stated that his firm had gained the best candidate in Pickup, with an extensive knowledge of international lottery dynamics and managing critical stakeholders.“Wayne has a great reputation in the industry – during his time at Lotto New Zealand, profits have grown by around 50 per cent and digital sales have increased by over 300 percent,” Cenanovic commented on the appointment.last_img read more

Playtech BGT Sports revels in record-breaking World Cup

first_imgShare Playtech BGT Sports (PBS) has a announced a record breaking World Cup, with its self service betting terminals (SSBTs) continuing to drive growth and increase revenues across the retail space. Introducing a variety of new products and features, including enhanced goals scorer options and cash-out tool and a more streamlined in-play user experience, a greater share of overall in-shop turnover than ever before has been enjoyed.Processing 3.5m tickets thus far, a 400 per cent increase of the Brazil World Cup in 2014, in-play has been particularly praised for its role in aiding growth.Accounting for 34 per cent of SSBT World Cup business, as opposed to just 12 per cent four year ago, it’s also not just the so-called ‘big matches’ that have been driving the highest revenue figures.Highlighting that lower profile games broadcast at the right time can also be a catalyst for growth, the round of 16 game contested by Croatia and Denmark is credited with generating the most in-play turnover of any match thus far in Russia.John Pettit, Managing Director for UK, Ireland, Asia, and Australia at Playtech BGT Sports, explained: “We are delighted with the numbers to date and are pleased to have helped generate so much extra revenue for our betting shop partners in the UK and Ireland.“We have undoubtedly benefited from the live World Cup TV pictures available in every shop, which have encouraged in-play betting.“This World Cup has definitely shattered the old cliché that customers are only interested in betting on England, or the so called ‘big matches’.“Croatia versus Denmark smashed records and the message to operators is crystal clear: if you combine pictures with data at the right time the revenues will flow.“It’s a simple message and one we’re excited to be helping deliver as we continue to innovate in this space.” StumbleUpon Related Articles Brazil appoints agencies to accelerate Sports Betting launch August 21, 2020 IMG Arena nets major media extension with Brazil’s Liga Nacional de Basquete August 19, 2020 Belgian Pro League live betting streaming deal for Stats Perform August 21, 2020 Submit Sharelast_img read more

Microgaming unites with Lisa Lowe Centre to boost wellbeing

first_img Related Articles In a bid to boost workplace wellbeing, Microgaming has partnered with The Lisa Lowe Centre to deliver mental health awareness training.It comes as part of the supplier’s pledge via its Time to Change commitment, a campaign that aims to end mental health discrimination. The Isle of Man developer has also affirmed its commitment to mental health aiming to introduce fully trained mental health first aiders.Gareth Nicholson from the Lisa Lowe Centre, commented on the new partnership: “We are pleased to see local companies recognising that supporting the mental health of their employees is as important as the usual physical health support, as one supports the other.“As a charity working to increase our remit in this area we are delighted to be working with Microgaming, who are also at the forefront in recognising the need to change.”Via its work with the centre, a number of bespoke wellbeing and mental health awareness training sessions are to be delivered to line managers, designed to teach how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, as well as practical strategies to support team members and colleagues.Staff are to also have access to sessions, focusing upon mental health disorder awareness, common stressors and coping tools, with the aim of erasing the stigma around mental health.Jean-Luc Ferriere, CCO of Microgaming, added: “We strive to maintain a culture where everyone feels comfortable to speak up about any problems they may have.“With The Lisa Lowe Centre we can train our managers to better recognise the signs of potential mental health issues, and be well equipped to help their team and colleagues.“Most importantly, it helps strengthen our commitment to erasing the stigma by encouraging an open environment where people can talk about their mental health, and know that they are always supported.” Soft2Bet: Why diversification of white label products is essential in complex times May 28, 2020 Share Share StumbleUpon Delasport elevates online casino offering with Betsoft deal June 3, 2020 Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 Submitlast_img read more

Bundesrat moves forward on complex German licensing framework

first_img StumbleUpon Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Submit Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Share Related Articles Share Germany’s sixteen federal states have approved the mandate of the ‘third amended Interstate Treaty on Gambling’, paving the way for a new national licensing regime to be implemented.Agreeing on Bundesrat (Federal Council) directives, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein will be allowed to continue it’s operating its state-sanctioned online gambling regulatory regime allowing a number of licensed incumbents to continue servicing the market.Moving to revamp its market, all sixteen states have agreed to allow a one-year provisional concession for licenses, which will be activated on 1 January 2020 running until 2021.The provisional period will act as a stop-gap measure for the Bundesrat, which will aim to deliver a comprehensive federal sports betting framework by 2021 – aiming to end what will be a six-year regulatory wait for European incumbents.The Bundestag (Parliament) now moves to submit the third amended treaty to the European Council for review this April, seeking for its licensing regime and its provisions to be approved for European business standards.As previously reported, the much-maligned Hesse Ministry for Interior Sports has been forced to withdraw its controversial policy on limiting sports betting licenses to a set number of approved operators (20 in total) – a provision that was rejected by the EC on grounds of breaching European competition standards.At present, the Hesse Ministry maintains that only sports betting will be licensed at a 5% tax rate on turnover, with in-play betting services to be prohibited and consumers only allowed to spend €1000 on betting each month.Industry leaders and commentators will await to see whether German states push for the Hesse Ministry to undertake further amendments to the treaty, expanding the framework for all gambling disciplines.last_img read more

Blackstone continues Spanish affair acquiring Giga Games

first_img Share StumbleUpon Submit Share Blackstone reviews CIRSA options as pandemic wipes out IPO potential June 2, 2020 Codere avoids total collapse with 12-month credit line  June 22, 2020 CIRSA confirms Antonio Grau as inbound CFO July 17, 2020 Related Articles Spanish Gambling firm Grupo CIRSA has confirmed that it has acquired slot machine distributor and gaming hall operator Giga Games, from Spanish private leisure and gambling fund Conei Corporacion.The transaction sees the Lao Hernandez family engage once more with US private equity group Blackstone, who last year acquired CIRSA from Spanish gambling tycoon Manuel Lao Hernandez for approximately €1.5 billion.  Operating CIRSA, the US hedge fund has moved to acquire Giga Games, a company founded, and majority owned by Juan Lao Hernandez, brother of Manuel.Spanish news sources maintain that Manuel Lao holds no equity in Giga Games, an enterprise founded by Juan Lao back in 1998, following his split from CIRSA’s executive team, which saw him sell his entire shareholding back to the family.Deal parties have chosen not to disclose any terms related to the approved transaction. However Spanish news sources report that Giga Games had booked-in an operating income of €120 million during 2018.Securing the deal, Blackstone will merge all Giga Games properties and services under CIRSA – an asset which Blackstone seeks to convert into the leading Spanish language global gambling group.Absorbing Giga Games, CIRSA secures operating contracts for more 9,000 gaming machines servicing Spanish bars and adult premises.Furthermore, CIRSA will double its gaming hall presence within its home province of Barcelona, and gain new properties in Valencia, the Balearic and Canary Islands.last_img read more