BARCELONA (Reuters) – Antoine Griezmann has had a tough start to life at Barcelona but is finally showing signs of settling in as he prepares for Sunday’s crunch clash at title rivals Atletico Madrid, his first game back at his old club since a bitter split. The French striker was Atletico’s top scorer and talisman for five years and appeared to show his loyalty to the club when he rejected a tempting offer to join Barca in 2018 and pledged his future to the Madrid side in a televised documentary.But a year later he joined Barca for 120 million euros ($132 million), prompting a legal complaint from Atletico after it emerged the Catalans had negotiated with Griezmann without their permission, leading to the club being fined a paltry 300 euros.Griezmann might have been wondering if the move had been worth it as he has faced constant criticism for a slow start at the Camp Nou, scoring five times in 17 appearances. He started on the bench in Wednesday’s Champions League match with Borussia Dortmund but an injury to Ousmane Dembele presented him with a chance which he duly took.Griezmann dovetailed with strike partners Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in a flowing attacking display and provided a superb finish to a pass from Messi to round off a 3-1 win and end a run of six games without scoring.The Frenchman’s lack of chemistry with the two South Americans has been a big talking point but the trio are starting to click. “A lot has been said about the connection, especially when one of them doesn’t score, but the best players always end up understanding each other,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde after beating Dortmund.“Luis and Leo understand each other perfectly because they have been playing together for a long time, and with time the three of them will learn to gel even better with each other.”Barca top La Liga on 28 points and have a game in hand on Atletico, who are fourth on 25 and in a dire run of form, winning once in their last six games in all competitions. Real Madrid are second on 28 points and can go clear at the top for at least a day when they visit Alaves tomorrow in the middle of a resurgent run of five wins in seven games, in which they have scored 21 goals.
The annual Hamilton Green Birthday Anniversary Inter-Ward football tournament will conclude today at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora. In the opening match at 17:00hrs, Den Amstel Kings will oppose Soesdyke while Wales will oppose Uitvlugt from 17:30hrs. West Side Spartans will then battle Stewartville at 18:00hrs while in the fourth match, Den Amstel will engage Pouderoyen at 18:30hrs.The respective winners will advance to the semi-final stage and eventual grand finale. The event, which is being played utilizing a 9-a-side elimination format, will commemorate the 85th Birth Anniversary of the former Georgetown Mayor. The first prize is $200,000, with the second, third and fourth place finishers copping $100,000, $60,000 and $40,000 respectively.Among the sponsors on board are: BK Tiwari Inc., National Sports Commission, NAMILCO, Gafoors Ltd, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Communities, Ministry of Legal Affairs, New Thriving, Guyana Police Force, Techno Mills, Ready Mix Cement, GuyOil and AH&L Kissoon.
Corporate giant Ansa McAl officially presented the prize monies for the top four finishers yesterday for the recently concluded 592 Beer Community Cup Football Festival. The presentation was held at the company’s Beterverwagting (BV) headquarters. Friendship secured the top prize of $500,000 and the championship trophy, after defeating Golden Grove 1-0 in the final held on January 1st.Golden Grove walked away with $200,000 and a trophy. Third place finisher BV pocketed $150,000 and a trophy, while fourth place unit Paradise copped $100,000 and the respective accolade.On the individual side, teammates Dillon Wright and Shawn Adonis of Friendship was adjudged the event’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Best Goalkeeper respectively. Tournament coordinator Eon Havercome during brief remarks stated that the tournament was an overall success, noting that the finale was bigger than expected, which indicated that football within the East Coast Demerara corridor is still vibrant.He added that the genesis of the tournament was to provide the avenue for players to showcase their abilities, adding that without the support of the teams, communities and sponsors, the event would not have translated into a successful venture.Meanwhile 592 Brand Manager Seweon McGarrell declared that he is proud and pleased with the overall quality of the tournament which displayed a high competitive spirit, adding that the company is committed to the staging of the event for the foreseeable future. He further thanked the respective participants for their invaluable effort and contribution in making the tournament a success. Also Okeeme Edwards, captain of the victorious Friendship unit said, “It was a great tournament which was very competitive. It is a very good start to the 592 Brand on the East Coast of Demerara and we hope that the tournament continues for years and gets bigger and better.”Meanwhile Triston Freeman, Brand Manager of Rush Energy Drink stated the brand is committed to supporting the development of sports especially football at the community and street levels.
Junior Hercules, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation [GABF] 3×3 Coordinator, has confirmed that Guyana will commence preparation from next week for the 2020 International Basketball Foundation [IBF] 3×3 Championship in Guadeloupe February 28th-March 2nd. In a brief comment with Stabroek Sport Hercules, who also holds the portfolio of the Men’s Senior Head-coach said, “The official preparation will start next week for the team. The focus is really going to be on creating a strategies, conditioning and understanding of the rules.”He further added, “The players are currently active. Training will be held outdoors so we will try our best to simulate the temperature to better prepare them. I will work with them Fridays to Sundays ahead of the departure. Basically training will be on every weekend until then.”Guyana will be represented by team of Kobe Tappin, Delroy Belle, Shemroy Greene and Immanuel La Rose. The quartet, who represented Linden as Victory Valley Royals, defeated Blazers 15-10 to clinch the GABF 3×3 Championship held in November 2019 at the Burnham Court on Middle and Carmichael Streets .
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – West Indies players Andre Fletcher and Sunil Ambris carved out half-centuries in a pivotal century partnership as Windward Islands Volcanoes won for only the second time this season with a two-wicket victory over Jamaica Scorpions. Starting yesterday’s final morning at the National Stadium here on 51 for three in pursuit of 225 for victory, Volcanoes overhauled their target thanks to 71 from Fletcher and 56 from captain Ambris.
Sachin Singh, a former West Indies Under-16 captain is gearing to take the Regional under-19 tournament by storm should it take place in the post-COVID-19 world. Stabroek Sport caught up with the 18-year-old batsman who led Guyana at the Under-17 level last year on one of his training sessions where he documented his journey towards glory.Singh, despite being a complete performer with his nifty seam bowling, identifies himself as a batsman first who can bowl.According to the left-hander, the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, which is threatening the possibility of the premier regional youth tournament being cancelled altogether has also affected his preparation but he is making up for that with extensive training. “Well, we had a little downtime due to the coronavirus but for the last couple of weeks we have been training behind the Marriott here so it is coming along great,” he said.“We had some fielding practice but the only thing short is the batting practice,” Singh added.The talented Demerara Cricket Club batsman said that his fitness had proven costly in the past seasons. “That is the most important aspect I want to improve on and so far it’s going good.”The East Bank Demerara franchise opener was one of four Guyanese selected in the West Indies Under-19 training camp for the recent Youth World Cup in South Africa but was unable to secure a spot in the side. Nevertheless, he indicated that the snub has motivated him to improve his game.“Ever since I was dropped from the squad it put me down for a couple of weeks but after then I had a lot of good advice from my family especially my father, Inderjeet Singh and friends like Sherfane [Rutherford], Ramaal [Lewis], [Raymond] Perez, [Joshua] Persaud I realized it was not the end of the road for me and I just have to work a lot harder to improve so I am putting in the work to reach back at the top,” he stated. The road to the regional stage, however, will not be easy and Singh is aware that his place could be cemented through a good run in the local Inter-County tournament.“It is really important for me because I have to get back some come confidence, I have been comfortable getting some runs in the Inter-County over the years so I just want to continue doing well and build confidence heading into the regional tournament.”With his eyes set on a senior call up in the near future, Singh admitted that he does see the Under-19 tournament as a pathway into the senior set-up with good performances proving to be rewarded with Cricket Guy Inc., Academy contracts. Already a veteran of two years in the national Under-19 team, Singh could be one of the front runners for the captaincy position, a role which he relishes.“I love the pressure to be very honest, pressure brings out the best in me and I don’t see it as affecting me. I just have to step up as a captain when needed and lead the team from the front,” he stated.
Share StumbleUpon Submit Share Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 James Fleming, Commercial Director at emerchants Europe, talks about how his firm’s payment service has transformed the way customers get funds from bookmakers.Emerchants is providing gaming operators with the ability to give their customers instant access to funds via a prepaid card. Can you give a bit of flavour how it works?Our original goal was to dramatically improve the overall customer experience but almost unwittingly we’ve created perhaps the most important retention tool available in the industry today.Emerchants are specialists in the instant disbursement of funds using our proprietary payments technology platform. We’ve been able to use this technology to specifically build a program in conjunction with our gaming partners which is absolutely perfect for the gambling industry and meets the demands of today’s gambler while helping to drive a higher level of engagement with the customerThrough our partnership with Mastercard we’re able to issue our partners with fully-branded and reloadable cards which completely remove the traditional 3-5 day lag for your player to receive their funds and instead make those funds available as soon as the operator has settled the market.It’s been really exciting for us to watch the ways in which our partners are harnessing the power of our card program to build loyalty, create retention campaigns and to create long term value for the business.Why should operators adopt this? Is it not in the operator’s interest to keep hold of the money?The great thing about our product is that we are actually keeping funds within the bookmaker’s loop – in normal circumstances when a player withdraws funds into their bank then the operator has lost all control or sight of those funds.Our card programs allows the customer to instantly access winnings but it also works both ways and the customer can instantaneously return those funds to the gaming account.Data tells us that around 43% of all money moved onto the card is actually returning to the gaming account within just 1.5 days so we’re not just creating a more effective withdraw method but we’ve also created a clear gateway for those funds to return to the operator and this gives our partners more clarity on post win customer behaviour and more opportunity to actively market to these customers in a highly targeted and smarter way.Naturally we believe that all operators should be offering this level of service to their customers as it greatly improves the overall player experience – after all if the customer is having more fun, then they are much more likely to continue betting with you.We are providing the customer with instant access to their funds, without actually losing them from our system – this means that the customer (if marketed to effectively) can easily flick their funds back to their account instantly via their app or the web site and re bet, without merchant services fees. This improved service to the customer is encouraging loyalty instead of the customer chasing odds with competitors.The service is very much up and running in Australia, where you provide a number of bookmakers with the facility. How has the betting population taken to the product? Emerchants are the pioneers of this product and actually launched with their first client in Australia (Ladbrokes) just over a year ago. We’re now working with just about all of the major operators in Australia (Ladbrokes, Sportsbet, Bet365, Crown Bet and William Hill have also just signed) and we’ve seen the instant access card become the norm as opposed to a luxury product.In total our product now accounts for about 35% of withdraw activity and we’re confident that this figure will continue to rise. We know the European operators are now seeing the value in products like ours and we’re confident that by this time next year almost all of the major players will be extending this level of service to their customer.Has this trend of bookmakers looking into ways of providing their customers with funds more quickly been a good example of how the market can respond to its customers?I think it’s a perfect example. If you liken it to the ‘cash out’ options that we’ve seen gain in popularity over the past couple of years then we have an example of product innovation which has not only improved the customer experience but has also positively impacted the winning margin for the Operator, a win ‘win’ scenario.A strong card program will have a similar impact where the customer will certainly benefit from the ability to instant access funds whilst the reciprocal benefits for the operator come in the form of greater brand loyalty, improved customer engagement and ultimately an increase in player activityAre the general public au fait enough with pre-paid cards now for this to be a simple marketing tool? We’ve seen prepaid card grow in popularity over the years as more and more people become security conscious with their online activity. The gambling industry is actually one of the safest places to spend online however many still use prepaid cards to manage their gambling funds or to keep activity away from their bank account.In some countries, like Italy for example, prepaid cards are very much part of the culture with some operators seeing as much as 50% of deposits via this method. That aside, card programs like ours present the operator with a really exciting range of marketing opportunities. The TV campaigns that our partners have rolled out in Australia have been hugely successful and we’re already seeing a few TV campaigns hit our screen here in Europe – we’ll be seeing much more of this over the coming 12 months.What size of operator should be looking at offering this sort of facility to its customer base?Well we know first-hand that the major players in the space either have card programs in place or are at advanced stages of rolling one out. I’d suggest that even the smaller firms will have to consider the options that are open to them if they’re looking to compete in the market.If the customer has two options – place a bet with a large entity and access my winnings immediately or bet with a smaller company and wait 3-5 days then I think there’s only going to be one winner given that scenario.Emerchants EuropeICE Stand N1-246 Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Related Articles SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020
GambleAware donations top £10m for 2019/20 April 21, 2020 Submit Share Share StumbleUpon Leeds-based independent online gambling company, Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G), has today announced that its graduate software academy is open for applicants.The academy programme represents a £1.5m investment in talent and will see around 25 graduates join the company in July 2016.It will last for 12 months and starts with a 14-week intensive burst of training where graduates will learn about Sky Betting & Gaming’s methodologies and improve their general business skills.For the remaining 9 months’, participants will go through a number of different rotational placements within our Bet, Gaming, Data and International Tribes. They are guaranteed a job with one of our tribes at the end of the programme.Participants will be paid a competitive full-time salary during the 12 months and those interested should apply at http://skybetcareers.com/graduates.A similar programme for those looking at commercial, rather than technology roles, will be launched in the next few weeks. Sky Betting & Gaming are happy to share their experience of the programme with other interested companies and the Leeds Digital Board.Andy Burton, Sky Betting & Gaming’s CTO, said: “I’m delighted that our software academy has now launched. Like many other tech companies in the region we are finding recruiting the right people increasingly difficult.“By investing in graduates now we hope to play our part in ensuring there’s a pipeline of tech talent in Yorkshire. I look forward to welcoming the first grads in the summer.” Yorkshire appoints Richard Flint as a ‘Welcome Advisor’ March 9, 2020 Related Articles William Hill closes Stockholm Gametek office July 1, 2020
Submit Intralot enhances Malta games offering with E*SOCCER launch July 13, 2020 Share Intralot strengthens U*BET offering with virtual sports addition August 6, 2020 Related Articles Intralot accelerates Nederlandse Loterij retail transformation July 29, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Updating the market, Athens listed lottery and gambling technology provider Intralot SA has confirmed that it has acquired a strategic stake in Eurobet Bulgaria.Intralot governance processed a 49% equity stake in Eurobet via its Bulgarian subsidiary BILOT. INTRALOT.Declaring its investment in Eurobet, Intralot governance stated that its venture investment would help ‘strengthen its market presence in Eastern Europe’.At present Eurobet services the Bulgarian market with lotto-based and scratchcard games through an established network of +1000 sales points.Intralot already has presence in the country as 49% owner of Eurofootball, offering Fixed Odds and Live Betting through a network of 850 shops, since 2002.Mr. Antonios Kerastaris, Intralot Group CEO, stated: “We are proud to expand our presence in Bulgaria through acquiring a strategic share in Eurobet, a market leader in its sector. The complementarity of the product offering between our companies will lead to strengthening our operations in a more consolidated market.This acquisition aligns with our business growth strategy to seal strategic partnerships with strong local players. Through synergies with Eurobet’s assets we will be able to further boost our operations in Bulgaria and sustain our leading position in the area.”Intralot expects to finalise its equity investment in Eurobet Bulgaria by June 2016
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens welcoming 0-12 Indianapolis to town on Sunday, you wouldn’t expect them to need a field goal in the closing seconds to secure a victory.However, they may not have the services of Billy Cundiff in the unexpected event that they need one. Cundiff is listed as questionable on the final injury report and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.The kicker missed his second straight practice on Friday as he continues to deal with a left calf injury. Cundiff is suffering from a left calf injury that “cramped up” earlier in the week, according to coach John Harbaugh. He has not attempted to kick with the injury and has been receiving treatment the last few days.“We’ll find out,” said Harbaugh when asked about his kicker’s chances of playing against the Colts. “I think so. I’m hopeful. I really am hopeful.”In the event that Cundiff cannot play, multiple reports say the Ravens will sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham to fill in against the Colts. Graham and Cundiff competed for the kicking job in Baltimore during last season’s training camp when the latter won the job at the end of the preseason.Graham was most recently with the Miami Dolphins after their regular kicker Dan Carpenter went down with an injury. He kicked in two games for Miami, making 4-of-5 field goals with the longest being only 28 yards. Should the Ravens decide to sign Graham, the move would likely come sometime Saturday after further evaluating Cundiff.“We’ll have a backup plan for sure,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’ll just see how it feels [Saturday] and then into Sunday. It’s not a major thing; basically his calf cramped up. But we’ll take every precaution between now and Sunday.”Cundiff is 26-for-34 on field goals this season, all eight misses coming on the road. He missed two field goals in the sloppy conditions in Cleveland on Sunday, raising concerns about his ability to make kicks away from M&T Bank Stadium.The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker signed a five-year, $15 million contract in January.“He’s doing everything he can, I’m sure, to get himself ready for this game,” punter Sam Koch said. “He doesn’t want to sit out. He wants to be there for the game, so he’s going to do everything he can to be out there on Sunday. … You have to wait until you’re out there to see how it really affects you. He hasn’t kicked since it happened. He doesn’t know how it’s going to affect him. It could affect, it could not affect him. It’s just kind of wait-and-see how it all goes.”Koch told reporters he has kicked field goals this week in practice, making four of five attempts during Thursday’s practice. He has not kicked field goals since high school but says he would be honored to try if called upon Sunday.What kind of range does the Ravens punter have if pressed into field-goal duty?“I’d go at least 63,” Koch quipped. “I’d say 63 would be my max. I’d push it back to 64 if we could [break] the record.”Lewis getting closerLinebacker Ray Lewis missed his third straight practice this week and is expected to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday.He has not practiced since the week of the San Francisco game when he was listed as a “limited participant” during the walk-through practice the Ravens conducted on a short week. It is believed that Lewis did not partake in much activity at all during those workouts.However, speculation persists that Lewis and the Ravens are targeting a return in the nationally-televised prime-time game in San Diego next Sunday night. The 36-year-old linebacker suffered the turf toe injury in the Ravens’ loss to Seattle on Nov. 13“I think he’s very close,” Harbaugh said. “It’s one of those injuries that you just have to see how it goes. You have to take everything into consideration. Maybe he could have played the last couple weeks; maybe we decided to just mitigate the risk. We just have to see where we’re at.”Lewis had not missed more than two consecutive games since 2005 when he missed the final 10 games of the season with a torn hamstring that required surgery.Odds & endsJenna Bush of “The Today Show” was at the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility on Friday doing a feature story on rookie receiver Torrey Smith. Bush, of course, is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. … Referee Clete Blakeman and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Indianapolis. … Sunday’s forecast calls for clear skies with the temperature in the mid-40s.Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from John Harbaugh and Sam Koch as well as Jarret Johnson’s conversation with Drew Forrester on Friday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” right here.