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24.03.2019

Valve Create Dota 2 Gambling App

2018 showed an incredible growth in eSports, with competitive gaming on the brink of breaking out into the public eye. Valve Corporation have made the first move, teaming up with Betway to develop an app were spectators can gamble on the outcome of Dota 2 competitive matches.

Valve’s Dota Pro Circuit app is available across App stores on all platforms, including Google Play. The app has the intention of being more than just a place to mindlessly place bets, with features allowing spectators to learn more about the game, the players and make better predictions on results. An additional feature is Fantasy Sports, allowing you to build a dream team and compete head to head in community leagues and between friends.

The early feedback has been mixed, however
with a lot of feedback in favour of the system. A concern that comes to mind is the appeal to underage users, with the gaming industry being heavily occupied by a younger player and viewer demographic. However, the app doesn’t support fiat currencies, instead using an in-game currency called Dota Plus Shards.


23.03.2019

Romania to Tax Gambling Deposits

The online gamblers of Romania are beginning to see the negative impacts of their government’s recently implemented tax rules. In the final weeks of 2018, the government released an announcement stating that in the New Year - locally licensed operators would be required to pay 2% tax on their gambling turnover.

The action was due to begin on the 25th of February, but yet another last minute change was made – with the tax being taken on the customer deposits, rather than the operator’s turnover. The change is sure to put a smile back on operator’s faces, but for the players - their deposits will not last quite as long as they remembered
.

Starting from March 13, the Kindred Group’s licensed Unibet and Vlad Cazino became the first to inform their local customers that their deposits will now be subject to a 2% tax deduction. Which as expected, came with some negative backlash, with players expecting for operators to deal with the cost – rather than punishing their customers.


21.03.2019

Instagram Introduces New Way to Shop Online

Over the last few years we have seen the rise of Instagram, rapidly becoming one of the top platforms for influencers and marketing. Instagram has seen some big changes in the recent months, with features such as creating a “shopping collection” to gather up products to buy later and embedded links in Instagram videos and stories.

The newest feature to be introduced is Instagram Checkout – allowing customers to buy things, without leaving the app. In the past, customers would need to click on a link to go to an external website to complete a purchase – however in the latest release, purchases can be made without leaving Instagram
.

According to Instagram, brands will be able to make products shoppable via posts on the feed, in Stories and in the general shopping area of the Explore section. Customer information will be stored within the app, so after the first purchase has been made – customers will be able to make purchases with just a couple of taps. An order history will be available within the app and will notify via push notifications on updates for recent orders and delivery date updates.

The Checkout feature will first go through a testing period, restricted to the US and with just 23 brands taking the first step in this new era of online shopping. The list of companies include Nike, Adidas, MAC and Burberry.

This is a revolutionary change for Instagram and could introduce the next stage in influencer marketing, while removing a lot of common issues with converting customers like cart abandonment and a lack of deep linking to specific products.


19.03.2019

UK ASA Bans Gambling Advertisement

The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) in the UK has recently referred to the recently updated rule book to penalise SkyBet after their attempt at promoting sports betting through a popular Sky Sports presenter.

The content of the ad featured the presenter Jeff Stelling explaining how gamblers can place wagers on combinations of different activities during a football game. The advert continued to list off events such as red cards, the amount of corners and the total number of goals – with the intent of promoting Sky Bets “request a bet” service.

The primary issue with the spot was that Jeff Stelling, a well-known sports expert, told viewers to use
their sports brain and prompted them on how much they know about the sport. This was coupled with graphics that seemed to indicate that having a greater knowledge of sports will lead to gambling success.

The ASA stated that - “The ad gave an erroneous perception of the extent of a gambler’s control over betting success. This gave consumers an unrealistic and exaggerated perception of the level of control they would have over the outcome of a bet and that could lead to irresponsible gambling behaviour.”

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