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PENNSYLVANIA ANTI-RAWA BILL HR140 PASSED BY HOUSE COMMITTEE (Update)
MICROGAMING HELPS STUDENTS TO MAKE IT AT UNIVERSITY
The major Isle of Man-based online gambling software provider Microgaming has created a tertiary education bursary scheme designed to support promising Isle of Man students in furthering their education in cases where they may be precluded by financial circumstance from attending or continuing to study at university.
The award will see Microgaming fund accommodation and essential living costs (excluding course fees) up to GBP 6,000 per annum. Recipients of the bursaries will be carefully selected based on demonstrable talent in an effort to bring island-grown talent to the fore.
Roger Raatgever, CEO of Microgaming, said Monday: The youth of the Island are our future - this generation will shape the growth of the Isle of Man. It is essential that we provide them with the tools to reach their potential and thats why we created this initiative.
"We are passionate about corporate social responsibility and are proud of the contribution we make to the Island. We are well-known for providing support to local charities, health projects, events and sports clubs; our new education initiative complements the work we already do on the island. We want to see the Isle of Man thrive.
The bursaries will be managed and distributed by the IOM Department of Education and Children (DEC). The scheme is open to students who are eligible for a DEC maintenance grant and have secured a place on an approved undergraduate degree course. Students don't necessarily need to be studying for a degree in technology or business to apply.
John Gill, Head of Legal and Administrative Services at the DEC, said: This initiative from Microgaming will be life-changing to several local students. With A-level results announced this week, I encourage anyone who believes they meet the bursary criteria to apply now.
ONLINE GAMBLING TRADE BODY WELCOMES E.C. FINDING ON SPORTS BETTING
In a statement Thursday the Remote Gaming Association welcomed the main findings of a European Commission funded study on sports organisers rights in the European Union.
The study concluded that there is no legal basis nor rationale for an EU-wide right to consent to bets (i.e. sports betting right), and that the French sports betting right, whereby sports betting operators must obtain the consent of sports organisers to offer bets, is not an effective mechanism for financial distribution to sport or as an integrity instrument against match-fixing.
The study was designed to map out the rights of sports organisers, in particular in relation to sports betting operators and assess the merits of a betting right. In that respect, the study makes a number of significant conclusions:
* The costs associated with the administering of the right to consent to bets will always be considerable and there is no evidence for a link between the financial return stemming from a right to consent to bets and the financing of grassroots sport.
* The adoption of integrity mechanisms is not a prerequisite of the French right and there is no guarantee that the income is in fact allocated to fraud prevention and detection.
* The right to consent to bets risks leaving less popular and less visible sports more exposed to integrity risks as for most sports organisers the financial return would be insufficient to cover their own integrity costs.
* It is not evident that safeguarding the integrity of sports events constitutes the principal rationale of the French right to consent to bets.
* The conditions required to implement a right to consent to bets are capable of constituting an unjustified restriction on the free movement of services within the EU.
* The right establishes a monopoly for sports leading to the creation of a dominant position within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU and anti-competitive concerns.
* Highlights that amending the [Database] Directive to meet the demands of the sports organisers would bear the risk of creating undesirable information monopolies.
The statements notes:
"Whilst sports bodies and the French authorities continue to promote a betting right, the report rightly highlights that no other Member State has properly implemented legislation similar to that existing in France and that most other jurisdictions have instead opted for alternative mechanisms to collect and allocate revenue derived from gambling to sport.
"Moreover, the report shows that sports organisers already have sufficient legal protection and the creation, at EU level, of a French style sports betting right is not justified."
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA, said: We welcome the publication of the Asser Study on sports organisers rights, as we did the opportunity to participate in the consultation process.
"We hope that the European Commission will take note of its findings which echo our view that calls for a European-wide sports betting right, or indeed a sports betting right of any kind, are commercially driven and have little if anything to do with integrity.
The study was launched in January 2013 and carried out for the European Commission by a consortium composed of the Dutch Asser Institute and IVIR of the University of Amsterdam.
TRIO WINS GOLD AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
The last twenty-four hours at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas has seen two players claim bracelets for the second time, and one his first piece of WSOP jewellery.
Erick Lindgren shook off his recent troubles to show that he is a force to be reckoned with in international poker, winning his second bracelet in event 32: $5,000 buy-in Six Handed No-Limit Hold'em after surviving an entry field of 515 and a final table that included respected stars like Jonathan Little, Ryan D'Angelo and Lee Markholt.
Lindgren started final table action as chip leader and dominated much of the action until the heads up with Markholt was reached.
Despite holding a 4 to 1 advantage going into the heads up, Lindgren had his hands full with a tough and determined Markholt, who not only closed the gap, but at one point actually stole the lead in the almost two-hour confrontation.
Lindgren came back big-time, however to eliminate his opponent and send him to the cashier's cage for a second prize of $374,960, reserving the main prize of $606,317...and that second bracelet...for himself.
The other four final table players didn't do too badly either:
3 Jonathan Little $238,833
4 Connor Drinan $157,274
5 Vasile Buboi $106,830
6 Ryan D'Angelo $74,768
Bryan Campanello - a 21-year-old American pro - acquired his first WSOP bracelet in event 33: $2,500 buy-in Seven-Card Razz. With several World Series of Poker Circuit cashes to his credit, the young pro faced an entry field of 300 other players which generated a prize pool of $684,775; that enabled 32 players to cash.
By the time the field had been distilled to a final table Campanello faced some experienced poker talent across the felt that included David Bach, Jim Wheatley, Sebastian Pauli, Ivan Schertzer, Brent Keller, Rick Fuller and Ismael Bojang.
That quickly reduced to four players, where the action continued for around three hours before the heads up was set, pitting Campanello against David 'The Gunslinger' Bach, with Campanello holding a massive chip lead.
Despite an heroic effort, Bach could not gain enough traction to overcome his chip deficiency and he was bundled out of the event in second place for $110,098, leaving Campanello with his first bracelet and $178,052 in first prize money.
Erick Lindgren was not the only player to claim a second WSOP bracelet Thursday; 24-year-old Belgian pro Michael Gathy celebrated his second gold in event 34: $1,000 buy-in Turbo No-Limit Hold'em.
The bracelet came with a useful $278,613 main prize after Gathy bested a field of 1,628, a hard-charging final table that included Brit pro Jake Cody and an intense heads up.
Cody was the chip leader when the final table was reached, and there were a few bets that he would claim his second bracelet in the event. Seated around the table with Cody and Gathy was an international crew that included Benjamin Reason, Yueqi Zhu, Sergey Rybachenko, Daniel Bishop, Jason Duval, Noah Vaillancourt and Russell Crane.
In the event, Cody simply did not shape, and was eliminated in seventh place, to the disappointment of his large and noisy band of rail supporters.
When Yueqi Zhu exited in third place, it was Gathy facing Benjamin Reason in the heads up.
Reason is an interesting player who has comparatively recently moved into live tournament action after making a name for himself in the online environment. The same age as medical doctor Gathy, Reason hails from the USA and holds a degree in music education, although he now plays poker professionally.
The heads up lasted 17 hands and saw Gathy emerge the winner, although Reason could still claim his biggest yet live tournament pay-day of $172,252.
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ONLINE POKER SOFTWARE FIRM FIXING SECURITY ISSUE (Update)
The Malta-based poker software developer B3W has reacted quickly to claims by online security company ReVuln that its software has some vulnerability (see previous InfoPowa report).
Over the weekend a company spokesman told the IDG news service that work has already commenced on the root problem pointed out in a report released last week by Luigi Auriemma and Donato Ferrante of ReVuln, a vulnerability research consultancy also based in Malta.
ReVuln's report, which also looked at products from major companies like Microgaming and Playtech, focused on poker software and the downloaded client.
AJ Thompson, B3W's director of strategy, assured IDG that players using its software have not been hacked in 12 years of operating online.
The researchers found that B3W's software updates itself over an insecure HTTP connection. Updated files are stored without digital signatures, and ".exe" files are not verified before installation. They also found issues with how B3W's software stores passwords on a person's computer.
"The industry standard for distributing new poker clients is through content delivery networks," Thompson told the news service. "B3W uses a CDN from Fileburst.
"Using a secure connection with Fileburst is possible, but the digitally-signed security certificate would not match that of the software that is delivered," he said.
However, B3W has found a solution in order to deliver secure updates.
"We have decided to move all client updating to our own data centers over SSL using a signed certificate trusted by the poker client code," Thompson revealed.
"The changes will eliminate three issues outlined by ReVuln, including those around executing an unverified file, a directory transversal issue and a stack-based buffer overflow.
"B3W hasn't decided how to handle passwords that are saved by the poker client. Passwords that are not stored by a password key chain can only be obfuscated, and to create a password for a password would be less convenient for players," Thompson said.
"We do have a build of a client which does not allow the saving of the password, and we are considering the introduction of this to the core client build."
Late last year B3W signed an agreement with NYX Interactive AB to launch NYX OGS games within its casino gaming suite.
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