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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.
POKER PLAYING ADMIRAL DEMOTED (Update)
Vice-Admiral Tim Giardina, the high-ranking US Strategic Command naval officer caught up in a casino counterfeit chip investigation in Iowa (see previous InfoPowa reports) is paying a heavy price for his poker playing penchant; he may have escaped civilian censure, but the parallel investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has seen him suspended from his sensitive nuclear duties and reassigned to the Naval Staff.
On Wednesday Giardina also suffered the indignity of being demoted a rank, according to Navy spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, who said that Giardina will drop in rank to two-star admiral.
The fact that the admiral has not been required to resign, and that civilian charges have not been laid against him, suggests that his involvement in the Iowa affair was probably peripheral at worst, but details on the probe are scarce.
SUNG TAKES WSOP EVENT 52
Steve Sung earned his second World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet when he took down the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Event # 52, besting Phil Galfond and a field of 173 other players.
A prize pool of $4,156,210 yielded Sung a payday of $1,205,324 - the seventh seven figure payout at this years World Series of Poker.
At just 28 years old, Sung has recorded 23 WSOP cashes which include nine final table appearances, two gold bracelets and career earnings of almost $2.7 million.
Final table results for the $25,000 Six-Handed No Limit Holdem Event are:
4.Stephen Chidwick $353,780
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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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