Sweden first with state-owned poker

Swedish betting and gaming operator Svenska Spel  became the first state-owned egaming operator to launch an online poker product at the end of March. It said it expected to gain much of the Swedish online pooker market thanks to its reach and access to the mainstream.

This latest move by the state operator form one of Europe’ largest egaming markets was not viewed favorable by a host   of Scandinavia- focused private operators, which pointed to Svenska Spell’s protectionist activities and view the latest product launch as a contradiction of its stated policy.
      Asked for comment on the criticism Svenska Spel, said: “What is important to us is that we are responsible. When the government gave us permission to do this, it said we needed to be more responsible than ever,”
      Gladnikoff added Sevenka Spel had implemented a raft of measures to prevent problem gambling and addiction. When asked whether this implied private operators did not protect their players as much as they could, she said: “I can’t speak for them, but what we are doing is more responsible than ever and we will implement other measures in the future. ”
      The poker interface was developed by Swedish software company Boss media. Johan Berg, president of Boss media, said: “This system offers a high degree of control and many choices for operators. We are seeing great interest in this solution among the government- owned licensed gaming companies. ”

eGR opens its academy doors :   eGaming Review is pleased to announce the launch of the eGaming Training Academy this year.

      As the egaming industry matures, new departments and disciplines are defined within companies. The Academy will host a series of training programmes providing top-level training and advice from experts in the egaming and general marketing arenas to departmental heads and their colleagues in each discipline: the marketing payment processing, operational risk and technology faculties.
      The eGaming Training Academy will debut with the eGaming Training Academy Marketing Symposium aimed at the marketing faculty. As an internet-based sector, events occur rapidly with the competitive landscape changing on a daily basis. The eGaming Training Academy Marketing Symposium will give its delegates the edge in this varying landscape.

      The two-day workshop is a must-attend event for all marketing professionals in the online gaming sector. The event will provide technical guidance and practical advice through presentations, discussions and group case study work.
      eGaming Review hosted the eGaming Awards in 2005, adding to its reputation for organizing successful events. The second annual Power 50 Summit gathered delegates from many of the most influential companies in the egaming sector, again proving to be a phenomenal success.

For more information contact Kate Holden, event organizer, on +44 (0)20 7269 7588.

Two finalise shirt deals while mansion talks fail

In a month when two egaming operators confirmed high-profile football shirt sponsorship deals. Gibraltar-based sports-betting operator Mansion managed to grab the headlines via a deal which never happened.
      Although Bet and Win and 32Red both announced deals within the past month with AC Milan and Aston Villa respectively, it was mansion’s failure to sign a deal with Manchester united that put egaming sponsorship of football clubs firmly in the sportlight.
      Mansion went public on the failed deal with a statement to the press Association that slammed the world-famous English Premiership club for “double-dealing”, saying it had reneged on a verbally agreed shirt sponsorship deal worth between £ 65m and £ 70m.

      In a statement, David Kinsman, chief executive of Mansion, said the company had terminated discussions with Manchester United after the club informed Mansion’s negotiating team that throughout their discussions another company has been simultaneously agreeing a deal with the club.
      Manchester then signed a deal with US insurance giant American International Group worth £ 56.5m over four years. According to Mansion, the two parties had verbally agreed a four-year deal, with Mansion due to supply most of the payment upfront.

A future co-branded online gaming venture was to be set up and Manchester reportedly was given provisions in the agreement that would enable it to purchase up to 20% of Mansion in the event it floated on the stock exchange.
      However, Oliver Butler, spokesperson for sports consultancy Sport + Market, said: “Negotiations such as these, where a football club is talking to more than one party, are common in the sponsorship field, as shown by Nokia being pipped at the post by Samsung for the Chelsea deal last year. ”
      An industry source, who did becoming Manchester United’s official shirt sponsor and probably knew the club would not go for them, which is why it had to offer over the odds to secure the deal and a 20% share of the business if it floated. ”not wish to be named, said: “it is debatable whether Mansion ever had a chance of