With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Caribbean National Weekly sat down with breast cancer survivor, Jamaican Anna Smith, to discuss her journey with the disease. She spoke candidly about her decisions, and how she feels now that it is all behind her. Tanya N. RagbeerAt 50 years old, cancer survivor Anna Smith discovered that something was wrong during a breast examination self-test. She found a lump in one of her breasts and was quick to act. “Well, I’d better go to the doctor and find out what it is,” she thought.This was March, 2015. However, it wasn’t until May of that year that she was officially diagnosed.“I went to the doctor and got all my tests done, got my mammogram done. The office that I went to, Pembroke Pink, has a doctor on staff and actually tells you immediately (whether or not there is anything positive),” said Smith.The staff are also quick to respond, so when I did the mammogram, the lady looked at me and said, ‘let me get the doctor’.”Positive diagnosis When the doctor arrived, he was also forthcoming. “It looks positive,” he told her and immediately recommended additional testing. Smith was sent for a biopsy and ultrasound, which produced positive results though it did not appear to have spread to her other breast, or organs.Anna’s family (husband Patrick, daughter Rachel, and son Ryan) are very supportive of her fight against cancer.Smith, a practical person, told her husband. “It’s positive, I have to make an appointment with a surgical oncologist so I’ll do that today, but right now, I’m going to work.”Several biopsiesThe surgical oncologist scheduled several biopsies: a standard biopsy, an MRI biopsy, and one where “they do the biopsy while you are sitting on a chair, you can actually see your results on a screen in front of you,” she said. Each came back positive.Following conclusive results on the breast, the doctor recommended checking the other, “just to make sure.” So, Smith was sent back to do additional biopsies on the other breast.“I have always had fibrocystic breasts,” Smith proclaimed.However, the results were negative. Despite the fact, the doctor felt there was a high percentage that something could develop in the cancer-free breast.“We would have to make a decision,” Smith was told “either we wait and see if anything develops in the other one, or you take care of them both at the same time.”No hesitationWithout hesitation, Smith told her doctor, “There is no decision to make. Whatever has to be done, let’s go ahead and do it.”Double mastectomyShe endured a double mastectomy. “The way I look at it is, that you can’t be afraid. Yes, you’re nervous and you don’t know what stage you’re at, you don’t know how far it’s gone… when you first find out, you don’t know all of these things,” said the cancer survivor.When the doctor read her the results, she immediately told him, “I don’t want to take out the lump, I just want to take it off.” And when he asked her about the other one, she responded, “I’ll just take that off too.”Not wanting to be consumed by the experience, Smith continued working “like nothing happened” until she received the final results.“If I was to sit at home and focus on it or discuss it a lot before I found out how bad it was, I think I would have been more frightened, but I think that because I kept myself busy, I didn’t focus too much on it.Reconstruction Anna Smith went through six surgeries. “It would have been probably four, but I had a mishap with one of them so I had to take it out and start all over again,” she explained.The surgeries took a toll on her body.“When you think of the breast, you don’t realize how many muscles are there that you use every day to get up, down, move around. It is very difficult.”Smith faced two options:Take fat from the stomach to build the breasts, which takes an estimated 7-12 hours with one or two surgeries. The results are “more natural” though the healing is longer (six to eight weeks) each.Implants (Anna’s choice); four to six surgeries, each with a recovery time of three weeks. This one feels “less natural,” according to Smith.“I feel fine. When I look at them, they don’t look real to me, but they don’t look bad. Sometimes they are a little uncomfortable. Every day gets a little easier.”“Honestly, if I had to do it again,” added cancer survivor Smith, “I don’t think I would put them on. I would just go without.”
Brazilian side Chapecoense have miraculously survived relegation almost one year after 19 playing squad members lost their lives to a plane crash in Colombia.The Southern Brazilian side defeated Vitoria 2-1 at home on Thursday night to stay up in the championship with three set of matches left to play. Related During the game, fans chanted “Vamos, vamos Chape” (Let’s go Chape) at 71 minutes as they have been doing in the other games since the crash and it is in reference to the total number of victims from the crash.Brazilian football witnessed one of its darkest days on November 29, 2016 after a plane conveying the team to the Copa Sudamericana final crashed into a hillside near Medellin, killing 71 people including majority of Chape’s board and coaching staff and several journalists.Speaking on the epic achievement, De Melo, who left the club in 2015 before returning as one of the new signings, said: “We promised to keep the team in Serie A, which is where our warriors left us.”“We had a difficult year and their memory made us fight until the very end, so Chape remains in the topflight division for the fifth year in a row.“That is no small thing for a club of our financial capabilities, and a city from the countryside that endured so much.” he concluded.It was really brave of Chapecoense to turn down the immunity from relegation offered due to the team’s totally new squad. Fans had started regretting that decision until a run of victories in the last month eased the tension.
Submit Share Share Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 Related Articles Swedish casino operator Casino Cosmopol has selected Intelligent Gaming Systems (IGS), a Playtech company, as its System Partner to deliver a complete casino management suite. The deal includes slots, tables, poker, visitor registration, cash desk and business intelligence capabilities.Casino Cosmopol is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AB Svenska Spel that operates four international casinos in Sweden. Together the casinos employ more than 1,300 people and enjoyed more than one million visits in 2016. As with all Svenska Spel entities, the profits from Casino Cosmopol go directly to the government treasury and are distributed to a range of good causes.Per Jaldung, CEO of Casino Cosmopol, commented: “As a public-sector organisation, Casino Cosmopol applies the Public Procurement Act and our major investments are subject to a competitive procurement process. We specified detailed requirements for a system to connect our gaming, business and compliance operations, with a focus on AML and GDPR.“Intelligent Gaming Systems was the supplier that met our requirements best and was consequently awarded the contract. Its understanding of the challenges that are presented by AML and GDPR with respect to casino operation has made us feel very confident that they are the right match for Casino Cosmopol.” Casino Cosmopol and IGS have entered into a framework agreement and the system will be implemented in several phases across 2018 and 2019.Martin Sykes, Managing Director, IGS, added: “This success underlines our position as the leading systems supplier to the European casino industry. Casino Cosmopol is one of the world’s most responsible gaming operators and is at the leading edge of initiatives such as AML and GDPR. The project includes a number of innovative developments which will underpin our position as the world leaders in AML and responsible gaming.”
Share Submit StumbleUpon Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Share Related Articles Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 John O’Reilly – Rank Group PlcRank Group Plc has today confirmed that it has moved to acquire Spanish online bingo operator YoBingo.es for an ‘initial consideration’ of €21 million cash.The acquisition sees Rank ‘deepen its commitment’ to the Spanish online gambling market, in which it currently operates its EnRacha online casino and games brand.Operated by QSB Gaming, YoBingo maintains a ‘top two presence’ within the Spanish online bingo sector, holding 30% market share. For its 2017 corporate performance, the asset generated €10 million revenues and an EBIT of €2.5 million.Updating investors, Rank governance details that it has acquired all QSB Gaming properties outright, undertaking its initial €21 million transactions.Furthermore, the London listed gambling group has added a number of ‘future performance’ related earn-outs the transaction, increasing YoBingo’s deal valuation to €52 million cash.Confirming the acquisition, new Rank Group Plc Chief Executive John O’Reilly, commented:“The acquisition of the YoBingo Group expands Rank’s digital footprint in Spain. Spain is an exciting high-growth regulated market which we believe offers strong multi-channel potential. The YoBingo Group is a well-established operation that we intend to further develop and to cross-sell into our established Spanish retail operations.” Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020
Share StumbleUpon Share Betting on Sports Week will present no fewer than 250 thought leaders, innovators and decision makers gathered from the sports betting, esports, casino, affiliates, media and sports sectors. The speakers will all play an integral role in making this year’s Betting on Sports conference the biggest and best on record, with the event taking place from 18-21 September at London’s famous Olympia.Currently, there is no other event that comes close to the quality and quantity of speakers that have been assembled for Betting on Sports. The line-up includes key industry figures like Jason Robins, CEO, DraftKings; Anthony Werkman, CEO, Betway; Jesper Karrbrink, CEO, Mr Green; Paris Smith, CEO, Pinnacle; Richard Flint, CEO, Sky Bet; Per Widerstrom, CEO, Fortuna Group; Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming, Hard Rock International; George Daskalakis, Founder & CEO, Stoiximan & Betano; Constantinos Antonopoulos, Vice Chairman, Intralot; Mark Blandford, Founder, Sportingbet; Fabio Schiavolin, CEO, Snaitech; Matthew Porter, CEO, Professional Darts Corporation; Bill Mummery, Executive Director, SBOBet; Len Brown, Chief Legal Officer, PGA Tour; Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Matt Scarrott, Director of Sportsbook, BetVictor.Attendees can look forward to a mouth watering selection of tracks dedicated to the broadest range of hot topics shaping the business spread across more than 90 content sessions over three days. They will include input from operators; suppliers; service providers; affiliates and media interests, payment specialists, compliance, law and regulatory experts; and sports clubs and organisations.Allied to that is a host of unrivalled networking opportunities at Millbank Tower and the iconic Natural History Museum, an exhibition comprising 140 exhibitors and SBC’s newly added Sports Betting Hall of Fame Awards.Paris Smith of Pinnacle reflected on the success of BOS 2017 by saying: “The best week spent out of the office this year, and the most impactful networking opportunity in the industry.”Samuel Barrett, Gaming Director at Trustly, commented: “Betting on Sports is the best platform within the sports betting industry to share insight and industry experience. I am looking forward to sharing the stage with some of my friends in the industry and networking with some of the biggest operators in gaming.” Betradar’s David Lampitt welcomed the opportunity to be part of this year’s conference by adding: “Betting on Sports is now well known for raising and discussing key issues and developments in and around the sports betting ecosystem at the highest level. We are honoured that BOS has called on Betradar and our experts to help bring expertise to these debates and discussions that sit right at the heart of the industry’s present and future.”For enquiries regarding tickets, sponsorship or exhibition opportunities, please contact us on [email protected] are available at the excellent 25% Early Bird Discount rate HERE – but it runs out today Friday 3rd of August. Submit
Busy Blueclaw bags series of betting account wins August 12, 2019 StumbleUpon UKGC shows no uplift in illegal gambling complaints May 19, 2020 Related Articles Share Submit UKGC warns of white label conduct following FSB failings May 6, 2020 The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined independent bookmaker Mark Jarvis £94,000 for failing to interact with a customer that displayed problem-gambling traits.Reporting over a period of 19-months, the UKGC details that Leicester highstreet bookmaker Mark Jarvis failed to follow adequate social responsibility procedures, relating to a customer who spent £34,000 on its B2 gaming machines.In its report, the UKGC further details that £11,250 of the funds had been stolen from the customer’s employer.Further to the penalty, the UKGC has demanded that Mark Jarvis overhaul its betting shop responsibility procedures, as its staff had failed to follow ‘customer interaction codes’, which would have alerted them the early signs of problem gambling.Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “This case is a clear example of why gambling operators must have and implement effective social responsibility policies and procedures. All operators, regardless of size, need to ensure they really know their customers”. Share
Related Articles Share Submit Gaming and entertainment solutions provider, 888 Holdings, has named Andrew Anthony as its new Responsible Gaming Director, who has been tasked with aiding the operator’s player protection efforts.Anthony, who has worked for the operator for 15 years, will oversee 888’s responsible gaming division, with the aim to enhance player protection through the improvement of responsible gaming operations, systems and processes. In his new role, Anthony will report to Yaniv Schwartz, SVP Customer Risk Management, who praised the new appointment: “During the course of his career at 888, Andrew has gained numerous insights into the behaviour of the Company’s player base. “In addition to this, he brings a wealth of quantitative experience and methodology to his new role heading up our Responsible Gaming team.“888 strives to ensure that those for whom our games are not intended will not be drawn into the gaming environment and that those customers who develop a gambling problem are quickly identified and helped. “I am looking forward to the successful delivery of the responsible gaming initiatives we have planned and continuing to drive Responsible Gaming culture throughout the organisation.”888’s dedicated responsible gaming team currently work alongside the operator’s in-house player behaviour monitoring tool, Observer, which is integral to its overall strategy. The system in place analyses different player behaviours and raises the alarm to unusual activity. Anthony, who has previously held a number of positions at 888, added: “I am thrilled to take on this role which is at the centre of how 888 operates. In particular, I am looking forward to working together with my industry peers and stakeholders so we can share ideas and promote best practice initiatives.” StumbleUpon 888 appoints VC expert Limor Ganot as a corporate advisor July 20, 2020 Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 888 calls for Betgenius sportsbook makeover June 25, 2020 Share
Share Related Articles StumbleUpon EU research agency demands urgent action on loot box consumer safeguards July 29, 2020 Submit Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Paddy Power has been threatened with legal action for failing to consult Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for using his likeness to support a dig at the current Brexit situation.The 46-year-old Norwegian, who has enjoyed such success at Old Trafford since replacing Jose Mourinho in December, reportedly reacted by saying that Paddy Power will have “big problems” and will be hearing from his lawyer.The advert in question featured an image of Solskjaer clapping alongside the following Brexit-themed message: “Theresa, time to try the Norwegian model?” The sub text then read “Ole to be given the job full time – 1/16”.It follows quickly after the firm launched the controversial ‘Loyalty is Dead’ campaign featuring Rhodri Giggs – the brother of Manchester United legend Ryan. The advert, which pokes fun at the highly publicised fall out between the two siblings, was released to promote Paddy Power’s Rewards Club – billed as an ‘anti-loyalty scheme’.This issue of loyalty will be debated at next week’s Betting on Football conference in a session titled ‘Loyal subjects – how can a brand keep its players onside?’Josh Linforth (Business Development Director at Betgenius), Dan Towse, (Head of Brand at Marathonbet), John Gordon (CEO & Co-Founder at Incentive Games) and Sam Depoortere (Head of Marketing at Nederlandse Loterij) will be discussing how bookmakers can generate brand loyalty when customers are so price sensitive. For more information about this year’s Betting on Football, click HERE.
HRI boosts coverage of Irish racing with RTÉ agreement May 28, 2020 Submit Irish bookmakers demand clarity on reopening orders June 17, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Paddy Power to reopen English & Irish betting shops in Royal Ascot week June 10, 2020 Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has confirmed that race meetings will go ahead, but will be ‘held in strict adherence to Government guidelines regarding COVID-19’. The decision, which is reported to be motivated by employment and incomes for those across the sector, will see all fixtures staged without spectators. Nicky Hartery, Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “These are unprecedented and sombre times and we are seeking the best ways to support the racing community and industry throughout what lies ahead. “Health and welfare of employees and industry participants is the prime consideration and within that context, we have introduced protocols which can allow racing to continue and thousands of families who rely on the sector to maintain a livelihood. “This will be kept under review on a daily basis and we are also planning measures for reprogramming fixtures as it becomes required. Changes to the programme will be separately announced.“We have consulted with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine throughout this process and we will continue to strictly adhere to the Government and HSE advice. We have made it clear at all times that our medical facilities and personnel will be available for the Government to use if necessary – that will take precedence above any other consideration.”Following a blanket restriction on outdoor gatherings over 500 people in Ireland, five race meetings have taken place behind closed doors. Access has been limited to key personnel such as stable staff, jockeys and trainers, while strict protocols around social distancing and sanitisation have also been rolled out.The Board of HRI have since reviewed the five meetings that have taken place since Friday, and recommended some extra measures:There will be no evening meetings and no double meetings – this will reduce the draw on medical resources, a principal concern for larger racing jurisdictions with multiple meetings every dayA maximum of one meeting per day to reduce impact on resourcesJockeys’ weights to increase by 2lb from Friday, on the Flat and in National Hunt – all racecourse saunas are closedNo owners permitted to attend race meetingsNo overseas runners will be permitted for the time being in Irish racesA maximum of 30-minute intervals between races to assist social distancing The previously approved protocols will continue and are set out in the attached AppendixBrian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, added: “This is clearly a rapidly changing situation and Horse Racing Ireland will continue to liaise with the relevant Government Departments and with our health advisors.“The executive sub-committee of Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board is meeting daily to assess the situation, and the Board of Horse Racing Ireland will continue to convene as required.“Racecourses by their nature offer opportunities for social distancing that few other workplaces can. Nothing in Irish life is as it was a week ago, and in the same way, these are not race fixtures as we previously knew them, they are big open-air sites with very few people present and nobody on-site if they are not involved: once a jockey or trainer has finished their business for the afternoon, they are required to leave. “Furthermore, we have carried out risk assessments according to each individual racecourse facility, and some fixtures may be subject to greater restrictions and limitations to ensure social distancing is easily achievable and maintained.“The Board paid tribute to the flexibility shown by stable staff, jockeys, trainers, owners and employees of the IHRB, HRI, the media and broadcasters. Strict measures were imposed on them almost immediately last Friday but their actions, care and vigilance have ensured that social distancing is being observed and racecourses continue to be a safe working environment.”
The subject of data in esports and the potential of properly ‘harnessing’ is one which comes up again and again. From usage by teams, to media, to betting companies and beyond the sourcing of accurate, reliable and live data is in increasingly high demand. One company offering this service is Stockholm based Abios. Oskar Fröberg, AbiosOskar Fröberg is the CEO of Abios, formerly the consumer facing Abios Gaming, and is one of the speakers at our upcoming ESI Super Forum on March 22nd. Abios will be hosting an esports data focused roundtable for attendees on the day. We checked in with him ahead of time to see what we should expect from it. ESI: Abios has grown considerably in the past twelve months. Which roles have you been hiring in, and how has the transition been moving out of the ‘start-up phase’? Oskar: Our journey and growth the past twelve months is beyond what we could have imagined a couple of years ago. As you mentioned our team has needed to expand quickly in order to handle the interest in our products and to ensure our continued enhancement and development of our future offerings.Abios is basically made up of three departments: editors, sales and development. In the past 12 months we have been expanding all three departments but mainly expanding development and sales. Going forward we will continue to recruit more to the sales and developer team with an emphasis on finding the right people who fit into our team and culture rather than just recruiting for the sake of expanding.“Clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct”I am not sure if I would consider Abios as having left the start-up phase yet as the entrepreneurial spirit still characterises us and our work climate. We are a very close team who are all working towards the goal of being the best and largest in esports data. The last 24 months have really proven that there is a high demand for our products which has been an amazing journey and an exciting transition. The perhaps most substantial difference between us and a typical company in the start-up phase is that we are financially stable and we are very excited to see what we can achieve this year!ESI: What can attendees of the ESI Super Forum expect from your data focused round table? Oskar: First of all I would like to say that we are very excited for the round table discussion focused on esports data. We look forward to speaking and it is always great to get the chance to share knowledge about something in a space where many still have a lot to learn.“Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry”Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry. We will discuss some of the possibilities and challenges there are with esports data (and ultimately esports odds) as of right now and we will of course open up for discussion and are happy to answer any questions.Some of the points that will be discussed include:– Data availability differs tremendously from game to game.– The challenges of sourcing accurate esports data from tournament providers.– The esports ecosystem.– The live data “problem”.ESI: You package up data differently dependent on the client’s needs, and you work with teams such as Cloud9. In what way do you work with the teams themselves, we assume they’re a lot more demanding and want more intricate detail than most…Oskar: The API is sold in different packages containing very different level of detail in order to cater to all needs and clients of all sizes. The clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct.The way we work with teams differs from team to team. Some teams simply want to have a match ticker with upcoming matches, live streams and tournament information on their team website. Others want to analyse their own and their opponents gameplay by diving deep into our Play-by-Play data.ESI: Are you seeing an increase in media focused clientele, do you expect (or hope for) more data driven content on a wider scale going forward? Oskar: The main clientele as of right now is betting related companies as I think they are both able to make money and have a clear understanding of how they intend to generate revenues.We do however certainly hope for a larger increase from the media side and I believe that it will come when the industry has matured further. I know that the media side is huge in football so why should it not be the same for esports in a couple of years?ESI: Stories such as Betway partnering across a multitude of ESL events, and Redeye becoming an ambassador for Luckbox – we can assume these are music to Abios ears. How key is esports betting to your business, and what are the major challenges for it in 2018? Oskar: Esports betting is absolutely key for us as of right now as it is the betting related companies which are our primary source of revenue. Different partnerships across the scene along with large companies entering is absolutely great because it creates a stronger legitimacy around esports. As the landscape grows and becomes more stable we expect that all the companies who have been able to create a strong foundation will prosper. Abios has been around for five years now and I still think that we have only seen the beginning of what esports holds for us.“Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go”If you are interested in some of the many challenges in esports such as providing relevant and live odds then we invite you to come by our round table discussion on the 22nd of March at the ESI Super Forum in connection with Betting on Football.ESI: You launched in 2015, and later shifted away from a consumer focus to a primarily B2B model. With bookmakers one target area, what are your views on the progress of esports betting offerings in the past year?Oskar: We actually officially incorporated and thus founded the company in 2013 on the 15th of March. A couple of months later (August 2013) we released the first version of our B2C website which was a calendar and TV-guide for esports. Around two and a half years ago we pivoted to becoming a world leading B2B provider of esports data and live scores.Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go. The challenges of esports compared to regular sports are many seeing as the games are first of all digital but they also change over time with new updates and patches being deployed. The relevance of old data in esports is far below that of football for example. Challenges like these are among what we at Abios are hard at work with.