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Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation

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Fintech companies in Kazakhstan are urging greater scrutiny of a proposed law intended to regulate betting transactions in the country.

The submitted legislation, currently in its final reading, would form a monopoly entity, the Unified Accounting System (UAS), the firms said in a joint press release. The UAS would be used to determine market participants, process payments, maintain a single “electronic wallet” and make settlements with clients. A critical concern is that it could charge up to 1.5% in commissions on all market transactions, within a market where regulated transactions exceed KZT1.2tn ($2.6bn) annually.

Irina Davidenko, a spokesperson for Kazakhstan’s payments industry, commented: “The proposed legislation would be a step backwards for Kazakhstan, harming competition in the country’s vital payments sector and signaling to the outside world that necessary business reform is being driven by shadowy interests, rather than what’s right for industries and consumers.”

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The proposal, partly billed as a public health move against problem gambling, resembles a previous initiative, the Betting Accounting Centre (BAC). It was shelved in 2021 after a scandal involving a deputy minister who was dismissed for accepting bribes from BAC lobbyists, according to the press release.

The lack of transparency on the UAS structure and ownership as outlined in the legislation is another aspect of the change that is seen by critics as troubling.

The reintroduction of a UAS model occurred as late as the second reading of the legislation. If passed by parliament, it will become law without the comprehensive impact analysis and scrutiny typical for such significant regulatory change.

Observers argue the new regulation duplicates existing regulatory functions already managed by Kazakh state bodies and was proposed without the cooperation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The central bank has previously developed its own reform proposal that avoids introducing a monopolistic entity.

Opponents further contend that the regulation could cause “significant economic damage”. National Bank of Kazakhstan representatives and the payments industry have sounded alarm bells, but the issues have not been adequately addressed, the press release added.

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The concerned fintech and payment companies want the legislation to be reconsidered. They are advocating for it to be sent back to the lower house of the legislature for a full regulatory impact analysis and thorough examination to ensure that it does not adversely affect industry or the economy.

Ilya Efimenko, commercial director of the payment organisation PayDala, said: “I appeal to the Senators, who need to know the true purpose of why the UAS has made a comeback in the bill.

“This is a re-emergence of the ‘Betting Accounting Center’ (BAC), a strikingly similar entity that was withdrawn before, and behind which, as the deputy from the Amanat party Elnur Beisenbayev said, are the powerful forces of ‘Old Kazakhstan.’

“Before our eyes, a monopolist, a private operator, is being created. The emergence of monopolies such as the UAS threatens the principles of a Fair Kazakhstan. Now everything is being done to break the financial system of Kazakhstan, recognized by experts as one of the best in Central Asia.”

The post Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Nazara acquires 100% Ownership of Paper Boat Apps via additional INR 300 Crores investment; to Drive Global Expansion of Kiddopia

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Nazara to bring core gaming IP in-house, to consider merging Paper Boat Apps into the company

Nazara Technologies Limited (BSE: Nazara), today announced the acquisition of additional 48.42% stake in Paper Boat Apps Pvt. Ltd (PBA) from its promoters Anupam and Anshu Dhanuka for a sum of INR 300 crores to be paid in cash in tranches to take its ownership in PBA to 100%.

Paper Boat Apps is the developer and publisher of popular children’s digital gamified learning app ‘Kiddopia’ which is the #3 grossing app for children between 2-8 years of age in the United States of America.

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Nazara will also consider merging Paper Boat Apps into the company at the appropriate time to bring home one of the world’s most popular kids gamified learning IP ‘Kiddopia’. This step will allow Nazara to benefit from healthy cash flows that can be reinvested for organic as well as inorganic growth.

Since Nazara’s acquisition in 2019 of a 50.91% stake in Paper Boat Apps, Kiddopia has scaled up significantly and become a much-loved franchise among children globally.

Paper Boat Apps posted a consolidated revenue of INR 219.4 Crores and an EBITDA of INR 56.1 Crores in FY24, with a net cash balance of INR 155.74 Crores as of March 2024.

Nazara aims to execute a multi-pronged strategy to drive growth and expansion of the Kiddopia franchise through IP licensing and integration, global market expansion, deeper synergies within its network, and additional revenue streams including merchandising, video, and advertising revenues, in addition to the current model of subscription revenues.

Nitish Mittersain, CEO and Joint Managing Director of Nazara Technologies, said, “At Nazara, we believe an IP such as Kiddopia has immense potential that can be unlocked through several new initiatives and acquiring full ownership underscores our commitment to intensifying our efforts in the gamified learning sector.”

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He added, “Nazara is quickly becoming the go-to platform for entrepreneurs in the gaming, sports, and entertainment sectors globally to access opportunities to scale up and generate liquidity for themselves along the way, as exemplified by this transaction.”

Anupam Dhanuka, Promoter of Paper Boat Apps, remarked, “It has been an incredible journey developing Kiddopia into a beloved app for children and parents worldwide. Following the majority acquisition by Nazara, Kiddopia has scaled tremendously, and we are pleased to see it find a permanent home within Nazara. We believe that Kiddopia has significant potential for future growth, and Nazara is well-positioned to elevate it to the next level. We wish Nazara and the entire Kiddopia team the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

 

The post Nazara acquires 100% Ownership of Paper Boat Apps via additional INR 300 Crores investment; to Drive Global Expansion of Kiddopia appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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BGMI MASTERS SERIES SEASON 3 SET TO LAUNCH WITH EXCITING NEW INITIATIVES

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The BGMI Masters Series (BGMS), India’s premier esports tournament, is back with its highly anticipated third season. Season 3 will begin on Friday, July 19 at 7:00 PM and will run until August 11 on the Star Sports Network. This season promises to be the most thrilling yet, with several innovative features for an esports experience like never before.

Broadcast Schedule:

  • Monday to Saturday: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • League week Sundays; Playoff & Finals: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Channel Mix:

Fans can catch all the action on Star Sports 2 (HD & SD) in English and Star Sports First in Hindi. Fans will also have the option to switch to Tamil & Hindi commentary on SS2 using the blue button.

Digital Streaming:

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The entire BGMI Masters Series will also be streamed on Star Sports & Nodwin Gaming’s YouTube, making it accessible to a broader audience.

Exciting New Features for Season 3:

  1. Powerplay:
    • Returning from Season 2 to make the game action-packed from the get-go, this feature rewards double the points to squads for each finish they achieve in the first circle of each match.
  2. Impact Player:
    • For the first time, , the in-game leader will conduct a random draw to select the Impact Player. This player will earn double points for each finish.
  3. Bounty:
    • Also debuting this season, the top 4 teams based on the standings of the league week’s first match will carry a bounty. In subsequent matches, the top 4 teams overall will carry a bounty, with ten bounty points awarded for wiping out an entire squad.

Impact and Reach:

Over the first two seasons, BGMS has garnered an impressive reach of over 100 million across linear and digital platforms. As the biggest esports IP in the country, BGMS continues to play a pivotal role in bringing esports into the mainstream.

Fan Engagement Initiative: Play with the Masters:

BGMI fans now have the unique opportunity to play the game directly with top BGMI gamers featured in BGMS everyday through the ‘Play with the Masters’ initiative. This exciting feature, introduced by Star Sports and Nodwin Gaming, encourages viewers to follow Star Sports’ & Nodwin Gaming’s social handles and tune into the BGMS broadcast for updates on how to participate.

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The post BGMI MASTERS SERIES SEASON 3 SET TO LAUNCH WITH EXCITING NEW INITIATIVES appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Skyesports Championship 2024 – Counter-Strike 2 to take place at Taj Lands End Mumbai, 12 teams to battle it out for $300,000 prize pool

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Skyesports, a premier global IP and community builder for gaming and esports, has unveiled the venue for the anticipated Skyesports Championship 2024, a $300,000 Counter-Strike 2 esports tournament. The event, featuring 12 teams, is set to happen at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai, India from July 23 to 28.

Commenting on the tournament, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, said, “We are thrilled to welcome international teams to India for the $300,000 Skyesports Championship. This event, at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai, is among the most significant ones of our 2024 Counter-Strike esports roadmap. As we position Skyesports’ IPs for new audiences, this tournament is a crucial milestone for our long-term plans in the game. Our vision of bringing international teams to India to participate in our IPs is coming true, and we are setting a platform to establish India as a global hub for esports. This is a pivotal moment in putting India on the global esports map.”

The Skyesports Championship will happen across two stages: the Group Stage and the Playoffs. The Group Stage will take place from July 23 to 25 with the 12 teams split into two groups of six teams each. Each group will compete in a single round-robin format with the top three teams advancing to the Playoffs. The group stage will adopt a “semi-LAN” format where the teams will be competing from remotely set-up bootcamps at the Taj Lands End.

The Skyesports Championship 2024 Playoffs will move to the main stage at the Taj Lands End, where the six teams will battle it out in a single-elimination bracket for the title of champions on July 27 and 28. Additionally, there will be a lot of surprises set for fans in the Skyesports Championship 2024.

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The complete list of teams is as follows:

● Aurora Gaming
● AMKAL Esports
● BetBoom Team
● Bleed Esports
● DMS
● ENCE
● Eternal Fire
● Parivision
● Revenant Esports
● The MongolZ
● 3DMAX
● True Rippers Esports

Aurora Esports, the Serbian champions of the previous international Skyesports events—the $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024 and the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024 in Pune, India—are once again traveling to the country, aiming for the throne. Joining them are Turkey’s Eternal Fire, Mongolia’s The Mongolz, and formidable European teams such as ENCE, Bleed Esports, and Revenant Esports.

Additionally, open qualifiers for Europe and India were held, granting two direct slots for the Skyesports Championship 2024 Main Event. True Rippers will be representing India, while 3DMAX have secured the European qualification for the event.

Fans can catch all the action live on the Skyesports YouTube and Twitch channels. The tournament will be broadcasted in several languages, including English, Hindi, Russian, Portugal, and Mongolian – a testament to the global nature of the Skyesports Championship IP.

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The Skyesports Championship is India’s longest-running homegrown esports IP. The tournament was introduced in 2018 as a regional competition for South India. Since then, it has grown manifolds year-over-year to become one of the most prominent esports events in the 2024 calendar.

The post Skyesports Championship 2024 – Counter-Strike 2 to take place at Taj Lands End Mumbai, 12 teams to battle it out for $300,000 prize pool appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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