Jamaica Diaspora Board members elected

first_imgThe Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board election processes for the West/Mid-West, Southern and Northeast regions are now complete.Jamaicans and those of Jamaican descent living in these regions were invited to participate in this important process by reviewing candidate bios and casting votes for their chosen candidate.The candidate who secures the majority of votes is declared the duly elected Diaspora Advisory Board Representative. The candidate with the second most votes is declared the Alternate Advisory Board Member.The persons elected by majority vote are as follows:Diaspora Advisory Board Member Northeast Akelia Lawrence-Maitland South Wayne C. Golding, Sr., Esq. West and Mid-West Dr. Rupert FrancisThe Alternate Diaspora Advisory Board Members are Ronald Ingleton, Oliver Falloon-Reid and Marie Kellier respectively.The Diaspora Advisory Board arose out of the first Biennial Diaspora Conference held in Kingston, Jamaica in 2004. The Advisory Board represents the interests of Jamaica Diaspora populated communities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.last_img read more

Family of slain American model requests an independent autopsy

first_imgThe family of a slain American model from Queens, New York, say they will be seeking an independent autopsy once her body is returned to the U.S from Jamaica.Peggy Brunner, the aunt of Desiree Gibbon who was found dead in a lonely deserted off beaten path surrounded by bushes in Anchovy, a small northwestern Jamaican town.Throat slashedReports indicate her throat was slashed and her wrists bruised. Her body was found fully clothed but without her phone and a sandal on Nov. 26thby locals. On Tuesday her parents, Andrea and Gairy Gibbon, viewed their daughter’s dead body for the first time at Doyley’s Funeral Home in Westmoreland Parish, according to the NY Daily News and Brunner’s Go Fund Me Post.Brunner said her niece’s body may not be handed over and returned to the US this week, but she has started making funeral arrangements “…we are seeking an independent autopsy when she gets home.”Sought work in JamaicaThe 26-year-old aspiring model had reportedly traveled to Jamaica on Oct. 20, looking for work that she hoped would pay for film school in Europe and was staying at a hotel owned by her grandmother in Jamaica.Go Fund Me AccountThe family has so far raised over US$33,000 of their $40,000 Go Fund Me  goal for funeral expenses and to bring the body back to the U.S. Some 667 people donated the money in just 7 days.Police in Jamaica have so far made no arrests in the case. The U.S. State Department warns U.S. citizens that “violent crime is a serious problem throughout Jamaica, particularly in Kingston and Montego Bay.”The State Department especially warns travelers to beware of Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights, Clavers Street and Hart Street in Montego Bay.(News Americas Now)last_img read more

T&T government defends gas deal with Venezuela

first_imgThe Trinidad and Tobago government has brushed aside criticisms relating to the new gas agreement it signed with Venezuela over the weekend even as the opposition United National Congress (UNC) called for the terms regarding the price of gas under the accord to be made public.Opposition concerned “We in the Opposition were always concerned with this agreement given the economic hardship being experienced by the Venezuelan government as well as this government’s track-record of incompetence,” said UNC chairman, David Lee.Lee said the party’s concerns have been raised by the failure by Caracas to meet the payments for goods sent to the South American country in recent months.“It is therefore unacceptable and irresponsible that over one year since these questions were first posed and over two years since goods were first shipped to Venezuela manufacturers have not been adequately compensated,” he said.Months of negotiation But Energy Minister, Franklin Khan, told reporters the gas agreement was reached after “months of negotiation, serious intervention, serious sharing of information and serious sharing of economic models, to come up with an appropriate gas price.It is no cheap gas. It is competitively priced gas and is obviously no secret Dragon deal,” Khan said, adding that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, larger than Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States and has the fifth largest gas reserves in the world, which this country can benefit from.“It’s a win-win situation, especially since we in Trinidad face challenges on the supply side,” he said, noting that Trinidad and Tobago has world-class gas infrastructure through which Venezuela can monetize its gas.Last Saturday, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed the agreement allowing for the importation of natural gas from Caracas.The terms of the agreement is between the National Gas Company (NGC), the Venezuelan NGC, Shell and the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (Petroleum of Venezuela).last_img read more

VP Records Celebrates 40 Years With ‘Down in Jamaica’

first_imgQUEENS, New York – Down in Jamaica — 40 Years of VP Records, a hit-laden box set celebrating the Queens, New York company’s latest milestone, will be released on October 25.The set contains 94 songs by 101 artists who helped make VP Records, arguably, the leading independent company of its kind in the United States. Several of those songs, including Who Am I and No Letting Go, were sizable pop hits that made VP a solid player in mainstream markets.“Who Am I” by Beenie Man reached number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1998. Released in 2003, No Letting Go by singer Wayne Wonder peaked at number 11 on that table.The songs on ‘Down in Jamaica’ were compiled by Carter Van Pelt, VP’s Director of Catalog Development. Its four-CD set, four seven-inch vinyl records and four 12-inch vinyl records, are accompanied by a 24-page biography about the company.“The set doesn’t focus on a particular genre, but covers the types of music that were current in every era, whether it was reggae, dub, dancehall, or hybrid styles or reggae revival, and of course a nod to soca,” Van Pelt explained.Those genres include lovers rock which is represented by songs like Beres Hammond’s Rockaway, Just One of Those Days (Sizzla) and She’s Royal by Tarrus Riley; roots-reggae by Garnet Silk (Lord Watch Over our Shoulder), Down by The River (Morgan Heritage) and Destiny (Buju Banton); dancehall from Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks and Coco Tea (Serious Times), Stop Loving You (Freddie McGregor), Footprints (TOK) and Mavado (On The Rock); George Nooks’ gospel smash, God is Standing By; and soca in the form of Bunji Garlin’s Big Bad Soca.VP Records was founded in 1979 by the husband-and-wife of Vincent and Pat Chin in 1979. Previously, they operated the successful Randy’s record label and recording studio in their native Jamaica, working with elite artistes such as The Skatalites, The Wailers, Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown.VP evolved from distributing the songs and albums of artists and producers through licensing deals to signing exclusive contracts with them. Those arrangements flourished during the 1990s when the company worked with top Jamaican production houses like Penthouse, Shocking Vibes and Main Street.Vincent Chin died in 2003, but VP Records continues to thrive with main outlets in Queens and Miramar, Florida.last_img read more

Creative Minds Talks: Artist, Kehinde Wiley & Producer, Swizz Beatz in…

first_imgMIAMI, Florida – On December 2, Creative Minds Talks will bring world-famous artist Kehinde Wiley and highly-acclaimed, industry titan Kasseem Dean (a.k.a Swizz Beatz), to Miami’s New World Center during Miami Art Week for a dynamic discussion about the state of activism, philanthropy and how to make it in today’s world as a creative.Known for juxtaposing power pairs on grand stages, Creative Minds Talks is poised to offer a captivating experience for its most iconic installment yet.Kehinde Wiley – considered to be one of the most eloquent artists of this era – is joining us for his first public conversation after the historic unveiling of his “Rumors of War” sculpture, currently turning heads in Times Square.  Internationally lauded for his official portrait of President Barack Obama, Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s tradition of portraiture. Earlier this year, Wiley launched his new artist in residence program, Black Rock Senegal, with Dean’s active involvement on the committee selecting the first year of artists. Now, the two friends reunite for an intimate and engaging conversation, creating a landmark moment in Art Basel history.“Black Rock is about West Africa and it is about the world.  The West African story is all of our stories: it is about aspiration, community, and tradition,” says Kehinde Wiley. “I founded Black Rock because I wanted to invite unique thinkers from across the world to join me in Dakar and become a part of this creative evolution. Art, in any form, is about dialogue. I am proud that Black Rock is doing the work to inform a new global discourse about what Africa means today.”Kasseem Dean is an American hip-hop recording artist, DJ, record producer, art collector and entrepreneur whose name reigns in the cultural world at large. Through The Dean Collection, Dean and his wife Alicia Keys, have contributed to and been inspired by a far-reaching community of global contemporary artists. Bringing his insight as a New York visionary to the Magic City, guests who purchase one of Creative Minds Talks limited-quantity tickets can look forward to a compelling conversation between creatives, red carpet entry, champagne reception and a VIP rooftop afterparty.“Creatives hold the keys to the culture. We are a community constantly inspiring and challenging each other to do more,” says Swizz Beatz. “Kehinde is an artist that I have always admired who pushes beyond the limit of what is possible. It is my pleasure to be on stage with him and my hope is that our conversation will inspire the next generation of creatives.”last_img read more

Bermuda to get First Black and First Female Governor

first_img“I am conscious that this announcement is being made in challenging times; as Bermuda looks to the future, I will work in earnest with the elected government, through the exercise of my duties, to support and promote the island’s strengths and resilience,” she said, adding that “my family and I are looking forward to contributing fully to life in Bermuda as we get to know the people and culture.” Government House said Rankin, a Scotsman who took up the Bermuda post in December 2016, will transfer to another appointment in the UK’s Diplomatic Service. Lalgie has worked in the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, including as the deputy director for information economy and cybersecurity. She served as a justice of the peace for eight years until 2015 and was the head of Counter-terrorism and Security Review in the UK Treasury from 2007 to 2008. Lalgie, who is currently the director of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation in the United Kingdom Treasury, said in a statement that she is ‘immensely proud’ to serve Bermuda as its first female Governor. CMCcenter_img “The island rightly has a reputation as a beautiful place to live and a great environment in which business can flourish. It is a first-class legal jurisdiction with some of the highest international standards in combating financial crime. HAMILTON, Bermuda – Bermuda is to get its first female and first black Governor later this year, it was officially announced on Friday. Government House said Rena Lalgie, who is married with two children, will succeed John Rankin in December.last_img read more

UKGC digital compliance lead Richard Bayliss joins Playtech Plc

first_img Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 FTSE-listed gambling technology provider Playtech Plc has confirmed the appointment of Richard Bayliss as its new Regulatory Compliance Manager.Bayliss joins Playtech’s group compliance team, from the UK Gambling Commission where he served as the UKGC’s Senior Online Manager (2006-2018).In his new role Bayliss will be a key corporate stakeholder in leading the direction of Playtech’s group responsible gambling initiatives and strategy.Confirming the appointment Ian Ince, Group Head of Regulatory Affairs, Playtech, said: “Everyone at Playtech is delighted to welcome Richard. With a wealth of experience with UKGC, his insight will be a major bonus as we strive to stay at the forefront of regulatory compliance developments. I’m certain he will be an invaluable addition to the team.“A commitment to promoting responsible gambling and fostering a safe and entertaining environment for players is central to everything we do at Playtech. Richard’s appointment and his enthusiasm for joining Playtechdemonstrate the strength of that commitment, and is a key part of our ongoing investment in exceeding regulatory expectations.”During his 11 years with the UK Gambling Commission, Bayliss played a central role in monitoring technological and product innovation within the UK’s gambling sector and assessing potential impacts on the British regulatory system.Richard Bayliss commented on joining Playtech Plc: “After more than a decade assessing the regulatory impact of technological developments in the industry, I’m looking forward to seeing some of these developments first-hand in my new role. Playtech has long had a reputation as a major innovator in online gambling, and I’m very excited to be joining the team.”– Submit Retail closures have ‘severe’ impact on Playtech August 5, 2020 Share Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020last_img read more

Organic Cirsa fails to escape LATAM currency woes

first_img Presenting its final trading update as an independent enterprise, Spanish gambling operator Grupo Cirsa SA reports progress on its home and LATAM expansion projects, despite its corporate performance being hindered by severe LATAM currency impacts.Reporting strong growth across its Spanish home market properties (Spanish EBIT up 10%), Cirsa reports combined group revenues of €4.17 billion.Nevertheless, Spanish growth could not sustain full Cirsa LATAM market currency declines against the Euro, which saw the company hit with a negative €14 million FX trading impact.Despite the adverse South American FX conditions, Cirsa governance states that it will continue to push its ‘organic growth’ agenda for its LATAM properties, focusing on Table and Slots inventory growth across its casino properties of Panama, Colombia, Peru, Dominica and Costa Rica.Closing a busy trading period, Cirsa governance would declare a corporate EBIT €41 million, in-line with 2017’s corresponding EBIT €42 million.Moving forward, Cirsa will now operate under the ownership of US private equity firm Blackstone Capital, who this April completed a reported €2 billion acquisition for the Spanish gambling enterprise.Under the terms of the deal, Cirsa’s Argentine arcade and casino properties will continue to be operated by the Lao Hernandez family.Updating corporate stakeholders on its current financial position, Cirsa governance details that it has active cash balance of €180 million, combined with an available credit facility of €75 million. StumbleUpon Submit Share CIRSA confirms Antonio Grau as inbound CFO July 17, 2020 Codere avoids total collapse with 12-month credit line  June 22, 2020 Related Articles Codere secures €250m credit lifeline on aggressive interest rates  July 14, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

Winning Post – Labour tees up latest debate on gambling regulation

first_img Shadow Charity Minister praises YGAM’s ‘resilience under lockdown’ June 26, 2020 Submit Related Articles Cross-party think-tank calls for £100 monthly limit on gambling August 5, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Winning Post: Political flip-floppery leads to uncertainty for casinos August 3, 2020 Share Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, takes a look at some key developments for the gambling industry in its ‘Winning Post’ column.US: regulated sportsbetting – e pluribus confusionem?The US Federal government formally considered sportsbetting for the first time since the overturn of PASPA, in the form of a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing (Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations); inevitably, it promised to revisit the subject also. The subcommittee heard a range of views from representatives from the NFL, AGA, Nevada (regulator) and two ‘anti-gambling’ lobbyists (including the former AG of Nebraska). The 1.5 hour session offered little that was illuminating beyond well-rehearsed stakeholder positions, but there are some clear themes and perhaps some emerging tensions to consider.First, with 40% of the experts coming from an anti-gambling position, the extent and the public platform of the concerned should not be under-estimated. Clearly in ‘casino states’ like Nevada and New Jersey, this voice is muted, but it is likely to be much stronger in (pretty much all) others. It is relatively easy to paint online gambling as among the most dangerous of channels and global operators are only just getting to grips with how to disabuse the public of this notion (still rather badly, in our view). There is therefore a key danger of seeing ‘false positives’ in the casino states speed of adoption and (relative) liberality of approach (product, tax, other restrictions/requirements): both of these are likely to diminish rapidly from here with further rollout.Second, integrity is a subject all can agree is important but few can articulate clearly how to deliver. This is very dangerous, for three reasons. Most obviously, suggesting legalised sportsbetting is a threat to integrity only works if there is a credible threat of mass market engagement in low level corruption – this is not how it works in reality, where the illegal market is the perfect place to hide. Indeed, (effectively) legalising sportsbetting is a demonstrable cornerstone of delivering effective integrity. Second, integrity seems still to be a stalking horse – there is little or no direct link between integrity and IP (though data is a key component of both): if integrity continues to be used as a means of extracting value, then integrity is unlikely to be delivered. Finally, a patchwork quilt of integrity requirements is likely to be a leaky bureaucratic nightmare, in our view, almost inviting the sort of embarrassing scandals that set the US on the path to prohibition in the first place.Third, ‘states are the best placed to regulate’. In landbased environments, that claim can be made with some substance. However: how online proxy betting will be treated; how  liability insurance products will be developed and treated in order to solve for likely massive state liquidity imbalances (especially on local teams) locked within local regimes due to the Wire Act; how banks and payment processors will cope with myriad product rules and internal boundaries; how tribal borders are to be treated; how the data/IP of teams from ‘anti-gambling’ states / stakeholders will be used; all these generate state-by-state issues that will not only create operational/commercial headaches, but potentially also jurisdictional and legal ones.Finally, sports betting is a ‘low profit margin business’. This is a dangerous one to keep repeating also, in our view. In what way is sportsbetting a low margin business? Certainly, US sports tend to achieve a GM of c. 6% given the singles mix, but turnover (handle) is an outcome, not an input variable (see our blog “Price Wars”). Even then, it is a higher payout ratio than most slots and table games – only lottery is significantly higher margin. Whether it is a low margin business where it matters (revenue as a proportion of cash-in / profit margins on revenue, not handle) depends upon the fiscal-regulatory framework, customer profiles and the scale / competence of the operator. Stakeholders configuring decisions to the assumption that sportsbetting is a low profit margin business are likely to get those decisions wrong, in our view – operators may be able to revisit them, but legislators and regulators might have a much tougher time: to the detriment of their entire (state) sector.The fact that the Federal government is still interested in sports betting should not be discounted, in our view. We agree with the consensus view that Federal legislation on sportsbetting is very unlikely in the short / medium-term for many reasons. But any significant missteps in the emerging state-by-state system could invite another Federal intervention – and it is unlikely to be a welcome one…UK: gambling politics – Why Watson’s RET plans could leave him bunkeredWith the one of the biggest shows in world golf getting underway this week, it was only fitting perhaps that Tom Watson once again teed up the latest debate on gambling regulation. Fresh from the launch of last week’s par-beating report into gambling and mental health, Labour’s Deputy Leader drove hard once again at Government policy, promising new legislation upon the party’s accession to power. At a bacta-sponsored fringe event on ‘Lessons to be Learned from the FOBT Campaign’, Watson also revealed a rider to his plans to impose a problem gambling research, education and treatment levy on British licensees (at 1% of GGY) by announcing that those most responsible for harm would also pay the most.This was a particularly bizarre trick shot for Labour – at once simplifying and complicating arrangements in this vexed area of regulation. It is to his credit that Watson has deduced that voluntary-compulsory arrangements are likely to result in confusion and mutual recrimination. The logic is elementary but somehow lost on the current Government (voluntary arrangements are fine but one ought not to blame operators entirely if they take the law at its word and cough up the bare minimum).  Yet in calling for a so-called ‘smart levy’ (where those operators with the greatest risk profile pay a higher rate than more responsible peers), Watson may have overshot the green. It is of course, a noble – and theoretically valid – aspiration but it is difficult to see how it might work in practice (most obviously, who would determine the basis for rate differentials).The proposal – if pursued – would be likely to deepen intra-industry tensions and so undermine a lot of the good work being done at present (by operators and the regulator alike) to achieve greater cohesion. In any case, we already have a ‘polluter pays’ system by proxy. The increasingly eye-watering voluntary settlements agreed in relation to licensing breaches mean that the sinners (where caught) must stump up more than the sainted. The Gambling Commission is planning to review the whole area of industry funding for RET, including its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice that effectively require licensees to give something to someone (with no obligation – other than a moral one – to bankroll execution of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy). We consider it unlikely that Watson’s variable rate proposal is likely to make the cut with the regulator – and that a future Labour government may also think better of driving straight at that particular sand trap.UK: football and gambling – Spurs cock things up (again)This week’s revelations about Tottenham Hotspur’s choice of betting partner in the Sun are unlikely to be helpful to anyone in either football or betting – except perhaps Arsenal fans (the former manager of which was in the ban betting camp). The club’s decision to sign a deal with the Russian-based 1XBet (for an Africa-facing sponsorship) ran into controversy when reporters revealed that the betting site was streaming (and taking bets on) cock-fighting (coincidental to Tottenham’s logo, we believe) and children’s football (amongst other wholesome entertainments).With the Gambling Commission reported to be on the case, the issue should hopefully be resolved sooner rather than later – but a small amount of damage may yet have been done to those who wish to preserve the status quo on gambling sponsorships. There is also potentially an issue emerging with the fact that 1Xbet is licensed in the UK as a white label (Vivaro Limited): not a problem in and of itself, but potentially a raising questions about accountability and control, especially among the UK’s (very) long tail of remote (in both senses) licensees (and an issue some POC regulators are very keen to avoid entirely). Never has the need for stringent stakeholder due diligence in this area been greater…Global: M&A Watch – OPAP / Stoiximan; Comcast / Sky.OPAP is set to acquire 36.75% of TCB, holding company of GML Interactive, which operates as Stoiximan in Greece and Cyprus, and Betano in Austria, Germany and Romania, for €50mComcast has won the sealed-bids process run by the UK Takeover Panel to take majority control of Sky plc, having offered £29.7bn (£17.28 per share). Subsequently, 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast for £11.6bn.last_img read more

Kambi seeks to become ‘clutch player’ of NBA betting

first_img GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Share BetInvest: The benefits of separating esports betting markets August 7, 2020 Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 Related Articles Submit Share Stockholm-listed sports betting platform and software provider Kambi Group Plc views the start of the new NBA season as yet another early pacesetter for the liberalised US betting market.The technology group has revamped its entire NBA markets inventory, seeking to bring new betting dynamics to the unique sport of basketball.Kambi states that it has developed the sector’s most comprehensive and engaging NBA betting inventory designed to make its US clients the ‘top destinations for basketball wagering’.Developed with a view to engaging audiences from ‘match tip-off to the final buzzer’, Kambi significantly expands its NBA player prop bets for pre-game and in-game markets.Kambi partner sportsbooks will be able to offer unique markets such as ‘type of field goal’, ‘next point scorer’ and ‘total player points’.Furthermore, for seasoned basketball punters Kambi has developed a vast array of ‘pre-game alternative lines’, as well as a selection of ‘relevant in-game lines’, allowing for deeper market variance rather than the standard ‘money line or spread’.Stefanos Moysidis, Kambi Head of Live Basketball, states that the ‘complexity of offering these markets should not be understated’, as Kambi development has had to match ‘official data sources with sophisticated algorithms and uniquely skilled basketball traders.“The NBA has become extremely popular over the last few years, with the game becoming faster, smarter and teams relying on analytics more than ever before,” Moysidis explained.“Superstars are dominating games with a barrage of three-pointers and bettors are increasingly wanting to wager on high-profile players and choose their own lines. At Kambi, we have embraced these changes and developed our offering to cater to a new and more informed audience.” StumbleUponlast_img read more