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LeoGaming CEO Alona Shevtsova discusses the trends and prospects of the Ukrainian FinTech sector

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American venture funds became interested in the Ukrainian fintech sector after the bright and unbelievable success of Monobank. In addition, they are also interested in the Ukrainian financial market and fintech startups, so we can expect new announcements and deals in this industry in 2021. All these statements were made during an interview at Voice of America by LeoGaming CEO Alona Shevtsova (pictured). Together with the management of the Association of Ukrainian Banks (AUB) she has held a number of working meetings in the United States with local companies, financiers, and foundations. As a result of these meetings, AUB and LeoGaming announced the official launch of the internship program for Ukrainian specialists provided by the Open World Leadership Center (the US Congress), as well as the launch of a separate LeoGaming program together with their American colleagues. More details about the second program will be announced later.

"American venture funds became interested in Ukrainian fintech sector after the success of Monobank. By the end of 2020, the product offered by the bank without classic branches and offices managed to reach 3.2 million customers, while having 66% of active cards. Therefore, the bank plans to achieve the level of 5 million customers in 2021, which looks more than real. Monobank used only the local Ukrainian capital, which is something to be proud of." said Alona Shevtsova.

"In addition, there are many other success stories in different niches of the financial market in Ukraine. For example, iBox, EasySoft, as well as Sistema, and City24 networks are the leaders of the payment terminals market. They not only allow people to pay for different services but participate in the cashless transformation, by creating a unique source of replenishment of bank cards in cash. Another important thing is the active development of mobile money by the three largest mobile carriers, because they provide a non-cash and non-bank alternative for customers," Alona Shevtsova told Voice of America.

The expert also told the audience about the modern trend. According to her, Ukrainians are massively switching to payments on the Internet, while the payment by using funds from the mobile balance is also steadily growing. Her thoughts are confirmed by the statistics of international payment systems: the growth of online payments reached 45% in 2020. Moreover, the share of card payments in offline stores is also growing. It is worth noting that 46% of all contactless payments in offline stores are made using a smartphone or other payment device.

"Besides, Mastercard and Visa support these trends, which were accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. They actively work with market participants to develop non-cash payments. This is the main reason why international payment systems have become the main driver of the development of the cashless economy in recent years," concludes Alona Shevtsova.

In  November 2020, the CEO of LeoGaming Alona Shevtsova was nominated for the title of fintech expert of the year by PaySpace Magazine Awards 2020.



How new European laws will change the online gambling world

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According to the European Gaming & Betting Association, online gambling has had steady growth over the last several years. From a market share of €22.2 billion in 2018, it’s set to reach €29 billion in 2022.

It won’t be a surprise if that growth turns out to be even bigger. The pandemic caused people to spend more time at home, and online gambling turned out to be a fun leisure activity. Although the industry increased its revenue, that wasn’t the case with some European countries. It’s why they announced they would change laws applicable to playing over the web.

Germany Loses Money Despite the Industry Generating More Revenue

If you look at the online gambling options in South Africa, you’ll see players can choose from a long list of available casinos. It’s not much different in Germany. Players are allowed to gamble online in that country. However, most platforms that are accessible acquire a general license for doing business in the European Union. As a result, all the money casino visitors invest leaves Germany and heads to Gibraltar and Malta.

The German legislators realized this and decided to respond. Their idea is to implement a general national license for providing online gambling in this country. It’s something Germany will implement in July 2021 since everything is ready to go.

Presenting the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling

Schleswig-Holstein is the only state that providers can operate from in entire Germany. However, the national government managed to get all states on board to sign the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling – ISTG 2021.

According to details, ISTG will offer a licensing regime that operators can acquire for providing online poker, slot machines, and sports betting. This will lift all bans on playing web-based poker and slot games in this country.

Here is an overview of what ISTG will change:

  • Advertising – internet gaming platforms can advertise from 9 PM to 6 AM. Other conditions include that no ads can target minors or claim to resolve someone’s financial problems.
  • Slots – each spin will have to last at least five seconds. The maximum wager per spin is €1, which could lead to jackpot restrictions.
  • Accounts – operators should confirm the identity of every player. That means ensuring they are of legal age and allowed to play online casino games.
  • Sports betting – you can wager on events in session, but also before a match begins.

As for the current providers who don’t operate from Germany, they will have to adjust their platforms to new regulations. The experts believe they can continue operating as long as they accommodate fresh rules.

According to lawmakers, ISTG will motivate opening online casinos based in Germany, which will benefit their economy. The effects this will have on the Euro currency at domestic and international levels are still unknown. However, the latest news indicates that the European Union hopes the issuance of green bonds will help to strengthen Euro’s international role.

Norway Takes a Different Path

While Germany tries to maximize its national benefit from this growth of online gambling, Norway seems to go down a different road. Some reports indicate an increase in online gambling of 62% in this country. Their government doesn’t see that as a good thing.

Norwegian gambling laws are already strict, and they plan to continue tightening them. Despite that, more than 50% of the total income leaves this country. Norway plans to act by putting the gaming industry under control. According to reports, they’ll adopt a licensing model to increase the revenue portion that stays in this country. The national government will also continue running campaigns that demotivate gambling.

UKGC Is Also Making Some Changes

Although Great Britain has left the European Union, it’s still interesting to see how they are changing gaming regulations.

The UK Gambling Commission announced they’d make these adjustments from October 31, 2021:

  • Banning all “immediate stop” or “turbo play” features that accelerate play on slot machines or provide an illusion of control to a player.
  • Putting a restriction for a single spin to a minimum of 2.5 seconds.
  • Banning an automatic play option – players have to press the “Start” button to initiate each spin.
  • No images or sounds that present as a win the sum that is below or equal to the wagered amount.
  • Banning option to play multiple slot machines simultaneously.

These have some similarities with the EU’s ideas to protect players while assuming control over the market and promoting responsible gambling.

Final Thoughts

It seems that players can only look forward to the new laws changing the online gambling world. Although it will bring certain limitations, this also means adding new playing options. Implementing national licenses and tightening the entire licensing regime is good news for fans of online gaming. It indicates platforms will be under more control to meet all required regulations. That will contribute to the overall safety and transparency provided by internet gambling platforms. 

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Stoke’s Danny Batth and Aston Villa’s Neil Taylor advocate 5 Year Asian Representation Plan by PFA

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PFA's five-year plan to increase the Asian footballers' participation in United Kingdom football is backed up by names like Stoke City's Danny Batth and Aston Villa's defender Neil Taylor. These two footballers are keen on inspiring youngsters while educating families.  

The novel scheme of Professional Football's Association's (PFA) fresh monitoring scheme is getting partaken by some mentionable footballers, including Danny Batth from Stoke City and Aston Villa's Neil Taylor.

The number of South Asians dwelling in the UK is close to eight percent of the country's population. Despite the fact, only 0.3 percent of them are involved with elite class football.

Thirty years old, Danny Batth started playing football for Wolves. According to him, it was the thought of playing in Premier Leagues that have always inspired him, and now he wants to pass that motivation to the younger generation.

During an interview, the Stoke City defender asserted that UK footballers from Asian backgrounds could collectively help young generations create better chances of starting a football career.

He also mentioned that this program's main motto is to put young footballers in development and academic squads so that they can acquire the best opportunities to rise successfully. He stated it's a tiny thing they can give them.

While highlighting the need to educate families about football, Batth walked down to his memory lane, telling him that football was also unknown to his family when he spent his academy days. As a result, he also had to face difficulties. Cause without having any experience in football, his parents were not the right persons to take guidance from. Therefore, he believes that qualifying families about football would be another crucial step towards young footballers' success.

He believes that looking up to a successful person at the thing youngsters want to accomplish in their life endows faith in them. It brings more significant promise when players' role model shares the same background. In this regard, he mentioned the names of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand as his role models. However, he was also a bit saddened by the fact that at that time, there were no Asian players he could look up to and follow his path of success.

As England football has some Asian players who have reached success in their means, young guns have some faces they can keep as their motivation. Hence, the more Asian players partake in elite-level football, the more it's good for young generation footballers to come up.

Suppose this five-year representation plan of the Professional Football Association becomes successful. In that case, expectedly, more new Asian faces will join different UK football clubs, strengthening them with their zealous football abilities. Hence, it can't go without being enticing news for avid sports bettors as well. However, the action UK football encompasses right now is all the way sufficient for quenching the needs of betting enthusiasts. Bettors wagering through reputable UKGC regulated sportsbooks like NetBet sport can recognize it while enjoying betting opportunities on numerous sports events close to every popular sport spanning the world.

In this season, English football fans witness the highest representation of Asian players in elite-class football since nine scholars and fifteen players are active in the system. Still, the scarcity of Asian players in English football is regarded as the highest single incongruity in UK football.

The initiatives launched by PFA also encompass Asian coaches' engagement and including women players for the upcoming Woman's Super League matches. Besides, it's too focused on identifying and supporting the organizations investing efforts in increasing Asian participation in the game.

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Manchester City Thrashed Liverpool 4-2 on Sunday, ending hopes of becoming defending champions

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At Anfield, the Premier League Trophy is still showcased at Liverpool's football club museum. The roads of its return to the previous possessor have been desolated by the glorious victory Manchester City bagged with a 4-1 final score on this Sunday. This victory has formally finished the dream of former champions to label the trophy by their name. 

This win positively indicates that the shift in the guard is responsible for somewhat over-playing things.  It also encompasses that the team, coached by Pep Guardiola, has been seizing triumphs over consequent matches, even before the first victory of Liverpool after thirty years last season.

Manchester City is rejoiced by their victory as they last won at Anfield in 2003. However, this 20201 triumph over Liverpool means a lot more than the previous one as subconsciously, every other team participating in EPL has been informed about City's supremacy.

In Guardiola's words, coming here and securing the triumph was important. Nobody can presume to which team the championship title would go. However, he can predict how the work structure of the team would be. He also stated that the level of contentment the team has now can't be denied as they have done brilliantly in the match.

Guardiola has uttered these words in a very pragmatic way. However, the way his team has secured a mammoth victory by slashing Liverpool apart shouldn't be underestimated.

Some other football aficionados are also rejoicing along with Manchester City fans because of their Sunday's victory. They are the sports bettors, wagered money on the winning side. Experienced bettors are now choosing to opt for the most renowned UKGC approved online betting sites since only the best online sportsbooks supporting players from the United Kingdom has the most potential of proffering elevated amounts on winning stakes.

However, City kept their domination all over the game. Their forward-line was successful in exposing the drawbacks of Liverpool's full-backs Trent Alexander and Andy Robertson while humiliating the goalkeeper Alisson Becker by perishing him twice for the mistakes he made in the second half.

On the other side, City's Phil Foden had made a superb knock by striking the second and third goals for the team, pointing out the reasons why the club's youth academy cherishes this 20 years old footballer as a jewel. Manchester City's midfield was also exquisitely controlled by Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Ilkay Gundogan throughout 90 minutes.


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Liverpool has already lost their previous two matches with Brighton and Burnley. Hence, the team morale was quite deflated. However, in Sunday's game, the team has ended up with a loss and been portrayed as ordinary.

Liverpool is struggling behind Leaders City, having 10 points lesser than them though the team has played one more game than Guardiola's squad. Hence, the EPL title is now an elusive dream for Liverpool. The team is currently aimed for securing fourth place in the final league chart, keeping Everton, Chelsea, and West Ham at bay. However, the unit lacks ideas and energy as their favorite defender Virgil van Dijk will be unavailable until next season.

According to Klopp, the defeat by 4-1 is hard to explain. The game could go either way after Liverpool scored their fast. But, the mistakes of Alisson forced the team to receive two goals, and afterward, the problematic situation from Phil Foden arrived.

He also mentioned, "But we have to carry on, it's not the best moment of our lives, and we will try everything [for the top four]. There are enough games to secure that, but we have to win them."

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