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IEDC collaborates to spark innovation

September 23, 2020 | gzfrmzwx | No Comments

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Israel Innovation Authority have issued the first call for proposals as part of the organizations’ collaborative effort to propel innovation through private sector partnerships, inviting Indiana and Israeli businesses to submit joint research projects focused on developing high-tech solutions in agbiosciences and cybersecurity.Indiana companies interested in this opportunity are invited to submit expressions of interest and high-level project proposals by Thursday, Jan. 31. These can be submitted jointly between an Indiana and an Israeli business, or Indiana companies may also submit an individual proposal and receive company matchmaking assistance from the IEDC and Israel Innovation Authority. Businesses should focus on identifying projects that will stimulate generation and development of new or significantly improved products or processes for commercialization in global markets.Following the Jan. 31 deadline, finalist companies will be matched, if not already paired, and asked to submit full, bilateral proposals by May 7. The IEDC and Israel Innovation Authority intend to provide conditional match funding for selected projects to support and accelerate the proposed R&D and the commercialization of new solutions.To be eligible, Indiana companies must meet the following criteria:Be an Indiana-based entity with annual revenue less than $100 million and a majority of its payroll dedicated to Hoosier employees;Be an advanced-technology or knowledge-based business in agbiosciences or cybersecurity;Have a protected intellectual property position, such as trade secrets, patents and/or trademarks, or a distinct competitive advantage making the product difficult to replicate;Have a high-impact business model that demonstrates potential for the company to grow its operations in Indiana, creating high-wage jobs and revenues;Have money invested by the principals and/or founders, and/or have raised initial capital from other sources;Be able to collaborate with an unrelated Israeli company, meaning the Indiana and Israeli companies are separate legal entities and do not have a parent or controlled subsidiary relationship. The companies may have a prior working relationship, but may not apply for funding of a project initiated prior to this request for proposals.The full request for proposals, along with the interest submission form, is available here and on the IEDC website.This call for proposals marks a step forward in the Indiana-Israel economic partnership, advancing a memorandum of understanding between the IEDC and Israel Innovation Authority signed by Governor Eric J. Holcomb in Tel Aviv, Israel, during an economic development trip in May 2018. Israel is home to the second-highest level of entrepreneurial activity in the world outside of Silicon Valley with more than 6,500 innovative companies and one startup per every 1,600 people. The country ranks No. 3 in the World Economic Forum’s innovative ranking, providing an established ecosystem and Launchpad for partnerships with Indiana’s growing agbiosciences, life sciences, technology and cybersecurity industries.last_img read more

Carlingford sparkles in Topaz

September 21, 2020 | gzfrmzwx | No Comments

first_imgCarlingford Lough could head straight for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival following his dramatic defeat of Morning Assembly in the Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Theatre Bird (14-1) gamely made all of the running to take Grade Three honours in the IFG EBF Mares Hurdle over two and a half miles. Sean Doyle’s five-year-old fended off the rather one-paced challenge of 10-11 favourite Upsie, who wilted after the last flight and failed to even make the frame. Caoimhe’s Delight finished second at odds of 33-1, but Bryan Cooper’s companion was well on top at the line. He said: “She was very good the last day at Clonmel and Bryan said he’d plenty up his sleeve in that race. “A lot of the credit must go to my brother, Donnacha, who does a lot of work with her. “She’ll probably come back here at the end of January and go for a handicap.” Sea Light landed a bit of a touch in the Mongey Communications Novice Handicap Hurdle. The Charles Byrnes-trained five-year-old brought up a hat-trick here three days ago and again looked the essence of vitality under Davy Russell. Sea Light, the heavily-backed 4-5 favourite, gained a definitive lead at the top of the home straight and never looked like relinquishing his advantage following a decent jump at the last. Runner-up Roman General gave chase, but it was all in vain as he finished three and a half lengths adrift of the in-form winner. Byrnes said: “He stays well and could step up in trip. The race was not really run to suit him.” Shanahan’s Turn (2-1 joint-favourite) turned in a most accomplished display to claim the Ryanair Maiden Hurdle. Trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Andrew Lynch, the Irish point-to-point recruit readily accounted for Blue Bicycle in what looked quite an informative heat. Stoney nudged into the front two flights from home after Masterofdeception had initiated a fair pace. But his position of authority was short-lived as Shanahan’s Turn glided into a lead which stretched to four and three-quarters of a length by the winning line. De Bromhead said: “I was a bit disappointed with him at Down Royal, but he needed further. “He jumps well and will go chasing next season.” Wrong Turn survived a lengthy stewards’ inquiry to win the opening Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase. The Tony Martin-trained 5-1 joint-favourite defeated Mackeys Forge by a neck, but there was scrimmaging after the two horses jumped the last in unison. Although Wrong Turn and Mackeys Forge got close along the run-in, the local stewards left the places unaltered. Martin was quick to praise 4lb claiming jockey Shane Shortall for getting Wrong Turn home by such a slender margin. He said: “Shane is good value for his claim and has a good head on him. “He (Wrong Turn) is a good leaper for a novice.” Philip Fenton looks to have another nice horse in his care after Value At Risk (7-4) followed up a victory at Fairyhouse in the concluding bumper. Fenton said: “He travelled better than at Fairyhouse. He’s a chaser in the making and we’ll probably stay at home this year.” The John Kiely-trained seven-year-old forged clear of the 11-8 favourite along the run-in to provide Tony McCoy with another Grade One success. Bright New Dawn and My Murphy had made most of the running, but Morning Assembly travelled better than that duo and took the lead at the last fence under Ruby Walsh. Press Association Pat Fahy’s Grade One-winning novice looked set fair for another top-level success, but McCoy’s mount had been spotted making encouraging progress three out. Carlingford Lough (5-1) emerged from the chasing pack after the last and threw down a sustained effort which yielded a length-and-a-half verdict at the line. Kiely said: “The ground was ideal, it was not too soft. “He’s best fresh, so if he goes to Cheltenham I doubt he’ll run before that. “He’s a horse that seems to keep improving all the time. “His owner (JP McManus) has great patience, which is a big help.” McCoy said: “I probably rode him too aggressively in the Drinmore (second to Don Cossack) as he’s inclined to jump a bit to the left. “He’s a good, tough seasoned handicapper at this stage.” last_img read more

first_img The 28-year-old was forced off in strange circumstances early in the second half at White Hart Lane as he went down with a self-inflicted injury that saw Delle Ali replace him for the final 37 minutes of the stalemate. But Dembele posted on Twitter that he now hopes to play a part in Tottenham’s trip to Sunderland on September 13 after missing out on international duty with Belgium. Mousa Dembele has eased fears he was set for a spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Everton. Press Associationcenter_img “Happy. No major injuries, hope to be back for our next Spurs game! #COYS,” he wrote. Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be pleased with the news having opted against any additions to his squad as the transfer deadline loomed over Premier League clubs. last_img read more

first_img Press Association Hughes said: “He was obviously bounding into training today with a real spring in his step, along with all the other Irish guys. “We are delighted. It is no coincidence, Jon’s form has been excellent. That spring in his step, that was also to do with him knowing where he is going to be for the next two or three years. “That continuity that he knows he will have now, that enables him to perform at the right level. Ireland certainly benefited from that and I think we will benefit from that in the future.” Walters had been suspended for the first leg of Ireland’s play-off in Bosnia, a match they drew 1-1, but made up for lost time with both the goals in the 2-0 win in the return in Dublin. Hughes said: “He was biding his time, kicking his heels in the first game. He wanted to play in that but wasn’t allowed to. “I think all that pent-up frustration he brought to bear on the second leg. He made a huge impact, with not only his goals but his performance as well.” Hughes will now want Walters to carry the momentum into Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Southampton, as the Potters aim to follow up their impressive win over Chelsea last time out. The form of Walters is one of the factors currently keeping former England forward Peter Crouch out of the side. Crouch, 34, has not yet started a Premier League game this season and has expressed his frustration. Hughes, speaking at a press conference to preview the game at Crouch’s former club Southampton, said: “He wants more game time, I am aware of that. I haven’t been able to give him the time on the pitch that he feels he wants but I know, and he knows, that things in football change very quickly. He has just got to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. “We have got a senior group predominantly under 25, so when everyone is fit players miss out or don’t even get on the bench. Pete is getting on the bench and is close to playing, but is not in the team itself. “He has just got to be patient because we know it is a long season and injuries, suspensions occur. Things will change, I am sure.” Stoke boss Mark Hughes expects Republic of Ireland hero Jon Walters to fire up his team as he comes bouncing back into club action. Walters has rejoined Stoke on a high this week after scoring twice against Bosnia on Monday to secure Ireland’s place at Euro 2016 next summer. The 32-year-old’s play-off winning effort came just over a week after he signed a new two-and-a-half year contract at the Britannia Stadium. He had been heavily linked with a move away from the club in September. last_img read more

first_img Here, Press Association Sport looks at the encounters involved. Liverpool v Arsenal The Premier League leaders head to Anfield as the top flight’s in-form side. Five wins and one defeat – at Southampton on Boxing Day – in their last six matches and the second best away record and the second most goals at opponents’ grounds make Arsene Wenger’s side favourites. The return of in-form Mesut Ozil is a considerable boost against a team who have kept just three clean sheets in the last 38 meetings. Consistency is a problem for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, partly because of a huge injury list which has crippled their effectiveness at both ends of the pitch. Twenty-two goals after 20 matches is the lowest in their history, although they are unbeaten in four at home. Manchester City v Everton Third-placed City boast the best home record in the league, winning eight, losing two and racking up an impressive 29 goals in 10 matches. Sergio Aguero has yet to hit top form after some niggling injuries but has scored twice in his last three matches while in Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Yaya Toure and David Silva they have considerable attacking options. City’s Achilles heel is at the back, where they are desperately missing Vincent Kompany and continue to be vulnerable. That will delight Everton’s in-form Romelu Lukaku, who is the league’s joint top scorer with 15, hitting 12 in his last dozen matches in all competitions. Defence also is where Everton come up short with just five clean sheets this season, although captain Phil Jagielka’s return to fitness should add extra stability. Tottenham v Leicester After an extended run in the top four, second-placed Leicester are no longer the surprise package, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez stealing the limelight. The former is expected to return from a minor procedure on a groin problem but, having not won since December 19, Leicester need to kick-start 2016. Whether White Hart Lane – where they drew 2-2 in the FA Cup on Sunday – is the place to do it, is another matter. Spurs have the meanest defence in the league, partly thanks to the impressive central-defensive partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Their main threat is 11-goal Harry Kane, who scored a late equaliser from the spot on Sunday, while midfielder Dele Alli’s form has earned him a new contract. A round of January midweek Premier League fixtures has thrown up some intriguing matches which could have significant bearing on the top of the table. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgBy Ian RansomPERTH (Reuters) – Australia moved within six wickets of reclaiming the Ashes at the close of a rain-hit day four of the third Ashes Test on Sunday, with England still 127 runs short of making the hosts bat again.The tourists were 132 for four when a rain-shower brought stumps an hour early at the WACA, with Dawid Malan (28 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (14) tasked with an improbable rescue mission following their defiant 237-run stand in the first innings.Australia had declared at 662 for nine after lunch, their highest ever Ashes total at home, with captain Steve Smith finally dismissed for 239 from 399 balls.Trailing 2-0, England must cobble a draw to keep the five-test series alive to Melbourne and their hopes may rest on the weather, with more showers forecast on day five.“I think we’re in a pretty good position obviously,” Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood told local radio, after dismissing both of England’s openers.“I think we would have loved one more (wicket) today but they’ve lost the wickets at the tail pretty quickly throughout the whole series.”Even with the chance of rain interruptions, it still looked bleak for the tourists, with cracks opening up on a pitch and variable bounce likely to play a part on day five.One large fissure at the southern end of the wicket opened up to swallow England number three James Vince for 55 when a Mitchell Starc ball jagged viciously back to rip out his off-stump.”I think we try and put the rain to the back of our minds,“ Vince told reporters. ”We’ve got to have belief that we can save the series and get over the line tomorrow.”It’s going to be tough. I‘m sure there’s going to be some good balls flying around out there.“But these two especially showed in the first innings that they can occupy the crease for a long time, so hopefully they get off to a good start in the morning.”Vince had at least shown determined application, a quality sorely missed in his top order colleagues.Alastair Cook’s miserable series continued as he threw away his wicket for 14, having managed only seven in the first innings of his 150th test.Joe Root, his successor as captain, was equally culpable in his own 14, with opener Mark Stoneman out for three, as England staggered to 60 for three.England’s ‘Barmy Army’ danced in the terraces as rain brought tea five minutes early and again when it returned midway through the final session to see play abandoned.Vince and first innings centurion Malan dug in for 40 runs before the pitch claimed the number three.Bairstow and Malan added another 32 in a watchful stand to survive until the rain fell.Australia’s pacemen stuck to their task but the match is likely to be remembered for their captain’s batting masterclass which yielded a second double-century against the same foes.He was finally dismissed leg before by paceman James Anderson (4-116) in the morning.All-rounder Mitchell Marsh was also trapped lbw by the veteran quick without adding to his overnight 181.Australia lost three wickets for 12 runs in the mini-collapse but wicketkeeper Tim Paine (49 not out) and Pat Cummins (41) steadied the home side with a 93-run stand.Facing a 259-run deficit, England’s chase began disastrously with Stoneman caught behind for three in the second over, seemingly hypnotised into a lead-footed push away from the body by metronomic seamer Josh Hazlewood.Six overs later, Cook was sent packing when he spooned a leading edge low and straight back to Hazlewood who took a brilliant reflex catch to dismiss him.With England desperate for a captain’s knock, Root joined Vince in the middle and the pair added 31 runs to prompt a bowling change.Lyon was introduced and had Root caught at slip with his first delivery, the skipper playing a loose drive away from the body and Smith snaffling the chance when it pinged off Tim Paine’s gloves.last_img read more

Winning Post – Shake up in Sweden

August 30, 2020 | gzfrmzwx | No Comments

first_img Share StumbleUpon Submit Related Articles Indeed, these two issues of funding and productivity are likely to become increasingly linked (and should be): racing is likely to become relatively more important to retail bookmakers and is also being recognised as critical online; while bookmakers (across channels) increasingly need to make content work on its own terms rather than in vague reference to a (poorly understood) ‘ecosystem’ – the basis of a relationship built upon common interest rather than dependency is already there – a severe DCMS Review has the opportunity to make it as well as to break it.UK: sports governance – near-100% compliance, but now what…?UK Sport and Sport England have announced that 55 of the 58 sports organisations they fund which have been through the reform process thus far, have fully adopted the Code for Sports Governance. The three organisations which have yet to do so – The British Mountaineering Council, Volleyball England, and the British Equestrian Federation – are undertaking reviews and are expected to achieve compliance within the next three months.To achieve such widespread compliance within a year of the (challenging, for some) Code going live is no mean feat, as the likes of Table Tennis England (funding suspended for a period while non-compliance was remedied) and British Cycling (late lobbying, reportedly involving the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, achieving the necessary support for reform) will testify. TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 The first area to flag is establishment: the Act envisages licensees being based in Sweden unless there is an explicit agreement in place with other licensing regimes. While these agreements may be readily forthcoming, the temptation to capture tax and employment will be real, and may also suit businesses with a significant domestic presence. If an offshore business were required to set up in Sweden, this would likely double the effective tax rate in terms of cost of operations.Second, the law envisages granting powers of group and affiliated structure investigation to the regulator in order to ensure the probity of licensees. While this is nothing new, there could be a specific area of sensitivity for Nordic businesses given the rather loose prevailing definition of ‘grey’ markets when taking money from Norway and Finland – both of which have clear and recent monopoly legislation in place. It is not inconceivable that the ‘Nordic’ regulators will want to work closely together and this could increase enforcement risk for ‘dark grey’ markets in general and Nordic revenue in particular.Third, the law provides the regulator with the power both to specify the overall games being licensed and the parameters of those games. In an outright move, betting on lotteries without the consent of the lottery licence holder is to be banned, but other nuances are likely to creep in, in the name of player protection which could materially distort the market. The two most sensitive areas here are slots and in-play betting. It is likely that Svenska Spel will see this as a key battle ground to preserving its dominance (even relevance) in an officially competitive marketplace.Finally, there is significant coverage of social responsibility and player protections (both data and funds), currently all worded in sensible but sometimes imprecise ways. Again, how these aims and policies will make their way into regulatory frameworks will be critical, especially around marketing, bonuses, self-testing and self-exclusion.Sweden is a material .com online gambling market (c. €600m – excluding ATG and Svenska Spel) with a number of operators more or less dependent upon its cash flow. It has been almost taken for granted that Sweden would regulate online gambling in a liberal way and the draft law certainly points to that outcome. However, it is impossible to get any more ‘liberal’ than the current state of no tax and no domestic regulation at all.Change is now coming: it will increase cost and it is very unlikely to grow the market. The key now is to see whether liberal intentions become non-interventionist reality. For this to happen, Swedish-facing operators must overcome opposition from a powerful incumbent, gambling conservatives and those wishing to see tough social responsibility measures to protect players. In terms of regulatory-political relations, the industry may feel it is due some luck (or judgement), but even Sweden is likely to test hopes of the most bullish scenarios.UK: In Parliament – a long time in politicsLast year was gambling’s busiest year in Parliament in almost a decade, according to analysis from Regulus Partners.During the course of the year, 139 written Parliamentary Questions relating to gambling were asked in the House of Commons – the highest number since 2008 (when bingo industry lobbying on taxation and residual concerns regarding casino liberalization helped push the number of written PQs to nearly 200). In that year, betting shops were the subject of just 13% of (gambling) written PQs in the Commons (where a specific sector was identified). By contrast, in 2017, more than two-thirds of (gambling) written PQs related to betting shops and FOBTs. In addition to written Parliamentary Questions (which provide the most consistent measure of Parliamentary interest in gambling), 2017 also saw a large number of oral questions in both Houses, several Parliamentary debates, and three Early Day Motions.A total of 57 MPs submitted gambling-related written PQs – the most prolific being the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (and Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS), Tom Watson. With Labour launching a review of gambling addiction in Great Britain (led jointly by Watson and the Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth); the Government review of machines, advertising and social responsibility entering its third calendar year; the Gambling Commission’s probe into anti-money laundering procedures in online casinos; and the CMA and ICO investigations due to report, it seems likely that 2018 will be another busy year in Parliament for gaming and betting.Kenya: gambling duty – government shakedown or market shake-up?Kenya’s decision to raise gambling duty from 7.5% revenue to 35% has been upheld in court after an operator-led legal challenge was thrown out. A significant increase became an electioneering point last year, and while 35% was a ‘compromise’ on the 50% previously mooted, it is still a very significant hike and has already caused the market leader SportPesa to precipitately cancel its extensive domestic football sponsorships, upon which a number of major and grass-roots clubs have come to rely (it still sponsors two English clubs: Hull and Everton).The ubiquity of mobile money and a very liberal fiscal-regulatory regime has made Kenya a standout success story for online gambling in Africa. However, the position was always fragile given the need for a level of domestic presence from a payments perspective, the very low rate of tax, and the huge visibility of betting advertising. While 35% is certainly toward the higher end of supportable duty rates, it is likely to disrupt rather than cripple the market, in our view, and may even allow market share to be taken from a dominant incumbent which built its business on a low-cost model now consigned to history. Kenya, along with many other markets, may yet again be illustrating that concentrated scale can be a curse as well as a blessing in rapidly changing fiscal-regulatory environments. Another useful lesson, often ignored, is that gambling business models built upon the assumption of low taxes are fundamentally flawed – sooner or later governments come to collect…Argentina: capturing gambling revenue – pieces of eightArgentina has announced that offshore online gaming will be subject to VAT federally at a rate of 21% (ie, 17.4%); there is also an emerging possibility of additional provincial charges. Enforcement is likely to be an issue, but operators wishing to demonstrate broader compliance may be captured by the legislative intention. While Argentina is not a large market by European standards, it is both material and potentially high growth. The move also demonstrates the extent to which the once disarmingly simple .com market is becoming both more complex and more expensive. While double digit growth remains available, these issues are likely to have little more than nuisance value, but as growth slows, or if risk is concentrated, then marginal increases in the cost of local operation can start to have a material impact on the bottom line. Argentina’s shifting VAT policy might also be a stalking horse for a more aggressive fiscal grab at online gambling.UK: horseracing – Edwardian summer?The BHA has announced that prize money should total £160m in 2018, 12% growth generated by the offshore levy (+£8m: already factored in, though with more potentially coming through with growth) and an increase in racecourse commitments to £84m (+£9m or 12%). Importantly, this increase will largely be directed at grassroots racing, which has faced significant long-term funding pressure despite recoveries in prize money since 2010. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the sport and for betting operators, though increased funding should only be seen as the beginning: making the money work productively is the real key.Racing and betting still face two very significant issues, in our view. First, the generosity of racecourses is largely predicated on media rights which are in turn largely reliant upon a healthy retail betting sector: the DCMS Review puts this under threat and with it a material part of the current funding of racing.center_img Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 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.Sweden: remote POC legislation – drafts or chess?The Swedish government has published a draft law to regulate gambling across channels, with an implementation date of 1 January 2019 (replacing the Lottery Act, 1994 and the Casino Act, 1999). The legislation sets out a regime which appears liberal and transparent – in line with what was expected. While tax is not mentioned, this is expected to be set at 18% of revenue: a rate that compares favourably to nearly every global jurisdiction.Given how important Sweden is to a material number of online gambling operators, the draft law is therefore likely to have been consumed with anticipated relief over Christmas. However, we identify a number of areas that might offer a sting in the tail and we predict a complex game of cat and mouse being played out in the coming months. BtoBet refines African SMS payment options with Tola Mobile  August 20, 2020 Share Second, both field sizes and competitiveness have seen long-term decline which has not been materially reversed by recent increases in prize money; while some of this will take time, and some will be driven by the new focus on grassroots, improving productivity is key or relative decline is likely to continue. This requires detailed and data-driven cooperation, as well as a willingness to change, between all elements of racing and bookmakers: not something the relevant stakeholders have been good at in the past. However, with great focus within the Code on behavioural and cultural issues, the real challenge for the national sports bodies and the sports councils begins now. To change cultures and behaviours takes time, and monitoring and assessing such changes across many organisations will be challenging. Hopefully momentum can be maintained, and sufficient resources made available, to ensure that sports do not now relax having achieved (relatively high) structural benchmark standards, and remain committed (and incentivised) to implementing the Code in practice.Malta: POS regulation – just business?The MGA is once again facing press allegations that the industry that it regulates has mafia connections, this time from a domestic newspaper, in connection with the potential relocation of under-employed mobsters recently drummed out of nobbling horseraces in Sicily.The MGA called the allegations “speculative and senseless” and reminded Times of Malta readers that POS online gambling accounts for 12% of Malta’s GDP. The story is likely to have little hard evidence (mobsters rarely leave any), but it does highlight the key weak-spot of POS regimes: business-friendly laws can be all too easily painted as exploitable by the unsavoury even in “speculative and senseless” ways.This recurring theme, combined with many major banks’ distaste for gambling business (unless very large…), and the EC’s recent decision to drop infringement proceedings, is making the position of EU-based POS businesses increasingly uncomfortable, in our view; a risk which is likely to compound with Brexit probably removing Gibraltar as an option. While the tangible outcome of these risk factors remains unclear, they are likely to have an increasing impact on POC positioning, payments and perceived business value.last_img read more

first_img Ian Hogg joins RPM Gaming as Chairman May 5, 2020 UK Tote gains international ‘commingling pool ecosystem’ with Sportech April 17, 2020 Sportech highlights new client wins under lockdown June 26, 2020 Related Articles Submit Share Share StumbleUpon The governance of London-listed Sportech Plc has detailed confidence in the firm’s performance and future prospects as 2019 trading is forecasted to surpass ‘adjusted EBITDA expectations’.Updating investors, Sportech governance details that the company has benefited from ‘operational efficiencies’ implemented across the firm’s business channels, forming part of Sportech’s wider group transformation programme.During the course of 2019, the racing and wagering systems provider has disposed of non-profitable verticals and further streamlined operating costs, improving its group-wide earnings capacity.Supporting the firm’s efficiency drive, Sportech has reduced its capital expenditure projects by significantly reducing its group expenditure.Meanwhile, the Group’s other business units including Racing and Digital, Bump 50:50 and Lottery are anticipated to demonstrate net contribution growth in FY 2019.Richard McGuire, Chief Executive Officer of Sportech, said: “Sportech now has a management team in place to transform the business to drive growth and efficiencies. We have extricated the Group from a number of historically expensive strategies, delivered an efficient and lower operational cost base, and we are now much more confident in the Group’s ability to deliver significant value to our clients and shareholders.”last_img read more

first_imgCertainly he deserved it. He was 12-5 this year with a 2.12 ERA. But he was allowed to get 13 outs in Game 2 of the Division Series, and only six outs in Game 5. With any distress, Hill knew that manager Dave Roberts had the hook and the reel at hand. It’s not a marathon or a sprint anymore for most starters. It’s barely a warmup.Most of the Chicago Cubs hadn’t seen Hill. He requires an adjustment period. Hill features a consistent 90 mph fastball and a swan-diving curveball, usually in the mid-70s. But he can also throw sidearm and he works the fastball in and out. By the time you’ve gotten a rhythm against him, either you’re gone or he is. Instead, Hill actually got to bat twice. He went six innings and gave up only two singles, both by Kris Bryant. After he fanned Addison Russell and got Miguel Montero on a grounder in the second, with Cubs on second and third, Hill never let another batter reach scoring position.Thus, Roberts “only” had to use three relievers and has a full flotilla to back up 20-year-old Julio Urias in Game 4 tonight. And the Dodgers now lead the NLCS 2-1, with a 6-0 victory. Hill allowed the hitters and Kenley Jansen to finish what he started.“It’s something I’ve always had, the ability to throw a fastball in any part of the zone and create a later swing, because of the perceptual velocity,” Hill said. “It’s just a matter of keeping people off balance. We were able to throw the fastball in, which opens up the outside part of the plate, and then the ability to drop down to create a totally different look. “I don’t know if there’s an art to it. But it’s the way things play out.”But Hill also had no idea how close he came to walking back to the dugout to Roberts, and then taking maybe a little more turbulent walk to the clubhouse.Roberts admitted he “had a thought” of removing Hill in the second. Hill’s fourth hitter, Anthony Rizzo, refused to bite at Hill’s curveballs and drew a walk in eight pitches. Then Jorge Solder walked with one out. When Yasmani Grandal’s passed ball moved those Cubs into scoring position, Roberts almost had one hand on the bullpen phone, but Hill kept it cradled.Octobers used to revolve around starting pitchers. With Clayton Kershaw working Game 6 (or 5, or part of 7) and with Lester down for Game 5, maybe they will again. Maybe Hill was able to prove he didn’t need a life jacket.“His curveball actually wasn’t as good as it has been,” Roberts said. “But the one thing you see is how he competes. And when you start using a different arm slot, you can be tough.”And the Cubs? They have been shut out eight times in 169 games. Half of those shutouts were thrown by the Dodgers. The Cubs haven’t scored since their 5-run eighth inning in Game 1. Without that inning they have three runs in three games, and they’re hitting .161. Rizzo, Russell and Ben Zobrist are a combined 2-for-30.This was the billy goat that hid in the shadows, during this epicurean season of 103 wins. What would happen if someone matched the Cubs’ strong starting pitching (100 quality starts, eight more than anyone else in the N.L.)? Could the Cubs get big hits and take care of details? They were 22-23 in 1-run games during the season.“We;re making soft contact,” manager Joe Maddon said. Asked whether this was a moment of truth, he said. “I’m so bad about drawing lines in the sand. We’re just putting this game in the wastebasket and coming back to play tomorrow.”And if a no-tomorrow Game 7 is at hand Sunday, Rich Hill will likely pitch it. Maybe he can even cut the cord. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img LOS ANGELES — It’s difficult to pitch with a bungee cord attached to your belt, which is why starting pitchers are so jumpy these days.Any loud noise, and the manager emerges, the organ player cranks it up, and someone is trotting in from the bullpen to take your baseball.Coming into Tuesday, the Dodgers had one quality start in the playoffs. The Nationals, whom they beat in the Division Series, also had one. The Cubs had two. The authors of those starts were penthouse pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Jon Lester and Max Scherzer.Rich Hill has been transported into more clubhouses than pine tar. It was natural to wonder if he would be allowed some rope.last_img read more

first_imgPau Gasol still remains a Laker.For now. The Lakers talked for the past week about a possible deal that would entail Gasol going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Andrew Bynum returns to the Lakers. But it never materialized. The Cavaliers acquired All-Star forward Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls for Bynum, three draft picks and the right to swap first round picks in 2015. That leaves Gasol entering the Lakers’ game tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (19-15) at American Airlines Center donning the purple and gold, but with hardly any more security. The Lakers could still rid themselves of Gasol’s $19.3 million contract at some point before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. “Off to Dallas. We’ll stay focused on playing as a team, giving everything we have,” Gasol tweeted Monday afternoon before realizing his future. “I’m always thankful for all your support.”The Cavaliers were intent on trading Bynum in time for him to clear waivers Friday when his $12.5 million contract becomes guaranteed. Cleveland had suspended Bynum recently over conduct deterimental to the team. But the Lakers were only interested in the deal if they could acquire assets, such as young players and draft picks. The Lakers (14-20) would’ve immediately waived Bynum, a move coupled with Gasol’s departure that could’ve saved the Lakers nearly $20 million in luxury taxes. But that would’ve officially signaled the Lakers tanking the season, an alarming contradiction to a franchise usually fixated on winning. Gasol was nominated for Western Conference player of the week honors after averaging 24.33 points on 46.7 percent shooting, 11 rebounds, 4.67 assists and 3.33 blocks in the past three games, marking a sharp increase from his season-average of 15.6 points on a career-low 44.9 percent clip. Status quo The Lakers are expected to retain all four players signed to nonguaranteed contracts, including Xavier Henry ($916,099), Shawne Williams ($1.1 million), Ryan Kelly ($490,180) and Kendall Marshall ($547,570). With their contracts becoming guaranteed on Jan. 10, the Lakers would have to waive them by today so they have time to clear NBA waivers should they change their minds.The Lakers value those players for different reasons, including Henry’s athleticism, Williams’ floor-spacing. Kelly’s shooting and Marshall remaining the only healthy point guard. It helps they’re relatively inexpensive, too. Injury updateIn order to give Henry more time to heal a bone bruise and torn cartilage in his right knee, the Lakers pushed back their reevaluation date from Thursday to either next Monday or Tuesday. That automatically pencils Henry out when the Lakers play Friday against the Clippers at a designated home game at Staples Center.Most of the Lakers’ backcourt traveled with the team on their Texas Two-Step, including Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve issues in back), Steve Blake (hyperextended right elbow) and Henry. Jordan Farmar will stay in Los Angeles rehabbing his torn left hamstring.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more