Gamelynx Raises $1.2M for Development of Mobile Esports Game

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Santa Monica-based mobile developer Gamelynx is has announced that it has raised $1.2 million in venture funding. The company intends to use the funds to create more mobile Esports titles that will be primarily tuned to the needs of hardcore gamers. This model is similar to something that Tencent did when it launched Arena of Valor, a multiplayer online battle arena game on mobile. In addition to this, the mobile developer will be creating team-based competitive games on mobile – the idea is to make Esports titles more accessible and global.

Gamelnx’s venture has received a lot of support from investors who include Y Combinator, M Ventures, Riot Games and Skycatcher Fund, Everblue Esports Ventures, Lyfe Fong, Leaf Ventures,, and Lithium. With that huge number of star power backing it, Gamelynx is certainly well on its way to achieving its goal of diversifying the offerings for competitive players.

“As the line between mobile and PC/console continues to blur, the portability and accessibility of mobile create an even brighter future for competitive gaming and esports,” Alexander Mistakidis, CEO of Gamelynx, said in an interview with GamesBeat. “At the same time, it creates a desire for less of the same. Many have tried to build a mobile competitive multiplayer game, but very few have made a game that was differentiated from what was already available to watch or play on PC/console.”

The CEO also pointed out that the company has been leveraging cutting-edge networking technology to enable fast-paced competitive multiplayer gameplay on mobile while maintaining optimal responsiveness and data usage. Gamelynx, which is set to launch its first title by the end of the year, will be merging their technology with applied technology in order to design a new combination of gameplay and watching experience.

The Esports market has bloomed and continues to offer more opportunities with many companies beginning to carve out their own dominance. Still, it is going to be nice to have some fresh entrants with fresh ideas and approaches to the gaming and watching experience.

Landmark US Supreme Court Ruling Lifts Sports Betting Ban

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On Monday 14, the United States Supreme Court finally delivered a much-anticipated ruling that sports fans and bettors have been eagerly waiting for. The court’s decision effectively overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 that imposed a federal ban on sports betting in all but a single state – that is, Nevada. The ruling was made in favor of New Jersey which has fought for years to have sports betting at casinos and racetracks legalized.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the constitution. PASPA is not,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote.

According to the American Gaming Association, Americans illegally wager approximately $150 billion on sporting events every year which is clear indication that even prior to the debate on the legalization of sports betting, the federal ban had already failed miserably. Generally speaking, the existing underground market offers zero protection for gambling addiction or problem gambling and no safeguards for game integrity. These are some of the issues that a legalized and regulated sports betting market could solve.

The Supreme Court decision will take sports betting out of the shadows and thus make it open and transparent. This way, regulators, law enforcement agencies, and sports leagues will have tools and more support in their endeavors to shut down illegal or underground gambling operations. In addition to this, technology experts and data analysts will also be able to easily identify suspicious betting patterns in real time which will, in turn, culminate in better protection for game integrity.

Now that the decision potentially implies the creation of an entirely new revenue stream, there are certainly going to be a lot of interested parties. Professional sports leagues have already made their demands for an integrity fee clear and the government through the Internal Revenue Service is eyeing a piece of the winnings.

“The amount of gambling winnings, less any losses, gets tacked on to all other income you have … and is taxed as ordinary income,” said Bill Smith, managing director at Washington’s CBIZ MHM’s National Tax Office.

A lot depends on the number of states that decide to permit sports betting. Hopefully, the possible legalization of sports betting in some states, such as Pennsylvania, will also have a positive impact on efforts for online poker expansion. Still, it is still too early to tell how impactful the landmark ruling will be since we have to wait and see how the states will handle it.

West Virginia Casino Operators Dispute ‘Sports Betting Deal’

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Last Thursday, Governor Jim Justice made a surprise announcement that sent the West Virginia gaming industry into a state of confusion. The governor issued a release that claimed that the state and its casino operators had come into a tentative agreement to incorporate an “integrity fee” into the state’s new sports betting law.

The alleged agreement which also happened to involve the “sports consortium” would see the state’s casino operators part with a percentage of their sports betting profits – this is totally separate from the state’s cut. However, West Virginia casino operators are saying that they never agreed to pay the fee in case the Profession and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) is abolished and sports betting is legalized in the United States.

According to an article that was posted on the gaming industry’s “Sports Handle” website on May 10, during the closed-door meeting at the Lottery headquarters, “nothing and a lot happened.”

“A lot, because firsthand accounts of this closed-door meeting paint a colorful picture between attendees that include state lawmakers, a lobbyist for the NBA and NFL who has ties to Gov. Jim Justice (Larry Puccio); an appearance by the NHL, possibly the first time the league has gotten involved on sports wagering publicly; representatives from West Virginia University and Marshall, plus casino representatives and a ‘citizen volunteer’ for West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (Bray Cary), who did not attend in person but spoke by speakerphone. There was also some reported shouting, ‘shuttle diplomacy’ and an apparent conflict of interest in play,” reads a snippet of the article.

John Cavacini, the president of the West Virginia Gaming and Racing Association, said that the day-long meeting came to a close with the casino operators remaining opposed to the incorporation of an integrity fee that is to be paid to the professional sports leagues.

However, Cavacini revealed that there was a conceptual agreement for the casino operators to enter into private contracts with the sports leagues to provide them with game data that would be necessary for sports betting. The only alternative that the leagues would have is to buy data from third-party providers.

“We’re trying to get the leagues some money, but we’re not going to pay the integrity fee,” John Cavacini said.

As it stands, West Virginia lawmakers have shown very little interest in revisiting the sports betting law that they just recently passed, according to MetroNews. This implies that it will take a bit of time before the tug of war between the casino operators and state is won by either party.

Mammoth Acquires Sin Gaming, Partners with ROAM Esports

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Despite being a fairly new entrant into the Esports industry, Mammoth Esports Enterprises, otherwise known as team MAMMOTH, has had quite an impact on the Australian Esports Market. The global Esports organization has been making tremendous efforts towards becoming an Esports powerhouse and so far everything is going great for the organization.

MAMMOTH has recently acquired Sin Gaming from ROAM Esports, which it has also partnered with – ROAM Esports acquired Sin Gaming in late 2016 and as per the terms of the partnership with MAMMOTH, it will keep providing managerial supports to Sin Gaming, including for the incoming recruits that team MAMMOTH is yet to announce.

Dion Appel, Mammoth Esports Enterprises president has an extensive background in marketing and he has had his eyes set on a number of lucrative Esports investments since last year. He points out that talent was a crucial factor during his time in extreme sports and it will just be as crucial in team MAMMOTH’s investments in various Esports teams.

ROAM Esports and Sin Gaming posted some pretty huge results last year – the team went from being considered as an inferior team in 2016 to taking third place in the OPL 2017 Split 1 Playoffs. After that, the team was invited to the 2017 Rift Rivals series as OPL representatives.

“I loved my time at Sin Gaming, it was special, it was something I created in my living room as a kid with dreams and aspirations,” says Brandon ‘Juves’ Defina, Sin’s team captain. “I was lucky enough to come across ROAM who helped the kid with a dream actually achieve them… I am SUPER excited to be able to work with Dion and his team. One chapter has ended with Sin Gaming but I am beyond excited to help make MAMMOTH one of the best and biggest Esports names in Australia.”

Juves and his team are facing an even brighter future with the major acquisition by MAMMOTH which happens to be headed by someone with some pretty serious business chops.

“We’re thrilled with our partnership with Dion Appel and his team to build MAMMOTH and also with the continued opportunity of working with a roster of players and staff that we have an incredible history and relationship with,” Ahilleas Papantos, Director from ROAM Esports commented on the company’s partnership with team MAMMOTH. “Sin Gaming did the impossible, proving many wrong time & time again, now MAMMOTH is here to win.”

Massachusetts Regulators Allow Wynn Resorts to Drop ‘Wynn’

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Monday made a decision to allow Wynn Resorts to drop  Steve Wynn’s name from its license for a planned $2.5 billion casino in the state. Wynn Resorts has been in the spotlight for quite some time following sexual abuse allegations levelled against Steve Wynn. The gambling commission’s decision came amid ongoing investigations by associated state regulators as part of a process that could affect the company’s operations in Massachusetts.

As of now, Steve Wynn, the company’s fallen founder who resigned a few months back, no longer has anything to do with the planned casino. The regulators have since confirmed that as far as they are concerned, Wynn and the company have effectively parted ways.

“The commission rejects the characterization by Mr. Wynn’s legal counsel that he is nothing more than an ordinary private citizen of the state of Nevada vis-a-vis Wynn Resorts,” the Massachusetts Gaming Commission wrote. “There is, however, substantial evidence that the relationship between Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts has been terminated in a meaningful way such that Mr. Wynn no longer falls with the definition of a qualifier at the conclusion of the upcoming annual shareholders meeting.”

The gaming commission’s decision was made on condition that Steve Wynn would not vote at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting that is slated for next week. The company’s lawyers then requested that Wynn is removed as one of the “qualifiers” for the sake of the company’s Everett casino that has now been renamed the Encore Boston Harbor. Fortunately, all of Steve Wynn’s stock has been sold thus effectively severing all ties between him and the company.

“We are pleased that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has concluded Steve Wynn no longer has any involvement in our company and should no longer be considered a qualifier,” a Wynn Casino spokeswoman said. “We look forward to continuing to move Encore Boston Harbor forward.”

In addition to this, the company has gone a step further by implementing a policy that requires Wynn Resorts’ officers and directors to report any direct or indirect communication with Steve Wynn or to Wynn LLC Legal counsel. This is particularly important because the company is still being investigated in order to determine how it dealt with the allegations of sexual misconduct.

76ers Gaming Club Win Inaugural NBA 2K League Tournament

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The NBA 2K League’s “THE TIPOFF” tournament came to an end on May 5th with the 76ers Gaming Club having secured the $35,000 grand prize and championship banner by beating the previously undefeated Blazer5 Gaming squad 75-65 in the final. THE TIPOFF tournament consisted of pool play from May 1 to May 4 with the top eight teams advancing to the May 5 playoff rounds.

The tournament gave Esports lovers a week of exciting matchups that ended with both the 76ers and Blazer5 Gaming proving that they are the best teams in the league – well, at least for the initial stage of the season. There is still more action ahead as the season progresses.

It became apparent that the 76ers would triumph when they began shining at the knockout round. Majority of the matchups were close save those that featured teams from Philadelphia – the 76ers beat Mavs Gaming by 26 in the quarterfinals, Pistons Gaming Team by 18 in the semifinals and overcame Balzer5 by 10 in the final.

As far as technique goes, the 76ers utilized a balanced scoring approach and perimeter shooting. Both techniques are unique in the current 2K Meta – most of the teams in the league usually bank on the one star that can finish the paint. A typical example is Brandon “Hood” Caicedo, Cavs Gaming point forward that made scoring 40 points look easy.

Leading the 76ers was star guard Ethan “ITZ_Radiant” White who came through with 14 assists in the final. Still, all the members of the gaming club hit threes as the teak shot a collective nine for 17 from deep. As it turns out, Blazer5 was overwhelmed by the strong play and on-court leadership that Radiant brought to the game. This is despite the fact that he was only the 14th out of the 17 total first-round picks in the draft.

Here is a summary of all the playoff match results:


Cavs Legion GC 71, Jazz Gaming 70

Blazer5 Gaming 66, Pacers Gaming 46

Pistons GT 61, Warriors Gaming Squad 47

76ers Gaming Club 83, Mavs Gaming 56


Blazer5 Gaming 69, Pistons GT 48

76ers Gaming Club 66, Cavs Legion GC 64


76ers Gaming Club 75, Blazer5 Gaming 65

To sum it up it all up, the tournament was an outstanding kick-off of the NBA 2K League’s first season. Nonetheless, the NBA 2K League has a long to go before it is considered a major Esports league. The tournament’s Twitch channel had a little under 10,000 viewers during the group stages. This number, however, plunged to less than 6,000 viewers for most of Saturday’s playoffs. The implication here is that the league will have to grow further before it can be able to draw as many viewers as the leading Esports titles such as CS:GO and League of Legends do.

The regular season for NBA 2K begins on May 11, so do keep an eye out for that.

Online Poker Finally Making a Comeback to the United States

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Seven years ago, on April 15, 2011, the United States Department of Justice effectively shut down the country’s online poker industry citing various illegal gambling and money laundering concerns. Since then, the quest to reinstate online poker in the U.S. has been quite daunting but the situation has taken a turn for the better. On May 1, the online poker industry finally began the journey towards the eradication of state-segregated online poker markets. Now, online poker players in the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are able to play legally against each other on World Series of Poker ( and 888Poker networks.

While only the three states mentioned above are able to participate in the shared liquidity online poker, for now, the combination of the player pools is certainly a huge step forward for the market. In fact, it is just what the U.S. poker industry needs to gain some traction – more states, Pennsylvania included, are expected to join in soon and a number of other operators, such as PartyPoker, have shown interest in jumping into the online poker liquidity bandwagon.

“It’s a monumental day for online poker in the United States,” said Bill Rini,’s Head of Online Poker. “This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray.”

What to Expect

The immediate culmination of the multistate share liquidity will be larger player pools which will, in turn, culminate into larger prize pools. Eventually, the larger prize pools will draw in more players and this creates a growth cycle that in essence, could contribute to exponential growth in the United States online poker market since it will undoubtedly impact the directions of similar legislation in other states.

Pennsylvania is in the process of launching its online poker industry and as mentioned earlier, all signs point to the possibility that it will eventually join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association when it goes live.

In addition to this, liquidity sharing implies that the poker market will be more appealing to poker players as the operators strive to offer them wider selections of games and tournaments, wider time zone coverage and bigger prize pools. It is basically a win-win situation for nearly all stakeholders including the states themselves – a sustainable and viable online poker market means that the state will be raking in more revenue in tax dollars from the online poker industry. Online poker operators that do not get join the pool or find viable countermeasures are likely to get downtrodden, but they still have a bit of time to adjust appropriately.

LeoVegas Online Casino Fined for Accepting Bets from Addicts

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LeoVegas, an online casino operator that is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, has been fined £600,000 for failing to refund the deposits of over 11,000 problem gamblers who had requested to be barred from participating in the games the operator offers. The fine was imposed by the UK Gambling Commission which about a month ago also imposed a £1 million fine on Sky Bet for similar transgressions.

The rollout of a planned industry-wide self-exclusion scheme that has been delayed for a while now constitute a majority of LeoVegas online casino’s failings – the scheme would allow gamblers who were developing addictions to voluntarily bar themselves from placing bets with any gambling operator under the gambling commission’s jurisdiction.

The regulator conducted an investigation whose findings revealed that 1,894 LeoVegas online casino customers were deliberately targeted by marketing material that was sent directly to them even though they had already signed up to the platform’s self-exclusion scheme. Also, the online casino allowed over 400 of its customers to bet £200,000 over two months without any intervention by the company – the company did not even advise them to apply for its 24-hour “cooling-off” period.

Moreover, the commission also found that the online casino failed to return funds that were deposited by 11,205 customers who had chosen to self-exclude and close their accounts. However, as part of the settlement, the casino will be returning more than £14,000 to the affected customers. The fine that was imposed on LeoVegas also happens to encompass 41 misleading advertisements that it had issued between April 2017 and January 2018 including adverts that failed to mention the restrictions that were part of certain promotions offered by the platform.

“The outcome of this case should leave no one in any doubt that we will be tough with licenses holders who mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards we set in our license conditions and codes of practice,” said Neil McArthur, the UK Gambling Commission’s chief executive. “We want operators to learn the lessons from our investigations and use those lessons to raise standards.”

Despite having been fined by the Gambling Commission, the company has continued to post positive numbers and reports for year on year growth. In the first quarter of this year, for instance, the operator’s revenue went up 76 percent to a whopping £ 68.2 million. Everything is about to get better for the company regardless of the fine since its management has expressed “high ambitions for compliance with laws and regulations” so as to continuously improve its processes and procedures.

“We have had discussions with the UK Gambling Commission, UKGC, on suspected cases of breaches of the British gaming rules. A clear majority of cases are attributable to affiliate marketing. It’s good that UKGC puts increased demands on us in the gaming industry. It is an advantage for serious actors who both have the will and ambition to work in a regulated market,” LeoVegas online casino’s officials commented.

Premier League Supports US Sports Betting Expansion

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The English Premier League recently voiced its support for the vision that the NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour have had for the expansion of sports betting in the United States in the likely case that the country’s Supreme Court abolishes the Profession and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which prohibits all but four states from legalizing sports betting. The United States Supreme Court is expected to deliver the much-anticipated ruling by the end of June but already various stakeholders are preparing for a future where sports betting is legal.

The National Basketball Association, the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the PGA Tour have all backed the idea of legalized sports betting – the NBA and MLB have even outlined some of the potential laws and terms they expect to be implemented should sports betting be legalized. Some of these potential laws will require sports betting firms to use official league data, share customer data and pay an “integrity fee” as well as allow the leagues to have an input on the wagering options the sportsbooks can offer.

The English Premier League (EPL) through Adrian Ford, Football DataCo general manager has made it public that it would support the approach by the NBA and MLB – Football DataCo is the official rights-holder for the Premier and League as well as all the other professional football leagues in England.

“Broadly, we don’t think what the leagues are asking for is fundamentally wrong, if you’re trying to come up with a framework that works for both parties,” Adrian Ford said in an interview with ESPN.

“We would not see why there would be an issue about sports getting a return from betting. We’d echo some of the high-level statements the NBA has made. If someone is making money off us, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be interested in that and why we shouldn’t have some level of involvement in the commercial return. It’s clearly not what we have here.”

Why Is the EPL Interested?

It is no secret that betting has been a key component of the English Premier League’s operation. As such, it would not come as a surprise when it joins the parade of United States professional sports leagues that are currently seeking a revenue cut from sports betting operators

“When it comes to customers and integrity and really trying to provide the best experience, official data, backed by the leagues, is fact; you need a gold standard,” Ford added. “Ultimately, the common goal – and it is easier said than done – must be to have a functioning, regulated, safe betting market that brings all the offshore money onshore for the good of the sport, for the protection of the players and presumably for the good of the states that are going to get tax revenues.”

The involvement of the EPL sets a precedent for the leagues being granted control over data rights in the United States which will be a win for all of them.

Saudi Arabia Debuts Its First Professional Esports League

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In October 2017, the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) was initiated and since then, it has already been able to hold two major Esports events. Now, the federation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation that will see to the development of the first Electronic Saudi Professional League (ESPL).

“Here in the Kingdom we have great talent, and our duty toward (it) is providing these platforms where the best come to shine. We are also on a mission to grow the eSports economy and industry,” Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, the SAFEIS president said. “This is a major step toward positioning the Kingdom as a major eSports hub in the Middle East and the world.”

“My message to all the gamers: Today you might be an amateur, but if you work hard and compete you can become an athlete,” he added. “Here in the Kingdom we have great talent, and our duty toward is providing these platforms where the best come to shine. We are also on a mission to grow the eSports economy and industry.”

According to Arab News, the partnership which was signed by the SAFEIS and the Football Federation presidents – Prince Faisal and Adel Ezzat respectively – came on the final day of the GSA FIFA 18 Tournament. The eight finalists in this tournament were competing for one of the seats of the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series qualifier.

The partnership between the federations has been lauded by the vice president of the General Sports Authority, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal who went ahead to point out that it was certainly a major leap for country’s Esports industry. In addition to this, he promised to offer his sport to both federations as they move forward with their plans.