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THE FOOTBALLING RACE ROW ROLLS ON

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Back in the seventies and eighties racism in football was rife but in the following decade the sport seemed to get a grip of the issues.

Now, aided by the wide reaching voice provided by social media platforms, racial abuse is rearing it’s ugly head again and, if nothing is done, the sport we all love runs the risk of failing to be the ‘beautiful game’.

In just the last few weeks,  Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, along with Chelsea’s young England forward Tammy Abraham, have been subjected to online abuse after missing penalties. Abraham’s teammate Kurt Zouma received his own vile abuse – again on social media – after inadvertently turning past his own keeper in his teams recent home match with Sheffield United. 

It’s not limited to the top tiers of football though and Reading, who play in the Championship in England, saw their player Yakou Meite receive messages online, again after a missed spot kick. After this weekend’s fixtures the abuse was highlighted further when Inter Milan’s big money summer signing Romelu Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants during a match with Cagliari.

It’s hardly a new thing but the frequency of the reports is becoming an almost weekly occurrence and it has to stop. The trouble is, some people – including fans, players, coaches, social media companies and even the footballing authorities – don’t seem to take it seriously.

Inter Milan, the side Lukaku is hoping to fire to silverware this season, saw their supporters group release a statement labelling the monkey chants as a mark of ‘respect’ not racism. Whilst the fans responsible for that open letter don’t represent the entirety, it does prove there is a mentality on the terraces that these instances are not an issue.

What about those within the game then? Well, just five months ago, Moise Kean – now of Everton – was peppered with abuse at the same ground as Lukaku whilst a Juventus player. What did his manager, Massimiliano Allegri, have to say? That Kean ‘shouldn’t have celebrated in that manner’. Kean’s captain, Leonardo Bonucci was equally questionable with his comments claiming the ‘blame’ for the abuse was ‘50/50’.

The governing body responsible for Serie A condemned the actions but failed to leverage any penalty; then again, that’s the same committee that failed to act when Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch after suffering racial taunts – again at Cagliari. Muntari, a former Ghanaian international, received his second caution for leaving the field of play and was subsequently banned.

This article isn’t aimed solely at Cagliari fans or Italian football though. Most nations have had their fair share of issues; in December 2018 Raheem Sterling complained of being on the end of some offensive insults with Chelsea subsequently issuing a lifetime ban whilst Luis Suarez and John Terry have both caused storms in the English game for their choice of words to opposing players – both were fined and issued with bans by the English FA.

In Spain there have been a couple of well-documented examples; Dani Alves was targeted with a banana missile during a match against Villarreal – who were fined €12,000 – a few years back and more recently Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak questioned Javier Tebas, the La Liga president, on his moral compass.

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That’s just three leagues, albeit three of the biggest leagues in the world, showing examples of significant racism and the problems are widespread across, if not the world, then certainly the whole of Europe. So what is the outcome?

Social media bosses constantly defend their policies despite their seemingly poor attempts to prevent and promptly remove posts of a racial nature. The authorities of the respective competitions do next to nothing so the responsibility will ultimately fall to the players. 

Will they come off social media denying true fans of a connection with them? It would stop the ‘keyboard warriors’ to a certain extent and it would certainly get the attention of the relevant media platform. They could walk off the pitch but who wins? It’s not the player or their team, it’s not the true supporters. At best, it’s nobody and at worst it’s a victory for racism.

Clubs need to identify the culprits and ban them. Authorities need to come down hard on clubs who commit offences; a paltry fine to a club is not a deterrent to a racist in the stands. Close stands, dock points. Yes, the true fans would get caught up in that as well but they’d soon point out the poisonous trouble makers for genuine punishment.

The alternative is that the game loses – or stops producing – some of it’s star players. It sounds far fetched. It’s not. Racism isn’t just an issue in football; think about Colin Kaepernick, he effectively sacrificed his career in the NFL for his beliefs and that movement has filtered through the professional leagues, into college football and beyond and the same could easily happen to association football if we’re not careful.

Racism is more to the victim than a few hurtful sounds or words typed on a keyboard and there will come a point where one, two or more of the players have enough – unless a change happens now.

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How changes in demand led to an overhaul of casinos

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How changes in demand led to an overhaul of casinos

When people think about the way in which online casinos operate and take their cues, they often assume that it’s all down to the casino sites leading the way. They often make the mistake of thinking that online casino bosses make all the decisions about what areas to focus on. But the reality is that it’s more of a two-way street – and many online casinos have changed not because of top-down decisions but as a consequence of bottom-up pressures for an influx of new players. This blog post will explain how this has happened.

Game choice

Perhaps the main way online casinos have had to react to the arrival of a mass-market level of demand for casino games is by expanding the range of available game choices. Previously, many online casinos would only offer a small roster of predictable and well-known games, such as poker. Now, it’s eminently possible to find over 50 varieties of the same table game at the same casino!

User experience

Another way in which casino companies have responded to shifting demand is by improving user experience. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to the phenomenon of mobile casino games, which – as sites like Mobile Casino Service show – are very popular and are also well designed.

The rise in demand has forced the hand of many online casinos because it has meant that they must start offering excellent user experiences in order to retain custom. With a rise in custom has come an increase in providers, and good design and user experience is one way to differentiate yourself against the competition. In practice, this takes the form of acceptance of multiple payment methods, intuitive design and high-definition graphics, and more.

Marketing and promotion

Finally, online casinos have found that an increase in customer demand has been both a blessing and a curse when it comes to marketing and promotion. In many ways, of course, it’s a great thing for online casinos that they can enjoy such high levels of demand – and they’ve certainly responded to the arrival of a mass-market by using advertising techniques such as content marketing.

However, the rise in interest in the services of online casinos and similar services like sportsbooks has also led to some such establishments worrying about the risk. More prominent advertising, for example, means more risk if an error is made when it comes to stating regulatory caveats required by the authority in the online casino’s country.

In short, online casinos are clearly more embedded in the landscape of consumer demand than some market watchers give them credit for. Previously, online casinos were something of a niche service, with many people avoiding them altogether. But as this blog post has shown, the arrival of a mass-market has changed that completely.

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Where in Virginia Could a Professional Sports Team Thrive?

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There are several places in the United States where there is no professional sports team. In other words, a state does not have a team that features in a professional sports league, which includes the MLB, NFL or NBA. From Alabama and Connecticut to Kentucky and Hawaii; the public in these states are without a team they can call their own.

 But, there is one state in particular that people feel should have a professional sports team. We are talking about Virginia. Areas of the state have a good popularity and there are several bases where a sports team could thrive in the professional leagues. Often, the market has been focused on Washington DC and there are many teams here. But, there is still room for Virginia to enjoy its own professional sports teams. Let’s take a look at spots that could be their home.

 Norfolk

 First of all, let’s talk about Norfolk. This is a city in Virginia, which might be one of the best places for a professional sports team. It has a population of more than 240,000, as well as having a naval station. But this is not just any station; it is also the home of the biggest naval seaport in the world. There would be a lot of excitement here if there was a professional sports team to support. From people from Hampton Roads to all of the military personnel here, there is a fanbase just waiting for a professional team they can get on board with. But, in the meantime, you may have to amuse yourself by betting on other sports teams around the country. You can do this at a legal online sports betting platform like Unibet Virginia for example.

 Richmond

 Let’s not forget to talk about the capital city of Virginia. We are referring to Richmond. This is a city that is home to over 225,000 citizens and it is one of the oldest places in the country. There is a lot of history here and this includes having a role in the Civil War. A lot of people like to visit Richmond, as well as many of the state’s population living here. Already, we can see how well-supported Richmond Flying Squirrels are, so it would be interesting to see a professional sports team here. They could be very successful given the population and visitor rate to Richmond.

 Virginia Beach

 Next on the list is Virginia Beach, another popular destination. It is not every day that you can say a professional sports team’s stadium is located near a beautiful beach. But, this would definitely be the appeal if this location decided it was time for a franchise to move in. There are a lot of tourists that come here and having a sports team could be an attraction in itself. What’s more, there are a lot of restaurants and local bars that would benefit from having sports fans coming here. So, everyone would win even if it was not on gameday.

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7 Sports Betting Trends Driving Business Growth

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The sports betting market has grown to become one of the most profitable in the gambling industry, raking in a whopping $85 billion in just one year. This number is expected to climb significantly in the future, thanks to advances in modern technology, as more bettors choose to place wagers on their favourite sports via online sports betting software.

Customers are taking notice since sports betting is now easier and more convenient than ever. Sports betting, like any other industry, is always evolving. Here are a few major themes that would lead to the upliftment of this unstoppable sector in the coming years.

  1. Globalisation

Globalization has become increasingly significant! Audiences from all over the world, fans from all over the world, leagues from all over the world, and the media from all over the world! Nowadays, everyone and everything is linked! Borders are no longer important because the world is at your fingertips. Many people are able to work where they desire. All major sports have gone worldwide, whether it’s the Champions League, Formula One, or golf.

In a nutshell, the consumer, the media, the rights holders, and the advertisers are all going worldwide. A global reach is required to stay on top, and I am confident that this trend will not fade away quickly.

  1. Integration of sports betting and casino

Punters may now enjoy both the excitement of betting and the mystique of a casino on the same platform thanks to innovation and inventiveness in merging casino software solutions with betting platforms. In areas where sports betting is permitted, video screens can be utilised to improve gaming tables or make sports betting more convenient for the gamblers all over the world. 

Many software vendors will be able to meet the changing wants of numerous gamblers with this brand new material. Since casino games such as blackjack, baccarat, and poker may be played on the same platform as sports betting.

  1. Real time betting

Another game-changing development in sports betting is live betting, which has already established itself as the most popular online betting activity. Players can now gamble on a specific game or match while it is still live and in progress. Players may now enjoy the thrilling sensation of minute-by-minute developments affecting their odds in real-time thanks to this new improvement in sports betting.

In essence, live betting allows bettors to put additional bets in the hopes of winning during a game. This differs from traditional betting, which is typically done before the game or match begins and does not allow for additional bets once the game or contest has started. Players who are watching the game can now increase their wages based on how the game is progressing, increasing their chances of winning. With several leading sportsbooks offering many live betting matches daily, live betting has become one of the most popular ways to wager on sports.

  1. Cryptocurrency

To help handle online transactions, blockchain technology eliminates the need to deal with any fiat currency or banking institutions. Payments are not only easier and faster with cryptocurrency, but they are also safer and more private than ever before.

Another big advantage of using cryptocurrencies on sports betting platforms is the lack of transaction fees, which allows bettors to make as many daily transactions as they want for free. This is unquestionably advantageous to sports bettors. Cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly become extensively recognised at online betting sites in the near future, as one of the best improvements in modern gambling.

  1. Betting from hand-held devices

Anyone may wager on their favourite event with mobile sports betting at any time of day or night, from anywhere there is light. The mobile betting business has developed at an accelerating rate in recent years, eating into the earnings of both offline and online betting. People can use their mobile phones to deposit and pay for their bets using a variety of deposit and payment methods. With 5G technology on the horizon, mobile sports betting is predicted to take up in the future.

  1. Virtual and augmented reality are being adopted.

The acceptance of VR and AR is not to be overlooked. Fans may become their favourite athletes by using VR and AR! They will be able to experience what it is like to be a part of a match and will become more immersed in the game. Simply pointing their iPhones in the direction of a player will supply them with the essential info and metrics. Remember, this is just the stadium experience; there is so much more!

  1. The awakening of eSport

eSports betting is a relatively new betting market that has exploded in popularity in recent years. Electronic sports, or eSports, are primarily video game contests played by professional players or teams, as the name suggests. Due to streaming sites like YouTube and Twitch, which allow fans to watch events live, eSports has gotten a lot of attention in the previous five years.

In addition to simply watching, bettors can place wagers on the outcome, with a variety of betting options and sub-categories to pick from. eSports will most certainly continue on its path to becoming one of the most lucrative gambling sectors in the world, based on the prevalence of live streaming.

Final Thought

The sports betting industry is modernizing, and with it, the sports fan, thanks in large part to the convergence of technology and the gambling business. While the article above focuses on a few of the trends, there are many others that have contributed to the changing landscape. And, more crucially, this tendency will only continue, stretching the boundaries of creativity and imagination while bringing in even more change. Simply said, the old ways are no longer valid, and there is no turning back.

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