AVB aware of Benteke threat

first_img Tottenham head to Villa Park on Sunday where they will come up against the striker who was strongly linked with a move to White Hart Lane this summer. Benteke scored 23 goals in a blockbuster first season for the Midlands side, but he handed in a transfer request amid interest from Spurs and a number of top European clubs. Andre Villas-Boas has backed Christian Benteke to help Aston Villa challenge for a place in Europe this season. Luckily for Villa, Benteke decided to stay and he has since gone on to score five goals in six matches this term. Villas-Boas took little notice of Benteke during a brief encounter when Porto played Genk three years ago, but the Tottenham manager now regards the striker as one of the best in the Barclays Premier League. “He is showing all his potential at the moment,” Villas-Boas said. “We have seen how he acts as a direct striker for Villa and he is scoring goals. Villa with him in the team are a different proposition. “They see an increase in confidence up front of a great striker, who has great career ahead. The goals he’s scored have shown that.” Ever the master of detail and preparation, Villas-Boas says he has “information” that Benteke has recovered from his hip problem and will play in Sunday’s game. Villa coped well without their star striker against Manchester City, but they looked blunt at Hull, where they drew 0-0. After a rollercoaster of a season last year, Villa have made a decent start this term, winning three of their opening seven matches. Paul Lambert’s men currently stand 10th in the table, but Villas-Boas believes Sunday’s opponents have the potential to finish inside the top five. “Paul Lambert deserves credit for the amount of youngsters he is bringing through,” the Portuguese added. “I see them stepping up and charging for European places in the end.” Jan Vertonghen has spent the last two weeks training alongside Benteke with Belgium, but their friendship will be put on hold for 90 minutes on Sunday. The defender was part of the Tottenham team that put four past Villa in the Capital One Cup last month. However, with Benteke back, he expects to be in for a busier afternoon this time around. “He is so important for Villa,” said Vertonghen, who somehow avoided a red card for pulling Nicklas Helenius’ shorts down in the 4-0 win. “He is an unbelievable player so it will be a different Villa to the one we played in the Capital One Cup.” It has been quite a fortnight for Vertonghen and his Belgium team-mates, who secured their place at the World Cup with a win over Croatia. “It was unbelievable, the whole country lived the game with us,” the defender told Spurs TV Online. “It was the first time in 12 years that we have qualified for a World Cup or European Championship. “Everyone always talks about us being a good team with lots of talent, but we have dealt with the pressure and made it. “It was a great relief because not making the World Cup with this squad would have been painful.” Villas-Boas and the Tottenham players who were not called up for international duty have had a painful fortnight of their own. The Portuguese suffered the heaviest home defeat of his Spurs reign before the international break, losing 3-0 to bitter rivals West Ham. Vertonghen wants to see a response from his team-mates at Villa. “Villa is a very tough team, especially away, but we have shown before we can win there and everyone is very determined to bounce back,” he said. Villas-Boas has Aaron Lennon available following his recovery from a foot injury, but the Tottenham manager is likely to stick with Andros Townsend, who signed a new improved contract on Friday after his heroics with England. Press Associationlast_img read more

Alastair Graham: AgeChecked – Betting needs to get smart on Age ID

first_img Share StumbleUpon UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Share Calling for an imminent review of the 2005 Gambling Act, the UK government seeks to scrutinise the ‘under the bonnet’ components servicing online gambling incumbents.Amid heightened political scrutiny, Alastair Graham Chief Executive of age attribution software provider AgeChecked, details to SBC why in 2020 industry leadership needs to deepen its skillset and sophistication of tools related to age verification dynamics.  ______________SBC: Hi Alastair, thanks for this interview, can you detail AgeChecked’s verification technology to SBC readers and your firm’s approach to working with diverse gambling incumbents?Alastair Graham (CEO AgeChecked): Sure, AgeChecked is a provider of secure and anonymised age verification services, working with igaming companies to ensure that they meet the ‘ever-changing’ regulations when registering players. As you say, the gambling industry consists of such a diverse range of organisations, therefore compliance requirements differ depending on how and where they operate.Our approach is to provide a range of verification services as individual solutions that are all part of a common framework. That means in one integration companies have a choice of verification methods to implement. On the affiliate level, you may need a simple light touch age-gate on the site to stop underage play whereas for an operator you’re likely to require an array of age and identity verification checks, including PEPs and sanctions checks.The advantage to this approach is flexibility. Firstly, with such a wide range of requirements, it is the best way to get the best fit at a client level. But also, when a new regulation pops up – e.g. this month’s Dutch age verification regulation – we can quickly add a new service to the platform without our clients having to change anything on their side.SBC: As a technology stakeholder, how did you view the industry difficulties overcoming new KYC and compliance demands enforced during the course of 2019?AG: Gambling operators are already used to the KYC demands of the Gambling Commission for customers, but even so, it is extremely impressive how pragmatically and efficiently the gaming industry reacts to regulatory change. We work across many different sectors and the gaming industry, despite having more regulatory changes than most, adapts to the changes more readily than other sectors seem to.The key difficulty we face as a technology provider is offering the igaming companies a cost-effective solution that verifies the age of a player with little or no impact on their user experience, which is their key concern. This is why we developed the AgeChecked API which now easily integrates with our client’s websites allowing us to verify a player in the background, securely and quickly, as they are registering.SBC: Betting leadership has had a year to adjust and accommodate for these new changes. Where do you feel that their dialogue and thinking has to now be focused?Most operators and some affiliates have taken the initiative to achieve compliance with the new rules. But our experience is that there are many affiliates who are not applying them, and many are not even aware of the rules. Of course, affiliates are not regulated directly, so it is licence-holding operators who are now taking the risk by the Commission if they have relationships with non-compliant affiliates.So, operators should be undertaking careful due diligence of new and existing affiliates to ensure they are conducting rigorous age checks.SBC: Business reports and operator trading statements detailed that incumbents’ have doubled (or even tripled) software expenditure meeting compliance demands. Is this a correct approach, or has leadership underestimated other core dynamics such as staff training, improved customer service, internal reporting?AG: It seems regulatory scrutiny is growing faster than the business. The fines that are being imposed for getting things wrong are so significant that not responding in kind by investing in automation, skills, and reporting could be seen as a risky call.Despite running a reg-tech company, I’m not going to say that technology can fix all the problems raised by new regs and more stringent enforcement. Staff costs and training are going to play a significant aspect of the compliance spend for the foreseeable future, especially with global operators, where a ream of new regulations are on the horizon.For our part, we aim to do our best to create reg-tech solutions that tick all the compliance boxes but focus minimising the effect on revenue generation. A large gaming affiliate client of ours recently reported a significant conversion increase after introducing our age verification service on their site – so not all compliance measures hit the top line!SBC: Beyond securing age and ID verification requirements, regulators demand for operators to stop vulnerable consumer engagements with gambling content – Can this dynamic really be achieved by software components?AG: Technically it is possible to do this, but there has to be a common-sense approach behind the requirement of online protection that is rooted in the real world. There are practical technical solutions which can be adapted to move things in the right direction but do not go so far as to create barriers to business. As technology gets better, protections can be put in place. A series of regular improvement steps in protections seems to be the pragmatic approach, rather than big leaps that are likely to create significant friction to the user experience.SBC: As a tech leader, how do you ensure that AgeChecked clients are building effective compliance frameworks, that can adapt to swift regulatory change? AG: Our role is to provide automated compliance tools, that are always up to date with the changing regulatory environments. We pay close attention to the changes for each sector that we work in and focus our technical development on delivering that compliance.Globally regulators seem to be dropping bombshells more frequently – “we need this in place by January”. If you can’t provide a technical solution in time for the regulation to come into effect, then clients are exposed.SBC: Finally, entering a new decade, how will the sector’s present and future compliance demands reshape the gambling sector and its incumbents?AG: Effective, responsible use of customers’ data to protect them from harm is critical to the survival and economic growth of the online gambling sector. This will see ever-greater demands from the regulator on operators of all sizes, not just the current focus on the market leaders. Plus more countries are introducing regulation, and countries with existing regulation are increasing the compliance requirements.So, there is certainly a challenge for operators and affiliates to demonstrate their compliance and to ensure they are doing – and being seen as doing – their very best to protect the under-age and vulnerable.___________________Alastair Graham – CEO – AgeChecked UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 Related Articles Submit Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020last_img read more

Nets have transitioned from grim to gritty, but Brooklyn’s biggest test lies ahead

first_imgThree years ago, when Kenny Atkinson was plucked from the ranks of assistant coaches around the league and named head coach in Brooklyn, he made a change in culture a priority. The Nets were an aging bunch headed toward rock bottom, and Atkinson sought to establish an uphill mindset.He had good reason — the Nets were entering into a brutal rebuild and were doing so with a bare cabinet, as four of Brooklyn’s five first-round draft picks from 2014-18 had been given to Boston in some form or other. There was no point in tanking. There would be no No. 1 pick rescuing the franchise. MORE: Greatest Nets players of all timeAtkinson and the team’s general manager, Sean Marks, would have to scour the globe for players. When those players came through Brooklyn, they’d not only have to fit Atkinson’s offensive and defensive systems, they’d be held to a high standard for toughness, gumption and — this word comes up when talking to just about every Nets player — grit.”It’s Brooklyn grit,” veteran forward DeMarre Carroll told SN. “Go around Brooklyn, it’s gritty. I feel like that’s the kind of culture we have here, and we want to be identified with Brooklyn grit. When you play the Brooklyn Nets, you are going to be in a tough battle. That’s the kind of culture we want to have here.”The Nets have become that. They’re 34-33 heading into the final month of the season, what will be the most consequential month for the franchise in the last four years, with a chance to earn a postseason spot in the East and forge an important step forward in what has already been a remarkable rebuilding project.The playoffs are no guarantee, even with a lead of 3.5 games over the sliding Magic and Hornets. Brooklyn has a brutal schedule down the stretch, including eight of its next nine games on the road. The Nets open that stretch in Atlanta, but after that, the final 14 teams they play are all fighting for postseason position, and only two of those teams (the Lakers and Heat) are below .500.That’s imposing. But go back to the start of the season, and you’ll remember how little was expected from the Nets coming out of the gate. In Las Vegas, the Nets’ win total was projected at 32.5, and NBA.com’s preview suggested that a 36-win season would register as a success.That’s because, for the first two years of Atkinson’s tenure, the Nets were defined more by grimness than grittiness. They won 20 games in his first season and 28 games in his second and watched as the Celtics took advantage of those struggles by drafting Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.  But Atkinson used those two years to establish his system and the culture he and Marks wanted. It took some stubbornness for Atkinson to absorb all the losing the Nets were doing, though, and stick with the program.  “What’s hard is, when you’re losing, to stick with that culture and not go off the rails and start changing things,” Atkinson said. “Now, we did change some things, but the basic foundation of what we wanted to do, we established in the beginning and kept on the same way. It’s just great to see that we are starting to reap some results.”We have a long, long way to go. We understand that. But getting positive results has helped the guys and their confidence level, and that’s why we’re getting some results people honestly did not think we were going to get.”There have been some basic features of Atkinson’s approach that have not wavered since he took over the Nets, as the following chart shows. His approach is in line with today’s NBA, as the Nets consistently have been among the league leaders in drives to the basket and 3-point attempts, and among the teams that take the fewest midrange shots (from 10-16 feet and 2-pointers from 16 feet and beyond, as measured by Basketball-Reference.com).One of the biggest changes this year is that Nets players have simply gotten better at converting those drives and 3-pointers.SeasonDrives (Rank)Drive FG %% of FGA from 10-16 feet% of FGA from 16-plus feet3PT FGA3PT FG %2016-1746.3 (4)46.1 (9)7.7 (28)7.0 (29)31.6 (4)33.8 (26)2017-1849.9 (3)45.6 (19)8.3 (28)6.2 (29)35.7 (2)35.6 (20)2018-1952.8 (3)48.9 (7)8.5 (22)5.0 (27)31.6 (4)35.3 (12)MORE: Russell says trade to Nets is “best thing that happened” in his career”We have standards analytically where we looked at, was our process correct?” Atkinson explained. “Where, even though we’re not making all the 3s, we are getting a ton of open 3s. We’re not making all our drives, but we’re getting a ton of drives. We’re not defending the 3 great percentage-wise, but we’re limiting the 3s. We’ve looked at those metrics all along.”We’re doing a lot of good things. We’re not finalizing yet, but I think now it is starting to come to fruition where we’re getting the results we want.”That’s been the same approach with the team’s culture. Marks has brought a varied cast of characters through Barclays Center in the last three years, and “Name that Net” would make for a nifty parlor game among NBA fans — from Quincy Acy to Tyler Zeller, from Yogi Ferrell to “Sauce Castillo,” from Anthony Bennett to Jahlil Okafor, from Randy Foye to Luis Scola, Brooklyn has cast a wide net in search of talent.The Nets have a much more settled bunch of players this season, even as tough injuries struck Caris LeVert (42 games) and Spencer Dinwiddie (14 games), two of the team’s top three scorers. But over the years, the revolving-door roster was tough on Atkinson.”Listen,” Atkinson told Sporting News, “there were times where it was very hard and you wonder, ‘Are we doing the right thing? Are we playing the right guys? Is the system right?’ Sure, I think those are natural feelings when you’re not winning. But I think the strength of the group and the support from Sean especially and our ownership, the patience they’ve had, that has really helped.”What remains is a group of players that has often been cast off elsewhere and has gained some NBA redemption here with the Nets. Not one player on the roster was a straightforward draftee of the team — even the players the Nets did pick in the draft (Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, LeVert, Jared Allen, Dznan Musa, Rodions Kurucs) were acquired through draft-related trades. “We’ve got a good group of guys that has had to work for everything we get,” said D’Angelo Russell, who this year became Brooklyn’s first All-Star since Joe Johnson in 2014. “So the culture piggybacks off of grinding it out, being that gritty team that’s got to work for everything and not depend on anybody else, go and take everything we get.”A playoff spot is the next thing these Nets need to go and get. It’s not going to be easy, not with a West Coast slog on the near horizon and six meetings against the East’s top five teams after that.If grit was part of the culture that Atkinson has installed in Brooklyn, if these players define themselves that way, then they’re in luck. The next month will be an excellent time to show it.last_img read more

40 more cases of COVID-19 locally identified, 30 more recovered

first_imgMitchell3675 Franklin1143 Worth1035.71 Butler2 Mitchell Butler711 Hancock643 Kossuth431 61-8012 Franklin65157.01 Wright315478.16 DES MOINES — 40 more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in our listening area.According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website in the 24-hour period leading up to 11 o’clock this morning, 21 new cases were reported in Cerro Gordo County; four in Wright; three each in Franklin, Hancock, and Worth; two each in Floyd and Mitchell; and single new cases in Butler and Kossuth. That brings the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in our listening area since the start of the pandemic to 1241.729 of those cases, or 58.7%, have fully recovered. 30 more cases locally have been reported as fully recovered — 18 in Cerro Gordo; four in Wright; two each in Floyd and Kossuth; and single cases in Butler, Franklin, Hancock and Winnebago.Looking at the statewide numbers during the same time period, four more deaths were reported for a total now of 752; 368 new cases were reported for a total of 35,830; 317 more people have recovered for a total of 26,906. 18-4051 Mitchell482 Positive by age group in areaPercentage Worth Hancock48175 Worth283 Deaths 80+6 Floyd2 Cerro Gordo891826.02 Wright4034center_img Confirmed CasesNew Cases Area Total7293058.74 Winnebago23152.27 Wright1 Area Total124140 0-176 Franklin Cerro Gordo34221 RecoveredNew Recovered 41-6025 Winnebago44 Butler55177.46 Floyd61272.62 Floyd842 Total % Recovered Kossuth27262.79 Cerro Gordo1 Area Total7 Kossuth Hancock1 Winnebagolast_img read more

Notice of Show Cancellation: April 4 MEOW MEOW

first_imgFacebook2Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Washington Center for the Performing ArtsMeow Meow, scheduled to perform on April 4, has been cancelled. According to Executive Director Jill Barnes, “The artist is currently in Paris, and combined with the current realities of Washington State and the recent travel ban from Europe, Meow Meow will not be able to perform in Olympia.”The Health and safety of our patrons is always a top priority. We are closely monitoring the recent outbreak of COVID-19, and are committed to keeping the community informed about actions we are taking to prevent its spread.Increased sanitation practices have been implemented for all areas of the theater. This includes frequent disinfecting of high-use areas such as theater seats, restrooms, door handles, hand rails, and elevator buttons. Hand sanitizer will be available at main entrances to the lobby and theater spaces. We also encourage staff, volunteers, and patrons to stay home if they are unwell.The Washington Center will be keeping our community informed as quickly as possible regarding show cancellations due to COVID-19 and Governor Inslee’s mandate for immediate prohibition around public gatherings and events. Ticket holders will be emailed directly with show specific details.Please visit our website for daily performance and event updates www.washingtoncenter.org or call the Box Office at 360-753-8586.last_img read more

Literacy Volunteers Offers Training and Prep Classes

first_imgLiteracy Volun­teers of Monmouth County will be offering two volunteer-tutor trainings and a U.S. Citizenship Preparation Class this fall.Autumn Tutor Training 1 will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept.18 through Oct. 23 at Brookdale Com­munity College’s Higher Edu­cation Center, 213 Broadway, Room 103, Long Branch.Autumn Tutor Training 2 will be held 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 7, 21, 28 and Nov. 4, 18, 25, at the Neptune Public Library, 25 Neptune Blvd., Neptune.Cost for the program is $10 nonrefundable registration fee and an additional $35 for books and materials due at the first session for books and materials. Refresher courses are free to trained tutors. Class size is limited.U.S. Citizenship Prepara­tion Class is a 10-week class to be offered on Monday evenings Sept. 16 through Nov. 18 at Brookdale Com­munity College in Long Branch, 213 Broadway, Room 103, Long Branch. This class is recommended for Perman­ent Residents (green card status) who will be applying for U.S. Citi­zenship in 2013-2014. Stu­dents should have English speaking, reading and writing skills. Topics will cover the naturalization process, U.S. history, civics, testing, interview practice and N-400 application content as well as the “100 questions.” Class size is limited to 15 students and there is a $10 registration/materials charge per student.To register for any of these programs, or to find out more about Literacy Volunteers, contact LVMC at 732-571-0209.last_img read more

Peter Casey plans to get training for election run with new gym

first_imgDonegal-Derry businessman Peter Casey is setting himself up for a healthy run at the European Elections with a new home extension.The Presidential runner-up has applied for planning permission to build a new office and gym at his home in Greencastle overlooking Lough Foyle.Casey has lodged plans with Donegal County Council to renovate the house which he bought for quarter of a million euro in 2014.  The home of Presidential candidate Peter Casey in North Donegal. (North West Newspix) Planning documents reveal proposals to add an upstairs home office and room for gym equipment to his garage.Casey appears to have work and fitness in his sights as he bids for a seat in European Parliament this May. The businessman will be campaigning in the Midlands-North West constituency as he aims to “empower communities and give a voice to locals in Europe.” Peter Casey plans to get training for election run with new gym was last modified: April 15th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GreencastlePeter Caseyplanningpropertylast_img read more

How does Paul Guenther feel about facing his longtime former team?

first_imgALAMEDA — Paul Guenther tried to stop Bengals opponents for 13 seasons. On Sunday, he’ll try and stop his longest-tenured employer for the first time.Guenther served as a defensive assistant in Cincinnati from 2005-13, then as defensive coordinator from 2014-17 before joining Jon Gruden’s staff in 2018. He’ll return to his old home for the first time this weekend when the Raiders (3-10) visit the Bengals (5-8), the only difference his black outfit accompanied by a splash of silver instead of …last_img read more

Kevin Durant to celebrate official opening of ‘The Durant Center’

first_img* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *WASHINGTON D.C. – Well before he won two NBA championships, collected two Finals MVP’s and become one of the league’s most consistent scorers, Kevin Durant molded his identity at Seat Pleasant Activities Center.Then, Durant sought refuge from the drugs and crime that permeated his hometown in Prince George County, Md. Durant fell in love with basketball. And …last_img read more

Maharashtra PG medical, dental admissions: SC extends deadline to June 14

first_imgThe Supreme Court on June 4 directed the Maharashtra government to hold the last round of counselling for postgraduate medical and dental seats by June 14. It ordered the State to give wide publicity to the extension of the admissions deadline from June 4 to 14. It said no other court would entertain petitions filed on this matter.The order by a Vacation Bench led by Justice Indu Malhotra follows an interim direction last month to the State to not implement the 10% economic quota for the admissions for the 2019-20 academic year. The Maharashtra government issued notifications dated February 12 and March 7 last to implement the 10% reservation for the economically deprived classes. They were stayed by the apex court in a recent order.On June 4, the court slammed the government for “creating a mess” and troubling candidates who aspire to get their postgraduation. It clarified that candidates would not be allowed to change preferences made at the time of filling up the admission forms.May 31 directiveOn May 31, the court directed the government to complete the counselling process and come up with revised merit list for admissions after removing seats allotted under the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota to 25 students. The then Vacation Bench headed by Justice M.R. Shah asked the State to complete the counselling process by June 4. It pulled up the government for overreaching its May 30 order against the implementation of 10% EWS quota.On May 30, the court passed an interim direction that the 10% quota introduced through the two notifications will not apply for this academic year, the process for which had began in November 2018.By the 103rd constitutional amendment, Article 16 (6) was inserted allowing the States to make “any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of ten per cent of the posts in each category.”The May 30 interim direction came on a plea filed by a student, Rajat Rajendra Agrawal, from the general category questioning whether the constitutional amendment would apply to an ongoing admission process that had started well before the coming into force of the amendment (January, 2019) and the two notifications.last_img read more