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Loving life after being laid off

Bloomberg ran an interesting feature this week on those learning to love being laid off.

US employers slashed more than 100,000 jobs last month, primarily in the tech sector. Reporter Claire Ballentine points out that while getting laid off is often considered a crisis, it can also be quite liberating.

“No regular 9-5 role means more time for hobbies and passion projects, some of which can be turned into new careers. Others are simply catching up on sleep,” she writes.

Profiled in the piece is Bobin Singh, whose reaction to being laid off as a social media producer at an LA-based esports company was one of jubilation.

Now he is free to focus on freelance video editing, especially for short-form videos on TikTok.

Other coping strategies included getting straight back into work, switching to consultancy or booking a one-way ticket to Guatemala.

According to career coach Rana Rosen, employment crises can help people take new risks or embrace changes they may never have otherwise considered.

How many people in iGaming could benefit from a break or a jump outside of our comfort zone? More than many might care to admit.

How do you solve a problem like match fixing?

The Washington Post turned its eye to the murky world of match fixing this week, as journalist Timothy O’Brien examined whether the proliferation of online sports betting in the US brings increased risks for sport integrity.

The author pointed to recent scandals in the snooker world – with 10 Chinese professional players currently under investigation for match-fixing charges – as well as the significant risk of fraudulent betting activity across a wealth of other sports, to show that match-fixing is showing no signs of slowing down.

“Match fixing exists because gambling exists, in much the same way that insider trading exists because the stock market exists,” O’Brien suggested. “It’s where the money is.”

Although it has been taking place consistently for an indeterminate period of time, match fixing is “now more frequent and ubiquitous” according to analysts, thanks to the increased proliferation of online and mobile sports betting.

“Odds and wagers are offered on a global buffet of different sports – and all of them are potentially corruptible,” he said.

The author spoke with representatives from a variety of organisations including Sportradar – which offers one of the gambling industry’s best known anti-corruption programmes – as well as spending time with pro gamblers and Native American gambling operators in the US, to learn more about the world of sport corruption.

And with the Super Bowl coming up this weekend in the US, the growing potential for match fixing has become an increasingly hot topic stateside.

The integrity of the NFL is relatively secure, the author argues, as players, coaches and others within the league are handsomely remunerated and therefore at lower risk of being tempted by the ill-gotten spoils of match fixing.

In other sports, leagues and geographies, however, the allure is all too strong.

The piece points to college leagues in particular, where student athletes who “aren’t properly compensated, remain ripe targets for corruption as the sports gambling boom accelerates.”

“If you needed to design a league that would incentivise corruption, it would be very difficult not to do better than the National Collegiate Athletic Association,” match fixing expert Declan Hill told The Post.

“They don’t get paid, a few of them get their image rights, some of them get scholarships, but those scholarships are, in most cases, instantly voided if they get injured. This is a recipe for disaster.”

So, while the NFL might appear rock solid, the risk of match fixing in sports is going nowhere. And the increasing number of betting options for punters across the US may only serve to make it even riskier.

DAZN’s billion dollar bet on the NFL

A new 10-year deal between DAZN and the NFL – for the rights to stream NFL Game Pass International to customers worldwide – is likely to be worth around $1bn, according to an article released by Forbes this week.

The deal was announced initially by the Hollywood Reporter, but no financial terms were disclosed at that time.

An NFL insider who spoke to Forbes on the condition of anonymity, however, said the deal was likely worth around $100m per season for the next 10 years, bringing the total value of the agreement to an eye-watering sum.

DAZN has distributed the NFL Game Pass in Canada since 2017 and has been the league’s broadcast partner in Germany and Japan since 2016, as well as in Italy since 2018.

Football fans outside the US will be able to watch every league regular-season and post-season game on NFL Game Pass International, including the Super Bowl, from the 2023 season onwards.

The pass also offers access to NFL Network and NFL RedZone programming, as well as a library of NFL Films and NFL Media programming, all available on demand.

According to Forbes: “Last summer, NFL Game Pass was rebranded to NFL+, with the NFL folding free local game live-streaming into the app, allowing fans to see games in their market on a mobile device in addition to catching replays.”

NFL+ also offers other features besides its on-demand content, including out-of-market preseason games and live radio broadcasts of all games.

DAZN said in its 2022 annual review that it has 15 million subscribers, the majority of which are outside of the US.

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