Hot copy: Stories that caught our eye this week from around the sector

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Games Global plc?

According to a scoop from Bloomberg, Games Global could be the latest gaming company to join the stock market.

Apparently, the firm has signed a letter of intent with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Tailwind International Acquisition Corp to list the business via a merger, creating a new entity with a combined value of more than $3bn.

No other details appear to be forthcoming at this time, with the insiders who spoke to Bloomberg requesting anonymity and the companies themselves remaining tight-lipped. 

Games Global, which is led by CEO and former IGT executive Walter Bugno, offers a portfolio of more than 3,000 game titles from 50+ studios to its clients. 

Tailwind raised $345m in its initial public offering last year, stating it would focus on combining with one or more companies in the technology and direct-to-consumer sectors in international markets, particularly in Europe.

The Guardian back at it

The Guardian gave us its view on a major betting-related story that surfaced this week – that NFL player Calvin Ridley had been suspended for a full season for betting on NFL games.

The newspaper’s hot take focused on the hypocrisy of the NFL on this topic. 

“There’s something that feels off about making Ridley a splashy example at a time when the NFL is raking in millions of dollars in revenue from gambling, something it regarded as a corrosive element and fought tooth and nail against not that long ago,” the piece’s author wrote. 

“It is a dramatic pivot to go from a century’s worth of moral policing to, effectively, becoming a sportsbook with a bit of football on the side.”

Readers can of course decide for themselves who’s being more dramatic in this scenario.

While the author accepts that professional sportspeople should face consequences for betting on their own leagues, he can’t accept that the NFL has turned its attitude to gambling around so quickly, in the wake of nothing more than a massively booming industry, changing legislation, regulation, and public and political attitudes.

Apparently, the NFL’s punishment of the player while partnering with sportsbooks is sending mixed messages – unless of course you pay attention to who can and can’t place bets, in which case it’s actually quite straightforward.

Premier League inches closer to becoming NFT royalty

According to a piece from The Telegraph, the Premier League is one step closer to launching what will inevitably be one of the most eagerly anticipated NFT collections on the market.

The 20 clubs which make up the top flight discussed a major NFT deal on Tuesday, which could potentially see them launch officially branded digital collectibles this year, with an expected combined value up to hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Premier League has previously been reluctant to dive into the non-fungible world due to the volatility in price of NFTs. 

However, with other major sporting organisations including the NBA getting in on the action, it looks now like the English football is ready to capitalise on the opportunity.

Professional players are already ahead of the organisation in this respect – with high profile purchases such as Neymar’s Bored Ape garnering significant public attention.

Players should be careful about how they approach the new tech, though, as the Premier League has already sent a legal warning to John Terry after he used a licensed trademark of the league in his own range of NFTs, Ape Kids Club FC.

The value of his portfolio has also plummeted by 90% in just one month, while backers including Ashley Cole and Tammy Abraham have deleted their Ape Kids Club posts from social media.

The Premier League might have appeared slow to invest in NFTs, but perhaps it was just waiting to ensure it gets a proper share of the spoils.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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