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Genius Sports Limited (“Genius Sports”) has extended its long-term partnership with The Sun to power The Sun’s new Dream Team Games Hub.

As the new interactive gaming platform for millions of football fans around the world, the Dream Team Games Hub will become the official home for a full range of free-to-play games.

This includes the long-standing Dream Team Fantasy Football which is one of the largest commercial fantasy football games with over 430,000 unique players and over four million social followers.

Genius Sports will also provide a dedicated US version for The-Sun.com, helping to grow the game’s global reach and attract new players.

For the 2023/24 Premier League season, the Dream Team game will benefit from a ground-breaking design that includes a completely new interface and dozens of features designed to deepen fan engagement.

In addition, the new Games Hub will feature Score Predictor and Higher or Lower games that will test fans’ football knowledge to continuously drive engagement.

The Dream Team Games Hub is a fully interactive gaming platform that rewards fans with performance-based badges and trophies, all designed to heighten competition amongst fans and friends alike.

Genius Sports is the trusted free-to-play partner of some of the largest leagues and federations in world sport, including the NFL, MLB, ECB and European Tour.

Through its Genius Marketing Suite, Genius Sports will also help to drive new players to the Dream Team Games Hub, using data-driven marketing technology to run highly targeted programmatic campaigns.

Tim Reynolds, betting and gaming business director at The Sun, said: “We are rightly proud of the success of The Sun’s Dream Team Fantasy Football game, which engages millions every year.

“Extending our partnership with Genius Sports allows us to take the next step in broadening and deepening engagement with the Dream Team Games Hub.”

Judd Goldstein, head of sports fan engagement at Genius Sports, said: “In partnership with The Sun, we have built one of the most advanced interactive gaming platforms in world sports.

“The Dream Team Games Hub will create year-round engagement from football fans worldwide for The Sun and its partners, delivering incredible levels of interaction through gamification.”

Conservative MP Scott Benton has been caught offering to leak confidential policy documents and lobby ministers on behalf of the gambling industry.

As revealed in an undercover exclusive investigation by The Times, the MP for Blackpool South violated the rules prohibiting MPs from lobbying in return for payment and disregarded new restrictions for politicians on providing parliamentary advice.

During the undercover sting, Benton believed he was liaising with two representatives from Tahr Partners, a fake British-Indian family office that feigned interest in investing in the betting and gaming sector.

During a meeting at a central London hotel last month, Benton detailed his willingness to leverage his position to aid their business and attempt to dilute proposed gambling reforms.

Specifically, he guaranteed that he could leak the forthcoming white paper on gambling reforms to the company at least 48 hours before its public release.

This would potentially enable them to capitalise on market-sensitive information, as the results of the review could have a substantial impact on the price of gambling stocks.

He also offered to submit parliamentary questions on behalf of the industry and bragged about “easy access to ministers”.

Scott Benton appeared willing to break multiple parliamentary rules when he met to discuss a job advising a fake investment fund. But I understand tthe Tories have tonight decided NOT to remove the whip (as Labour are calling for) at this stage https://t.co/wDg3ZBE3l9 pic.twitter.com/qDS3VavwHy

— Billy Kenber (@billykenber) April 5, 2023

Finally, Benton said he could “call in favours” from colleagues who would be glad to support the fake company’s interests, and even offered to put on a dinner at the House of Commons.

For years, MPs have been banned from acting as paid lobbyists or accepting money to raise issues with ministers or ask questions in Parliament on behalf of clients.

Benton’s proposed actions would constitute a breach of both the longstanding rules against “paid advocacy” and the new restrictions on providing parliamentary advice.

Benton has since had the Tory party whip suspended while an investigation is underway.

The Times said this incident highlights the extensive lobbying campaign led by betting companies in Westminster, which has seen more than £180,000 spent on corporate hospitality for dozens of MPs since 2021 in a bid to sway the review in their favour.

The government’s long-awaited white paper is now expected to be published after the Easter recess, having initially been launched in 2020 when Boris Johnson was PM.

To carry out its investigation, The Times set up a fake company, complete with a logo, website, and office addresses in London and Chennai.

Elsewhere, The Sun has leaked further details from the yet-to-be-published review after it claimed to have gained access to cabinet documents.

The tabloid suggests the previously mooted £2 limit per spin for online casino will only apply to those under the age of 25.

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has entered into a new commercial partnership with newspaper publisher News Corp UK & Ireland (News UK).

News UK – a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corp – is one of the UK’s leading media businesses, boasting readership figures in the millions through its news websites The Sun and talkSPORT.

The publisher is joining forces with GiG to deliver sports betting and casino content alongside exclusive offers to users in the UK market, GiG said, with content to be featured on a special section of The Sun and talkSPORT’s websites.

GiG expects to go live on the websites to take advantage of the FIFA World Cup, it said, which began in November and is set to conclude on 18 December.

“The partnership and new betting hub adds to The Sun’s growing digital portfolio and bolsters our suite of betting products,” said Tim Reynolds, director of betting and gaming at The Sun.

talkSPORT director of betting and gaming Gareth Williams: “We are delighted to be partnering with GiG to help grow our iGaming affiliate business. GiG’s expertise combined with talkSPORT’s wall-to-wall sports coverage is a compelling proposition.”

“The collaboration with GiG will increase our content output and support The Sun in continually delivering excellent results for our bookmaker partners.”

Jonas Warrer, chief marketing officer at GiG, added: “A collaboration of this magnitude will allow us to provide added value to our partners in the sports betting and casino sphere, reaching new heights while showcasing our abilities to operate at a top-tier level.”

Gareth Williams, talkSPORT’s director of betting and gaming, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with GiG to help grow our iGaming affiliate business. GiG’s expertise combined with talkSPORT’s wall-to-wall sports coverage is a compelling proposition.”

GiG’s affiliate segment GiG Media delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of growth in Q3 2022, generating €15.1m in revenue for the period, or around 66% of GiG’s total quarterly revenue of €22.9m.

UK trade body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has bolstered its communications strategy with the appointment of David Willetts as director of communications and digital.

Willetts will pick up the position in the new year when he takes over from Kevin Schofield, who is leaving the organisation for a political editor post at HuffPost UK.

Willetts currently serves as press secretary to Conservative cabinet minister Ben Wallace and also as the head of ministerial communications at the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The Portsmouth University graduate is a seasoned news veteran having spent more than 13 years with News UK and flagship tabloid brand The Sun.

At the BGC, Willetts will be responsible for all communication on behalf of the standards body and promoting its work while liaising with print and broadcast journalists.

He will be assisted in the new role by Michael Denoual, who has already been onboarded as deputy director of communications and digital following a one-year stint as the BGC’s policy and political research manager.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher said: “The BGC is the standards body committed to driving big changes across the regulated betting and gaming industry [in the UK].

“David is a brilliantly experienced and respected former journalist and communications professional with an outstanding reputation in the media and in government.

“David will be a formidable asset for the BGC. He also joins a strong team which includes the superbly talented Michael Denoual,” he added.

Willetts will join the standards body at a pivotal time with the UK government currently embroiled in an extensive review of the 2005 Gambling Act, with wide-ranging regulatory changes expected to be enforced on the sector throughout 2022 and beyond.