Bahamian Ministry of Tourism sends condolences following tour boat explosion

first_imgThe Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) has extended condolences to the family of the passenger who succumbed to her injuries following an incident in which a boat engine exploded off the coast of Exuma on the weekend.It’s reported that the boat, a charter, had ten tourists and two Bahamians on board when the explosion occurred.American tourist killed An American female tourist was killed, and several others injured in the blast. Six persons were treated at a local hospital and the others airlifted to a hospital in Florida.“The Minister of Tourism and Aviation is deeply saddened by yesterday’s tour boat incident in Exuma. We pray for the family of the passenger who succumbed to her injuries and offer our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends as they mourn her loss. Our prayers are also with all the other passengers who were aboard as they recover.,” the Ministry said in a statement.The Tourism Ministry said it has been assisting those affected and continues to work on the ground to provide emotional support and to help facilitate any needed arrangements. Caring for and comforting victims “The Exuma tourism team and the Ministry’s Visitor Relations Unit (VRU) have been working to comfort and care for those on the boat, their families and friends. This team works directly with visitors as a liaison with local authorities, health organizations, pastoral care and more.”The Ministry and the VRU say officials are coordinating with the Ministry of Health to provide as much relief as possible to  visitors “during this difficult time.”  Meanwhile, The U.S. Coast Guard , in a news release,  said it provided assistance, transporting four American citizens to Florida after the explosion.The Coast Guard said it sent an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew with two medical personnel to transport the boaters to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg, Fla.The cause of the blast remains under investigation by the Exuma branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, according to the Coast Guard.last_img read more

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Sandals reverses decision to open hotel in Tobago

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Sandals Resorts International (SRI) citing “constant and ongoing negative publicity” has withdrawn its participation in the establishment of a multi-million dollar resort on the island of Tobago.“So, it is with great sadness and it is very unfortunate that we had to take this step (but) we believe it is best at this point in time to withdraw Sandals from this project and focus our resources in the areas where we can be more effective,” SRI chief executive officer, Gebhard Rainer, told a news conference on Tuesday.Citing negative media coverageRainer told reporters that the negative media coverage the company has received over the last two and half years while the negotiations had been ongoing with the Keith Rowley administration “for us as a global brand and for what we stand for…internationally is taking on a dynamic that we are not willing to carry on any longer.Last year, TT Finance Minister Colm Imbert, said the construction of the 750-room Sandals and Beaches Resort represented a major turning point for the economy of Tobago.He said that the hotel would have been owned by Trinidad and Tobago and equity partners and is in keeping with the objectives of the newly established Tobago Tourism Agency.“A Tremendous blow’Responding to Sandals announcement, the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Kelvin Charles described it as a “tremendous blow” to the tourism thrust on the island.“This is a tremendous blow to our tourism thrust, which is one of the intended drivers of the Tobago economy,” Charles said in a statement.Charles said the tourism industry is labor intensive and the Sandals project would have provided employment directly and indirectly to other sectors including agriculture, agro-processing, services and construction.“The Sandals brand would have contributed to the improvement of airlift to Tobago, as well as the room stock, both in terms of quantity and quality, particularly in the absence of five-star hotels on the island,” Charles said.THA Minority Leader, Watson Duke, said while he welcomed the SRI decision, which would result in saving the island’s wetlands, he was still leaving the door open in the future for negotiations with the Jamaica-based hotel chain.Kamala blames Rowley administrationOpposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar has used the SRI decision to call for fresh general elections in the country.“This (Keith) Rowley government is not up to the job of effectively governing our country, and the Prime Minister should give the people of Trinidad and Tobago the opportunity to choose a leader and team that can build a brighter future for Trinidad and Tobago,” said Persad Bissessar, whose coalition People’s Partnership administration lost to Rowley’s People’s National Movement (PNM) in the 2015 general election.She said the position that Sandals withdrew based on negative publicity “is bordering on absurd, and it is yet another attempt by the government to deflect attention from their incompetence.“The government clearly had no plan with regard to Sandals hence the inevitable withdrawal from Tobago is no surprise. Throughout the process, they kept changing their story. First, Sandals was to construct and manage the hotel.“Later, we heard that the government would pay – meaning that taxpayers would pay – for the construction of the resort and Sandals would only manage it. Rowley conned the population into believing that Sandals would “change the game” when the Government never even signed a contract with Sandals.  His game changers are all pie in the sky desires not viable research-driven policy recommendations,” she added.last_img read more

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Community Groups Rally Resources to Educate Miami Residents on Participation in…

first_imgMIAMI, Florida – A collaborative of funders and partners have come together to improve Greater Miami’s outcomes in the 2020 US Census count, to ensure one of the most diverse metropolitan regions in South Florida is accurately counted and represented.Last week, the Miami-Dade Counts Census 2020 collaborative announced grant awards totaling $475,000 to 29 local organizations to support census participation in Miami-Dade County. Organizations.These organizations including, iCamillus House, Emgage USA, the Florida Association of Free and Affordable Clinics, and the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation, received grants ranging from $10,000-$25,000 to fund grassroots efforts working on outreach and education about the census in hard-to-count communities.“These grants will be used to advance strategies for reaching communities that have historically low rates of participation in the census. The Miami-Dade Counts Census 2020 collaborative wants to put financial resources into the hands of trusted messengers and community-based organizations that will spread the word about the importance of census participation,” said Lindsey Linzer, senior director of programs and grants administration for The Miami Foundation.“The efforts of these grantees will reach across the entire county with a distinct focus on traditionally hard-to-count communities – from the farmworker communities in Florida City to the Haitian communities in Little Haiti and North Miami,” said Donovan Lee-Sin, director of public policy and community engagement for The Children’s Trust. “When community members are informed, they are more likely to respond to the census.”The 2020 Census will determine how an estimated $800 billion in federal government resources will get distributed each year for the next 10 years. Forty-five billion dollars per year are identified for Florida families.These funds will support schools, hospitals, roads, public works, housing, small business development, and other vital programs and services.The data collected also affects how congressional districts are determined, including how much representation Florida and Miami-Dade County have in Congress.The Miami Foundation partnered with the FIU Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center to conduct community surveys and focus groups to learn more about local residents familiarity with and personal perspectives on the census.The findings aligned with national research, which determined that increasing awareness of the census purpose will increase participation and that residents need to understand how the information collected by the census will impact their lives.“It is critically important that the community address the concerns about why local constituents don’t participate in the census because there is so much at stake,” said Natalie Castellanos, director, policy and public affairs, for Health Foundation of South Florida.The grant awards are just the beginning of the Miami-Dade Counts 2020 efforts. The collaborative is working to build the capacity of grantees to do the outreach by creating communications toolkits and bringing together grantees to share resources and strategies.Additionally, the collaborative is working with partners like Microsoft and engineering students from Florida International University’s Upsilon Pi Epsilon to develop an online data visualization tool to track local census efforts.With support from the Knight Foundation, Poynter Institute will also host a free, two-day training in South Florida for journalists on how to cover the census.last_img read more

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Lisa Hanna Encourages Diaspora to Help Jamaica’s Poor While Bettering Themselves

first_imgHope Grant (right), secretary/treasurer of the FloridaBahamas (FloBah) organization, welcomes guest speaker Lisa Hanna to its annual dinner/dance, held November 2 at Miramar Multi-Service Complex. MIRAMAR, Florida – The Jamaican rural parish of Westmoreland was in the air at Miramar Multi-Service Complex on November 2, where the fourth annual FloridaBahamas (FloBah) dinner/dance took place.FloBah is the South Florida chapter of the Godfrey Stewart High School Alumni Association (GSHSAA), organizers of the event.This year, Lisa Hanna, Jamaican Member of Parliament and the Opposition People’s National Party’s shadow minister on foreign affairs and trade, was the guest speaker.She lauded FloBah’s daily breakfast program which provides for as many as 500 students at Godfrey Stewart High School, located in rural Westmoreland parish in JamaicaHanna told the packed hall that 30 per cent of Jamaica’s population survives on US$2 a day per person. Most of these Jamaicans live in rural areas.She noted that of the almost 650,000 students in the country’s school system, nearly half are subsidised by the government through its Program of Advancement Through Health and Education.Hanna said not many people in Jamaica are aware of the work organizations like FloBah put in.“Many persons think that persons in the Diaspora only contribute to Jamaica by giving remittances. And the irony is, that many of the persons that you are even helping look forward to those remittances that are sent every week or fortnight when you are being paid,” she stated.“But you have a double task, and here is what it is. Yes, you have to continue taking care of those persons back home but you also have to find a mechanism for those who are here who are sending back those remittances to ensure that they take care of themselves so that they don’t end up in a situation where they have nothing to show for the opportunities they got in the United States.”Hope Grant, FloBah’s co-founder and secretary/treasurer, said this year’s event exceeded expectations. It attracted members from GSHSAA’s Jamaica and North Eastern chapters, and a number of past students.Originally known as Savanna-La-Mar Comprehensive High School, the school was renamed Godfrey Stewart High School in 2000 in honor of a former principal.The school’s alumni include current Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett (older brother of Flobah’s president Devon Dobson), and singers Roy Rayon and Richie Stephens. Rayon, multiple winner of the Festival Song Contest in Jamaica, performed at the Miramar event.last_img read more

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Barbados to Allow Free Education to CARICOM Nationals

first_imgBridgetown, BARBADOS – (CMC) – The Barbados government says it is moving ahead with advancing elements of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) including free access to public schools for students from CARICOM countries.The CSME allows for the free movement of capital, goods, skills, and labour across the regional integration grouping and a government spokesperson said in a statement that the latest move “means that all CARICOM nationals under the age of 16, who reside in Barbados, will be afforded access to government nursery, primary and secondary schools without being charged tuition fees.“CARICOM students will not be required to have student visas. However, they will pay all fees that are applicable to Barbadians students. This exemption, however, does not extend to post-secondary, vocational nor tertiary level education. In addition, CARICOM students will not qualify to be granted scholarships and exhibitions,” the spokesperson noted.It said that in addition, at least one parent or one legal guardian must be residing in Barbados under an approved Immigration Status in order to access the tuition-free provision now afforded to CARICOM nationals, namely the Status of Citizen, Permanent Resident, Immigrant, or Reside and Work.“The elimination of student visas for CARICOM nationals will not remove the requirement to monitor non-nationals in the school system.“It should be noted that upon their first entry into the Barbadian school system, the parent or legal guardian of the CARICOM non-national child will be required to produce to the Ministry of Education a letter from the Immigration Department confirming that the child qualifies for tuition-free treatment,” the spokesperson said.It was noted that this requirement of a letter will only apply to a first entry into the school system and not any subsequent transfer to a different school.last_img read more

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Five fun facts to know about Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he turns 36 today.

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic is arguably one of the biggest names in football. Sweden’s all-time top goalscorer, has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, exciting to watch. He exudes confidence, might be somewhat controversial but he is definitely fun! The Manchester United striker marks his 36th birthday today and here are five fun facts about the fun guy. There is a word in the Swedish Dictionary named after him.In 2012, the Swedish Language Council added the verb, “Zlatanera” to its national dictionary in honor of the icon, meaning “to dominate” in English. The word has been in common use in Sweden since then. He is fluent in five languages. Ibrahimovic speaks Swedish, Bosnian, English, Spanish and Italian fluently. He also speaks a bit of French. Happy 36th birthday, Zlatan!Related A burger was named after him in France. In 2013, Doddy’s Cafe in Paris unveiled a 600-gram burger in honour of the then Paris St-Germain striker. Manager of the Cafe, Jean-Phillipe Grandin, created the burger that has the ‘power and strength’ of the Swede. ‘Le Zlatan’ contains minced beef with onions, bacon, three types of cheese including cheddar, Emmental and Auvergne Blue. The burger commands a hefty price tag of 30 Euros.center_img He was given a gold record award for his rendition of the Swedish national anthem. Ibrahimovic was the recipient of the prestigious award after his version of the Swedish national anthem was streamed three million times. He recorded his version of ‘Du Gamla, Du Fria’ translated as ‘Thou Ancient, Thou Free’ for an advert in 2014. He has two Taekwondo black belts.Zlatan earned a black belt in taekwondo as a 17 year-old in his hometown of Malmo and was awarded an honorary black belt by the Italian Taekwondo Federation in 2010 while at AC Milan.last_img read more

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Paddy Power Betfair – Sponsor Profile – #bofcon2017

first_img Share Share Submit Scott Longley – Confusion reigns over FDC’s second betting rights deal July 14, 2020 StumbleUpon FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Related Articles Alex Gersh returns to betting as Sportradar CFO   July 13, 2020 Kieran Packman, PPBPaddy Power Betfair is sponsoring Betting on Football 2017, the fourth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.Ahead of the 3-5 May event, we spoke to Kieran Packman, Head of B2B for Paddy Power Betfair, about why football is such an attractive sport for betting, how the market is changing from a consumer perspective and how betting and football stakeholders can work more effectively together.SBC: Why is football such an attractive sport for betting?KP: In my eyes there”s a plethora of reasons that football has been and remains such an attractive sport for bettors. The sheer depth of markets in the game combined with the perfect in-play capacity makes it interesting for punters. From corners to cards, there’s so many different ways for people to bet on football. Add to that the good, old-fashioned conflicting opinions on the same event and it’s clear to see why football is a great sport for betting.SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?KP: Simply put, from a consumer perspective, more markets bring more opportunities. There’s also been a huge recent growth in data provision and analytics available at the fingertips of a consumer. If you take Infogol or Opta, for example, a customer can leverage the power of their tools and statistics to make more informed decisions both before the event and in-play.SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?KP: I think there’s still space for growth in data sharing. Should betting and football stakeholders share data more effectively, the customer will feel more empowered and thus more inclined to bet. Also, I think a joined up CRM has potential to help betting and football stakeholders work more effectively as well as the continued pursuit of innovative and unique content.SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?KP: I’m definitely most excited by player tracking technology. I feel it could have a huge impact on the way we inform existing customers, whilst also opening up the potential for many, many more derivative markets to become available. The opportunities are there, it’s just about leveraging them.SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?KP: At BOFCON, i’m most interested to hear about the wider industry’s views on growth potential and execution strategies in regions that are not particularly renowned for it. In particular, I’m intrigued to hear the thoughts on strategies in regions such as Africa and Latin America.last_img read more

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Commercial growth of iGaming Cloud boosts GIG 2017 opening performance

first_img Submit Share Share GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Related Articles GiG ups code security oversight with Checkmarx July 10, 2020 GiG launches WSN Podcast hosted by Bill Krackomberger  June 18, 2020 StumbleUpon Presenting its Q1 2017 interim results (period ending 31 March), Oslo-listed European online gambling operator Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) has detailed a strong start to 2017 despite significant costs attributed to group marketing initiatives.Driven by the growth of its iGaming Cloud Platform, which currently services 28 external clients operating 41 active brands, GIG would report period revenues of €23 million, representing an increase of 7% over Q4 2016.Detailing period performance, GIG governance would point to growth in its B2C and B2B divisions, which contributed €18.5 million and €6.3 million respectively.However, the firm’s earnings results would be impacted by a significant increase in marketing spend to €11.1 million (48% of revenues), nearly doubling Q4 2016’s €7 million ad-spend.As a result of the high marketing activity the oslo-listed operator would report a period EBITA of – 400,000, down from € 3.9 million earnings posted in Q4 2016.During the period GIG governance completed the acquisition of casinotopsonline.com and a further DACH region network, executed through its SEK 400 million bond issuance gained in February 2017.Robin Reed CEO of GIG commented on Q1 2017 opening performance“Results for the first quarter of 2017 reflect our focus on building business volumes. We invested extensively in marketing, acquired the largest affiliate to date, signed 7 new brands and contracts to the iGaming Cloud (iGC) platform and continued to develop the next generation online casino.Our vision is to make the iGaming industry an open and connected eco-system for the benefit of all. The recent development and acquisitions contributes to the realisation of this strategy”last_img read more

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Norskespill Norway migrates to Finnplay open systems

first_img Norway’s Ministry of Culture seeks to end gambling’s triple guardianship  June 30, 2020 Norsk charities launch study on ‘sensitive area’ of market models May 11, 2020 Equine intervention maintains Rikstoto independence April 6, 2020 Related Articles Share Submit Share StumbleUpon Martin Prantner – FinnplayIndustry ‘open’ systems specialist provider Finnplay, has this morning announced that Norwegian focused online gambling operator Norskespill.com has migrated to its gaming/betting platform to Finnplay provisions.The completed migration of Malta-based Norskespil.com will see the Norwegian language operator relaunch its services offering new sports betting markets (pre-match and in-play), as well as a new live casino inventory.Sondre Sagstuen, CEO of Norskespill.com, commented on the partnership “Finnplay’s technology allows our brand to be agile and flexible, and in control of our roadmap to adapt to fast-changing market conditions. Its open platform provides shorter time scales for integrating tier 1 content and with the ability to own the source codes, allows for more robust strategic product planning and stability for our entire organization, across all brands and projects.”Martin Prantner, Chief Executive Officer of The Finnplay Group was pleased to continue his firm’s 2017 commercial momentum, adding Norsekspill to its growing client list.Finnplay’s technology allows our brand to be agile and flexible, and in control of our roadmap to adapt to fast-changing market conditions. Its open platform provides shorter time scales for integrating tier 1 content and with the ability to own the source codes, allows for more robust strategic product planning and stability for our entire organisation, across all brands and projects.”last_img read more

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Maris Bonello: Kindred Group – Industry Responsibility should always be a long term investment

first_img Submit StumbleUpon  On 20 September Kindred Group Plc will host its second ‘Responsible Gaming Conference’ in Malta discussing the industry’s current context with regards to player protections and consumer responsibilities. Kindred integrity manager Maris Bonello a key stakeholder of the ‘Responsible Gaming Conference’, speaks to SBC on Kindred social responsibility initiatives amid changing industry dynamics and new pressures.  _________________________SBC: Hi Maris Bonello, as a European operator why has Kindred Group founded and further invested in the ‘Responsible Gaming Conference Malta’?Maris Bonello: Since our foundation back in 1997, we have seen trust and responsible gambling as a core part of our business. As with any other business, we want customers to enjoy our products and we want them to enjoy them over a long period of time, preferably forever. The investments we have made into responsible gambling and tools such as our proprietary PS-EDS system (a monitoring tool able to detect changes in gambling behaviour and patterns) are to ensure we help our customers enjoy gambling in a safe and secure way. The second gambling stops being joyful, we urge our customers to take a break.Being a co-founder of the Responsible Gaming Conference is a way to openly discuss what is for the industry relevant and important questions. Arranging this conference in Malta is very natural as we have many local stakeholders here, gaming has a high presence on the island and it is also a way to share our expertise with key policymakers. SBC: With changing industry dynamics at consumer and regulatory level, what new developments and factors are we seeing with regards to the industry Responsible Gaming’s debate and discussion? MB: The industry is maturing and getting more professional every day, both online and offline. We can also see this trend in the debate on responsible gambling. With regards to standards being raised across Europe, what is OK today will not be tomorrow and operators need to challenge themselves and ensure that based upon innovation they can continue to provide a premium user experience in a safe and secure environment.We can also see how the online gambling industry has raised the bar on several responsible gambling areas, such as KYC processes and responsible gambling tools, and that the offline gambling industry are following, which is good for the industry and for the customer. The online operators also have the unique attribute of having access to objective data, which can be used for higher research. For instance, Kindred is cooperating with renowned researchers Professor Mark Griffiths and Dr Michael Auer to better understand player profiles, the player journey and the efficiency of responsible gambling practices.SBC: Operating as an enlarged enterprise, how has Kindred developed and enforced Responsible Gaming best practices across its brands and operations?MB: Kindred was founded by a devoted punter, Anders Ström, and responsible gambling has been in our “By Players, For Players” DNA. Today responsible gambling remains strongly anchored in our Kindred values and our sustainability strategy.  Our continued growth as a professional and reputable business can only happen if our customers can sustain their betting over time, so making sure that our customers stay in control over their behavior, i.e. moderate their play with state of the art self-control tools, is very important to us. Everybody in the organization is aware of this and it is a part of our culture.SBC: At a regulatory level should there be a greater emphasis at creating a standard code for Responsible Gaming, or should it be governed at local/national jurisdiction? MB: Yes.  For efficiency reasons, it is much better to comply with a single highest standard of compliance than with several fragmented sub-optimal standards.  Secondly, there is an element of scalability; new technologies are border-less and by default is scalability not hampered by geographical restrictions. Finally, the EU Commission 2014 Recommendation on Responsible Gambling is a first step in that direction. Kindred was the first operator to successfully complete an external audit against this pan-EU standard.SBC: Assessing industry developments and initiatives, do you believe that players are now better informed on Responsible Gaming rules and practices? MB: Yes, I believe so as we are much more prone to find information on our own today. Furthermore, as an informed adult choice is a key element of gambling, we recognize the importance of clear and transparent information about responsible gambling.  Around 2% of our customer contacts are around responsible gambling, including informative questions as to tools available. As user experience is key, in our view it is important to make that information as easily available and easy to understand.  Kindred for instance, is also supporting further development of Gambling Therapy’s responsible gambling app containing useful information. We also offer our customers a free license to Betfilter, which give our customers the ability to block all gambling companies.SBC: Finally, hosting the ‘Responsible Gaming Conference Malta’ what do you want attending delegates to take away from the event?MB: We hope that in organizing this conference we will not only bring key stakeholders together, but also based upon discussion and open challenges allow us all to bring forward a fact-based discussion on responsible gambling and digital gambling policy in general. We want delegates to leave the conference with a greater understanding of this complex yet important issue. Because at the end of the day, gambling is part of people’s personal entertainment and in a digital borderless environment, it is the customer who decides in function of his/her informed choice and service proposition._______________________Maris Bonello Share Sharelast_img read more

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