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GAMBLING

Gaming firm calls Svenska Spel’s bluff

Gaming company Betsson plans to open its first outlet in Sweden at the end of May with the express purpose of challenging the Swedish gaming monopoly.

And the head lawyer with Sweden’s Gaming Board promises that one of the agency’s inspectors will pay a visit on opening day.

According to a statement from Betsson, the shop will open on May 30th on Götgatan in Stockholm.

“The European Court of Justice gives us support for this venture. There is no longer a reason for us to wait for a political process which is barely moving forward. We want to drive the development of the gaming market forward for the benefit of players. I’m convinced that the monopoly’s gaming outlets are in for some tough competition ahead,” said Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall.

The Gaming Board’s lead attorney Johan Röhr doesn’t share the same perspective on the current legal framework.

“Nothing has happened and this is a judgment Betsson has made completely on its own. We will send an inspector and see what it is they’ve put up. Then we’ll see what we will do,” he told the TT news agency.

If the shop opens it will be the clearest challenge so far to Svenska Spel’s and ATG’s monopoly in Sweden.

“We can’t do terribly much ourselves. We’ll see if we file a report with the police and we can also order them to cease operations or face fines,” said Röhr.

Betsson CEO Lindwall feels however that the authorities ought to reconsider.

“I believe that there are risks for the authorities if they don’t allow this. Our judgment of the legal framework is that we can have this store and if they try to stop us on erroneous grounds, we’re going to ask for compensation at a later time,” he said.

GAMING

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

An English high school has taken notice after teachers in Stockholm introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for 13-year-old students, with one Englishman keen to pit his own students against those in Sweden.

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

After The Local wrote about a Stockholm school and its compulsory Minecraft lessons, one Englishman has been particularly moved by the Minecraft must.

Andrew Richardson Medd, assistant head teacher at the new Thomas Ferens Academy in Hull, is keen to get a similar programme running for his own students.

“When I saw the article, I thought – this is what I’m looking for – a lot of our students were playing Minecraft already and I’ve been trying to find something for our project-based learning programme,” Medd told The Local.

With his own students at the Hull school already equipped with their own iPads, Medd believes that interactive work with the Swedish computer game could be the perfect platform for a summer project for his own 13-14-year-olds.

“Learning has changed. Pupils aren’t receivers any more, the boundaries are greyed. Learning has become more collaborative, and that’s what I like about the game,” he said.

“Students are digital natives; they learn through experimenting whereas adults learn by questioning.”

Minecraft has already proven to be extremely popular worldwide since its release in November 2011, with over 40 million registered players and 17.5 million games units sold.

The three dimensional game demands that players find creative solutions to construction problems. According to its website, the idea is as simple as “arranging blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

While Medd is yet to hear back from teachers in Stockholm about their project, he is keen to throw down the gauntlet if that’s what it takes to get noticed.

“My vision is that the two schools could come together in an online collaborative project. A competition would be fantastic – let’s take on the natives, so to speak,” he told The Local.

“I cant profess to be a techie myself, but the kids would be really up for the challenge.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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