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Morocco’s run at the World Cup is providing an escape from soccer’s standard narrative

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Morocco’s players celebrate after winning the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 10.The Associated Press

Time was, writers and artists from Europe and North America found inspiration in Morocco. From Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac and the Beat poets, they went there for the weather, the drugs, the landscape and sheer exoticism of the place. Twain wrote that in Morocco he and his wife found, “Nothing to remind us of any other people or any other land under the sun.”

Now everybody is on the Morocco bandwagon, with an enthusiasm unmatched since Crosby, Stills and Nash sang Marrakesh Express with gusto back in 1969. At this World Cup in Qatar, the Morocco team has awed the watching world, now the last African team in the competition, representing Africa and the Arab world. It faces world champion France in a semi-final and, while the odds are long, it could be in a World Cup final. No matter what happens, it is in the final four.

Did this happen out of nowhere? Well, yes. Nobody paid attention to Morocco in advance. In Canada, it was widely considered that Morocco was the one team that the Canadian men’s team could beat. How naive.

How and why Morocco is succeeding is a complicated matter. It doesn’t play entertaining soccer of endless attack with silky ball skills. It defends, possesses the ball for short periods and scores on quick counterattacks. As every pundit now explains, manager Walid Regragui commands his team to use a 4-1-4-1 formation. The four at the back rarely venture forward, and the one player in front of them, midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, hardly ever leaves the space around him, concentrating on stopping the other side before it even encounters the defenders. The four-man midfield also sits deep. This is not, however, quite the “parking-the-bus” tactic that some teams use to nullify attacking opponents. This bus roars to life and surges forward when, and only when, there’s a direct route to goal.

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It’s collectivist soccer at its best; there’s a unity of purpose and the group is given priority over each individual. And it’s not unique. A disciplined and co-operative Greek team won Euro 2004, relying on defence and occasional goal scoring from set pieces. Former Italy manager Giovanni Trapattoni famously observed, “Greece won the Euro with three free-kicks and one corner kick.”

What’s unusual and complicated is that Morocco relies on its diaspora – Morocco is a country of 37 million, but 14 of their 26 players were born elsewhere. That means several of the players could have played for the country of their birth, but didn’t. Now, this in itself is far from unique. England’s Declan Rice and Jack Grealish both played as teenagers for the Republic of Ireland, the country of their parents or grandparents, but opted to play for England when offered the opportunity.

What makes the Morocco situation truly different is that unlike Rice and Grealish, who chose more money, exposure and stardom with England, one of Morocco’s best players, Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, was called up to play for the Netherlands, where he was born, at senior level, but chose instead to play for the country of his parents.

Thus, you can speculate, one key factor in Morocco’s success is the sense of unity shared by players from the diaspora. Their loyalty is to their family’s place of birth, not to the country where they, as players, might have faced racist abuse on the field, and their parents faced hostility or racism as immigrants. Grudges like that don’t ease until generation after generation has relaxed into life in the country their parents or grandparents fled to, and where they lived in ghettos doing the low-paid work that immigrants do. In such circumstances, Moroccan identity is a solace and an emotionally unifying force. Ideal conditions for the collectivist approach.

Morocco’s success has been drenched in strong emotions about family and home. Remember when Canada’s team was negotiating compensation for appearing at this World Cup? A key item on the agenda was a friends-and-family travel package to Qatar. Boy, does that matter with Morocco. The mothers of the Moroccan national team have grabbed the spotlight as, after several matches, scenes or pictures of the players kissing their mothers’ heads or dancing and hugging them has garnered as much attention as the goals and victories.

Moms leave the stands to celebrate with their sons on the field. Manager Regragui has made a habit of wading through the supporters to find and embrace his mother, a woman who worked for years as a cleaner at the Orly airport in Paris, where the manager as born. Whatever money Morocco spent on bringing families to Qatar was well spent. There is nothing complicated about the connection between a mother and son, but it is all part of the complex fuel that drives this Morocco team to extraordinary heights.

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The Booming Online Casino Gaming Industry in Canada

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Online Casino Gaming Industry in Canada

Canada’s online casino gaming industry has seen significant and steady growth in popularity and acceptance by people in recent years. In fact, available statistics validate this with about 31 gaming websites owned by 18 licensed and regulated game operators in Ontario, who recorded about CAD 4.1 billion (USD 3.1 billion) in the first quarter of 2022.

This was largely made possible with the revolution of online gaming and the convenience it brings to players who can access a wide range of games from a single location, usually their homes. Aside from factors like targeted advertisements that put the word out about online casino games in Canada (as it is legalized here), the growth of this industry has also been hugely influenced by the numerous benefits players enjoy when they play and win games remotely.

Safe and Secure Environment with Advanced Encryption Technology

Playing at an online casino typically exposes players’ sensitive information, such as their name, address, financial details, etc., to the public. But with advanced encryption technology such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) in place, online casinos can encrypt all players’ personal and financial information ensuring their security and privacy.

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With the government’s regulations and robust enforcement of best practices on game operators, the online casino gaming industry in the Great White North has steadily made giant strides in protecting players’ information and their transactions with the adoption of these aforementioned data encryption technologies.

Mobile Friendliness

One attribute that the best online casino games in Canada have is the mobile-friendliness of their respective apps. For every feature described above, gamers would have been at a loss if they could not easily navigate the mobile app or a web browser to place bets on their desired games.

Needless to say that this feature alone has added to the growth of online casinos in Canada. While brick-and-mortar casinos still stand the test of time, features such as this have made online casinos a delight, helping to solidify their presence in Canada, and it is not hard to see why this is so.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the future is bright for the online casino gaming industry in Canada, so long as the industry continues to evolve around technology, while at the same time adhering to government regulations. Though it will not always be easy for these two aspects to agree at all times, with the welfare of gamers determining advancement in the industry, we will most likely witness a steady and sustained boom in the field of online casino gaming.

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A Look At Today’s Best Live Dealer Online Casino Games

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Online Casino Games

Some of the most popular games you can play at fully licensed online casinos today are live dealer games, such as Live Dealer Roulette, Live Dealer Blackjack, TV Game Show-themed live dealer games, and Live Dealer Slots. Here is a closer look at some of the best live dealer games from three leading software providers – Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, and OnAir Entertainment.

All of these state-of-the-art live dealer games are now available to play in the real money mode at a fully licensed online casino called Lucky Spins Canada, which is free to sign up to and is currently offering all new Canadian players up to 500 FREE SPINS for Play’n GO’s iconic Book of Dead online slot, plus a 100% matching deposit bonus worth up to C$500.

Top 10 Live Dealer Games in the Spotlight

Here are ten of the best live dealer casino games that you must check out. These games have wide betting ranges that cater to low rollers and high rollers alike (and pretty much all other betting ranges in between low rollers and high rollers), and you can often play one round/hand/spin from as little as C$0.10 to C$0.50 up to C$1,000.00 or more.

The top ten live dealer games from Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, OnAir Entertainment, Betgames.tv, Ezugi, and eBET that you must check out include the following mixture of live table & card games, live slots, and television game show live dealer games:

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  • Live PowerUp Roulette from Pragmatic Play
  • Live Andar Bahar from Ezugi
  • Live Teen Patti from Ezugi
  • Live XXXtreme Lightning Roulette from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Crazy Coin Flip from Evolution Gaming
  • MONOPOLY Live from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Wheel of Fortune from Betgames.tv
  • Live Airwave Roulette from OnAir Entertainment
  • Live Black Sports Arena from OnAir Entertainment
  • Bet On Poker Live from Betgames.tv

How old do I have to be to play live casino games?

To play live dealer games at online casinos, such as Lucky Spins, you generally need to be at least 18 years old. However, always check because, in some regions where online gambling is legal, it could be 21 or 20 years old.

What devices can I play live dealer games from?

You can play live dealer games from all of the providers mentioned above using either a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Just make sure that it has decent Wi-Fi or internet connectivity. Most games can be launched instantly in your web browser, plus you also generally have the option to download and install a free casino app directly onto your smartphone or tablet and then play from within the secure app.

What to remember when playing for real money

When playing for real money, don’t forget to set deposit limits where possible. Don’t ever chase your losses because it may result in you losing even more money, and don’t gamble just for the sake of it. Try and have fun, and always remember to gamble responsibly. Gambling is meant to be fun, so if you aren’t having fun anymore, it might be a good idea to take a break from gambling for a while.

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Gambling in Ireland vs. Canada

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Regulation of Online Gambling in Ontario: The Fight Against Black-Market Operators Continues

Gambling has traditionally played a significant role in Irish society. Naturally, the advancement of technology has changed how Irish gamblers conduct their business. Because of cell phones, placing bets is now simpler than ever (You could check here for a few trustworthy ones). However, Irish individuals must be cognizant of the country’s licensing laws.

Irish gamers can wager on bingo, lotteries, casino games, poker, sports, and more about the regulated and licensed gambling websites, making internet gambling in Ireland a multi-million-dollar business. This is not so dissimilar from the humongous gambling industry in Canada. For the past couple of years, gambling practices have been on the rise in Canada. So in today’s article, we’ll be looking at how gambling has fared in Ireland vs. Canada.

 

Ireland

According to the most recent statistics from Ireland from 2022, approximately half of the Irish population (49%) partakes in gambling, while its estimated prevalence for gambling addiction is 0.3%, meaning there are 12,000 problem gamblers in Ireland. Since only a small percentage of those with an issue with betting seek treatment, there is a need to try and understand Irish gambling behavior and treatment adoption.

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According to industry statistics, Irish gamblers ended up losing over €1.36 billion the year before last, or around €300 on average for every person, ranking them as the fourth-largest gamblers throughout the EU. According to industry researchers H2 Gambling Capital, Ireland places 14th internationally for the biggest median gambling losses, comfortably ahead of the UK but behind Sweden (€325 per adult), Malta (€334), and Finland (€342).

Revenue rose €51.9 million in conventional betting duty revenues and €40.6 million in online betting receipts in 2019, almost twice as much as the corresponding amounts from the preceding year ($28.9 million & €21.7 million, respectively). Sports betting is the most well-liked online form of gambling, comprising over 41% of the industry and bringing in €10 billion in 2019, claims the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Instead of using desktop computers, over 44% of all internet wagers are placed from a phone or tablet. By 2025, it is anticipated that approximately 6 out of 10 online wagers will be placed using mobile devices. Despite representing just 1.1% of the total population, Ireland generates 2.6% of Europe’s online gambling market in terms of revenue, according to the H2 data.

 

 

Canada

Like many other nations, Canada has a large gambling industry. The majority of gamblers don’t suffer any consequences, but a small percentage will. The number of gambling options in Canada has grown over the years, and new gambling innovations like online poker & sports betting have increased the significance of more thorough and ongoing oversight.

A study used information from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to assess gambling and gambling-related issues among adults aged 15 and over. Those who may be at risk of developing a problem with gambling are identified using a Problem Gambling Index. This evaluates problem gambling behavior and the effects of that behavior on the individual or others.

Of the 18.9 million Canadians aged 15 and over, nearly two-thirds (64.5%) reported betting in the previous year, & 1.6% of those gamblers were exposed to a substantial risk of gambling-related issues. Men were more prone than women to file gambling in the previous year across all age categories. Additionally, men were more likely to have a relatively high risk of developing gambling-related issues.

Though they were more prone to developing gambling problems, people in lower social households were less inclined to wager than those of relatively high-earning households.

 

For instance,

 

  • 1% of Canadians at significantly higher risk for gambling issues were among the 71.5% of those living in higher-earning households who reported betting in the last year.
  • 8% of people from low-income families gambled in the preceding year, and 2.7% of them were at moderate to high risk for developing gambling addictions.

 

The likelihood of gambling-related issues rose with the quantity of casino games played.

In the multivariate analyses, the majority of factors, such as engaging in various gambling activities, living single (or separated or divorced), being unmarried, and possessing poor or fair mental well-being, remained independently related to gambling problems.

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