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FanDuel, DraftKings Create Fantasy Sports Titan



FanDuel and DraftKings have agreed to merge after months of speculation, creating a company that would control more than 90 per cent of the turbulent daily fantasy sports industry.

The deal raises potential antitrust concerns, and U.S. federal regulators will need to clear any tie-up. For customers, little will change until the merger closes, which could take more than a year. The valuation of the combined entity wasn’t disclosed.

DraftKings co-founder Jason Robins, who will be CEO of the new entity, and FanDuel co-founder Nigel Eccles, who will chair its board, described the agreement as a merger of equals. “It’s that simple,” Robins said during a joint interview Friday.

Investors have been encouraging a marriage for months, as Bloomberg News reported in June. With almost identical games — players assemble rosters made up of real-life athletes, then win (or lose) based on actual on-field performance — the two companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars competing with each other, first to attract players, then to fight legal battles.

“Shareholders have been incredibly supportive,” Eccles said. “They’ve seen the benefits of the deal for a long time.” Both companies will explore raising money as separate entities and then as a combined unit, they said.

Neither company has ever been profitable on its own, even during a 2015 boom, but at that peak, each company was valued at more than $1 billion (U.S.). Investors in DraftKings include Madison Square Garden Co. and the Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots. FanDuel is backed by KKR & Co. and Time Warner Inc., among others.

By combining forces, a combined FanDuel Inc.-DraftKings will spend less on advertising, legal fees and lobbying and more on development and innovation, easing the path to profitability, according to a statement.

“Our biggest frustration is that we can’t do more, can’t innovate more, can’t deliver more product,” Eccles said. He noted the company’s August 2015 purchase of sports-analytics company numberFire, which hasn’t yet been integrated into the FanDuel platform.

While the combined company may have an outsized share of the daily fantasy industry, the executives identified as their main competition Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN and Yahoo! Inc., which offer fantasy sports games and much more.

Investment in the new company and the industry as a whole depends in part on the changing regulatory landscape. Robins said the new unit will continue to focus solely on fantasy games, leaving betting on sports — should it be legalized across the U.S. — to other companies.

The daily fantasy-sports industry was upended midway through the 2015 NFL season by questions about a DraftKings employee who may have used inside information to win money on FanDuel. Regulators in several states followed by questioning the games’ legality. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, for example, called it gambling and briefly banned both companies from operating in the state.

The industry is still facing legal battles in almost a dozen states where the two sites don’t operate, including Arizona, Washington and Nevada.

Fighting those challenges has been costly. By some estimates, the companies have each lost about half their peak value. In February, 21st Century Fox wrote down its $160 million investment in DraftKings by about 60 per cent. The legal battles forced Robins and Eccles, whose relationship has been rocky, to mend fences.

“It forced us to get to know each other, to collaborate,” Robins said. “We realized we had a shared vision.”

Today, the two sites generate similar revenue. For their Week 9 NFL contests, DraftKings took in $19.5 million in entry fees and paid out $17.1 million in prizes, claiming $2.4 million as revenue, according to data compiled by Legal Sports Report. FanDuel also made $2.4 million that week, on $14.7 million in entry fees.

It isn’t clear how the merger will affect fantasy sports fans. If the deal closes, the combined company could choose to continue to run FanDuel and DraftKings as separate sites and apps. It’s common for serious daily fantasy players to be active on both.

Under Eccles, three executives from both companies and one independent director will serve on the new entity’s board. DraftKings has implemented a retention plan for employees who might be thinking about leaving amid the uncertainty, Robins said, declining to provide details.

Eccles said there wouldn’t be any immediate job cuts. But that could change after the merger. “We have to figure out how do we combine the businesses,” he said.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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