U.K.Gambling Commission​ Clamps Down On Online Gambling

Not doing enough to combat criminal activities is the reason behind the U.K.’s Gambling Commission’s recent announcement that there are five online casinos under a cloud of possibly losing their licences to operate in the jurisdiction.

The Gambling commission has sent letters to seventeen  online casino operators, regarding the “serious nature” of its findings on their controls that deal with money laundering, terrorist financing and problem gambling. The noted regulator has mentioned they are reviewing the licenses of five of the operations and are considering revoking the permission to continue offering gambling services in the United Kingdom.

The letter from the Commission stated research had revealed a number of failings in money-laundering controls, and also in social responsibility provisions designed to protect problem gamblers from harm.

Reporting officers employed by these operators had no formal qualifications and were “unable to provide suitable explanations as to what constitutes money laundering”.

The Commission noted, “There was a general lack of understanding of how criminal spend could affect the business.” It also maintained that the firms in question did not submit enough information about suspicious activity to law enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency. Failing to intervene when customers were showing signs of problem gambling was also revealed, the commission said. “This behaviour did not trigger a customer interaction,” by these operators, the Commission declared.

Chief executive officer at the Commission,  Sarah Harrison, said, “It is vital that the gambling industry takes its duty to protect consumers and keep crime out of gambling seriously.

“The Gambling Commission’s new strategy sets out our vision for a fairer and safer gambling market.

“The action we are taking to examine online casino operators’ compliance with money laundering and customer interaction requirements is just one example of how we will be relentless in turning that vision into reality.”


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Eventus Presents Sports Betting & Gaming India 2018

India has many aspects that lend themselves to creating enormous potential for online betting with sports betting making the top of the list. In order to help realize the vast potential for operators and administrators interested in gaining insight into the jurisdiction a conference has been arranged by Eventus International.  Eventus International has announced the venue for Sports Betting & Gaming India at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa, with the conference dates scheduled for 27 - 28 February 2018. Eventus International is an independent  global events and exhibitions company.

This first of its kind event, the Sports Betting & Gaming India Conference (SGBI), aims to bring together all of the key stakeholders, instrumental to the discussion about the future of betting and gambling in India.

The agenda is designed to spot-light the current situation and consider the case for legalisation and regulation, taking in commercial opportunities, responsible gambling and consumer protection and legislation and regulation as a vehicle for ensuring betting integrity.  The event will provide a platform for open discussion and debate on the future of betting, gaming and gambling in Indian jurisdiction. Attending the event an opportunity is presented to learn about the latest legal status on sports betting and gambling in India as well as the latest trends in the gaming market.

Expert professionals will offer effective new strategies and cutting-edge technological developments. As well as sage advice on pressing issues from some of the world’s top lawyers and consultants the industry's top companies and service providers will be on hand for possible supply deals.

The speaker list is extensive with experts such as Ms. Aahna Mehrotra who works as an independent ‘Sports Law and Management Consultant’ in Mumbai, India. Others include Anuj Gupta who has over 17 years of experience and a decade of proven track record in IT sector.

This first time event will be a pivotal experience for anyone who attends.

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Neteller & Skrill Leave Brazil's Online Gambling Industry

A report commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the largest trade association representing the online gambling industry has released the results of the report  by consulting firm KPMG which estimates the Brazilian iGaming market, measured in Gross Gaming revenue (GGR), to be worth more than $2.1 billion (R$6.7 billion).

The Brazilian Congress and Executive branch are working towards regulated online gambling in the country which for now has prohibited all gambling. The estimated timeline for the government to actualize reforms is uncertain but as the Brazilian Senate recently revealed the results of an online poll finding that 86% of the 2,672 respondents were in favour of legalizing online gambling. Almost two-thirds of respondents commented that legalization would benefit the country, compared to only 12% that commented that it would bring negative results for the country.

The recent announcement that payment processors Neteller and Skrill said they would no longer support Brazilians making deposits to gambling services has put yet another perspective on the situation in the nation.  Neteller and Skrill, are both owned by Paysafe Group (formerly Optimal Payments) and it is obvious some form of pressure was placed on the companies involved.  Paysafe has been reducing its online gambling relationship with the governments of recent years noticing the government is becoming more restrictive in controlling the economy.

Although confusion has been the latest reaction to the news received by email notices from Neteller informing them that the firm, “will no longer process deposits by members in Brazil to gambling merchants” effective February 21. Skrill customers also received a message stating the same.

Customers will have until February 28 2018 to withdraw any funds from online gambling sites from their Neteller/Skrill accounts. The money processing firms have apologized for any inconvenience stating their customers’ accounts will otherwise be not affected.


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Young Maltese Players Banned For Match FIxing

There are many incredible opportunities for the young athlete today but there is always a few players  who want to take advantage of those opportunities and cheat. Spoiling a promising career by taking the corrupt path is not the most intelligent move for those involved in organized sport. Match fixing hurts everyone and creates distrust for everyone.

European football’s governing body UEFA has issued a ban to six Maltese under 21 players after finding them guilty of match-fixing.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body ruled that Emanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare will both receive lifetime prohibition from the professional game of football after it was ruled they “acted in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and/or result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third party.”

Activities during Malta’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2017 qualification matches against Montenegro on March 23, 2016, and the Czech Republic on March 29 in the same year were under investigation resulting in the forever ban of the players.

Others included in the crackdown include Samir Arab who will serve a two-year ban from the game after “not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition.” Llywelyn Cremona and Luke Montebello both received a 12-month ban for the same offence.  

Ryan Camenzuli has received an 18-month ban from the sport for contravening the rules. UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body also investigated Matthew Cremona, but chose disciplinary proceedings against him while allowing him to still play. UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin described match-fixing “a disease that attacks football’s very core. ”





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 Aristocrat Takes Over Big Fish Games For $990 Million

Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, Washington, United States and is both a developer and distributor of casual games for computers and mobile devices. Established in 2002 by founder Paul Thelen in 2014, the company was acquired by Churchill Downs Incorporated for approximately $ $885 million.

Now the firm has been acquired by Aristocrat Technologies for 990 million USD. Back in November of 2017 Aristocrat revealed that it had agreed a deal to purchase the social gaming company.  Aristocrat’s Product Madness and Plarium, which it acquired in a deal worth $500m in October 2017 will work alongside Big Fish Games as a standalone business the firm confirmed.

Trevor Croker, Managing director of Aristocrat, Trevor Croker, commented on the confirmation of the deal,  “The strategic and financial benefits of this acquisition are highly compelling.

“Big Fish will immediately provide scale across our entire digital platform, and our social casino business will become the second largest social casino publisher globally.

“Big Fish’s digital-first social casino content and industry leading meta-game capability and applications are highly complementary to Aristocrat’s existing and industry-leading land based digital content business.”

Croker continued to say, “We are excited to work with the Big Fish team to take advantage of the opportunities this combination will create for shareholders and all stakeholders.”

Employing  2,080 people Aristocrat Leisure Limited is an Australian gambling machine manufacturer, which has its administrative centre in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde Australia. It has marketing and development offices in South Africa, Russia and the United States. Company revenue during 2004 was in excess of A $1.1 billion.



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Kambi Extends Contract With Napoleon Games

Establishing long term commitments is a basic element for sustained growth in the online gambling industry. Operators that prove they can provide solid performance are called upon to renew relationships amid growing competition from start ups and others. Premium sports betting services provider Kambi has recently announced it has signed a long term agreement to provide its multi-channel sports betting and technology services to Napoleon Games.

Registered in Malta Kambi is listed on the First North at Nasdaq Stockholm its service include a broad offering from frontend user interface through to odds compiling, customer intelligence and risk management, built on an in-house developed software platform.

Since 2012 Kambi and Napoleon Games have been working together and the extended contract is the fourth such arrangement for Kambi made within the last six months. Napoleon Games will retain Kambi’s full suite of online and retail products, including its price differentiation tool, real-time bonuses features, and a market-leading Instant Betting offer. 

Kambi Chief Executive, Kristian Nylén commented, “We are delighted to have agreed yet another customer contract extension, this time with Napoleon Games,” Nylén continued to add, “Following agreements with 888, LeoVegas and Paf, Kambi has strengthened relationships with four key customers in a short period, which not only underlines the quality and flexibility of the Kambi Sportsbook but also secures important sources of revenues for years to come.”  

“When coupled with the four new customers signed in 2017, Kambi enters 2018 with real momentum and I am very excited for what the year has in store,”

A spokesperson for Napoleon Games said, “Belgium has become a very competitive market and therefore Kambi’s depth of offer is an important element as it gives Napoleon a key point of difference,” “Kambi has also made its platform more flexible, including the creation of customisable odds, which is vital to us.”  “These two elements, combined with Kambi’s track record of spring boarding sports books and the strong relationships we have between us, make this an ideal partnership,”



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E-Sports Betting Upset By Appalling Behaviour

The e-sports gambling trend has resulted in a number of issues that leave betters not sure of the validity and safety of the process. A recent post has revealed X-bet and UltraPlay have stopped offering markets on the ProDotaCup esports event over allegations of  match-fixing and betting irregularities.

Betting operator X-bet, a sponsor of the competition, made the claim after providing evidence of fixing and collusion in a game between Sqreen’s Squad vs Nemiga Gaming during the Upper-Bracket Preliminary of ProDotaCup Europe #25.

X-bet maintains it has discovered at least three such instances of fixing and irregularities in the six months since it began sponsoring the ProDotaCup.

Russ Stevens, of X-bet.co, commented on the situation,  “Match fixing causes a financial loss to the operator but what is worse is that it jeopardises the relationship between the teams and the esports fans which affects the esports community as a whole.

“We have been surprised to see that there are bettors with a 100%-win rate on chosen ProDotaCup matches during the last three months. That made us think more about the existence of a tight-knit syndicate around the PDCup tournament, with usage of insider information in order to wager on the match outcomes.”

Peter Ivanov, Head of esports trading department, also commented, “We have evaluated the cases related to ProDotaCup and have decided to stop offering odds on this tournament to our network. We believe that any existence of match-fixing and betting collusion is damaging both financially and reputationally the organisations involved, but moreover they badly affect the overall esports betting ecosystem.

“We are covering a wide range of games and their respective tournaments and when such cases pop up we have to move quick, together with all related parties, in order to eradicate these practices and send a strong message to teams and players that we will not tolerate such appalling behaviour.”

ProDotaCup has been contacted, but is yet to respond to the allegations.


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Magnet Gaming  Portfolio Supplies Chanz

Content is king in the online gambling industry but the need for innovation comes on strong when the competition is so fierce. Social gambling for real money has been gaining traction in the market and those companies that succeed have seen that providing punters with new and better games attracts customers.

Denmark headquartered Magnet Gaming has recently announced it will be supplying Estonian social gaming brand Chanz with its varied portfolio of games. Popular titles such as Fish Tank, Gold Rush, Diamond Express and Candy Kingdom, as well as latest releases Treasure Coast and Haunted House, are to be offered. The full suite of HTML5 slots, designed to work without issues across a full range of platforms. Magnet Gaming, holds a number of gambling licences that allow direct integrations with operators

The games are also available using Microgaming’s Quickfire, NYX’s OGS, EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine, and iSoftBet’s GAP distribution platforms.

Head of Game Licensing at Magnet Gaming, Thomas Nielsen, commented on the arrangement, “We are delighted to be working with Chanz, an operator who shares our belief that gambling should be sociable and fun. We are constantly developing our games to promote gambling as a form of social entertainment and are confident our slots will go down really well with their players.”

Anton Krasnitksi, management board member at Chanz, also commented on the deal,  “We are always looking to add the best slots games to our site, and with the quality of Magnet Gaming’s portfolio, we have certainly done that. We know our players will love the social side of Magnet’s games, as well as the top-quality graphics, sounds and narrative. We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.”



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Betway Employees Donate To English Federation of Disability Sport

The Betway Group's flagship brand, "Betway", is an international gambling company that operates across regulated online marketplaces and holds licences in the UK, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium,  Germany and Ireland. The Betway Group is based in Malta and Guernsey, with support from London, Cape Town and the Isle of Man. The Betway Group also has a partnership with the Professional Players Federation, which promotes, protects and develops the collective interests of professional sportspeople in the UK. Betway is also a supporter of the Responsible Gambling Trust.

The employees of the firm have recently raised more than £70,000 ($95,000/€80,000) for one of its charity partners, the English Federation of Disability Sport. The operator said the funds will go towards the EFDS’s Inclusive Fitness Initiative, which supports facility providers to improve their services to become more inclusive for disabled individuals.

Anthony Werkman Betway’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “We are really pleased to have raised over £70,000 for the English Federation of Disability Sport, and are proud of all Betway Group employees who have contributed to this worthy cause.” Werkman continued, “We are always looking to contribute to different charities and in 2018, our employees will vote on which charities Betway should partner with.”

Employees at Betway Group raised £25,000 for the charity last year when more than 100 employees  participated in the Silverstone Half Marathon. A donation of almost £16,000 to a children’s charity was also announced after the UK Snooker Championship in York. The donation went to charity Jessie May Children’s Hospice At Home. "After a thrilling Betway UK Championship, we are once again delighted to be able to make this donation to such a fantastic cause," Werkman said.

Children’s Hospice At Home spokesperson Julian Withers commented, "A huge thank you to Betway for sponsoring the UK Championship and to the players for scoring so highly, enabling this fantastic donation.”




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Bet365 Trade Mark Issues Somewhat Resolved

The right to maintain an image and brand and trademarks has been called into question in many jurisdictions within the European Union with issues concerning copy rights remaining unresolved. A particular legal battle that has lasted over seven years still has not been totally settled. Back in 2007, online gambling Bet365 put a bid in to trademark its name in the E.U. but a particular examiner rejected the application, stating ‘bet’ was just a generic term and ‘365’ merely was the number of days in a year.

Not to be daunted by the rejection the operator Bet365 Group Ltd from Britain and one of the world's leading online gambling operators with over 19 million customers in almost two hundred countries decided to challenge the ruling.

The examiner decided that the Bet365 application was valid. Then in 2013, an individual filed to have Bet365’s trademark declared invalid, based on the person’s trademark ‘b365’ brand and for three years the Bet365 Group blocked the efforts of the German citizen.

In 2016 however the Fifth Board of Appeal at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) upheld the other individual’s appeal and Bet365 appealed that decision to the European Union General Court (EGC). That court has recently annulled the ruling by the EUIPO and said that Bet365’s plea for annulment was “well founded.” The European Union General Court said the Fifth Board of Appeal had not sufficiently substantiated the decision concerning the gambling and betting services in class 41. A statement from the General Court read, “Consequently, with regard to those services, the single plea in law seeking annulment is well founded and there is no need to examine the last arguments put forward by the applicant concerning the lack of opinion polls or evidence from a chamber of commerce in respect of which it was criticised by the Board of Appeal.”

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