Vantiv Bids To Aquire Rival Payment Processor Worldpay

The online betting industry is closely linked to one of its essential aspects money transfers. The industry depends on a safe environment for consumers of wagers products to participate in. The importance of a fast and secure money transferring process cannot be undervalued in an online gambling operators offering.

The recent bid by public U.S.-based payment processing and technology provider Vantiv the largest U.S. merchant acquirer, to acquire London’s Worldpay Group for 7.7 billion pounds ($9.9 billion) is an example of the competition for this aspect of the betting industry. With as many as five thousand employees and revenue of 4.541 billion GBP in 2016 Worldpay which floated on the London stock exchange just last year, noted that regulated gambling as one of its five key verticals. The executive boards of Worldpay and Vantiv “see compelling strategic, commercial and financial rationale” for the fusion, as well as “substantial opportunities for cost synergies.” According to a statement a combined company would have a strong position in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America.

Only a few months ago in February Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G)  secured a partnership with payment provider Worldpay. Worldpay will serve as SB&G’s lead payment system, as part of a wider effort by the gambling operator to both optimise player experience and engagement across its various digital verticals. SB&G product owner for payments, Andrew Sacre, commented then,  “Providing customers with a sophisticated digital experience is an absolute priority for us, which means supporting a growing number of emerging payment options, including Apple Pay,” “The digital gambling and payments space continues to evolve, driven by changing consumer habits and innovative new technologies, and Worldpay’s unique insight into customer patterns will be key to delivering a market-leading service.”

Last April, Vantiv also agreed to purchase Atlanta-based Paymetric Inc., a firm that helps integrate electronic payments in corporate software systems, for an undisclosed amount. It also acquired Moneris Solutions Inc., a card transaction processor for $429.6 million in December.


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Betsson Calls For E.C. Action On Dutch Online Gambling

The internet is flooded with businesses related to online betting and the jurisdictional regulatory issues still plague the international operators. The Scandinavian online gambling industry has seen some improvements on the regulatory front but it still is a divided and confusing situation there.

Recently the Netherlands has been offensive after the Dutch regulatory body Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body took aggressive actions against online operators it considered illegal in the Netherlands. Betsson, which operates Dutch-facing Oranje and Kroon brands, is saying that the KSA lacks the legal grounds for the proposed moves.  Betsson AB has formally requested that the European Commission take disciplinary action regarding the restricted gambling market in that jurisdiction.

Betsson has maintained that its operation that service Dutch consumers of their betting products,  “have been in line with the prioritization criteria” which the KSA implemented in 2012, but the KSA had moved the regulatory standards “without any legal basis.” With this in mind Betsson will continue to operate in accordance with the KSA’s 2012 criteria “but we will not change operations further as the change in policy has no legal basis.”

It is an old argument that many international regulated online gambling operators have face over the years. Betsson however has decided to fight back and issued a statement calling on The European Commission to reopen infringement proceedings originally brought against the Netherlands in 2006.  Betsson made a mention of the recent Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) that ruled that Hungary’s online gambling regime had no right to impose penalties against online operators licensed in other EU member states. Betsson has announced it had submitted the official complaint to the EC, based on the “continued and flagrant breach” of EU law by Dutch authorities and the country’s “continued failure to implement an EU compliant legal framework.”

Betsson’s statement continues to say the KSA’s actions are “unacceptable” and the EC needs to “take all action necessary to ensure that the KSA immediately refrains from continued enforcement.”

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UKGC Raising Standards For Online Gambling Industry

The system employed by the United Kingdom dealing with online gambling has been a successful enterprise. Online gambling regulation is a difficult process to manage especially in the U.K. where gambling products are diverse and multi layered.

Last month the UK Gambling Commission introduced a series of measures to give consumers more tools for the monitoring of online gambling activities. Consultations with industry stake holders recently culminated in the creation of the revised requirements for operators to “enhance protections” for a more “informed decision” regarding online gambling participation.

Programme director at the UKGC, Sharon McNair, commented on the improvements, “Consumers must be able to make informed decisions about their online gambling activity.

“The findings of our recent consultation indicate that there are differences in approach amongst licensees in relation to the level of information available to their consumers and the ease by which that information is accessible.

“The new requirements seek to address this and ensure greater consistency in the information available to all consumers regardless of who they choose to gamble with.

“Gambling operators must see beyond the bottom line, and ensure both new and existing gambling products are effectively managing the risks to the licensing objectives, keeping gambling safe and fair for all.”

McNair continued, “We are seeing operators developing new gambling products and technologies every day – something that it is vital to the further advancement of the sector.

“But as the industry transforms, operators are reminded that we too will continue to adapt our regulation to raise standards across all gambling sectors and enhance the protections available for consumers.”

Chief executive officer of the UKGC, Sarah Harrison, also commented, “We will use the full range of enforcement powers to ensure operators put customers first and raise standards.

“The industry can be assured that we will use our powers in a targeted way, and consumers and the public can be assured we will take robust and effective action when gambling companies don’t meet their obligations.”



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Erdogan Pledges to Eliminate Gambling In Turkey

Turkey and the 80 million plus  inhabitants have been struggling with the very nature of their country ‎that straddles eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Turkey is a country of conflicting interests that have been brought to the attention on the world stage by Turkey’s authoritarian president Recep Erdogan who has tightened his grip on the country since a failed military coup last year.

The political crackdown has witnessed many journalists, educators and judges detained in an obvious attempt by Erdogan to silence the media and undermine the rule of law.

Now Erdogan’s socially conservative government has made a declaration that it will no longer tolerate illegal gambling whether it is on land or online. The pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper recently reported details of the proposed two-year campaign. The anti-gambling team will lead by a special prosecutor and representatives from the Financial Crimes Investigation Council, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, Revenues Department and Information and Communication Technologies Authority with other “relevant agencies” involved.

Residents can legally gamble with the Milli Piyango lottery and state operated SporToto sports betting platform with the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency implementing moves to stop credit card use and other funding methods such as virtual currencies for illegal online gambling. The anti gambling campaign with include promotions focused on the youth of Turkey stipulating the negative outcomes of gambling which will include posters informing Internet cafe and coffee house participants that accessing unsanctioned online gambling domains is unlawful.

It was reported by the newspaper that search engines will be monitored and punters who access illegal sites will be sent a text message warning them the government is monitoring the activity. All advertising pertaining to gambling will be prohibited and sites providing links to illegal gambling will also be closed. Large fines are in order for internet cafes that let customers access illegal gambling sites.





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Wimbledon Tennis Championship's Exciting Matches

Tennis is the sport that has the attention of betting fans all over the world with the 2017 Wimbledon tournament being the 131st edition of the championships, the 50th in the Open Era and the third Grand Slam tournament of the year. The game is played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon in the U.K. and is the oldest tennis tournament in the world that has been held in London, since 1877 played on outdoor grass courts.

Englishman Andy Murray is the defending champion in the Gentlemen's singles and two-time defending Ladies' singles champion Serena Williams will not return to defend her title, ending her season in April due to her pregnancy. The prize money offered for the games is substantial with total prize money for 2017 having been increased to £31.6m. The winners of the men's and women's singles titles will earn £2.2m. The odds are on 35-year-old Federer who has rebooted this year and enters Wimbledon as the +200 favorite as the third seed again ahead of defending grand slam champion Andy Murray, who is listed as the +350 second choice. Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion and third seed Roger Federer has been playing well after his return from time out after winning the Miami Open. Federer began the season by winning the Australian Open beating rival Rafael Nadal. Federer has also won three other titles, including the Gerry Weber Open for a ninth time, improving his score to 24-2 overall.

Other contenders for the title include fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal (+400), second-seeded Novak Djokovic (+600) and sixth-seeded Milos Raonic (+1400). In the women’s division Petra Kvitova betting is listed by Skybet at 9/2 and Karolina Pliskova also 9/2, Johanna Konta 11/1, Garbine Muguruza 12/1, Venus Williams 14/1 and Angelique Kerber at 16/1. Petra Kvitova moved into contention for the title with a victory in last month’s Birmingham Aegon Classic.

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'Best Gaming Provider' Awarded To Betsoft Gaming

The internet betting industry has been evolving constantly over the past decade or so and at the various conferences and summits related to the progress of this exciting industry awards point to the pick of the crop and the best of the best.

The recent gathering of professionals the 11th Annual Russian Gaming Week saw 3D pioneers of online gambling Betsoft Gaming announce that they won the Best Gaming Provider award. The Login Casino Awards were held at the event hosted by ECC Sokolniki in Moscow between 7 and 8 June 2017. An online survey sent to gambling operators, players and suppliers of services and equipment was used to determine the winner of the Best Gaming Provider award.

"This award confirms what we already knew," said Annamaria Anastasi, Betsoft's Marketing Director. "Betsoft brings the best games to the industry, our work speaks for itself. We are always pushing boundaries to craft exceptional iGaming entertainment. The varied themes of our Slots3 games speaks to the incredible popularity of our content; we have something to appeal to everyone's tastes.  Our games are supported by exceptional in-game promotional tools making them easy to promote by operators.”

“We have a fantastic team who has worked very hard to get here.  What we strive for with each new release are designing math models and feature rich games aimed at increasing the KPIs to enrich player experience and of course, extend play time”.

“We are proud to have won the Best Gaming Provider award at this year's Login Casino Awards. Thank you to all those who voted for us."

Betsoft ‘s unique and engaging content is created for the twenty first century online casino participant the team at Betsoft Gaming are deserving of this prestigious award. The company games are available on over 100 casino operator’s platforms around the world.





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Columbia Issues First Online Gambling Licence

Latin America is potentially the biggest online gambling market yet to be tapped in the world. The biggest problem in countries such as South America’s Columbia is regulation. In Columbia for example there are over three hundred illegal online gambling operators seeking the attention of punters in Columbia. The government has recently published a list of these operators who are to be blocked by the internet service providers.

New gambling legislation was brought into play last year allowing for a legal online gambling regime. Operators are offered licences by the regulator Coljuegos which includes a fifteen percent tax levy on gross gambling revenues. Electronic gaming machine company Aquila Global Group which operates online gambling portal has received the first online gambling licence in Colombia. Coljuegos the national regulatory body confirmed that the company will offer a number of wagering opportunities. Every year in Columbia’s capital Bogota an online gambling expo called FADJA (Feria Andina de Juegos de Azar) is held. It is a major event that brings the betting industry from the other Latin American countries to participate.

The Medellin Columbia based Aquila Global Group will launch with the projected aim of reaching 1,000,000 registered users during the term of the contract. It is expected to creating as many as 3,000 jobs.

Regulatory body Coljuegos President, Juan Perez Hidalgo commented, “We want more operators to obtain authorisation from Coljuegos to achieve a strong sector and tune in with the new technologies.”

Hidalgo continued to expand on the process, “With this initiative we seek greater resources for the health of Colombians, expanding the portfolio of games through innovative tools and tuning with the trend towards greater use of new technologies in the world. We are aware that the fight against illegality is not an easy task and less so with regard to technological platforms. That is why we are working in an articulated way with the National Police and the Ministry of Defence.”


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US Online Gambling Status Quo... For Now

The internet provides the world with a very special opportunity in so much that there is everything available if there is a connection at anytime. The news recently regarding the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions his decision to declare himself disqualified to judge something or participate in something because of possible bias or personal interest says a great deal about the relationship between him and one of his backers Sheldon Adelson during Trump’s election run.

Much of what is going on in the USA has the world wondering if there will be major crackdowns on all sorts of things in the USA. The internet betting status quo is going to remain the way it has been since 2011 when the US Department of Justice allowed individual states to determine for themselves whether to allow people to play at online gambling sites as long as it doesn’t involve sports betting.

Isgur Flores the DOJ spokesperson stated that US Attorney General Sessions would have no further input into any possible DOJ examination of the online gambling issue. The responsibility to review the online gambling issue in the USA seems to have been passed along to the Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein who went ahead and seized eleven bank accounts and ten domains including Doyles Room in Maryland in 2011.

The situation in American politics can only be seen as chaotic and without a rudder. The mood among those who feel frustration with the antics of this particular administration is so far so good. As long as the lobbing for Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which is still pressing Congress to prohibit online gambling. The hope is some supporting Senator doesn’t slip a bill through the house embedded in some obscure legislation read at three in the morning similar to the tactic used when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006.  

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Liquidity for Poker in Europe Coming Soon

The regulated online poker industry in Europe has been going through changes for years with certain jurisdictions struggling to maintain customers and attract new players. Poker players need other participants to fill in the tables and make for exciting games. Liquidity is a key element that has been on the back burner for regulators in the European poker market for some time now.  Regulators in some of Europe’s largest poker markets have finally found some common ground and will step up the game with an agreement that will be the first steps towards European online poker liquidity.  

The agreement is expected to be signed July 6th in Rome and will include regulators from France, Portugal, Italy and Spain. A statement released recently from the French gambling regulator ARJEL confirmed the agreement saying it will, “set the basis for cooperation between the signing Authorities in this context and will be followed by further necessary steps within each of the jurisdictions involved in order to effectively allow for liquidity poker tables.”

The agreement has been long in coming to the diminished online poker industry in Europe and the hope of operators in the sector is that the liquidity arrangement will stem the downward spin and revitalize interest in the activity.

More information will emerge after the signing of the agreement relating to taxes timeframes and responsibility of the various regulatory bodies involved. It was noted that the agreement will create a framework for cooperation and negotiation between the four regulatory authorities, and most of the details of implementation have yet to be negotiated.

The announcement of this proposed historic agreement between international regulatory bodies has been hailed as great news by poker players and operators in the various jurisdictions. The hope is that implementation of the liquidity agreement won’t take as long it did to get to this stage.




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Ladbrokes Data Leak Prompting UKGC Probe

The frustration and real fear that gamblers experience when they realize the pastime has got the better of them is part of why online gambling can be dangerous. Using one of the methods offered by operators to keep a gambling habit under control can take courage and trust. When that trust is compromised the player thinks twice about getting help for the issue.

A recent article in The Guardian, regarding information that was discovered by a passer-by near to a Ladbrokes branch in Glasgow Scotland has punters with a problem concerned they may have been led down the garden path. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has said it will consider launching an investigation into Ladbrokes’ data protection measures. Information about punters with gambling issues was found discarded outside one of Ladbrokes betting establishments. 

The Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme known as ‘Moses’ is made available to players who want to not be allow to gamble for whatever reason.

Tim Miller, executive director at the UKGC, said “Customers trust that their personal data will be collected carefully and then protected properly,” continued to add, “We expect gambling operators to adhere to all data protection laws or regulations, which are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office.” “In an instance where personal data has been breached, we would expect operators to do whatever they can to mitigate any harm caused.”

A Ladbrokes spokesperson responded saying the firm is taking the case “extremely seriously” and will undertake a “full investigation”.

Chief executive of charity GambleAware, Marc Etches, said, “We really hope this situation does not put anyone off using self-exclusion, as research we published in March found that 83% of those who have used it found the scheme to be effective, although we would always recommend professional treatment alongside such measures.” Etches added, “Self-exclusion is often a last resort for those already suffering from a gambling addiction and it’s important we identify those who are at risk as early as possible and prevent problems developing.”



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