Online NEWS

TRUE Ecosystem CEO speaks to SiGMA News on how NFT engagement mechanics are moving the iGaming industry forward TRUE Ecosystem in partnership with the innovative casino game provider TrueLab Game Studios introduced NFT engagement mechanics into their game Victoria Wild West by means of a brand-new solution for the online gambling industry. Soft launch showed an increase of player retention by over 70%. Today we are speaking with Dan Andrian, TRUE CEO, to find out more on how NFT technologies can be implemented in iGaming and where it all goes to. * TRUE is an infrastructure that helps Web2 business to improve customer retention and lifetime value by means of white-label solutions and NFT engagement tools. ● Many believe that the NFT hype has passed. What does TRUE see as the future of NFTs? Indeed, the hype, when simple NFT-pictures were sold for millions, and there were people willing to buy them, has gone. However, we recognize that as the classic process of adopting a new technology: rise, skimming the cream, fall, mass adoption. We are now at a point where businesses start to realize that the technology behind NFTs is far more powerful than simply buying and selling images. TRUE feels NFT is, first of all, a technology that has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries offering exciting features. Therefore, the era of the utility NFT is now at the doorstep. As for utility NFTs, they are unique, digital assets that offer use cases beyond their valuation, such as rolling membership benefits, event tickets, access to premium content or exclusive entry to real-world experiences, or even digital contracts for buying and selling physical goods. Commonly, utility NFTs provide direct value to the buyer upon purchasing, activating or holding for getting specific privileges. They can serve as a bridge that connects brands and communities, fostering a deep sense of belonging and loyalty. By incorporating NFT engagement tools into their strategies, businesses can provide unique rewards and incentives, creating a strong emotional bond with their users. NFT is no longer just about owning a piece of digital art, it's about forging a genuine and lasting connection with your community that goes beyond monetary value. So for us in TRUE, it is unquestionable that utility plays a crucial role in moving NFT technology forward as it has unlimited potential for application in any sphere of our life in near future. ● What are NFT engagement tools? Which mechanics are most commonly used? One of the practical applications of NFT technology is the ability to create gamification mechanics. At TRUE, we have tested and refined various NFT engagement mechanics: simple, user-friendly, and most importantly, easily implemented in the current processes of any business. Most notable of them are: NFT Drops that are usually integrated directly into a game with the NFT tokens randomly dropped while playing. Receiving an in-game item as an NFT for free instantly creates an emotional bond and opens the door for further interaction as these NFTs can include real utilities. Album collection where the concept of collecting is taken to the digital world. Users can collect sets of NFTs, with each completed set unlocking more valuable and exclusive NFTs, granting access to unique benefits. Crafting is a process of creating one item in the form of a more functional NFT card, by connecting two less functional NFT cards. With the help of crafting, you can create new, stronger items or in-game characters with modified characteristics, paving your way to larger benefits. Mystery box is a box filled with a random NFT of varying rarity levels from the collection. It is very similar to a surprise egg: you buy it with no clue what kind of toy is inside. Mystery boxes can be opened, exchanged and even unopened and sold for a profit on the marketplace as well as any other utility NFTs. Furthermore, we seamlessly integrate NFTs into classic mechanics like lotteries, wheels of fortune and other interactive elements. This integration expands the possibilities, adding excitement and enhancing the overall engagement for users. You might say that all this can be realized without the blockchain, however the NFT technology transfers these mechanics to a decentralized world, satisfying the user's need for digital freedom and independence, where the user himself is the true owner of a virtual asset. ● Why have NFTs made their way into iGaming specifically at this time? iGaming has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the integration of NFTs into this industry is a natural progression. What makes this particular time so significant is the active growth of cryptocurrency solutions within the iGaming sector. Online gambling is one of the fastest-growing entertainment industries. However, market growth leads to intense competition, and it becomes increasingly difficult to catch and hold the players’ interest. New games are released every week which means there are hundreds of new slots and casino games rolling off the production line every year. Hence, a growing number of game providers are constantly coming up with new concepts and mechanics to engage players. The timing couldn't be better for NFTs to make their way into iGaming. The active adoption of cryptocurrencies and the growing demand for innovative experiences have created a perfect environment for the integration of NFTs as a new tool to entertain players. The next step in the industry development is to combine iGaming technologies with the emerging Web3 idea and use the power of NFT technology to create new gaming experiences. ● What value do NFT engagement tools from TRUE offer to the iGaming market? In fact, NFT engagement tools, offered by TRUE, bring significant value to the iGaming market across four key stakeholders: players, casinos, streamers and game providers. Players can participate in a much more advanced loyalty system based on NFT mechanics to receive more bonuses. This is possible by means of integrating the NFT pass, the digital passport of a player, which records players' betting volume and loyalty points. The more they play, the higher their NFT pass level is, leading to more valuable rewards. If a user wants to quit playing, he can sell his pass on the secondary market. As for casinos, TRUE provides them with the ability to create their own collections, offering both traditional bonuses and NFT utility features. NFT utility opens up new possibilities for rewarding players, such as exclusive event tickets or luxurious real-life items like fine wines or even cars and yachts. Streamers can leverage NFTs to further engage their audience through various gamification mechanics. They can distribute NFTs from their own collections as in-stream drops and organize lottery-style giveaways, enhancing viewer participation. And finally, game providers can use NFT mechanics to interact with their audience and increase brand recognition without the cost of new game production. They can collaborate with streamers or create and promote their own NFT collections, as well as conduct Initial Game Offerings. By integrating NFT drops into their games, they can boost retention metrics by organizing giveaways, raffles, tournaments, and guild quests. ● You recently launched the first in-game NFT drop in collaboration with game provider TrueLab. What is the core concept of the Victoria Wild West NFT collection? The main idea is that we decided to seamlessly integrate the NFT collection directly into an existing well-received wild-west-themed slot game Victoria Wild West, using API, with the NFT tokens randomly dropped while playing. The drop contains 15,000 NFTs of different rarity to help the main character achieve her mission. Players pick up NFTs during the gameplay, collect them in albums and craft higher-level NFTs to receive various benefits. Upon receiving the token, the player can grab it right away in the pop-up window by means of TRUE iFrame solution, without disrupting the gameplay. At the same time a TRUE Wallet is automatically created for him with one-click. This is a user-friendly cross-platform tool within TRUE Ecosystem, developed specially for those who are not deeply involved in crypto and Web3 concepts. This is a significant improvement over all the previous solutions that required players to exit the game and navigate to external websites or wallets to manage their NFTs. ● What benefits do players gain from participating in this NFT drop? Considering that the in-game NFT drop is completely free and each NFT has its value and rarity, players can use them in a different way. They can sell them on a secondary market or collect them in albums for further crafting to receive benefits. Crafting is one of the noticeable engaging tools implemented in the game, where lower NFTs can be used to craft tokens of higher value. There are 5 crafting levels, every level unlocking bigger rewards, such as access to special promo events, bonuses in the upcoming TrueLab games, branded merchandise… up to a share of the Holders Treasury — a percentage of all bets placed on Victoria Wild West paid monthly! The more bets are placed in the game, the more income the top-tier token generates in winnings. With that said, the most dedicated gamers will be able to craft super-rare NFTs and become co-owners of the game who are directly interested in its success. ● Have TrueLab and the involved casinos seen any initial results from this integration? Victoria Wild West NFT drop is now introduced at 30+ casino operators and the collection is already proving its success. We can’t speak for each of them, however, the first results of the drop at N1 casino are promising indeed: 50% of all players who catch NFTs, get actively involved in collecting them, which goes far beyond provider’s expectations. According to data collected since product launch in March, the number of players increased by 72.9% with 44% increase in average sessions count per player. We also expect the new NFT mechanics to positively influence such metrics as bet size, bet count per session and bet count per player as the first results speak for themselves. ● What are the plans for the project's development? Does TRUE have any upcoming releases in the pipeline? Regarding the iGaming market, we have an exciting partner project in the pipeline called iGuild. iGuild is the first NFT community in iGaming with exclusive benefits for its members, developed within our infrastructure through collaboration with industry-leading market players. This ambitious project is aimed at building a cross-platform loyalty program by means of NFT technology to reward players with tasty bonuses according to their gaming statistics. I consider this to become the future of iGaming and encourage you to keep an eye on this project as it promises many exciting affairs in the near future. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements and news! SiGMA Balkans/CIS As a globally recognised nexus for networking, SiGMA Group sets its sights next to the Balkans this September, when the  heads to Limassol Cyprus. A host of  will be emanating from the much-anticipated event which will pack panel discussions, keynote speeches, start-up pitches and much more into 3 days in the diverse Cypriot city.
Maria Debrincat
2 months ago
Denmark now ranks fourth in Europe in terms of online gambling share, a tangibly positive result in the wake of the Nordic nation’s liberalisation of the industry in 2012. This result is no doubt a surprise, particularly when considering the peculiar nature of the Danish market. The 2012 liberalisation Previously, Denmark operated a nationwide state monopoly before transitioning to a more liberal privatised system in 2012. Subsequent to this shift in regulation, private companies were granted licences to offer betting services and online casinos which began a globally recognisable surge. Despite Danes spending less on gaming than any of their Scandinavian counterparts in Sweden, Finland and Iceland, Denmark now ranks fourth based on European market share according to Spillemyndigheden (the Danish Gambling Authority) reports published in June 2023. Games of choice Although the Danish gambling market share is extremely high, the games chosen within the Nordic country are far from impressively diverse. The most popular gambling games among Danes are casino games, such as slot machines and table games. These generate around ⅔ of the revenue for gaming suppliers. Slot machines even generated a staggering 75.99 per cent of total online casino revenue with a 29 per cent market share. Digitisation across Scandinavia Most nations across the Scandinavian region enjoy a high percentage of online gamblers with every nation in the area in the top 10 of European market share. This can be attributed to the fact Danish society has undergone a high level of digitalisation since 2012. This coupled with the rapidly scaling iGaming industry within the same period created a perfect storm for operators to sell their products online. Problem gambling among Danish youth [caption id="attachment_43597" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Copenhagen, Capital of Denmark.[/caption] The Danish Gambling Authority launched the StopSpillet hotline in 2019, and since then almost 2,500 enquiries have been received by the attending counsellors. What is certainly clear from this data is that a vast majority of individuals with problem gambling issues start gambling before the age of 25. Furthermore, according to StopSpillet, approximately half of the gamblers recorded are experiencing these activities for the first time before the age of 18. This is particularly alarming due to the fact that the age limit for most activities in Denmark is no lower than 18. Efforts to curb addiction Danish players have a higher voluntary rate of refusal to gamble with the Spillemyndigheden created the Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere (ROFUS) to accompany the shakeup that occurred in 2012. This meant that Danish players were among the world’s first with the ability to block themselves from any online gambling products. Since 2016, ROFUS has been the subject of a public awareness campaign which included screenings on TV, cinemas and even social media. Positively, the number of gamblers registered with ROFUS has since 2012, increased from 1,200 to 40, 000 in February of this year. Continued efforts and successes in the same vein as ROFUS will inevitably be required in the future as the Danish gambling industry is showing no signs of slowing, similarity to internet accessibility and therefore online gambling activities. SiGMA Balkans/CIS As a globally recognised nexus for networking, SiGMA Group sets its sights next to the Balkans this September, when the  heads to Limassol Cyprus. A host of  will be emanating from the much-anticipated event which will pack panel discussions, keynote speeches, start-up pitches and much more into 3 days in the diverse Cypriot city.
Jake Graves
2 months ago
An Australian court has issued a A$5 million ($3.4 million) civil fine to a company in Queensland for offering online poker to customers within Australia, marking a landmark case in the Oceanic nation’s regulation. The company in question, Diverse Link, was found guilty by the Federal Court in Brisbane which ruled in favour of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for a breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. First of its kind [caption id="attachment_43261" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Capital of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.[/caption] The case marks a first in Australia as the court ruled to fine the Redraw poker operator to such an extent that there would be “virtually no likelihood of recovery” of the penalty from the company or its owners. The AMCA acknowledge the historic nature of this ruling in a subsequent statement:
“The judgment marks the first time the Federal Court has ordered a civil penalty in relation to contraventions of the Interactive Gambling Act (2001).”
The fine was set at a sizeable A$5 million, which was deemed a sufficient deterrent due to the ground-breaking nature of the case. Interestingly the court made certain to note that the maximum fine for this sort of contravention could have reached approximately A$3.3 billion. Diverse Link’s operations The court ruled that Diverse Link carried out this contravention over the course of approximately a year stating:
“The contravention was clearly deliberate. Diverse Link has not co-operated with the ACMA or demonstrated any remorse for its conduct.”
The operation was described as sophisticated and well-organised, particularly due to its use of Bitcoin in remittances. Use of Bitcoin Based on ACMA submissions from independent experts, it was estimated that Diverse Link received around A$4.2 million in deposits during the contravening 12 months, however, a lack of Bitcoin data strongly suggests that the amount was much larger. Any recovery of this money was deemed to be unlikely given that Diverse Link began the deregistration process when the ACMA launched legal action. Deterrence was strongly considered in the issuance of the fine with the presiding judge adding A$800, 000 to the A$4.2 million in illicit deposits in order to determine the fine. AIBC Balkans/CIS As a globally recognised nexus for networking, SiGMA Group sets its sights next to the Balkans this September, when the  heads to Limassol Cyprus. A host of  will be emanating from the much-anticipated event which will pack panel discussions, keynote speeches, start-up pitches and much more into 3 days in the diverse Cypriot city.
Jake Graves
2 months ago
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has officially responded to a petition created to support lifting the sanctions against Parimatch. In his response, Zelensky thanked the petitioners for their “active civic position”. He announced his appealed to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, along with the Interdepartmental Working Group on Implementation of the State Sanctions Policy to review the petition and take all necessary measures. Sanctions in place since March Zelensky signed Presidential Decree No. 145/2023 into law on March 10, 2023. The Decree implemented a decision to impose sanctions on 287 companies – many of which are betting entities – and 120 individuals. Primarily, the decree prohibits all sanctioned companies and individuals from conducting business in the country for the next 50 years. The ‘Lift sanctions against Parimatch’ electronic petition was created in June to try and lift the 50-year ban on their operations in Ukraine. It garnered 25,000 signatures in 10 days. Parimatch had been in operation for merely two years, after it obtained its sports betting licence, the first for Ukraine, in March of 2021. It had previously received approval for an online gaming licence. Most types of gambling were banned in Ukraine in 2009. Legalised gambling in Ukraine since 2020 Zelensky the Bill legalising gambling in Ukraine in August of 2020. At the time, the legal gambling market was expected to generate at least $185 million in annual budget revenues. Furthermore, it was expected to create an incentive for the growth of related business areas and contribute to job creation. In his comments following the Bill, Sergey Portnov,  co-owner of Parimatch had said “I would firstly like to congratulate President Zelensky for delivering on his pledge to legalise gambling in Ukraine. He has shown that he is a man of his word and we fully support his agenda to liberalise the local economy.” Interested in iGaming? Join us in Cyprus SiGMA Balkans/CIS will be held at the City of Dreams, Europe’s first integrated resort from the 04 – 07 September.
Shirley Pulis Xerxen
2 months ago
Following their successful presence at Spice India, Megapari is now preparing for Spice Sri Lanka 2023 to assert its leading position in the iGaming industry. Spice Sri Lanka, will focus on the potential of the land-based casino, games of skill, sports betting, and online gaming industries. It's a chance for companies worldwide to show off new gaming ideas and to find partners who are ready to grow. The event will take place from the 26th to the 28th of July 2023 at Ramada By Wyndham Colombo, Sri Lanka. South Asia represents an important market for Megapari. The company is already providing an exceptional gaming experience in India and Bangladesh, and is poised to expand into Sri Lanka. For sports enthusiasts, Megapari offers an impressive array of 16,000 sports and non-sports events, as well as a generous welcome bonus for enhancing the gaming experience. Megapari takes pride in its top-tier online casino, which features 20,000 slot machines from renowned providers the company collaborates with. Moreover, the company offers regular promotions, increasing potential winnings. As part of growth strategy and commitment to shared success, MegaPari is also extending an invitation to affiliates who are prepared for a promising collaboration and substantial earnings. The company offers up to 50% lifetime revenue share, high conversion from registration to deposit, as well as a flexible and unique bonus policy and VIP service. Come network and explore new business horizons with Megapari Partners at booth 1024!
Jake Graves
2 months ago
India’s finance ministry has indicated that there will be a change in its damaging goods and services tax (GST) making it applicable at a “full face-value” as opposed to gross gaming revenue (GGR). A decision which has been met with backlash from several parties including operators and government officials alike. Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra has stated that the GST Council are set to clarify whether or not player account deposits or individual bets are to be taxed. Operators disgruntled Malhotra has acknowledged how this new system would in many ways double the taxation that is currently being applied to gaming operators stating:
“There are pros and cons both ways as to whether we tax it at the entry level itself or we tax each and every bet.”
Malhotra would then continue assuring that the operator's concerns were taken into consideration:
“The taxation, as has been claimed by the gaming industries, becomes very high in case it is taxed at each and every bet. Well, that’s true. It’s a fact, it’s true. And that will certainly be taken into account when the final decision on this is taken."
Return to GGR taxation out of the question Malhotra did make abundantly clear that a return to sole taxation upon GGR or a lowering of the 28 per cent tax rate is not on the cards. He would continue to affirm that a face-value tax will replace this, which would fail to account for numerous variables and adjustments. Further to this Malhotra explained that this new taxation system may not be as harsh as has initially been feared. If this GST is applied to entry-level funds rather than a series of funds may seem a more reasonable approach. Industry and intra-governmental pressures [caption id="attachment_43007" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Sansad Bhawan, Parliament of India, New Delhi, India.[/caption] Major foreign and domestic investors have already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warning him that billions of dollars in gaming investment are currently being put in the balance. Even stronger pressure is being mounted now, with an open letter from companies and peak groups across the Indian sector condemning the GST’s decision. Numerous state officials have also dissented against state financial officials over this issue with a further disagreement brewing between central and state government ranks over the GST’s extreme decision. They have pointed out another key factor seemingly overlooked by the council on the potentially disastrous effects that will be felt by smaller companies and start-ups hoping to expand with and within the sector. Growth mitigation Arvind P. Datar, a senior advocate in the Madras High Court has also weighed in on the matter levelling heavy criticism at the “excessive focus on revenue maximisation”. He explained how the implementation of this taxation scheme shows a lack of understanding when it comes to economic growth making a decision that will effect employment, the maintenance of adequate infrastructure and even lower the yield achieved through taxation. He stated:
“It is equally important for policymakers to examine the collateral consequences of oppressive rates of taxation. The resultant increase in employment and its overall impact on the economy is perhaps the most critical factor that needs to be considered at this juncture.”
AIBC Balkans/CIS As a globally recognised nexus for networking, SiGMA Group sets its sights next to the Balkans this September, when the heads to Limassol Cyprus. A host of will be emanating from the much-anticipated event which will pack panel discussions, keynote speeches, start-up pitches and much more into 3 days in the diverse Cypriot city.
Jake Graves
2 months ago
For professional sports clubs in Ohio, retail sportsbooks are quickly becoming a must-have amenity. The Columbus Blue Jackets, a professional ice hockey team based in Ohio, joined the trend when Fanatics Betting and Gaming, an online and brick-and-mortar bookmaker part of a worldwide digital sports platform, revealed plans for a nearby Nationwide Arena. According to a Fanatics , the sportsbook will open at its initial site in late August at 401 North Front Street, right next to the Nationwide Arena. The sportsbook will occupy more than 5,000 square feet with four distinct betting windows. Alongside this, there will also be 14 self-service betting kiosks, 20 TV monitors and one full-sized LED video wall. "We're thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Jackets to bring a world-class retail experience to the arena district in downtown Columbus," said Ari Borod, Chief Business Officer, Fanatics Betting & Gaming. "The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnership to grow with them and complement our online sports betting experience that is currently being beta-tested in Ohio." This partnership comes only a few weeks after Fanatics announced it had increased its offer to buy out the US-facing operations of PointsBet. PointsBet, is ASX-listed and has betting operations in 15 US states. A bidding war Since PointsBet announced its withdrawal from the US market, both Fanatics and DraftKings entered into a bidding war for the operator. Despite the initial $150m (£116m) deal being agreed upon between PointsBet and Fanatics, a late $195m offer from DraftKings upped the stakes. A few days later, Fanatics announced it had increased its deal to , which the PointsBet shareholders later approved. Fanatics Betting & Gaming, the sports betting division of Fanatics,  launched its first retail Sportsbook in Maryland in January 2023, and in May 2023 launched the beta version of its mobile Sportsbook in both Tennessee and Ohio. Fanatics intends to launch and operate its Sportsbook and iGaming platform in additional states in 2023. Related articles Read: Kansas awards full sports gaming supplier certification to Sportradar [caption id="attachment_42991" align="aligncenter" width="848"] Kansas awards full sports gaming supplier certification to Sportradar[/caption] Read: Ohio implements nation-first increase in sports betting tax [caption id="attachment_42996" align="aligncenter" width="1066"] Ohio implements nation first increase in sports betting tax[/caption]
Shirley Pulis Xerxen
2 months ago
Allwyn's supportive approach empowers National Lottery retailers during their transition from Camelot to Allwyn, ensuring a smooth journey to success Allwyn, the new holder of the licence, has revealed its comprehensive plan to support National retailers in preparation for the upcoming changeover on February 1, 2024. As part of the transition, Allwyn will be reaching out to retailers to explain the process of electronically transferring their existing Retailer Agreement from Camelot to Allwyn through an online portal. Simultaneously, Camelot Retail Sales Executives will personally visit retailers to discuss significant changes and address any inquiries before finalising the new agreements. The key modifications in the agreement comprise updating the name to reflect Allwyn as the new operator, modernising certain language, aligning conditions with legal changes regarding data protection and record keeping, and consolidating two separate terminal agreements into one. Before the Agreement transfer deadline on December 18, retailers can expect to receive a 'Welcome to Allwyn' pack in the New Year. The pack will provide detailed information about the changes taking place on February 1, 2024, including the introduction of new and improved National Lottery games starting in March 2024. Retailers will also receive information about the necessary digital training before the transition. Katharine Challinor, Allwyn's retail director, stated, "Retailers will soon receive instructions on how to smoothly transfer their existing Retailer Agreement. Additionally, their Camelot Retail Sales Executive will visit their store to assist with the process and address any queries they may have. We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to National Lottery retailers for their ongoing support and the crucial role they play in raising £30 million every week for Good Causes across the UK." Allwyn's unveiling of its comprehensive plan marks an exciting new chapter for National Lottery retailers. With careful attention to detail and a commitment to seamless transitions, the company aims to support retailers throughout the changeover process. Their gratitude towards the retailers for their unwavering support in raising funds for Good Causes underscores the collaborative spirit that will continue to drive positive impact across the UK. Join the thriving Balkans/CIS Community in Limassol Join us at SiGMA Balkans/CIS for an unparalleled experience in Europe’s first integrated resort, the City of Dreams!
Maria Debrincat
2 months ago

News By Topic


PAGCOR signs MOA, moves closer to privatisation

PAGCOR (The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) yesterday announced another major move towards the privatisation of its casinos by partnering with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in facilitating its reorganisation process.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco said they tapped DAP’s technical assistance to comply with the requirements of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) in the implementation of its Compensation and Position Classification System or CPCS which is needed prior to privatisation.

“We thank the Development Academy of the Philippines for being a prime mover of competency building in government,” Mr. Tengco said. “We need their help to comply with the (documentary) requirements of the GCG and in our efforts to eventually implement the CPCS that our employees have been eagerly waiting for,” he said.

Mr. Tengco made the remarks after he and DAP President & CEO Atty. Engelbert Caronan, Jr. signed the Memorandum of Agreement for PAGCOR’s reorganisation. PAGCOR Vice President for Human Resource and Development Group Angelito Domingo and DAP Vice President for Mindanao Dr. Mark Lemuel Garcia also signed the agreement.

Mr. Tengco said he also wants to engage DAP in the facilitation and conduct of trainings for PAGCOR officers and employees to enhance their skills and competencies.

Mr. Caronan for his part expressed gratitude to PAGCOR for believing in DAP’s capability to help implement organisational changes that would be beneficial to the state gaming firm’s workforce.

“We would like to thank PAGCOR for their trust and confidence in this partnership; we are ready to provide the necessary technical services to make the agency GCG-compliant and help it carry out its reorganisation efforts,” he said.

The DAP is a government-owned and controlled corporation mandated to assist agencies and local government units in their development efforts by acting as a change catalyst and as capacity builder.

It helps facilitate the shaping of new government policies, crafting development programs and modernizing the management structure of government agencies and private enterprises alike.

Speaking to SiGMA Magazine in his first sit-down interview as PAGCOR Chairman and CEO, Alejandro H Tengco had said “the new management believes that as a government entity, it should have a clearly defined function. Having a dual role – as an operator and a regulator at the same time – is contrary to business ethics.”

Join the upcoming SiGMA event in Curaçao

SiGMA Curaçao is less than a week away. It will be held in from the 25 – 28 September. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Finance in association with SiGMA Curaçao

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to be part of SiGMA Curaçao, where you can gain valuable insights into the new gambling legislation, explore the thriving iGaming industry, and connect with key players in Curaçao. Check out all the details here.

Register here to secure your place at this landmark event.  

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 2 days ago
Trust is key in the gaming industry – Matthew Agius Mamo

In a recent SiGMA podcast, host Trevor Di Giorgio discussed anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and licensing in the gaming industry with Matthew Agius Mamo, CEO at AML/CFT compliance Solutions by Diligex.

Irrespective of the industry, the view that compliance is burdensome is outdated. Agius Mamo says that “there has been a culture change – from something which is misunderstood, to something that is intrinsic and a core part of any business, including gaming.”

A trust builder
Matthew Agius Mamo, Diligex
Matthew Agius Mamo speaking during the SiGMA podcast.

The gaming industry “has evolved drastically fast, starting from non-regulation to having a number of regulated markets to increasing regulation.” Regulation, adds Agius Mamo, needs to be viewed as a “trust builder” and once regulation is implemented in a way that benefits both the operators and the whole gaming ecosystem, the industry will continue to respond favourably.

The podcast host posits the possibility that current stringent regulations are deterring start-ups from setting up shop within EU jurisdictions, with the result that the market misses out on potential innovation. Agius Mamo replies that if regulation is in place for the purpose of establishing a favourable ecosystem, this, in turn, allows trust. This might be at the expense of losing out on operators who might be put off by the exigencies of stringent rules and regulations.

Bad apples in every industry

Agius Mamo dispels the myth that the gaming industry attracts more illegal operators than other sectors. The host asks how regulators can control and protect the market and customers from rouge operators. A two-pronged approach is necessary where deterrence and enforcement are in place, says Agius Mamo. “The focus needs to be on building trust and an efficient system”, where operators can regulate their policies, and compliance becomes a “business tool”. Agius Mamo adds that it is important for regulation to include incentives that make it “attractive” for operators to be compliant. From a responsible gaming perspective, licences and AML setups become a way for operators to protect their players, and “trust becomes a currency.” He adds, “if we have a system that is managed well, that is sustainable and that makes sense for what it is set out to achieve, there will be enough deterrence.”

Agius Mamo welcomes regulation that is set in place where parameters and standards are clear and not overly ambitious. This allows operators to obtain licences where they trust that fraud is taken seriously, and the jurisdiction does not pose any risk to the business. At the end of the day, Agius Mamo says, this is an entertainment industry where customers should be able to enjoy themselves with the peace of mind of an ecosystem that protects its users. In comparison to other industries, the gaming industry poses other complexities when it comes to manage elements such as cross border or transnational payments, since customers may not be aware when signing up of the necessity to provide personal and banking details.  

Maturity of the sector

Di Giorgio asks how regulation has evolved to encourage operators to maintain a balance between profit and compliance. Unlike other industries, the gaming sector is one where initially, operators were navigating an unregulated market. Over the years, the industry evolved to one that has several regulated jurisdictions. Agius Mamo says that the role of companies offering AML compliance solutions such as Diligex is “to understand, listen what are the business processes, what are the challenges being faced and what businesses want to achieve.”

Jurisdictions raising the bar

“Essentially if you have a number of jurisdictions looking to raise the bar, then you are going to end up with a situation where you have B2Bs who are unwilling to collaborate with underground operators.” The risk to their reputation and exposure to commercial and legal risks will eventually lead to heavy client loss. Agius Mamo continues, “if that bar is then set, it must become difficult enough for those that are in the underground sector to access the benefits of being part of the regulated ecosystem. If you have industry players that are allowing this to happen, then that is defeating the scope and it sinks the whole effort.”

The future of the industry

Agius Mamo predicts that any sort of EU level harmonisation is years away. In the immediate and short term, jurisdictions will “each have their own regulations and requirements ... in line with what they think is best for the jurisdiction.” He believes that eventually EU level initiatives, such as an AML Authority will be set up that will complement national jurisdictional powers.

Watch the podcast here.

Join the upcoming SiGMA event in Curacao

SiGMA Curacao is less than a week away. It will be held in from the 25 – 28 September. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Finance in association with SiGMA Curacao

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to be part of SiGMA Curacao, where you can gain valuable insights into the new gambling legislation, explore the thriving iGaming industry, and connect with key players in Curacao. Check out all the details here.

Register here to secure your place at this landmark event.  

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 2 days ago
Okta executive reveals wider scope of hacking incidents beyond MGM and Caesars

A security executive with knowledge of the situation revealed that the hackers who recently infiltrated the systems of prominent casino giants, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, have also targeted three other companies operating in the manufacturing, retail, and technology sectors.

The wider scope of the cyberattack strings

David Bradbury, the Chief Security Officer of Okta, an identity management company, disclosed that since August, five of Okta's clients, including MGM and Caesars, have fallen victim to hacking groups known as ALPHV and Scattered Spider.

While Bradbury did not disclose the names of the other affected companies, he emphasised that Okta is actively cooperating with official investigations related to these security breaches.

These cyberattacks have once again drawn attention to ransomware attacks, which impact numerous companies each year, spanning industries from healthcare to telecommunications. As a result of these breaches, both MGM and Caesars witnessed a decline in their market value, and MGM continues to grapple with operational disruptions at its hotels and gaming establishments across locations, including Las Vegas and Macau.

Okta, headquartered in San Francisco and boasting a global clientele of over 17,000 customers, specialises in providing identity services, such as multi-factor authentication, to enhance the secure access of users to online applications and websites. The detection of multiple breaches among its clients prompted Okta to issue a warning last month, according to Bradbury, who emphasised the need to share insights with the broader industry due to the rapid occurrence of these incidents.

Details of the cyberattack - Caesars joins the list besides MGM Resorts

Recently, Caesars Entertainment, a prominent player in the casino industry, made headlines alongside its Las Vegas counterpart, MGM Resorts International, as they both disclosed being targeted in a cyberattack. In their official report submitted to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Caesars assured the public that, fortunately, the attack had not disrupted their casino and online operations.

Cyberattack string shakes casino giants Caesars and MGM
Established in 1996, Caesars Entertainment, previously known as Eldorado Resorts, is a Reno, Nevada-based American company specialising in hotel and casino entertainment. MGM Resorts International, on the other hand, is a prominent American hospitality and entertainment conglomerate. They manage destination resorts in key locations.

However, there's a catch. Caesars, headquartered in Reno and publicly traded, expressed their inability to provide an ironclad guarantee regarding the safety of personal information belonging to tens of millions of their valued customers. This vulnerability emerged following a data breach on September 7th, raising concerns about the exposure of driver's licence and Social Security numbers belonging to members enrolled in their loyalty rewards program.

It's worth noting that, even as this cybersecurity incident unfolds, Caesars has been actively expanding its horizons. In May, they launched the temporary Danville Casino, a strategic move while they work on the construction of a grand $650 million resort in the Schoolfield area.

“We have taken steps to ensure that the stolen data is deleted by the unauthorised actor,” the company said, “although we cannot guarantee this result.”

“Unofficially, we saw a group called Scattered Spider claimed responsibility,” Callow said. “They appear to be native English speakers under the umbrella of a Russia-based operation called ALPHV or BlackCat.”

“Scattered Spider also is known as UNC3944,” said Charles Carmakal, Chief Technical Officer at cybersecurity firm Mandiant. He called the group “incredibly disruptive and aggressive” in recent targeting of hospitality and entertainment organisations.

“They leverage tradecraft that is challenging for many organisations with mature security programs to defend against,” Carmakal said in a statement.

Mandiant said in a blog analysis published Thursday the group uses SMS text phishing and phone calls to help desks to attempt to obtain password resets or multifactor bypass codes.

“This relatively new entrant in the ransomware industry has hit at least 100 organisations, most of them in the U.S. and Canada,” Mandiant said.

Caesars and MGM Resorts respond

Caesars, a global casino behemoth, proudly holds the title of the world's largest casino owner. Boasting over 65 million Caesars Rewards members and a vast presence spanning 18 states and Canada, they operate under well-known banners like Caesars, Harrah's, Horseshoe, and Eldorado. Their portfolio also extends to mobile and online gaming, along with sports betting. Notably, company representatives remained tight-lipped, declining to respond to inquiries sent by The Associated Press via email.

In response to the breach, Caesars took swift action. They informed the SEC that they were actively offering credit monitoring and identity theft protection to their loyal customers enrolled in their rewards program. Fortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that the intruder gained access to member passwords or sensitive financial information like bank accounts and payment card details. Caesars affirmed that both their casino and online operations remain unscathed by this incident, continuing without disruption.

Caesars' disclosure closely followed MGM Resorts International, the largest casino conglomerate in Las Vegas, publicly sharing its own encounter with a cyberattack. The company detected the breach on a Sunday, prompting them to swiftly shut down computer systems at their properties nationwide in a bid to safeguard sensitive data.

This proactive measure had repercussions felt by customers; Las Vegas casino floors and reservations were impacted, with social media abuzz about credit card transaction failures, inaccessible cash machines, and locked hotel room doors. Even video slot machines sat dormant.

MGM Resorts boasts approximately 40 million loyalty rewards members and oversees tens of thousands of hotel rooms across Las Vegas, including iconic establishments like the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Aria, and Mandalay Bay. Their reach extends beyond U.S. borders, with properties also operating in China and Macau.

Ongoing fallout

In a company report filed with the SEC on Tuesday, they referred to their Monday news release regarding the cyberattack. The FBI confirmed an ongoing investigation but provided no further details.

As of Thursday, several of MGM Resorts' computer systems remained offline, including those handling hotel reservations and payroll. Despite this setback, company spokesperson Brian Ahern assured that their workforce, comprising 75,000 employees in the U.S. and overseas, would receive their pay on schedule.

Speaking from British Columbia, Canada, Callow emphasised the speculative nature of most media reports regarding these incidents. He noted that the information seemed to originate from the same entities claiming responsibility for the attacks. Callow highlighted that recovering from cyberattacks could be a protracted process, spanning months.

Callow also drew attention to reports he deemed "plausible," suggesting that Caesars Entertainment might have been asked for a $30 million ransom to secure its data and possibly paid $15 million. Notably, he pointed out that the SEC report from Caesars did not detail the measures taken to ensure the safety of the stolen data.

The largest known ransom paid to cyber attackers to date stands at $40 million, involving insurance giant CNA Financial. This payment followed a data breach in March 2021.

“In these cases, organisations basically pay to get a ‘pinky-promise,’” he said. “There is no way to actually know that (hackers) do delete (stolen data) or that it won’t be used elsewhere.”

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao!

SiGMA Curaçao is right on the horizon, and in less than a week, it's all set to kick off. Mark your calendars for September 25th to 28th, as this exciting event is brought to you by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to become a part of something truly exceptional at SiGMA Curaçao. During this event, you'll have the chance to gain priceless insights into the latest developments in gambling regulations, immerse yourself in the dynamic world of iGaming, and forge connections with influential figures within Curacao's thriving industry.

SiGMA Curacao banner
Matthew Calleja 2 days ago
UK Gambling Commission sets the record straight

The UK Gambling Commission yesterday penned an open letter to Racing Post readers, signed Andrew Rhodes, CEO. The Commission felt compelled to do so amid what it claims to be blatant publication of “imbalanced stories” by the digital newspaper on a daily basis. The letter was initially intended for the Racing Post readers page, to allow the Commission to clarify their position on the ongoing consultation and clear up any misunderstandings. The newspaper refused to publish the letter.

The letter, addressed to Racing Post readers, acknowledges that readers may have concerns about potential privacy issues regarding the Government and the Gambling Commission proposals in the ongoing consultation about proposed financial risk checks.

99.7% of customers not affected

The first misconception the letter clarifies is the assumption, fuelled by “the volume and nature of the coverage” by the racing post, that under the current proposals a good proportion of gambling consumers would have to be handing over payslips or bank statements when they want to place a bet. The reality is, continues the letter, the estimation is that just 3 percent of accounts would undergo financial risk assessments. Additionally, the Commission estimates that at most just 0.3 percent of account holders would ever be asked to directly provide the additional financial information that operators are already requiring of some customers. “This means 99.7 percent of customers would not be asked to directly provide any information.”

The letter continues with an invitation to the readers to have a say in the process. The financial risk checks consultation offers Racing Post readers the opportunity to engage in policy development, and the Commission invites the readers to submit their views on how the 0.3 percent of account holders could have their financial risk assessed without being asked for additional information.

Under the proposed changes, approximately 90 percent of financial risk assessments would be conducted through credit reference agencies and open-source banking via a regulated third-party provider. The Commission stressed that the checks would not grant gambling companies access to customers' complete bank account data. Any information received by operators can only be used for evaluating risks of harm, not for identifying or restricting winners.

Proposals exclusive to online gambling

The letter’s second clarification is that these proposals pertain exclusively to online gambling. They would not apply to betting in brick-and-mortar bookmakers or at the racetrack. While high street bookmakers may decide to conduct checks based on social responsibility or anti-money laundering concerns, the changes under consultation apply solely to online gambling.

Andrew Rhodes, CEO, UK Gambling Commission.
Final misconception

Lastly, the letter specifies the common misconception that credit checks impact credit ratings and could harm credit scores. However, the open letter stressed that these soft credit checks will not affect credit scores, and data on a customer's gambling behaviour will not be shared with the financial sector under these proposals.

The letter concludes with a reminder that with only four weeks remaining in the consultation, the Commission welcomes all responses to ensure a balanced approach between safeguarding individual gambling freedom and protecting the most vulnerable from gambling-related harm.

Join the upcoming SiGMA event in Curaçao

SiGMA Curaçao is less than a week away. It will be held in from the 25 – 28 September. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Finance in association with SiGMA Curaçao

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to be part of SiGMA Curaçao, where you can gain valuable insights into the new gambling legislation, explore the thriving iGaming industry, and connect with key players in Curaçao. Check out all the details here.

Register here to secure your place at this landmark event.

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 2 days ago
Richard Brown steps down as CEO of GiG

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has officially announced the expected departure of Richard Brown from his position as CEO, effective from 18 September 2023. Mr. Brown will transition into a Board advisory member, lending his expertise and support until 31 December 2023. This transition marks an expected pivotal moment in GiG's strategic transformation.

GiG's path to enhanced growth

GiG, a major player in the gaming industry, initiated a comprehensive strategic review this year. The primary objective of this study was to split GiG into two separate entities. The move aims to maximize growth opportunities and provide each business with the strategic and financial autonomy required for its unique operational model. The result will be the creation of two industry-leading enterprises poised for accelerated growth.

Richard Carter, assuming the role of CEO for Platform & Sportsbook in August, has been entrusted with leading this business unit during this critical period of transition. Simultaneously, Jonas Warrer will continue his leadership as CEO of GiG Media. Petter Nylander, Chairman of the Board, will step into the role of Executive Chairman during the interim phase, overseeing the transition and strategic review process.

Richard Brown's non-operational support

Brown's departure from the CEO position signifies a strategic shift, allowing him to assume a supportive, non-operational role. His primary responsibility during this phase will be to facilitate the seamless handover to Richard Carter and provide continued support to the board of directors until the year's end. This transitional arrangement ensures that both new CEOs can lead their respective business units effectively, with the assurance of background support from Brown.

Commenting on these developments, Petter Nylander expressed the board's satisfaction with the progress made in splitting GiG into two distinct entities to gear the way forward for future expansion and enhance shareholder value. He acknowledged Richard Brown's instrumental role in this transformation and thanked him for his invaluable contributions to GiG over the years. Brown also shared his thoughts, highlighting GiG's strong strategic and operational position and his intention to support the company in a non-operational capacity until the close of the year.

The transition of leadership at GiG signifies a strategic repositioning aimed at propelling the company into a new era of growth and opportunity. The expertise and dedication of the departing CEO, Richard Brown, and the incoming leaders, Richard Carter and Jonas Warrer, promise an exciting future for GiG as it continues to evolve in the dynamic gaming industry.

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Lea Hogg 3 days ago
Copious gambling promotion criticised by UK study

The University of Bristol has revealed that there was a mass of gambling messaging in the UK broadcast and online media during the much-anticipated opening weekend of the English Premier League.

The study conducted in collaboration with the British network, Channel 5, analysed live televised coverage, sports news programming, sports news radio, and social media from the 11th until the 14th of August, 2023.

Forming part of the Bristol Hub for Gambling Harms Research, the study is part of an effort to investigate the effects of gambling harm and focus on advocating for greater scrutiny along with improved regulation.

The key findings

The study concluded that a staggering 10,999 gambling messages were identified and disseminated across numerous media channels during the weekend. 

Out of these, 6,966 gambling messages were recorded during live match broadcasts and 92 percent of the content from these messages was deemed as in violation of advertising regulations.

Released by major gambling brands, these messages were in violation of regulations as they weren’t clearly identifiable as advertising or promotional material.

What's more, is that only 20.6 percent of these gambling messages included harm-reduction material, and only 18.7 percent featured age warnings indicating restriction.

Sports radio provider, TalksSport, was also named in the study for including at least one gambling advertisement in each and every commercial break.

Similarly, broadcaster Sky Sports News displayed 600 gambling messages for 2 hours on air. 

Social Media activity was also recorded with 1,902 instances of gambling advertisements featured generating 34 million impressions during the weekend alone.


This study highlights in stark fashion, the highly pervasive nature of the gambling market during a premier league match, heavily penetrating the public consciousness across the nation.

More specifically this type of heavily visible media clearly has a strong influence at the highest level on the world’s most popular sport.

Researcher recommendations

In lieu of this study’s findings, the researchers suggested several changes applicable to the function of the industry. The most significant is a call for stronger regulations to protect consumers and minors from dishonest advertising practices and excessive marketing campaigns. 

Going into further detail the researchers also state that self-regulation by the gambling industry is clearly insufficient and places an onus on the government to take more action to protect its residents from such copious marketing techniques.

Current improvements seen as ineffective

Although the recent Premier League decision to ban gambling companies from front-of-shirt sponsorship in 2026 is seen as a positive step by the research hub, more action is still required to protect minors from gambling promotion. 

The researchers also levelled criticisms at the recently published gambling whitepaper for providing suggestions of a far too lenient nature with regard to strengthening regulations around marketing and sponsorships.

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao!

SiGMA Curaçao is right on the horizon, and in less than a week, it’s all set to kick off. Mark your calendars for September 25th to 28th, as this exciting event is brought to you by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to become a part of something truly exceptional at SiGMA Curaçao. During this event, you’ll have the chance to gain priceless insights into the latest developments in gambling regulations, immerse yourself in the dynamic world of iGaming, and forge connections with influential figures within Curacao’s thriving industry.

Jake Graves 3 days ago

MEGAPARTNERS, a direct advertiser and product-oriented IT company in the iGaming industry, has announced the launch of its new online casino brand — Betsomnia, targeting the GEOs of the Netherlands, Austria and Canada.

In terms of gaming, Betsomnia, operating under a Curaçao licence, offers the widest selection of over 8,000+ games. These include Slots, Live, Crash, Bonus Buy, Jackpot, Table Games, Video Poker, Roulette, and many others.

Betsomnia offers classic casino bonuses for players:

  • Weekly cashback - up to 20%
  • Weekend Spins + Wednesday Free Spins
  • First deposit bonus - 100% up to 15000 EUR
  • Welcome bonus - 100 FS & +100% up to 15000 

The level-based VIP program gives you a Personal account manager, higher withdrawal limits, higher cashback, and a bunch of our secret bonuses.

“We are excited to launch Betsomnia — a product created exclusively for players and based on their needs,” said Anton Petrov, CEO of MEGAPARTNERS. “In addition, the brand will soon introduce unconventional mechanics for additional earnings. We believe Betsomnia will become a top choice for online casino enthusiasts worldwide.”

MEGAPARTNERS is more than just an affiliate program. We are a product-oriented IT company with our own development department. It offers a range of tools and services to help online businesses grow and succeed. We are looking for traffic for our iGaming brands, and an ever-expanding audience increases ROI. All brands included in MEGAPARTNERS have legal permission to conduct online gambling based on Curaçao and MGA licenses.

Jake Graves 3 days ago
Esports contested at the 2023 Asian Games

Esports is set to make its debut at the Asian Games with medals and glory truly at stake in this year's edition of the multi-disciplinary contest.

Previously only observed as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games, Esports will now bring internationally recognised competition in several different gaming categories.

Esports contests at the Asian Games

The Asian Games 2023 will feature EA Sports FC, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, League of Legends, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, and Street Fighter V among others as medal categories.

The players

It hasn’t been an easy road to competitive legitimacy for the Esports industry and similarly, the path has been equally as muddied for those competing.

Esports contested at the 2023 Asian Games.

Mayank Prajapati, India’s medal hope for the Street Fighter tournament, has expressed just how great an achievement this is for esports recalling how his father would be sensationally disapproving of his passion in his younger years.

Now a 3D designer, the now 33-year-old Prajapati explained how he had fallen in love with the Street Fighter game in the late 1990s saying:

“I got addicted and often lied to my parents, saying ‘I am going for tuition’, but spent hours playing.”

He continued in a somewhat light-hearted manner:

“I got a lot of scolding… I think I got beaten up.”

The favourites

Prajapati’s story is quite a familiar one with Kim Gwan-woo, the South Korean representative for the same competition stating:

“My parents absolutely hated me playing video games.”

He would continue to explain how his parents are still not in approval of this choice, however, he did provide some hope for these prospects saying:

“I think they will be very happy if I actually win a medal.”

South Korea and hosts China are expected to have the majority of contest joy this time out as dominant favourites for gold.

The road to recognition

This Asian Games inclusion is most certainly a massive step in the journey of Esports. Being recognised as a legitimate sport has been a long-term goal for the industry with aspirations of going a step further to competition at the Olympics.

Other landmark achievements also include International Olympic Committee recognition as far back as 2017. Despite being desperate to attract younger audiences, the Olympic goal, however, is not as close as one may perceive. 

The major roadblock to this inclusion remains the promotion of violence, an aspect that is deemed against Olympic values, categorically ruling out many titles being included at the Asian Games.

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao!

SiGMA Curaçao is right on the horizon, and in less than a week, it’s all set to kick off. Mark your calendars for September 25th to 28th, as this exciting event is brought to you by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to become a part of something truly exceptional at SiGMA Curaçao. During this event, you’ll have the chance to gain priceless insights into the latest developments in gambling regulations, immerse yourself in the dynamic world of iGaming, and forge connections with influential figures within Curacao’s thriving industry.

Jake Graves 3 days ago
Tabcorp under fire for underage gambling

Australian gambling operator Tabcorp and eight Melbourne venues have been accused of failing to prevent a 16-year-old from gambling at their venues in nearly 30 instances over the course of 2022.

Venues charged 

Charged venues include the Doncaster Hotel, Albion Charles Hotel, Rose Shamrock & Thistle Hotel, Preston’s Olympic Hotel, The Brunswick Club, Edwardes Lake Hotel, The Parkview Hotel, and the Northcote TAB Agency.

Tabcorp themselves are the biggest perpetrators as the Australian giant now faces 54 charges including allowing a minor to gamble on 27 counts as well as failing to adequately supervise electronic betting terminals at all times. 

These terminals are understood to be located in the sports betting sections of the venues in question. Investigations began when a public complaint was registered last May. 

Another operator that has been implicated in the allegations is Endeavour Group who gave this statement concerning the matter:

“Endeavour Group acknowledges the charges brought by the VGCCC against Endeavour Group’s Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group Pty Limited (ALH) who both take responsibility and compliance obligations very seriously and will continue to work constructively with the VGCCC.”

Potential penalisations

According to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), if found guilty, the venues would be fined collectively in amounts exceeding $1 million while Tabcorp’s charges alone could warrant a $700,000 fine.

On the matter, VGCCC’s CEO, Annette Kimmitt had this to say:

“All gambling venues must ensure they do not accept a bet from a minor and must ask for identification from anyone they suspect could be underage.”

The allegations come in lieu of a wave of regulatory response to gambling activities that cause harm such as underage gambling and gambling addiction. Australia is currently undergoing a raft of regulatory changes to curb these issues related to gambling harm.

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao!

SiGMA Curaçao is right on the horizon, and in less than a week, it’s all set to kick off. Mark your calendars for September 25th to 28th, as this exciting event is brought to you by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to become a part of something truly exceptional at SiGMA Curaçao. During this event, you’ll have the chance to gain priceless insights into the latest developments in gambling regulations, immerse yourself in the dynamic world of iGaming, and forge connections with influential figures within Curacao’s thriving industry.

Jake Graves 3 days ago
Unlock the power of innovative infrastructure in regulated markets

Infrastructure is a key consideration for online gambling operators and suppliers in regulated markets across the world, and Continent 8 Technologies has been providing this for 25 years via cutting-edge, reliable solutions. Continent 8 is attending SiGMA Curacao this September 25-28th - meet them at stand 3 and 4.

The global online gambling industry continues to expand at pace and much of this growth is coming from jurisdictions embracing regulation. The US is the perfect example whereby more than half the country has got onboard with legalizing online sports betting or iGaming.

Operators and suppliers want to be able to enter these regulated markets easily and quickly. And when it comes to infrastructure requirements and considerations, this often differs for each local market, causing serious headaches for iGaming businesses.

Hosting, connectivity and security are key considerations, but it can be incredibly tough to ensure that infrastructure is compliant in a single market, let alone multiple markets. To do this, operators and suppliers must partner with an infrastructure provider that can offer a compliant solution in all jurisdictions they wish to target.

Continent 8 has been powering the regulated iGaming market for 25 years, operational in many recognized jurisdictions worldwide, including Kahnawake, Gibraltar, Malta and the Isle of Man. We have fostered incredibly strong relationships with regulators in these core jurisdictions, and we have successfully deployed infrastructure in these markets.

This includes state-of-the-art and highly secure data centers among other solutions required for operators and suppliers to overcome the complexities and challenges of the regulatory landscape.

In fact, when it comes to the regulated US market, where we are live in 28 states and counting, we support 85% of operators on the EGR US Power Rankings 2023.

Our aggressive first-to-market approach to expansion has seen our global connected network approach 100 sites – a number we will surpass by the end of the year.

Our data centres and connectivity solutions have been designed to meet all requirements and needs. This includes a powerful Public Cloud offering available via Montreal, Gibraltar, Malta and the Isle of Man, as well as Dublin, Taiwan, Toronto, Colombia and multiple US states.

Our Public Cloud offers cost-effective hosting that is secure and reliable. It is a resilient, multi-tenanted IaaS platform that hosts virtualized customer infrastructure. We offer a usage-based commercial model so that customers can easily scale up or down demand in line with need, making it one of the most efficient ways of leveraging the opportunities presented by the cloud.

Infrastructure must also be dependable and innovative if it is to deliver the experience that players have come to expect, while also being resilient to the high volume of cyber attacks being launched against this industry on a daily basis. To put this into perspective, Continent 8 blocked more than 1,100 DDoS attacks against customers in Q2 2023 alone.

For many, it’s a case of when an attack will happen and not if, and that’s why it’s vital that all infrastructure sits behind multi-layered cyber defences that take in DDoS and WAAP protection as well as MDR/EDR and SIEM/SOC solutions.

Continent 8 is attending SiGMA Curacao with members of the team on hand to talk to operators and suppliers about our full suite of award-winning solutions that are fully compliant with regulations in core iGaming jurisdictions. If you’d like to learn more about us and how we can help your business, drop by stand 3 and stand 4. Set up a meeting via [email protected].  

Infrastructure is a vital part of any online business, and at Continent 8 we work with our customers to ensure they have the best foundation on which to build and grow in any regulated market they wish to target.

Katy Micallef 3 days ago
Australia’s gambling problem

Problem gambling in Australia is now a major policy issue and continues to pose a serious public risk to this day.

According to a study conducted earlier this year, the social costs of gambling are truly multifaceted, encompassing financial impact, emotional and psychological issues, loss of productivity in the workforce as well as numerous relationship and family factors. 

What is certainly important to note is that the issue of problem gambling when in such a prevalent circumstance is that the impacts are not only suffered by an individual or their immediate relations but also their wider community.

The problem of gambling in Australia

In 2022, almost half of all Australians who participated in gambling-related activities would be classified as being at high risk of, or perhaps already experiencing gambling harm in some form or another. 

This ratio in and of itself makes the issue a cause for national concern, however, given the amount of adult participation in these activities, this can be likened to more of a crisis.  

An online general community panel survey conducted during the same year by the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) found that three-quarters (73 percent) of Australians aged 18 and over are spending on numerous gambling products in a calendar year.

Types of gambling
Australia's gambling problem.

Lotteries and scratch cards are the overwhelming favourites with an incredible 63.8 percent reporting that they had participated in the last year. 

Horse wagering, sports betting and poker machines all come in close together with the highly accessible online casino games surprisingly bringing in some of the lowest turnouts at just 17 percent participation.

In regards to the iGaming industry, online casinos are actually illegal across all Australian territories. Australian players, however, may have increasing access to offshore operators who provide Australia-facing services.

These are entirely unregulated and not recognised by the Australian government meaning the 17 percent that do participate in online casino gaming can be considered an even more alarming rate.

Nonetheless, this could still indicate that gambling in Australia is part of a more traditional culture rather than the upsurge propagated by online operators being seen in many of the major markets today. 

Parliamentary inquiry

The issue has been considered so readily by Australia’s government in recent months that by the latter stages of 2022 a parliamentary inquiry had been launched under the leadership of Labour MP Peta Murphy.

Australia's gambling problem.
Parliament of Australia, Canberra, Australia.

This inquiry would yield several recommendations centred around a stringent re-regulation of the online gambling industry on a national level. 

This came much to the dismay of many industry leaders including operators SportBet and Entain along with several notable contributions from national sporting associations.

These included the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) as they were adamant that the current regulations were appropriate. 

This would only fuel negative sentiment towards the inquiry’s suggestions, however, as both the associations had agreed to partnerships that would see them receive a significant amount of gross gaming revenue from bets placed on league matches.

Furthermore, this revelation also supported the claim that sports betting-related advertising could be attempting to induce betting activity in a negative way.

Australia’s efforts

When the committee’s inquiry was finally tabled, the report contained a staggering 31 recommendations to adopt regarding the nation’s gambling sector. 

The first effort made subsequent to the recommendations was the proposal of a gambling advertising ban, which would see a comprehensively stringent prohibition across both broadcast media and online platforms.

As per the report, the committee’s lead, Peta Murphy MP had this to say on the potential legislation:

“Online gambling companies advertise so much in Australia because it works.”

Responsible Wagering Australia’s (RWA) 

The RWA, a trade body representing gambling operators, unsurprisingly had several criticisms of this legislation. 

Although members of the body continue to acknowledge that there is a growing desire among the relevant communities to see far less gambling advertising, a blanket ban in any capacity was described by the RWA as short-sighted, ineffective and incongruent. 

In a statement made by Kai Cantwell, RWA’s CEO this stance was clarified:

“We know that strict changes – like blanket bans and banning inducements, such as bonus bets – often prove ineffective in addressing problem gambling, with Australians instead turning to illegal offshore markets as they seek out these options.”


In the past month, the federal government in Australia has introduced two highly significant measures aimed heavily at the issue of problem gambling on the shores of the Oceanic nation.

The first came in the form of BetStop, a nationwide self-exclusion register applicable to all licenced interactive wagering service providers. 

This requires operators to block players who have signed up for the register from creating betting accounts or participating in any wagers.

Additionally, operators including telephone and online-based providers, may not send any marketing or promotional materials to those who have registered. Furthermore, they are also required to promote BetStop across all their communication channels. 

Prior to the inauguration of the self-exclusion register, the CEO of the Australian Banking Association had stated that nearly half a million Australians had self-vetoed their gambling expenditure with their bank adding further credibility to this legislative action.  

Credit card ban

The most recent re-regulation on behalf of the federal government was extending the prohibition of credit card payments and digital currencies from land-based wagering to all forms of online gaming.

This ban sees non-compliant operators subject to fines up to $234,750 for each offence should they be found guilty.

On this matter, the Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland had this to say:

“It’s as simple as this: People should not be betting with money they do not have. The Australian government remains committed to protecting Australians from gambling harms.”

Into the future

It is as yet too early to determine whether these measures will be effective, however, a diverse approach has been heavily implemented already, meaning that the door has been left open for continued re-regulation is most certainly a possibility.

Options to curb Australia’s gambling problem remain open which bodes well both for the industry itself as well as the individuals and communities which partake in it.

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao!

SiGMA Curaçao is right on the horizon, and in less than a week, it’s all set to kick off. Mark your calendars for September 25th to 28th, as this exciting event is brought to you by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to become a part of something truly exceptional at SiGMA Curaçao. During this event, you’ll have the chance to gain priceless insights into the latest developments in gambling regulations, immerse yourself in the dynamic world of iGaming, and forge connections with influential figures within Curacao’s thriving industry.

Jake Graves 3 days ago
Xprizo solution for finance management in Kenya

Xprizo, an iGaming fintech platform, has increased its payment service offerings by integrating with Kenyan network M-Pesa. Xprizo is an all-in-one finance management solution that allows merchants to manage their payments all in one place and supports all major payment processors. M-Pesa, launched in 2007 by Vodafone and Safaricom, is a money transfer service, payments and micro-financing service to be used on mobile phones.

Africa and Kenya stats

Roughly 90% of businesses in Africa are micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); add to this millions of consumers across the continent and the need for an accessible and reliable payment platform becomes obvious.  

Statistics relating to Kenya’s distribution of online payment methods in 2022 reveal that 40% are cash (on delivery) payments, 25% are card transactions and the rest are through other options. Additionally, as of January 2023, the number of internet users in Kenya stood at 17.86 million out of a population of just over 55 million, making internet accessible to less than a third of the population.

Crucial solution for finance management

This means that payment services offerings like this one are crucial solution. According to the companies, this collaboration ‘aims to bridge critical gaps in the payment ecosystem, notably facilitating seamless cross-border transactions and providing businesses with an invaluable tool for local operations.’

Due to this new partnership, Xprizo users can now deposit and withdraw funds using M-Pesa directly into their Xprizo wallet. From there, users are permitted access to a variety of services, from making transactions in international e-commerce environments to utilising wallet-to-wallet functionalities.

Businesses can integrate the full Xprizo wallet, enabling users to top up their accounts using M-Pesa or other integrated solutions. Following that, consumers can make transactions from their Xprizo wallet to any Xprizo-registered merchant. Alternatively, end users have the option to pay directly via M-Pesa on a merchant’s website.

Xprizo CEO Richard Mifsud commented: “M-Pesa has fundamentally transformed how people manage money. Where Xprizo steps in is to expand that revolution into cross-border payments and corporate services – we’re very optimistic about the new addition to the Xprizo payment aggregator.”

About Xprizo

Xprizo is a fintech platform designed to simplify transactions for both merchants and consumers. The platform aims to make P2P payments and online transactions a smooth experience for all parties involved. Adhering to the highest standards of legal compliance, they welcome partnerships across a multitude of industries. The company won the prestigious AIBC award for “Most promising startup of the year” at this year’s AIBC Asia Awards in held in Dubai.

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Shirley Pulis Xerxen 3 days ago