News Summary for November 2020: Gambling, Crypto and Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Gambling and Crypto News in November 2020.

bullet iGaming News

bullet Curacao gambling license might see overhaul soon

Curacao might tighten its online gambling licensing rules due to increased pressure from the Netherlands. The Dutch government and the island nation are discussing potential reforms and new measures. A new regulator may be formed which will be required to supervise and oversee the gambling industry and to process new applications. Curacao would have to conduct more stringent monitoring on the activities of licensees. It could mark the end of the current sub-licensing system, and see prices and due diligence increase, making it tougher to obtain a Curacao license.
No official changes in legislation have been passed, nor have any of the 4 Master License Holders been provided with any kind of formal notice of any changes to the licensing regime.

bullet Slots, eSports and poker growing in popularity in UK

Figures announced by the UK Gambling Commission this month show a gross gambling yield of GBP 14.2 billion between March 2019 and March 2020. This marks a decrease on the year before but could be due to the beginning of the COVID pandemic, occurring during this time. Online lotteries were on the increase and online gambling also increased with a value of GBP 5.7 billion, almost 40% of the overall market value. The most popular online games for UK customers were slots, eSports, and poker. Roulette and blackjack decreased in popularity. In terms of sports betting, football is number one, followed by horse racing and dog racing. There was an overall increase of 30% in the number of UK-based gaming accounts.

bullet Online gambling in France on the rise

France observed an all-time high in betting revenue, due to the surge in popularity of sports betting. During the third quarter of 2020, online gambling operators brought in a combined EUR 405 million in just three months, 17% higher than the year before. This was also a 25% increase on Q2 of 2020. Sports betting increased 6% year on year, despite a poor start to the year. The number of weekly active bettors rose by 37% as well. This is reflective of a global increase in the number of people signing up to online gambling sites during 2020. There have been big increases across Latin America, Europe, and Asia, in new account holders and regular betting activity. This has been sparked by the COVID-19 crisis as many were or are confined to home due to lockdown regulations. Mobile gambling is by far the most popular out of all kinds as younger players prefer to access games on the go, via mobile.

bullet Blockchain, Crypto, Payments

bullet Airbnb considers crypto and blockchain

Airbnb, the popular travel and accommodation rental site has announced that it is considering tokenization, cryptocurrency, and blockchain integration. In a recent S-1 filing for an IPO, the company noted how their future success will depend on their ability to successfully integrate emerging technology like cryptocurrency, tokens, and new authentication technologies. They said they intend to spend “significant resources maintaining, developing, and enhancing our technologies and platform. Airbnb has around 150 million worldwide users and if it does adopt blockchain and crypto in the future, it would be a huge step forward in terms of widespread adoption.

bullet Visa CEO speaks in support of crypto

The CEO of Visa Alfred Kelly estimates that while some $18 trillion is spent in cash every year, the pandemic will continue to push more transactions to a cashless society. He also noted that there are around 1.7 billion people in the world who do not have a bank account or access to electronic payments.  One way that this problem can be solved is through the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin which is enjoying continued financial institution and investor confidence. “Crypto is a developing part of payments in the world”, Kelly said. Visa currently works with around two dozen cryptocurrencies and they have signed several cryptocurrency card deals in recent years as well as a partnership with Coinbase. While it may be a number of years away, Kelly said he wants to see digital currencies running on the Visa network on a regular basis.

bullet BitPay launches cryptocurrency payroll service

BitPay has rolled out its new service, BitPay Send which will facilitate the payment of contractors, freelancers, employees, customers and vendors with cryptocurrency. Payments can be made en masse, cross border, and simultaneously. BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said “blockchain payment adoption is growing because it offers an easy way to send and receive payments on a global scale.” The new service will allow companies to pay recipients efficiently, without even having to buy the underlying cryptocurrency themselves. It allows companies to carry out a range of tasks including payroll, contractor payments, reward issuance, settlements, and customer cash-out requests. Those wishing to receive crypto payments will need a BitPay ID and a crypto wallet.

bullet Settle Network launches stablecoins in Argentina and Brazil

The Settle Network has launched two stablecoins in Latin America. ARST is backed 100% by the Argentina Peso, and BRLT is backed 100% by Brazilian Reais. It’s reported that both have bank-grade AML processes and controls, KYC verification, and ongoing blockchain monitoring. Settle are the largest virtual currency settlement network in the region and they are providing the infrastructure necessary to support the coins. Both coins can also be traded against Ethereum and Bitcoin as well as other stablecoins. CEO of Settle Network, Pablo Orlando expressed his happiness about the use of blockchain and crypto in Latin America, increasing the ease of remittances and payments.

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