A round-up of all the top news from iGaming, crypto, payments, and eCommerce.
Argentinian capital grants seven online casino licenses
Buenos Aires has awarded seven online gambling licenses to a handful of online casino brands. The announcement came at the start of the month and includes platforms owned by Playtech, 888 Holdings, Bet365 ad Wiliam Hill. The capital city of Argentina is also an autonomous region and is the only place in the country where online gambling is regulated. Acquiring a license in the city is still subject to tough requirements. Licensees must pay $768,000 upfront plus a $100,000 annual renewal fee and 25% gross revenue tax. They are also required to be considered as experienced in the sector, have a registered address, and the company should be part-owned by a locally based individual.
Michigan launches online casino and sports betting
The US State of Michigan has become the fourth US state to allow online casino games as per state-level regulation. As of 22 January, online gambling and online sports betting are now permitted as long as the provider has been authorized by the MGCB. Some operators have already been given the green light to offer betting, such as William Hill, DraftKings, FaanDuel, BetMGM and Golden Nugget. The matter of online gambling in the US is a complex one and regulations and requirements vary in each state.
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Crypto and Payments
Payment provider branches out into thriving eSports betting sector
A leading payment solutions provider has announced it will offer payments for online gambling and eSports businesses. AstroPay has more than 2 million users, 200 payment methods, and 500 merchants onboard. It will now begin working with those that are considered “high risk” such as online gambling and eSports service providers. One of the products it will use is called One Touch which is a digital wallet. Users are identified by a single code and payments are made with one tap.
Also in January, eSports betting was legalized in Puerto Rico as a bill was passed that regulates traditional and eSports betting online and in person.
Patent for bitcoin slot machines granted
International Game Technology Plc has patented a design that could see gamblers using bitcoin at physical slot machines. Instead of limiting crypto payment to the online world, the new patent facilitates a way for cryptocurrency to be transferred between their gaming account and an external cryptocurrency account. This means that players would be able to send Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies from their crypto wallets, onto a virtual wallet linked to the slot machine. This would all be done via mobile. Recent research has shown that almost half of millennials are planning to buy cryptocurrency in the near future, showing that mainstream adoption is well and truly on the way. This new patent could pave the way for greater adoption in the gambling sphere as well as encouraging new clients.
Singapore tightens regulatory controls on crypto payments
Singapore introduced regulatory controls on virtual payment providers that facilitate transmission, exchange, and storage of any crypto or digital currency. They will now be under the scope and remit of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The bill states that any company or entity providing services as a business in-country must be licensed. Even if the money being transacted doesn’t enter Singapore, the entity will still be governed by the new regulations. This provides increased protection for both service providers and customers.
eCommerce companies report 2020 was a bumper year
Most eCommerce companies saw their revenue increase during 2020, according to data from a new report on eCommerce trends. As per the results of a survey, 90% of companies reported seeing their online sales increase a bit, and 50% said it grew by over 100%. Just 6% said it decreased during the year. Furthermore, even after the lockdowns, 86% said that sales revenue remained higher than normal. In terms of profit margin, 38% of eCommerce companies said their online profit margin grew, while just 4% said it decreased. In terms of staff, 44% said the staff was relocated, 33% hired more people, and 26% let some go. 15% said they had to reduce salaries.
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