Fast Offshore brings you the top Gaming, Payments and Crypto news in April 2021.
Caesars signs multi-billion deal to buy William Hill
Caesars has finalised a deal to acquire betting giant William Hill for GBP 2.9 billion. The acquisition deal was announced in September 2020, with the gambling company agreeing to pay 1.08 billion shares at GBP 2.72 each. Initially, Caesars were interested only in their betting business, but they also acquired the UK arm of the business. Directors of William Hill have resigned and stepped down from the board as a part of the deal, and shareholders are expected to get their payout by 6 May.
Caesars said: “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of William Hill, combining two of the premier operations in the sports betting and iGaming industries under one roof. We look forward to announcing future sports partnerships that will drive forward long-term growth.”
Dubai government denies rumours of iGaming licenses
Reports were circulating that the Emirate of Dubai was planning to start issuing licenses for online gambling activities. The rumour was spreading on social media that iGaming would become legal, and permits were being issued already. The Government of Dubai issued a rebuttal denying the claims, calling them simply “incorrect”. They did not provide any further information on the matter.
Gambling is illegal in the UAE, a devoutly Muslim country, except for some raffles and competitions. Even these kinds of events must require permission from the state before commencing. Additionally, online gambling is sanctioned by law and those caught operating such a business can face severe penalties. All internet providers are required to block access to any gambling sites.
Mobile sports betting in Asia-Pacific, fastest-growing sector
Researchandmarkets.com have released a new report on iGaming, in particular the performance of the sector following the COVID-19 impact. The report provides predictions for future growth, as well as certain market segments that are expected to flourish. It found that sports betting was the fastest-growing area of gambling over the next few years. It’s set to have a higher CAGR than a casino, lottery, bingo, and other forms of betting.
While cryptocurrency will continue to grow in terms of adoption, real money remains the primary and preferred transacting method. Regarding jurisdictions, the Asia-Pacific region will witness the highest growth, while Europe, the Middle East, and Africa enjoy the current lion’s share of the market.
Amid biometric boom, leading firm expands in the Middle East
Leading biometric authentication service provider Accura Scan has announced some new partnerships in the Middle East. Following a notification that they would be raising additional funds throughout the year to strengthen their portfolio of biometric KYC and digital onboarding products, they then made public news of an expansion into Jordan. The company said they are working on initiatives with NEC Payments, Bahrain, Ahli Bank Qatar, and the Gulf Bank of Kuwait too.
The company is going through a process of expansion at a time when its services are in demand. The pandemic forced banks and financial services providers to secure authentication methods to help customer access services remotely.
We are persistent in the growth of our product offerings since the beginning. We are streaming in ID Forgery, Video KYC and Certified User Verification in the fresh batch of services offered in 2021.”CEO Yasi Patel
eCommerce fraud will cost business $20 billion by end of the year
New research suggests that the damage caused by eCommerce fraud will surpass $20 billion by the end of the year. This is an increase of around $2.5 billion in the previous year. This increase is due to an uptick in the number of customers using online shopping sites. Additionally, more breaches take place as some merchants are unfamiliar with the risks or unprepared to combat the challenges of the sector.
Merchants need to protect their consumers by implementing fraud protection strategies including artificial intelligence and biometrics, which will increase security across all potential fraud challenges, according to the report. Research co-author Susan Morrow explains: “While the need for security is greater than ever, the competitive eCommerce environment means merchants will need to ensure that extra security checks are justified to the user, or they risk higher cart abandonment rates.”
BIS calls for better regulation in the crypto sector
A new report from the Bank for International Settlements said that regulators need to move quickly to apply international AML standards to cryptocurrency and virtual assets as there is a “critical need for swift and global implementation of international standards.”
The report said that there’s been significant growth in cryptocurrency and assets during the past few years. However, they display a high level of volatility and can also be exploited for illegal activity. BIS said that any company working with cryptocurrency or virtual assets should conduct full due diligence, engage in good governance and risk management, be transparent in the disclosure of cryptocurrency assets, and engage in supervisory dialogue with regulators.
Atari announces that the launch of a crypto casino is imminent
Veteran video game company Atari has announced it is planning to launch its very own cryptocurrency casino. Through a partnership with Decentral Games, Atari plan to harness their reputation for creating awesome vintage games and to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. They will offer different games and Atari non-fungible tokens, which can be used to gamble or gain more currency. They forecast bets exceeding $150 million by the end of 2021, and $400 million by the end of 2022.
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