News Summary for May 2021: Online Gambling, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Online Gambling, Fintech, and Crypto in May 2021.

bullet Online Gambling News

Esports Entertainment Group buys Bethard to expand into new European markets

Swedish gambling company Bethard has been bought out by Esports Entertainment Group in a deal believed to have been worth more than EUR 22 million. According to media reports, EUR 16 million will be paid upfront, boosted by 12% of the net revenue of Bethard over the next two years. Bethard reported revenue of over $31 million in 2020 via its licenses in Spain and Sweden. It’s likely the deal will be finalized at the start of July this year.

“This is another great addition for Esports Entertainment Group that substantially increases our revenues and available markets. With this transaction, we expect to gain two new gaming licenses, including one in the strategically important Swedish market. After the license handover, we will have six tier-one licenses.”

eSports Entertainment Group CEO Grant Johnson

Esports Entertainment Group has acquired several big names in the last year including Lucky Dino Gambling Limited and Argyll Entertainment. The company provides eSports and online gambling services and is listed on NASDAQ. The company has gone from strength to strength following the surge in interest in eSports, eSports betting, and online gambling.

Online gambling legalization advancements in North America

The Canadian Senate has approved and passed the second reading of a sports betting bill. It will now be considered by the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce. The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act was approved by the House of Commons on its third reading this April. It was then waiting for Senate approval. If it’s passed by the Senate Committee, it will attain Royal Asset and enter into law. This will allow online operators to provide betting services for individual sporting events. Currently, Canadian law only allows betting on multiples.

“With today’s passing of Bill C-218 on second reading in the Senate, we are now one important step closer to legalizing single-event sports betting in Canada… Following the Committee, we are optimistic that Bill C-218 will be swiftly passed at third reading in the Senate, receive Royal Assent and become law.”

John Levy, CEO of theScore

The US State of Michigan has already seen big payoffs since online gambling was legalized there four months ago. The Michigan Gaming Control Board said that the economic impact has exceeded expectations and that new demographics of players are showing interest. Some $18 million in taxes from online gambling were delivered to the State as revenue in April 2021 alone.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, a historic bill on online gambling and betting has been passed by the state Senate. The new law will enter into force on September 9th. However, the bill still requires approval by Governor Ned Lamont and the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was passed 28-6 after just an hour of debate.

Evolution predicts online gambling to outstrip land-based in the near future

Sweden-based gambling tech company Evolution has estimated that online betting and casinos will soon outstrip land-based alternatives. The company’s shares increased some 170% in value over the last 12 months due to a global uptick in the demand for online gambling. Its market value has now surpassed $38 billion, a $35 billion increase over the last 6 years.

The company aims to be present in all regulated markets and has bought up a number of big names over the last few years, including most recently NetEnt for $2.2 billion. CEO Martin Carlesund said he expects the market to double and double again over the next few years.

“Physical casinos could provide perhaps 50, 40, or 30% or less of revenue over the next 15 years. The biggest driver for this growth is likely to be innovation and emerging technology.

CEO Martin Carlesund

HR Gambling Capital, leading iGaming industry data providers, said the market could be worth over $283 billion by 2036, expanding by around 9%. They added that online casinos would likely account for 50% of the market over the next decade.

bullet Blockchain & Crypto News

Indian government plans to roll out blockchain-based COVID-19 test certificates

The Indian government has recently announced its plans to introduce blockchain-based COVID-19 test results issued on a blockchain. The Maharashtra Disaster Management Department has teamed up with Print2Block to provide certificates stored on the blockchain. will issue and store test results for people who have tested negative for the virus.

We have been able to meet the demands of scalability and data security. Out of lakhs of people tested in the state on a daily basis, almost 70-80% are tested negative. Our blockchain solution has been deployed by the Department of Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Maharashtra to issue certificates to people who have been tested negative.”

Cofounder Joji Varghese

The government in Andhra Pradesh has already introduced blockchain technology to help improve transparency in maintaining state land records. Governments in Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and others are also following suit.

Turkey issues regulation on virtual assets following crypto fraud scandal

In April, Turkey’s Central Bank issued its first-ever cryptocurrency and virtual asset regulation. Called the Regulation on the Use of Crypto-Assets in Payments, it came into force at the start of May. It lays down notable provisions which essentially ban the use of cryptocurrency and companies that work with them.

Under the new rules, crypto cannot be used to directly or indirectly purchase anything, nor can it be used in payment services or e-money. Intermediaries including exchanges, service providers, fund transfers, wallets, settlement, or issuance companies are prohibited, as are any financial service business models involving cryptocurrency. 

The legislation came at the same time a crypto-entrepreneur Faruk Fatih Ozer put his site, Thodex into maintenance mode and fled the country. He is believed to have defrauded investors of some $ 2 billion. He has denied defrauding them and said he will return to Turkey to fix the situation, but so far has not done so. Turkey issued a wanted notice with Interpol and asked for Albanian authorities to cooperate as it’s believed he is in the capital of Tirana.

bullet Payments News

FCA calls on eMoney institutions to review marketing practices

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has sent a letter to the CEOs of all eMoney firms operating in their jurisdiction, asking them to be cautious about the way they position their products. They raised concerns over the way many of these companies are comparing their services to conventional banks or as an alternative to banks. The FCA called on them to contact customers and provide them with information on how their funds are protected and to make it clear that FSCS protection doesn’t apply.

The FCA said it’s concerned that many providers aren’t meeting their promotional requirements. They asked that every communication and advert makes it clear that there are risks, such as the lack of FSCS protection and the fact they aren’t regulated by the FCA. Companies are requested to send a letter to clients to remind them of how their funds are safeguarded.

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