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

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Payments, Online Gaming, Blockchain in August 2021.

bullet Online Gambling News

One of the world’s leading live streaming sites, Twitch, has announced it will prevent users from sharing any links that point to online casinos or their products. Creators and users of the site (which is huge in the eSports sector) must remove links, referral codes, or other marketing materials from their channels or face sanctions. Twitch was clear that they will monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and update rules if necessary.  

Twitch aims to prevent users from being exposed to scams or potentially harmful sites. However, this will be a blow for those who advertised their gambling sites via Twitch. They will no longer be able to link to the site because they also offer casino games.

Survey: Online gambling operators must do more to protect customers

Results of a recent YouGov survey on online gambling found that 64% of respondents preferred gambling online. The majority also said that online gambling operators must do more to protect them and tackle gambling-related harm. The most popular form of gambling identified by the survey was buying a lottery ticket, followed by sports betting, instant lottery games, and online slots.

Unfortunately, almost 60% said they didn’t think gambling businesses take problem gambling seriously. Just over a quarter said that it’s up to the government to do more to protect gamblers.

Australia announces crackdown on affiliates working with dodgy sites

Regulators in Australia have announced they will be cracking down on affiliate advertisers that link to unregulated offshore gambling sites. The Australian Communications and Media Authority announced it’s doubling up on efforts to fight illicit gambling by blocking sites that exist solely to direct traffic towards online casinos. According to the Authority, some sites claim to offer news and independent reviews, but in reality, they are paid-for posts.

“These sites can push you to illegal gambling services that don’t have the same protections that go with licensed and regulated services. We often get complaints that winnings aren’t honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.”

Spokesperson for the Authority

bullet Blockchain & Crypto News

AI Patent filed for eSports betting odds

One of the world’s biggest eSports betting companies, eSports Technologies, has filed a provisional patent application for an AI app that creates odds for the betting industry. In particular, it provides a betting algorithm specifically tailored to eSports tournaments. Not only does it use AI, but it draws on machine learning to generate instant odds for eSports tournaments and matches. It can also perform these tasks for various stages of the tournament and other betting markets, not just eSports.

COO Bart Barden explained that the “next-generation wagering tool” demonstrates the importance of committing to eSports fans and their evolving demands. Earlier this year, the company filed patents for new live streaming technology that facilitates sports and eSports betting across the major streaming platforms.

New blockchain-based intellectual property prototype launched

HashCash Consultants and developed a new protocol for a blockchain-powered Intellectual Property model. In the early stages of development, the tool will help prevent copying and theft of original materials. Once an idea or concept has been developed, the blockchain will secure it via proof-of-existence and proof-of-origin. Then, a unique hash will then be generated, which is unique to the item. The prototype will also use digital identity and verification to ensure security at all times.

CEO of HashCash Consultants Raj Chowdhury highlighted that IP theft is rampant across all platforms and includes the written word, music, video, and images. 

“Inherent features of blockchain-based applications provide the benefits of provenance, traceability, and anti-counterfeit service to bolster the application”

Raj Chowdhury, HashCash Consultants

bullet Payments News

A third of finance firms look to AI to help with compliance 

According to a new study by KPMG, SAS, and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, a third of financial firms are using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their fight against money laundering and financial crime. More than half of those who took part in the study had already rolled out AI and ML in the compliance process. Additionally, many were also planning to introduce it within the next 18 months.

The United Nations estimates that some $2 trillion is laundered every year. This money is moved through big banks, shell, and holding companies, and supposedly legitimate businesses. As regulators continue their crackdown on financial crime, criminals seek other ways to circumvent the rules. As such, high-tech solutions help to combat the phenomenon and restore trust to multiple sectors.

Apple and Visa victorious in payment patent row

Two of the world’s largest fintech companies, Apple and Visa, managed to convince a US court to uphold a previous ruling that invalidated four patents filed by Universal Secure Registry. The patents relate to the security of electronic payments, and Apple said they infringed on the Apple Pay system.

Judge Kara Stoll stated that Universal Secure Registry’s patents were not valid because they related to abstract ideas, not patentable concepts. The company had previously sued Apple and Visa, claiming they infringed on their patents. These patents included systems to authenticate identities when making credit card transactions. The two payments giants asked the complaint be dismissed, and the court has upheld the decision.

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