News Summary for October 2021: Gaming, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top Gaming, Payments and Crypto news in October 2021.

bullet Online Gambling News

Ireland proposes new online gambling legislation

The Irish government has proposed new legislation that would establish a new regulatory authority for online gambling, as well as a self-exclusion register. The Irish minister of state for law reform published the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill, which aims to modernise the sector through updated laws. The EGBA has welcomed the news, but some stakeholders have raised concerns over a possible blanket ban on free bets. The proposed authority will also have supervisory powers over advertising and all gambling activities within the country.

We welcome the Irish Government’s publication of the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill. This is an important milestone, and it provides companies, including our own members, with some certainty as to the direction of the travel of the legislation”

Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary-General

Ireland is one of just two countries in Europe that has no specific online gambling regulation.

Number of Australians gambling online doubles

Results of a two-year study show that the number of Australians gambling online has doubled. According to the study funded by the Australian government, participation in gambling overall has decreased from 64.3% in 2010 to 56.9% in 2019. But, the number of people taking part in online gambling more than doubled during the same period. It rose to almost 18% by 2020.

One of the researchers involved in the study, Nerilee Hing said the growth could be explained by “faster internet speeds, the convenience of betting on smartphone apps, extensive advertising and inducements, and new betting options like multi-bets.”

He added that other incentives include new betting activities like eSports, fantasy sports, loot boxes, and skin gambling. Australian gamblers are most likely young, male, well educated, in a relationship, and engage in various kinds of gambling.

The Netherlands launches online gambling market

After years of prohibition, the Dutch government has approved and enforced the Remote Gambling Act, which paves the way for legal online gambling and betting in the country. The law was initially scheduled to be enacted over a year ago but was subject to delays.

To date, 10 operators have been issued with a license, including Maltese, UK, and Estonia-based companies. Dutch legislators said that recent years showed banning gambling doesn’t work, and it’s better to create regulatory frameworks to protect customers. Licensing conditions are strict, but if operators are found offering services without a license, penalties are severe.

The opening up of the Dutch gambling sector demonstrates an increased realisation among regulators that the sector is growing and that regulation in favour of it is beneficial to all involved.

bullet Blockchain & Crypto News

French blockchain company to go public

Paris-based blockchain company Crypto Blockchain Industries said it is preparing to go live on the Paris Euronext Growth stock market. This is one of the recent developments that demonstrate the growth and appeal of this sector. Shares will be listed at EUR 2 each, meaning the company will float with a value of EUR 38.7 million.

The news comes just weeks after Bitcoin hit its highest ever value on the financial markets, topping $66,974. The company focuses on investments in the crypto and blockchain sectors. Their goal focuses on cash injections into blockchain services across multiple industries and verticals.

China to release national blockchain standard in 2022

As the Chinese government cracks down on the crypto sector, they simultaneously use blockchain technology for governmental and business uses. According to Li Ming, who heads the Blockchain Research Office, the Chinese Electronics Standardisation Institute has drafted a set of standards that will be approved soon. 

The aim is to increase blockchain innovation and expand on its applications in government and public administration. Blockchain technology can be found in the government’s five-year plan, alongside AI, the cloud, and big data.

The standards will be built on examples such as WiFi or Bluetooth to allow devices from multiple different manufacturers to access the ecosystem.

Blockchain development company tops $3.5 billion in value

Blockchain company Alchemy has just raised $250 million in a Series C funding round bringing its current value to $3.5 billion. This is just six months after it raised $80 million while being worth $505 million. As far as startups go, this is a significant jump in valuation in such a short time, growing seven times to be exact. The round of financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz and involved many big-name investors. Not only has value soared, but the company has become “very profitable” according to CEO Nikil Viswanathan. 

The company said it aims to do for blockchain and Web3, which AWS did for the internet. In other words, they want to be the first stop for developers wanting to build apps on the blockchain in an easier and more cost-efficient way.

bullet Payments News

Stripe ventures into India

Stripe, one of the biggest and most well-known payment services providers in the world, has made a recent, strategic investment. Currently valued at $95 billion, they purchased Indian company Recko, which automates payment reconciliation.

Covering incoming and outgoing payments, Recko uses APIs to function within different data ecosystems. Located in Bangalore, this is Stripe’s first acquisition in India. The terms of the deal have been kept under wraps for now. However, before the sale, Recko had raised over $7 million from investors including Prime Venture Partners and the founder of Wise, Taavet Hinirikus. 

The integration of Recko into Strip’s system will take place imminently with no impact on Recko’s current users.

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