News Summary for April 2022: Gaming, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top Gaming, Payments, and Blockchain news in April 2022.

Online gambling on the up in the UK

One in four people in the UK gambles online, the highest rate ever recorded, according to data from the UK Gambling Commission. Data published in April shows that 25.7% of those surveyed gambled at least once in the last month, increasing by 23.8% in 2020 and 18.5% in 2019. The biggest increase in terms of age was present in the 18-24 age group, accounting for almost 35% of all bettors, up from 29.7% the previous year.

Another age group showing significant growth is the 55-64-year-olds, increasing from 48.7% to 49.8% during the same period. When it comes to the most popular kind of betting, sports betting and, in particular, football was the clear winner.

Increasing inflation leads to calls to cap gambling revenue

British organisation GambleAware has submitted details of six issues to parliament’s Department of Digital Culture, Media, and Sports (DCMS) as a part of its Gambling Act review. The submission made by GambleAware places a strong emphasis on preventing gambling harm and addiction and how gambling can impact younger people. Under British law, gambling companies registered in the UK must donate a percentage of their profits to responsible gambling organisations or initiatives. This is currently left to the company’s discretion when it comes to value. But GambleAware says this should increase and be laid down in law to increase certainty for organisations working to protect and support gamblers. “The voluntary nature of the current arrangements results inevitably in the uncertainty of funding year to year and to significant variations in cash flow within the year,” they wrote in the submission.

“This unpredictable funding model represents a significant challenge given that a key function of GambleAware as a commissioning body is to assure funded services about recurrent income streams so that expert clinical teams can be established and sustained to provide treatment and support for those who need help.”

LatAm gambling in the spotlight ahead of a new conference

The potential of Latin America’s gambling sector has been on the radar of operators for some time now. But in November, the industry will come together in Florida for a large summit. The SBC Summit Latinoamerica 2022 brings together all the big names in the sector, including product specialists, operators, developers, studios, affiliates, and more. All the big names will be there, and it will be a great opportunity to assess the current state and future potential of the market amongst peers.

Expect interesting insights from key countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. As one of the world’s fastest emerging online gambling markets, this is an important date in the calendar.

BNY Mellon launches blockchain investment fund in Singapore

BNY Mellon Investment Management has announced the launch of a new blockchain investment fund for Singapore’s market. The structure will provide funding for companies using or associated with distributed ledger technology in the country. Retail investors in Singapore can now access it, as can institutional investors in countries such as France, Germany, and the UK. It currently has some $75 million in assets under management after being initially launched in 2019.

“Blockchain technology has been adopted by companies in a wide range of sectors to enhance existing revenue streams and to reduce costs while some companies are generating revenue by offering blockchain-related services. This gives our clients the chance to gain direct exposure to companies that are early adopters of blockchain technology, some of which are likely to set the standards for blockchain deployment within their respective industries.”

Paul Liu, Singapore CEO at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

BlackRock announces blockchain ETF

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, has announced the launch of a blockchain ETF just 24 hours after its competitor, Fidelity launched its own. The manager, which has a portfolio of more than $10 trillion in assets, called the segment a “megatrend” as it accounts for 43 products totally of $50 billion in assets Head of US iShares product at BlackRock, Rachel Aguirre, said, “The expansion of our megatrends line-up today reflects the power of the millennial and rise of the self-directed investor, who’s buying habits have reshaped mainstream consumer behaviours, and in turn, the companies in which they invest.” Key names in BlackRock’s portfolio include Coinbase, Riot Blockchain, and Marathon Digital, accounting for some 10%.

Time cashes in on blockchain

Just over a year since Time launched its first NFT, profits have surpassed some $10 million with 20,000 NFTs having been sold. The news was announced by the publisher’s President Keith Grossman. The high value of the NFTs can also be attributed to their resale, on which Time earns a royalty for each transaction. Over the last 12 months, the company has branched out into blockchain in a big way.

In March 2021, they launched their first NFT project comprising of digital magazine covers from the archives with the best selling going for $250,000. In April of the same year, Time started accepting payments in crypto for advertising space and subscriptions. By September, they launched TIMEPieces, a Discord club with over 40,000 members where NFT drops are made.

Paysafe wins US award

Paysafe, one of the leading names in the payments sphere has won a leading US award. A specialised payments platform, Playsafe came first in the Payment Provider category at the EGR North America awards in New York. It won two years in a row, but this year’s win was due to the continued growth of the company throughout the US and Canada. It also received a nod for the Skrill digital iGaming wallet.

We’re delighted to retain our ‘Payments Provider’ of the year title at the 2022 EGR North America Awards. This latest industry recognition reflects the hard work and dedication of our entire team, as we strived – and succeeded – to deliver the best payment solutions to our partners. Going forward, we’ll look to continue to evolve our products to better support operators’ customer acquisition and retention through payments.”

Zak Cutler, North America CEO at Paysafe

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