News Summary for June 2022: Gambling, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Gambling, Fintech, and Crypto in June 2022.

Global online lotto market to surpass $14 billion by 2026

The global online lottery market is tipped to surpass more than $14.5 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% yearly. Out of the entire online lottery sector, draw-based lottery games will account for around half, growing at a similar speed, showing impressive growth in the sector. Globally, Asia will account for almost 50% of all business, followed by the US. The former will also be one of the quickest growing regions, with growth of 10.1% over the next four years. While within the borders of the EU, the most populous state of Germany will experience a growth at a rate of 8.3%, the highest in the region. In terms of method of access, desktop reigns supreme, but mobile development is starting to creep up.

European Safer Gambling Week scheduled for October

Between 17 and 23 October 2022, European Safer Gambling Week will kick off, organised by the European Betting and Gambling Association and 13 European online gambling associations. These include the Betting and Gaming Council, BACTA, the Lotteries Council and the Bingo Association. This will be the second edition of the event as regulators crack down on problem gambling and encourage responsible gambling globally. The event will include practical activities, awareness-raising, and showcasing of developments in the sector. There will also be presentations of new research, tips on safer gambling, and tools to assist operators.

Aspire to delist on 4 July

Malta-based gaming giant Aspire will delist from the Swedish Nasdaq as of 4 July 2022, following its acquisition by NeoGames in January, worth more than EUR 400 million. Aspire is a b2b gaming solutions provider operating in 31 countries across Europe, South American, Latin America and Europe. NeoGames is an online lottery, platform, and gaming services, provider. Incorporated in Luxemburg, it is also publicly traded on Nasdaq. CEO Moti Malul said, “We are thrilled to complete this strategic transaction with the Aspire Global team and to commence working on identifying potential opportunities to capitalise on the merger of our platforms.

“We believe this strategic combination will generate long-term shareholder value by synergistically capitalising on the key strengths of our two companies and will help position NeoGames for expansion in new and existing markets.”

FBI investigates $100 million crypto theft

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the theft of some $100 million in cryptocurrency from blockchain company Harmony. It is believed that hackers targeted a blockchain bridge which allows the transfer of tokens and data between different blockchains. They have become a prime target for hackers in recent months leading to millions in lost dollars. The company in question, Harmony, allows users to send transactions between different chains. Since the breach became known, they have suspended their bridge to prevent any more losses. As well as the FBI, cyber security firms are looking into who is responsible and how to get the funds back. “We have also notified exchanges and stopped the Horizon bridge to prevent further transactions. The team is all hands on deck as investigations continue,” the company said. Similar attacks have occurred in the last year, with $332 million of ether going missing from the Ronin bridge in March and $80 million from Qubit Finance.

Europe’s largest crypto exchange enters Australian market

WhiteBIT, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the EU, has developed its business and expanded into Australia. Through its platform, which is used widely in Europe, it hopes to replicate its success down under. CEO Volodymyr Nosov visited some of Australia’s main cities and met with Ukrainian diplomats, regulators, banks, and government representatives. The Australian office is currently hiring a local team to head its division while it will be managed by the previous international senior business development manager, Alexander Sirica. “Australia is a country where 20-30% of investors have savings in cryptocurrency. In other words, Australians are at the forefront of global technological progress. That’s why we decided to start developing the company’s financial hub on the Australian continent,”  said Nosov in a public statement.

Cards continue to dominate US payments sector

According to the North America Online Payment Methods Report 2022, mobile wallets/digital wallets are on the rise, but consumers in both the US and Canada still prefer to use their credit and debit cards, particularly for online shopping. That said, digital wallets are becoming more accepted and are already supported by around 50% of eCommerce merchants. In addition, the use of mobile payment solutions in-store is also increasing, particularly in terms of Apple Pay and Googe Pay. Buy now, pay later is also growing in popularity and is expected to triple by 2025. Around 33% of all users use the method, while half say they prefer it to paying with a card. Klarna and Afterpay were the most popular companies identified in the report.

India moves towards regulating online gambling

India will set up a ministerial panel to consider regulations for the online skill-based gambling sector in a move that has been welcomed by international contemporaries. The panel, numbering seven, will include the country’s secretaries of home affairs, economy, industry, trade, electronics, information, and sports. It is tasked with looking at the promotion of online gambling and regulatory mechanisms that can be put in place to protect players while facilitating easy business. Roland Landers from the All India Gaming Federation welcomed the news. “It is a good day for the online skill gaming industry, and we laud the government’s move to take a step towards setting up a task force to work on the guidelines for this sunrise sector,” adding, “We have been championing to have central guidelines for this sector for over a decade now as the apex industry body for online skill gaming, and it is rewarding to see our efforts getting acknowledged.” Currently, online skill-based games are legal, but regulation is decided state-by-state, with many states banning them completely. Meanwhile, the industry continues to push for legalisation and regulation of the industry, which it says has big potential for employment in the country.

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