News Summary for May 2022: Gambling, Crypto & Payments

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

German court orders iGaming company issue EUR 26k refund

In Frankfurt, Germany, a court has ordered an online gambling services provider to refund a player more than EUR 26,000 to a player that used the site before it was regulated under local law. The unnamed company had been operating in the country before the sector was brought under national law. Over two years, the player had lost more than EUR 26,000 on a site that was at the time-based in Gibraltar. The court said that the company did not have a license to offer gambling in Germany at a time when gambling was not legal in the country. The laws to regulate the online gambling sector did not come into force until July last year. This could set a concerning precedent for other platforms that have offered services to German players without a German license. This is because the court ruled that the company obtained the funds without any legal basis and, therefore, must compensate players for their losses.

Greek authorities loosen limits on wagers

The Greek government has lifted a EUR 2 limit on wagers in online casinos that it had previously imposed. Covering online casino games and poker, the authorities have increased the maximum wager to EUR 20, which will become effective as of this month. In addition, iGaming platforms will also be allowed to shorten spin times from three seconds to two. Furthermore, the jackpot values on games of chance and slot games have increased 100% from EUR 70,000 to EUR 140,000. This comes after the government reviewed the online gambling sector. The industry has welcomed the decision, including local operators and the 15 foreign entities that hold licenses.

Belgian government mulls gambling advertising ban

The Belgian government is considering a total ban on advertisements for all forms of gambling on both online and offline platforms. The only exception to the ban would be the country’s National Lottery. The proposal did not sit well with local operators, who said it would not benefit consumers in any way. They argued that it would make it harder for players to tell the difference between legal and licensed operators and those operating in the black market. Criticism was also levied against the government over the lack of consultation with stakeholders, despite the justice ministry stating they had consulted legal operators. Some have argued that as the National Lottery accounts for almost half of all national advertising, banning other legal providers from showing their adverts would create an unfair advantage for the state.

Thai political party calls for the legalisation of gambling

A group of Thai political parties have submitted a draft amendment to the Thai government related to the Gambling Act. This would see land-based and online casinos become legal and also foresees the development of four casinos in the country. The reasoning behind the proposal relates to much-needed tax revenue that can be derived from the activity and tourists in four major touristic regions. The proposal comes as the House of Representatives waits for the findings of a report that looks at the feasibility of operating legal casinos in the country. Due at the end of the month, the report looks at opening casino resorts to attract foreigners and give a boost to local economies.

US dropped the ball on crypto-regulation, expert says

According to Hester Pierce, the United States has dropped the ball on cryptocurrency regulation, a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission. She said that failure to stay up to date with necessary developments and to regulate the growing space has kept her up at night. “We’re not allowing innovation to develop and experimentation to happen in a healthy way, and there are long-term consequences of that failure,” she said amid a global crash in the cryptocurrency market. A big sell-off of cryptocurrencies and assets has seen the value of the market fall by around a trillion dollars in the last few weeks. Pierce called for quicker and more positive regulation in the space as it is needed more today than ever.

Terra could be set for revitalisation following recent demise

Following the crash of the Terra ecosystem, supporters have voted to go ahead with a new plan to revive the initial venture, but without the inclusion of the controversial stablecoin. The proposal that was approved includes the creation of a new blockchain. At the start of May, terraUSD, a coin pegged to the value of the dollar, fell below the $1 mark leading to investors fleeing and also selling off the associated luna token. The new plan would see tokens distributed to those that held luna classic in a bid to bring the ecosystem back to life.

Hacker steals $951,000 from Razorpay

A hacker has stolen some $951,000 over the course of three months from payment gateway provider Razorpay. The money was siphoned off in a fraud that saw the hacker manipulate the authorisation process regarding 831 failed transactions. The crime took place in India, and authorities are currently working to establish who was behind it. Razorpay is a leading India-based payment provider offering payments through credit card, debit card, online banking and wallets. The company discovered the fraud when they were unable to reconcile their payments system. Following the news, the company reassured customers that they upheld the maximum in security standards and that steps have been taken to prevent such a situation from happening again.

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