News Summary for November 2022: Gambling, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Gambling, Fintech, and Crypto for November 2022.

Colombia reports 7 million online gamblers, rising profits 

A fresh report from the Colombian gaming regulator, Coljuegos, found there are some seven million people registered with online gambling accounts across 17 operators as of August 2022. In terms of revenue, they brought in $1.6 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion in 2021 and are expected to reach $5.4 billion by this end, particularly considering the Qatar World Cup 2022. In terms of the amount of revenue returned to the public, the regulator said it was estimated at around 94%. Columbia was one of the first countries in Latin America to legalise online gambling, and the sector has been growing exponentially. As the country has a population of 51 million, there is plenty of potential lefts to be explored.

Saskatchewan legalises online gambling

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has legalised online gambling and launched in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The PlayNow site will be the only legally accessible platform in the territory, bringing the number of active provinces to three. “BCLC is thrilled to help bring legal, online regulated gambling to Saskatchewan, in line with our social purpose to generate win-wins for the greater good,” BCLC president and chief executive Pat Davis said. “We would like to thank our partners at SIGA and SaskGaming for their collaboration in bringing our safe, secure and industry-leading platform to the province of Saskatchewan.” SIGA president and chief executive Zane Hansen added: “We are excited to be the exclusive provider of Saskatchewan’s first and only legal online gaming site, which will provide a safe and secure option for residents to play their favourite casino games and bet on their favourite sports teams online.”

Illegal gambling in the US worth $511 billion a year

A new study from the American Gaming Association has revealed that illegal online gambling, in particular betting, amounts to more than $511 billion every year. The findings also suggest that those illegal operating sites are mopping up 40% of the entire gambling market, worth around $42 billion, which could be spent legitimately. In addition, illegal activity costs the government more than $13 billion in tax revenue, funds that could be ploughed back into the economy. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller shared via the company’s press release:

“Illegal and unregulated gambling is a scourge on our society, taking advantage of vulnerable consumers, skirting regulatory obligations and robbing communities of critical tax revenue for infrastructure, education and more. We have always known that the illegal and unregulated 

market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is.” Americans are estimated to bet $100 billion in 2022 legally. That implies that illegal sportsbook operators are taking about 40% of the US sports betting market. AGA’s analysis also shows that 49% of players placed a bet with an illegal operator last year. According to AGA’s previous research, more than half of Americans that use illicit sportsbooks believe they are wagering legally.

IBM, Maersk shelve innovative blockchain project

After five years of operation, a blockchain project between IBM and Maersk, known as TradeLens, will be wound down. The idea behind the project was to connect supply chains on a permissioned blockchain to improve global trade. It emerged during the enterprise blockchain era, which started in 2018 but has somewhat dwindled since. The platform was open to freight and shipping operators who would validate transactions and records on a digital ledger. Unfortunately, the platform failed to catch on and has not met its critical mass, meaning it is no longer viable. “TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business,” Maersk Head of Business Platforms Rotem Hershko said in a statement. Starting immediately,  the TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform. The intent is that the platform will go offline by the end of quarter one, 2023. During this process, all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disrupting their businesses.

Maersk will continue to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

“We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents, who have worked diligently to advance the digitalisation of the industry through the TradeLens platform. We will leverage the work of TradeLens as a stepping stone to further push our digitisation agenda and look forward to harnessing the energy and ability of our technology talent in new ways,” said Rotem Hershko.

Telegram announces blockchain, a crypto project

Social media messaging platform Telegram has announced plans to launch a decentralised exchange, according to CEO Pavel Durov. He said the company would build a non-custodial wallet and decentralised exchanges to facilitate safe crypto trading. “This way, we can fix the wrongs caused by the excessive centralization, which let down hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency users,” said Durov. He also called for a return to decentralised applications and away from placing trust in third parties. No launch date was given in the announcement.

Stripe launches Web3 blockchain service

Last week, one of the world’s largest payment processing companies, Stripe, announced a new fiat to the crypto on-ramp to make payments easier for Web3 companies. The new service will allow customers to exchange dollars for crypto on behalf of crypto companies. The company said it would also take care of fraud, compliance, and know your customer processes. The news is significant as Stripe is one of the biggest payment companies, and its move into the crypto world will make blockchain more accessible to the mainstream. The new product could come in the form of widget allowing the onboarding of clients and the depositing of money into wallets. It will also enable companies to streamline their processes, avoiding pitfalls and headaches, including compliance, setting up wallets, and getting crypto from exchanges. “Today, it’s extremely difficult to get end users ‘on chain’—that is, to fund their wallets with the crypto required to interface with Web3 applications,” Stripe wrote in a blog post while positioning their new product as a solution.

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