News Summary for January 2023: Gambling & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top news from Gambling, Fintech, and Crypto for January 2023.

British gambling firm fined over due diligence failings

Online gambling operator TonyBet has been fined almost GBP 500,000 for only checking the identification documents of winners and a slew of other due diligence shortcomings. The British authorities slammed the company for imposing unfair terms and conditions and failing social responsibility and anti-money laundering obligations. It was found it was demanding ID from winners before giving them their money while failing to carry out the checks on potentially vulnerable customers depositing money. The UK Gambling Commission said, “Not only does this case illustrate our drive to clamp down on anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, but it also highlights action we will take against gambling businesses who fail to be fair and open with customers.” The British government is due to publish a whitepaper on iGaming reform in the next few weeks, which will likely include tougher restrictions and requirements for operators.

Yggdrasil moves into Buenos Aires

Provider Yggdrasil has secured approval from authorities in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to operate within the province. The company will now be able to work with licensed operators in the city, which opened up its iGaming sector in 2021. Yggdrasil, which turns ten years old this year, will provide a wide range of game titles and slots to those operating locally. It represents a step forward in its Latin American presence following its entry to the Columbian market in 2022. “We are starting the year with a great milestone in achieving the approval to supply our content in the City of Buenos Aires,” Yggdrasil chief executive Björn Krantz said. Other providers that have received local approval include iSoftBet, Greentube, Pariplay, Play’n Go, Zitro, and Habanero. Latin America is a key emerging region for the iGaming sector as more countries create legal frameworks that nurture growth and bring much-needed cash.

Denmark iGaming sector sees record numbers

Denmark’s online gambling sector registered an increase of 7.5% in 2022, reaching EUR 910.1 million by the year’s end. Online casinos accounted for most of the revenue, increasing by 2.7% and getting the highest registered amount. Sports betting decreased by almost 4% over the year despite the World Cup occurring in December. Slot machine popularity increased by 44.5% in December compared to the same month in 2021. “If you compare gaming consumption in December 2022 with the same period in 2021, the figures show large percentage changes from 2021 to 2022,” read a statement from Spillemyndigheden. “This is due, among other things, to the fact that physical casinos and gaming halls were closed in December 2021 due to Covid-19.”

Canadians tire of gambling adverts

Amid crackdowns from international regulators on gambling advertising, almost half of Canadians said they were tired of seeing adverts for iGaming products and services. Ipsos found that consumers thought advertising was excessive and should be reduced, less than a year since regulated online gambling was launched. In Canada, the sector has flourished despite the frustration with advertising. Almost half of all adults said they have engaged in some form of online gambling in the last year, with 30% enjoying casino games in particular. Some 20% play online bingo, and 22% sports betting. In fact, online gambling has now exceeded offline gambling in terms of popularity for the first time ever, according to the research.

PayPal slashes workforce

PayPal has announced it will cut some 2000 jobs, equivalent to 7% of its workforce. The global online payments company said it made the decision because of the “challenging macro-economic environment. A spokesperson said the payments landscape is becoming increasingly more challenging and competitive. Despite the cuts, PayPal also recently announced it would be integrated into QuickBooks online, along with Venmo as a trusted payment partner. QuickBooks is one of the world’s leading accounting software brands that works with predominantly small to medium size enterprises.

Twitter to move into payments sector

The new CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk announced that the social media platform intends to take on the payments industry as it will start offering online payments. The company has been busy applying for licenses across the US as well as hiring staff with payments experience. In November 2022, Twitter registered with the US Treasury as a payments processor, a precursor of what was to come. Musk was previously head of PayPal and has said he plans to make Twitter an ‘everything app’.

Stripe to step up partnership with Amazon

Payments app Stripe announced it will deepen its partnership with eCommerce giant Amazon, deepening their already strong professional links. As per the new deal, Stripe will be a strategic partner for Amazon in the US, Europe and Canada and for its brands including Prime, Kindle, Amazon Pay and Buy With Prime. “Though Stripe and Amazon have worked closely together for more than a decade, today’s partnership announcement marks a new chapter in the two companies’ enduring relationship,” both companies said in a release. “Stripe has been a trusted partner, helping accelerate our business at every turn,” Amazon vice president of payments Max Bardon said. Stripe chief technology officer David Singleton added: “We couldn’t run without AWS—and we wouldn’t want to.AWS is our customers’ first choice. The platform gives Stripe enormous developer leverage, which we then deploy in service of our users. As we look at the decade ahead, it’s clear the best path forward for Stripe and for our users is to partner more closely with Amazon.”

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