News Summary for May 2023: Gambling, Crypto & Payments

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

British charity accuses igaming firms of exploiting African markets

Online gambling companies are facing accusations of exploiting African markets due to a lack of regulation. The lucrative nature of these markets, coupled with weak oversight, has allowed these firms to target vulnerable populations and engage in predatory practices. A report by the British charity Transparency International highlights the regulatory void in many African countries, which has created an environment where gambling companies can operate with little accountability.

The report reveals that online gambling platforms often employ aggressive marketing tactics to attract users, particularly young people and those with low incomes. They exploit social media platforms, offering incentives and promotions that entice vulnerable individuals into gambling. Additionally, the lack of proper regulation allows these companies to circumvent responsible gambling measures, such as setting betting limits or implementing self-exclusion policies.

In countries like Kenya and Nigeria, where gambling regulations are weak or nonexistent, online gambling has seen a significant rise. This has raised concerns about the potential for gambling addiction and the financial consequences for individuals and families. The report also highlights the failure of governments to adequately protect their citizens from these exploitative practices, emphasizing the need for stronger regulatory frameworks and enforcement.

Transparency International recommends a series of measures to address this issue. These include implementing robust licensing and registration processes for online gambling operators, establishing age verification systems, and creating strict advertising regulations. They also stress the importance of public education campaigns to raise awareness about the risks of online gambling and to promote responsible gambling practices.

Frances edges nearer to new iGaming rules

A new bill has been proposed in France with the aim of legalizing online casinos. The legislation seeks to regulate and establish a legal framework for online gambling in the country. Currently, online casino games are only permitted in France through a state-run monopoly. The proposed bill would open up the market to private operators, allowing them to obtain licenses and offer online casino games to French players.

The bill is expected to bring about several changes in the online gambling landscape in France. It aims to introduce a licensing system that would allow private operators to legally offer a wide range of online casino games, including poker, blackjack, and slot machines. This move is seen as an effort to meet the demands of French consumers who are increasingly turning to online gambling platforms.

The legislation also focuses on player protection and responsible gambling measures. It includes provisions to combat addictive behaviors and enforce strict age verification processes to prevent underage gambling. The bill proposes the creation of a new regulatory authority that would oversee the online casino sector, ensuring compliance with the law and safeguarding the interests of players.

If the bill is passed into law, it is expected to have significant economic implications. Legalizing online casinos would generate tax revenues for the French government and create new job opportunities within the industry. It would also provide a regulated environment for players, offering them enhanced consumer protections and ensuring fair play.

The proposed legislation marks a significant step towards modernizing France’s online gambling regulations. It acknowledges the growing demand for online casino games and seeks to strike a balance between consumer choice and responsible gambling. The bill will undergo further deliberations and potential amendments before it can be enacted into law.

Ontario operators to face iGaming advertising rules

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is set to introduce new advertising rules for sports betting in the province. The changes aim to create a safer and more responsible gambling environment by addressing concerns related to the promotion of sports betting.

Under the new rules, sportsbooks and operators will face restrictions on advertising practices. One significant change is the prohibition of using influencers, celebrities, or athletes who are under the age of 25 in sports betting advertisements. This measure aims to protect young individuals from being influenced or targeted by gambling promotions.

In addition, the OLG will require gambling operators to include responsible gambling messaging and information in their advertisements. This requirement intends to raise awareness about the risks associated with gambling and promote responsible behavior among bettors. Operators will also have to display information about self-exclusion programs and helpline numbers for problem gambling support.

The OLG’s decision to implement stricter advertising rules follows concerns about the potential harm caused by excessive gambling promotions. Critics argue that aggressive advertising can lead to addictive behaviors and negatively impact vulnerable individuals. By introducing these measures, the OLG aims to strike a balance between allowing the growth of the sports betting market and ensuring consumer protection.

The new rules will be enforced through a combination of self-regulation and oversight by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The Commission will monitor compliance and take action against operators who violate the advertising guidelines.

Big Australian bank trials crypto payments

One of Australia’s “Big Four” banks, National Australia Bank (NAB), has initiated a trial for cryptocurrency payment blocks. The trial aims to explore the potential of blockchain technology in enhancing security and efficiency in the payment process. NAB will be partnering with two leading digital asset firms, Cointree and CoinJar, to conduct the trial.

The cryptocurrency payment blocks will function as a safeguard against fraudulent or unauthorized transactions. By integrating blockchain technology, NAB hopes to enhance the security and transparency of payments, reducing the risk of fraudulent activity.

During the trial, NAB customers will be able to transfer funds from their bank accounts to participating digital asset exchanges. The trial is expected to provide valuable insights into the feasibility and functionality of cryptocurrency payment blocks, including user experience, security measures, and regulatory compliance.

The initiative comes as cryptocurrencies gain increasing recognition and adoption globally. By exploring the use of blockchain technology for payments, NAB is positioning itself at the forefront of financial innovation and digital transformation in Australia’s banking sector.

However, it is worth noting that the trial is still in its early stages, and the outcome will determine whether NAB decides to expand its cryptocurrency payment offerings in the future. The bank will carefully assess the trial results and consider factors such as customer demand, regulatory considerations, and risk management before making any decisions.

Overall, NAB’s trial for cryptocurrency payment blocks demonstrates the growing interest among traditional financial institutions in exploring the potential of blockchain technology to improve payment systems and security in the digital era.

Bali crypto ban irks tourists

The recent ban on cryptocurrency payments in Bali, Indonesia, has sparked backlash from the cryptocurrency community. The ban was implemented by the Central Bank of Indonesia, citing concerns over the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

The move has drawn criticism from individuals and businesses in Bali who were utilizing cryptocurrencies for various purposes, including tourism and daily transactions. Many argue that cryptocurrencies offer benefits such as faster and cheaper cross-border payments, financial inclusivity, and economic growth.

Critics of the ban believe that instead of outright prohibition, the government should focus on implementing regulations and safeguards to mitigate the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. They argue that a complete ban stifles innovation and hinders the growth of the digital economy.

The backlash from the cryptocurrency community highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the regulation of cryptocurrencies. While some countries embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, others are more cautious due to concerns about fraud, money laundering, and market instability.

As the crypto community in Bali expresses its discontent, it remains to be seen how the government will respond and whether there will be any reconsideration of the ban. The incident highlights the importance of finding a balance between embracing innovation and protecting consumers and the financial system from potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

Russia shelves crypto exchange plan

Russia has decided to abandon its plans for a state-owned cryptocurrency exchange and instead focus on supporting private platforms. The decision comes as the Russian government seeks to foster the development of the country’s digital asset industry.

The state-owned exchange project, originally proposed in 2018, aimed to create a regulated platform for trading cryptocurrencies. However, the government has now opted to shift its strategy by encouraging the growth of private cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia.

The move to embrace private platforms is seen as a way to promote innovation and attract investments in the digital asset sector. It also aligns with the government’s goal of creating a favorable environment for cryptocurrency-related businesses to flourish.

By supporting private exchanges, Russia aims to leverage the expertise and capabilities of existing market players while ensuring regulatory compliance and consumer protection. The government plans to provide necessary legal frameworks and guidelines to facilitate the operation of these platforms.

The decision to scrap the state-owned exchange project and favor private platforms demonstrates Russia’s evolving approach towards cryptocurrencies. It signals a recognition of the importance of private sector involvement and the potential benefits of market-driven solutions in the digital asset space.

Global payment markets to exceed $161 billion by 2032

According to a market study by, the global payment gateway market is projected to exceed USD 161 billion by 2032, with a sustained compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5%. The increasing adoption of digital payment solutions, the growing e-commerce sector, and the rising prevalence of online banking are key factors driving this market growth.

The study highlights the rising demand for secure and seamless payment transactions, both in traditional brick-and-mortar stores and in the digital realm. Payment gateways play a crucial role in facilitating these transactions by securely transmitting payment information between merchants, customers, and financial institutions.

The market study also emphasizes the growing prominence of mobile payment solutions and the integration of payment gateways into mobile applications. With the increasing use of smartphones and the convenience of mobile payments, this segment is expected to experience substantial growth during the forecast period.

Additionally, the study identifies the Asia-Pacific region as a significant market player, driven by factors such as increasing internet penetration, expanding e-commerce activities, and government initiatives to promote digital payments.

Overall, the projected growth of the payment gateway market underscores the ongoing digital transformation in the global payment ecosystem. As consumers and businesses increasingly embrace digital transactions, the demand for secure, efficient, and reliable payment gateway solutions is set to rise, presenting opportunities for market players and technological advancements in this sector.

Investment giants to launch new blockchain platform

Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and Cboe Global Markets have partnered to launch a new blockchain platform called LedgerEdge. The platform aims to address the inefficiencies and challenges faced by the fixed income market. It will leverage blockchain technology to improve transparency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall trading experience.

LedgerEdge will offer a decentralized marketplace for trading corporate bonds. By utilizing blockchain, it aims to streamline the trading process by providing real-time access to liquidity, facilitating efficient settlement, and enhancing data integrity. The platform will also provide participants with tools for data analytics and market insights.

The collaboration between Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and Cboe Global Markets brings together their expertise and resources in technology, finance, and market infrastructure. Each partner will contribute their unique capabilities to develop and launch the platform successfully.

The launch of LedgerEdge reflects the growing interest and adoption of blockchain technology in the financial industry. The fixed income market, in particular, has been seeking solutions to improve liquidity and operational efficiency. By harnessing the potential of blockchain, the platform aims to revolutionize bond trading and pave the way for further innovation in the industry.

The success of LedgerEdge will depend on factors such as regulatory compliance, market acceptance, and the ability to attract a critical mass of participants. However, the partnership between these established industry players signals a strong commitment to advancing the adoption of blockchain technology in the financial sector.

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