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As World Cup arrives, Asian authorities begin defence against illegal gambling

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The Football world cup in Russia is just a couple of days away, and the law enforcement and regulatory authorities in Asia are facing a different sort of battle away from the limelight. They are readying themselves for a battle against illegal gambling operators. These illegal operators upped the ante in the region ahead of the World Cup, using state-of-the-art technology and cryptocurrencies to evade prosecution.

Such illegal activities are prevalent mostly in countries like Thailand and Malaysia, mainly for two reasons: First, football is hugely popular here. Second, people do not have any legal alternative for gambling.

However, in South Korea and the Chinese territory of Hong Kong – where betting is legal under registered bodies – the illegal gambling activities are rampant.

Illegal bookmakers have shifted to online and mobile platforms, which offer a wider range of betting options than legal vendors, making it harder for enforcement agencies to police, the experts say.

Hong Kong and Macau police have said crime syndicates have often used platforms like WeChat to place bets.

Online payment providers and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have also made it easier for illegal operators to facilitate illegal bets, according to Interpol, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which runs Hong Kong’s horse racing and football betting franchise.

“There is a need to develop and execute a sustainable enforcement strategy for a lasting impact against illegal betting and related transnational organized crime,” said Martin Purbrick, the club’s director of security and integrity.

The Jockey Club estimates Hong Kong’s illegal betting turnover this year, including the World Cup, will be at least $68 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in Singapore and $79 billion in South Korea annually.

Hong Kong earns around 5 per cent of its budget from taxing legal gambling and views illegal betting as lost potential revenue. The Jockey Club put the potential loss at about HK$13 billion ($1.7 billion) this year.

Illegal bookmakers in Hong Kong are expected to reap HK$750 million during the World Cup alone, the club said.

Illegal betting this year is expected to be far larger than during the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, helped by the closer time zones between Russia and countries in the Asia region, according to gambling industry executives.

Asia accounts for 80 per cent of the estimated $500 billion in illegal betting volumes globally, according to Transparency International and the Asian Racing Federation.

Much of the illegal betting is facilitated by companies registered offshore, particularly in the Philippines, which sells online betting licenses to operators.

While operators can claim to be licensed in the Philippines, their sites are illegal in most jurisdictions in Asia, including Hong Kong and South Korea.

Since 2016, Philippine authorities have clamped down on illegal betting operators but there has still been a proliferation in the number of sites in operation, according to officials and executives in the country.

Alfredo Lim, president of PAGCOR, the Philippine gaming regulator, said the bureau was collaborating with government agencies to fight illegal gambling.

“We lose millions from unlawful gambling,” Lim said.

In South Korea, police said they would closely monitor illegal sports betting during the World Cup. Hong Kong police said they were conducting a large anti-gambling operation called “Crowbreak” to crack down on illegal gambling activities.

Macau, the world’s biggest gambling centre, is expected to see revenues squeezed in June due to more Chinese gamblers wagering on the World Cup than in the enclave’s glitzy casinos, according to gaming analysts.

Police in China broke up a large illegal online gambling ring in April, arresting more than 100 people, the Xinhua news agency reported, while Macau police have broken up illegal betting operations conducted via the popular WeChat app.

At the last World Cup in 2014, Interpol said during a six-week operation across China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, law enforcement officers cracked crime gangs estimated to have handled around $2.2 billion worth of bets, mainly through illicit websites.

(Reporting by Farah Master; additional reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul, Jerome Morales in Manila,)

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters.

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Lottoland responds to Gambling Commission report

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Lottoland responds to Gambling Commission reportReading Time: 3 minutes

 

Online betting operator makes head start on addressing calls for stronger partnerships to protect children with launch of its P.A.R.E.N.T initiative

 

Lottoland has responded to a Gambling Commission report claiming stronger partnerships are needed to protect children following the launch of its own education initiative.

The online betting giant’s P.A.R.E.N.T scheme is being introduced to support parents, educators and youth representatives across the board in mitigating the risks posed to young people gaming online.

A report from the Gambling Commission published today shows that close to a million youngsters have been exposed to gambling through ‘loot boxes’ in computer games or on smartphone apps, and claims the number of problem gamblers aged 11 to 16 has reached 55,000.

Nigel Birrell, CEO at Lottoland, said: “Lottoland already felt strongly that we could and should be doing more in the countries we operate in, even before this report, and its publication coinciding with the launch of our own partnership initiative supporting all those touched by the issues involved has given us more impetus than ever to push forward with our plans.”

In its latest report, the Gambling Commission called for regulators and businesses across industries to work together, and also highlighted the important influence parents can have on children’s gambling behaviour.

Lottoland’s P.A.R.E.N.T initiative focuses on six key behaviours essential for responsible gaming, and is designed to help all those involved in youth gaming ‘stay on their game’ following initial consultation with teachers, NGOs and other stakeholders.

These six key areas are:

P – Parent

A – Awareness

R – Responsibility

E – Environment

N – Nurture

T – Trust

Research conducted by the online betting giant also shows almost half the nation’s children aged 7-16 enjoy unlimited time online each day, and 1 in 5 have access to online games without any restrictions in place at all*.

Its P.A.R.E.N.T campaign otherwise comes after Lottoland researchers also found:

 

  • Almost half the nation’s children enjoy unlimited time online each day – and 1 in 5 have access to online games without any restrictions in place at all.
  • Children’s online gaming habits cost the average UK parent £31 in charges – a third of whom are unaware of the costs due to them until it is time to pay
  • Almost one in five (18%) parents with children aged 7-16 in the UK do not know you can play games with other users live over the internet.
  • More than a quarter of UK parents with children aged 16 or younger admit to knowing ‘none’, ‘very few’ or only ‘some’ of their online friends.  
  • Half of all UK youngsters spend up to four hours a day online in the school holidays – and almost twice the amount of time on average that they do in term time.

 

Mr Birrell said: “This latest report from the gambling regulator, as well as our own research, goes to show that the need to equip parents, teachers and others involved in the education of young people today with the awareness they need to successfully navigate today’s online gaming environment is more pressing than ever.”

“The scheme already been well received after focus group discussions held at the University of Gibraltar with various stakeholders led to the launch of P.A.R.E.N.T in conjunction with Gibraltar’s Department for Education,” Mr Birrell added.

“As such, P.A.R.E.N.T scheme training sessions are now being planned for delivery in conjunction with primary and secondary teachers across countries covered by the European Lotto Betting Association (ELBA), of which Lottoland is a founding member.”

“The time to come together and provide young people today with the resources they need to ensure they are ‘switched on’ enough to enjoy all that online gaming has to offer with the self-awareness required to stay safe and sound at all times is here.”

 

* The study was conducted by OnePoll between 19th and 28th of September, 2018 and polled 2000 parents of children aged 7-16. Participants were recruited online and were paid to participate.

 

About Lottoland

Lottoland has grown rapidly to become a world leader in online lotto. Innovation, coupled with the freedom to offer players a unique and enhanced lottery experience, has been key to the company’s success. In June 2018, Lottoland paid out €90 million to one lucky winner in Germany – this win has been confirmed by Guinness World Records as the Largest online gambling payout. This is also the biggest payout for Lottoland to date.

The Gibraltar-based business is active in 13 markets, has over 350 employees, and more than 8 million customers worldwide. Lottoland is licensed and regulated by the Government of Gibraltar, the UK Gambling Commission, the Republic of Ireland National Excise License Office, the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli in Italy and the Northern Territory’s Racing Commission in Australia.

 

 

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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BOSS. Gaming solutions are visiting SiGMA 2018

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BOSS. Gaming solutions are visiting SiGMA 2018Reading Time: 1 minute

 

On November 28, the fifth edition of SiGMA – the world’s leading iGaming summit – will take place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. The event will gather around 400 exhibitors and sponsors from 80 countries of the world.

BOSS. Gaming solutions will be on the list of 12,500 visitors of SiGMA. The company will present their products and solutions to 400 sponsors and exhibitors, 2,500 affiliates and 200 speakers.

We’ll bring our best achievements in iGaming industry,” says Catalina Lukianenko, COO from BOSS. Gaming. “We are excited to share the results of our long-standing work to those attending this important iGaming summit in Malta.”

BOSS. Gaming will exhibit our core products, such as the BOSS. Platform, SIMPLE BET, and AGames, as well as White label and Full turn-key solutions.

Join us at the stand № S57!

 

About BOSS. Gaming solutions

BOSS. is an independent software developer and provider of online and land-based gaming solutions. BOSS. develops gaming platform, sportsbook and betting services, land-based casino software, affiliate system, payment solutions, own online casino slots and White label solution.

BOSS. Gaming provides consulting services and helps to get a license, develop strategies, manage purchased online casinos, offers technical and operational support and assists clients with getting business results.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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Wazdan shortlisted for prestigious Malta Gaming Awards.

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Wazdan shortlisted for prestigious Malta Gaming Awards.Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Innovative slots-maker Wazdan has been shortlisted for the Malta Gaming Awards in the Games Vendor category.

Wazdan have gathered a lot of interest around them this year due to numerous nominations, shortlistings and awards. The company took the prestigious ‘Online Casino Innovator Award 2018’ at the Central and Eastern Europe Gaming Conference (CEEGC) held in Budapest as well as the coveted Hot Product Award at G2E Asia in the company’s first foray at that event. Wazdan won Start-up of the Year at Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards 2018 and was recently shortlisted for ‘Best Gaming Innovation’ at the SBC Awards 2018, underlining how much progress the ambitious slots-maker has made over the course of the last 12 months

The Malta Gaming Awards has lined up a host of VIP’s to be in attendance including H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta and world-leading tenor Joseph Calleja, Malta’s first ever Cultural Ambassador. Malta Gaming Awards has built a formidable reputation in only 3 years as a leading awards show in the industry. This edition has a number of unique features: entrants must have a strong Malta connection, all proceeds go to charity and the Awards are held during Malta Gaming Week.

With all the awards that Wazdan has been scooping up this year, the demand for Wazdan games is growing, and so is the passionate brand’s portfolio. Many of Wazdan’s games are powered by their innovative suite of Unique Wazdan Features, that include the world’s first Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode and Unique Gamble Feature, providing operators with the ability to enhance customer experience and engagement, improve retention, encourage extended play and produce higher yield.

Wazdan has announced extensive partnerships on the back of this winning formula with industry leaders such as the Betsson Group, EveryMatrix, Videoslots, SlotMillions, Tipbet, Iforium, iSoftbet, Evenbet, Groove Gaming, Globalplay, Tipbet, iGP, Rabbit Entertainment, SoftGamings, Go Wild Gaming, Relax Gaming, Gaming1, Twelve40, Progressplay, 888win.bet and Bethard, amongst others.

Head of Sales at Wazdan Andrzej Hyla says: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the Malta Gaming Awards. What’s clear from all these nominations and shortlistings is that Wazdan is managing to disrupt the slots sector through a highly innovative approach. Wazdan hasn’t just developed world-class content, we have a collection of technologies that enable us to optimise the delivery of slots to our partners that deepen player engagement. In an increasingly competitive industry, this makes a substantial difference.”

For further information visit www.wazdan.com

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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