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Compliance Updates

Dutch Financial Markets Authority alerts of Cryptocurrency Investment Risks, Bans Gambling-Like Binary Options

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The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) demands restrictive measures on bitcoin and altcoins investment and betting on the price of bitcoin when banking firms are warning that a bitcoin bubble could dwarf the 1600s Dutch tulip mania.

In an interview with local media outlet de Volksrant, Merel van Vroonhoven, the Chairwoman of the AFM, affirmed that while the Authority does not have the potential to halt cryptocurrency investment, it can ban “exotic products,” including binary options. These enable customers to bet on the price of bitcoin. According to Ms. Van Vroonhoven such a ban might be imminent, owing to growing concerns over the risks products of this nature pose to customers.

Citing a recent study, the Financial Official said that between 74 and 89% of all customers of binary options platforms are losing money with those products, falling short of calculating the risks well in advance.

“Investment products are not a game, and bitcoin is not a game.”

The AFM Chairwoman expressed her concerns that the difference between binary options and gambling is thinning, and it might disappear completely to members of the younger generation. She further brought to notice that customers are usually targeted with techniques that very much resemble the online gambling industry’s approaches.

The AFM has warned cryptocurrency investors and binary options customers on diverse occasions over the years, specifically over the preceding several months and weeks when concerns over an eventual burst of the bitcoin bubble got intense.

Kansspelautoriteit ’s Stance on Cryptocurrency Investment

Following requests and inquiries, the Dutch Gambling Authority clarified its own involvement in cryptocurrency investment regulation last week. In a statement, the regulatory body pointed out that it had no role in the regulation of the activity. Kansspelautoriteit further explained that under the country’s current gambling regulations, investment in bitcoin and other virtual currencies does not represent gambling.

The regulator determined its role in the regulation of cryptocurrency investment, or rather its lack of a role, after comprehensive research of the essence of the activity. Kansspelautoriteit pointed out that it was not before it had looked carefully into virtual currencies and the technology behind them that it was able to determine its participation in regulating an activity which is currently very difficult to regulate not only in the Netherlands but also across the globe.

At the time of writing bitcoin’s price stands at $11,034.88, down from its December all-time high of $19,343.04.

In a research letter to bitcoin investors, banking firm Goldman Sachs joined the pack of analysts and financial institutions warning about the risks of cryptocurrency investment. The bank generally praised the technology that powers bitcoin and altcoins, as it offers easy global execution, lower costs of transactions, traceability of all transactions, and so no. However, it pointed out that bitcoin currently does not provide any of these benefits.

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Compliance Updates

T1SOFT OBTAINS ISLE OF MAN’S SOFTWARE SUPPLIER LICENCE

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T1Soft has been granted a Software Supplier Licence from the Isle of Man, marking a significant step in broadening the reach of its online gambling platform, content, and support services across global markets.

Granted by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission with the support of Global Gaming Solutions, this licence is a testament to T1Soft’s commitment to upholding a high standard of integrity and responsibility within its operations. This licence establishes T1Soft as a dependable provider for operators looking to enhance their gaming platforms.

A spokesperson for T1Soft, said: “We are thrilled to announce that T1soft has been granted the Software Supplier License. This significant milestone allows us to expand our services and enhance our offerings globally, further establishing our commitment to delivering high-quality and secure software solutions. We are proud to meet the stringent standards required for this license and are excited about the opportunities it opens up for us.”

Mark O’Neill, Director of Global Gaming Solutions said “We are delighted to have supported T1Soft throughout the Isle of Man licensing process. The Isle of Man Software Supplier Licence is a prestigious licence and will enable the T1Soft team to continue achieving key milestones on their roadmap and we are excited to be working with them every step of the way.

The journey of T1Soft is a testament to how the public and private sector can work in partnership to deliver results for international clientele looking to establish operations on the Isle of Man”.

Tara Leneghan, Strategic Partnership Manager at Digital Isle of Man added “We are proud to have supported the T1Soft team with establishing their operations on the Isle of Man. T1Soft’s recent acquisition of a Software Supplier License showcases their commitment to high standards and delivering excellence in the provision of gambling products and services and we look forward to continuing our partnership moving forwards.

 

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Compliance Updates

JCM Global Achieves Recognition from Bank of England for Outstanding Performance in Banknote Handling Tests

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JCM Global has announced that several of its banknote handling devices have successfully passed the rigorous testing conducted by the Bank of England (BoE). The devices that passed include:

UBA PRO

UBA PRO RTQ

MRX

iVIZION

EBA-40

The BoE’s test is comprehensive, consisting of two main parts. First, it evaluates whether genuine banknotes are accurately accepted by the devices. Second, it tests the devices’ ability to reject counterfeit banknotes, including those inserted in all four possible orientations. In addition to counterfeits commonly found in the market, the BoE also uses specially prepared Machine Artificial Counterfeits (MAC notes), which must not be accepted by the devices. The testing criteria have been further tightened as of early 2024, making this achievement even more significant.

Moreover, JCM’s devices have been tested with banknotes and counterfeit money from other UK banks such as the Bank of Ireland and the Bank of Scotland. Its devices are already equipped to recognize the new “King Charles” banknotes, even though these are not yet part of the official test.

This accomplishment underscores JCM’s commitment to providing high-quality, reliable banknote handling solutions. Their continued success in passing these stringent tests reflects their dedication to excellence and proactive approach to evolving market requirements.

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Compliance Updates

Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling

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The Hellenic Gaming Association (HGA) has intensified its efforts against the phenomenon of illegal online gambling, which has reached enormous proportions in recent years with incalculable economic and social impacts.

Following a lawsuit recently filed by the organisation under President Christos Panagopoulos against an internationally active company conducting illegal gambling in Greece without the necessary licensing from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), a new lawsuit targets two well-known Greek influencers. These influencers, through their social media content, promote unlicensed gambling websites.

These internet personalities have posted a series of videos encouraging their mostly young audience, including minors, to visit these sites by sharing how they “managed” to win tens of thousands of euros by betting and playing on these illegal platforms. However, they conceal the fact that these are illegal gambling companies while enticing viewers with the promise of easy money.

It is important to highlight that their audience includes minors, who find an open door in the unlicensed environment where there are no controls or restrictions, unlike legal online companies where one must be at least 21 years old to open an account and play.

Besides the two Greek influencers, the association is planning to file reports to social media platforms and online services hosting ads and promoting unlicensed providers. Initially, they will approach the relevant departments of these organisations, and they may even take the matter to prosecutorial authorities. The initiatives undertaken by the HGA to combat illegal gambling often aim to fill the void left by the State, which is fundamentally responsible for addressing this open wound with appropriate actions, rather than a private entity.

The massive scale of illegal gambling in Greece was confirmed by a recent official survey conducted by the HGC in collaboration with KAPPA Research, shedding light on the hidden side of this illicit activity. According to the survey, 900,000 Greeks, or nearly 1 in 10, participated in illegal gambling at least once in the past 12 months, with an estimated astronomical expenditure of 1.7 billion euros in the unlicensed environment.

Of the total 1.7 billion euros, 1.1 billion was spent on illegal online games, and the remaining 600 million euros were associated with money spent in physical networks, such as unlicensed clubs and casinos. The average annual amount spent per player online reached approximately 1200 euros, while for land-based gambling, the corresponding amount was 738 euros.

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