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Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission

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Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission
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Merkur Gaming has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ukraine’s gaming regulatory body, the Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission.

The signing of MoU between Ukraine’s Expert Advisory Council of Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission (EAC GRLC) and adp Gauselmann GmbH (Merkur) allows Merkur to bring its more than 60 years of experience and achievement in both manufacturing and operations in gaming to help and assist Ukraine in its creation of a strong, socially responsible, and well-regulated gaming industry within its borders.

Athanasios ‘Sakis’ Isaakidis, Chief Executive, International at Merkur Gaming, said: “This is truly an exciting time and a great opportunity. Coming as it does in the current pandemic climate of Covid-19, the news from the Ukraine is inspiring for us and for the entire gaming industry. Historically, difficult times have always also created opportunities and that is clearly the case here. Merkur Gaming is absolutely committed to bringing its huge experience – as both a manufacturer and as a successful operator – to work alongside the authorities in creating a new market opportunity that will create many new jobs, create new wealth and which will be, by law, a socially responsible gaming environment within the Ukraine.

“The overwhelming feeling, the aura as we call it, is already hugely positive and that will increase as actual operations are seen to open up. There are still many challenges to be addressed but we look forward to assisting in the process of those challenges being met. As has been said many times, to make the best result from new opportunities it is necessary to always be in the right place and at the right time. Merkur Gaming is achieving that and will continue to do so in the future as we actively co-operate in making Ukraine’s new gaming future become a resounding success.”

Compliance Updates

Northern Ireland Gambling Amendment Bill Reaches Assembly

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New regulations for the gaming industry in Northern Ireland have been introduced this week in the country’s Assembly, significantly amending the current laws.

The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill creates new offences in permitting children to play gaming machines and provides powers to impose a statutory levy on gambling operators.

It establishes a mandatory code of practice for licence holders, broadens the definition of cheating to include attempted cheating, makes gambling contracts enforceable in law and permits bookmakers and bingo clubs to open on Sundays and on Good Friday.

The minimum age for minors to play a gambling machine is now 18 and it will become an offence to invite a person below that age to play. Previously, it was not an offence to permit an under-age person to gamble.

The statutory levy on gambling operators will be employed in a manner similar to the practice in England, where the money raised is used for community projects and treatment of problem gamblers.

An overhaul of online gambling legislation will form a second phase of the changes to Northern Ireland’s gambling scene and will follow after discussions.

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Compliance Updates

OKTO receives PCI DSS certification

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OKTO receives PCI DSS certification
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Confirming once again OKTO’s commitment to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure, and compliant service offerings to its customers, OKTO obtained the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification

OKTO has received the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification proving once more its continuous investment in leading and reliable technologies, adhering to high industry technological standards to offer enhanced security on consumer financial data and increased trust in the payment ecosystem. The fintech firm’s OKTO.WALLET solution meets all the requirements set forth as a Level 1 Service Provider, ensuring the security and protection of payment cardholder data.

Compliance validation of the OKTO solution involved the evaluation and confirmation that the security controls and procedures have been properly implemented as per the policies recommended by PCI DSS. According to the requirements formed by the international payment systems, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and other members, all entities that store, process, and ensure the transfer of data to their cardholders must comply with the unified PCI Data Security Standard.

John Zacharakis, CTO at OKTO, comments: “PCI DSS certification is a key step of our high-quality offering to our customers and commitment to the industry’s highest standards in the most regulated markets. OKTO meets the objectives of the PCI DSS and assures that its clients obtain a fully PCI DSS compliant services, adhering to high security technical standards which ensure the security of the network infrastructure, and apply required controls around cardholder data to minimize credit card fraud.”

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Compliance Updates

1400 Arrests, $8M Seized in Illegal Gambling at Euro: Interpol

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An Interpol operation targeting illegal gambling during Euro 2020 led to 1400 arrests and the seizure of $7.9 million (6.7 million euros) in cash, the Lyon-based global crime agency reported.

Thousands of raids in Asia and Europe also resulted in the confiscation of computers and mobile phones connected to almost $465 million in bets.

“While most of us were watching the UEFA European Football Championship as simple fans, hundreds of specialized officers across 28 countries were targeting organized crime groups looking to earn millions from illegal gambling and related money laundering activities,” an Interpol statement read.

Hong Kong police detained more than 800 suspects, “including the alleged kingpin of a triad-controlled bookmaking syndicate,” the statement said.

In what was described as one of Hong Kong’s most successful operations ever they seized $2.7 million in cash and records detailing hundreds of millions in bets.

In Italy, home of the European champions at the pandemic-delayed tournament, Operation SOGA VIII inspected 280 betting shops and delivered 1.3 million euros in sanctions for illegal betting schemes.

In all, Interpol’s eight SOGA operations have led to more than 19,000 arrests, cash seizures of more than $63 million and the closure of over 4000 illegal betting dens.

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