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Compliance Updates

Betway Joins EGBA’s Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines

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Betway Joins EGBA’s Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines
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Betway has become the first brand outside of EGBA’s membership to sign up to the organisation’s pan-European guidelines on anti-money laundering.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is pleased to announce that leading global online betting and gaming brand Betway has joined its pan-European anti-money laundering guidelines. By signing up to the initiative, Betway underlines its commitment to combatting money laundering in Europe’s online gambling sector.

As the leading trade association at European-level for the online gambling sector, EGBA developed the guidelines to strengthen the sector’s efforts in fighting financial crime and ensuring compliance with the latest anti-money laundering regulations in the EU. The guidelines, published in March 2023, provide practical and sector-specific recommendations for operators in areas such as, amongst others, customer and business risk assessments, customer due diligence processes, suspicious transaction reporting, and record-keeping.

The guidelines employ a risk-based approach to assist operators in complying with the various anti-money laundering rules in the EU, including the EU’s forthcoming AML Regulation. They were designed by a team of EGBA’s top compliance experts with consideration to both current best practices and future developments in the field.

All EGBA members must apply the guidelines automatically. As part of their participation, Betway will be required to provide yearly reports to EGBA summarising its progress in implementing the guidelines. This reporting system ensures transparency and accountability among all participating companies and provides a mechanism for tracking progress in implementing the guidelines. All participants will also meet annually to discuss progress in implementing the guidelines and consider any revisions that may be needed.

“Betway is proud to announce its full commitment to joining and adhering to the EGBA AML Guidelines and will work closely with EGBA and other industry partners to exchange best practice and strengthen collective efforts against money laundering and financial crime.” – Anthony Werkman, CEO of Betway.

“We’re delighted to have Betway join our anti-money laundering guidelines. Its decision to join shows its commitment to upholding the highest AML compliance standards. We’re determined to encourage the uptake of the guidelines among other operators who aren’t currently members of EGBA and invite interested operators to contact us. Only by working together, across the sector, can we truly raise the bar in AML standards.” – Dr. Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at EGBA.

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Aspire Global Facing Pair of Legal Battles

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Prominent online gaming software and platform provider Aspire Global has been named as the defendant in a pair of court cases that could potentially result in it being ordered to pay compensation totaling up to €101 million ($109 million).

In the first complaint, Aspire Global is being sued in the United Kingdom by the founders of sports betting software, solutions and services provider BtoBet, Alessandro Fried and Igor Lestar, for €36 million ($39 million). This pair inked a deal in 2020 to sell their company to the Malta-based defendant in exchange for an upfront payment of some €20 million ($21.6 million) as well as an earn-out consideration tied to future earnings before tax.

However, Fried and Lestar through their Sousa Enterprises Limited and Eltsar Limited entities are alleging Aspire Global, which was last year acquired by NeoGames as part of a deal worth some €402.3 million ($423.5 million), violated the terms of this share purchase agreement by spending too little and not charging enough so as to deliberately decrease revenues and the subsequent earn-out sum.

The complex case with its many intricacies is not expected to go to trial before 2025 but could well result in Aspire Global being ordered to pay more than the €36 million headline figure. The financial implications are even more concerning as the defendant’s NeoGames parent is currently in the process of being acquired by Aristocrat in an arrangement valued at north of €1 billion.

In the United States and Aspire Global has also been separately named as the offender in an action brought by Ebet Incorporated, which is the operator of the Karamba, Griffon Casino, Hopa, Generation VIP, Scratch2Cash, Gogawi, Dansk 777 and Bet Target iGaming brands. This Nevada action is seeking some €65 million ($70 million) embracing compensatory damages, punitive fines and other financial penalties to be proven at trial and moreover names AG Communications and other affiliated entities as defendants.

Ebet Incorporated acquired specific business-to-consumer (B2C) assets and associated websites from Aspire Global in 2021 and simultaneously entered into a ‘white-label’ operator agreement embracing collaborative efforts on the future running of the purchased assets. The plaintiff is claiming the defendants breached these deals by manipulating their books to falsify and overstate active player data and exaggerate the health of the acquired properties.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Aspire Global is furthermore being accused by Ebet Incorporated of violating the terms of the agreements by materially failing to maintain necessary operations in Germany, falsifying records and violating industry regulations. The allegations could potentially shape the future trajectories of these companies as they also run to reputational harm, fraud, breach of contract and other unnamed violations due to be proven during the course of the trial.

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Compliance Updates

Habanero obtains Swedish B2B licence for slots and RNG portfolio

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Habanero obtains Swedish B2B licence for slots and RNG portfolio
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Premium slots and table games provider Habanero has been granted a licence from the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) in a move which will further boost its presence in Europe.

The supplier is now permitted to provide its entire full catalogue of games to operators in the region, including the likes of perennially popular player-favourites such as Hot Hot Fruit, Mystic Fortune Deluxe and Santa’s Village.

Marking the latest milestone for Habanero, it follows the provider’s MGA licence award as well as approvals in the likes of Romania, the Argentinian-regulated City and Province of Buenos Aires, and Panama.

Habanero is now live in 22 European markets and has major agreements with tier-one operators such as Entain, Sisal, Sportium and Betway.

Commenting on its latest licence, Arcangelo Lonoce, Head of Business Development at Habanero, said: “Being awarded our Swedish licence is both gratifying and exciting for Habanero as we look to scale up our operations in the market and partner with leading stakeholders to bring the wonderful world of Habanero to even more players than ever before.

“This new licence is a testament to our dedication to our adaptability as well as our commitment to navigating and complying with regulatory landscapes worldwide.”

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Compliance Updates

ELA Games obtains the MGA Recognition Notice

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ELA Games is delighted to announce that it has been authorized by the Malta Gaming Authority. Marking the beginning of our expansion into select global markets in collaboration with MGA.

ELA Games continues its strategic expansion in Europe and it is another major step in its ability to access distribution and commercial partnerships with companies based in the iGaming hub of Malta.

Mike Cini, Business Owner at ELA Games, commented: “We’re delighted to have obtained our MGA Recognition Notice as it is another major milestone in our regulatory expansion. Malta is the leading iGaming hub in Europe and being authorized there will enable us to work even more closely with our operators and bring player engagement to the next level for our partners.”

ELA Games focuses on producing high quality products that are stacked with gamification features, quality design and animation. Recent releases include Vikings Wild Cash and Lucky Dwarfs. They have already received amazing feedback from operators and players and the studio looks forward to signing more partnerships and launching more games in the coming months.

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