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The Challenges Facing the Online Gambling Sector with the Possible Impending Ban on Credit Card Transactions

George Miller

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UKGC: How will the ban on gambling with credit cards affect the industry?
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The Gambling Commission (GC) is currently considering whether to ban the use of credit cards in online gambling transactions, so turbulent times may lie ahead for online operators. The culture secretary, Jeremy Wright has voiced plans to haul bookmakers and major retail banks into meetings to discuss the use of credit cards being used for gambling purposes, and his proposal comes on the back of startling statistics which reveal as many as 20% of deposits are coming from consumers who do not directly have access to the funds in which they’re using.

The Labour Party has also stated that should they gain power in the next general election, they would impose a ban on gambling with credit cards. GC requested evidence from numerous operators at the start of 2019 and later confirmed that they’d be holding a twelve-week consultation which began sometime in August. Several key interest points were detected around the use of credit cards in gambling online and these included:

  • Alternative forms of gambling to determine whether consumers are borrowing in the form of overdrafts or loans and if this was the case, both financial and gambling sectors would need to work together to protect customers from harm.
  • E-wallets: many operators have no means of knowing where the funds have come from when deposits are being made through this funding source. Future proposals would require those e-wallet services to take necessary action if regulatory measures are introduced.

Harry Christodoulou, the founder of Bingofind, who’s been covering this issue with other publications said: “We’ve been talking to affiliates from the iGB community trying to see how they plan to handle this potential issue, but they don’t seem to be that worried, for now.”

Any Impact on Land-Based and iGaming Operators?

There is one major advantage when it comes to using a credit card for gambling transactions and this is the fee that consumers face when making a deposit. The vast majority of players seek the methods which allow them to bypass this fee and this means alternative deposit methods such as debit cards and e-wallets, both of which require there to be funds in the account or you can’t use them. There is a mass speculation surrounding credit cards and problem gambling with many charities worrying that gambling with credit cards can encourage people to gamble beyond their financial means. A shocking statistic from Totally Money and Defaqto revealed how consumers had raked up a staggering £23.8 million solely in interest and transaction fees by the use of credit cards during the 2018 World Cup. Britons wagered £2.5 billion on the football tournament and 20% of this sum derived from credit card payments.

A period of uncertainty is circulating the gambling sector and as a result, PayPal, one of the world’s leading e-wallet services has pulled their services from German online casino players, will they do the same here in the UK? We’re fortunate to have one of the most regulated markets in the world, so the likelihood of this happening is slim. A domino-effect could take hold across Germany; if one e-wallet has shut down their services, many others a likely to follow suit; PaysafeCard etc could follow suit and the German gambling market could come under close scrutiny once again.

Regulations are there for a reason and most operators welcome them, even if they could hurt them in the long run, but if they stop under-age gambling and put an end to problem gambling, then they can’t be all bad. The outcome of the GC consultation on the use of credit cards in gambling is due to surface mid-November.

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Industry News

Quik Gaming Partners with EnergyCasino

Niji Narayan

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Quik Gaming Partners with EnergyCasino
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Quik Gaming has entered into a partnership with EnergyCasino.

 As per the deal, EnergyCasino players will soon have access to Quik’s diverse portfolio of Unique Live Games, including the sophisticated SuperBlocs, the twist-on-a-classic Lotto Roulette, as well as the thrilling Wheel of Fire, a dynamic, multi-featured wheel of fortune style game, that is available in both Live and Single Player versions, and last but not least – Race for Cash, a fast-paced, innovative racing lotto-style game.

“We look forward to working with Quik Gaming. Quik’s games offers a gaming experience which we are convinced that will appeal to all type of players because of the different layers of playability and overall game experience,” Marcin Sobieraj, Casino Operational Manager at EnergyCasino, said.

“We are excited to partner up with EnergyCasino, which offers a variety of choices, whether it’s casino or live casino and with Quik’s live and single players games their portfolio is set to expand even further and we can’t wait to see our games going live with EnergyCasino with Q2 of 2021,” Timothy Bartolo Parnis, Chief Operations Officer at Quik Gaming, said.

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Industry News

WorldMatch Partners with Cristaltec

Niji Narayan

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WorldMatch Partners with Cristaltec
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

WorldMatch and Cristaltec have signed a partnership deal that will give WorldMatch exclusive porting on selected Cristaltec’s AWP slots.

Proceeding with the omni-channel strategy applied to SlotBar brand, the product born from the partnership between WorldMatch and the main producers of AWP and VLT like Octavian, Nazionale Elettronica and Baldazzi, WorldMatch will port Cristaltec’s AWP games into online slots and will exclusively distribute them worldwide, strengthening both companies’ presence around the globe.

“We’re very proud of this achievement, we have always believed in the potential to combine the quality and recognizability of retail games with the online distribution channel and the results of SlotBar products are proving us right. We’re completely satisfied of our outcome as aggregators of land-based products, and seeing land-based competitors like Octavian and Cristaltec both relying on us for the conversion and online marketing of their most successful products really made us realize our potential,” Andrea Boratto, CEO of WorldMatch, said.

“We are pleased to work with WorldMatch too, this is a big step for our company’s new path to the online market. WorldMatch’s proven technology and respected experience will give us great opportunities for growing our business on the online portion of the market, internationally. We have promising plans for this partnership and there’s no doubt that the players will love this new collaboration too,” Pierangelo Berdin, CEO of Cristaltec, said.

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Industry News

Snaitech Acquires Happybet

Niji Narayan

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Snaitech Acquires Happybet
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Snaitech, the Italian business arm of gambling technology supplier Playtech, has acquired Happybet, an operator with revenues of about €19m and with over 100 employees and 200 points of sale in Austria and Germany.

Snaitech CEO Fabio Schiavolin said: “The integration of Happybet, one of the first companies to receive a national sports betting licence in Germany, and which will continue to operate under its own brand, has accumulated enormous skills and achieved a solid market position.

“Now we want to capitalise on this experience. The integration of our expertise and our know-how with those of Happybet will put us in the ideal condition to seize new growth opportunities.”

Snaitech had revenues of over €520m in 2020 and a network of 2100 betting points. In a press release the company said that the German and Austrian markets recorded overall betting values of over €10bn in 2019, a figure that it believes will grow.

“In both countries the market is currently quite fragmented, with a few large players and many small operators,” Schiavolin added.

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