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Conclusion of the 4th Safer Gambling Week in Cyprus

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Conclusion of the 4th Safer Gambling Week in Cyprus
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The events and actions held during the 4th Safer Gambling Week were completed in absolute success and remarkable public response. The organisation of the Safer Gambling Week (SGW) is part of National Betting Authority’s efforts to foster a culture of Safer Gambling and create the conditions for a safer environment for the players and the public. The Week was under the auspices of the Minister of Finance and was supported by more than 50 entities and both public and private organisations.

Through various activities held during the Week, various stakeholders, such as bookmakers, casino employees, players, vulnerable groups, and the public, had the opportunity to learn more about safer participation in gambling, as well as explore effective ways to deal with the risks associated with problem gambling.

As highlighted by the President of the NBA, Mrs. Ioanna Fiakkou, “the Safer Gambling Week, running for the 4th consecutive year, has now been established as an open dialogue platform, through which, the National Betting Authority encourages discussions about safer gambling practices, with input from academics, experienced trainers, industry professionals and everyday people. Our goal, as the regulatory and supervisory authority of the betting industry in Cyprus, is to engage the whole society in this dialogue, in order to ensure that gambling will remain a fun activity, thus avoiding problematic and pathological behaviours among society”.

As assured by Mrs. Fiakkou, “NBA’s mission was, and remains, the effective regulation and sustainable development of the industry. A precondition for achieving this goal is the creation of appropriate and effective mechanisms to minimize the risks posed by the illegal market and problem gambling. To this end, we pay great importance to prevention and the creation of further safeguards for the players and society. The strategic cooperation with stakeholders for the development and implementation of policies, and initiatives that protect both players and the wider society, is an important factor to the achievement of the NBA’s goals”.

The 4th Safer Gambling Week launched with the Safer Gambling Conference, in which over 25 international speakers from 10 different countries, mainly industry professionals, distinct academics and representatives from European regulatory authorities, shared their experiences and expertise. The Conference covered a wide spectrum of subjects related to Safer Gambling, while it was attended by over 300 people.

During the Safer Gambling Week, there were more than 25 events being held. The main activities, such as interactive events at universities all over Cyprus, awareness events at military camps and the interactive game “Keep the game safe quiz”, were focused on young people. As part of the quiz, participants were urged to test their knowledge about Safer Gambling in an entertaining way. Τhe Week’s schedule also included the opening of the Prevention and Treatment Centre “PHAROS” for the problem and pathological engagement in gambling, which is established in Limassol by the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission and the Cyprus National Addictions Authority.

Furthermore, seminars by trainers from Cyprus and from abroad were held for specific groups such as parents, teachers/educators, human resources managers and CEOs, the Authority’s regulated entities and their staff, and the licensed casino’s personnel as well. Indicatively, licensed bookmakers and their personnel, attended the “Safer Gambling and AML” seminar.

It is worth noting that, the information and awareness campaign of NBA also included all the football matches of the First Division championship, in collaboration with the Cyprus Football Association.

The Week concluded with the 3×3 basketball tournament “Keep the Ball safe”, in collaboration with the Cyprus Basketball Federation. Beyond the competing part, children and their parents had the opportunity to participate in entertaining activities, such as face painting and basketball game for children. The monetary prize won by the first two teams, will be given to the Europa Uomo association, which aims to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

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Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation

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Fintech companies in Kazakhstan are urging greater scrutiny of a proposed law intended to regulate betting transactions in the country.

The submitted legislation, currently in its final reading, would form a monopoly entity, the Unified Accounting System (UAS), the firms said in a joint press release. The UAS would be used to determine market participants, process payments, maintain a single “electronic wallet” and make settlements with clients. A critical concern is that it could charge up to 1.5% in commissions on all market transactions, within a market where regulated transactions exceed KZT1.2tn ($2.6bn) annually.

Irina Davidenko, a spokesperson for Kazakhstan’s payments industry, commented: “The proposed legislation would be a step backwards for Kazakhstan, harming competition in the country’s vital payments sector and signaling to the outside world that necessary business reform is being driven by shadowy interests, rather than what’s right for industries and consumers.”

The proposal, partly billed as a public health move against problem gambling, resembles a previous initiative, the Betting Accounting Centre (BAC). It was shelved in 2021 after a scandal involving a deputy minister who was dismissed for accepting bribes from BAC lobbyists, according to the press release.

The lack of transparency on the UAS structure and ownership as outlined in the legislation is another aspect of the change that is seen by critics as troubling.

The reintroduction of a UAS model occurred as late as the second reading of the legislation. If passed by parliament, it will become law without the comprehensive impact analysis and scrutiny typical for such significant regulatory change.

Observers argue the new regulation duplicates existing regulatory functions already managed by Kazakh state bodies and was proposed without the cooperation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The central bank has previously developed its own reform proposal that avoids introducing a monopolistic entity.

Opponents further contend that the regulation could cause “significant economic damage”. National Bank of Kazakhstan representatives and the payments industry have sounded alarm bells, but the issues have not been adequately addressed, the press release added.

The concerned fintech and payment companies want the legislation to be reconsidered. They are advocating for it to be sent back to the lower house of the legislature for a full regulatory impact analysis and thorough examination to ensure that it does not adversely affect industry or the economy.

Ilya Efimenko, commercial director of the payment organisation PayDala, said: “I appeal to the Senators, who need to know the true purpose of why the UAS has made a comeback in the bill.

“This is a re-emergence of the ‘Betting Accounting Center’ (BAC), a strikingly similar entity that was withdrawn before, and behind which, as the deputy from the Amanat party Elnur Beisenbayev said, are the powerful forces of ‘Old Kazakhstan.’

“Before our eyes, a monopolist, a private operator, is being created. The emergence of monopolies such as the UAS threatens the principles of a Fair Kazakhstan. Now everything is being done to break the financial system of Kazakhstan, recognized by experts as one of the best in Central Asia.”

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CT Interactive signs a strategic partnership with LiveScore Bet to expand its presence in key markets

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Sam Sadi, CEO of LiveScore Group
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CT Interactive has signed a partnership with one of the fastest-growing sportsbook brands, LiveScore Bet.
The partnership marks a significant milestone for both companies, combining CT Interactive’s innovative gaming technology with LiveScore Bet’s extensive reach and user engagement. Together, they plan to offer an enriched and seamless gaming experience, tailored to the unique preferences and needs of these diverse markets.

LiveScore Bet’s unique and diverse product offering is headlined by its standout first-to-market free-to-play ‘LiveScore Bet Squads’ product. The partnership with CT Interactive highlights LiveScore Bet’s ambition to continue creating innovative concepts for its users.

Lachezar Petrov, CEO of CT Interactive, commented: “We are always very proud when we receive an opportunity to collaborate with another renowned company, such as Livescore Bet. It is a brand that is developing very well, and we are sure that with our products, they will enrich their offerings and attract new clients”.

LiveScore Bet™, is a sportsbook offering customers in the UK, Ireland, Nigeria and the Netherlands a new and improved betting experience within the LiveScore ecosystem. Building on the existing user relationship with the trusted LiveScore brand that is already a core part of the live sport experience, LiveScore Bet seeks to deliver a best-in-class product and represents a new opportunity for customers to bet responsibly. LiveScore Bet has been able to emerge from the crowd with a vibrant personality, a world-class product and demonstrable growth that has set it apart from the chasing pack.

Sam Sadi, CEO of LiveScore Group, commented: “Partnering with CT Interactive allows us to broaden our service offerings and engage our audience in new and exciting ways. By integrating CT Interactive’s cutting-edge gaming solutions, we can offer our users a more diverse and entertaining experience. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration”.

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Playtech Launches Exclusive Dedicated Tables with Betsson Group

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Playtech announced that it has successfully launched dedicated live casino tables exclusively for Betsson players.

As part of this exciting venture, Betsson is relocating its existing tables to Playtech’s state-of-the-art studio, providing players with an immersive and seamless gaming experience.

The studio includes captivating gameplay with cutting-edge technology, hosted by native-speaking, English, Portuguese, Greek and Spanish dealers, where players can expect top-tier entertainment across a range of popular games.

The initial release features 10 dedicated tables such as; Blackjack and Roulette with more tables to follow.

Jamie Busby, Head of Live Casino at Betsson, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Playtech Live team to create an immersive and seamless gaming experience for valued players. Our longstanding and successful partnership with the Playtech team has been instrumental in our journey. The introduction of these dedicated tables further enriches our game offerings, providing our customers with an exceptional gaming experience.”

Ariel Hayat, Playtech Live Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to introduce the new dedicated tables for Betsson, and we’re confident that their players will thoroughly enjoy all of the new Blackjack games. Betsson is an important partner for us and and this launch will undoubtedly continue to contribute to our continued success. As partners, we remain committed to fostering a safe, sustainable, and responsible gaming environment for the players.​”

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