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CT Interactive Goes Live with ELITBET

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CT Interactive has taken another successful step towards its Bulgarian expansion. The company’s exclusive content has gone live with ELITBET. The deal comes weeks after CT Interactive announced that a new portion of its constantly growing portfolio has been certified for the Bulgarian market.

Lachezar Petrov, CEO of CT Interactive, said: “ELITBET is a brand with a lot of experience in the field of land-based casinos. Recently, the company has made the bold decision to expand its activity and launch its website. For us, it is a great honour that ELITBET debuts with our portfolio. Our hopes are that with CT Interactive’s games, the brand will attract new clients in a very short amount of time.”

According to Milena Tsankarska, Head of Business Development EMEA at CT Interactive, ELITBET’s players will witness very high-quality gaming experience, with emblematic games for the region, she added: “This deal is a perfect opportunity for our mix of games and jackpots to reach more people”.

CT Interactive is an industry-leading online software provider that offers jackpot concepts and more than 200 HTML5 games, available on every platform.

Yusein Dalov, CEO of ELITBET, said: “CT Interactive’s products are extremely popular among the Bulgarian players. We are confident that with their portfolio, our platform will quickly become amongst the best in the country.”

Balkans

Montenegro Ministry Ignores EU Law and Bans Apple Pay, PayPal, Mobile Banking in Controversial Betting Law Amendments

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In a move that has raised eyebrows across the global financial community, including the European betting and iGaming sectors, Montenegro has enacted amendments to its gambling laws that effectively ban the use of modern electronic payment methods, including Apple Pay, PayPal, mobile banking, IPS, and e-banking

Ironically, the Minister of Finance stated a few days ago that the country has no obligation to comply with EU rules, a paradoxical stance for a nation actively seeking EU membership and aiming to integrate into the world of digital business.

In 2021, the European Commission urged Montenegro to strengthen its efforts to counter money laundering. However, the recent amendments move in the opposite direction, potentially isolating the country from EU practices and global financial community trends.

Since the beginning of 2024, however, Montenegro’s gambling sector has been in turmoil.

 

The Industry Response

The controversial ban on electronic payments seems designed to curb competition, preventing the growth of foreign-owned companies, including U.S. enterprises. This move contradicts global business practices and undermines the principles of competitive business. A petition calling to halt the change received 25,000 signatures, representing around 5% of the country’s electorate, in just five days. It highlighted the risk of significant job losses in the industry and the potential economic repercussions of such legislative measures.

Montenegro Bet, the country’s nationwide trade association, has submitted the petition to the country’s assembly and initiated a constitutional review, highlighting concerns over the unconstitutionality of the amendments. Additionally, they are working with international institutions to draw attention to the negative impacts of the law changes and their contradictions with EU directives. All those attempts have remained without a single institutional response.

 

Overview of Breaches of EU Acquis by Article 68f

Much of the backlash to the amendments comes from the view that they conflict with European Union (EU) law. While Montenegro isn’t currently in the EU, it is a candidate for membership and is expected to align its laws with EU standards. The amendments clash with several key EU legal provisions, including the TFEU, Payment Services Directive, which seeks to form an integrated market for electronic payments, and the EU 4 and 5AML Directives, which categorize cash transactions as high risk for money laundering.

 

Multiple Lawsuits Incoming

The combination of apparent corruptive practices orchestrated by local companies within the same industry and certain individuals within the Ministry of Finance results in an attempt to de facto expel multiple operators, including those based in U.S, clearly denying equal market access.

This has already led to substantial legal challenges. Multiple operators are preparing preliminary steps toward legal action, including a lawsuit before the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

 

A Cash and Retail-Loving Law in the Middle of the Digital Age

The amendment to Article 68f of Montenegro’s gambling law has sparked significant concern within the country’s gambling sector. The new law disables various electronic payment methods, such as e-banking and mobile payments, for depositing funds into betting accounts. This leaves bettors in Montenegro with only two options: they must either enter a betting shop to place a cash wager, which then transfers funds into their accounts, or pay via card, but only at a terminal in a betting shop.

This strange move forces players to go to a store just to fund their online accounts, which is inconvenient in a time when digital transfers should be the norm.

 

Defying Global Trends and AML Standards – What Next?

Montenegro’s move to limit electronic payments is an outlier among global trends. Internationally, there is a clear shift towards reducing cash transactions in favor of electronic payments, as advocated by bodies like Moneyval and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The global financial community is embracing digital solutions for their transparency and efficiency.

Montenegro’s stance not only isolates it from EU practices but also contradicts the direction of the global financial community, increasing the risk of money laundering and undermining investor confidence.

The prohibition of the safest and most advanced methods of online payment business, such as Apple Pay and PayPal, in favor of promoting cash transactions, is a troubling development that warrants urgent attention and action from both national and international stakeholders.

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Balkans

Amusnet Participates as Golden Sponsor in Bulgarian Diversity Charter’s Annual Meeting

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Amusnet has participated as a golden sponsor in the Bulgarian Diversity Charter’s annual meeting this May, organised by the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) and the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD).

The event attracted more than 90 representatives from the Charter community. Official guests were Lazar Lazarov, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Assoc. Prof. Ana Dzhumalieva, Chairperson of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination; Dimitar Markov, Director of the Legal Programme of CID; and Levon Hampartzoumian, Chairman of BFBL.

The meeting served as a powerful platform, uniting businesses and organisations dedicated to advancing workplace diversity and inclusion. This year’s gathering focused on the importance of values, featuring insightful discussions, invaluable networking opportunities and a prestigious ceremony with companies recognised for their unwavering commitment to these principles.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy gave a compelling speech on the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s business landscape. He also participated in the certificate presentation ceremony, where over 30 were honoured with membership certificates. These new members join a community of forward-thinking organisations that advocate for various perspectives and fairness in Bulgaria and beyond.

The Charter encourages adopting inclusiveness, fostering a more welcoming business environment. It provides a platform for organisations to share best practices and collaborate on initiatives that promote equality and respect for all individuals, celebrating the richness of diverse perspectives and experiences.

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EGT to make a memorable show at Belgrade Future Gaming 2024

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Only a few days remain until Belgrade Future Gaming 2024, where EGT will demonstrate its vision for the future of the gaming industry. The latest innovations alongside the company’s well-established products will be available to guests at stand E1.

The Phoenix slot cabinet will stand out among the top offers for the Serbian gaming audience. Powered by the latest Exciter IV platform and including 27-inch monitors, keyboard with dynamic touch display and electromechanical buttons and numerous ergonomic features, this model has already gained popularity in a number of markets around the world and is expected to reap success in Serbia as well. It will be equipped with the bestseller Bell Link, which will introduce its new multigame Bell Link 2. The mix contains 10 exciting games and provides players with even more opportunities to win and have fun.

Supreme Green Selection, the first multigame of the latest Supreme Selection Series of EGT, will also make its local debut. Including a fascinating set of 50 titles on different themes, it will certainly not go unnoticed by visitors to the stand.

Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy the variety of slots of the well-known General and Power Series multigames, as well as test their luck with the Gods & Kings Link jackpot. The slot selection will be complemented by cabinets from the General Series.

EGT’s multiplayer portfolio will be also on display. The roulettes G R6 C and the terminals G 32 T will showcase their eye-catching design, multiple ergonomic features and great flexibility, allowing many possible configurations with other devices.

The company’s casino management system Spider will also demonstrate its latest modules, which make the management of the daily activities in gaming establishments easy and effective.

EGT Digital will present its iGaming solutions as well. The provider will show its wide diversity of instant and casino games, jackpot solutions, as well as the in-house developed all-in-one betting platform X-Nave with its four main modules, which provides operators with everything needed to build and maintain a successful online business.

“Belgrade Future Gaming is an exhibition of great significance for Serbia and the region, and I am happy that we will take part in this year’s edition as well,” said Aleksandar Kliska, General Director of EGT Group d.o.o. Serbia. “It will give us the opportunity to reveal the huge potential of our products and solidify our leadership positions in the local market.”

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