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Hacksaw kickstart SiGMA with success!

George Miller

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Hacksaw kickstart SiGMA with success!
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Hacksaw Gaming were awarded Instant Win of the Year at the Malta Gaming Awards last night.
The awards are “one of the biggest events in the industry” and take place on the eve of SiGMA in Malta. The award comes as a result of a great year for Hacksaw Gaming, which included the release of several titles, including the hugely popular scratchcards Shave The Beard and Scratch! Bronze.

The awards were held at The Hilton and COO Marcus Cordes, was in attendance to pick up the award.This award is a huge step for Hacksaw Gaming, who have had very strong presence in the industry in 2019 and are continuing to grow aggressively.

“We are proud to be recognised by winning the Instant Win of the Year Award. We consistently strive to be innovative and create games that are competitive in the market and this award shows that we are achieving our goals.

The dedication of the team at Hacksaw have led us to this point, and it is a great feeling to see that recognised, and we will continue to push forward for a very interesting 2020.”

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Industry News

Melco Resorts Issues Response to Money Laundering Warning

Niji Narayan

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Melco Resorts Issues Response to Money Laundering Warning
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Melco Resorts & Entertainment, a developer, owner, and operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resorts in Cyprus, has issued a response to money laundering warnings from Moneyval, the European Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism.

The warning had alleged that Cyprus could become a money-laundering destination after a visit from its representatives to a Melco owned venue in Cyprus.

The venue, namely Cyprus Casinos, also known as C2, is a gaming and entertainment brand and subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment responded that it welcomed “a strong and compliant regulatory framework” and was operating with regulation authorities in the Eastern Mediterranean country “to implement all AML regulations” and was “dedicated to industry-leading and best practice AML/CTF procedures in all our operations”.

The brand owns and operates a number of casinos, all with the same name, and a report emerged from Moneyval following a visit to C2’s Limassol establishment.

The committee, which is an ‘independent monitoring mechanism within the Council of Europe, answerable directly to the Committee of Ministers’, said that the systems for preventing money laundering showed ‘weaknesses’ and stated that the establishment was:

“Currently operating at or beyond the limits of its AML/CTF compliance and risk management system.”

It also stated that the employees within the casino:

“Appear to not fully appreciate the quantitative magnitude of those risks when attached to operations of the casino’s current size – much less its anticipated future size.”

Reportedly, Moneyval suggested that in light of the findings, Casinos Cyprus should be blocked from expanding its gambling activities until it can demonstrate such effectiveness.

 

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Latest News

Moneyval Publishes Report on Money Laundering Risks in Cyprus

Niji Narayan

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Moneyval Publishes Report on Money Laundering Risks in Cyprus
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The Council of Europe’s Moneyval anti-money laundering body has issued a report on money laundering risks in Cyprus. Moneyval identified a relatively new risk in Cyprus with the expansion of Melco’s operation, which opened its first casino in Limassol in 2018.

The report appeared to be suggesting that Cyprus consider not permitting the casino to expand until it can “responsibly manage” the risk associated with its current configuration. The Limassol integrated casino and resort is due to open at the end of 2021.

“The enlargement… will undoubtedly increase the ML (money laundering) and TF (terrorist financing) risks and require a number of further mitigation measures. For this reason, the casino was weighted fourth in terms of materiality,” Moneyval said.

“The casino is currently operating at or beyond the limits of its ML/TF compliance and risk management system. Cyprus should consider whether the casino can responsibly manage the ML/TF risk associated with its current configuration, and if not then whether the current configuration should be changed in ways that provide more certainty about effectiveness, such as to a membership model. In any event, until the casino can demonstrate an effective… programme at its current level of activity, Cyprus should consider not permitting it to expand that activity,” it added.

The Moneyval report said an action plan prepared by an outside consultant, which is nearing completion, would identify mitigating steps that are needed to address current deficiencies, “but it is unclear whether the plan is intended to identify steps that will need to be taken to accommodate anticipated growth,” it added.

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Compliance Updates

Gamanza obtains Malta B2B license

George Miller

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Gamanza obtains Malta B2B license
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iGaming platform and casino games provider Gamanza has received a Malta B2B license from the Malta Gaming Authority. 2019 has been quite a year for the company after it kicked off with confirmation of an investment from the prestigious land-based casino, Grand Casino Baden. Gamanza then successfully launched the casino’s online brand, JackPots, which became the first legal online casino to go live in the newly regulated Swiss market. Gamanza has now also signed two more of the land-based casinos in Switzerland for online launch in 2020.

With roots already laid in Malta, the decision was made for Gamanza to apply for the Malta B2B license, primarily to begin distributing Gamanza’s proprietary casino content to licensed operators.

Gamanza’s founder and managing director Magnus Lindberg commented “This is another huge moment for Gamanza in our journey onto the global stage. We are committed to compliance and regulation so it’s a key milestone for us to obtain the Malta B2B license and we look forward to launching our proprietary games with operators in 2020.”

Gamanza already holds the ISO27001 certification for design, development, testing, hosting, change management and distribution of online casino games. The ISO27001 certification is globally recognised as the highest standard of accreditation for information security management systems, which underpins Gamanza’s guarantee for quality and reliability.

Under certification approved by the Swiss regulator, Gamanza officially launched its first proprietary casino game in October, a classic take on the popular European Roulette table game. The debut launch took place at jackpots.ch and based on NGR results the European Roulette game ended the month as the highest performer in the operator’s portfolio. An impressive start for the new studio and one that will be followed up by further releases in the coming months.

Magnus underlined Gamanza’s ambition by stating “Gamanza Studios employs a full squad of producers, designers, animators, mathematicians, developers and sound engineers to create 100% original content. We are now in a position to offer our games at competitive rates with a portfolio that includes a variety of new and popular concepts”.

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