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Compliance Updates

$4.3 Billion Wagered Illegally During March Madness, Fueled by Social Media Influence

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Latest analysis by online marketplace intelligence specialists, YieldSec, commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG), has revealed a stark contrast between legal and illegal online gambling activities during the 2024 NCAA Men’s & Women’s March Madness Basketball Tournaments in the US. YieldSec’s monitoring unveiled an overwhelming majority of betting-related social media posts and video content, reaching up to 73% and 78% respectively, directing audiences toward illegal betting and gambling operators.

YieldSec’s findings shed light on the strength of the illegal gambling grip on the American marketplace, with 378 illegal sports betting operators and 651 illicit affiliates aggressively targeting US March Madness audiences and claiming 64% of the total market share, generating $4.3 billion in illegal and untaxed wagering. The remaining $2.4 billion wagered legally amounts to just 36% of the total market share.

These statistics underscore the challenges in controlling the proliferation of unlicensed gambling operators that have historically capitalized on the fragmented legal landscape of online betting in the US.

Key findings for March Madness 2024:

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  1. Illegal gambling on March Madness comprised 64% of US online marketplace wagering ($4.3 billion Handle).
  2. Total value of March Madness betting (legal and illegal) amounts to a handle of $6.7bn.
  3. 378 illegal sports betting operators actively targeted the US.
  4. 651 affiliates promoted illegal sports betting operators that actively targeted the US.
  5. Illegals dominated social media content with up to 73% of all social posts in favor of illegal operators.
  6. 78% of all video content that linked to March Madness betting was linked to illegal operators.

Derek Webb, Founder of CFG, said: “This Yield Sec special report illustrates the dire need for a comprehensive strategy to tackle illegal gambling in the US. The lack of a united government approach and lax oversight by states have only compounded the problem, enabling entities with dubious backgrounds to operate freely. It’s high time for U.S. leadership to spearhead a unified solution to this pervasive issue.”

Ismail Vali, Founder and CEO of YieldSec, said: “The overwhelming presence of illegal gambling during one of the biggest sports betting events of the year is a clear signal that enforcement and monitoring need to be prioritized. Our findings are a call to action for stakeholders across the board to intensify efforts in combating the spread of unlicensed gambling operations that exploit the online marketplace. With the dominance of illegals across our social media channels, it’s clear that the threats to American commerce, community and consumers are a lot closer to home than ever imagined.”

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling is now advocating for a cohesive governmental response to illegal gambling, urging the Department of Justice, Treasury, Federal Trade Commission, and the Trade Representative’s Office to consider the findings of the YieldSec report as a basis for developing effective countermeasures.

Compliance Updates

SYNOT Games Enters Peruvian Market

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SYNOT has secured a B2B license from Mincetur – the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism – bolstering the supplier’s online casino position in Latin America.

“Peru presents a promising new market and we look forward to launching our popular titles, providing innovative gameplay and immersive entertainment. Our commitment to delivering high-quality gaming experiences will ensure that Peruvian players enjoy the best we have to offer,” Martina Krajci, CCO of SYNOT Games, said.

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Compliance Updates

PGCB Fines Casino $125,000 for Underage Gaming Violations

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved a consent agreement presented by the Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC) during its public meeting resulting in a fine of $125,000 against Wind Creek Bethlehem LLC for 10 incidents in which underage individuals gained access to the gaming floor at the casino it operates.

The incidents, which occurred over a 20-month period at Wind Creek Bethlehem in Northampton County, involved 11 individuals between the ages of 18 and 20.

A copy of the approved consent agreement offering more details is available upon request through the Board’s Office of Communications.

The Board also acted to ban, or leave intact an earlier ban, of three adults from all casinos in the Commonwealth for leaving minors unattended in order to engage in gaming activities:

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  • A male and a female patron were placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving a 5-month-old unattended in a running vehicle while the outside temperature was 47 degrees in the parking garage of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Delaware County for 30 minutes while he gambled at a table game.
  • A female patron’s request to be removed from the Board’s Involuntary Exclusion List for a 2017 incident in which she left a 4-year-old unattended while in Rivers Philadelphia Casino was denied. The child was unattended for 15 minutes in a non-running vehicle in the parking lot while the outside temperature was 95 degrees.

The Board’s actions serve as a reminder that adults are prohibited from leaving minors unattended in the parking lot or garage, a hotel, or other venues at a casino since it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment for the children. Leaving minors unattended at a Pennsylvania casino also subjects the offending adult to criminal prosecution in addition to exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos. To complement the efforts by casinos to mitigate this issue, the Board created an awareness campaign, “Don’t Gamble with Kids”.

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Canada

Swintt games approved for release in Ontario

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Swintt games approved for release in Ontario

 

In-demand software provider receives AGCO approval to operate in the regulated province, bringing full suite of games to Canadian players for the very first time

Swintt, the EGR award-winning software provider famed for its classically-themed Premium releases and state-of-the-art Select slots, has announced it has received permission to operate in Ontario, meaning its full suite of games will now available to AGCO-licensed platforms.

Having unveiled ambitious plans to expand into further regulated markets at the start of 2024, Swintt’s portfolio is now certified in eleven countries including Malta, Germany and the Netherlands, but this latest approval represents the company’s maiden entry into North America.

This means that not only will Ontarian players now be able to enjoy popular SwinttGames releases like the fan favourite slot Aloha Spirit XtraLockTM, but also newer upcoming games from Elysium Studios – Driven by Swintt.

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The product of Swintt’s acquisition of Elysium Studios earlier this year, the collaboration has resulted in a new line-up of releases being added to the software provider’s roster, with these games combing immersive themes and features with the very latest in slot design and graphics.

Tipsy Charms, the first game in the Elysium Studios – Driven by Swintt line-up, has already launched to great effect – and with the Mesopotamian-themed adventure, Law of Gilgamesh, scheduled for May 30th, there’s plenty for Ontarian players to look forward to in the coming weeks.

With all this and more on the horizon for the province in the second half of 2024, everyone at Swintt is excited about entering the regulated Canadian market for the first time and the company has high hopes that the approval will further underline its credentials as a leading global provider.

David Mann, Chief Executive Officer at Swintt, said: “Swintt is delighted to have received AGCO approval for its games in Ontario and we’re very excited to now have the chance to take this new and dynamic market by storm. Being certified to launch in Ontario is definitely a huge step for the company that will enable us to showcase our brand to new audiences on the global stage.”

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