“I think the rise of Stake has been heavily based around our ability to really push the boundaries,” said Stake co-founder Ed Craven.
The elusive executive was speaking to the gambling industry’s trade media for the very first time last night (5 February), where Stake had indeed pushed the boundaries for the grand unveiling of its new Stake F1 Team Formula 1 racing car.
A lavish night was unfolding at London’s Guildhall, a Grade I-listed medieval complex dating back to the 15th century. The juxtaposition was stark, as the building’s historic art gallery was draped with neon green banners, stamped with the hashtag: Unleashed.
The car itself – the C44 – was unleashed at 7pm. It was a futuristic green and black racing machine that would look far more at home in a dystopian video game than it ever could in Guildhall.
The motor was uncloaked as people buzzed around the unveiling party, where canapés and champagne were being handed out to global celebrities and gaming industry leaders. Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer Sergio Aguero also made an appearance, and streaming personality Roshtein was an ever-present.
While a first glimpse of the car was exciting, most were fascinated by the chance to get up close and personal with Stake – a company that until now has operated largely in the shadows. That approach is more difficult to maintain when your name is on the front of an F1 car.
“When Stake started, I think the demographic, or the market that we were aiming for was much, much smaller,” Craven told NEXT.io. “It was a very niche industry, but it’s grown a lot.
“And with that our ambitions have also grown. Every year, we start setting the bar a little bit higher, and more things become a reality,” he added.
Stake started taking notice of F1 around three years ago, according to Craven, with the company attracted by its global appeal – something Stake is striving to replicate.
“It was reaching every continent, almost every country,” he said. “And that was really powerful messaging for a company like ours, which operates at a very global capacity.”
F1’s global awareness has also caused problems, however. The 24 scheduled Grands Prix for 2024 reach into every corner of the globe, including in markets where online gambling, or gambling advertising, is illegal.
To break down this barrier, Stake has committed to a dual brand strategy, where Kick, the video streaming platform founded by Craven, will replace Stake in countries where gambling branding is prohibited. Kick.com is widely used for online gambling streaming.
“There’s local regulation around where each race takes place, so that has always been tricky,” admits Craven. “That is what I think has made this partnership the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. I don’t think there are many other brands that have attempted to pull something off on this scale.”
Coming to America
With the recent addition of Las Vegas, there are now three US circuits on the schedule. With different gambling regulation in each state, will Stake use its flagship brand for the country? The answer is yes, as Stake operates a social gaming casino platform nationwide.
Gambling with crypto – the foundation on which the Stake empire is built – is illegal in the US, but the operator still makes waves in the country through its lucrative partnership with brand ambassador Drake, who has completely bought into the brand and its product.
Stake’s social casino product was recently hit with a cease-and-desist order by regulators in Michigan, but Craven is confident the company can manage any blowback stateside.
“Depending on the circumstances, there might be room to do an activation with Kick, as Kick is also massive in the United States.
“I think it’s all about trying to work with the event location to maximise the activations and ensure that we get as much as exposure as possible, and sometimes Kick will do that more than Stake.
“For the time being, we’re unsure exactly what each race will look like. But we’ll definitely make sure we work alongside local regulators to keep everyone happy,” he added.
As gambling with crypto is largely unregulated, Stake has been forced to get creative in certain markets. The social casino product in the US is evidence of that, and the company also operates in the UK via a white-label agreement, which is strictly Fiat.
A UK licence has allowed the company to sponsor Premier League Everton, another activation to have delivered global exposure. Craven believes F1 is more of a global phenomenon than the Premier League even.
He is careful with his words and does not speak like someone talking to the trade media for the very first time. He is polished and polite, but he is also clear that barriers to entry – whatever those may be – will not prevent Stake from providing a product for consumers.
“We’re constantly working towards trying to make sure the website and app is accessible to as many people as possible – we don’t want to be in situations where we have to make the product unavailable, so we are working with the regulators to get that across the line in as many countries as possible,” said Craven.
A new dawn
The sport of F1 has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years, in part thanks to the explosive Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive, which is now in its sixth season.
The current campaign is also set to begin with extra spice after seven-time world title champion Lewis Hamilton announced he would break from his deal with Mercedes to sign for Ferrari in 2025.
It will also be a pivotal season for Sauber Motorsport. They were known as BMW Sauber from 2006 to 2010 and as Alfa Romeo F1 Team between 2019 and 2023.
The Swiss outfit has returned in 2024 as the newly rebranded Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber.
Speaking during a televised press conference from Guildhall’s East Crypt, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi spoke passionately about the partnership with Stake while sat alongside team drivers Valtteri Bottas (below) and Zhou Guanyu.
He said that joining forces with Stake was more than just a commercial agreement and would usher in a new era for the team. “Unleashed, for us, means a lot. This is a mantra incorporated in our new brand essence. We want to push the boundaries. It is a concept that pervades everything we do,” he added.
Bravi hailed the launch as an important milestone as it allowed the team to present its new vision to both fans and stakeholders. While some F1 traditionalists were disappointed that Sauber would not feature in the team name despite manufacturing the car, most appeared to buy into the prospect of an exciting new dawn under Stake.
One journalist pointed out the location of the unveiling was “more crypt than crypto”.
Bravi replied: “You can see here a contrast and we wanted to show this. We have the establishment and a prestigious venue, which was chosen to represent a contrast with our new identity. It is something new and something fresh that will challenge the status quo.”
If disrupting the status quo is the aim of the game, then who better to learn from than Stake?
EvenBet Gaming is on the path to cementing itself as a pioneering force in the iGaming industry. As a leading B2B poker platform provider, it possesses valuable front-row insights into the trends and trajectories shaping the global iGaming landscape.
To deepen people’s understanding of this complex, rapidly changing industry, EvenBet undertook extensive primary research across a number of diverse stakeholders for its newly-published e-book – Core iGaming Trends and Challenges in 2023.
NEXT.io caught up with the company’s CEO, Dmitry Starostenkov, to look more closely at the trends impacting the sector as told by iGaming professionals through this independent research.
NEXT: Hi, Dmitry. Let’s start with the report itself – what were your hopes and intentions in carrying out this research?
DS: I felt it was prime time for a comprehensive, data-driven perspective on the core trends, regional distinctions, and strategic priorities shaping the global iGaming ecosystem.
While ample analysis exists on particular niches, an overview from industry leaders was lacking. We saw an opportunity to deliver immense value to stakeholders by aggregating real-world insights in one place.
Our vision was to conduct broad, in-depth primary research across events worldwide to produce an authentic pulse check. The e-book provides an accurate lens into the industry’s evolution straight from the source.
By compiling this goldmine of perspectives spanning regions and verticals, we empower firms to benchmark strategies and identify blind spots.
NEXT: One of the many interesting findings to emerge from this e-book is the regional differences between Asia and Europe. Why do you think these differences exist?
DS: I believe these regional splits likely come down to a few key factors. Asia represents a huge potential growth market for iGaming, with countries like the Philippines poised to open up further.
Asian companies are hyper-focused on their local markets, so they aim to attract customers through superior technology and targeted marketing.
In contrast, Europe consists of more mature markets. Companies there need to get creative with emerging capabilities like AI to gain an edge. Many European providers are looking beyond saturated home markets, turning their strategic sights towards Asia for untapped opportunities.
The regional splits make sense given the dynamics of each market. Asia is earlier in the adoption curve, so tech and marketing for acquisition reign supreme. Europe’s growth relies more on operational efficiency via AI and geographic expansion.
It will be interesting to see if these focuses shift as the market matures in Asia and new frontiers open up for Europe.
NEXT: The report states a lack of regulation clarity poses challenges in less regulated markets. What specific issues arise from this ambiguity, and how can companies mitigate risk?
DS: From an operator’s perspective, the lack of regulatory clarity in emerging markets certainly poses some unique challenges that require careful navigation.
In India, for example, their iGaming market has grown by a staggering 500% since 2018, with an active demographic of over 300 million card players and 40 million poker players. However, the changes to the country’s GST regulations posed an enormous threat to every iGaming company operating in the market.
There were instances of wide-spanning staff layoffs, with up to 50% of companies’ workforces being dismissed, the development of several projects was halted and local industry events were largely cancelled. The industry is trying to fight back against these drastic changes, but I believe it’s in vain.
When regulations are ambiguous or absent, it leads to uncertainty around the legal frameworks and compliance standards we must adhere to. Despite the risks, there are steps companies can take to mitigate uncertainty.
Adopting global best practices around compliance helps avoid problems down the road. Starting with small investments or partnerships with established local operators can test the waters.
NEXT: 7% of respondents predict a crypto resurgence in response to regulation. How key will crypto innovation be for the industry?
DS: While only 7% of respondents specifically predicted a crypto resurgence due to regulation in 2024, I do see the growth potential for appropriate crypto integration in the gaming ecosystem.
Cryptocurrencies can provide benefits like faster payouts, increased transparency, and access to a broader player base beyond traditional fiat currency markets.
However, regulatory uncertainty persists, especially as governments catch up to provide guardrails for crypto gambling. We have to be thoughtful about compliance in regulated jurisdictions.
While we won’t compromise on compliance, we are keeping a close eye on crypto advances to assess where prudent applications could provide an advantage. Crypto won’t overhaul the industry overnight, but may open rewarding niches.
NEXT: Social media topped the list of the most important marketing channels. How should companies balance investment between social and other channels, such as events and SEO?
DS: As the report indicates, social media has become an indispensable marketing channel for iGaming companies given restrictions around traditional advertising and the global reach of platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
LinkedIn has grown hugely in terms of brand visibility, too – it’s a fantastic platform to network with peers in the industry, as well as giving CEOs the chance to share updates, both personally and professionally.
However, while social should be a core pillar of any operator’s strategy, diversification is still key for effective player acquisition and brand building.
At EvenBet Gaming, we employ a balanced omni-channel approach, leveraging the unique advantages of social, events, SEO, PR and other avenues. The right mix depends on the business as well as the target markets.
NEXT: Finally, if you could give one key piece of strategic advice to iGaming companies for 2024 based on this report, what would it be?
DS: Based on the insightful findings from our extensive industry research, my top strategic advice to iGaming companies for 2024 is simply to stay nimble.
The sheer pace of change, whether from regulation, technology disruption, competitive forces, or customer evolution means firms must build agility into their DNA to thrive.
While solidifying core capabilities, companies should avoid rigid plans or structures. They will need fluid processes and empowered talent to respond decisively to both challenges and chances.
Providers will also need to skilfully balance resources between established markets and expanding into new high-potential regions.
Above all, taking a sophisticated, analytical approach is key – this report provides the valuable intelligence needed to make smart bets.
Combined with agility, research-backed insight gives an essential edge. The future will likely hold both turbulence and openings, so remaining dynamic and informed is the best preparation to ride the waves ahead and pursue progress.
Dmitry has been leading EvenBet Gaming since 2001, growing it into a world-renowned online poker software brand with a team of more than 150 developers. He has over 15 years of expertise in the online poker market and appears frequently as an expert in industry conferences, summits, and media.
How do crypto players deal with volatility? Does implementing crypto technologies simplify cyber-attacks? How will crypto tools change the iGaming industry?
Addressing these questions and more, SOFTSWISS, an international software supplier, and NEXT.io, a well-known events and media company, have joined forces to launch the NEXT.io Crypto Series.
Despite the prejudice, according to the SOFTSWISS State of Crypto, during the first three quarters of 2023, crypto bets experienced 18.7% monetary growth compared to the same period in 2022. The four-episode podcast journey will provide more valuable insights into cryptocurrencies in iGaming.
During each episode, Pierre Lindh, co-founder and MD of NEXT.io and the podcast host, and an invited expert, will cover a particular aspect of the topic.
The first episode aims to shed light on the history and evolution of crypto gambling, while the second episode will dive into the specifics of launching a crypto project. In the third episode, experts will discuss behaviours of crypto players, and the final episode will focus on the future of crypto tools.
The NEXT.io Crypto Series will kick off on 31 January with its first episode, “Evolution of Crypto in iGaming”, featuring Ivan Montik, Founder of SOFTSWISS, as a special guest.
Listeners can expect a captivating journey through the evolution of crypto, stories about the first crypto project launches, challenges the pioneers overcame, and discussions on such vital topics as cyber security.
Andrey Starovoitov, co-CEO at SOFTSWISS, commented: “In 2013, SOFTSWISS made a historic introduction of a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution. In 2024, celebrating our 15th anniversary, we still see the enduring relevance and massive potential of crypto solutions for iGaming.
“Nowadays, a project without crypto support loses a broad audience and the image of a top-notch product, not to mention additional regulatory freedom. I am delighted to announce the launch of the podcast series, full of valuable information and capturing stories.”
Lindh added: “We are grateful for SOFTSWISS’ willingness to share their insights and success stories related to the integration of cryptocurrency in iGaming.
“This technology is rapidly emerging as a foundational element within our industry. It is crucial, therefore, that we initiate meaningful dialogues to fully comprehend how this technology can be leveraged to positively transform and shape the future of our sector.”
Listeners can tune in to the NEXT.io Crypto Series on popular platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and LinkedIn, making it easily accessible to a wide audience.
SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
Companies operating in the European Union will face stricter money laundering rules under a new framework agreed by the Council and Parliament.
The new regulations will require enhanced due diligence for crypto-asset service providers (CASPs), transactions for high-risk third countries, and luxury goods traders.
Each member state’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) will have new powers for “immediate and direct” access to financial, administrative and law enforcement records.
This will include tax data, records on funds frozen due to sanctions and information on fund and crypto transactions.
FIU’s will also have the right to suspend or withhold consent for a transaction to assess whether it is suspicious or not.
The new rules also aim to ban any cash transaction in excess of €10,000 and impose new transparency rules on beneficial ownership – that being the individuals who control assets under a different name.
Cryptocurrencies covered under regulations
Under the new framework, CASPs will be categorised as “obliged entities”, which will require them to conduct due diligence on their customers.
This will mean crypto companies will need to engage in know-your-customer (KYC) practices, including verifying information and reporting suspicious activity.
The rules state that a CASP will need to apply this due diligence for transactions over €1,000. The framework also adds measures to mitigate money laundering risk for transactions with self-hosted wallets.
Additional due diligence requirements will be required for cross-border correspondent relationships for crypto assets.
After the wording of the framework is finalised it will be presented to the representatives of EU member states for approval.
If approval is granted, the Council for Europe and Parliament will formally adopt the texts prior to their publication in the EU’s Official Journal.
When the rules were originally floated in 2022, the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) created guidelines to help gambling businesses navigate the changing rules.
“As the sophistication of financial crime continues to evolve, the publication of these AML guidelines demonstrates EGBA’s commitment to ensure that Europe’s online gambling sector actively contributes towards the fight against financial crime,” said EGBA director of legal and regulatory affairs Dr Ekaterina Hartmann at the time.
“There’s currently a lack of sector-specific guidance to help Europe’s online gambling operators in their AML compliance efforts and these guidelines provide a valuable tool to fill this gap and help operators achieve the highest possible standards.”
Each month, Australian bookmaking legend Tom Waterhouse publishes a newsletter from Waterhouse VC, his gaming and wagering-focused venture capital fund.
Since inception in August 2019, the fund has achieved a gross total return of 2,603% through to 31 December 2023.
In collaboration with NEXT.io, the December edition of Waterhouse VC looks at a successful year for the fund driven by professional betting, emerging markets and investing in crypto operators.
A year in review
In 2023, Waterhouse VC generated a strong return of +39.5%, strongly outperforming the S&P500 (+24.8%) and the ASX200 (+7.8%).
While company valuations broadly increased in 2023, there was significant divergence across geographies and sectors.
With the increase in interest rates globally, investors have grown more selective, preferring to invest in profitable businesses.
Portfolio manager Peter Stevens discussed this phenomenon at iGaming Next in Malta, with reference to the gaming and wagering industry, which you can watch here.
In 2023, there were two stand out contributors to the fund’s +39.5% performance:
Project Tennis: A professional betting syndicate founded by Tom Dry focused on tennis, as first discussed in December 2022 and invested in on 1 July 2023.
Saintly: A crypto wagering operator and B2B platform – position exited in August 2023.
Beating the house
We are very pleased with the operational performance of Tom Dry’s betting syndicate going into 2024.
The fund is on track to earn back in distributions its entire investment in the syndicate by January 2025, just 18 months after the investment was made.
More broadly, professional betting is a key focus area for the fund and we are actively exploring several professional betting opportunities.
In addition to tennis, we are looking at other professional betting opportunities in horse racing, which is particularly interesting due to the rebates offered by totes.
Large syndicates benefit from generous rebates in pari-mutuel/tote betting, thanks to their role in supplying liquidity.
This gives them a significant advantage (which varies based on the tote pool) over other bettors.
To qualify for these rebates, syndicates must wager substantial amounts of money. For example, US totes typically only grant rebates to those who wager over $5m per year, according to Sports Trading Network.
Emerging professional betting syndicates focused on racing are already behind the larger syndicates by a few percentage points because of the rebates that the larger syndicates receive.
The accumulation of the rebate advantage has resulted in substantial and lucrative profits for the largest racing-focused syndicates.
If Waterhouse VC could own a stake in a syndicate that bets on racing and receives rebates from the totes, that would be a very exciting portfolio holding.
A seven-month journey with Saintly
Saintly was the largest single contributor to the fund’s performance in 2023.
We negotiated an option to buy 20% of Saintly in February 2023 because of its technology platform which positioned the company well to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunity in crypto wagering, which we first discussed in May 2022.
Online crypto operators (such as Sportsbet.io and Stake.com), which have a similar UX to online fiat operators like FanDuel and DraftKings, are already recording extraordinary turnover.
The timeline below shows the history of Waterhouse VC’s option deal with Saintly from signing in February 2023 through to exiting in August 2023 for 23x the option conversion valuation.
India and Brazil as emerging market opportunities
As we look forward to 2024, emerging markets such as Brazil and India will be key growth regions for both operators and B2B suppliers.
The online wagering industry in India is growing at over 20% per annum and has been fuelled by the country’s rapid economic progress, with GDP per capita up 2x since 2009, and a substantial market size of over 370 million bettors, according to My Betting India.
Wagering turnover on cricket alone is estimated to be $150bn, with approximately 85% of Indian bettors engaging in cricket wagers. The legal status of wagering in India remains grey in most areas.
Brazil recently introduced online wagering following official approval from the country’s President Lula.
Operators are anticipating the imminent launch of the newly regulated industry, with 134 operators having already signed pre-market ordinance measures.
Looking to 2024
We are particularly excited by professional betting, emerging markets such as Brazil and India, and B2B suppliers that provide a critical or truly unique service to gaming and wagering operators.
We have identified several companies in the industry currently valued attractively at just 1x revenue plus approximately their net cash on the balance sheet.
We offer wholesale investors unique access to these larger deals, which remain at depressed valuations.
Tom Waterhouse recently joined Brad Allen on ‘Zero Latency: An Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Podcast’. We discussed why the fund is investing in betting syndicates, whether US sportsbooks should be forced to take minimum bets, and why voice betting could be a significant opportunity.
For wholesale investors interested in following wagering and gaming industry news and trends, please follow our updates on Twitter (@waterhousevc) or through our website at WaterhouseVC.com.
Today sees the launch of XDA.io, a new platform that allows gaming and gambling firms of any global licence, to easily access crypto and fiat payments with just one application.
The new platform, built with streamlining and compliance in mind, addresses the growing demand among gaming and gambling companies for a more accessible and user-friendly banking and cryptocurrency ecosystem within the gaming community.
Launched by Andria Evripidou, a former executive at Revolut and Yapily, the new platform is backed by some of the world’s biggest correspondent banks and crypto liquidity providers, bringing a stable risk appetite to ensure an undisrupted service.
Commenting on the launch of XDA.io, CEO and founder, Andria Evripidou said, “While mainstream sectors have never really endorsed crypto currency, the gaming community has adopted it and thrived.
“With the rapid adoption of crypto in gaming, it’s time for a financial platform that caters to the unique needs for both crypto and fiat accounts in one gaming friendly place.”
Fans can compete to win a $1m jackpot with Roobet.fun’s free NPB Pick’em contest.
Roobet, the pioneering entertainment company and next-generation crypto brand, is thrilled to announce its official launch in the Japanese market.
This exciting expansion coincides with the highly anticipated season opening of the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB) on 28 October.
As the season kicks off, Roobet is ready to bring a fresh wave of innovation and excitement to Japanese sports and esports enthusiasts.
To celebrate, Roobet is hosting a $1m Pick’em contest on Roobet Picks, the company’s free-to-play platform.
Baseball and esports fans can participate to test their sports knowledge, make predictions, and compete for life-changing prizes – at no cost, other than perhaps a bruised ego.
The Roobet brand has a proven commitment to fostering crypto and web3 innovations, curating a strong sense of community empowered by competitive connections, and leveraging cutting-edge technologies to make experiences seamless and fun.
Roobet.fun, as a pillar brand, exemplifies this mission by providing a player-centric, free-to-play experience on an immersive and secure platform.
A Roobet spokesperson said: “We couldn’t be more excited to bring Roobet to Japan! Japan has a rich gaming and esports culture, and we’re here to pioneer completely new ways for Japanese fans to engage with their favuorite sports and esports. Our $1m Pick’em contest is just the beginning of what we have in store for our friends all across the world – get ready!”
The million-dollar Pick’em contest is set to become a highlight in the Japanese gaming calendar, but Roobet Picks has more to offer – with a wide array of predictor quizzes covering various competitive sports globally, including the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB), the US’ National Football League (NFL), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), boxing, the English Premier League (EPL), and esports such as the Roobet Cup and a Daily Game, with more leagues and competitions to be added soon.
With Roobet.fun catering to those trying out crypto or simply enjoying free-to-play games, and Roobet.com continuing its industry-leading innovation in the crypto gaming space, the Roobet brand is redefining the entertainment landscape and leading the way in inclusive and creator-led gaming.
According to the latest Bitcoin casino statistics, crypto gamblers bet $3m worth of crypto daily, and approximately 60% of all Bitcoin transactions are related to gambling.
Driven by a growing industry demand, early adopters are actively seeking payment solutions that enable their players to place crypto bets. CryptoProcessing.com, one of the leading crypto payment gateways in the world, is the ultimate solution for these operators.
The crypto gambling market size is $250m – a growing share of the $93bn iGaming industry. There is no denying the world of gambling is crazy, and these numbers can confirm that.
All this, in turn, catalyses a corresponding surge in cryptocurrency adoption among gaming enthusiasts. Yet, one might wonder: What drives these players to opt for cryptocurrency?
“Besides offering enhanced security and anonymity, cryptocurrencies facilitate faster and more efficient transactions. Players enjoy seamless, near-instant deposits and withdrawals with lower transaction fees in comparison to traditional payment methods,” explains Max Krupyshev, CryptoProcessing.com CEO.
“Overall, crypto is becoming a widely popular means of payment rather than a speculative-only asset, and as cryptocurrencies continue to blossom, gambling will follow closely behind. This trend is partially driven by the fact that access to cryptocurrencies has become easier.”
How can accepting crypto payments affect an iGaming platform?
The benefits of accepting cryptocurrency bets extend beyond the player’s experience; some of the hardest payment challenges, such as chargebacks and settlement delays, are taken off operators’ shoulders.
Along with this, one major advantage is lower transaction costs. Cryptocurrency transactions are cost-effective; this enables casinos to save money and enhance their services for players.
Moreover, online casinos can attract tech-savvy players who are early adopters of innovative technologies. This can give casinos a competitive edge and position them as forward-thinking establishments.
The growing crypto audience, with over 420 million users worldwide is another reason why companies should consider accepting Bitcoin payments. This allows businesses to tap into an extensive global client base, expanding accessibility and reaching customers in diverse regions. It eliminates traditional payment hurdles, such as the need to search for local providers.
Finally, integrating a crypto payment gateway is simple for those unfamiliar with blockchain technology. Thanks to near-instant conversion to fiat and the ability to transfer funds to a bank account, clients do not have to handle crypto directly. Moreover, crypto payment providers like CryptoProcessing.com offer round-the-clock tech support.
Crypto payments resilient amid market challenges
The casino industry is experiencing a significant surge in crypto adoption, positioning cryptocurrency as a promising future payment method.
Straits Research predicts that by 2030, the global online gambling market will reach $153bn, underlining the growing demand for crypto-related services. Remarkably, crypto payments have proven their resilience, even during market downturns.
CryptoProcessing.com, a leading crypto payment gateway, serves as a testament to this resilience. It witnessed no decline in cryptocurrency transactions during these challenging market conditions. Instead, transaction volumes doubled in 2022 compared to 2021, with a 1.9x increase.
This positive trend continued into 2023, with Q1 showing a remarkable 14% net volume growth and a 9% increase in transactions compared to Q4 2022.
In Q2 2023, the majority of transactions were conducted in BTC, USDTT, and ETH. BTC maintained its dominance at 55.8%, though its share decreased by 9.7% compared to Q2 2022. Conversely, USDTT and ETH saw slight increases of 3.9% and 1.4%, respectively.
Despite BTC’s decreased activity due to market fluctuations, it remains the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. Concurrently, the popularity of stablecoins is rising due to their stability, and altcoin transactions are gradually increasing.
It’s fair to say that the benefits of crypto payments extend beyond the casino industry. They are considered a win-win for everyone involved, from developers and gamers to the broader gaming community.
Some players now can’t imagine playing Blackjack without using BTC, ETH, DOGE, USDT, and other altcoins and stablecoins. In fact, there are even a number of casinos that exclusively operate within the crypto space.
However, despite these positive developments, many individuals remain unfamiliar with the fundamentals and potential benefits of crypto payments. This lack of understanding extends beyond players and operators, and questions continue to surround regulation and compliance.
Regulatory bodies play a pivotal role in ensuring the security and trustworthiness of cryptocurrencies. Successfully achieving this could unlock a multitude of new opportunities for operators and players alike.
What are the risks of connecting to a cryptocurrency payment provider?
When integrating a cryptocurrency payment gateway, companies should remain vigilant about potential risks.
One prominent concern lies in the high volatility of cryptocurrency prices, subject to dramatic fluctuations without apparent triggers. Without support for instant conversion to fiat by a crypto payment provider, there exists a considerable risk of swiftly eroding profits.
Furthermore, companies must contend with the potential receipt of digital assets implicated in illicit activities such as money laundering or terrorism financing. Such an occurrence not only damages a company’s reputation but also invites legal repercussions.
To avoid these challenges, it becomes imperative to safeguard the integrity of incoming transactions. CryptoProcessing.com possesses solutions to efficiently address and mitigate the above mentioned risks.
CoinScan, a new cryptocurrency analytics platform, has emerged from stealth mode with $6.3m in funding to fuel its product development and expansion.
CoinScan, the first product to be released by web3 company CryptoHub, aims “to give traders an edge in the market with free in-depth charting and safety features.”
The platform offers several key features including safety checks, holder and airdrop analysis, social sentiment, pending transactions and market navigation.
Its fundamental objective is “to elevate the experience for crypto and DeFi users of all experience levels,” the company said in a statement.
CoinScan further suggested that better access to data in the cryptocurrency sector could have helped avoid the almost $1bn lost to crypto exploits, hacks and scams this year alone.
The platform prides itself on its range of safety features, as well as using transparent data pulled from multiple sources “to provide the deepest charting insights available on the market.”
It is also the first to bring a pending transactions feature to the market in a user-friendly format, it said, giving traders insights into the price action of a token before transactions fully complete.
“This gives users an unprecedented advantage, as they can essentially see into the future,” the firm said.
“No one wants to spend all of their time researching and analysing blockchain transactions and social media just to avoid getting scammed. The bar for crypto data was very low, so we built the platform that we wished we had,” said CoinScan CEO Eliran Ouzan.
“We’re not just giving traders an edge, we’re introducing tools that allow new investors to enter the market with free, accessible, unbiased information that will allow them to succeed.”
The $6.3m in new funding has been raised from a variety of high-profile investors including DraftKings’ largest individual shareholder and founder of SBTech, Shalom MecKenzie.
Since SBTech merged with DraftKings in 2020, MecKenzie has turned his focus towards the cryptocurrency and web3 industries.
Other CoinScan investors include Playtech CEO Mor Weizer, alongside the supplier’s head of business development and M&A, Roy Samuelov.
Other investors include Shy Datika, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency-focused company INX Limited.
Also taking part in the funding round were Tel Aviv-based VC firm iAngels, and publicly listed web3 firm Tectona.
SBTech founder MecKenzie said: “Crypto, much like sports betting, should give people the tools and data to make their own assessments about risk and reward.
“CoinScan is introducing a hub of crypto information that users can finally trust for accurate, real-time insights. I see CoinScan as becoming the home page for anyone involved in the crypto industry.”
Tectona chairman Yariv Gilat added: “CoinScan is leading the charge in bucking crypto’s negative reputation by providing better access to data directly from multiple sources.
“The platform provides unmatched safety features that make me optimistic for the industry’s future growth, and we’re thrilled to support CoinScan on their mission.”
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested that five unlicensed gambling operators be blocked by internet service providers.
The five online gambling sites – Viperspin, Just Casino, Betandplay, Play Fina and Comic Play Casino – were found to be in breach of the country’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
All of the casinos are also unreachable from the UK due to location blocks, except for Comic Play Casino. Several of the sites in breach offer online gambling with cryptocurrencies.
Comic Play Casino offers Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum as payment options, for example.
Online casino is not a regulated gambling vertical in Australia.
Since the ACMA made its first blocking request, 835 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked, while 215 illegal services have pulled out of the Australian market since the regulator started enforcing new offshore gambling rules in 2017.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options used by ACMA to protect Australians against offshore online gambling.
Action is usually taken when a website is providing prohibited interactive gambling services to customers in Australia, such as online casino, or when gambling services are not protected by domestic laws.
Many of the sites prohibited by ACMA are licensed in Curaçao.
Earlier this year, the authority reached out to Curaçao finance minister Javier Silvania in an effort to prevent the island’s licensed operators from targeting Australian players.