SBC CIS Weekly Digest: March, 13 — 17

SBC CIS Editorial Team takes a look back at the important events that happened last week. The industry has been talking about recent sanctioning of the gambling business in Ukraine that allegedly had ties with the Russian Federation, that Ukrainian government designated a state that sponsors terrorism. The list of sanctioned companies has over 100 individuals and companies that the Ukrainian National Security Council believes to have worked with the terrorists-state. These individuals and companies are predominantly russian, but there were a couple of exceptions — Ukrainian companies that had their gambling licenses in Ukraine. This sparked active discussions within Ukraine with several companies going forward with their statements denying any affiliation with the terrorist-state. We’ve included several of such statements in our today’s digest.

Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC) clarified its position regarding a number of individuals and gambling companies that were sanctioned by the country’s government. In a statement on LinkedIn, UGC Chairman Anton Kuchukhidze said the inclusion of companies such as PokerMatch and Parimatch Ukraine was a mistake and not an attack on individual Ukrainian companies or the entire legal gambling industry in Ukraine. The UGC Chairman stressed that every industry has its tough times and that it is critical that law enforcement agencies act quickly and effectively against the activities of Russian brands, not Ukrainian ones.

GR8 Tech commented on the situation in Ukraine, where one of its clients, Parimatch Ukraine, was placed into a list of companies that were sanctioned by the National Security Council in Ukraine for allegedly still having ties with the terrorist-state. GR8 Tech, as the statement read, continues their operations and provides iGaming solutions and support to customers and partners around the world.

PokerMatch International issued an official statement with regards to PokerMatch Ukraine being sanctioned in Ukraine. The company has informed its partners that the sanctions will not affect the international operations of the PokerMatch brand. The company has not abandoned its plans to expand into new territories and continues to fully serve its existing customers, including the fulfillment of all obligations. The PokerMatch brand deeply regrets the inclusion of its partners in the sanctions list and considers this decision a mistake.

SBC spoke to several Ukrainian companies about what they are doing to support humanitarian efforts in the country. Follow the link to our material on the website to find out how Vlad Slyusarenko, CMO at TVBET, Daniel Heywood, CEO at NuxGame, Igor Terebinov, Deputy CEO at PokerMatch, Ivan Kravchuk, CEO at Evoplay, and Ruslan Kravchuk, Head of Human Resources at Playson were covering the risks that their companies were facing during the times of heavy fighting in and around the capital Kyiv as well as what they did to keep their companies operational and their employees safe.

Betera, a betting brand that replaced Parimatch in Belarus, announced that it would close all its 11 betting shops (six in Minsk and one each in Mogilev, Grodno, Brest, Gomel and Vitebsk). According to representatives of Betera, the reason for closing down the bookmaker’s office is related to the transition of the bookmaker to a new platform.

Setanta Sports entered into a new partnership with Georgian eSports organization Monaspa. This partnership includes information campaigns, a new direction of broadcasting, and more interactions. Setanta Sports and Monaspa are planning a number of activities within the framework of cooperation. One of the goals is to increase awareness and perception of eSports. On the other hand, it offers a new experience to current viewers and players.

Sportradar, the largest Swiss company providing statistics to bookmakers and sports associations, published its financial results for the past year (2022). Sales in 2022 were up 30% year-on-year to $781.3M, slightly above the 2022 forecast: earlier forecasts predicted Sportradar’s annual sales to be in the range of $768.8M to $774M. Sportradar’s total profit in 2022 was $11.2M, down 22.3% from the previous year ($13.7M).

Brian Hatch, host of All In: The Addicted Gambler’s Podcast, recently did a Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show Podcast where he talked about the harsh truths of gambling addiction and just how far gamblers would go to get their fix.  Brian talked out of his personal experience — around three months into his gambling activity, Hatch would recognize his addiction but was afraid to speak up. Despite the call for help he continued to gamble and was eventually kicked out of college for his poor attendance. Seven years into his addiction, Hatch attended his first Gamblers Anonymous meeting before attending a second in 2009. Although Hatch praised the organization by stressing that his visits were “worth it”, the initial meeting had left him feeling unwelcome, anxious and uncomfortable. 

Starlizard Integrity Services launched Komodo, a new online match-fixing alert system. Komodo’s online services are reportedly provided free of charge to sports federations, associations and law enforcement agencies around the world in an effort to combat match-rigging. Komodo can detect suspicious matches, analyze betting market activity in bookmakers and provide this information to interested parties. 

EGT Digital had a very productive week — first they announced a new strategic partnership in Romania with Kaizen Gaming, one of the fastest growing gaming companies in the world, operating under the Betano brand, and also achieved another major success in Georgia. The Bulgarian provider’s games are now available on the Crocobet website, where players can find 18 of the company’s most promising and successful games. 

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