Crypto Company of the Year was announced at the International Gaming Awards in London. SOFTSWISS, a leading technology company with 15+ years of experience in the industry, gets this title for the second year in a row.
Marking the beginning of ICE London, the awards ceremony has brought together top names in the iGaming industry to honour their achievements. The International Gaming Awards not only unites experts and gaming enthusiasts worldwide but also serves as the pinnacle charity event of the year.
The Crypto Company of the Year category recognises companies that create innovative experiences for clients in the gambling sector with a focus on crypto. The winner is determined by evidence showcasing the company’s standout performance in the crypto space compared to competitors. Reconfirming the previous year’s success, SOFTSWISS emerged as the Crypto Company of the Year for the second time in a row.
Securing the title of Crypto Company of the Year comes naturally to SOFTSWISS, the trailblazer in introducing crypto-friendly solutions for online gaming. Beginning with Bitcoin, SOFTSWISS has expanded its cryptocurrency offering to nearly 20 digital coins since 2013.
In its dedication to improving player experience, SOFTSWISS introduced the In-Game Currency Conversion feature. The innovation allowed players with crypto holdings to engage seamlessly in games originally tailored for fiat only. One year post-launch, 85% of all bets in crypto casinos powered by the SOFTSWISS Casino Platform were made via the feature.
As an expert in crypto-friendly solutions, the company shares its expertise through the quarterly State of Crypto reports and topical podcasts. This helps raise awareness among all stakeholders, offering essential insights for strategic decision-making.
Andrey Starovoitov, Co-CEO at SOFTSWISS, shares: “We are delighted to receive this award, and it signifies more than just recognition for our recent achievements. The title of Crypto Company of the Year holds deep meaning for those who led the way in integrating digital currencies into iGaming, actively advocate for crypto solutions, and generously share expertise in this field.”
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 Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
Crypto Casino Lucky Block Partners with MMA Legend Michael Bisping
Global MMA legend Michael Bisping has signed a sponsorship deal with the fast-growing top-tier crypto casino Lucky Block.
The tie-up between the Mixed Martial Arts and UFC superstar and the premium sportsbook and casino entertainment platform is a win-win for Bisping fans and Lucky Block’s swelling customer base of highly engaged players.
This deal secures opportunities for both parties by leveraging the valuable synergies present in the colliding worlds of sports and online gaming.
Through securing the sponsorship deal with Michael Bisping, Lucky Block is joining the big league of crypto casino industry leaders who understand the business impact of top-level sports sponsorship deals.
Aligning with the world of competitive sports, Lucky Block is not only endorsing a celebrated athlete but is also tapping into the fervent sports fan base that is growing by leaps and bounds. Together, Lucky Block and Michael Bisping are bridging the gap between traditional sports and the burgeoning world of crypto-based betting.
Damian Jacobs, Lucky Block community and growth manager commenting on the sponsorship deal, said: “We are pleased to announce our sponsorship of UFC icon Michael Bisping. We believe this deal will be a powerful catalyst as we embark on the next leg of our journey to lead crypto gaming’s conquest of the online sports entertainment and betting industry.
“This partnership shows that Lucky Block can mix it up with the other industry leaders. Our sponsorship of Michael Bisping shows we understand the importance of developing and exploiting the brand projection potential at the intersection between the sports domain and the disruptive power of crypto betting.”
Dive Deep into Crypto: SOFTSWISS and Next.io Launch Crypto Series of Podcasts
How do crypto players deal with volatility? Does implementing crypto technologies simplify cyber-attacks? How will crypto tools change the iGaming industry? Addressing these 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 Managing Director 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, comments: “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.”
Pierre Lindh comments: “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.
UNODC: Casinos and Cryptocurrency Fueling Underground Banking and Crime in Asia
A new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has found that casinos, junkets and cryptocurrency have emerged as a critical piece of the underground banking and money laundering infrastructure in East and Southeast Asia, fuelling transnational organised crime in the region.
Titled “Casinos, Money Laundering, Underground Banking, and Transnational Organized Crime in East and Southeast Asia: A Hidden, Accelerating Threat”, the study highlights the nexus between illegal online casinos, e-junkets and cryptocurrency exchanges that have proliferated in recent years alongside surging cross-border criminality throughout the region.
“Casinos and related high-cash-volume businesses have been vehicles for underground banking and money laundering for years, but the explosion of underregulated online gambling platforms and crypto exchanges has changed the game. Expansion of the illicit economy has required a technology-driven revolution in underground banking to allow for faster anonymized transactions, commingling of funds, and new business opportunities for organized crime. The development of scalable, digitized casino- and crypto-based solutions has supercharged the criminal business environment across Southeast Asia, and particularly in the Mekong,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
As outlined in the report, countless recent cases demonstrate that online casinos and related businesses have been used by major organised crime groups to move and launder massive volumes of state-backed fiat as well as cryptocurrencies, effectively creating channels for integrating billions in criminal proceeds into the financial system. At the same time, the creation and success of these underground banking mechanisms has helped expand the region’s broader illicit economy, in turn attracting new networks, innovators and service providers to the criminal ecosystem.
Cases examined also highlight how illegal online casino operators have diversified business lines to include cyberfraud and cryptocurrency laundering, with extensive evidence of organised crime influence within casino compounds, special economic zones and border areas, including those controlled by armed groups in Myanmar to conceal illicit activities.
“Organized crime groups have converged where they see vulnerabilities, and casinos and crypto have proven the point of least resistance. That said, operations against syndicates in countries including Cambodia and the Philippines have caused a partial displacement, and we have seen criminals moving infrastructure into other places where they see opportunity — basically where they expect they will be able to take advantage and not be held to account, to remote and border areas of the Mekong, and recently elsewhere,” Douglas added.
UNODC analysis estimates there were more than 340 licensed and unlicensed land-based casinos operating in Southeast Asia as of early 2022, with most having shifted online to offer live-dealer streaming and various proxy betting services. According to latest available industry data, the formal online gambling market is projected to grow to more than US $205 billion by 2030, with the Asia Pacific region representing the largest share of market growth between 2022 to 2026 at a projected 37%. The study describes several policy developments and enforcement measures implemented by governments in the region to address illegal casino-based capital outflows, corruption, and money laundering that have in part driven these trends.
The technical policy brief describes the mechanics, intricacies and drivers of underground banking in the region, and has been developed through extensive examination and analysis of criminal indictments, case records, court filings, related public disclosure and other data collected in consultation with authorities and partners over more than a year. Its development has included an extensive mapping and analysis of thousands of so-called “grey and black business” online groups, including clear web and dark web forums and marketplaces, used for illicit activities. The study also provides a list of recommendations geared towards strengthening knowledge and awareness, legislation and policy, and enforcement and regulatory responses in the region, intended to assist governments to address the situation.
“It’s clear that the gap between organized crime and enforcement authorities is widening quickly. If the region fails to address this criminal landscape the consequences will be seen in Southeast Asia and beyond as criminals look to reinvest profits and innovate operations. We trust the report will prove as a useful reference for deeper engagement between countries in Southeast Asia, UNODC, and international partners. At this point, we are just scratching the surface,” said Benedikt Hofmann, UNODC Deputy Regional Representative.
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