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Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Gambling Sector: ConnectPay Calls to Fortify Payment Security as Industry Fraud on Rise

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Online gambling has increased during the pandemic. Evidently, so did the illegal activity related to the industry. Scammers are abusing the vulnerability of the circumstances, which is reflected by the rise in financial fraud and exploitation schemes. ConnectPay, an online banking service provider, encourages businesses, especially the ones considered to be higher-risk, to make the security of payment transactions their top priority in order to build trust with new and existing clients, and protect them from falling victim to fraudulent payments.

Illicit activity concerning monetary transactions has been a long-standing issue for the virtual gaming industry even prior to the pandemic, with financial crime estimated to be at $2.1 trillion per annum. That said, the COVID-19 crisis has brought new challenges as new fraud schemes started to plague various markets. This has influenced some countries, fearing an increase of illicit activity in online gambling, to issue tighter measures for the vendors to protect consumers during the lockdown.

“The increased online gambling sessions correlate with the noticeable jump in payment transactions”, explained Liutauras Varanavičius, Head of Business Development at ConnectPay. “When comparing data from January with the stats from April, we have noticed a 30% increase in gambling-related transactions. Even though it’s hard to predict how prolonged will the aftermath of the pandemic be, the necessity of instating more precautionary measures to support secure payments is too apparent to be left unaddressed.”

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The surge of online gambling activity has greatly increased the public’s exposure to digital risks. While others are capitalizing on the crisis, businesses have to face the conundrum on how to disassociate from the perpetrators, remain credible and retain their target audience.

“The spike in fraudulent financial activity could hit the sector even harder than others: it’s already under a magnifying glass due to the nature of acquired revenue, thus any association with financial fraud could be leveraged as a pretext to revoke acquired licenses and restrict business”, said L. Varanavičius.

As the global health crisis continues, the need for reliable security measures and prevention of illicit financial flows will only continue to grow. Implementing timely and adequately prepared safeguards to combat arising threats is paramount, as, until brick-and-mortar casinos are once again operational, gambling industry relies on digital-only vendors.

Preserving secure payment transactions could be the difference between remaining operational or having to close up shop. The pandemic has already hampered AML supervision and presented new threats that could aid criminals in avoiding customer due diligence. However, having acknowledged current obstacles enables businesses to evaluate measures that would help avoid being juxtaposed with illicit activity and choose partnerships accordingly.

To keep the scammers at bay, ConnectPay continuously invests in innovative fraud prevention solutions, latest AML safeguards and other smart tools, helping companies in underserved markets to maintain credibility and keep the associated risks to the bare minimum. Furthermore, the company places high emphasis on a thorough screening process: this prevents taking on clients involved in unethical business practices, limiting the grounds for financial fraud. In 2020, ConnectPay is planning to invest additional 750 thousand euros in Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism compliance solutions.

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Navajo Gaming Appoints John James as Chief Executive Officer

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Navajo Gaming has appointed John James as its Chief Executive Officer.

John James brings more than two decades of professional gaming and hospitality experience to Navajo Gaming. He previously served as CEO of River Rock Entertainment Authority in Geyserville California. There he exemplified his strong leadership skills by identifying and implementing innovative operational improvements to grow revenue while improving morale through thoughtful strategic direction and mentoring.

Prior to that, he led numerous tribal casinos including serving as CEO of Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Washington, CEO of Soboba Casino Resort in California, COO of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in California, and CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises in Arizona. Additionally, he has served in leadership positions for Seminole Gaming Inc., Pechanga Resort and Casino, and various successful Station Casino properties.

As CEO of Navajo Gaming, John James will oversee and manage Navajo Gaming properties in New Mexico and Arizona, as well as ensure that Navajo Gaming policies and objectives are met. His three main objectives are to strengthen Navajo Gaming and the hospitality economy, return revenue to the Navajo Nation, and provide additional jobs to members of the Navajo Nation.

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“Navajo Gaming has grown to a multi-million-dollar enterprise over the past 15 years. John James brings extensive gaming and management experience and leadership qualities to lead Navajo Gaming. James has been widely recognized as the industry’s ‘best of the best’ for his exceptional strategic and positive impact. He will stimulate continued growth and success for Navajo Gaming as we remain focused on job creation and enhancing the Navajo economy,” Quincy Natay, Chairman of the Navajo Gaming Board of Directors, said.

“I am honored to serve Navajo Gaming’s team and guests under the stewardship of the board and alongside such a strong management team. Our industry is transforming rapidly and there is tremendous opportunity for Navajo Gaming to capitalize on opportunities, elevate guest experiences and solidify our reputation as exceptional destinations where memories are made,” John James said.

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Dominique Dawes

Ocean Casino Resort to Open Olympics-themed Medal Bar

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Ocean Casino Resort announced the opening of Medal Bar: The Summer Games Pop Up Experience, located at 1927 Lounge on the casino floor across from The Gallery. Medal Bar’s opening ceremony will take place on Friday, June 28 hosted by Gold Medal Winning Gymnast, and member of Team USA’s Magnificent Seven, Dominique Dawes.

“We are so excited to embrace this celebratory global event as only Ocean can. From specialty themed cocktails and décor to iconic athletes and gaming activations; Medal Bar will be a must-see destination for our guests this summer,” Kelly Burke, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Ocean Casino Resort, said.

Located at 1927 Lounge, Medal Bar will offer an international flair with Americana spirit and a nod to the host country (Paris). Social moments and nostalgia will abound throughout the venue where guests can go for the gold in a myriad of ways including sipping worldly drinks and flights, playing games, cheering on their favorite athlete, and more. The festivities kick off on Friday, June 28 with an appearance by Olympic Gold Medal Winning Gymnast Dominique Dawes and will extend through Labor Day Weekend. Normal operating hours will be Thursday and Friday, 5 pm to 12 am, Saturday, 3 pm to 1 am and Sunday, 5 pm to 12 am. Medal Bar will be open daily from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, August 11 showcasing all of the thrilling events and competitions.

Guests can also celebrate the start of summer with the 3rd annual North Beach Fireworks Spectacular on Friday, June 28 at 9:30 pm. The demonstration, in partnership with Fireworks by Grucci, will showcase a dazzling ocean-front fireworks display presented by North Beach Atlantic City with several viewing locations including The Park and the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. The event will be open to the public.

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idPair Inc

National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP) to Begin Free Self-Exclusion Assistance in Four US Jurisdictions

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idPair Inc., an award-winning provider of safer gambling technology, announced the upcoming launch of free self-exclusion assistance in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee this August, as part of the first phase of the National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP). Where states require a notarized form, a free remote online notary will be provided through the NVSEP platform to remove any cost for individuals. Importantly, there will be no changes to the respective state programs or how operators receive and process the self-exclusion information as part of this initiative.

Depending on the state, self-exclusion options will be available for casinos, online sports betting, online casino, online poker, fantasy sports, and/or horseracing. Each jurisdiction has its own unique gambling landscape, and individuals seeking to self-exclude are encouraged to visit www.NVSEP.com/jurisdictions to learn more, including which products and properties have a supported option.

Jonathan Aiwazian, CEO of idPair, said: “For the first time ever, individuals seeking a wider level of protection can self-exclude from multiple states in a streamlined fashion. While today we announce our ability to provide free assistance with self-exclusion in each of these 4 states, more jurisdictions are on the way, as we accelerate toward our goal of removing barriers for people seeking protection across all gambling jurisdictions and products.”

With future phases of NVSEP planning a deeper level of integration and potential to directly connect with the Player Account Management (PAM) systems of gambling operators, gambling regulators can one day ensure that voluntary self-exclusions are instantaneously processed, providing immediate protection for those who opt-in to the program, a major leap in efficiency to the current processing times in some existing programs.

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NVSEP’s announcement of assisting consumers with Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee self-exclusions is the first step in a broader effort to expand responsible gambling measures nationwide.

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