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SVL Testing Mobile Betting App, As BGLC Tackles Online Gaming Regulations

Douglas Halsall, the CEO of Advanced Integrated Systems Limited, disclosed that Supreme Ventures Limited has chosen his company as the technology partner for its mobile betting app, using its Quisk platform.

The lottery and gaming company confirmed that it had made progress on the project, but said it would await the results of tests that are now under way before going public with the details.

Supreme Ventures offers lottery games, sports betting and, more recently, horse racing as new owner of the Caymanas Park track. The current tests of the betting app is being done with its sports betting product, JustBet, the lottery and gaming company said on Wednesday.

Halsall said that through Quisk his company had developed a methodology for online mobile betting or gaming, for which the patent was pending, with SVL as its first subscriber.

"SVL is about to launch their mobile betting app using Quisk. This is expected to disrupt the market and encourage other players to follow. All the major gaming lounges have shown keen interest in our methodology ...," he said.

The technology, however, appears to be running ahead of the authorities, who are yet to promulgate legislation to deal with online gaming.

However, Vitus Evans, executive director of the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission, the BGLC, now says that regulations related to online/ interactive gaming will be included in the legislation to merge Jamaica's three gaming regulators - the BGLC, Jamaica Racing Commission and the Casino Gaming Commission.

"The drafting instructions for this legislation are currently being prepared by the merger committee," Evans told the Financial Gleaner via email.

In the interim, he noted, "current regulations allow for bookmakers to apply for a licence to offer online/interactive gaming within specific guidelines. Up to this time, the BGLC has approved two bookmakers to offer interactive gaming". He did not name the bookmakers.

Evans also told the Financial Gleaner that while the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, is responsible for regulating mobile money and epayment systems, the central bank's oversight did not extend to online gaming in the mobile space.

"This is the remit of the BGLC. However, the commission will accept any payment method approved by BOJ," he said.

Jamaica's gaming and betting market is a multibillion sector. SVL, as the largest operator, took in $56 billion in annual revenue in 2017. At last report, industry revenue topped $135 billion in fiscal 2016, while $5.7 billion flowed to the Government.

Halsall sees an opportunity to grow those numbers, by essentially making it easier for persons to place multiple bets.

"The Quisk account will provide an easier and safer payment stream for betting and payout. Since the Quisk method will credit winnings immediately to the punters account, this churn will be accessible for further betting in the course of the day. This, in and of itself, will facilitate increased betting," he said.

Halsall is anxious for movement on regulations for online gaming, saying it would create more certainty and more peace of mind for the banking sector, which is nervous about money-laundering risk and needs to adhere to 'know your customer', or KYC, rules.

He said Supreme Ventures took those issues into account for its betting service.

"SVL has adopted mobile money, which provides an automatic audit trail for each bet and returns the role of KYC and source of funds monitoring to the banks," the technology provider said.


Published:Friday | May 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM