Alexander Stevendahl believes regulation in some European markets has gone too far and is inadvertently fuelling black market growth.
The Videoslots CEO took part in a lively discussion on regulation on the main stage at iGaming NEXT Valletta 23.
On the topic of regulation, he said that regulators in some countries seem more interested in stopping gambling altogether, rather than in making it safe for consumers.
This no-nonsense approach to enforcement has left players with no alternative but to seek out less restrictive options offshore, according to Stevendahl.
He believes that crypto casinos are the biggest winners in this scenario, especially those that do not possess a local licence but are instead regulated by jurisdictions such as Curaçao.
“The fact is that crypto casinos are exploding,” said Stevendahl, who is an active browser on online casino user forums.
He said the hottest topic on forums right now is players asking how they can access crypto casinos – even in markets such as the UK, where channelisation rates are high.
“I haven’t seen this in the UK before, but the UK in the last few weeks has been insane,” he added. “People had been playing on the black markets, but now it’s just exploding.”
Stevendahl said players were using VPNs and creating fake profiles with other people’s documents to circumvent KYC rules and play outside of the regulated market.
“I really think it is a big challenge and it will be hard to stop,” he said. “Right now, we are on a really bad path.”
As well as the UK, Stevendahl pointed to Germany, where the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has sounded the alarm over the black market already this year.
In February, the DSWV conducted a market study and discovered a 65% increase in active illegal gambling and sports betting offers compared to the previous year, for example.
When asked if regulators were to blame for the current situation, Stevendahl said that “everyone involved” was behind the problem. He believes the demands placed on regulated operators are too high, which incentivises the industry to go grey in some areas.
Finally, Stevendahl said the marketing activity of the world’s biggest crypto casinos gives them an air of acceptability and drives trust, regardless of whether they are locally regulated.
“I also have a problem with the sponsorships of the crypto casinos,” he said. “If you look at the Argentina national team, they are sponsored by BC.GAME. They have Messi on their homepage which brings acceptance.
“Stake.com, which is both regulated and unregulated, sponsors these massive teams so people go out looking for them. Even at this conference, if we look around, it is mostly crypto,” he added.
Casino operator Videoslots has promoted from within and named Matthew Muscat as its new chief financial officer.
Muscat has been with the company for almost four years, starting as head of finance and rising through the ranks to become finance director in 2021 before taking on his new role.
During his time with the company, he has helped develop processes and oversee the finance function as the business has grown and faced new regulations, licences and products.
Ulle Skottling, Videoslots deputy CEO, said: “Matthew has been a huge asset to the finance team at Videoslots and his dedication made him a stand-out candidate for the role of CFO.
“With him at the helm we have someone who has the company’s best interests at heart. We look forward to watching this area of the business develop and grow in the coming months.”
Videoslots’ deputy CEO Ulle Skottling: “Matthew has been a huge asset to the finance team at Videoslots and his dedication made him a stand-out candidate for the role of CFO.”
Prior to joining Videoslots, Muscat was the senior finance manager at Bethard Group for three years.
He has extensive experience in accounting and auditing, having held roles at CommBank Europe and KPMG Malta.
Muscat said: “Having been at the company for almost four years, I am indebted to the trust shown in me to become Videoslots’ new CFO. I am delighted for this opportunity to keep driving the company as a financial success.
“The finance team here is a hugely important part of how the company operates and my job will be to ensure that we make things as smooth as possible for all our partners and customers,” he added.
Videoslots was founded in 2011 by CEO Alexander Stevendahl. The company holds licences in Malta, the UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden and operates the flagship Videoslots.com site.
Malta-based casino operator Videoslots has made a new senior hire and appointed Eamonn Faulkner as COO.
Faulkner will utilise nearly two decades of experience in the gaming industry to boost Videoslots’ operational excellence.
He previously worked for Paddy Power Betfair, Matchbook Betting Exchange and DraftKings’ sportsbook supplier SBTech across roles including operations director, head of sportsbook B2C and as a sports betting consultant.
Having previously been based in Dublin, Ireland, he arrives at Videoslots from B2B sports betting platform provider start-up First International Media.
Commenting on Faulkner’s appointment, Ulle Skottling, Videoslots’ deputy CEO, said: “Eamonn’s dedication to delivering successful working relationships at all levels makes him the perfect addition to the Videoslots team.
“His enthusiasm for the role is clear to see and we are delighted to give him the opportunity to truly shine.”
Faulkner added: “Every career milestone I have passed thus far has led me to Videoslots, and I am thrilled to be here.
“My strengths lie in achieving high impact customer and commercial outcomes, and a dynamic company such as this offers the perfect environment to develop my skills further.”
Videoslots was founded in 2011 by Alexander Stevendahl, who is the current CEO.
The operator’s flagship Videoslots.com site is owned by Malta-based parent company Videoslots Ltd, which holds licences in Malta, the UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Sweden.