Curaçao-based Blaze.com has refuted allegations of wrongdoing and welcomed investigations initiated by Curaçao’s finance minister Javier Silvania.
Yesterday (19 June), Silvania requested that Curaçao authorities investigate reported abuses at Prolific Trade NV, a company based in Curaçao that operates the website Blaze.com. The management of Blaze.com is reportedly carried out by trust service provider Emoore NV.
Blaze has come under increased scrutiny in Brazil due to media allegations of money laundering, fraudulent practices targeting customers, and the misappropriation of funds for influencers involved in promoting the online casino.
These allegations primarily stem from the videos of Brazilian investigator and YouTuber Daniel Penin.
In response, Emoore expressed confidence in and welcomed the investigations.
The company stated: “The alleged complaints originate from an influencer who has made accusations on his YouTube channel without any foundation or factual basis.”
Emoore also emphasised that they have not received any complaints from Brazilian authorities.
Additionally, Emoore stated that throughout its 17-year history, the firm has consistently adhered to the supervisory regulations set by the Curaçao Central Bank and maintained the highest standards.
The company highlighted that its employees undergo regular compliance and trust-specific training.
Furthermore, Emoore stressed that Blaze.com is a respected online gambling provider and that Prolific Trade NV operates in compliance with all relevant regulations in Curaçao.
In a separate statement spanning nine pages, Blaze.com addressed several speculations and allegations made on social media about the way it operates.
“Our gaming platform complies with all regulations related to online gaming,” Blaze.com said.
“This includes ensuring that players are of legal age, that games are fair and not rigged in any way, and that measures are in place to protect against money laundering and other fraudulent activities.
“Additionally, Blaze.com is committed to responsible gaming practices.”
The company also clarified that it does not pay any form of commission or revenue share to influencers for any losses incurred by users they have referred to the platform, and instead compensates them with a fixed fee.
Moreover, Blaze.com said it does not prevent customers from withdrawing their funds.
The company highlighted that customer withdrawals may be subject to review to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and prevent fraud. Delayed withdrawals may occur if suspicious activity is detected.
Additionally, Blaze.com said it is committed to conducting business in an open, transparent and legal manner, after the question of shell companies and a potential presence in the US came up.
“We would like to clarify that we do not utilise any shell companies in our operations. The use of shell companies often implies a level of secrecy or an attempt to obscure true business dealings, and this is not aligned with Blaze.com’s values or business practices,” the company said.
“Furthermore, at the time of this response, Blaze.com does not maintain any legal entities in Delaware or any other US state.”
Lastly, Blaze.com said it has a multi-stakeholder ownership structure, with no single owner.
While there “is no intent to be secretive about the ownership of Blaze.com”, due to current circumstances and advice from security experts, it is not “considered safe to disclose names of any individual stakeholder.”
German authorities have carried out a massive raid against MGA-licensed sports betting operator Tipster, German newspaper Bild has reported.
Over 1,000 officers from the North Rhine-Westphalia riot police and criminal investigation department searched more than 100 locations simultaneously in several German cities, as well as in Malta and Croatia.
According to Bild, the investigation is related to suspicions of illegal gambling and the formation of a criminal organisation.
The police are searching for evidence and assets related to the investigation, with six suspects in custody.
The suspects, all male and aged between 34 and 60, are part of the company’s management team.
According to chief inspector Markus Niesczery, the six main suspects were arrested in the German cities Cologne and Brühl.
In addition to the police officers, prosecutors from the Central Office for Organised Crime, customs officials, and financial investigators from North Rhine-Westphalia are also involved in the operation.
The police searched the company’s headquarters in Cologne, where they arrested one suspect and confiscated servers located in a secured vault.
The operation lasted several hours, during which authorities attempted to gain access to the servers, Bild reported.
Tipster was founded in 2010 and is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and is also on the whitelist of Germany’s GGL.
iGaming NEXT has reached out to both regulators for comment.
The investigation is ongoing and Bild reports the authorities have not yet provided any further details regarding the specific allegations against the suspects.