Compliance, Regulation and Fintech Partnerships

by James Lephew, Compliance Officer & MLRO, Esports Entertainment Group

The world of financial crime has dramatically changed in the past year. Following a global pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and overall global instability, Compliance Officers and Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) need to consider some of the below major changes that are coming from supervisory agencies and national governments, which include enhanced regulations and guidance, to support anti-money laundering / countering funding of terrorism (AML/CFT) programs in this lucrative environment.

Sanctions Compliance

On the 21st February 2022, The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the division within the U.S. Treasury responsible with enforcing economic and trade sanctions against countries and individuals, expanded the prohibition of certain transactions with respect to continued Russian efforts to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, following Executive Order 14065 issued by U.S. President Joseph R. Biden. As such, OFAC sanctions compliance is now front and center stage in the financial crime world. Compliance Officers and MLROs should consider investing, or upgrading, in sanctions screening software and scanning logic to ensure that no transactions are being carried out by your business with any individuals, or companies mentioned on the OFAC sanctions lists. Otherwise, companies could face severe violations, regulatory repercussions, and reputational damage.  

New European-wide AML/CFT regulator

On July 21st, 2021, the European Commission proposed some major changes to AML/CFT legislation, which include the establishment of the new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). This authority will have direct supervision powers over illicit finance across the EU member states, and will even be able to impose fines not exceeding 10 percent of annual turnover or 10 million euros, whichever is higher. AMLA is expected to be established in the year 2023 and operational by 2024. A new European-wide rule book based on technical standards and harmonized rules that include more criteria on customer due diligence (CDD), beneficial ownership, and the powers of financial intelligence units (FIUs) should be expected. Additionally, information and data collection on crypto assets will be enhanced as well.

Partnerships with fintechs and payment service providers

Fintech companies and third-party payment processors that specialize in digital payment methods are increasing in demand, while providing alternative opportunities to more conservative, traditional financial institutions, to conduct transactions. These companies are attractive because they specialize in developing innovative technologies that can help companies better manage their financial operations, use multiple digital currencies, and employ specialized software and algorithms to automate transactions. If your company establishes partnerships with these types of firms, be sure to update your company’s business risk assessment (BRA), review your internal controls, and carry out the necessary due diligence procedures in order to ensure they comply with the relevant AML/CFT regulations.

Ultimately, the goal of any AML/CFT program should be to promote the detection and prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and expansion of human trafficking. By considering the above, practitioners will be better prepared to take up the fight against illicit finance during this time of uncertainty.

EEG HR: How To Create A Sense Of Purpose At Work

Find the purpose of work by creating purpose in your work – (read that again).

Many of us feel we have a purpose in life, even if we’re not sure exactly what it is. These last 2 years going through a pandemic has inspired many people to reflect on what’s truly important to them. Finding your purpose in work is not easy and often, it is a process of discovery, like most things it requires time.

You can find the meaning or purpose of any job when you change your way of looking at it. To find the purpose of your work, focus on the three elements of purpose:

1.Feeling connected to something bigger than yourself

2.Knowing your work matters

3.Understanding how your work affects other people

We spend a lot of time on the job more than with our families or doing things we love. So it’s unsurprising that most people aspire to more meaningful and satisfying work. After all, if you’re giving so much of your life and energy to something, it makes sense that you would want to enjoy it. Employees are more satisfied with their jobs when they feel they are meaningful and empowered and higher levels of job satisfaction incentivize people to work longer hours and take fewer sick days. This results in productivity gains. Having a sense of purpose at work benefits both the employee and the organization however many people aren’t sure what they’re passionate about and discover their passion, through the process of immersing in their work. As you learn more about an industry and get involved in specific problems and customers, it can pique your curiosity and ignite passion.

But why are meaning and purpose so important to human beings?

Research has shown that we are hard-wired to connect on a collective level because our ancestors depended on one another to survive. Throughout most of human history, rejection by the group was similar to a death sentence. But just because today you can order anything online rather than seeking help from others doesn’t mean you no longer need a tribe.

This intrinsic need to connect with something bigger than ourselves drives us to look for a sense of purpose or a way to contribute to the greater good. Serving people and making a difference makes us feel connected to others. This gives a sense of meaning and purpose to our lives in a way that material rewards can’t.

It is also important for leaders to encourage employees to create their own purpose at work and create a work environment that encourages team members to regularly submit suggestions and initiatives that are in line with both the individual and organizational purpose. At EEG we lead in this way and believe in investing in our people.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

President of iGaming Michael Wilson talks proprietary technology, online gaming with Yogonet

The online gaming boom has resulted not only in a massive influx of players to the growing space, but also increased competitivity for companies operating within the sector. Additionally, with iGaming at a constant change, leveraging new technologies and novelties becomes a must, with all stakeholders needing to adapt their offering to the ever-changing landscape.

In conversation with YogonetEsports Entertainment Group‘s Michael Wilson, President of iGaming, discusses these topics and the importance of proprietary tech and a solid product and content offering. Additionally, the executive talks about the latest developments for the esports betting giant’s online gaming vertical, opportunities in the US and abroad, and synergies with other areas of the company.

To read the full interview, click here.

Three ways MLB, NHL and other leagues can score with Gen Z

by Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group

LeBron “Bronny” James Jr.’s signing with the NBA G League has been covered extensively, but it’s his other recent agreement that could have larger and more lasting implications. Bronny is taking his talents — and his 600,000 Twitch followers — to FaZe Clan. This is a wake-up call for leagues that are continuing to lose interest from the viewers that have the greatest growth potential: Gen Z. With data showing younger generations are more drawn to Twitch streaming and other online entertainment, below are three ways teams and their leagues can reach these potential fans.

Partner with Established Esports Companies

Professional teams and leagues will need to adopt stronger programs with esports partners to promote their brands and players outside of the traditional sports market. In 2018, only 38% of children ages 6-12 played team sports on a regular basis, down from 45% in 2008, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. 

If teens are on the virtual field instead of the baseball field, so too should major league teams. By joining with established esports companies, including tournament operators and broadcasters, these teams will be able to significantly expand their Gen Z audience. The time to act is now, as brands such as Adidas, Louis Vuitton and BMW are also looking to join the video game and esports space to reach a younger audience.  

Host Esports Tournaments

Recognizing the explosive growth of the gaming industry, some traditional sports teams have started hosting esports tournaments. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and New York Rangers have taken the first steps by partnering with companies such as Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) on innovative league and tournament sponsorships.

The integration of team-sponsored tournaments and rewards across esports and traditional sports can also lead to an integration of fandom, promoting both the video game and the games taking place in the stadium. This coordination creates a circle of fans who appreciate both. 

Encourage Star Players to Participate in Esports

There are more than 3.24 billion gamers overall — about 40% of the world’s population. Teams will need to follow the example of players like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Karl Anthony-Towns and how they’ve capitalized on their growing popularity in the social media gaming market, instead of discouraging their athletes from taking part in tournaments, Twitch streaming, and other online events. 

To encourage more professional athletes to participate in esports, teams should be actively partnering with esports organizations to enhance their athletes’ exposure to the industry, as well as creating programs that promote their own players’ brands within the video game industry. For many years, popular sports athletes have been separate from their video game personas, but now is the time for players — and in turn the teams themselves — to get on board with capitalizing on the success of those games and their popularity. 

With Gen Z and succeeding generations likely to continue opting to play in Fortnite, Madden, and other esports leagues over recreational soccer, baseball and other sports, teams will continually need to adapt and grow in this area to gain a significant foothold. Partnering with esports companies that have the knowledge and experience to help them get there is key.    

EEG Set for East Coast Gaming Congress & NextGen Gaming Forum

Atlantic City Press

The East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum is organized and produced by Cooper Levenson, Spectrum Gaming Group, Sports Illustrated Sportsbook and Esports Entertainment Group.

Of all the sports-betting models that have been developed in recent years, which are most effective in meeting the goals of both states and operators? A panel of experts from the public and private sectors will address that question as the 25th annual East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum convenes Sept. 21 to 23 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

As sports betting is now legal and active in 31 U.S. jurisdictions, no two states offer precisely the same sports betting model, organizers said in a news release. From an online-only model to one offering tax rates that are four to five times higher than others, states have charted their own paths as they maximize results. 

Esports Entertainment Group CEO Grant Johnson will be on hand to speak on one of the panels. To read more about the event, click here.

Esports Entertainment Group CEO Grant Johnson to Speak at Next World Forum – Gaming & Esports Unleashed in Riyadh

Event hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation to focus on new opportunities in gaming and esports

Hoboken, New Jersey–(Newsfile Corp. – August 31, 2022) – Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) (NASDAQ: GMBLW) (“EEG”) today announced CEO, Grant Johnson, will speak at Next World Forum – Gaming & Esports Unleashed hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 7-8.

The event will focus on the fast-growing and dynamic gaming and esports sectors, and how they are combining to offer new opportunities for companies and governments around the world.

“Esports Entertainment Group understands that video games can be experienced globally in a way traditional sports cannot,” said Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “This forum in Saudi Arabia is an example of how online gaming has a global reach allowing people to connect and compete in ways they wouldn’t have been able to before. I am excited to speak at the Next World Forum and represent Esports Entertainment Group and help advance the understanding and appreciation for the enormous potential of our industry.”

The forum will feature a series of activations, bilateral meetings, and panels addressing ideas to fast-track the gaming and esports sectors for growth through investments and strategic collaborations. Additional speakers include H.R.H Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, Chairman of the Board Directors, Saudi Esports Federation and Chester King, CEO, British Sports & Vice-President, Global Esports Federation.

In addition, Mr. Johnson will also be speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC) taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, on September 23. ECGC will bring together leading industry experts to provide attendees with valuable insights about this evolving industry, as well as provide unique opportunities for networking and professional development. The conference is made possible by Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law, Spectrum Gaming Group, Esports Entertainment Group, and Sports Illustrated Sportsbook.

About Esports Entertainment Group
Esports Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: GMBL) (EEG) is a full-service esports and online betting company. EEG focuses on three verticals: Games, iGaming, and Technology. EEG Games provides a wide array of services and infrastructure for businesses to engage esports and gaming communities around the world including Esports Gaming League (EGL), which hosts a community of more than 350,000 gamers on its proprietary tournament platform EGL.tv. EEG iGaming includes a number of award-winning brands covering traditional online sports book wagering needs as well as a multinational casino operator. EEG Technology builds next-generation platforms, features, and services for Millennials, Gen Z consumers, and brands looking to connect with these demographics. EEG has offices in New Jersey, the UK and Malta. For more information, visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com.

CEO Grant Johnson discusses the Rise of Esports with Tiicker

by Raleigh Mumford, Tiicker

Fans didn’t gather around their screens in record numbers for the Super Bowl, World Series or even soccer’s World Cup. These fans were watching the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Final, a battle between elite computer gamers. It was the largest viewership ever for an eSports event.

If you are over a certain age, you might not know eSports exist and you’ve probably never heard of games like League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch or Madden NFL – all games currently popular with eSports enthusiasts. eSports is a broad term that includes everything related to the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Its popularity is exploding, and viewership is reaching numbers that rival major mainstream sporting events. To put its popularity into perspective, about 12 million people watched baseball’s World Series, 112.3 million watched Super Bowl LVI and 1.12 billion watched soccer’s World Cup final in 2018.

“The stats are showing 61% of Gen Zers prefer (digital) gaming over traditional sports,” said Grant Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Esports Entertainment Group (Tii:GMBL). “While they are still young and as they move through their journey – going to university and graduating – and as they start getting jobs and spending, they are going to be spending their recreational dollars on (eSports and computer gaming) and it’s going to have a major impact.”

To read the entire story, click here.

SportNation Honored for Best UK Football Odds at Bookmaker Awards by Better Collective

Esports Entertainment Group’s betting site named top iGaming operator ahead of Premier League season launch

Hoboken, New Jersey, August 9, 2022 – Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) (NASDAQ: GMBLW) (“EEG” or the “Company”) announced today that its iGaming platform SportNation was recognized for having the best UK football odds at the 2022 Bookmaker Awards.

“We are proud of our team at SportNation for being named a top iGaming operator by Better Collective,” said Michael Wilson, President of iGaming at Esports Entertainment Group. “We have an exceptional trading team that are worthy recipients of this recognition, given the constant passion, innovation and variety of markets they create and that our customers continue to enjoy. We take great pride in our product and with the start of the 2022-23 Premier League season, along with the World Cup approaching, we’ll continue rewarding all bets as well as offering exciting promotions and boosts around key global sporting events.”

SportNation offers a full online sports wagering and iGaming product to customers in the UK and Ireland.  

“Esports Entertainment Group’s iGaming division continues to showcase what sets us apart from our competitors,” said Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “The expert trading teams at SportNation and our other betting platforms including Bethard, Lucky Dino, and Vie.bet are proven to offer customers the best odds in the industry.”

Better Collective’s annual Bookmaker Awards honor the top bookmakers in up to 10 categories in four markets: Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and the UK. The awards are unique in the industry as they use data from bettors to understand what they consider important when choosing a bookmaker.

About Esports Entertainment Group

Esports Entertainment Group is a full stack esports and online gambling company fueled by the growth of video-gaming and the ascendance of esports with new generations. Our mission is to help connect the world at large with the future of sports entertainment in unique and enriching ways that bring fans and gamers together. Esports Entertainment Group and its affiliates are well-poised to help fans and players to stay connected and involved with their favorite esports. From traditional sports partnerships with professional NFL/NHL/NBA/MLS teams, community-focused tournaments in a wide range of esports, and boots-on-the-ground LAN cafes, EEG has influence over the full-spectrum of esports and gaming at all levels. The Company maintains offices in New Jersey, the UK and Malta. For more information visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com.

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