Sweden-based online gambling company Evolution AB got in contact with the New Jersey regulatory bodies and initiated an internal investigation after a market rival alleged that the company was offering its services to consumers in banned countries.
When on a conference call with investors in the middle of the week, Martin Carlesund, CEO of Evolution AB, explained that the company was proactive and got in contact with state regulators. He also confirmed that Evolution initiated the internal review in order to make sure that it is able to swiftly respond to any questions that might occur. An official statement was also issued by the online gambling giant.
Mr. Carlesund also noted that the online gambling giant sells its products only to licensed casino operators. He further shared that the company does not handle customers’ money in any way, as it is the operator who is responsible to comply with the regulation in a specific country and the regulation of their own license.
The aforementioned conference call was held by Evolution AB in response to a letter sent by attorney Ralph Marra to New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement on November 12th. Allegedly, the gambling operator allows its products to be distributed to countries that are subject to US sanctions or currently outlaw online gambling. As revealed by people with knowledge of the matter, the letter was based on research carried out by private investigators who were hired by a US competitor of Evolution that remained unnamed.
Evolution Claims Questionable Methods and Manipulation Used by Unnamed Competitor
Evolution AB is currently a leader in the provision of so-called live dealer games. It sends live feeds of dealers in TV studios to reach players who pay with real money to play the games over the Internet.
According to the CEO of the Swedish online gambling giant, the people responsible for sending the letter used an Internet address from a non-banned country to gain access to the gaming lobby of Evolution AB and then stage things in a way to make it seem that the company was doing business from markets that are currently subject to US sanctions. Mr. Carlesund explained that the company has special tools to block play from certain countries. Furthermore, he described the methods used by the above-mentioned private investigators as “very questionable” and added he would have not made any conclusions about Evolution’s culture based on the manipulated report.
These claims, however, were disputed by a spokesperson for the private investigators who carried out the research, saying there was evidence showing the full process of accessing websites, playing Evolution games and making withdrawals without any use of any technical manipulation. The people who tested the accessibility of the games were located in France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Hong Kong and Iran.
In the letter to the regulatory bodies in New Jersey, attorney Marra also shared that a current executive of Evolution AB told private investigators that the operator actually offers its services in countries that are facing US sanctions, including Syria, Iran and Sudan.
For the time being, a spokesman for the gaming enforcement division of the state of New Jersey refused to make comments on the situation.