Like many sectors, sports betting has seen digitalisation accelerate as it seeks to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19, with digital currency taking on an elevated importance.
Glen Bullen, CCO at DAOGroup, spoke to PaymentExpert on why offering crypto as a sports betting operator is no longer a niche and why it can boost AML and compliance protocols.
Payment Expert: Firstly, can you tell us more about DAOGroup and what you do?
Glen Bullen: DAOGroup is an organisation dedicated to transforming the iGaming industry’s understanding and use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Our flagship product is DAOWallet, which is an advanced cryptocurrency-fiat gateway that enables operators to offer third-party cryptocurrency transactions.
Beyond payment solutions, DAOGroup has ambitious plans to establish itself as the industry’s leading turnkey provider of cryptocurrency and blockchain-based solutions. We’re currently working on some great new products, including our own blockchain-based platform and a complementary suite of games.
As Chief Commercial Officer, I’m responsible for managing the sales and marketing teams around the wallet and these new products, as well as driving all commercial activities and deliverables. It is an exciting time.
PaymentExpert: As sports betting returns and potentially becomes even more digitalised, what role can crypto payments play in attracting a new market?
Glen Bullen: I’d argue that offering customers the option to utilise cryptocurrency as a deposit and withdrawal method is no longer a niche or nice-to-have – it’s a necessity. So many people now prefer to transact that way – and that number is only going to grow as we work through the full impact on economies in post-COVID-19 society.
As sports betting returns, any operator who has not used the downtime to seriously review how to engage with new players and move into new markets will be on the back foot. Offering crypto is the key to securing many new players, who will demand it if they are to sign up, as well as better supporting existing customers in many of the most exciting emerging markets.
PaymentExpert: Can you detail some of the key obstacles in the way of more bookmakers integrating crypto payments?
Glen Bullen: There is a lot of misinformation about cryptocurrency out there. In particular, the implications of offering it to customers from a compliance and/or AML perspective are routinely misunderstood. I’m continually surprised to find operators throwing up red flags they have no need to throw, denying themselves the ability to legitimately grow their businesses.
DAOWallet simply supports operators by offering their customers another payment and withdrawal option, in this case cryptocurrency or stable coins. But our relationship to those operators is as a processing company that is no different to any other PSP they currently chose to offer. We are licensed to process cryptocurrency into fiat. So, for the operator, all transactions, from back office to bank, are in fiat. All AML is completed on both sides too and all compliance protocols are set by the operator.
For any operators who are still in any doubt, we would love to talk to them. We are a very customer-driven company and will do whatever is required to remove any concerns or meet any unique process requirements. There are lots of obvious benefits that far outweigh any potential pitfalls and we’d love to guide them through it.
PaymentExpert: How crucial can crypto betting be to engaging new markets and what markets are most engaged with digital payments?
Glen Bullen: Crypto is hugely important in many of the most important new and emerging markets, especially across LatAm, Asia and Africa. It’s also growing rapidly across European markets. So, I’d say it is very important for any operator who believes crypto is some sort of exotica to rethink their position on it. Not being able to offer crypto is an unnecessary hindrance to their ability to secure new players and enter exciting new markets. It’s that simple.
PaymentExpert: Will the implementation of the credit card ban in the UK have an impact on crypto wallets?
Glen Bullen: If it has any impact it will be a positive one. DAOWallet supports the strictest of AML and KYC protocols for our clients. But while we can track the history of the coins (which is very beneficial for the operator) we are not connected to how those coins were purchased.
For a player, DAOWallet serves three functions: first, to accept a crypto deposit; second, to facilitate the subsequent utilisation of those funds; and third, to support any subsequent withdrawal by the player. And for an operator we serve as a processing company, and are no different to any other PSP, with all of their transactions in fiat.
So, for an operator who is concerned about the impact of the credit card ban, they should definitely be looking to integrate DAOWallet in order to provide their players with an alternate – and wholly compliant – deposit method.