|Fried: “It’s a pilot project with a strict monitoring, the system stops after an hour and checks are carried out on the age of players, it is also certified by Cermet”.|
(Malta, 8 June 2004)
It’s about gaming and business, but especially security and protection for players. WorldMatch presents the first licensed online gaming system, fully authorised by a member country of the European Union. It’s a totally innovative business model in terms of simplicity, reliability and guarantees.
The official presentation took place Tuesday, 8 June, during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Malta with Alessandro Fried, President of WorldMatch, Tonio Fenech, the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, and Joe Zammit Maempel, President of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta.
“WorldMatch is a pilot project – said Mr. Fried – it’s been conceived by experts and it’s supported by Italian stakeholders, who decided to support a creative idea in the online gaming sector, but with a strict monitoring”.
The online gaming sector is expanding significantly; however, it still gives rise to many doubts and perplexity, especially as for transparency, and legal guarantees of the gaming system. A further negative impact is produced by the questionable conduct of many companies, based in the so called “fiscal heavens”, which avoid all sorts of legal control.
The turning point has been recently marked by the Republic of Malta, which passed a new regulation, introducing, with a legislative decree, a licence system for online gaming operators, with a strict monitoring and guarantees to protect users. “WorldMatch firmly believes that creating and managing a casino means shouldering moral responsibilities – said Mr. Fried – the choice fell on Malta, from the 1° May member country of the EU; it’s a country offering guarantees of reliability and political stability with a very strict regulation, making checks on players compulsory, restrictions on games and anti-moneylaundering control”.
WorldMatch start-up investment amounts to over 2 million euro. The financial support was granted by the Compagnia fiduciaria, based in Genoa, a group of Italian saving investors.
ONLINE GAMING, BUSINESS ON THE RISE. Gaming services have become popular through Internet and will have a significant drive at international level.
Studies by Datamonitor show that the number of players at international level is expected to grow, from 5 million in 2000 to over 15 million in 2005, with a turnover exceeding 30 billion euro.
In Europe and in the United States, there is a well-established tradition of regulated gaming in the traditional land-based casinos, which offer many opportunities; by introducing online gaming, a wider users base may be obtained as compared to the past. According to current forecasts, in the European Union, Great Britain ranks first with an expected turnover of 840 million euro in 2005, followed by France with 640 million euro, Germany with 540 million euro, Italy with 500 million euro, and Spain with 300 million euro.
WORLDMATCH PROJECT. In such a big and expanding market, those choosing WorldMatch are protected by many security systems. The project aims at providing a certified online gaming system through testimonials. “WorldMatch – said Mr. Fried – does not provide its own casino in the market, but it provides its services through testimonials, that is companies with well-known brands, such as tour operators, sports companies, internet portals, cruise lines, which have conquered the trust of their customers and, together with WorldMatch, decide to offer an alternative form of entertainment to their customers”. And WorldMatch provides its testimonials with the guarantee of absolute security. “One of the aspect to which much attention was devoted during the planning process – explained mr. Fried – was security through special setting in the system and through monitoring devices on access and firewalling”.
In compliance with the new regulation, a tight control will be imposed on users under the age of 18. During the registration process, potential users are required to insert data of valid ID’s, and therefore checks are carried out to prevent people under 18 to play with real money. WM games comply with the Maltese regulation and are set so that online gaming is a time of pure leisure. High payouts for players are guaranteed, and measures are implemented to prevent players from betting high sums of money. WorldMatch casinos comply with the strict regulation of Malta, also on game rules: the timer is always on during the game, the system stops after an hour of gaming with real money, monitoring on players to avoid players losing high sums. A section of the site is devoted to the information on risk of pathological addiction and lists the links to help associations.
WorldMatch imposes very precise restrictions. “Players may decided to set their own limits, by setting betting limits, and we are called upon to respect their decisions and heed them immediately – underlined Mr. Fried – whereas, the limits may be eliminated or raised only after seven days, therefore players are prevented from taking decisions on the spur of the moment, while betting”.
WorldMatch has decided to have all games certified by Cermet, one of the leading independent certification companies in Italy, with state shareholding and the participation of consumers’ associations, thus ensuring independence and reliability that companies expect and that find it difficult to find.
Thanks to the guarantees offered by WorldMatch, over 180 testimonials with well-known brands are negotiating contracts. Important partners are subscribing agreements and, by the end of June, 7 testimonials will start the business. Over the next two years, WorldMatch expects a turnover of 200 million euro.