Evolution under fire from US law firm alleging it operated in illegal markets

By Dominic Marius-Markham

Evolution AB is facing allegations from a US law firm that it operated in illegal markets and countries currently under US sanctions, such as Iran.

As reported by Bloomberg, Ralph Marra, senior counsel at New Jersey-based legal practice Calcagni & Kanefsky, levelled the accusation in a letter to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. Evolution is licenced in New Jersey, and must comply with the state’s rules which require licence-holders to demonstrate “good character, honesty and integrity”.

In an emailed comment to Gambling Insider, the company asserted that it had done so, saying: “Evolution strictly complies with all applicable laws and regulations.”

But Marra seems to suggest otherwise. In his letter, he purports to represent private investigators, retained by a competitor of the Swedish gambling giant, who claim to have recorded themselves participating in live dealer games in Singapore and Hong Kong, where online gambling is outlawed.

In its comment to Gambling Insider, Evolution denied any responsibility, stating: “As a B2B supplier, Evolution has customer relationships with gaming operators, who in turn own the relationships with the end users.

“Evolution does not own or control any of the operators or aggregators it works with. We have no direct relationship with the underlying player and no involvement in handling of players’ money. We sell licenced and certified games to licenced operators and aggregators.”

Stockholm-based Evolution has grown considerably during Covid, specialising in live gambling. It offers video feeds of games such as blackjack and roulette which players can participate in remotely.

However, Evolution has shed approximately $3bn in market value off the back of this latest news. Overnight, the company saw its stock price plummet from SEK 1,482.8 ($167.33) at 17:00 pm CET on Tuesday 16 November to SEK 1344.4 at 12:00 pm CET on Wednesday 17 November.

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