An internal review has been initiated at Evolution AB due to the recent allegations that it operates illegally in countries on the US sanctions list, the company announced in a statement Wednesday.
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Earlier this month, a report in Bloomberg stated that private investigators hired by an unnamed competitor found out Evolution was offering its products to markets in jurisdictions that are sanctioned by the US, including Iran, Syria and Sudan and allowed play from jurisdictions where online gambling is prohibited like Singapore and Hong Kong.
A letter sent to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) by law firm Calcagni & Kanefsky LLP on behalf of the competitor highlighted the issue to the regulator in the state where legal gambling framework should demonstrate “good character, honesty and integrity.” Evolution outright denied the allegations, but markets were relentless and the NASDAQ Stockholm-listed supplier of online casino products lost $3 billion in share value.
In relation to these allegations, Evolution came out with a statement today, looking to clear its name by clarifying the fundamentals of its business model, responsibilities, and way of operating while also responding to questions sent to the company.
How Was Evolution’s Lobby Accessed?
Evolution denied that its games “are accessible directly from countries under US sanctions” without “sophisticated technical manipulation,” which was the case cited in the “anonymous and dubious report,” where “active manipulation” created “the impression that play from such countries was possible.”
The operator used was not an Evolution customer but one connected to an aggregation platform Evolution has partnered with, the casino products supplier continued, explaining that the access was gained by obtaining an IP address from a country that is accepted for play via establishing a VPN tunnel from the IP address in the blocked country.
Using the VPN-generated IP address in the legal country, a connection with the browser to Evolution’s lobby was established as the IP address managed to clear all geographical IP checks. After that, the VPN-generated IP address was terminated, leaving the session active via the original IP address in the country from the blocked list.
Evolution noted that the manipulation followed multiple unsuccessful attempts to connect directly from the original IP address in the prohibited country, concluding the whole course of action was a deliberate process aimed to “circumvent a broadly accepted and well established process to check users’ geographical location” with the sole purpose to discredit the company.
Internal Review Initiated
Evolution concluded the statement by stating its commitment to improve and carefully investigate any suspected irregularities, including in collaboration with operators to ensure security for players in compliance with their regulator frameworks.
As part of its standard procedure, Evolution underscored it “proactively reached out to the New Jersey DGE” and launched an internal review to “ensure a swift response” to any inquiries from the regulator.