Evolution Cleared of Wrongdoing in NJDGE ‘Black Market’ Investigation

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has cleared Evolution (Evolution AB (publ) 7,01 -3,31%) of wrongdoing in an investigation into possible regulatory misconduct. On Tuesday, the Sweden-based business-to-business gaming technology giant announced that the NJDGE closed its investigation into the allegations after taking “no further action.”

In the release, Evolution shared that NJDGE investigators found no evidence of impropriety.

The New Jersey DGE found no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the New Jersey DGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction.

Additionally, the company reported it had voluntarily enhanced its already “sufficient” processes.

Evolution also conducted an internal review, while concluding that its due diligence and compliance processes were sufficient, Evolution took the opportunity to enhance its processes. The NJDGE supports the enhancements that Evolution has made. The enhancements did not relate to any jurisdictional violations.

Investigation Ends with ‘No Further Action’

NJDGE’s investigation into Evolution’s business practices stemmed from a 2021 complaint that claimed Evolution benefitted from black market operations. Specifically, the document alleged Evolution allowed its B2B customers to offer company products in countries under US sanctions, including Iraq, Syria, and Sudan.

As previously reported, NJ-based law firm Calcagni & Kanefsky (C&K) filed the complaint on behalf of an anonymous US-based interest group. Further, the firm, specializing in white-collar crime, alleged its investigators had accessed Evolution’s content in sanctioned countries.

At the time of the accusations, Evolution denied lending its services to operators in sanctioned countries. Further, the company’s lawyers suggested the anonymous investigators employed “sophisticated technical manipulation” to access Evolution’s product from unsanctioned regions.

In a statement provided to Online Poker Report (OPR) in 2021, Evolution claimed strict adherence to “all applicable laws and regulations.”

[OPR, now defunct, was a Catena Media publication, like Bonus.]

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 licensed and certified games to licensed operators and aggregators. It is the operator that decides which markets to market themselves, that handle the KYC process and finally decide what players to accept.

The closure of the NJDGE’s “thorough investigation into the allegations” signals the enforcement office agreed.

Bonus contracted Calcagni & Kanefsky for this story without an immediate response. Evolution and the NJDGE declined further comment.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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