Strange: Swedish FinTech Giant Klarna Expanded Into The Illegal Online Casinos Segment!

Klarna facilitates illegal casinos with its payment services
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Swedish buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) pioneer Klarna recently announced its first profitable quarter with an impressive increase in transactions. Apparently, a significant part of the processed payment volume comes from the gaming industry. Through Sofort.com, the Klarna Group is a payment processor for many illegally operating online casinos and gambling providers, according to the results of our research.

In recent weeks, we have reviewed many online casinos and gambling operators operating without a recognizable license in the EU. Many of them, such as Casino Infinity, PlayZilla, myEmpire, Neon54, SpinFever, Zetcasino, or GreatWin, use Sofort.com from the Klarna Group to process deposits from customers via bank transfer. The list of online casinos and gambling operators facilitated by Klarna fills many lines in our Excel.

Klarna facilitates illegally operating online casinos

Deposits of €5,000 per transaction were also possible via Klarna without any KYC check. It would, therefore, be possible to deposit large sums over several transactions without establishing the player’s identity or address. A perfect gateway for money laundering.

Many of the casinos we examined are part of the Rabidi N.V. group with Estolio Limited, registered in Cyprus (OpenCorporates), as the payment agent receiving the gamblers’ deposits. Evidently, this Cyprus entity is a registered merchant with Klarna. Many of these online casinos and gambling sites operate with licenses from Curacao, but the authorities do not recognize these in many EEA states. These sites are explicitly aimed at players in Germany, Austria, or Norway, where these offshore licenses are not recognized.

In the terms and conditions of many of these offshore licensed or non-licensed operators that the players must accept, the reference to the legal entities is either missing or so hidden that it cannot be found. The question arises as to why Klarna is now also focusing on the illegal gambling sector. Apparently, this is a good market without credit losses, as is the case in the BNPL segment.

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If you have any information about Klarna and its activities, please let us know via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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