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 North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from
Published: 2023-09-14

North Korean hackers made off with nearly $41 million worth of cryptocurrencies from an online casino and sports betting site this week — money officials worry will be used to bolster the country’s nuclear weapons program ahead of an expected arms deal with Russia.

The FBI announced on Wednesday it had traced the hack of back to North Korea and its state-sponsored Lazarus Group, which has stolen more than $200 million in cryptocurrencies over the past year alone.

In 2022, blockchain analytics company Chainalysis found it had stolen a whopping $3.8 billion from crypto business.

In recent years, there has been a marked size and scale of cyber-attacks against cryptocurrency-related businesses by North Korea,” blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs reported in June.  “This has coincided with an apparent acceleration in the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.”

Even more concerning for US officials is the fact that this latest exploit came just days before North Korea leader Kim Jung-Un’s expected meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, when the two world leaders are expected to iron out arms deal to help Russia in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.


North Korean Leader Kim Jung-Un meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin about an arms deal.AP



Ahead of the expected meeting, North Korean hackers stole nearly $41 million worth of cryptocurrencies from .Getty Images


The White House has previously warned that North Korea was shipping artillery shells and rockets to Russia and were set to negotiate for more arms deals. Then just last month, North Korean state media reported that Kim and Putin were exchanging letters in which they pleaded to expand “bilateral cooperation in all fields” and build a “longstanding strategic relationship in conformity with the demand of the new era.”

It is unclear what exactly Kim may offer Putin as the war in Ukraine continues, but analysts say the recent cryptocurrency hacks have given the communist country some funds it could use to build up its weapons cache.

In the most recent hack, Lazarus Group stole $16 million in Ether, as well as stable coins like USDT, USDC and DAI.

That was followed by another $25 million withdrawals of MATIC and BNB tokens. co-founder Edward Craven told it was a “sophisticated breach” that exploited a service the casino uses to authorize crypto transactions.

The company halted deposits and withdrawals following the breach, but reinstated both functions shortly thereafter, and is continuing to operate. co-founder Edward Craven told it was a “sophisticated breach” that exploited a service the casino uses to authorize crypto



Lazarus Group stole $16 million in Ether, as well as stable coins like USDT, USDC and DAI. That was followed by another $25 million withdrawals of MATIC and BNB tokens.X / @PeckShieldAlert

The FBI is now advising the public to “be vigilant in guarding against transactions directly with, or derived from, those addresses.” Meanwhile, the Biden administration is warning North Korea that it will “pay a price” if it moves forward with a deal to provide arms to Russia.

White House National Security Advisor made the remarks at a press briefing on Tuesday, when asked about reports that Kim and Putin would meet in person. “[This] is not going to reflect well on North Korea, and they will pay a price for this in the international community,” he said.

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Sportsbook operators have threatened to offer worse odds if NY can’t lower its tax rate. 

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

Last Thursday, the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States had its summer meeting in Pittsburgh. There was hope from some operators in the US that New York’s 51% sports betting tax rate would decrease. However, it was discussed at the meeting last week that New York cannot go any lower than the 51% tax rate they already have. Troy Mackey, the coordinator of the New York Assembly’s Racing & Wagering Committee, had this to say about there not being any room to change their tax rate.

New York is doing extremely well and it’s one of those things that you cannot go back now, unfortunately, to reduce the tax rate,” said Mackey. “We tried to revisit that and there was no justification, well, you couldn’t justify taking away money from education and giving it to a corporation. That is the argument we’ve been up against.”


A smaller New York sports betting tax rate was discussed



Troy Mackey said the 51% tax rate was not the original number discussed for sports betting. It was former New York governor Andrew Cuomo who wanted to replicate New Hampshire’s 51% tax rate for DraftKings in their market. Mackey noted that the state originally wanted to have a 37% tax rate for sports betting.



He felt that was a fair number for operators and the customers trying to use the product. In 2021, New York approved nine sports betting licenses. Not too far after in 2022, Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow wrote legislation that wanted to expand the market to 16 operators by 2024. Unfortunately for Addabbo and Pretlow, the legislation died without much support. If the New York sports betting market is surviving with the 51% tax rate, then there’s no need to make serious changes. Their 51% tax rate is what separates them from the rest of the market and it keeps the NY sports betting scene thriving.


Sportsbook operators have threatened to offer worse odds if NY can’t lower its tax rate


In the US sports betting scene, DraftKings and FanDuel are the two leading operators in the industry. Both companies have threatened to offer worse odds of their sportsbooks if New York cannot change their 51% tax rate. That could mean worse odds for NY bettors, fewer promotions, and fewer dollars spent on marketing deals with sports franchises in the state. This is according to DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. He had this to say in 2023 about New York’s incredibly high sports betting tax rate.


It was a different time and a different market,” said Robins. “Operators, who were understandably excited about New York opening up, were focused far more on customer acquisition in the short term and far less on what would create sustainable market over time.”

Arkansas Casino Referendum Raises $2.8M to Repeal Pope County Gaming License. 

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

The Arkansas casino referendum campaign seeking to repeal the gaming license recently issued for a project in Pope County’s Russellville reported raising $2.8 million last month.



The fight over a possible commercial casino in Arkansas’ Russellville is expected to culminate with the 2024 election. Officials with a campaign seeking to repeal the Pope County casino license believe they have enough signatures needed to place the referendum question before voters.


Local Voters in Charge submitted more than 162K signatures to Thurston’s office. The state secretary’s staff is now undergoing to tedious process of validating the signatures, which involves comparing the canvassed signature with the voter’s signature on record.


If Thurston validates a minimum of 90,705 registered voter signatures, with representation from at least 50 counties, the casino question will reach the November ballot.



If a simple majority backs the question, ARC would need to rescind the Pope gaming license allocated to Cherokee Nation Entertainment until a local referendum in the county regarding the casino is held.


The Cherokees have proposed investing $300 million to build Legends Resort & Casino in Russellville. A bid that was deemed unqualified because it did not come with a letter of support from Pope County Judge Ben Cross or a resolution of support from the Pope County Quorum Court this week filed a lawsuit on allegations that Cross and the quorum court used coercive tactics to make sure only the Cherokee plan qualified.


Cherokee Plan


The Arkansas casino referendum is just another component of the ongoing legal saga surrounding the Pope County gaming concession.


ARC recently ruled that its latest bidding round for the license fielded only one qualified bid. It came from Cherokee Nation Entertainment, a commercial entity owned by the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.


¿Divorce between Walmart & IGT? 

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

The retail firm has announced its plans to launch a dedicated app that may integrate iLottery capabilities and allow customers to purchase lottery games directly. In pursuit of this objective, the retail giant has recently had meetings with various big lottery industry players, like IGT, NeoPollard, and Scientific Games.


Walmart has also unveiled a catchy slogan, "Be in it to Win it," as seen in presentation materials from its April summit in Bentonville, Arkansas.



While the specifics of Walmart's lottery strategy remain uncertain, according to multiple sources who anonymously shared information with Lottery Geeks, the "Lottery@Walmart" initiative is in progress.


Inefficient Systems Fuel Walmart's Lottery Foray

According to sources, Walmart's motivation to enter the lottery industry is not only driven by potential profits but also by a shared frustration among retailers and vendors, including Kroger, Sheetz, and Wawa.


Experts have considered the failure of IGT and Scientific Games to address the issue as a significant oversight, given their dominance in powering state lottery systems across the US.



An inefficient disconnect exists between lottery point-of-sale (POS) systems and internal store POS systems, stemming from the unique agreements between state lotteries, lottery partners like IGT, and varying state laws and regulations. This results in separate and incompatible systems across different locations.


All of this raises a few questions regarding Walmart’s long-term strategy for lottery sales. Traditionally, the retail giant has focused on retail sales through lottery vending machines. The tag line ‘Be in it to Win it' implies that the company is looking to expand its lottery strategy into new channels and/or products. Access to sales transactions alone will not justify the ROI.


With Walmart's foray into iLottery, this move could encourage other retailers to follow suit, potentially resulting in a shift away from traditional lottery ticket sales models. This could ultimately lead to the bypassing or even displacing of IGT and other companies with direct contracts with state lotteries in the market.


Is Alberta the new gold rush for Canadian gaming? 

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

Don’t screw up what you’ve built in the past 20 years, which is a well-developed, well-penetrated market.” Is Alberta the new gold rush? “It’s always been a gold rush,but we have to do our homework.”

In light of the Alberta government’s review of potential paths towards a commercial gaming industry, and Minister Dale Nally’s declaration that the province will follow an Ontario-style open model, that question was posed to numerous experts at the past 2024 Canadian Gaming Summit.



The consensus was that the size of the opportunity is huge and the potential “tremendous.”


According to figures Alberta gaming generated over $2.9 billion last year with Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis and its Play Alberta platform as the only regulated operator. That number, is expected to soar by $1.5 billion in 2024 with commercial gaming potentially on the horizon.


Canada's race to pass Senate regulating gambling adverts continues, limited Time for Parliamentary Approval.


Critics called Alberta “one of the most penetrated gaming jurisdictions in North America.” Even though Play Alberta holds a monopoly over licensed gaming, the province’s gaming market is certainly mature. Experts at CGS noted that the province has a sizeable core of gamblers who have been betting online for years. Estimates suggest more than half of that activity is done on unregulated sites.


Ontario charts the path

One only needs to look at Ontario, to understand the potential rewards of bringing that grey-market activity under regulated oversight.


Industry consultant Troy Ross noted on a separate panel titled Alberta’s iGaming Evolution that the Ontario model has proven to work “infinitely better than we thought it would,” reaching a channelisation rate of over 80% within the first year.


If Alberta follows a very similar regime with a similar type of regulatory principles and a similar tax rate, it is going to get a similar result,” he said.


Ontario is three times the population of Alberta and home of Canada’s only MLB and NBA team. It recorded $1.5 billion in operator revenue in its second full year of operation. According to Citizens JMP Securities projections, Alberta’s forthcoming iGaming market could generate more than $950 million a year in revenue by the third year.

Albertans ready to spend


In addition to the low corporate taxes mentioned by Nally in his speech, many experts cited the high disposable income of the Alberta population as a factor that should benefit an open market.


Data shows that Albertans typically have anywhere between 22-25% more of their paycheques left over after taxes, rent or mortgage payments and other necessary spending than people in the rest of Canada. That data also suggests Albertans spend anywhere between 30-35% more on games of chance than residents of any other province due to a combination of factors including high income and the widespread availability of VLTs across the province.


Article developed by By Tom Nightingale


¿The mouse guarding the cheese? ESPN asks about Zwayer's Wednesday assignment, but no one answers. 

North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from

Felix Zwayer, a referee who served a match-fixing ban in 2005, will officiate Wednesday’s Euro 2024 semifinal match between England and the Netherlands.

Zwayer was suspended six months in 2005 for accepting a roughly $325 bribe on a match between a pair of German clubs. The official’s 2005 suspension led to a notable interaction with England’s Jude Bellingham a few years ago.



Bellingham Not a Fan of Zwayer

Bellingham was frustrated with Zwayer’s officiating during a 2021 Borussia Dortmund loss to Bayern Munich, implying in post-match remarks that the official didn’t deserve to work the match after his previous scandal. Bellingham was disappointed in at least one of Zwayer’s match-defining calls.



You give a referee that’s match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, ¿what do you expect?”



UEFA declined comment to ESPN when asked about Zwayer’s Wednesday assignment. Zwayer’s assignment isn’t a complete shock, as he worked the Netherlands’ Round of 16 match. His connection with Bellingham adds another element of intrigue to the high-profile contest, though.

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