The man behind organized crime

A Quebec company is becoming organized crime’s worst nightmare. Armed with computer servers and many lines of code, it prevents money laundering.

“We’re cleaning up an industry that isn’t grassroots,” Axes Network boss Earle G. Hall said of the gaming industry.

His solution is simple, we want to say. A small box is installed in a slot machine, then collects data which is stored on impenetrable servers.

This data allows you to do three things. Detect money laundering. Prevent compulsive gambling. Eliminate cash in casinos.

“We’ve been developing models to capture all behaviors for 10 years,” explains the entrepreneur in impeccable French.

Thanks to the box, any abnormal behavior of a player is thus automatically identified.

And it works. Axes is present in 47 countries. Its boxes are installed in nearly 50,000 slot machines at major casino chains in South America and Europe, mega casinos in Asia, and even Circle K chain convenience stores in the United States.

“We also have the full Poland contract. Imagine that their Prime Minister called us, us guys from Quebec, because the European Union had just banned gambling in the country because of Russian money laundering, ”says the Newfoundland native proudly.

Absence of a major client

Business is going well. In two years, the number of Axes employees has increased from 25 to 75 and “will soon cross the 100 mark”.

To fuel this growth, a round of financing of $20 million was completed last December with big names such as Desjardins and Investissement Québec.

Earle G. Hall has lived in Las Vegas for two years to “penetrate large American accounts”. His expertise is sought after.

On January 27, he was the only representative of the gaming industry to participate in a conference of the Global Government Blockchain Association, itself mandated by the American government to help it tackle money laundering. .

However, there is one major absentee from its client list: Loto-Québec.

“They haven’t made it there,” laments Mr. Hall, who finds it hard to explain why.

Positive, he has only good words for the new boss of the state-owned company, Jean-François Bergeron, in office since last May.

“He’s a real gentleman. He’s a technologist. For the first time, we have had intelligent discussions with Loto-Québec since he has been there,” he confides.

Quebec, for the moment, therefore does not benefit from a technology in which it is a shareholder and which is prized all over the planet.

A problem here too

In the fall of 2020, our Bureau of Investigation also revealed the presence of organized crime activities at the Casino de Montréal.

These reports led the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, to order a special external audit on money laundering.

Loto-Québec is now considering putting an end to the use of cash in its gaming establishments.

No one is a prophet in his country, but Axes Network has all the assets to prove the saying wrong.

Technology ” cashless is precisely one of the specialties of Axes Network. “We use a smart card or a mobile app. We can know who is playing, how much the person bets, we know everything, ”he explains.

There remains the question of compulsive gambling, the elimination of which is the “real passion” of Earle G. Hall, for whom “money is made too easily” in the gambling industry.

In Poland, he says, “our configuration is very strict”. When a player exceeds the responsible gambling standard, “the machine is blocked, he receives a message, he no longer has the right to play for a week or a month”.

We bet that he will also bet on this to convince Loto-Québec.

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