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Thoughts on Boxing, Gambling and Charity

An Interview with Lars Dresden, Lady Hammer Casino 


Lady Hammer is a well-known themed boxing casino. How did you come up with the boxing casino idea? 


I have been in the pro-boxing business for years. By running a boxing promotion and management company, I have been in contact with a lot of land based casino operators who sponsored our events and fighters. A business partner of mine introduced me to Alex (Sasha), who was in the online gambling business for years and very well connected to Softswiss, the major online casino platform developer and the most trustworthy white label provider in the gambling industry. Together with my best friend and business partner Harald Pia and Sasha we developed the idea to reanimate the old and very successful relationship between boxing and gambling. As you might know, all the big fights of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and many more boxing legends have happened at the land based casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. With Softswiss we had the right partner to bring this traditional relationship to the future. We also decided to give something back to society. People always will gamble, but if we can support charity, we have the possibility to do gambling for good. We decided to donate 5% of the casino revenue to World Boxing Cares, the charity organization of WBC, World Boxing Council, the most important boxing organization in the world. I want to express my thanks to Malte Mueller-Michaelis from WBC for the possibility to do this. 


How long have you been on the market? 


We went online in November 2017. 


Tell us about the live streaming at the casino. 


We have been the first online casino streaming a boxing event live from the ring. Other casino brands do sponsorships at boxing events, but we want to get the boxing and gambling connection to the next level. We started by streaming a fight night organized by Demis Tonna of Prize Fighter Promotions Malta live at Lady Hammer Casino. 


You recently introduced Joo casino. Can you tell us more about it? 


Joo Casino is a partner brand at the same affiliate program named N1 Partners, including N1 Casino, Lady Hammer Casino, and Joo Casino. Joo Casino is Curaçao licensed and accepting crypto currency for deposits and withdrawals.  


Why are you better than the crowd? How do you engage players? 


We are not better; we are different. The whole online gambling industry is in the same boat. We try to get us out of the dark corner. We are not an anonymous company run by unknown shareholders. You can meet us at the most important boxing events, and gambling shows around the world in person, and we donate 5% of casino revenue to charity – gambling for good. We are the only casino brand approved by World Boxing Council, the boxing organization that Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Vitali Klitschko, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. held belts. Fast withdrawal to players and fast payout to affiliates should be casual. That’s nothing worth mentioning. In 2018, we had a tournament to win a VIP invitation to the WBC Convention in Kiew to meet the former WBC World Heavyweight Champion, the mayor of Kiew, Vitali Klitschko in person. 


You are an exceptional brand and indeed a leader in the industry. In your opinion, what makes a casino successful?  


To run it with your heart and to always keep your word. Personal relationships and real friendships are more important than short-time business opportunities. We stay true to ourselves and only work with selected partners. Most casino operators and affiliates try to optimize their revenue by working on CPA [cost per action]; we prefer long term – lifetime, real partnerships with revenue share and trust. We don’t need to earn money by operating an online casino. As you know, the pro-boxing business is big enough to ensure a good lifestyle by TV broadcasting deals and sponsorship agreements. We are able to run a casino brand without the pressure to earn money from it. A lot of brands have to do sponsorships at major sports events or have to close any affiliate deal to generate traffic. We do our own televised sports events, viewed by an audience of millions. There is no need for us to close an affiliate deal, we prefer to work together with affiliate partners who write their reviews based on their own opinion, and list casinos genuinly, and not based on money. If you are independent, you are able to do what is right in your opinion, no need to buy a 10 star review. 


At both Lady Hammer and Joo Casino, you accept cryptocurrencies. What is your stand on cryptocurrencies?  


The support of Cryptocurrencies is the support of freedom, the freedom to choose the worth of something on your own. Thousands of years ago someone defined the worth of a cow by the definition of its weight in gold. Later the worth of gold has been defined in numbers written on a piece of paper. Later the piece of paper became a certain number in a certain database behind a bank’s firewall. Now the next step is done. And it is easier to deposit a Bitcoin instead of a piece of paper and of course, it is even easier to withdraw a Bitcoin instead of a cow. 


What is the future of crypto casinos? 


Hopefully, crypto casinos will be regulated soon at other jurisdictions like Maltese MGA [Malta Gaming Authority], because crypto gambling will be the future of online gambling. Softswiss casino software provides the most secure way to use your personal crypto wallet to gamble online, and as soon as crypto gambling is regulated by MGA, we will migrate to this jurisdiction for sure. 


What excites you about the gambling industry? 


A lot of nice and friendly people, sharing the same dream of freedom. 


What advice can you give to employees in the industry when it comes to career growth? 


Do what you think is right. We only hire people with own character and mind. You can’t force your career by the goal of forcing your career. You will force it by doing things you love to do from the heart. 


When it comes to the player, is there a real difference between playing a crypto casino or a regular online casino? 


No, if the casino brand is trustworthy, you can deposit and withdraw fast and easy. It does not make a difference if you deposit by sending a cow to someone and withdraw by sheep or a pig or doing the same via crypto. Maybe the freight charges are more reasonable by doing it via crypto instead of living animals. 


What will be the hot topic in the industry in 2019 in your opinion? 


To recognize that we all are in the same boat. No casino can exist without trustworthy and true partners, no affiliate can exist without the players, and no players can play without casinos. We all share the same dream! 


What are the biggest challenges in the industry? 


To not cheat each other, to work together, enjoy gambling together, and share the same spirit. If you want to do something good or give something back to society, you don’t need to be forced to do it by law, do it by your own choice. 


Are you concerned about the regulatory environment in the gambling industry? 


Regulation is needed to sort out the black sheep. Regulation should secure a safe way of gambling without the possibility to get cheated by operators, but regulation should not regulate the possibility of claiming a bonus or cut down the free choice of a human being. It’s similar to traffic regulations. Of course, you have to slow down in front of a school or a hospital, but why is there a speed limit at highways due to environmental polution reasons if a cruise or a plane are causing much more damage to nature? Why you are allowed to drink a glass of wine at the age of 16 for historical reasons at some European countries, and you are not allowed to do the same in the United States? You are the same human being. Or imagine, you just turned 21 in Central Europe, traveling to the US by plane, getting 8 hours younger and still you are not allowed to drink there because of the time difference. Regulations and laws should protect people, but they should not cut down the freedom of choice. 


In your opinion, is the gambling industry growing? 


Yes, it is, of course.  Mankind loved to gamble in the past and mankind would always gamble in the future. 


What do you think would be the next game changer in the industry? 


Recognizing the responsibility for society. If we support charity or the development of the third world on our own, then people will not believe anymore that we are the bad guys. Just imagine Robin Hood called a thief or robber by mass media, do you think the ones who did not starve to death by his help would have ever believed in a press campaign started by the sheriff of Nottingham? 


What is in the pipeline for Lady Hammer in 2019 that you can share with our audience? 


Bringing back boxing to casinos, be prepared for something special! I am sorry, I can’t tell you more now, stay tuned. 


Charity and casino are not two words that you can often see in one sentence. However, you have a charity initiative. Tell us more about that.  


We are happy to be able to donate 5% of our casino revenue to World Boxing Cares, the charity project of WBC, World Boxing Council, to support development of children from developing countries and to offer them the chance to change their fate. 


In the current issue of magazine, we have an interview with GamCare, a non-profit dedicated to responsible gambling. What is your stand on responsible gambling? 


Responsible gambling is one of the main tasks to be taken care of, but we believe in the freedom of choice of every human being. If a player decides to stop gambling or if his family or friends decide the same, we will do everything possible to support him. If a government decides that all citizens of a certain country are not allowed to gamble, we disagree, because we believe in the freedom of choice. It’s not the right way to do or not to do anything because you are forced to do it. It is the right way to do it by own choice. Prohibition of alcohol in the 30s of the last century did not resolve any problems; it caused new problems. Prohibition of online gambling will not be the right way to help gambling addicts. We have to make sure that our players don’t gamble from addiction of course; I would suggest that the industry creates a support fund for people who lost everything because of gambling addiction, but we should do this because of our responsibility on our own, not forced by law. Let the world know that we are not the bad guys; we altogether have the power to do good.  


“It is not me or any other person that is important. The dreams and ideals that can become a reality are more important. Hopefully, we can get our industry out of the dark corner by ourselves.”  Lars Dresden Magazine Issue 3, Article List

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