eWalletXpress Quits American MarketBy: Joe Valentino, Sunday December 12th 2010
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Earlier this week the online payment service provider eWalletXpress announced that it would not any longer be operating in the United States market. This put to rest a period of rumors and speculation concerning its imminent exit. eWalletXpress joins a list of major international operators, like Neteller, PayPal and Moneybookers, that do not provide services in America.
eWalletXpress had been a popular and significant option for American players for funding their online casino and poker accounts and almost all sites catering to American players offered this option. A few weeks ago traffic on these sites began to fall indicating that something was not as usual. The problem was identified with eWalletXpress when it reported technical problems at its web site. The displayed message read, "Please note we are experiencing ongoing technical difficulties as a result of a service upgrade." Going by the conversation at online casino and poker forums, there appeared to be few takers for this story. The services provided by eWalletXpress had been top class and it was difficult to believe that they would be affected by technical malfunction. In any event, technical issues today are resolved in hours, if not minutes, and certainly not days. Some posts queried that who in future would use a payment option that left its customers stranded, never mind its excellent past performance. Then there were posts that looked for ulterior motives. One said that legalization and regulation of online gambling in the United States is imminent. However, it is likely that those who are operating in the illegal market today will be kept out by law. Therefore eWalletXpress is opting out so that it would be in the good books of the regulators. After all it was for this purpose that Neteller had paid a multi million dollar fine and cleaned its slate.
After about a week of speculation eWalletXpress revealed the facts. The operator had been served with a warrant by the authorities. "We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to continue service at this time due to a Federal warrant issued to seize our funds," read the statement issued by eWalletXpress to its American customers. Players who had balances remaining in their eWalletXpress accounts could ask for them to be returned. eWalletXpress confirmed that all monies owed will be transferred to customers' checking accounts after 'technical issues are resolved'. No details have been provided on the contents of the warrant, the nature of the technical issues or the time that the players will have to wait to get back their dues. With the reputation that eWalletXpress carries it should be a matter of when the funds will be returned and not whether they will be returned.
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