Gold-Pay Exits American MarketBy: Joe Valentino, Thursday February 10th 2011
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Gold-Pay was an online casino deposit option that was over the last year making a name for itself in the American online gaming market. But it has become the latest casualty in what appears to be a relentless pursuit by the enforcement authorities in the United States of financial services providers to the online gaming industry.
The modus operandi has now become familiar to online casino players. Towards the end of last week, Gold-Pay users started receiving e-mails informing them that as a result of pending legal matters, Gold-Pay was forced to suspend all gaming related transactions. The e-mail added, "We do not have a timeline for when those issues will be resolved or what the outcome will be. We do apologize for this disruption in our operations and we know this is both unexpected and unfortunate for everyone involved. You may continue to access your account but no account activity will be possible until the legal issues have been resolved."
It has been reported at online casino forums that players who tried to communicate with Gold-Pay did not receive any response. No Gold-Pay spokesperson or official was willing to divulge any details on the nature of the "pending legal matters" or otherwise comment on the situation. Though there is no official confirmation from any source it is evident that Gold-Pay has been targeted by the US federal authorities. The Department of Justice is too well known to clamp down on financial channels used by American online gamblers. The Gold-Pay web site does bear the terse statement "Effective February 4th, 2011, Gold-Pay will no longer be processing gaming transactions." Clearly Gold-Pay is foregoing the online gambling market in an effort to continue operations in other online domains.
Gold-Pay had launched with an innovative concept that allowed its clients to notionally purchase gold and use that gold as a means of making online payments for goods and services. The idea probably was to circumvent the ban on providing a financial conduit to allegedly illegal online gambling sites. But it did not work.
Gold-Pay is the second online payments services provider to face the wrath of the US federal authorities in recent times. A few months ago eWalletXpress met the same fate under very similar circumstances. eWalletXpress had a much larger customer base and offered services to leading operators like Cherry Red Casino and Bodog Casino. After a few weeks of dilly-dallying, eWalletXpress issued a statement which read, "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." eWalletXpress told account holders that the money will be transferred back into checking accounts once the "technical issues" have been ironed out. No time commitment has been made. Neteller faced the same situation in 2007 and was able to clear the dues of its American account holders only after arriving at a settlement with the Department of Justice.
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