Neteller Reenters US Online Gambling MarketBy: Joan Peppin, Tuesday June 25th 2013
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The latest indicator that online gambling legalization is heading in the right direction in the United States is the announced reentry of the leading Internet payments solutions provider Neteller. Optimal Payments plc, the company that owns Neteller, has confirmed its partnership with Bally Technologies to provide payments and related services to both Bally and its online gaming customers. Bally is a leading provider of casino equipment, casino management services and networked and server-based systems.
The proposal envisages that Bally will integrate Optimal Payments’ Netbanx payment platform into its product for operators in the regulated US gambling market. Therefore, Bally’s customers will be able to use the complete range of Neteller products and services. John Connelly, vice president of business development at Bally said, “We are excited to partner with Optimal Payments to bring an integrated gaming and payments solution to our online gaming customers in the US.” He pointed out that Bally looked out for strategic partnerships with the best of service providers and the tie up with Optimal Payments was an example of this. Apart from Neteller’s extensive expertise in payment processing, Bally would also benefit from Optimal Payments risk management services.
Joel Leonoff, President & CEO of Optimal Payments, said, “We are pleased to be working with Bally and its customers, and this agreement demonstrates our ability to provide real value to both technology providers and gaming operators alike.” He elaborated that this partnership is part of Optimal Payments’ on-going strategy to build a complete solution for the regulated U.S. gaming market. The objective was to enable operators to bridge the land-based with online worlds.
Optimal Payments had been eyeing a return to the United States online gambling market for quite some time. Earlier it had partnered with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, and will be there in the online gambling markets in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey when those markets become live and when Caesars starts operating there. Leonoff further predicted that seven other states will start offering online gambling in 2014. He also played down the old problems Neteller had with the Department of Justice. He said that it was much easier for service providers to clean the slate than it was for actual online gambling operators.
Neteller had exited from the United States online gambling market when the UIGEA was passed in 2006. At that time it was the preferred option for an overwhelming majority of online casino and poker players. Immediately after the UIGEA was passed, the Department of Justice selectively targeted Neteller, even arresting two of its Canadian founders and freezing its players’ funds. In July 2007 a settlement was reached with Neteller formally leaving the United States online gambling market.
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