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Issue 332
January 23 - January 29, 2007
Volume 7
page 1
 

This Issue

Gaming News

Casino City's January Sweepstakes

NETeller's exit pushes players to other options

Wynn dealers say filing led to firing

Penn. casino numbers exceed expectations

West Virginia gaming referendum planned

Show Time Jay Leno at the Palms

Column Lawyer's Poker by I. Nelson Rose

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners

 

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NETeller's exit impacts U.S. Internet gaming market
By Aaron Todd

 

Last night, just two days after NETeller founders Stephen Lawrence and John LeFebvre were arrested and charged with money laundering, the popular e-wallet NETeller stopped allowing American players to use its services to transfer money to and from Internet gambling sites.

NETeller, a publicly traded company listed on the London stock exchange, processed more than $7 billion in financial transactions annually, according to the company's interim report for 2006. Seventy-five percent of the Isle of Man based company's revenue came from the United States, and the vast majority of those transactions involved Internet gambling.

The decision has resulted in several popular Internet gambling sites scrambling to promote alternative third-party payment processors on Thursday.

"It must be difficult for (Internet gambling sites that allow U.S. players) to continue doing good business without NETeller," said Jez San, the president of PKR.com, an Internet poker room that decided not to allow U.S. players to play real money games when it launched last fall. "Whoever they end up using to replace them in the short term will no doubt not be around in the long term either."

NETeller isn't the only payment processor pulling out of the U.S. Citadel Commerce, Central Coin and Nexum Financial's (Full Tilt Poker's "Instant eCheck" provider) have all decided to stop allowing U.S. players to conduct transactions with Internet gambling companies.

"This decision was made by the ESI Board of Directors in the light of recent US Department of Justice enforcement actions against financial processors executives," reads a press release from the parent company of Vancouver based Citadel Commerce.

When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in October 2006, a wave of Internet gambling giants such as PartyGaming and Sportingbet voluntarily left the U.S. market. FirePay, a publicly traded third party payment processor similar to NETeller, decided to stop allowing Americans to make transactions with Internet gambling sites in the aftermath of the UIGEA, while NETeller and others adopted a wait-and-see attitude.

"The (UIGEA) doesn't seem to have really impacted how much people gamble," said David G. Schwartz, the Director of UNLV's Center for Gaming Research. "It has hurt the companies that were publicly traded or the companies that have more exposure legally, but I don't know that it has really changed behaviors that much."

Sites such as Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker actually benefited from the UIGEA, seeing their player bases surge when PartyPoker left the market. But while many Internet gamblers were willing to switch to new platforms, it remains to be seen if they will be just as willing to switch to new third party payment providers. Most sites still operating in the U.S. are trying to limit any damage that might be caused by NETeller's exit.

"NETeller's decision has no impact on our business here at Full Tilt Poker, and we remain committed to our U.S. players," the Full Tilt Web site read on Thursday morning. The site also highlighted other money management options still available to U.S. players.

San, however, believes that the shrinking options for payment processors will have a lasting impact on Internet gaming in America.

"Anything that's 'illegal' is also extraditable, on a federal level," San said. "No executive is 'safe' in a first world country that has extradition treaties with the U.S., which is most first world countries. And few banks in third world countries will be trusted by customers, for good reason."


NETeller's exit pushes player to other options
by Ryan McLane

NETeller's sudden exit from the U.S. market has players searching for new ways to transfer money to and from their favorite online casinos.

In a survey of 10 major online gaming sites, six e-wallet options appeared several times, making them the most likely choices to replace NETeller.

CLICK2PAY, ePassporte, and INSTADEBIT already serve many American customers and are early favorites to fill the NETeller void, according to the survey.

InstaCash and ewalleteXpress also give solid and flexible deposit option for multiple gambling sites.

CLICK2PAY is the most flexible option for gamers. Three major online poker rooms – Full Tilt Poker (FTP), Ultimate Bet (UB) and Bodog - and three major online casinos - Roxy Palace Casino, River Belle Online Casino and VIP.com Casino - allow CLICK2PAY transactions.

ewalleteXpress began offering a 10 % deposit bonus Thursday for new customers. But among the sites we surveyed, only Bodog and Full Contact Poker (FCP) accept their services.

FTP and UB were the first online poker rooms to send messages to their customers recommending certain processors.

FTP highly recommends ePassporte and CLICK2PAY while UB is putting most if its muscle behind INSTADEBIT, according to a mass emails sent late Tuesday night.

Both sites have had relationships with all three alternative processors for more than three years.

ePassporte was the survey's most flexible e-wallet for poker. It is accepted by PokerStars, FTP, UB and Doyle's Room.

InstaCash and CLICK2PAY are next on the survey, servicing three of the six major poker sites. Rounding out the major poker sites processors with two options each are INSTADEBIT and ewalleteXpress. See survey results below for more details .

The most flexible processors still accepting U.S. money are CLICK2PAY and INSTADEBIT in terms of top-ranked online Casinos listed at www.casinocity.com.

INSTADEBIT offers options at three online casinos – Roxy Palace, VIP.com, the popular All Jackpots Casino.

Survey Results

By e-wallet –

CLICK2PAY.com – 50 % (of sites surveyed):
FTP, Bodog, UB, Roxy Palace, River Belle, VIP.com

INSTADEBIT – 50 %:
UB, FCP, Roxy Palace, All Jackpots, VIP.com

ePassporte.com – 40 %:
FTP, UB, Doyle's Room, Poker Stars

InstaCash – 30 %:
Doyle's Room, FCP, poker stars

ewalleteXpress.com – 20 %:
Bodog, FCP

By Web site -

Poker Stars – ePassporte, InstaCash

Full Tilt Poker - CLICK2PAY, ePassporte

Ultimate Bet - CLICK2PAY, ePassporte, INSTADEBIT

Bodog - CLICK2PAY, ewalleteXpress.com

Doyle's Room – ePassporte, InstaCash

Full Contact Poker – INSTADEBIT , InstaCash, ewalleteXpress.com

Roxy Palace Casino - CLICK2PAY, INSTADEBIT

All Jackpots Casino – INSTADEBIT

River Belle Casino - CLICK2PAY

VIP.com Casino - CLICK2PAY, INSTADEBIT

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