The U.S. Sees the Return of Online Gaming

May 27, 2014
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The passage of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 banned processors and banks from any handling of online-gaming transactions. The major turning point for online gaming came with the interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act in December 2011. The U.S. Department of Justice released a memo with the interpretation of the act being that it applied only to online sports betting; this interpretation cleared the way for selling lottery tickets online which then led to online poker and other games.

New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware currently allow some forms of online gaming. According to an article by Niraj Chokshi of The Washington Post, the U.S. should “Expect at least 10 states this year to consider bills that would legalize online gambling, according to a new study.” The 10 states considering legislation are: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Eight states considered bills last year but only two, Nevada and New Jersey, passed bills. Online gambling for the state of New Jersey began November 26, 2013 and saw a generated $8.3 million by the end of the year. According the Chokshi, “GamblingData predicts New Jersey’s online gambling market will generate $262 million in gross gambling revenue this year and $463 million by 2017.”

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has regular oversight for online-gaming. The Division also lists several payment companies, such as Skrill USA, that are registered to work with operators and gaming users within the state. Mobile wallets provide a means for money to be transferred from online gaming accounts to the funding accounts.

In an article by Digital Transactions, Skrill USA chief executive, Neil Steinhardt, says that “Consumers pay nothing to move funds via the automated clearing house to their Skrill accounts, but pay 2.9% if using a branded payment card. Withdrawals from a Skrill account are free.”

eMerchantBroker.com, which specializes in merchant accounts, has developed a merchant account designed specifically for gaming and casino companies. According to their website, “It comes as no surprise to anyone that given the nature of the industry, banks back away from providing merchant services for online casinos. Further deterring the traditional merchant service providers is the inevitable high rate of chargebacks and disputes.” The company promises a merchant account to those that can maintain a chargeback rate of lower than 3%.

As states discuss and pass legislation, competition will continue to rise from both within the country and on an international scale; since online gambling has been legal in other countries for years. With the recent return of online-gaming to the U.S., companies are seeing a field of opportunity. Steinhardt commented to Digital Transactions that “If you look to Europe as a model, customers like to bring in control of their own funds and like to work with established operators.”

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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