New frontiers for online payments

New frontiers for online payments

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware becoming the first US states to legalise online gaming has opened the door for gaming operators and industry service providers to expand into new markets. We caught up with Neil Erlick at  Optimal Payments’ to discuss how online payment providers navigate this emerging state-by-state regulatory framework in the US.

Published 24th June 2014

What payment services does Optimal Payments offer the US gaming industry?
Currently, the Company provides a variety of payment processing and risk management-related services to licensed online operators in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Our single platform payment solutions include credit and debit card processing, electronic cheque processing (ACH), alternative payments, including cash vouchers and of course, our NETELLER service and Net+ Card stored value offering.

With an increasing number of states currently exploring legalising and regulating online gaming, we are always looking to improve payment solutions for our operators and are continuously evaluating new alternatives.

How is the US gaming industry regulated and what should online payment providers entering the market expect?
Online gaming is being regulated at a state level in the US as opposed to the federal level, with each state having its own regulations and requirements. Online payment providers need to work closely, and be able to offer extensive expertise to state gaming regulators in order to navigate the issues online gaming presents.

At Optimal Payments, we have used our experience in the European regulated online gaming market as well as our recent experience in Canada, providing services to provincially run online gaming operations, as our knowledge base. With this, we have focused our efforts on providing single platform solutions that simultaneously protect consumers, safeguard the integrity of payment channels and comply with the federal and state anti-money laundering requirements.

How do changing legal developments in online gaming affect payment providers’ ability to be innovative?
Innovation is the key to being a successful payment solutions leader for the online gaming industry in the US. With statespecific requirements and unique consumer needs in this new market, payment providers and other operators will have to build a solid infrastructure.

They will also have to be forward-thinking to anticipate any potential restrictions or limitations as they develop offerings for the online gaming industry. For instance, many payment solution providers will find that New Jersey’s online gaming laws are demanding and there is a stringent vetting process.

Specifically, payment solution providers will need to be approved by the state in order to cater to online gamers. At Optimal Payments, we focused on working together with gaming regulators and we were vetted and approved by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in October 2013, which allowed us to offer innovative solutions in the New Jersey regulated space.

We also continue to listen to our merchants and customers in order to offer a wide range of products that fulfil their needs. We engage in constant two-way communications with our merchants to offer improvements that serve our mutual goal of high transaction approval rates. Our services are aimed at providing top-of-theline payment solutions for our merchants, so that they can deliver the best possible experience totheir customers.

Where is the U.S. online gaming industry headed and where do online payment providers fit in?
The market has been open for over a year and less than five per cent of the US population is currently legally able to gamble online. We believe many other states will regulate online gaming, with bills pending in states such as California, Pennsylvania and New York. It is also important to note that in Nevada, online poker is the only regulated form of online gaming, leaving room for growth. Over time, Optimal Payments believes that many states will follow New Jersey’s lead and look into regulating online gaming.

Although still in its early days, the online gaming industry holds the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry. At Optimal Payments we have dedicated a vast amount of our time, energy and resources, as we believe this industry will continue to flourish. We see the recent changes in the U.S. online gaming industry as an opportunity to expand and shape a fledgling market, and to offer cutting-edge payment solutions to a larger service area.

Moving forward, we also hope to offer increased flexibility and payment options that will make online gaming more efficient and convenient across the country as more states come on board.