Thursday, January 18, 2007

Breaking NETeller News!!

It's not good. Today Neteller closed their US operations, which BTW accounted for more than 65% of their business. The Yahoo Finance story is linked here.

A related Yahoo/Reuters piece talks about how "(T)his is the first piece of news that will really hurt the likes of Pokerstars and Full Tilt." The article goes on to talk about how Neteller handled over 60% of Stars' business and more than 75% of Full Tilt's business. The article also mentioned that ESI Entertainment's Citadel payment processing unit was going to cease US operations as well. It also mentioned that this action is expected to cause a good number of US players to leave (primarily) PokerStars, which is where the majority of the PartyPoker players came after they pulled out of the US market. They now expect the Party ex-pats to return to Party, since the fishbowl environment of Stars is apparently going to die off.

There are still some payment options available to us Citizens of this Once Great Nation who wish to flaut the UIEGA (not to be confused with eating flautas, which are really yummy, but that's another story). As I posted yesterday, ePassporte, Central Coin, and Instant eChecks were all still showing as active deposit functions on PokerStars. That could all change by the weekend, but for now they're active. Here's a link to a piece in the Casino City Times. The main thrust of the article talks about which eWallets are likely to replace Neteller. The main ones they identify include:

CLICK2PAY - Full Tilt, Bodog, Ultimate Bet, Roxy Palace Casino, River Belle Online Casino and VIP.com Casino all use this one. Full Tilt is recommending this one.

ewalleteXpress - they're offering a new customer 10% bonus, but only Full Contact Poker and Bodog use this one.

ePassporte - PokerStars, FTP, UB and Doyle's Room use this one. Full Tilt is also recommending this one.

InstaDebit - UB, FCP, Roxy Palace, All Jackpots, and VIP.com. UB is recommending this one.

moneybookers.com - Bodog, UB, VIP, and All jackpots use this one.

InstaCash - Doyle's Room, PokerStars, and Full Contact Poker use this one.

The article has a detailed run down of all of these. Links are either in the article or at the poker sites (the list is cross-listed by both the eWallet site and the gambling site).

At this point I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but I will be checking out the alternatives and definitely watching the news to see what else happens. Hopefully, none of these executives will be stupid enough to enter US territories like the Neteller guys did.

***Update***

Yahoo news has another story talking about how other sites will step up and take over servicing the US customers. It at least sounds like there's some hope.

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