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Optimal Payments (Neteller) Granted New Jersey Permit

New Jersey gaming officials have green-lighted Optimal Payments to provide payment processing functions in New Jersey’s soon-to-be-launched online gambling regime.

The parent company of Neteller received the blessing of the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) on Friday and are now permitted to supply payment technology to the online gaming sites that will be operated by the likes of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Golden Nugget, Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Mahal, and Tropicana Casino and Resort.

Those five casinos have already received approval from the DGE, with Caesars and its four Atlantic City casinos likely to follow suit in due course. That would leave only three operator permits remaining among the state’s dozen casinos and rumor has it that two of the casinos may not be interested in taking advantage of online gaming opportunities.

The Atlantic Club and Revel have been known to be struggling financially and may have bigger fish to fry than to enter the realm of regulated Internet gambling. That’s not to say that those casinos may never join the online gambling party. But they may not do so under current ownership, if various Twitter postings can be believed.

But those brick and mortar casinos that are gearing up for the November 26 launch will apparently turn to Optimal Payments for their payment processing needs.

“We are excited to be an approved vendor in New Jersey and we look forward to leveraging our vast experience and expertise to help facilitate online payments for our partners in New Jersey,” president and CEO of Optimal Payments Joel Leonoff told eGR.

That experience includes Neteller being the most popular company handling payment processing functions for poker sites and U.S. players during online poker’s boom in the early to mid-2000s. Transactions via Neteller were simple and speedy and accepted at all poker sites, including player-to-player transfers.

That all changed in 2007 when U.S. prosecutors arrested Neteller’s founders following the UIGEA’s passage in 2006 and extracted $136 million in penalties. The company was forced to restrict its payment processing dealings to the European and Asian markets.

Neteller also looked beyond the gambling industry for revenue and now obtains 40% of its profit from non-gaming sources, the Financial Times reported earlier this year. But with online gambling becoming regulated in the U.S., Optimal Payments is making a triumphant return.

Leonoff, who held the title of PartyGaming COO before the merger with Bwin, believes that Neteller/Optimal Payments continues to enjoy a “well-regarded reputation” in the eyes of American online poker players. The DGE apparently concurs with that estimation and issued a permit to Optimal Payments as proof.

 

 

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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