PayPal Eyeing US Online Gambling Market

4 min read

PayPal logo
PayPal may be entering the US online gambling market in the coming months, according to sources. (Image: PayPal logo)

PayPal might be coming back to the United States, if certain industry reports are to be believed. As most know, PayPal is a trusted brand across the world as one of the largest Internet payment processors. Those who spend their time making purchases on the net, transferring money, or just managing their funds, understand that a quality e-wallet or payment processing solution is essential.

As infallible as credit cards may seem for everyday physical purchases, they aren’t always the best way to get things done digitally. That’s why services like PayPal and Skrill are invaluable tools for online poker players.

Players who game online sometimes don’t have easy access to land-based casinos. Though some poker websites offer payment options through their physical counterparts, keeping everything digital is still the easier option for most. And now it looks as if PayPal is finally setting its sights on entering the US online gambling market, news which could be a massive win for players.

Playing with PayPal

PayPal is widely used across the US and the world as a method for processing payments or even paying someone else. Though the service is quite familiar to many consumers, PayPal restricts US players from making withdrawals and deposits from their online gaming account. Outside the US, PayPal doesn’t hinder players from using its service with their gaming accounts.

According to a recent story in OnlinePokerReport, this could all change soon. “Sources tell OPR that PayPal will start processing regulated US online #gambling payments in coming months. Handful of operators to start,” tweeted the story’s author, Chris Grove. He also stated that the issue has been looked at by PayPal for months.

Change of Heart

If PayPal does enter the US online gambling market, it would be a definite change in their stance from last year. Late last year, as Delaware and New Jersey were joining Nevada in the market, PayPal was one of many companies that refused to process online gambling payments.

Despite the market being legalized, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, American Express and others would also deny those transactions. Many banks and credit card issuers were firm on their stance, but PayPal was one of the few who said their policies could change. The high payment processing refusal rate and the frustration it has caused online players is noted as a likely cause for the US market not living up to projected revenue expectations.

A Boost to the Market

Despite the shaky legality online gambling might represent for some payment companies, PayPal’s entrance could increase the legitimacy of the US market. The refusal of banks to process online gambling transactions hindered many players from finding a suitable payment alternative. There were options available, but many were not recognizable to players in the US.

Skrill and NETELLER are currently the go-to payment solutions for US players. The services have partnered up with Caesars and Borgata to fuel payment operations for the land-based casinos’ online sites. While NETELLER and Skrill are recognized outside the US and their acceptance rate is high, their names just aren’t as recognizable to Americans who might be wishing to jump into online poker.

PayPal is a known brand among many in the US, and the fact that it is widely accepted would likely instill more confidence in players. Since being bought by eBay in 2002, over 150 million active users use PayPal for their online transactions. According to another recent report, many gaming applications are abandoned because they lack PayPal as a payment method. The widespread install base and popularity of PayPal has the potential to open up the market.

In the US, PayPal is already incorporated by Winamax for use in play money games. PayPal is also used outside the US for players on PokerStars. The possibility is also open for US players to purchase play money chips with PayPal on the PokerStars website. While this shows only a little of the potential for PayPal in the US market, the service would still need to be licensed by the gaming regulators in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada before becoming a viable payment option for eager US players.

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