Offshore Gaming Update July 2007

Offshore Banks - Offshore banks in numerous jurisdictions have agreed to close bank accounts belonging to firms operating online gaming businesses. Included in this decision were some of the larger offshore jurisdictions. This will make it harder for the offshore gaming sites to accept payments. If they can get a credit card processor they need a bank for the credit card processor to wire the funds into. Offshore gaming may soon become extinct but it is definitely on the endangered species list. Panama banks have not opened new accounts for offshore gaming sites for some time now. Most of the sites are licensed in jurisdictions like Costa Rica.

Neteller Forfeits $136,000,000 - Neteller in the interest of avoiding prosecution by the USA for violating their online gaming laws by facilitating payments from Americans for illegal gambling has agreed to the loss of the money. It seems they will be allowed to remain in business and will be monitored to ascertain that they are not doing business with any Americans. After 18 months of monitoring if they come up clean they will have all their charges dropped. They are facing criminal charges. Now which will be dropped if all goes well. I expect the monitoring involves the USA looking over some records and ID documents of account holders.

Offshore Gaming Outlook - Seems pretty bleak to me. The real problem for the gaming industry is the payment solution. If they can solve that they may flourish but I doubt they can solve this. All payment solutions lead to a bank account and now the banks are cutting them off.

Online Gambling in Panama - Not going to work. No bank account and expensive licenses.