Neteller Suspends Online Gaming Services to US Residents
Citing US legislative changes and recent events, Neteller announced that, effective immediately, they would no longer transfer funds to or from any online gambling sites for its US members. Current US members are not required to close their accounts and will still be afforded the ability to transfer funds to or from non-gambling merchants. However, Neteller has temporarily suspended the ability of US residents to open new accounts. Neteller also assured non-US residents that they would still be able to access all of their normal products and services.
Neteller's announcement comes just two days after money laundering conspiracy charges were levied against two of its former executives and founders by the US Department of Justice. Although there have been no charges brought against Neteller, it is speculated that the announcement today was either a conciliatory move to prevent them or a negotiated first step with the Department of Justice.
While the suddenness of the announcement caught the online gaming community by surprise, it may have only been a matter of time before Neteller withdrew its online gaming funding service to US residents. On October 19, 2006, Neteller announced it would comply with the newly passed UIGEA once the regulations, targeted for completion 270 days after the law's passage, were better understood. Obviously the recent move by the DOJ accelerated their assessment.
There are a number of providers that offer funding services similar to those of Neteller. The question now is how those providers will adjust their services to US residents in light of the Neteller's announcement, the UIGEA and the DOJ's recent actions.