NETeller out of US

Following the arrests of its two founding shareholders, NETeller PLC, the online money transfer company that specialises in casino and gambling transactions, has announced that it has pulled out of the U.S market. The move will cost the company 65 per cent of its business.

The company blamed restrictive legislation and ambiguous regulations for the decision.

"As of today, at 12:01AM GMT, U.S. resident customers were no longer able to transfer funds using NETeller’s services to or from any online gambling site," the London Stock Exchange heard from a company statement.

Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre, NETeller’s two founders have been charged with money laundering by the U.S federal government, accused of handling billions of dollars in illegal gambling funds. Both men face up to 20 years in prison. It is reported that both men ignored advice from other executives that NETeller could possibly be at risk of breaking U.S laws.

Many online gambling companies, such as PartyGaming and Sportingbet, pulled out of the U.S in November following the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, but companies like Bodog and Pokerstars still remain to take U.S bets.

According to U.S prosecutors, NETeller was responsible for handling more than $7.3 billion in transactions in 2005, with 95 per cent of this revenue derived from gambling.

Much like the online gambling companies in the same position as NETeller, they have no other option but to shift their focus and direction of the business. Accordingly, they will be seeking opportunities in other markets.

"These decisions will allow the group to focus on opportunities available in the growing markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas outside of the United States,” NETeller said in a statement yesterday.

Editor, - 2007-01-18 11:53:14

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