NETELLER and Skrill Block Gambling-Related Payments in Brazil

Online gambling customers from Brazil were informed earlier this week that online payment service provider NETELLER would no longer process deposits to online gambling operators. Players will be able to withdraw their funds from these operators via NETELLER until February 28, 2018.

It later on became known that Skrill will also stop processing deposits from Brazilian players to online gambling websites. Here it is important to note that both service providers are part of the larger Paysafe Group.

While gambling customers were not further informed why the two payment service processors had come to their decision to stop processing gambling-related payments in the country, the reason perhaps has much to do with the current legal status of online gambling in Brazil.

Under the country’s long-standing gambling laws, most gambling services, Internet gaming and betting included, are illegal. To be more precise, Brazil’s current regulatory framework does not include regulations about the provision of online gaming and betting services. This has made it possible for international operators to target local players in a gray zone for several years now.

While liberalization and re-regulation of Brazil’s gambling market has been under consideration for quite some time, lawmakers have made little progress in that direction. Two gambling bills had been filed in the National Congress, one by the Senate, and the other by the Chamber of Deputies, but both are yet to be voted on.

Brazil’s gambling market and its potential regulation have attracted the interest of a number of major gambling companies from both the land-based and online gambling realms. Many analysts believe that the South American country’s market could become the largest regulated one, if proper regulations and controls are adopted.

Payment Service Providers Withdrawing from Various Markets

News about NETELLER and Skrill shutting doors to gambling-related payments in Brazil come shortly after gambling industry insiders made it known that Skrill has begun blocking gambling-related payments in Spain, Germany, and Australia.

The provision of online gaming services was banned in Australia last summer. And it was last fall when a German Federal Administrative Court ruled in favor of an online gambling ban, which practically made the provision of online casino games, poker, and scratchcard games illegal in the country.

In Spain, where the provision of online gambling services is legal and regulated, Skrill began blocking payments to and from unlicensed gambling companies. Online gaming and betting affiliates and affiliate programs were also affected by the changes.

Unregulated gambling markets have been a particularly sensitive topic to NETELLER, which was among the companies to suffer the heaviest blow in the post UIGEA era. Following the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, the US Department of Justice began prosecuting companies violating the nation’s anti-online gambling laws.

NETELLER faced a $136-million settlement fee over allegations that it had kept on processing online gambling payments in the months after the rules had taken effect.

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