Online payment processing outfit Optimal Payments has inked a deal with US gaming device maker and online gambling hopeful Bally Technologies to further position itself for a return to a US online gambling market. Under the terms of the agreement, Optimal will provide Bally’s online operations with payment solutions including credit and debit cards, electronic check processing and risk management following the integration of Optimal’s Netbanx platform. The deal follows a similar pact the Isle of Man-based Optimal struck in October with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the online arm of US brick-and-mortar casino operator/debt-servicing outfit Caesars Entertainment.
Bally’s business development VP John Connelly said his company was “excited” by Optimal’s integrated gaming and payment possibilities, while Optimal CEO Joel Leonoff said the deal marked the latest move in the company’s “ongoing strategy to build a complete solution” that will enable operators to “bridge the land-based with online worlds.” Bally’s nascent iGaming Platform has already inked free-play online deals with American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP), the Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City as well as the Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Prior to passage in 2006 of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), Optimal’s former incarnation Neovia Financial helped many a US-based online gambler fund their betting accounts under their Neteller brand. In 2007, Neovia’s owners paid the US Department of Justice $136m to settle charges of money laundering on behalf of online gambling companies. In 2011, Neovia paid $50m to acquire Optimal Payments, whose name was moved to the top of the letterhead a few months later. Neteller continues to exist outside the US, having recently signed on as sponsor of the Italian Poker Tour.