Global Poker (GP) has been able to do what most couldn’t—offer an online poker portal legally to poker players in the United States. It does so through an innovative model that allows it to not be classified as gambling, while providing both real and play-money games. Since its inception, it has relied on payment services provider PayPal to manage deposits and withdrawals, but that has now changed. As of the end of June, GP is working exclusively with an alternative provider, WorldPay.
It took a lot of convincing for GP to assure PayPal that its model would be acceptable in the United States. Things have been running smoothly for GP; however, many users of the platform have said that the single payment method proved to be a limitation. This resulted in GP making the determination to drop PayPal for WorldPay.
According to Laurence Escalante, CEO of GP, “One thing our customers have made clear to us is that they would like more choice when it comes to payment methods. WorldPay’s extensive network and vast expertise allow us to give our players this choice.”
WorldPay offers more options for making payments and withdrawals than PayPal, which will allow existing users to not experience any issues during the transition. PayPal is known for its speed and efficiency, traits that WorldPay will have to match if it expects to be the long-term solution.
A user on the 2+2 poker forum, lacky, discussed his experience using PayPal, posting, “Did my first cashout from global (and no, I didn’t reach $5K, just needed the $500 for my trip to my kids graduation for her master’s of economics). From request, to requesting docs, to approving docs, to the money sitting in my PayPal account, less than 24 hours. So cash out was legit pokerstars level service. I wish the software was pokerstars level, but still very happy overall with the site, and it hasn’t been shut down, so that’s a plus!”
GP is able to offer games through the use of its “$weeps Cash” and “Gold Coins.” Gold Coins can be purchased, if desired, to be used in play-money games. However, they can never be exchanged for real currency.
When a user purchases Gold Coins, he or she is automatically rewarded with $weeps Cash. This cash can be used to participate in real money ring games and tournaments, which offer real-money prizes. Since $weeps Cash is deemed to be “bonus sweepstakes prizes,” GP has been able to operate as a “non-gambling” gambling site.