NETeller has now weighed in on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and the news is not good. I'm not surprised, however. After all, NETeller is a publically traded company that I'm guessing makes most of its money from something other than helping a bunch of degenerates play penny poker.
What the statement basically says is that within the next 270 days, NETeller will stop making any transfers from U.S. customers to onling gaming sites. Even though it is based outside of the U.S., NETeller says it will act as though it is under U.S. jurisdiction.
As soon as the appropriate people come up with the final rules and regulations, and assuming they are rules and regulations that a company can reasonably be expected to follow, NETeller will no longer be an option for online gamblers. "Within the next 270 days" could mean next week, we just don't know. Anyone using NETeller may want to keep that in mind. Your last chance to make a deposit from NETeller to an online poker room could be just around the corner.
Again, I'm not surprised, but this will force many of us to look elsewhere. Firepay has already stopped helping online gamblers, after first raping many of them with a surprise withdrawal fee. That left NETeller. Soon, that option will no longer be available. It will remain to be seen if someone steps up to fill that void.
You can read the full statement in the extended entry:
19 October 2006 NETELLER PLC
Update on US position
Further to the Company' announcement on 12 October 2006, NETELLER Plc today announced the following update in the light of the action on 13 October 2006 by US President George W Bush to approve and sign into law the SAFE Port Act incorporating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 ("UIGEA" or the "Act") which includes certain provisions to prohibit "unlawful internet gambling" by restricting gambling sites from accepting certain payments from US residents.
NETELLER, a company registered outside the US, will comply with the Act and its related regulations as if it were subject to the Act's jurisdiction. This action is intended to ensure that the Company is able to continue to operate with the support of its principal commercial partners and to protect its shareholders, business partners, employees and reputation.
Various provisions of the Act, including the obligations of financial transaction providers such as NETELLER, remain unclear. This uncertainty should be largely resolved when the Secretary of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issue the regulations they are required to prescribe within 270 days.
In view of the importance of these issues, NETELLER has accelerated its review of the Act and all other relevant laws and pertinent developments. The Company also continues to closely monitor the regulatory situation and is determining what actions to take well before the conclusion of the 270-day rulemaking period.
In the interim, US-resident customers are able to use the NETELLER service as
normal. The funds of US-resident customers are held in trust accounts and will be available for withdrawal, on demand. The ability to withdraw funds will exist
regardless of the customer's location or ability to transfer to any site.
NETELLER customers not resident in the US are not affected at all by the legislative changes in the US, and the Company will continue to operate its non-US business as normal, maintaining existing customer and merchant support across all the other markets it currently serves.
NETELLER remains focused on developing its business in line with its stated
strategic objectives including geographical and product diversification. The Company continues to launch localised services within the European market, most recently in Sweden and Denmark, and has plans for three further launches later this year. As well as focusing on the gaming sector outside of the US market, the Board considers the development of additional products and services for wallet users to be integral to its diversified market strategy. We expect to share more information on these initiatives in the coming months. The Company is committed to maximising shareholder value both in the short and longer term, and will explore all possible strategic alternatives, including utilising its substantial resources, to ensure the achievement of its strategic objectives.
The Company's trading update for the third quarter will be issued on Tuesday, October 31st, 2006. In the meantime, the Company will endeavour to keep shareholders informed of any material developments as and when appropriate.