Merchant account and payment gateway solutions specifically dedicated to online gambling and casinos.
Statista tells us that 45% of adults in UK gamble each month. That’s a staggering number of people. With the rise of mobile casinos and apps at a CAGR of 18%, this number doesn’t seem to be going down anytime soon.
True, there was a minor dip in the upward curve during the Covid-19 pandemic. But as the world returns to normalcy, Brits are eager to wager their bets and try their luck in the world of digital casinos.
For businesses looking to dip their toes in this thriving and potentially lucrative industry, it’s not all fun and games though. There are a couple of issues that need to be sorted out, the biggest of which is getting a merchant account for online gaming.
Gambling is a high-risk industry, which means that banks are always on their toes when it comes to covering their backs. It’s very easy for them to shut down merchant accounts in the gaming space, because they see gambling as an ‘unacceptably risky’ business model. To add to that, the UK Gambling Commission banned the use of Credit Cards for online gambling, citing unplanned spending risks.
At Merchant Advise, we have a history of helping businesses get gambling merchant accounts, secure high-risk merchant account providers and managing high-risk payment processing smoothly.
Gambling and Casinos have always been exceptional risk industries and for good reason. They fall in the top 1% of businesses that take the biggest credit risks.
As a result, it’s very difficult to get merchant accounts for online casinos or gambling sites. The process is long and arduous because banks need to know exactly what they’re dealing with before they enter into any contracts with businesses.
For a bank, partnering with any business eventually dials down to one key aspect, ‘risk’.
Chargebacks – The biggest risk with gambling merchants is the possibility of fraudulent transactions. Customer disputes and chargebacks are persistent problems, which will keep the account under a microscope. Since online casinos have a high volume of customers who can dispute transactions because there’s no face-to-face element to the games, they’re going to be much bigger risks than businesses that do have it. According to Chargebacks911, Chargebacks in the gaming industry have increased by 155% in the last 4-years. For a bank, that’s a vertical that they’d be happy to pass.
Regulations – The Gambling Industry is a highly-regulated one. No Surprises really. But constant changes to the laws governing it make it an even more dangerous prospect for banks. Every country has its own set of rules and regulations, which makes compliance very difficult, especially when banks can’t be sure about what’s permitted and what’s not.
Laundering – A whopping $2-billion is laundered annually through illegal casinos, worldwide. The problem with gambling merchants is that they lend themselves very well to this activity. By its very nature, the online world lends itself well to governments and criminals alike to utilise it as an easy channel for laundering cash. Gambling merchant accounts are therefore always closely monitored by banks to ensure that they’re not being exploited for money-laundering purposes.
Fraud – Cybercrime is on the rise in general, but is most pronounced with Gambling Merchants. The sheer volume of transactions between casinos and their customers through online transactions makes it an attractive target for criminals looking to milk money from unsuspecting victims. This risk is further exacerbated when you consider that cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack. According to Threatmatrix, up to 50% of the traffic hitting an online casino are bots.
With a slew of risks involved with online casinos & gambling, it’s difficult for banks to take up clients in this space. It takes a lot of convincing before they’re convinced that the client is trustworthy enough for them to provide their services.
Even if you do manage to convince the bank to accept your business into their fold, you’ll have to jump through hoops in order to keep it. You’ll face stiff competition on multiple fronts, which makes the game challenging even for the most competent gambling merchants.
Compliance – The lack of a unified regulating policy in the EU for the gambling industry makes it tricky for businesses to stay compliant. Many of the member states have their own rules governing online gambling, which makes it difficult for you to comply with all of them. The lack of one set law only complicates matters further since you’ll need separate merchant accounts to service clients residing in different parts of Europe. Throw in Cryptocurrencies to the mix and you get a compliance nightmare.
KYC – If there’s one common requirement in the EU for most Gambling Merchants, it’d be the need for KYC (Know Your Customer). Adhering to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements is something that you’ll have to do in order to get an online casino merchant account. But millennials hate going through lengthy signups. And you’ll need to convince the bank that their concerns are unfounded or else they won’t cooperate with you.
Charges – Any merchant in a high-risk industry such as this will be slapped with higher transaction charges for accepting digital payments through their online casino merchant account. The charges levied on Gambling Merchants are much higher than what the average business gets charged because of the increased risks involved.
Prior expertise certainly helps banks understand your business better. However, our underwriters have years of experience in the industry which means that they are well aware of the needs of online casinos. We have helped new merchants in the gambling industry sign up for merchant accounts through our extensive network of banks.
We help you find the right payment processors for your business through our extensive network of partner banking institutions that have an appetite for high risk verticals. We also have a team of underwriters who will help you compile the right set of documents and financials that banks seek while considering applications in this industry.
Well, there are certain risks associated with businesses in this industry, however banks understand the ecommerce market is growing day by day. They are willing to work with merchants who have clean past records, financials, low chargeback rates and stringent compliance policies. We help you figure out the right set of documents and financials that will help convince them about your business.
No, there aren’t any costs to us. At Merchant Advise, our goal is to help online casinos and other high risk merchants get the best rates without compromising on service quality. Our partner banks offer features like multibank processing, support for over 150 currencies, cryptocurrency payments, instant withdrawals for customers using Original Credit Transaction (OCT), ACH processing, anti-fraud systems, chargeback alerts and PCI DSS, to name a few.
With extensive experience in the high-risk industry, we understand that time is of the essence for our merchants. We try to get your application submitted to the underwriting team within 48-hours. But with a laundry list of documents and financials to be submitted, this may vary from case to case.
We also have a dedicated support staff who will provide you with timely updates.