The remote (online) betting, bingo and casino sector accounted for yearly revenues of £5.7 billion in the UK alone in the year to March 2020 but the industry is also contending with an increasingly strict regulatory environment.
The risks associated with online gambling can make it difficult for virtual betting and gaming businesses to get approved for payment solutions. On 14 April 2020, the UK Gambling Commission banned consumers from using credit cards to gamble, citing public safety as a key factor in the decision. In this guide, we will explain how you can find and successfully apply for an online gambling payment processing account.
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Online casinos and other gambling businesses often face difficulties when applying for a merchant account or payment gateway. This is in part because payment service providers generally consider online gambling to be a high-risk industry.
Providers of payment solutions base their assessment of risk within the online gambling industry on the following factors:
As a result of these factors, many businesses find it difficult to get approved by online casino payment processing providers.
There are a number of steps that online casinos and gambling operators must take to accept payments over the internet.
Firstly, they will need to open a high-risk merchant account. These are bank accounts that allow businesses to accept customer payments via debit card and a range of other methods.
When a customer funds their online gambling account, the money will initially be deposited into a merchant account before it is transferred to your business’s bank account.
Secondly, gambling companies will also need a payment gateway to handle online transactions. Merchant account providers often supply payment gateways, but some businesses prefer to use a more specialised provider and apply for a third-party payment gateway that integrates with their merchant account provider.
Payment gateways connect your merchant account and a customer’s bank. This enables the funds to flow into the merchant account – and then onto your business bank account – once the payment is authenticated.
When choosing a high-risk merchant account provider for your online gambling business, it’s important to consider the following factors:
When looking for the best online gambling payment gateway, it’s important to match the features offered by payment service providers with the needs of your business.
The following features are some of the most important things to look out for when choosing an internet gambling payment gateway provider:
You can improve your chances of getting approved for a merchant account by providing all necessary documents and ensuring that your website meets the standards that payment solutions providers expect.
Gambling websites typically need to contain the following features to meet the eligibility criteria for a high-risk merchant account:
All reputable payment solution providers require online gambling operators to be properly licenced for the territory they operate within.
This means that your online gambling business will need to provide the correct certifications for licensing under the UK Gambling Commission.
In addition to licensing certification, you will also often need to provide the following documents:
Online gambling businesses are increasingly looking to cryptocurrencies as they attempt to modernise their approach to transactions.
Cryptocurrency comes with a range of benefits that could serve your online gambling business well, including:
Given these positive features, it’s unsurprising that online gambling and cryptocurrency payments go hand in hand. Many virtual casinos already accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other tokens, and several payment services providers have stepped up to facilitate these transactions.
There are a number of options available to gambling businesses that wish to accept cryptocurrency payments online.
To begin with, it’s necessary to set up a cryptocurrency wallet. This is the digital equivalent of a real-life physical wallet and will serve as the ultimate destination for any crypto funds you receive.
Crypto wallets have their own unique address that customers receive payments with. Some wallet addresses can be converted into a QR code that can be scanned for simpler transactions.
It’s technically possible to receive payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies just by setting up a wallet, but many businesses are likely to require further support. Providers such as Coingate and BitPay can set up payment gateways for cryptocurrency transactions – but their support comes at a cost.
We’re experienced in finding and successfully negotiating with payment solutions providers on behalf of online casinos and other gambling businesses.
Drawing on our extensive network of connections, we match our clients with some of the market’s most competitive merchant account and payment gateway providers.
Whether you’re trying to choose between online casino banking methods or are struggling to set up a payment gateway, contact us for impartial advice and detailed quotes for services that will suit your unique needs.
No, the UK Gambling Commission banned businesses from allowing consumers to gamble using credit cards on 14 April 2020. The ban applies to bookmakers operating from physical premises and internet gambling businesses alike.
While credit cards cannot be accepted as a payment method for online gambling in the UK, there are many alternatives available. With the right payment solutions in place, internet gambling businesses can accept:
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