Chumba Casino has just announced that it will now accept payments from Worldpay. Worldpay is a global processor of all manner of transactions.
According to Chumba CEO Laurence Escalante, the deal will allow players to deposit using credit cards, e-wallets, and other mobile options. He went on to say that Chumba customer feedback was the driving force behind the deal.
“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.”
This news should be music to the ears of Chumba customers. Until now, their only options for deposits have been Paypal and Facebook payments. As it happens, the Paypal option is off the table after this week. The company sent out an email to customers informing them the site would cease Paypal transactions on July 1.
Worldpay processes 40 billion transactions annually. The company does so across 300 different payment types.
The company merged with US credit card processor Vantiv in January 2018. Escalante seemed quite excited at the host of new options for customers.
“With Worldpay we have the ability to offer a range of payment solutions to our customers…this means our customers can interact with us in whatever way is most convenient to them,” he said.
Chumba Casino offers a similar model to Global Poker
Chumba Casino is owned and operated by VGW RMG Malta Limited. VGW is the same company that owns Global Poker.
Both Chumba and Global operate using the same dual-currency scheme. In order to play for real money, players are required to buy Gold Coins.
When players purchase Gold Coins, they are also awarded Sweeps Cash. Sweeps Cash is a separate currency from Gold Coins, and is nominally free to players.
However, players can withdraw their Sweeps Cash for real cash as soon as they reach certain thresholds. Using this model allows both Chumba and sister company Global Poker to remain in compliance with US law.
The unusual model is a product of the UIGEA
All of these contortions are necessary because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This act, commonly known as the UIGEA, prohibited gambling businesses from:
“knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”
The long and short of that declaration is that while gambling itself was not illegal, processing deposits and withdrawals became so. Transferring money in order to play games of chance became an increasingly difficult proposition.
Five years after its passage and a year after its date of compliance, most US-facing poker sites closed under order from the US Department of Justice. Overnight, a multi-million dollar industry reduced to a small fraction of its previous size.
This day became known in poker circles as Black Friday. Online poker in the United States has never been the same since Black Friday, with only a few offshore sites.
Global Poker and Chumba Casino are the main entities who are attempting to bring legal poker back to the United States. Hopefully, this partnership with Worldpay will make it just a little easier.