Caesars Interactive Signs UK Firm Optimal as Payment Processor
Caesars Interactive has continued its ramping up of operations in preparation for the upcoming Nevada online poker market by announcing the signing of Optimal Payments as its online payment processor.
According to the deal with Caesars Interactive, Optimal will provide gateway services, connected to payment processing, fraud management regarding those deposits and withdrawals, and other related functions.
Said Joel Leonoff, the president and CEO of Optimal Payments, “This is a groundbreaking deal for Optimal Payments and demonstrates our ability to provide real value to globally renowned, land-based gaming operators and their leading brands, as the first step in our strategy to capitalize on the regulated U.S. market.”
Optimal Payments, headquartered in the Isle of Man, is the owner of the NETeller, NetBanx and Net+ brand names, with its NetBanx services most likely to fit the expected Caesars needs. NETeller once served US players but left the American market after the United States seized roughly $55 million from online payment channels and arrested NETeller co-founders John Lefebvre and Steven Lawrence.
The $55 million actually seized was eventually released to players, while NETeller agreed to a separate $136 million fine and Lefebvre and Lawrence forfeited $100 million each.
NETeller subsequently moved from its original home in Canada to the UK, and underwent two name changes, first to Neovia Finanacial, and then in 2011 to Optimal Payments PLC.
Caesar Interactive’s new deal with Optimal comes after its hiring of former Optimal Payments senior exec Ben Dalfen as its own Vice President of Gaming Partnerships and Development, with Dalfen’s connections to Optimal likely giving the firm the inside track on the deal.