Skrill Enters The US Online Gambling Fray
A week after Neteller and PayPal announced their intention to re-enter the now legal US Online Gambling market, Skrill has thrown their name in amongst the rest and has gained approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to begin processing online gambling payments within the state.
Even though the likes of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have legalized online gambling within their borders and Poker sites such as Full Tilt and PokerStars have re-entered the US market, many a US player is still finding it difficult to perform the necessary financial transactions such as depositing playing money and withdrawing winnings. One of the few options open to players is the credit card however this seems to be causing the most problems thus far with processing times by MasterCard and Visa being long and arduous and American Express refusing to process payments altogether.
Such difficulties, many have said, are one of the largest factors for New Jersey iGaming Revenues being far below their pre-legalization estimate. However, last week saw the announcement of both Neteller, once the foremost name in the online gambling industry, and PayPal, the biggest online payment company in the US, announce their return to the US online gambling market. Now, with Skrill (once known as MoneyBookers) entering the fray, competition should lead to improved revenues throughout the industry as each company provides an easy alternative to credit cards and such.
Skrill has enjoyed market dominance in Europe and their Vice President, Joe Hall, has said that they will be targeting a 99 percent penetration rate within the US market in an attempt to reach the high levels of popularity that the company has enjoyed in Europe. As ambitious as that sounds, they cannot forget that there are two extremely big walls blocking their way, those of PayPal and Neteller, which combined, can boast over 300 000 million users around the world.
Hall went on to add that gaining a foothold in the US market would be “slightly more complex and would require two separate phases” which have been identified by Skrill. These would include:
Phase 1 – to launch their existing product in the newly regulated US markets in a way that complied with the strict regulations set by the various gaming regulators. This phase was completed when Skrill launched in New Jersey with new partners, PartyPoker, the Tropicana and Virgin Casino.
Phase 2 – this is where they are today and to them, is a critical piece of the puzzle and will entail them localising their products to fit the US marketplace. This would mean that they would have to change their tone, language, add new payment processing options, adding a standalone US focused app and working with new US business.
Hall then went on to put these gaols into perspective and offered the following real-world scenario “Long term we want to be the payment solution of choice for the person who wakes up in New Jersey, plays a $20 SNG on Stars, finished in 1st and then sips his entire roll to DraftKings for tonight’s fantasy baseball $50K guaranteed”
In order for Skrill to make this scenario a reality they must increase brand awareness in the states, a mundane task when you realize that the market is, and has for a long time, been dominated by the likes of PayPal, the biggest name in the US online payments market. A market that includes over 150 million members, a large portion of which is dominated by US residents who use PayPal on a daily basis for their other online payment needs.
Skrill, on the other hand, is the new kid on the block and it will take a lot of patience, time, clever marketing and planning to boost their awareness within the US if they ever hope to contend with the likes of Neteller or dethrone the likes of PayPal.
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