PayPal Returning to the US Gambling and Poker Sites

PayPal has re-entered the USA gambling market as an option in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. They are doing a trial run with, but are planning to add more legal poker sites in the near future. Again, as of now, this is only for sites in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware and does not apply to the many poker sites that are based offshore.

The US market is frequently changing, however, and we plan to keep this page updated for when more sites begin to offer PayPal as an option.

Return of the King?

PayPal WAS the leading provider of online gambling deposits in the US from early 2000 to late 2002 but eventually left the market prior to US legislators passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. It was a relatively short run for PayPal, but their role as a payment provider to poker, casino and sports betting sites was so dominant during that time, most felt their exit from online gambling spelled doom for the entire US gambling industry.

This, however, wasn’t the case, soon after Neteller stepped in and kept things going. Unfortunately Neteller itself would leave the market in 2007 but those of us who were around in the PayPal days didn’t panic too much when Neteller left the US. Whenever online poker loses one payment processor another seems to move in and take over. The main methods now include credit cards, wire transfers and Bitcoin, which is becoming more and more popular for offshore sites.

PayPal Still Deals in Gambling Transactions

When PayPal left the US market in the early 2000s in didn’t completely abandon the online gambling market. Instead, PayPal focused on more progressive countries (when it comes to online gambling) such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Australia and more.

For much of the world PayPal remains a premier option for depositing on online poker sites and the company has been expanding into the segment more aggressively in recent years as online gambling becomes more commonplace.

Because PayPal was one of the original payment processors it was extra careful when it came to online gambling laws in the USA and that’s part of the reason the market remains bereft of the company outside the regulated markets in NV, DE and NJ.

How PayPal Works, and What is PayPal?

If you’re not familiar with PayPal, they are the largest money transfer service in the world. PayPal makes it possible for anyone and everyone to receive money online, be it from friends, relatives, business contacts, or website visitors. Not only can they receive money online, but they can also accept credit card, or eCheck payments.

PayPal clients can store these funds, spend the funds at merchants accepting PayPal, transfer them to others with PayPal accounts, or cash the funds out via ACH bank transfer or paper check. In fact, in the US it is also possible to get a PayPal debit card that you can use to take money out of your PayPal account at an ATM, or because it has a MasterCard symbol, you can also spend your PayPal funds anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Today thousands of merchants accept PayPal including Godaddy and Moniker for domain registrations, United and Southwest for flight tickets, Tiger Direct for computers and electronics, and we’re mentioning just a few of the tens of thousands of merchants accepting PayPal in order to show how mainstream PayPal has become. PayPal is the payment processor of choice for the majority of users on famed online commerce site eBay.

PayPal Ownership and Successes

PayPal was so useful for online transactions that eBay decided to purchase the service in 2002. PayPal was originally the result of a merger between old internet companies and Confinity.

After eBay acquired PayPal in 2002, ownership decided to pull PayPal out of the online gambling market because they weren’t sure how the laws regarding online gambling in the USA were going to shake out.

Even though it didn’t benefit from online gambling in the USA, PayPal rose to new heights under eBay ownership and now operates in 190 countries, has 152 million active accounts, and operates in 30+ different currencies with local offices in 13 different countries. They company does billions of dollars in business every single year.

PayPal’s Return to US Poker

Because PayPal is an online giant in commerce you might expect that the company isn’t in any rush to return to the online gaming space but that would be short-sighted.

PayPal is actually experiencing stiff competition from payment processors like by Square and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin so it’s important for the company to maximize value wherever it can find it.

PayPal is also a big player when it comes to online gambling in the rest of the world so it goes without saying that the company is hoping to move back into the US market. PayPal has even experimented with an online payment system in China where the internet is even more heavily regulated than the USA.

There’s a decent chance that PayPal will make a widespread push back in USA online poker in the next few years and may even help push a few states towards legalizing and regulating the game.

The situation regarding online poker in the USA is always changing, however, and we suggest that you keep checking our US poker law page to get the latest updates.


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