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Rumors Abound about Closure of Online Gambling Payment Firm


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Although it was launched just last year to reportedly serve the European
online gambling sector, online payment gateway Ivobank is being
bandied about by the rumour mill that it is in financial trouble and will soon
close down. The rumours started when Ivobank recently stopped accepting new
customers.

This week Ivobank published a statement on its website that said as from
September 7, 2009 it would no longer accept any new retail or corporate
customers and that ‘as the bank’s future strategic aims are developed, further
information will be made available’. It also said that ‘all normal transaction
facilities remain available, at present, for existing customers’.

Although the online bank also made it clear that its current customer base can
still access and withdraw their funds at any time, what many in the online
gambling industry will undoubtedly be wondering is if this statement will cause
a ‘run’ on the online bank, and possibly result in its complete collapse.

Amidst the rumours of Ivobank’s demise, a lack of detailed information from the
bank has only served to feed speculation of a potential collapse and scare its
existing customers. It is no secret that the online gambling industry and its
various peripheral industries – including online payment gateways – is a
volatile one.

Ivobank was launched last year by the Indonesian billionaire Sampoerna family as
an independent bank which was reportedly authorized and regulated by the
Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK. It’s core business was to offer
its clients a secure, reliable and versatile online payment and banking
infrastructure.

There are many online payment gateways in operation today, but only a handful of
highly successful ones. Up until the end of 2006, PayPal was the largest online
bank in operation and a favourite amongst online gamblers. However, following
the U.S. crackdown on online gambling, it stopped servicing online gambling
clients.

That decision paved the way for Neteller to become one of the world’s largest
online payment processors as it has always accepted online gamblers and
benefited tremendously from the gap left by PayPal. Recently PayPal announced
that it would again start accepting online gambling clients, albeit just those
based in the UK.

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