There are two hot topics in the US betting world right now: The Super Bowl and the Wire Act. While those with an interest in football will be hanging their hat on the former, those focused on the future are currently consumed by the latter. With legal experts, operators and players all concerned by the Department of Justice (DOJ) decision, hope from in any form is a welcome commodity.
As we’ve previously wrote, pressure from the community is a key weapon in any fight against those who want to outlaw online betting and gaming in the US. However, what will also help disprove accusations levelled at the industry is technology. Showing that online operators are equipped to tackle issues such as underage gambling is crucial. Although it may be a stretch to call it a knight in shining armor, UK payment firm SafeCharge could be another bullet in our proverbial gun.
SafeCharge to Make US Online Gaming Safer
According to a January 29 press release, the company has partnered with Mazooma in an effort to provide real-time ID checks for US gaming operators. Utilizing Mazooma’s eCheck Select software, SafeCharge will be able to asses bank-level data in order to confirm a user’s identity. What’s more, the technology can review the user’s account balance and cancel a transaction if the requested funds aren’t available.
“We’re pleased to make our ACH technology available via the SafeCharge Payments Engine. With eCheck Select, iGaming operators entering the newly-regulated US market can offer players in the US a positive gaming experience,” Mazooma CEO Jamie MacKay said.
By providing US operators with an instant and reliable way to vet customers, SafeCharge is tackling one of the main criticisms made by anti-online gambling advocates. As we know from leaked memos published by the Wall Street Journal, lobbyists funded by Sheldon Adelson were instrumental in swaying the DOJ’s opinion on the Wire Act. During his time funding the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, Adelson has repeatedly claimed that he’s concerned about the welfare of minors. Despite evidence to the contrary, his main argument against legal online betting is that it’s a threat to children.
Tech Can Silence the Naysayers
With the recent announcement from SafeCharge, operators and those willing to fight back now have a product they can point to. By using banking data to authorize payments, SafeCharge is helping to prevent minors from betting online. Additionally, by vetting a user’s credit rating, operators can prevent problem gambling before it starts. These types of provisions aren’t available in the offline gaming sector. Indeed, short of a manual ID check, casino cashiers know very little about the people they’re serving. Online, however, things are different. This is something lawmakers need to be aware of and, more importantly, something industry insiders need to make lawmakers aware of.
Even if we ignore personal liberty, online sports betting and gaming is too lucrative to give up on. The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently reported that 22.7 million Americans will wager upwards of $6 billion on this Sunday’s Super Bowl. That’s a lot of money that any sane politician can’t ignore. Therefore, as a community, we should be excited to hear that companies such as SafeCharge are making a move into the US market. By demonstrating that it’s just as safe, if not safer, to ante up online, we may just be able to silence the naysayers once and for all.