DraftKings adds PayPal to N.J. sportsbook site

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DraftKings has added PayPal as a payment option to its New Jersey Sportsbook, following similar moves from rivals FanDuel Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook and SugarHouse Sportsbook.

The addition of PayPal as a source of funding is a major win for DraftKings, best known for its online and mobile sports fantasy games, because it brings it on level footing with its competitors as the NFL begins regular season for football games.

When the Supreme Court ruled in May that individual states can legalize sports gambling (striking down the 1992 federal ban), many expected that sportsbooks would soon open in a number of states, with particular emphasis on New Jersey, which had been trying to legalize sports gambling since 2012. It didn’t take long for DraftKings to announce its platform, Sportsbook; fantasy sports rival FanDuel launched its New Jersey Sportsbook earlier this month, with PayPal as a payment option from the start.

The expectation that the Supreme Court’s decision is worth billions to the payments industry cannot be understated. However, there is a major hurdle that still needs to be overcome by casino and sports gambling establishments — most banks and credit card issuers don’t allow online gambling. Despite internet gambling for poker and other casino games being legalized in a handful of states since 2013, most major financial institutions won’t process gambling transactions on their credit cards.

It's also been a sticking point for PayPal — in its earliest years, PayPal ran afoul of New York prosecutors who did not want it handling payments for online gambling sites. PayPal agreed to a $200,000 settlement in 2002, shortly before finalizing its purchase by eBay, which officially cut the unit's ties to online gambling sites.

The lack of traditional digital payment options, such as credit cards, forces many online gamblers to use other options including eChecks and prepaid cards.

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