Vantiv Bets On Growing Demand for Gambling Payments Technology

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Vantiv plans to release a suite of services next week to target different parts of the casino industry.

"There's a convergence of omni-channel gaming, with mobile gaming, land-based gaming and the evolution of igaming and cashless gaming," says Joe Pappano, senior vice president and general manager for Vantiv Gaming Solutions, who calls payments "the lifeblood of gaming."

Vantiv is pursuing clients that are stakeholders in gaming, such as companies that operate games, or technology vendors, which in turn will offer payment services for consumers, such as debit, credit or ACH. Its goal is to develop a consistent, secure and compliant method of loading accounts for wagers and other payments.

Vantiv's services will be divided into Web gaming, fantasy sports, online lotteries, advanced deposit wagering and social gaming. Each of these gaming types has its own set of technology, user experience and compliance challenges, Pappano says. Vantiv plans to unveil its new technology at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Sept. 23.

"It's very complex, you have many different entities involved in the player experience, such as platform providers, the content providers, etc.," Pappano says, adding Vantiv's services are designed to protect the users and the gaming companies. "We'll work on stuff like 'know your customer' regulations, anti-money laundering and authentication, to make sure the players are funding their wagering account in a legally permissible way."

As gaming has become more digital, compliance has become harder, Pappano says.

"There's a lot of scrutiny into igaming, with the various control boards and entities that oversee gaming," says Pappano, adding that most of the gambling regulation happens at the state level in Nevada, New Jersey and other states that have legalized casino and online gaming. These practices are harder to manage than the more consistent oversight at the federal level.

Other companies that offer gaming payments technology include Optimal Payments, an online payments processor that is partnering with Bally Technologies—a provider of slot machines and other casino products—to provide payments and related services to Bally and its online gaming customers. Bally has integrated Optimal Payment's Netbanx payment platform into its solution for operators in the U.S. gaming market, including credit, debit, ACH and risk management.

The technology is high stakes, given the importance of user experience in gambling, says Phil Philliou, a payments consultant who has worked with gaming operators.

"Whether we are talking about online gaming or on-premises slot machines, the basic requirement for payments providers is not be an impediment to uninterrupted play.  The moment a player has an issue accessing funds the 'magic' of gaming is lost," Philliou says. "As such, speed, convenience, ease of access, pricing, and security require additional attention and focus to serve this market."

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