Payment processing firm NETeller has agreed to forfeit $136 million as part of a deal with the US government to escape prosecution on conspiracy charge related to its handling of online casino and gambling proceeds.
Under terms of the deal the British firm must also pay back over $90 million still owed to customers.District Judge P. Kevin Castel in Manhattan declared that the charge will be dismissed after two years if the company meets the conditions of its agreement with the US Attorney’s office.
A statement from NETeller said: “The company is happy to put this behind us.”
NETeller stopped operations in the US in January, abandoning two-thirds of its business after authorities arrested its Canadian co-founders, John Lefebvre and Stephen Lawrence, and charged them with handling illegal gambling proceeds.
Indian Casinos Report Drop In Revenue
The American Indian gambling industry has reported a slowdown last year. Indian gaming revenue grew 11 percent in 2006 to about $25.5 billion, slower than the average annual pace of 15 percent in the past decade, fewer facilities also opened, a report showed.
Gambling operations on native reservations hire more than 320,000 people, led to $80.7 billion in output to the U.S. economy and generated $11.7 billion in taxes according to the Indian Gaming Industry Report. However, industry experts are not fazed the slowing of growth. Although the growth is slower, at least it is still positive, and many feel that the Indian gambling market has not reached its full potential.
The purpose of Indian gaming is to build and sustain a sort of self- sufficient tribal governments. Many say that this goal has been met, even if some tribes benefited from the arrangement more than others. 228 tribes use revenue from gaming in order to support social services such as health care, housing and education. Of these, 34% of the tribes distribute direct payments to tribal members.
Last year’s revenue from Togel Online gaming was the lowest since the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in 1988. The total number of gaming casinos was increased by just one in 2006, to 423. Compare this with an increase of ten in 2005.
In addition, there is more competition from non-Indian gambling facilities, and racetracks with slot machines. Twenty of the 28 Indian gaming states had lower growth rates in 2006 compared with the year before, with California the most notable of those.
Still, every Indian gaming state reported some growth, except for Louisiana, which saw revenues drop from about $402 million to $395 million. A handful of new facilities are being developed by tribes in Michigan, New York, Washington and Wyoming. Many more tribes have planned or proposed facilities that are awaiting federal recognition or an agreement with their states to allow new or expanded gambling.