The already narrow U.S. online gambling market lost another payment option last week, as officials from ePassporte NV said they have folded to pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Although we do not believe we have done anything illegal, we do not wish to be associated with anything that might be considered illegal by the United States government."
The Curaçao-based payment processor on Friday informed its U.S.-serving online gaming clients that their ePpurchase payment processing accounts would be disabled as of 1 p.m. (PDT).
The company said it was advised that the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York was conducting a widespread investigation into Internet gambling.
"Although we do not believe we have done anything illegal, we do not wish to be associated with anything that might be considered illegal by the United States government," ePassporte said in a prepared statement. "We will deal with all customer service issues for our account holders as they arise and as we deem appropriate."
Following the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a number of privately-owned online gambling sites have continued to take U.S. play, but payment options have dwindled. Neteller, the industry's largest payment processor, left the U.S. market in January 2007, followed by Citadel, Instadebit and Click2Pay.
ePassporte could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. Attorney's Office would not confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.