Esports sector can expect more pressure from payment firms

Esports sector can expect more pressure from payment firms

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Paypal is investigating esports payments - expect other providers to follow suit

Other online payment providers are likely to follow Paypal’s lead and investigate payments to esports companies, according to esports entrepreneur Gavin Weeks.

The esports industry, and operators therein, are increasingly under the microscope in recent times and the latest announcement from Paypal underlines the scrutiny that was triggered by Valve effectively banning skin betting on its Steam platform.

There are numerous tournament sites out there in which money changes hands and it appears that Paypal is now concerned with ensuring the legality of this country to country, and state to state in the US.

Weeks, who is the founder of Esportsify and Skinsanity.GG, told TotallyGaming.com: “This isn’t an unexpected occurrence given Paypal’s lacklustre support for digital items up to this point so with the addition of the class actions against various streamers/Youtubers, Valve's stance on gambling & Twitch agreeing with Valve it was only a matter of time.

“Paypal shouldn’t be the number one choice for anyone wishing to use it beyond making Ebay payments or simply sending money to friends and family. I expect similar companies in the space to investigate their involvement also.”

The London based operator Gfinity, which hosts both online tournaments and LAN tournaments at its Fulham Broadway venue, has already announced that it has switched to another payment provider.

Dextero reported that this was due to what would have been the large costs involved in making these assurances region to region, and the amount of time it would have taken too.

Paypal has reportedly requested letters from lawyers in a number of countries as well as each state in the US to ensure that it is meeting the legal requirements in each.

Totally Gaming Says: It’s open season on esports at the moment as the infrastructure that has grown organically around the sport becomes more under the spotlight. By acting now, the esports community should be able to rebuild a more robust structure that can engage with players and viewers while simultaneously withstanding the eye of the law.

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