eWalletXpress was a popular online wallet service that served American and Canadian gamblers. Although it originally began for other industries, eWalletXpress became one of the most common ways for North American players to get funds to online casinos. However, this service suddenly closed in November of 2010. While we now have confirmation as to why it closed, what will happen to the people with money still in their accounts still remains unknown.
When the closure process began, the website’s registration page eliminated the United States of America from its country choices. Shortly after this, users began getting messages that eWalletXpress was undergoing technical difficulties for an indeterminate amount of time. This vagueness opened plenty of speculation in many online gambling communities.
People were hesitant to believe that it was just technical difficulties due to the restrictions placed on online gambling in the United States. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 put online gambling in a legal gray area in the country. While it does not specifically make it illegal to place online wagers in the USA, banks are prohibited from funding Internet gambling transactions.
Some people commented on how eWalletXpress’s “technical issues” was remarkably similar to another event. The passage of UIGEA stopped the most common e-wallet, NETeller, from operating in the USA in 2006. The United States government seized all of the company’s American funds, and online casinos immediately stopped taking deposits from them. Any funds the players had left in their accounts took several months to retrieve after the fact. NETeller, for the first month or so, claimed that they were having “technical issues” as well.
An e-mail was leaked stating that the United States government did, in fact, seize eWalletXpress’s funds in November, but no one was able to confirm the e-mail. Some people went so far as to suggest that the company simply stole the money from the players and faked the e-mail. For many weeks, anyone who contacted live support got told the same thing: “We are currently having technical issues and are not sure when they will be fixed.”
Thankfully, shortly after the New Year, eWalletXpress came clean and told its players that the United States government seized its fund and was conducting a confidential investigation. This opened up several questions. First, why did the company take so long to tell its users that it was not technical issues, but legal issues? Second, how come online casino operators kept so quiet about the whole thing, with some stating outright that they were not allowed to discuss what was going on? Finally, when can players expect to get their funds back, if at all? These are issues that any person with money in their eWalletXpress accounts still want answers to.
Of course, people in the USA still have options to play their favorite online casino games. Current popular choices include QuickTender, eCheckUS, and LoganPay. Regardless of the method chosen, players ought to keep these legal issues like the one happening with eWalletXpress right now in mind before making their next deposit. Always use caution, read up on the e-wallet service, and don’t ever leave large amounts of money in an e-wallet.