Anyone who watches television, listens to the radio or otherwise exists in Michigan is quite familiar with the arms race online gambling operators are fighting to gain new customers.
But under the surface, there’s also competition in business-to-business circles throughout the industry.
One contested subsection of the sector is online gambling payment options. New companies, partnerships and digital options are popping up by the week.
Plus, you can now fund your Michigan sports betting bankroll while getting a Slurpee at 7-Eleven, or pad your MI online casino account while filling a CVS prescription.
PayNearMe gives retail options across the state
While you can’t place bets with local store clerks, you can now fund some gambling accounts at all 7-Eleven, CVS and Family Dollar through PayNearMe.
PayNearMe retail deposits were approved recently in Michigan by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the option was live Thursday with FanDuel Casino.
Jeremy Enke of PayNearMe said several operators will have PayNearMe options available.
You can’t create add to your online gambling payment options through retailers. But through your account, head to the Cashier section to find the PayNearMe option.
There, you select the amount you will deposit (up to $500 at FanDuel) and print a barcode, or have it sent to your phone. You can look up the nearest retailer through the FanDuel cashier while planning your deposit.
To be clear, after depositing money at retailers, you would place the actual bet through the gambling app or website, not your local cashier.
PayNearMe hopes to become one-stop deposit option
With online gambling launching Jan. 22 in Michigan, operators were accepting money however they could. That process meant making deals with a handful of payment companies.
But as the market matures, operators are looking for one-stop payment providers that can provide customers with all options.
PayNearMe aims to fill that void, Enke said.
“From a company standpoint, being on the forefront of what operators need,” Enke said. “And more importantly, from a players’ perspective.”
The speed of transactions is increasing industry-wide, Enke said, adding that PayNearMe’s push-to-debit withdrawal product offers a same-day cycle on deposits, bets and withdrawals.
PayNearMe already offers Apple Pay and Google Pay options, Enke said, and will soon add PayPal and Venmo options.
Enke said PayNearMe is also exploring the reverse of what’s now available, enabling customers to pick up cash at local retailers through account withdrawals.
Paysafe extends Golden Nugget deal to Michigan
One competitor has moved toward streamlining, as Paysafe announced Thursday an expanded partnership with Golden Nugget Online Casino in Michigan.
Paysafe allows Golden Nugget players to link online banking accounts and fund accounts with credit and debit cards. Golden Nugget players can also use PayPal and Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions through Global Payments Gaming Solutions.
Paysafe, which has been partnered in New Jersey with Golden Nugget since the 2013 online launch there, said it will launch with the operator in West Virginia and Pennsylvania later this year.
“Like every U.S. iGaming operator, getting payments right has always been an important focus for us,” said Thomas Winter, president of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. “Our partnership with Paysafe in New Jersey has helped us streamline and improve payments for us and our customers, and so when we chose to enter the bigger market of Michigan, extending the partnership was an easy choice that made sound business sense.”
‘Disjointed market’ has many competitors, different options
Paysafe and PayNearMe have a wide range of competitors authorized in Michigan, including Sightline Payments and OBeP Payments, among others.
Different companies offer different services, and operators are trying to figure out the best solutions for online gambling payment options in real time.
“It it a little bit of a disjointed market right now,” Enke said. “That’s where we’re seeing now, 2021 and beyond, is how do we make this easier for operators? The past few years, it’s just been a land grab.
“But stepping back a little, they’re like, ‘Why are we working with six different payment providers, with six or seven different reconciliations at the end of the month?
“We saw that as an opportunity about a year or so ago to come in and say, here’s a problem with the gaming industry right now that is not necessarily transparent on the players’ side. But a lot of the bigger companies we talk to, (bringing all payments under one company) is resonating very well with them.”
Many operators, including BetRivers Casino, DraftKings Casino and FanDuel, also offer prepaid Play+ credit cards as an option.
FanDuel pushed MotorCity Casino deposits
Another competitor for PayNearMe’s cash depositing, which is what Enke said put the company on the map, is retail casinos.
FanDuel recently ran a 50% matching bonus promotion for funds deposited in-person at the FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino cage in Detroit.
To be eligible, it needed to be your first Cash at Counter deposit. There was a $250 maximum bonus for the promotion, and bonus funds needed to be wagered within a week.
The promotion has ended, but you can still link your MotorCity Casino Club Metro card to your FanDuel account. There, you can rack up Signature Points, comps and more, according to the FanDuel site.