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A Bank of Their Own

Customers of online casinos, poker rooms, lotteries and bingo sites have a new option for deposits and withdrawals to and from their gaming providers. Ivobank is a new online banking service that is looking to attract customers from Europe’s expanding online gaming market.

The new bank is a venture of the Sampoerna family, which owns Mansion online poker and sports book and Les Ambassadeurs casino in London. Ivobank is headed by two former execs of U.K.-based online bank Cahoot. Timothy Sawyer is a former CEO of Cahoot and Martin Peterlechner was Cahoot’s head of sales and marketing.

Sawyer said that the bank is open to anyone, but that it had been specifically designed with online gamers in mind.

“The online gaming industry has developed rapidly in recent years, but the financial services supporting it have not kept pace,” Sawyer said.

“Ivobank aims to plug the gap by offering instant and highly secure online payment services, combined with competitive interest rates.”

Ivobank account holders can transfer money across borders instantly. Taking advantage of the Single European Payments Area, Ivobank allows customers to make cross-border money transfers without incurring the fees charged by regular banks, which can add up.

“Many online businesses and customers have been ill-served to date, resulting in relatively high costs and relatively low levels of service,” said Sawyer.

Account holders also receive an Ivobank Virtual Card that can be used for online purchases in place of a MasterCard.

The bank is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the U.K. Currently the bank has been launched in the U.K., Ireland, Spain and Canada, with plans to expand to Germany and the Netherlands and eventually the Asia-Pacific region.

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