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Canada sticks the boot into Neteller

As it gets stuffed by Turkey

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Money transfer group Neteller, which at one time serviced about 85 per cent of online gambling transactions, has been forced to pull out of Canadian and Turkish markets after garnering attention from regulators.

The group said any funds customers had deposited in their e-wallets would be safe, and could still be used for non-gambling transactions. It stopped processing Turkish payments on Monday morning, and will cut off Canadian gamblers on 9 April.

Turkey passed laws on 28 February designed to restrict online gambling services offered by "unauthorised" companies like Neteller, while Canadian provinces have variously begun clamping down on the trade.

Neteller only last week saw off a US Department of Justice investigation into its involvment in online betting by giving money back to American gamblers.

In a statement to AIM on Monday, Neteller said: "Recent actions by regulators, payment processors, and online gaming operators have increased the uncertainty around certain activities related to online gambling in some jurisdictions. The Board of Directors of the company reached a decision, on 25 March 2007, that the risk to the group's ongoing business in Canada and Turkey has increased in the light of such developments."

Trading in the Isle of Man-based outfit's shares on AIM has been suspended since mid-January, when two of its executives were arrested by US authorities.

The loss of its small Turkish business will have no effect on Neteller's finances, but the Canadian market shut-down will have a material impact on its numbers for 2007. The group is yet to deliver its 2006 results to investors. ®

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